What Does The Name Kalamazoo REALLY Mean?
Have you sat back and wondered what the word Kalamazoo means? There have been songs written and sung about the city one by the Glenn Miller band named “I got a gal in Kalamazoo”:
Another by Bryan Klinesteker about his hometown, simply named Kalamazoo:
The city of Kalamazoo's population is approximately 76,000 people and was settled in 1829 by Titus Bronson and recorded the original plat as the Village of Bronson at the county Register of Deeds office in March 1831. The cities name was changed to Kalamazoo and incorporated in 1884. We are told the name “Kalamazoo” comes from a Potawatomi word, that was first found in a British report back in 1772.
According to the Public Library of Kalamazoo:
French and English maps in the first decades of the nineteenth century use variations of the name “Marame” to identify the river that flows through the eastern edge of the city. An atlas published in 1823, five years before any white settlement in this area, changes the name to “Kikalemazo,” the first appearance of a word similar to the one that we use today.
Do we really know the origins of the name Kalamazoo and what it really means? After all of the research, I have done it appears we do not. According to the Kalamazoo Public Library:
The name “Kalamazoo” has a long and conflicting history. Whether it means “boiling pot,” “reflecting river,” “mirage,” or something entirely different, the fact remains that the true meaning may never be found.
Put that in your boiling pot and cook it. Or how about just reflecting upon its meaning and not attempting to look at the city’s name as some mirage.