What's in a Word | All Blogs


Surfers’ paradise

By Debra Dobbins

For a while in the '80s I lived in Hermosa Beach, California, just 31 miles away from Malibu. I enjoyed Hermosa Beach so much that I never spent any time in Malibu; now, of course, I wish I had.

Linguists think that the name for this hip seaside town, which is highly popular with surfers, comes from the Ventureño language. That language, according to Wikipedia, is “a member of the extinct Chumashan languages, a group of Native American languages previously spoken by the Chumash people along the coastal areas of Southern California from as far north as San Luis Obispo to as far south as Malibu.”

The word, also according to Wikipedia, may have had an association with “[(hu)maliwu], 'it (the surf) makes a loud noise all the time over there.'”

Photo special to the Sentinel
 

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