The city of Albuquerque was founded in 1706 as a Spanish colonial outpost. It was named after the viceroy of Mexico at the time, the Duque de Alburquerque; the first r was eventually lost due to confusion with Portuguese general Alfonso d'Albuquerque. Eventually, it doesn't matter, though, because both names come from a town on the border of Portugal and Spain called Alburquerque. That means "white oak"; it's composed of Latin albus, meaning "white" (from Proto-Indo-European albho, same definition) and quercus, meaning "oak" (through Proto-Italic kwerkus, from the Proto-Indo-European reconstruction prkeu, also "oak"). This is especially cool when you consider that the name Arizona may come from a Basque word for "good oaks" - the Southwest seems to have a lot of etymological oaks.
Hello! I'm Adam Aleksic, a junior studying government and linguistics at Harvard University, where I co-founded the Harvard Undergraduate Linguistics Society. In addition to etymology, I also really enjoy trivia, politics, vexillology, geography, board games, conlanging, art history, and law.