What's In A Name?

Rickey Bevington tells the surprising stories behind how Atlanta places got their curious names.

Ways to Connect

Zohar Lazar

Atlanta's Castleberry Hill neighborhood is so hot rapper 2 Chainz opened a restaurant there. 

You may know the neighborhood west of downtown for its funky creatives and hipster lunch spots but, in the 1800s, it was a red-light district and home to Atlanta’s Snake Nation.   

What's In A Name? | Jim Crow Road

Jul 18, 2018
Michael David Murphy

In the Georgia town of Flowery Branch about 45 miles northeast of Atlanta, there is a street called "Jim Crow Road."

GPB Atlanta listener Chris Livingston asked us on our website to find out how the street got its regrettable name.

What's In A Name? | Lithonia

Jul 17, 2018
City of Lithonia

GPB Atlanta listener Tommy Hester asked us about the origins of the name of Lithonia, Ga.

You might see that name as you drive down I-20, but did you know that this DeKalb County city has a Greek name? In this edition of "What's In A Name," Rickey Bevington gives us a lesson in ancient Greek.


Is there an Atlanta name you're curious to know the history behind? Click on this link and write your idea in the comments section.

Listen to our summer series "What's In A Name?" during All Things Considered weekdays from 4 to 7 p.m. on Atlanta's NPR News station 88.5 FM

What's In A Name? | Druid Hills

Jul 16, 2018

Druid Hills is one of Atlanta's most well-known neighborhoods and streets.

In this "What's In A Name," as requested by listeners Forest McMullen and Lisa Mount, we'll be diving into the unexpected history of the northeast Atlanta neighborhood.

He was a Baptist minister, an Atlanta civil rights legend, and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s best friend. 

Ralph David Abernathy's name can also be found on many streets across the city. 

In this edition of "What's In A Name," Rickey Bevington details the story of the man behind the scenes of the Civil Rights Movement and the places that honor him.

What's In A Name? | Snapfinger Road

Jul 10, 2018
USGS Publications Warehouse

Listener Jireh Rowdan told us he can picture Snapfinger Road's first residents jamming out with washboards and jugs, snapping their fingers to the beat. 

Today's "What's In A Name" reveals the real (and unfortunately less jolly) history behind the Decatur street's name.

Steve Hersey

Many Atlanta roads are named after local waterways--but where do those creeks and springs get their names?

In today's "What's In A Name," we explore names Charles Arnold Brown and Mike Burns were curious about: Beaver Ruin Road, Ponce de Leon Avenue and Foe Killer Creek.

Wikimedia Commons

Atlanta is legendary for its terrible traffic. One intersection is so infamous, hip-hop duo Outkast wrote an entire song about it. 

Today, we look at the Tom Moreland Interchange, more commonly known as Spaghetti Junction.

Wikimedia Commons

You may be used to navigating through Atlanta's 15 streets named Peachtree, but another road's name has been confusing locals for years.

Today's "What's In A Name" answers Jean Smith's question, “Why is there a difference in the spelling of Clairemont Avenue and Clairmont Road?"

Google Images

While its name may (literally) be bland, its history is anything but. 

Today's "What's In A Name," comes from my Georgia Public Broadcasting colleague Virginia Prescott, who asks about the Blandtown neighborhood just west of Atlantic Station.

Atlanta Journal Constitution Archives

A catchy tune from 70s funk group The Atlanta Spirit is the only remnant of this Atlanta community. 


In our first edition of "What's In A Name," we look at the lost Atlanta neighborhood of Buttermilk Bottom.


The Atlanta neighborhood of Buckhead was named after a dead deer. African-American families in the early 20th century picked "Just Us" to call their new neighborhood south of downtown. The developer of Wieuca Road named it after his three daughters: Wilma, Eugenia, Catherine - Wi-eu-ca (pronounced WHY-yoo-cuh).

All summer long here on All Things Considered we’re telling stories about some of Atlanta’s most interesting names.

We’re calling it “What’s In A Name?”