What Does Boca Raton Mean in Spanish

by Boca Raton Jewish News | Oct 7, 2022 | Boca News | 0 comments

What Does Boca Raton Mean in Spanish

Boca Raton is a beautiful place to live in Florida. It has many beaches and parks, as well as great shopping and restaurants. The weather is perfect year-round, making it a perfect place to retire or raise a family. However, with it’s unique name, people keeps on wanting to know the what does Boca Raton mean in Spanish.

Curiosity over the origins of the term Boca Raton dates back many years. The name Boca Raton is often mistakenly believed to be Rat’s Mouth in Spanish. There are many stories and myths about how the city got its name, but the most popular explanation is that early Spanish sailors sailing along Florida’s east coast saw smoke rising from a native campfires on what is now called Boca Raton and they thought it looked like a rat’s mouth.

The term raton, which literally means “mouse,” is often used to refer to an inlet in Spanish. Boca, or “mouth,” is another term that can be used for an inlet. Inlets are often named for their shape, and both raton and boca can be used to describe the shape of an inlet.

The words “raton” and “boca” were terms used by early navigators to describe jagged rocks that would provide a threat to ships, much like a rodent chewing away at the bottom of a ship. These rocks could cause major damage to a ship if not avoided, and so the navigators needed to be aware of them in order to keep their ship safe.


 Photo credits to D Ramey Logan

According to the Boca Raton Historical Society and Museum, Boca Raton was named after the craggy Boca de Ratones region of Biscayne Bay. This area was so named because of the numerous shipwrecks that occurred there, as well as the large population of rats that were attracted to these wrecks.

The name “Boca Raton” was first recorded by Jesuit priests in the early eighteenth century. They noted that the name referred to a large rockslide that had occurred in the area. Then, the title was incorrectly ascribed to the existing Lake Boca Raton by the start of the nineteenth century. The “s” and “e” were later omitted from the name, and it has been used ever since.

During the 1500s and 1600s, Boca Raton was also commonly known as “thieves inlet” in Spanish literature. This is because the Spanish accused the local Tequesta Indians of stealing during the middle of the sixteenth century. The accusations persisted for another two hundred years.

The word “raton” can also be used to describe the act of dragging or hauling something. This would be most applicable to a shallow body of water that can only be accessed by boats that can be dragged or hauled across it.

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Harlan Kilstein has been a Boca Resident since 1997. He know the ins and out of Boca


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