What is the english translation of the phrase ''Boca Raton''? Do you know the origin of it? | SpanishDict Answers
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1 Vote

What is the english translation for ''Boca Raton''?

  • The word "English" should be capitalized. Welcome to the forum, Ray. - --Mariana-- Jun 7, 2011 flag
  • Welcome to the forum! - pesta Jun 7, 2011 flag
  • Edit: Adjusted for IE compatibility - DJ_Huero Jun 7, 2011 flag
  • Gracias para el recordatorio, Mariana. - raygrant61 Jun 8, 2011 flag

4 Answers

2 Vote

The meaning of the city's name is often mistakenly interpreted as the literal translation of the Spanish "Boca Raton" ("Rat's Mouth") but the origin of the name is more likely derived from a more colloquial translation, "Thieves Inlet", which probably refers to a nearby geographical inlet in the Biscayne Bay area.

4 Vote


The literal translation of "Boca Raton" is "Mouse Mouth" ("mouse" in Spanish is "ratón").[7][8][9] One explanation for the origin is the Spanish word boca (or mouth) was (and still is) used to describe an inlet and ratón (literally "mouse") was used by Spanish sailors to describe rocks that gnawed at a ship's cable. Another explanation is that it refers metaphorically to the sense of pirate's cove.[10][11] The name Boca Ratones originally appeared on eighteenth century maps associated with an inlet in the Biscayne Bay area of Miami. By the beginning of the nineteenth century, the term was mistakenly moved north to its current location on most maps and applied to the inland waterway from the closed inlet north for 8.5 miles (13.7 km), which was called the "Boca Ratones Lagoon".

1 Vote

This misconception is not just common, it is nearly universal. "The city’s name comes from boca de ratones, a Spanish term meaning “rat’s mouth” that appeared on early maps and referred to hidden sharp-pointed rocks that gnawed or fretted ships’ cables." -Encyclopedia Britannica (www.britannica.com)

Many dictionaries define "raton" as a small rat. One Spanish dictionary gave the English translation for "rat" as "rata" but proceeded to give a sentence as an example using "el raton". Though I am not thoroughly convinced that "raton" is never used for "rat", the following is straight from the city of Boca Raton, FL.

This quote from the Boca Raton Historical Society gives interesting information about the origins of the name. "Many people wrongly assume the name is simply Rat's Mouth. The Spanish word boca, or mouth, often describes an inlet, while raton means literally, mouse. The term or Boca Ratones, was a navigational referring to a rocky or jagged inlet, but the original location of Boca de Ratones was Biscayne Bay near present day Miami Beach, according to eighteenth century maps. By the beginning of the nineteenth century, the term was mistakenly applied to the current Lake Boca Raton, whose inlet was closed throughout most of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The "s" and later the "e" were dropped from this title by the 1920s, yet the correct pronunciation remains Rah-tone".

So it is named literally "mouth of the mouse " OR historically abbreviated from the term from nautical maps of the time "Boca de Ratones" meaning "inlet of mice".

0 Vote

Rat mouth? Jeje, that's what it means.

It's a city in Florida.Look here for some more information

  • No, mouse mouth. Rat mouth would be boca rata. - elainepnj Sep 14, 2011 flag
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