What is the English translation of "Buenos Aires"? I was told "good air". Surely something is lost in that translation.
My 11 year old is trying to learn Spanish and asked what the meaning of Buenos Aires was, and we were having difficulty finding the answer. I realize that not everything can be translated verbatum so I think that the feeling may be lost with this one.
En la boca del río de la plata está el puerto de Buenos Aires, la capital de Argentina. Se llama así porque el puerto goza de fuertes vientos, ideales para zarpar y desembarcar. En realidad tenía un nombre mucho más largo: "El Puerto de Santa María de los Buenos Ayres". Hoy la mayoría de los barcos que usan el puerto ya no tienen velas y el nombre, que quedó simplemente como Buenos Aires, significa mucho más.
A copy and paste from News In Slow Spanish
The city of Buenos Aires was first established as Ciudad de Nuestra Señora Santa María del Buen Ayre (literally "City of Our Lady Saint Mary of the Fair Winds") after Our Lady of Bonaria (Patroness Saint of Sardinia) on 2 February 1536 by a Spanish expedition led by Pedro de Mendoza. The settlement founded by Mendoza was located in what is today the San Telmo district of Buenos Aires, south of the city center.
Swampy´s answer is perfect. It makes sense once you understand that we sometimes say aire as a synonym for viento, ie: Hace mucho aire .... It´s very windy / Buenos aires .... Good winds.