Mandarin Chinese for San Francisco. Literally, it's "old Gold Mountain." This romantic name came from the days of the Gold Rush, when men came from China to try to make a fortune or at least a living in California.

Some men did become rich and returned triumphantly to their homeland or decided to set up a life in America; unfortunately this was often a less than golden fate because of harsh immigration laws that did not allow their families to join them. Laurence Yep's young adult historical fiction novel, Gold Mountain, deals with this theme.

Older Chinese names for foreign places tended to have meaning, such as this one, while later there was more of an attempt to duplicate the phonetic aspect instead.

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