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Carrizozo, New Mexico and Chilili, New Mexico

Albuquerque, New Mexico

March 7, 2020

The case of the extra syllable.

Yesterday started with my driving through Carrizozo, New Mexico for the second time this trip. Back in January, I drove through it going west; this time I was driving north. Both times it struck me that there was an extra “zo” on the end. In fact, thanks to Google, I discovered there is.

The name of the town is derived from the Spanish vernacular for reed grass (Carrizo), which grew significantly in the area and provided excellent feed for ranch cattle. The additional 'zo' at the end of the town name was added to indicate abundance of Carrizo grass. The town is now often referred to as 'Zozo.

I also drive through Chilili yesterday. Don’t you think the second “li” is a bit redundant? Unfortunately, I was not able to discover the basis for the extra “li.”

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