It's the only borough with an article in its name—the Bronx. As we kick off a special series called "What's in a Name?" taking a look at how many neighborhoods and streets came to be, NY1's Erin Clarke starts with how the Bronx got its name.
It all started in 1639 when a Scandinavian, Jonas Bronck, settled in a Dutch colonial province in New Netherland.
"When he dies in 1643 at the age of 43, the only thing that remained that was named after him through the ages was Bronck's River," says Bronx borough historian Lloyd Ultan.
Like with many names that can be difficult to say or write, the 'ck' was changed to an 'x'—and the stream of water that ran next to Jonas Bronck's farm became the Bronx River.
But the present day borough went without a name for more than 200 years until New York City got the land from Westchester County.
"They looked right smack in the middle of a map and there is the Bronx River, so they named it after the river, the borough of the Bronx, and that's why it's always called The Bronx and not just plain Bronx," Ultan says.
The borough is named after the river. That's named after the man that came from a foreign land in the 17th century.
It was an era when present day Bronx County was being settled by Dutch and Brittish farmers.
"The Bronx was a very fertile piece of land," says Angel Hernandez of the Bronx County Historical Society.
So much so that in the 1660's, English settlers Edward Jessup and John Richardson, along with a group of families decided to make their home in an area WEST of Jonas Bronck's River.
"Since they were west of the place they came from and since they all had farms, this they called West Farms," Ultan says.
Some 20 years earlier another Englishman, John Throckmorton came to the area by way of Rhode Island.
"They were situated on a neck of land. They called it Throckmorton's Neck, which became Throgmorton’s Neck which became Throgg's Neck," Ultan says.
That's Throgg with two 'g's and an 'apostrophe-s,' but the name and its spelling have changed over the years.
During the American Revolution, some historians say the British even mistakenly called it Frog's Neck. And although the original name was spelled with two 'g's, Robert Moses, who made the Throgs Neck bridge, used one and dropped the apostrophe.
Like the borough name, neighborhoods names and even boundaries continue to change over time.