The Ecphorizer

What's a Milpitas?
Marvin Larson

Issue 03 (December 2004)

A long time ago, in Alta California, there was a pueblo named San Jose. It had the usual amount of sin, no more, no less. However, a group of self-righteous reformers decided that the pueblo should be cleaned up. They persuaded the city council to crack down on prostitution.

The council acted, El Alcalde gave the order, El Jefe de Policia sighed, but did his duty. The girls were told to leave the pueblo. But not too far, El Alcalde murmured.

The ladies of the night took their leave, and set up shop in a rural area on the east side of the Santa Clara valley. Their new location was outside the limits of the pueblo of San Jose, but not too far. Just a convenient carriage ride from the center of San Jose.

Soon a thriving community sprang up about this center of industry, with saloons, livery stables, and the like. And, quite naturally, this new community soon acquired the name of Mil Putas. This was quite naturally derived from the Spanish words, “mil,” which means thousand, and “putas,” which means prostitutes.

Now I can’t tell you who garbled the spelling and changed Mil Putas to Milpitas. However, you now know the answer to that foremost, challenging question of the day: “What’s a Milpitas.” 

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Marvin Larson




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