Hurricane or Huracan: More Than Words or a Hastag

Real Estate Broker/Owner with eXp Realty LLC NM Broker License 16161

Hurricane and huracan are more than words. It is a word with a story and always headline news and a hashtag on twitter. My first experience with a hurricane was growing up in Connecticut in 1954 when I learned storms have names and this one was HurricaneCarol. We lived with my grandparents in an apartment building in New Britain, Connecticut.  I remember watching the rain and listening to the wind from the 2nd floor window of my grandparents flat. I remember listening to the radio until the lights and power went out. No one in my extended family had a camera, or a car for that matter. We walked everywhere or took a bus. What I remember most clearly was going outside with my father after the rain had finally stopped. I remember lots of tree branches, and trees and wires on the ground. I remember him suddenly lifting me off the ground when I got close to a fallen wire. Later, I learned from the radio how fortunate we were because no one in my family died and our home was safe. Perhaps it was then, I knew that someday, I did not want to live where hurricanes lived too.  Although in my past work in advertising as a photographer, I often found myself during hurricane season in Florida or in the Caribbean. Fortunately, I was always able to get out in time, even if it was on the last plane from the island.

Moving forward to today, perhaps like many, I follow the headlines, stories and images and the twitter hashtags of trending #hurricaneian. Initially for some reason, all the words were in Spanish! By accident, my eyes were scrolling through the tweets and images on #huricanian. Well, this is how I began to wonder about the origin of these two words --- hurricane and huracan. I have known their destruction meaning for years but never their history.

Here is what I learned from both my Merrian Webster dictionary, Google and some books on my shelf about Mayan history.

The word hurricane is a Taino Native word "hurakan" with meanings of God of Storm or evil spirit of the wind. The Taino indigenous people were Arawakan speakers who migrated to the Caribbean islands and Puerto Rico before Columbus. The Mayans combined this God into one of storm, wind and fire. By the time the Spanish explorers began to occupy South America, the word became spoken and evolved in the Spanish name --- huracan --- and into our American English word as hurricane. As early as 1954, the United States decided to name the storms, initially with female names (hmm...) and then by 1978 they included male names.

BTW Hurricane Emily 2005 is still the only Category 5 Hurricane not to have the name retired. I think I have a letter to write...










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Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good evening Emily Medvec ,

I've outrun a tornado and lived in Pensacola FL when they had some pretty hellacious storms..they are not fun and would just as soon not encounter them again!

Sep 29, 2022 05:47 PM
Emily Medvec

Like you my experience with both a hurricane and tornado keeps me well aware of weather. Dorie Dillard Austin TX how long were you in Pensacola?

Oct 03, 2022 06:48 AM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

I had no idea you were from CT. I lived in Bridgeport went to HS in Fairfield and bought a house in Waterbury when I came back from the military:)Endre

Sep 29, 2022 11:05 PM
Emily Medvec

Endre Barath, Jr. yes, another Connecticut Yankee. We are in small world here in the Rain. I lived in New Britain, HS in Plainville and went West soon after, then East then West again.

Oct 03, 2022 06:51 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

Hello Emily - words and events can send me on a rabbit hole search.  I remember when finding the answer sent me to an encyclopedia or a book of some kind.  Like weather, information and everything else in everyday life, "change" happens.  

Sep 30, 2022 03:02 AM
Michael Jacobs

Emily Medvec - one of my favorite quotes comes from comedian Steven Wright:  Curiosity killed the cat but for a while, I was a suspect.  This is not meant to offend feline lovers but thinking of these words and his droll delivery style is laugh-worthy for me.  😃

Oct 03, 2022 07:02 AM
Emily Medvec

Michael Jacobs we have a similar DNA strand...curiosity!

Oct 03, 2022 06:52 AM
Brian England
Ambrose Realty Management LLC - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I enjoyed reading the results of your research into this, very interesting stuff for sure!

Sep 30, 2022 05:40 AM
Emily Medvec

Brian England These days I would rather research after being in one. I am still heart broken by the communities in Florida experiencing so much pain and destruction.

Oct 03, 2022 06:55 AM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

Lamborghini makes a very expensive sports car called Huracan which is capable of high performance. I wondered where they came up with that name. Your post has answered that question. 

Sep 30, 2022 07:54 AM
Emily Medvec

Hi John Juarez. I discovered that as well along with a video game and decided to stick to name's beginning. Thanks for adding to the story!

Sep 30, 2022 03:47 PM
Bill Salvatore - East Valley
Arizona Elite Properties - Chandler, AZ
Realtor - 602-999-0952 / em:


Enjoyed your blog page, and I added you as a friend. I would love the follow back. Bill

Sep 30, 2022 02:53 PM
Emily Medvec

Bill Salvatore - East Valley I did a couple of days ago. Thank you for being here.

Sep 30, 2022 03:45 PM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

That's very interesting, Emily.  I use to work with a lady that called them "huricans."  I thought it was only because she was giving hurricanes her southern accent.  I did not know the history behind it.

Sep 30, 2022 07:31 PM
Emily Medvec

Interesting. I have yet to hear it spoken...other than on twitter.

Oct 03, 2022 06:56 AM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

CONGRATULATIONS Emily, on having this blog FEATURED in the Old Farts Club group!  

Sep 30, 2022 07:31 PM
Emily Medvec

Myrl Jeffcoat what amazing news this morning. You can see I am just now catching up so kindly forgive me. I look forward to learning more from this fine group!

Oct 03, 2022 06:58 AM
Vickie Teel
RE/MAX PALM REALTY - Port Charlotte, FL
Sharing Florida sunshine one homeowner at a time!

Thanks Emily Medvec for sharing this background info.  Activerain members always share such good information I would never have thought to look up before.  Love it

Oct 04, 2022 10:22 AM
Patricia Feager, ABR,CRS,GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Emily Medvec - Who knew? I did not know any of this. Your opening line got my attention. Then when I read your background from Connecticut and that wicked hurricane that your family encountered in 1954 my eyes about bugged out. I'm convinced back in the 1950's and 60's many people weren't very bright. I think that is why I also have a need to research further on interesting topics that peaks my interest. Also interesting about your childhood beginnings is that you didn't have a car and you walked everywhere or took the bus. That's how it was for my mom, myself, and my sisters. My dad had a car but it was always in the garage. I don't even know if he took the bus or drove the car to work??? That's something I never thought about. That incident about going outside with your dad and he picked you up because of downed wires tells me he was above average when it came to intellect. I had neighbors with five kids. With the exception of the oldest boy, all the girls played with me and my four sisters. There was an electric storm and the power went out. For whatever reason my friend's father decided to climb the electric pole to make the electricity go back on is beyond my comprehension. Needless to say, my mother told us our friend's father was electrocuted because he climbed the pole, but as a 8 or 9 year old kid, I had no idea what that meant or what the word electrocuted meant either. I think I was a teenager the first time I learned to beware of fallen wires during tornado season or electrical storms. Crazy!

Emily, the origin of the word hurricane is also news to me. I just looked up the definition and it doesn't elaborate like you just educated me! I think it's awful that lots of information has been withheld from the public. I hate to sound stupid, but I don't recall Hurricane Emily in 2005 either and I was a REALTOR at the time. Out of curiosity, I checked to see if there was a Hurricane Patricia and that was big newsflash to me, because I was unaware Hurricane Patricia in 2015 was one of the worst hurricanes in history and the name Patricia was retired! WOW! I'm going to have to follow your blog posts more carefully and get educated in areas that I don't know. Thanks, Emily.  

Oct 16, 2022 03:10 PM