The Misspelled Streets of San Francisco


This picture was taken in the Duboce Triangle, it says “Fifthten” in case you can’t make it out. On the same street, a block away, the pavement reads simply “teenth st.”

One of the most helpful things about our fair foggy city are the street names impressed in the cement at nearly every corner. But all too often they are misspelled or are spelled using whatever letters were at hand. I’ve seen M’s made with four capital i’s and Z’s made from sideways N’s. I love it. It has such character.

In fact, some of the misspellings are so funny that I get stuck calling the street by it’s cemented appellation, like Buchanan’s lovely “Buchnana.”

Do you have a favorite misspelled street?

6 Comments so far

  1. Bill Logan (unregistered) on December 6th, 2006 @ 11:29 am

    Wouldn’t call it a favorite, but out in the avenues you can come across things like “2TH” or “3TH.”

  2. Nancy (unregistered) on December 6th, 2006 @ 3:14 pm

    Fun, quirky finds.

    I could understand if the workers who poured those concrete walks had to place the street name letters in backwards, like in a cast mold, but I think these were likely stamped into damp concrete.
    Of course, after a long day of hard manual labor, I’d probably spell my own name incorrectly.

  3. Bill Logan (unregistered) on December 6th, 2006 @ 5:57 pm

    “2TH AVE” and Lincoln Way (SE corner). Can’t remember where I saw the “3TH.”

  4. tyler82 (unregistered) on December 6th, 2006 @ 7:19 pm

    2th is also on the Richmond side, forgot what cross street, but I used to live near the area and run down near GGPark almost everyday. Probably on Fulton.

    As a side note, do other countries throw away the “thirteens” in public spaces? No thirteenth floor or thirteenth ave (it’s funston) although, in SoMA, there is a thirteenth street right under the freeway! Now if that’s not irony, I don’t know what is!

  5. Nancy (unregistered) on December 7th, 2006 @ 11:04 am

    In China, they’d omit the a href=””>fourteenth street.

  6. Ian Kennedy (unregistered) on December 8th, 2006 @ 10:27 pm

    I heard that the reason the stamp the names on the street corners is that after the 1906 Earthquake & Fire, with all points of reference gone, it was hard to tell where you were.

    Perhaps the mispelled street corners are an attempt to further pinpoint your location? “It says here that I’m on Fifthten, that’s not right, my house is on Fifteen”

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