[ bah-hah kal-uh-fawr-nyuh, -fawr-nee-uh; Spanish bah-hah kah-lee-fawr-nyah ]
/ ˈbɑ hɑ ˌkæl əˈfɔr nyə, -ˈfɔr ni ə; Spanish ˈbɑ hɑ ˌkɑ liˈfɔr nyɑ /
a narrow peninsula in NW Mexico between the Gulf of California and the Pacific, forming two territories of Mexico. 55,634 sq. mi. (144,090 sq. km). Capitals: Mexicali (Northern Territory) and La Paz (Southern Territory).
What Bizarre Error Gave California Its Name?When the Spanish first began exploring the Pacific Coast of North America, they mistakenly believed that California was an island. (Some of the earliest and most fascinating maps of the state depict it as separated from the mainland.) This is considered one of the greatest, albeit short-lived, cartographic errors. Early mapmakers began labeling the “island” as California, the name of a mythical island in a book …
morritaRead more in this article about some frequently asked questions and fun facts related to our definitions.
Also called Ba·ja, Lower California.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
/ (ˈbaehɑ) /
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012