Today, Sarah (of Sarah and the Goon Squad) wrote about remembering what the old name for New York was because she remembered a song from They Might Be Giants (it was a crossword puzzle answer).
Well, I commented about knowing why they changed the name (but I didn't put the reason in my comment) and she really wanted to know why, so she e-mailed me.
Before I sent her my reply, I checked with Wikipedia to make sure I had the right basics. And the reason is that originally, New York City was started by the Netherlands, who had formed the colony of New Netherlands (where New York is). Then, after several years, they ceded that land to England who decided to change the colony's name to New York and, from what I can tell, New Amsterdam to New York City.
And the odd thing is that I remembered about the Netherlands having the land and it ending up under English rule from my American History class. I haven't been in those classes for over 10 years, but this fact stuck in my head. Of course, now it's tempting to see if anyone around me knows this fact by calling NYC New Amsterdam, except that I have no reason to talk about NYC.