Dzidzilalich ("little crossing-over place")
The Puget Sound Coast Salish people have resided in current-day Seattle since time immemorial. The waterfront was a fishing village, a center for trade, and a place through which many different tribal communities travelled. The City is giving Alaskan Way and Elliott Way, between Pioneer Square and Belltown, the honorary name Dzidzilalich (pronounced: dzee-dzuh-lah-leech) to honor the lands and shared waters of the Puget Sound Coast Salish People.
The Suquamish and Muckleshoot Tribal Councils provided guidance to the city of Seattle’s Mayor’s Office, the Office of the Waterfront and Civic Projects and the Seattle Department of Transportation in the process of selecting Dzidzilalich as the honorary name for this roadway.
Dzidzilalich means “little crossing-over place” in Lushootseed, one of the languages of the Coast Salish people, and refers to one of the several villages that once stood here. According to HistoryLink, the "little crossing-over place" likely refers to either a saddle of land (about where today’s Washington Street is located) that provided a route between the bay and the lagoon (located approximately where Occidental Park is today) or the trail along today’s Yesler Way, which led to Lake Washington.
Warren KingGeorge, Muckleshoot Tribe, on how to pronounce "Dzidzilalich.
Joseph Moses III, Muckleshoot Tribe, on how to pronounce "Dzidzilalich."
Where was the Dzidzilalich designation added?
To honor the history of this region, the name Dzidzilalich has been added to Alaskan Way from S Dearborn St to Pine St, and to the new road, Elliott Way, between Pine St and Bell St.
The Dzidzilalich street name designation is honorary. The legal name of “Alaskan Way” did not change nor did the official addresses on the street.
What is the process for giving an honorary name?
The Seattle City Council considered this honorary name in early 2023 and the new designation was approved on Tuesday, February 14, 2023. Honorary street signs were posted along with the official street signs when the new Elliott Way opened to the public in late April, 2023.