This article treats a place-naming genre among residents of the White Mountain Apache reservation in which people use English-language mass media discourse to name newly constructed neighborhoods on the reservation, usually with humorous effect. It is argued that these names do not represent simple assimilation to mainstream discursive norms. Instead, they represent the deployment of media discourse according to locally defined speech genres and language ideology to comment on social changes brought about by the new housing developments. As a strategy for engaging with the dominant society, these names are acts of community self-definition that confound mainstream expectations for place names generally, and for Native American place names in particular. They celebrate participation in media discourse, but in terms that privilege reservation insiders. Use of these names constitutes the reservation as an interpretive community in which participation is defined not along nationalistic models of citizenship, but in terms of locally established idioms of sociality.I gratefully acknowledge financial support for this research provided by the Wenner Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, the Phillips Fund for Native American Research of the American Philosophical Society, and the Jacobs Research Fund of the Whatcom Museum. I thank Eva Lupe, Everett Lupe, Leo Cruz, Cline Griggs, Arlene Lupe, Annette Tenejieth, Gary Lupe, and John Welsh for helping me understand the meaning and use of the names. Particular thanks are due to Barbara Johnstone and two anonymous reviewers for Language in Society for suggesting revisions that substantially improved the argument of this article and its articulation with other work in linguistic anthropology. Earlier versions of this article were presented in a session organized by David Samuels at the 2002 annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association, to the anthropology departments at Hamilton College and the University of Nevada, Reno; and to the University of Virginia Linguistic Anthropology Seminar. I am grateful for the critical contributions of Dell Hymes, Thomas J. Nevins, David Samuels, Margaret Field, Allexandra Jaffe, Ellen Contini-Morava, Eve Danziger, Phillip Greenfeld, Bonnie Urciuoli, and Charles Kaut. Any shortcomings, of course, are my own.