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What is the function of "le" in the sentence of:

"El nombre [El Portal de los Escribanos] le venía de la Colonia"?

As I understand, the sentence means:

The name ("El Portal de los Escribanos") came from the Colonia.

I do not see "le" is needed. If I have to do the grammar analysis, then "le" has to be a pronoun as an indirect object, so the sentence means literally:

The name ("El Portal de los Escribanos") came to it from the Colonia.

This sounds weird in English. Is this what it means? Is that natural use of Spanish? Is it correct if "le" is omitted, and does the meaning change?

The following is the context. Please excuse me for its length because I do not know better so I am afraid I will omit an important element if I quoted less. Hopefully I have summarized my question enough that you do not have to read the context word by word.

Fermina Daza compartía con sus compañeras de colegio la idea peregrina de que El Portal de los Escribanos era un lugar de perdición, vedado, por supuesto, a las señoritas decentes. Era una galería de arcadas frente a una plazoleta donde se estacionaban los coches de alquiler y las carretas de carga tiradas por burros, y donde se volvía más denso y bullicioso el comercio popular. *** El nombre le venía de la Colonia ***, porque allí se sentaban desde entonces los calígrafos taciturnos de chalecos de paño y medias mangas postizas, que escribían por encargo toda clase de documentos a precios de pobre: memoriales de agravio o de súplica, alegatos jurídicos, tarjetas de congratulación o de duelo, esquelas de amor en cualquiera de sus edades.

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Love In The Times Of Cholera. :-) The correct translation is, as you stated, "The name came to it from the (times of the) Colony (or from colonial times)". If you were to omit "le" the sentence would say "The name came from the Colony", which is not what the author wants to say here. I hope that makes sense. A similar example would be "El apodo le fue dado en la niñez".

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  • That's correct. The indirect object "le" indicates possession in this case, as it refers to the name of something or somebody. – Gustavson Dec 6 '20 at 14:35
  • I think I got it. The sentence in question is on when the name was given to the place ("le"). It is different from another example "the name [white House] came from the color of the building", which talks about how the name itself originated but no association with the building. In the latter case, there will be no "le": el nombre venía [provenía] del color del edificio. Please let me know if my understanding is correct. Thanks. – puravidaso Dec 6 '20 at 16:46
  • Yes. It's correct puradaviso. – Sergio Sergio Dec 6 '20 at 17:08

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