In English, it seems like things are very concrete in naming, to me anyway. I would say 90% of all roads were named for the families that lived on them. Streets tend to be on a grid pattern, so there's 5th avenue, and 4th street, or the lettered streets like in Washington. Most American cities all tend to have a Main Street, a High Street, and I can't think of a single Ohio city that doesn't have an Euclid Avenue. Although my hometown of Defiance has an interesting story, the county shares the same name. Of course, one of the stories I remember hearing when I was little was that Pontiac Park was named because it's where Chief Pontiac was born...just like about 15 other places claim. Most states, like Ohio, are just names in a foreign language. So the US isn't really good about being clever with names.
France however; they get wild with names, and that's why I love it. I am pretty sure quite a bit of it has to do with the fact that there's so much more history, that it's more easily done. I'm sure there's something to it, but there's just such a variety. France doesn't just honor military heroes or presidents, and as funny as it is they also have streets named after American presidents, but they have all sorts of streets named after famous politicians, dates, places, and even authors and actors.
The other day, I was reading the back of a flyer, and it said that the store was located on the Place Sarah Bernhardt. Of course, given that I'm gay and American, I was like wow, they named a Place in France after Sandra Bernhard. After looking at it a little more carefully I realized just how wrong I was. Sarah Bernhardt was an internationally famous actress around the end of the 19th century and into the 20th. She did a huge body of work and even worked in the US. She apparently also has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. So here's an example of when you realize that there's a whole lot of culture and history that you don't know.
Even the roads here want to keep history alive. I have only lived on one road in France that wasn't named after someone famous. It was in a lotissement where most of the roads were named after places and things in Louisiana. Other than that, I have lived on a road named after an economist, a duke, and now a country. All the road signs even tell you who the person was that the road is named after, often with their birth and death years. I love that they want you to know the history so badly that they will give you a history lesson right on the street like that.