The name Babylon, or Babel, is derived from an ancient Hebrew root which means "confusion"; and refers to the fact that God confused the Babylonians, or babblers, when they sought to build a tower which would reach unto Heaven under the leadership of Nimrod, who founded the original Babylonian empire in the land of Shinar.
As the Book of Revelation explains, the citizens of ancient times became drunk on the materialistic offerings of this symbolic whore, as we see here:
"With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication."
Revelation 17:2, KJV
"For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies."
Revelation 18:3, KJV
For an in-depth look at Bill Kochman's current speculations regarding the possible identity of the mysterious city, please read his multi-part series entitled Revelation's Babylon the Great