Skip to main content

Questions tagged [toponymy]

The history and etymology of place names.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
2 votes
2 answers
312 views

When did the United Kingdom become "United" rather than merely united? (I.e., that word became part of its name.)

In 1707 the two British kingdoms of England and Scotland became one kingdom. I naively thought that that was when the name "United Kingdom" first came to be used as the proper official name ...
Michael Hardy's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
1k views

What place was called [in Latin] Audomaropolitanus?

I came across an old image of one of my wife's ancestors from the late 16th century, and below it is written Jacobus Pamelius, Episcopus Audomaropolitanus designatus which in English is Jacobus ...
Chris Rogers's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
320 views

What was the Gothic language name for Ravenna?

I'm trying to surmise what was/might have been the Gothic name for Ravenna, which served as the Ostrogothic capital for some time. Gothic does have the sounds to emulate the Latin pronunciation (...
user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
715 views

Which city has had the most name changes?

Today, the Kazakh parliament decided to rename their capital from Nur-Sultan back to Astana (source). According to that article, Few cities in the world can have been renamed as often as Kazakhstan’s ...
Glorfindel's user avatar
  • 1,553
8 votes
1 answer
376 views

What is the origin of the name of Kondofrej, Bulgaria?

There is a small village in Western Bulgaria, not very far from the capital Sofia called Кондофрей roughly transliterated as Kondofrey. It is an otherwise completely unremarkable village except that ...
Criminal_Affair_At_SO's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
269 views

Was Castro City ever a city?

I obtained a map of a South-East SF Bay. Officially it is Page 8 of San Francisco, Oakland, Fremont, Berkeley set, compiled by the Soviet Main Intelligence Department of General Staff (ГРУ ГШ) in 1976....
user58697's user avatar
  • 918
3 votes
1 answer
454 views

Besides Massachusetts and Rhode Island, have any other U.S. states changed their names?

In 1781 the State of Massachusetts Bay became the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In 2020 the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations became the State of Rhode Island (when most people who ...
Michael Hardy's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
162 views

What was Sir John Mandeville's source regarding Beersheba and its chronology?

After men have crossed this desert on the way to Jerusalem, they come to a city which is called Bersabee [Beersheba] which was once a fine city in habited by Christian men, and still there are some of ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 215
2 votes
1 answer
264 views

Why is the city of Armenia in Colombia so named?

One of the medium-sized cities in present-day Colombia, with a population of around 300 thousand, is called Armenia. According to its Wikipedia entry, some people believe it was named in memory of the ...
user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
2k views

Since when is the Nile Delta known as "Delta"?

It is common knowledge that the Nile delta looks roughly triangular in form, hence roughly like a greek capital delta (especially when on a map oriented with the south on top). According to wikipedia, ...
Jan's user avatar
  • 9,226
6 votes
1 answer
157 views

What is the relationship (if any) between Skøyen and Skøyenåsen in Oslo?

In Oslo there are two neighbourhoods called Skøyen and Skøyenåsen "Åsen" means "the hill" or "the ridge", so Skøyenåsen means "The Skøyen Hill". Skøyen and ...
Fiksdal's user avatar
  • 698
2 votes
1 answer
141 views

Was "Street" more common than the abbreviated "St." in pre-1910 American newspapers?

As a hobby I like to research buildings and other structures around where I live, and part of that entails searching old newspaper archives. Generally this is in California. Since I am not looking at ...
crasic's user avatar
  • 121
3 votes
1 answer
709 views

Why did the English name of "Pacific Ocean" stick if it has been known by many cultures since ancient times? [closed]

As far as I understand, the largest ocean on Earth is know worldwide as the Pacific Ocean, a name given by Ferdinand Magellan in 1519. However, it is surprising to me that such a name stuck given that ...
Camilo Rada's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
332 views

How common are the following activities historically? [closed]

In present day India the ruling party has started to rename the cities by claiming to take them to their origins. It has been discussed here, here and here. Primarily the cities with Muslim Names for ...
user avatar
19 votes
2 answers
6k views

What is a "staved" town, like in "Staverton"?

I'm researching Staverton, Northampton(shire), England. In the Domesday Book of 1086 it is called Stavertone. According to wikipedia, the meaning of the town name is 'staved" town. I've looked up ...
Molly Shannon's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
2k views

What was the flower of Empress Taytu?

Addis Ababa is the capital of Ethiopia. Its name means "New Flower" in Amharic (አዲስ አበባ), and the tale of how it got its name is told thus: The location of Addis Ababa was chosen by the ...
Johan88's user avatar
  • 1,319
2 votes
0 answers
98 views

Was the village of Campalagian in West Sulawesi originally a Cham settlement?

I could not find any evidence on this, except an ancestral story my grandparents told me. My great-grandmother was said to come from Campalagian, a village near Polewali, in West Sulawesi. They said ...
jonvyltra's user avatar
  • 151
4 votes
1 answer
4k views

Was California named after a Moorish ruler called Queen Calafia?

I found this excerpt from a website discussing a theory concerning the naming of California. I want to find out what Historians say on this issue. The article is below. Although some historical ...
user20490's user avatar
  • 966
9 votes
1 answer
308 views

Did New Mexicans under Spain regard themselves as Mexican?

Mexico, in its original sense, is the homeland of the Mexica (Aztec) people and its principal city. The sense of the name broadened, presumably as people in the metropole spoke broadly about it, and ...
Aaron Brick's user avatar
  • 27.6k
14 votes
3 answers
992 views

Who decided on the name "Mexico"?

New Spain's independence struggle led to adopting the national identity of "México", the name of its major city and the Mexica society there. In referring to a specific indigenous group, Mexico seems ...
Aaron Brick's user avatar
  • 27.6k
0 votes
1 answer
956 views

Why was Zabrze renamed Hindenburg O.S in 1915?

Through history, many towns got renamed, often by totalitarian, ultra-nationalistic or communist regimes. Most of this renaming happened past 1918 under the influence of Wilsonian self-determination, ...
Bregalad's user avatar
  • 5,316
2 votes
1 answer
175 views

Who named San Andreas, California?

San Andreas, seat of Calaveras County, is one of several Gold Rush towns retaining a Spanish name (though now misspelled). Numerous secondary sources attribute its founding to "Mexicans". These ...
Aaron Brick's user avatar
  • 27.6k
3 votes
0 answers
554 views

Why is Shandong named Lu?

Shandong, a Chinese province, is sometimes known as Qilu, after the Zhou dynasty states of Qi and Lu. However, its name is further shortened as Lu. For example, Shandong cuisine is known in Chinese ...
congusbongus's user avatar
  • 14.5k
4 votes
6 answers
827 views

What was the largest place to be named after a specific, individual animal (i.e. not a species)?

Not so many individual, non-human animals have been immortalized in place names. Often those were about animals known only as remains, as in Dead Horse Glen, but some living animals, named or unnamed, ...
Aaron Brick's user avatar
  • 27.6k
0 votes
1 answer
432 views

Was there ever a conqueror who named the place after themselves? [closed]

In fiction, there are examples of conquerors laying claim to a place (castle, town, city, region) and then changing its name, sometimes even after themselves. There are plenty of streets, towns, and ...
Ghoti and Chips's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
101 views

For who or what was Cojo Creek named?

Cojo Creek (Cañada del cojo) is the boundary between the Rancho Punta de la Concepción and the Rancho Nuestra Señora del Refugio. The anchorage at the mouth of this creek was a prime smuggling spot in ...
Aaron Brick's user avatar
  • 27.6k
3 votes
1 answer
267 views

Which lame moor was the namesake of Rancho Moro Cojo?

Governors of Mexican Alta California granted ranches to well-connected petitioners. One such piece of land near Elkhorn Slough was called Rancho Moro Cojo (Lame Moor Ranch), granted in 1825 by ...
Aaron Brick's user avatar
  • 27.6k
22 votes
3 answers
3k views

Why is it called the "Ottoman" Empire in English language?

I don't get why in English language it is called the "Ottoman" Empire. The name of the state derives from its founder, Osman I., however how can "Osman" be transformed to "Ottoman"? For me this doesn'...
Bruder Lustig's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
593 views

What was the name of the region, Somalia, British Somalia or British Somaliland?

Somalia was created in 1960 by joining two regions: British Somaliland and Italian Somaliland. References in Wikipedia keep toggling between British Somaliland and Italian Somalia, note the use of ...
fedorqui's user avatar
  • 1,394
4 votes
3 answers
551 views

Why and when did countries develop long names that include the form of government?

Every country has different names, for example “China” vs “People's Republic of China”. But when I look back into history I see that countries in the past only had one name. For example the ancient ...
Yordan's user avatar
  • 161
3 votes
1 answer
462 views

History of eponymous cities

Alexander the Great founded many Alexandrias. Following his example, the Diadochi and the Epigoni did the same: Antigonia, Demetria, Lysimachia, Seleucia, Antiochia, Cassandreia... This trend seems ...
Brasidas's user avatar
  • 3,179
0 votes
1 answer
6k views

Is there ANY relation between Pennsylvania and Transylvania? [closed]

Like the title asks, is there ANY relation between Pennsylvania and Transylvania, historically or otherwise, or are the names simply very odd coincidences?
Sentry812's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
3k views

Naming of (strategic) hills on a map as numbers (example Hill 60)

I'm a native to the Ypres region. Here we still have hills retaining their names given during WW1: Hill 60, Hill 62, Hill 41,... I did some research on the naming of the hills. And during my research ...
User999999's user avatar
  • 1,006
6 votes
2 answers
2k views

Why is Hue's "Purple Forbidden City" so called?

Within the Imperial City complex in Huế, Vietnam, is a secondary citadel called in English the "Purple Forbidden City". (Or, per some sources, the "Forbidden Purple City.") According to my guide ...
Roddy of the Frozen Peas's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
662 views

Is the name of Askandra Village, Rajasthan related to Alexander the Great?

I did a wiki walk and ended up on this site: http://www.livius.org/articles/place/alexandria-on-the-acesines/ Which contains this line: "The town flourished; in Buddhist texts, it is called Askandra."...
Folaht's user avatar
  • 157
2 votes
1 answer
132 views

What is the back story behind the Baja California towns of "Purgatorio" and "Providencia"?

I'm reading a book on Mexican history, and noticed in a map that there are two towns or cities next to each other in Baja California, one named Purgatorio (purgatory) and the other Providencia (...
B. Clay Shannon-B. Crow Raven's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
857 views

When was the "New Kingdom" of Egypt first called that?

When was the New Kingdom of Egypt (c. 1550BC to 1077BC) first called "New Kingdom" (or something cognate)?
Uri Granta's user avatar
  • 1,303
5 votes
1 answer
5k views

What's the etymology of the name of the Schengen village?

The Luxembourg village of Schengen is noted for being the site where European leaders signed the historic Schengen Agreement. The village is named for its 1390 castle. Where does the name "Schengen" ...
BearCode's user avatar
  • 233
0 votes
5 answers
2k views

Why some countries have more than one name? [closed]

I know Persian Language, In persian (Farsi) that is an old language we call Netherlands “Holland” , call Germany "Alman", Call Poland "Lahestan", call India "Hend" and etc. What is the reason and Why ...
Mohammad Kermani's user avatar
13 votes
1 answer
2k views

How did the Antarctic Plateau lose the kings' names it originally had?

The Antarctic Plateau was originally named by its explorers: Shackleton named it the King Edward VII Plateau, after the king of England. Amundsen named it the King Haakon VII Plateau, after the king ...
Joe's user avatar
  • 10.5k
6 votes
2 answers
695 views

How did the Scottish lowlands get their Gaelic name?

According to the Wiki page the Gaelic name for the Scottish Lowlands can be translated as, "the place of the foreigner". I'm wondering which foreigners they are referring to. Also, if this actually ...
krowe's user avatar
  • 163
11 votes
5 answers
10k views

How did it happen that countries and cities got different names in different languages?

I wonder why a single city's (or country's) name is different in various languages. To me, city and country names are somewhat similar to a person's given name, and it doesn't seem right to call ...
user1306322's user avatar
23 votes
7 answers
7k views

Is it true that medieval villages didn't have names?

Recently I've read a certain book about the Middle Ages that has been quite popular with laymen but is held in utter contempt by professional medievists. In fact, I hadn't known the book's reception ...
Felix Goldberg's user avatar