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

The explanation seems to be related to the attempted spelling of the Arabic for Osman, which came out as utman or Uthman. From wiktionary.org From Middle French Ottoman, from post-classical Latin ...
justCal's user avatar
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30 votes
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What is a "staved" town, like in "Staverton"?

Folk etymology is of little use here. And one Staverton is not necessarily of the same origin of another Staverton. So 'a staved town' is not really 'a staved town'. One Staverton may share its ...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
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18 votes
Accepted

What place was called [in Latin] Audomaropolitanus?

Audomaropolitanus is actually the adjectival form, and it means "of Audomaropolis." So you'd want to look for that. Latin Wikipedia identifies it as Saint-Omer, in northern France.
Meir's user avatar
  • 1,275
16 votes

Was California named after a Moorish ruler called Queen Calafia?

No, that doesn't seem a likely explanation, not after 750 years of reconquista. The answer is for now: we don't know. From Wikipedia: Spanish explorers in the 16th century, when they first ...
Jos's user avatar
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14 votes

What was the Gothic language name for Ravenna?

Gothic is mainly preserved in the form of incomplete Bibles, of which the most well known is the Codex Argenteus (now in Uppsala). Apart from these, there are a few very short texts, most of which are ...
andejons's user avatar
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13 votes
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Since when is the Nile Delta known as "Delta"?

Francis Celora in Delta as a Geographical Concept in Greek literature (login required, 100 free articles / month) notes: That a stranger who arrives at the mouth of the Nile in times when maps were ...
Pieter Geerkens's user avatar
11 votes
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What was the flower of Empress Taytu?

Ascertaining details in legends might be a good thing. But it is a legend and curiously lacks detail, leaving open a huge space for projections and arbitrary symbols, to be filled by listeners. And ...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
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10 votes

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

"Stave" is/was the plural of "staff"... "ton" is the root of "town" but the original term meant something closer to "enclosed place". So it's possible that the name originated from a place that was ...
AllInOne's user avatar
  • 3,169
10 votes

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

Q How did it happen that countries and cities got different names in different languages? This can be re-phrased to "why are there (geographical) exonyms and how do they develop?" And that ...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
  • 80.9k
10 votes

Is there ANY relation between Pennsylvania and Transylvania?

Sylvan means "woods. "Transylvania was first referred to in a Medieval Latin document in 1075 as ultra silvam, meaning "beyond the forest" (ultra meaning "beyond" or "on the far side of" and the ...
MCW's user avatar
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9 votes
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What was the name of the region, Somalia, British Somalia or British Somaliland?

Originally English tended to use Somaliland for the region and Italian used Somalia. The two protectorates or territories were usually called British Somaliland and Italian Somaliland in English, ...
Henry's user avatar
  • 2,836
9 votes

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

This reminds me a bit of the old internet hacker/cracker argument. Originally "hacking" was a word for any generalized kind of computer tinkering, and had largely positive connotations. However, mass ...
T.E.D.'s user avatar
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8 votes

Who decided on the name "Mexico"?

Your question appears to be based upon a false assumption: As far back as 1590, the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum showed that the northern part of the New World was known as "America Mexicana" (...
iacob's user avatar
  • 1,004
7 votes

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

The ancient Roman Republic was referred to as the Senatus PopulusQue Romanus ("The Senate and People of Rome") (abbreviated SPQR) as early as the first century BC, but it is unclear when, if ever, ...
Robert Columbia's user avatar
  • 3,717
7 votes

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

In fact, I am deeply convinced that the most probable candidate is Guigues IV, Count of Forez (Comte de Forez): (there are two numbering schemes for the Forez Counts with the most exact name being ...
Criminal_Affair_At_SO's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

Which lame moor was the namesake of Rancho Moro Cojo?

The book Historic Spots in California: Fifth Edition claims the term moro was used to indicate anything black, and that tradition says that a lame black horse gave the name to this particular ...
justCal's user avatar
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6 votes
Accepted

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

As near as I can tell, it is standard Army practice to label hills in an operating area by their height in meters. That means for all those hills you listed, the number is their height. This is ...
T.E.D.'s user avatar
  • 120k
6 votes

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

HISTORICAL (NAMED) ANIMALS Alexander the Great, in addition to naming numerous cities after himself, also named cities after his horse, Bucephalus, (example: Alexandria Bucephalous and Phalia), and ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
6 votes

Which city has had the most name changes?

Guinness (Book of) World Records lists indeed the Kazakh capital as the capital city with most name changes. My guess is that lists like Countries And Cities That Have Changed Their Names are sought ...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
  • 80.9k
5 votes

Who decided on the name "Mexico"?

Mexica is the Nahuatl or "Aztec" name for the original group of "Aztecs." Over the course of several centuries, these "Mexicans" conquered the whole Central Valley of what we now call "Mexico," ...
Tom Au's user avatar
  • 104k
5 votes

Why was Zabrze renamed Hindenburg O.S in 1915?

The decision to rename the place from Zabrze to Hindenburg in 1914/15 was not unique to this "big village". WP: Belomorskoje: Belomorskoje (russisch Беломорское, deutsch Hindenburg, bis 1918 Groß ...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
  • 80.9k
5 votes

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

It was two different farms with the same name (Bull, Akers historie, p. 11). (The map shows the oldest names, from the Bronze age or earlier.) So Skøyenåsen belonged to Nordre Skøyen in East Aker.
Tomas By's user avatar
  • 2,710
5 votes

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

This can't really be reconciled historically, because Abraham was written as a mythological figure, not a historic one. The Abraham story cannot be definitively related to any specific time, and it ...
T.E.D.'s user avatar
  • 120k
5 votes

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

It really goes back to the 1706 Union with Scotland Act and the corresponding 1707 Union with England Act. Article I: That the two Kingdoms of England and Scotland shall upon the First day of May ...
Spencer's user avatar
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4 votes
Accepted

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

It is a literal translation of the Sino-Vietnamese phrase "Tử cấm thành": Tử means Purple, Cấm means Forbidden, and Thành means City. "Purple" here refers to the Purple Forbidden enclosure, a group of ...
Hieu Tran's user avatar
4 votes

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

The earliest relevant usage in any English language source that I could confirm via Google Books was Somaliland in 1783. According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, the term Somalia dates to 1814 ...
Brian Z's user avatar
  • 21.5k
4 votes
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Who decided on the name "Mexico"?

I finally found this question addressed in Timothy Anna's Forging Mexico (Nebraska, 1998), pp. 36-40. Tenochtitlán dominated the center of Mesoamerica for a century before the arrival of Spaniards, ...
Aaron Brick's user avatar
  • 27.6k
4 votes

What was the flower of Empress Taytu?

Though mostly recent works,several published books claim it was the bloom of the Mimosa Tree, also known as the Persian Silk Tree. (image from The Mimosa Tree Complete Guide) From the book Ethiopia ...
justCal's user avatar
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