Questions tagged [toponyms]

Toponyms are names of places.

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What is the etymology of the name of the River Cherwell in England? [closed]

The River Cherwell is the second largest tributary of the Thames after the River Kennet. What is the etymology of its name? I could not find any etymology after checking several websites.
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6 votes
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How did English come to use a variation of the Polish spelling for Czechoslovakia?

In English, and a few languages influenced by English (e.g. Malay, Samoan, Yoruba), the name of the former European country is spelled "Czechoslovakia". That isn't how it is spelled in other ...
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-2 votes
1 answer
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When and why did English change Affrick and Asie to Africa and Asia? [closed]

English names for continents all end in Latin suffix -a / -ia, except Europe. Africa, America, Antarctica, Asia, Australia Since English language used to take much of its vocabulary from French during ...
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For places like "St Louis", "Mt Pleasant", and "Ft Myers", what type of words are "St", "Mt", and "Ft"? [closed]

I've noticed, while working on code to handle addresses, that many parts of street names have common abbreviations, such as "St" for "Saint", "Mt" for "Mount" ...
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Word order of locations

Is there a rule in the English language that governs the order of location specificity? Once my English lecturer stated that in English locations are written from the smallest level up to the highest. ...
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1 answer
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Are there English toponyms that are pluralia tantum? [closed]

There are toponyms that are pluralia tantum in a few languages. What come off top of my mind are Mediterranean cities in classical languages, such as Athenae and Pompeii. A modern example I can come ...
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21 votes
2 answers
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Countries ending with -Y vs. -IA: What is the pattern?

I wonder why some country names in English are suffixed with -y (Lombardy, Italy, Hungary, Saxony, Sicily) and some with -ia (Bulgaria, Austria, Bavaria, Sardinia). I understand the etymology: "-...
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7 votes
3 answers
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What is the first mention/use of the word "America" in print in an English written/translated source

I am aware of the fundamental history of the etymology of the word "America" in regards to the land it represents: how Leif Eriksson first-named the Brave New World Vinland, and afterward ...
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6 votes
1 answer
671 views

How is the name of the town Hingham, Massachusetts, pronounced?

In the UK, place names ending in "ham" are typically pronounced with a final /əm/. For example, Birmingham, Buckingham, Clapham, Sandringham and Tottenham. (I haven't been able to find any ...
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Why do 120 or so geographical region names end in a and ia?

The web contains lengthy lists one with about 120 names of major geographical regions that end in a and ia. Is there any merit to the idea that this might go back to the Hebrew words raqa and raqia? (...
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2 answers
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What are the proper names of movie theatre quarters (rooms)

How to correctly call lobby of a movie theatre where people are waiting? How to correctly call the room where people watch the movie?
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12 votes
1 answer
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Adding -s to French city names

This seems to be fairly common pattern. The modern English names of several French or French-related cities seem to add s for no obvious reason. Marseille > Marseilles Lyon > Lyons Tanger > ...
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12 votes
3 answers
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“Shaw” → “Shavian” – why “v”?

The spelling for the adjective derived from the name Shaw is Shavian and not Shawian. Similarly you can find Arrow → Arrovian and Harrow → Harrovian. This strikes me as odd. First of all, I accept ...
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3 votes
2 answers
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River's Name as an Adjective

Is there any rule that describes the cases when one can use a river's name as an adjective and when it should be with the -ian suffix? There is the so-called Danubian corridor, but it's the Danube ...
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What is the purpose of changing "Nürnberg" to "Nuremberg" in English language?

For the longest time ever I assumed these are two different places and was very confused about never knowing where Nuremberg is. Recently I found out that Nuremberg is the English form for Nürnberg. ...
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What is the term used for a place name that represents something other than the place itself? [duplicate]

There is a special term for when a place name is representative of something other than the actual place itself but I can't remember what it is. For example: 'Brussels' may be used to refer to the ...
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1 answer
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Is there a name for a building that produces potions?

A few friends and I are developing a game that involves producing potions, however we're finding it hard to think of the name for a building suited to producing potions specifically. Some names we ...
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Why is it common to say "The Ukraine"? [duplicate]

As far as I am aware no other countried are used an article before them, but people usually refer to Ukraine as "The Ukraine". Why?
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1 answer
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Capitalization of multi-word geographical feature (river basin)

I understand the stylistic rules for capitalizing the word "river" in a place name, but I can't seem to find any consistent guidelines on whether to capitalize the word "basin" when it follows an ...
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3 votes
1 answer
73 views

"The Garvaghy/Ormeau/Falls/Crumlin Road": The in NI road "names"

In the UK, we often hear of roads in Northern Ireland being called "The X Road" in the news. This isn't common usage in Great Britain. I can think of five reasons why this may be common usage, but ...
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10 votes
2 answers
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Origin of "-le-" article in English placenames such as Newton-le-Willows, Bolton-le-Sands, Houghton-le-Spring?

Newton-le-Willows is a town in Merseyside. Bolton-le-Sands is a village in Lancashire. Houghton-le-Spring is a town in Tyne and Wear. There are probably other placenames with -le- in the middle. ...
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9 votes
2 answers
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Was the -s in Athens originally the plural -s?

In Greek and Latin, some cities, like Athens and Thebes, are pluralia tantum, that is, they are always plural. In English, on the other hand, both names are singular, at least in modern English. It ...
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1 vote
1 answer
213 views

Usage of English variants of foreign place names (Regensburg - Ratisbon)

Many place names have different form/spelling in English and in the original language of the country, in which they lie, e.g. Lyons x Lyon, The Hague x Den Haag, Munich x München. Most of them are ...
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Word for the name part of a country name

EDIT: I am obviously not being clear. I am not looking for a word for the common or familiar name. I am looking at how to describe the portion of the formal name that does not describe the system of ...
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Winston-Salem metropolitan area, or Winston-Salem Metropolitan Area? [closed]

Or Winston-Salem Metropolitan area? Which one of the three are the correct form? Also if I add state names in metropolitan areas, should I add it after the city name or should I add it after (M)...
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2 votes
2 answers
775 views

Is there a name for a place where chains are made?

I know that a factory that makes ropes is a ropery, but neither 'chainery' nor 'chainworks' seem to actually be real (or at least popular) terms for a place that produces chains. I hunted around a bit ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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Pedestrianised or Pedestrian Zone?

I've recently encountered the term "Pedestrianised Zone" (as part of the name of a pedestrian zone, as in "X Street Pedestrianised Zone") and thought there's something weird/grammatically wrong about ...
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2 votes
1 answer
109 views

What is the proper spoken form to describe a town referring only to the urbanized area and not the whole municipality?

In American English, where “town” is the actual legal name of a place, as I understand, the name is “Town of”, followed by its proper name. In my native Italian, the equivalent “Comune di” it means ...
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1 answer
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Placement of dependent clauses in a sentence in scientific writing

I would like to present the following two variations of the same sentence: Thus, alternative treatments have been developed, such as radiation or demineralization, which overcome these ...
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1 answer
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Is it grammatically correct to use "at" twice in a sentence, referring to a time and a place? [closed]

For instance, over email I often write something along the lines of the following: I'll arrive at 221B Baker Street at 11:45 PM. Is this grammatically correct? Can any improvements be made from a ...
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6 votes
3 answers
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Why is "Thailand" spelled with an 'h'?

As we all know, "Thailand" is not pronounced with a /θ/ — so why is it spelled that way? Is the 'h' vestigial? Does it represent some subtle phoneme in the Thai language, and if so, what is that ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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Use of definite article with toponyms [duplicate]

Why do we now say 'Ukraine' and no longer 'the Ukraine'?
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1 answer
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Is anything/all that replaces the name of a place supposed to be capitalized?

In my case, I want to know whether both words or either word of "The Badlands" should be capitalized. "The Badlands" is specifically what people use now instead of the real name for a place. -We live ...
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2 votes
1 answer
545 views

Etymology of "Wincolmlee"

In my travels around northern England I have found myself in Wincolmlee in the fair city of Kingston-upon-Hull, and also near Wincomblee in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. These places are both on the riverside ...
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4 votes
2 answers
261 views

Nature words ending in -land

What do you call nature words ending in -land? For example, moorland, wetland, marshland, woodland...You get the picture. Is there a name for such things? And is there one for a place that is ...
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35 votes
15 answers
38k views

What is "a room a company provides for eating food" called?

Companies provide a room which has tables and chairs. In some companies, the room may have other things such as refrigerators and microwaves. I have been calling this place pantry, but I noticed that ...
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4 votes
5 answers
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Why did Servia become Serbia?

Reading contemporary histories of the First World War, I noticed that at the start the nation in the Balkans is referred to as Servia, but in numbers published after the back half of 1916, it has ...
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3 votes
2 answers
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In place names, do the words qualifying the place act as an adjective?

If you have a place name such as “The Sierra Nevada Mountains”, does Sierra Nevada act as an adjective? My guess is yes, since they qualify the noun mountains, e.g.: “Which mountains? The Sierra ...
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2 votes
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When did 'street', 'road', etc. start being capitalised?

Old newspapers and books seem to very rarely capitalise (and often hyphenate) phrases like "High street", "Herbert-road", and "Trusting lane". These days, we capitalise "Street", "Road", and "Lane". ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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Proper ways to refer to New York City [closed]

Excluding the myriad nicknames of the city, I've seen it called both "New York City" and "New York" in contexts where it was not ambiguous that the city, and not the state, was being referred to. I ...
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1 answer
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Why do we use the article "the" with the Matterhorn (a mountain)?

The rule is that we don't use an article before the name of an individual mountain, only with the name of a mountain range. So why do we say "the Matterhorn" (a mountain in the Pennine Alps)?
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2 votes
1 answer
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United Kingdom's three-name-cities; is there a generic way to write them?

There are city names in the United Kingdom like "Stratford-upon-Avon" or "Newcastle upon Tyne". Then, I wonder: is there any general rule on how they should be written? Case: In general, I see the ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Meaning of "up" and "off" in "I live up north off some_region"

I am only familiar with sentences like I live in New York I live on the north side of New York I guess I live up north off some_region. means the place I live in is a little bit ...
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2 votes
2 answers
44k views

"The Netherlands are" vs "The Netherlands is" [duplicate]

When speaking about The Netherlands as a country, should it be considered as a plural or singular word? Examples: The Netherlands is a country. The Netherlands are famous for cheese and windmills. ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Adjective of proper noun containing "and"

A person from The Turks and Caicus Islands is known as what? Likewise with Trinidad and Tobago, St Kitts and Nevis, São Tomé and Principé, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. http://www.un.org/en/members/ I'...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Definite article or none in "...at Taipei Zoo" or "... at the Taipei Zoo"?

"Come see the baby panda, Yuan Zai, at Taipei Zoo" "Come see the baby panda, Yuan Zai, at the Taipei Zoo." In my opinion it should be the second choice. It belongs to a specific location and ...
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4 votes
5 answers
6k views

Is “European Peninsula” a common name for Europe?

In this article, Europe was called the “European Peninsula”. Is that a common name for Europe? Here is the whole sentence from the article: We have seen that Ukraine’s fate is not yet settled, ...
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2 votes
2 answers
502 views

Why Côte d’Ivoire ⇒ Ivory Coast but Costa Rica ⇏ Rich Coast?

Why is it that we Anglicize some foreign proper nouns, but not others?
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3 votes
2 answers
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British Isles - Acceptable? [closed]

Is the term British Isles still acceptable, or is it considered offensive to Irish people who may not consider their island legitimately connected to Great Britain?
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1 answer
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Which nouns should include an article after "go to [noun]" in AmE and BE?

When referring to a non-specific instance of a place (hospital, theatre), there seems to be a strange inconsistency as to when you use the. Is there any sort of pattern, or is there any reference site ...
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