22 Words

World map with place names swapped out for their original meanings

May 2, 2012 By Abraham 144

The “Atlas of True Names“…

…reveals the etymological roots, or original meanings, of the familiar terms on today’s maps…

For instance, where you would normally expect to see the Sahara indicated, the Atlas gives you “The Tawny One”, derived from Arab. es-sahra “the fawn coloured, desert”….

(via Weasel King)

Update: There is now a more in-depth version specifically for the United States.

144 Comments

    1. Cali says:

      Um, I would assume that most of the places in the US would be translations of their original Native names, and have nothing to do with any explorer or cartographer – Why do people always assume that nothing had a name until white people came along and gave it one?

      1. Marci says:

        Um, I think she’s talking about the name of the country being translated to mean home ruler, not the names of the places within it. Don’t be so quick to assume someone is trying to offend you or that white people think we named everything. If you looked at some of the names of things on the map you’d know that’s not true.

      2. anonomyssy says:

        I live in the Great Lakes area, almost everything has a Native Name, you might recognise some: Chicago, Milwaukee, Mississippi River, Muskego, Mucwanago, Waukesha, Waukegan, Oconomowoc, Waunakee, Michigan, Illinois, I could go on and on, just look at a map of the great lakes regions if you need Native names.

        1. Derek Birch says:

          I agree, on the Canadian side of the great lakes we also have the native names: Toronto, Mississauga, Ontario, Ottawa…

          The names on the map show the English translations of those first nations words.

          Also the word America was actually the name of a Spanish map maker. The new world was not yet named and he was making maps from the charts the explorers had made to present to the king of Spain. He named the new world after himself. America.

          1. michael says:

            Actually no….

            America was named after Amerigo Vespucci, a 15th century Florentine merchant who owned a business in Seville, Spain, furnishing supplies for ships, preparing them for mercantile expeditions.

            Seven years after Columbus’ first voyage and while Columbus was still alive, Vespucci accompanied an expedition that consisted of four ships. They sailed past the eastern coast of South America, and visited Trinidad, which Columbus had named the preceding year. On his return to Europe Vespucci wrote letters with glowing descriptions of the newly discovered countries. He called the lands he had visited a “New World.”

            Some years later Vespucci’s letters were published and read by Martin Waldseemuller, a noted geographer, and Mathias Ringmann, a schoolmaster. Recently arrived from Germany to the province of Lorraine, they were attracted to the town of Saint-Die because of a newly established print shop. Both men were engaged in working on a reproduction of Ptolemy’s treatise on geography, to which they were adding a preface.

            After reading the account of Vespucci’s travels in “Quatre Navigations d’ Americ Vespuce,” they decided to incorporate Vespucci’s voyage into the treatise. Ringmann, acting as editor, wrote in his introduction:

            “There is a fourth quarter of the world which Amerigo Vespucci has discovered and which for this reason we can call ‘America’ or the land of Americo.”

            Apparently ignorant of the discoveries and achievements made by Columbus fifteen years earlier, Ringmann continued:

            “We do not see why the name of the man of genius, Amerigo, who has discovered them, should not be given to these lands, as Europe and Asia have adopted the names of women.”

            Their work was published on April 25, 1507 under the title “Cosmographiae Introductio.” It marked the first time the word AMERICA appeared in print.

          2. Robert says:

            Actually no, America could be a reference to one of, or none of, several different possible people. Fact is, nobody actually knows for certain where the name came from. LOL

          3. matt says:

            No, actually Michael is correct that America is named after Amerigo Vespucci. Check out the book “On The Map” which tells the story of the first map with the name America on it.

          4. Steve Strimling says:

            Michael, possibly why the New World was not named for Columbus is that until his dying day, he thought he landed on islands of Japan. He did not believe that he found a new land, just a new way to the east.

          5. lafont says:

            Yes…as has already been established given that Florentines are Italian…

            Florence (Firenze) is an Italian city.

          6. lafont says:

            Though this was in the sixteenth century, so Italy had not yet been formed; Florence was its own city-state. You were wrong after all.

        2. Mik says:

          in Oklahoma many of our location terms are also from native languages, but even some of these are “imports”…for example when the 5 Nations arrived from the SE they brought their town names and applied these instead of using an already existing term used by Caddoan speakers. The term Oklahoma is said to be derived from a Choctaw word brought into the region in the 1830s. It does not reflect the name of the place used by peoples such as the Wichita, who already lived in the area. So place names reflect particular moments in time and often change.

      3. Bret says:

        The northern continent never “originally” had a “united” anything, let alone “states.” Pure hogwash.

        1. GypsyPhoenix says:

          It’s the original meanings of the current names, not swapped out with the original names. So for Native names still in use, it’s translated into the base meanings in those languages, for european names it’s broken down the same way to the base meanings. this is not a map showing the earliest known names for places.

      4. Levedi says:

        Most of the major place names in the original colonies were tributes to either the place they had left or the lord to whom the land paid tribute. Thus – Boston, Bangor, and New Hampshire or Westmoreland, Pennsylvania, and New York. But a number of untranslated native place names were also used – Nashua (rocky river bottom), Ogunquit, and Massachusetts. But I don’t know off too many that are English translations of native words.

      5. jerry says:

        Americus, or the Italian original, Amerigo or Amerigho, actually derives from a Gothic name, Amalrich. In all its forms found in Europe (Greek “Aimulos,” Latin “Aemelius”) the underlying meaning was that of work. Amalrich, which literally meant “work ruler”, or “designator of tasks”, might be freely translated as “master workman”. Old German forms of the name were Amalrich, Almerich, Emmerich; the Spanish form was Almerigo; in England it was Almerick, or Merica in old families in Yorkshire. It appeared in feminine forms in Amelia and Emily; its masculine forms were Amery, Emeric, and Emery.

        1. Aphra_B says:

          Nice explanation! Thanks! So another way that this map could name the country is the United States of the Master Workman. :^)

      6. GypsyPhoenix says:

        Most current place names in the USA are european in origin, though there are many corruptions of native names, and a few properly kept native names in as well. But for this Map We are talking about the original meaning of the currently used names, and the origin of the word America is european. While I think a map using the original Native names where we know then would be awesome, that is not what this map is.

      7. frgough says:

        We don’t know the original native names. Or do you mean the people living here some twenty thousand years after the bering strait migrations, but prior to the Atlantic ocean migrations?

      8. seedyone says:

        Here is a half ass summary of the history of “America” for you.

        The indigenous people were here first and they had lived here for a great long while (nearly 15,000 years) before anyone else and before they came here, there was no one living in what we call the “United states of America”. They rightfully settled here first.

        What we now know as the Americas were called totally different names by the indigenous peopled that already lived here.

        White people did not settle the Americas.

        People were already living here and the colonist took it all by force.

        At that time there were 55 million natives living in what is now called “north America”.

        Other nations came to the Americas long before Columbus ever accidentally found Florida.

        Columbus was an evil man with evil intentions working for an evil government. He was not a hero and he should be celebrated as one.

        When Columbus reached Florida he began to immediately enslave, murder, rape and sell the people for profit.

        The sad thing is that the indigenous people were more than happy to share their world with him and his people and he took advantage of them because he saw them as weak and easily conquered.

        Move ahead in the timeline, more colonists came on behalf of their own evil governments.

        The natives helped these first settlers and they were again taken advantage of by the white men.

        These white men began to force their religion and society on the native people and the natives tried to fight back to no avail.

        The white men just kept on coming and they were relentless and the natives were over ran…

        Oh and there was a revolution and some other historical bullshit in there somewhere.

        Move ahead further in the timeline to total domination of “north America” by white people and you’ll find that the 55 million people that lived here were whittled down to a mere 1.5 million and those people were forced into reservations…

        It is was a great genocide of an entire race of people.

        Here is another part of the history you may not know.

        In around 1607 those white men also enslaved their on people.

        The poor people of the Britons and northern Europe were forced into bondage.

        They were kidnapped, raped, tortured, bought and sold and were treated like cattle.

        They made up the majority of the slave population in the good ol’ U S of A at 100% being white slaves..

        White slave were actually the first slaves in the world.

        Then African slaves were bought from their own people in around the early part of the 1700′s and they were brought to US as novel luxury items for the wealthy.

        They were not taken by force.

        In the late 1500′s, 1 million 250 thousand white Christians were enslaved by black Muslims in northern Africa and none of them survived.

        But any way.

        The white slaves were treated as expendable commodities in the US and the black slaves were treated with care considering that they were a costly investment.

        We here tell of how black slaves were treated and that mostly isn’t true.

        Only rebellious slaves were treated harshly but nowhere near as harshly as the white slaves.

        Blacks got their freedom and white slaves continued to be slaves under the term “indentured servants” until the end of the 19th century and even up until the early part of the 20th century.

        1. Mark says:

          Wtf??? Just to pull out two of the many examples of nonsense in the above:

          ..Columbus never ‘discovered’ any part of the North American continent. He landed on a number of islands in the Caribbean, and sent several gold and slave hunting raids into Central and South America. He never set foot on Florida.

          ..what complete and utter nonsense to think that white slaves in Britain in the 1600s represented the first slaves in history. Really? My friend, slavery has been around as long as humanity. In every culture over thousands of years. White, black, red, yellow, every skin color has been ( and has kept) slaves, for thousands of years. Yes, even many of the original inhabitants of the Americas. Those aborigines had many varied cultures, many of which included institutional warfare and the keeping of slaves.

          Keep it realistic: the Europeans were largely no better NOR worse than the tribes they conquered. The difference was mostly technological, not a matter of mean white guys dis possessing poor gentle red men who just wanted to be in harmony with the trees. Both sides (in many cases) were fully aware of and took advantage of the right of conquest. Most tribes were in fact living on land which their recent or less recent ancestors had taken from previous owners.

          It was not a nice time to live, but up until very recent times, it was accepted that those who had the power took things (including land) from those who had less power. To some extent, we now find that wrong, but at the time , it was normal.

      9. Bryan says:

        In the particular case of “United States of America”, the “America” was named for “Amerigo Vespucci”, who WAS a European explorer. Are you just feeling like looking very stupid, today?

    2. GiT says:

      Yes, but “Amerigo” also can be translated into English words, just like many other names. Amerigo is the Italian version of a whole family of related names: Americus, Emmerich, Almeric, Ermelrich, Heimrich, Hemricus or Ermenrich. The map makers went with Heimrich – (which became Henry), which means home (Heim) power (ric).

      1. Nilbogboh says:

        Incorrect. Martin Waldseemuller was a mapmaker who first called the continents America after Amerigo Vespucci in 1507. Vespucci was an Italian who sailed to the Americas for both Portugal and Spain. He was not the captain of his voyages and there is considerable doubt about the veracity of his accounts. In fact, Waldseemuller regretted the name America but it was too late.

    3. Nessa says:

      @Matt

      Just because it appeared for the first time on a map, doesn’t mean they weren’t already calling it that before they used it on the map….we just don’t really know, we can only assume some things.

    4. Michael MacDonald says:

      Except, the name Amerigo means Home Ruler. I’m not sure why so many people didn’t think of that? Names have meanings you know?

    1. Andrew says:

      I am pretty sure Amerigo has an original meaning- much like Andrew comes from the greek word ‘andros’ meaning ‘man’.

      That said, this is in the top 10 posts I’ve discovered on 22 words. I LOVE ETYMOLOGY SO MUCH!

    1. Jody says:

      Amerigo Vespucci (March 9, 1454 – February 22, 1512) was an Italian explorer, financier, navigator and cartographer.

    2. Eazy E says:

      No, Vespucci was BOTH a cartographer AND an explorer. He participated in several voyages to the New World in the 1499-1502 time period, in particular exploring the coast of South America. Also, while not a participant he planned navigation and secured provisions for the expeditions of others to the New World.

    3. frgough says:

      And just how do you think people made maps back then? Looked at satellite images? No. They went to what they were mapping and explored it.

  1. Vernon Blunkett says:

    Somebody’s been making all of this up – it’s a load of rubbish. Maybe they should call it “Basurissima” or something.

    1. Wes says:

      Surprise! In fact, all place names everywhere have been made up. Who’d a’thunkit? (Probably the people living there now, hopefully.)

  2. Ewe Woolcolorer says:

    Yes, America was named after Amerigo Vespucci, but “Amerigo” had to mean something, didn’t it?

    1. patriotofchrist says:

      America was NOT named after Amerigo Vespucci, that is simply what is taught in public schhols – and it is a lie. If you actually studied the roots of America and its “founders” you would see that the word “America” was a masonic adoption with a little darker etymological roots that can be found in cultures like the Aztecs – and it does have an interesting meaning. Shalom

      1. Nilbogboh says:

        Nope. Everything you just said is incorrect. Martin Waldseemuller’s 1507 map named the continents America after Amerigo Vespucci.

      2. Robert C Ricardson says:

        Yes, America could have been called Vespucciland. The history might have been very interesting. New York was the older New Amsterdam, a loss as far as I am concerned. New Amsterdam is a lot more classy.
        Nice try, but wrong. Amerigo is the source.

      3. Lluvia says:

        No. It WAS named it, after Américo Vespucio or Amerigo Vespucci, he was from Florencia. We Spaniards, still hold a little grudge against Italians about that, and a much bigger one about them trying to stealing Cristobal Colón (Christopher Columbus) from us, haha.
        Btw both Colombus and Vespucci work for Crown of Castile, Spain didn’t exist by then.

  3. bernardo says:

    Got a little lazy with Santo Domingo and the Dominican Republic.
    Sunday’s Republic and Holy Sunday should be The Republic of the Lord and The Person of Extraordinary Holiness who Serves the Lord.

    1. ettie says:

      That’s true. And San Salvador is Holy Savior, not Saint Savior. Each language has context, not just literal translations. I wonder how many of the Asian place names are goofed in the same way.

    2. Marcia says:

      Would not “Domingo” come from “Dominum” which means lord — hence the Lod’s day, the Lord’s Republic. Holy Lord??

    1. Darryl Myers says:

      Pittsburgh was named after William Pitt, Prime Minister of Great Britain in the 1750s and 1760s. It was originally a French fortress called Fort Duquesne, named after a French official named Duquesne. When the British army captured it, they renamed it Fort Pitt, after their own political leader. At that time it was just a military fortress deep in the wilderness. Later people started settling there and it grew into a town. Since the town grew up around Fort Pitt, people borrowed the name of the fortress to name the town, and they started calling the town Pittsburgh, which means “Pitt’s town,” still referring back to William Pitt.

  4. Leonardo says:

    This is not a world map, nor it shows the whole world. Actually, it only shows part of US, Europe, Asia and Middle America. Nothing of South America, Africa or Oceania is shown.

    1. Katy says:

      That’s because you actually have to go *buy* the full version if you want to see the whole world. Hence the article to the creator/vendor at the top of the article. Whomever put this together merely used the detail images that were available to him or her.

      1. Leta says:

        You’ve both forgotten something very important: he made feather boas on the side. With all of his connections to New World travelers, he’d have had an in on the bright plumes!

        *snicker*

        Ah, comic relief.

  5. Rachel says:

    What is a stanger? Wales and the SW peninsula of GB (Wessex maybe?) are apparently named after them. The graphics are nice but the translations are sloppy and inconsistent.

    1. si says:

      Rachel – Wales is the ‘Land of Strangers’ and Cornwall (though the label here goes well into Devon) is ‘Cape of Strangers’ – there appears to be a typo on both where the ‘r’ is missing. Wessex would be ‘West Stone Sword’ (based on what they have for a slightly misplaced Essex), and is not as far west as that – Oxenford, Bridgeplace and Southern Enclosed Farm roughly enclose the area that is West Stone Sword – Devon didn’t really become Saxon, so isn’t considered Wessex.

      But your complaints are right – no idea what those big bold letters to the East of England are referring too, and the ‘York’ in New York is ‘Yew-tree Village’ (correct), whereas York, which is what New York is named after (via the Duke of York) is ‘Earth Village’. Madness!

      1. Nic says:

        If you follow the link to the site itself, it looks like those typos (and York –> ‘Yew-tree village’) have been corrected.

      2. Tiggy Sagar says:

        Loads of spelling mistakes in it. As well as ‘stangers’ twice, they also put ‘beetween’ instead of ‘between’. That’s just with the briefest glance at one country. It’s a bit stupid to call Essex ‘Place of the Stone Sword’ when it actually means Place of the Saxons. It’s a plural denoting the people who are named after the stone sword. They weren’t calling the place after that. Same goes for Wessex and Sussex of course.

        1. Mathias says:

          I agree with Tiggy. No-one looked at all those places and thought “Hey, I’m going to name this after a stone sword!”, they said, “Hey! Saxons live here.” So, yes, Essex is “The Eastern bit of the places occupied by Saxons”. Incidentally, I’m not sure where the “stone” bit comes from. Saxon is generally taken to mean “Swordsman”.

  6. Ella says:

    I think this is a great project and a great effort, even if not everything is perfect. My one gripe would be that Santo probably means Holy more often than Saint. And that my home territory isn’t on it. =)

  7. Jake says:

    These are cool, but I spot at least one mistake. “China” has absolutely no connection to “Rice.” The English term probably comes from Persian and is simply corruption of the family name of the first Chinese Emperor. In Chinese, “China” is “Zhongguo,” which translates perfectly into English as “Central Kingdom.” There are several other names for China like “Tianxia,” but I can’t think of any that have any connection to rice.

    1. adam says:

      Actually I think most of these are wrong. Boston has nothing do with a stone – In fact it is named after the place of the same name in England, which is named after Botolph. So, Bo(tolph)’s Ton (Old English tun “enclosure, garden, field, yard; farm, manor; homestead, dwelling house, mansion;. It’s not “Bostein”, which would imply stone.

      Rhode Island is said to be named after the Isle of Rhodes in Greece. Rhode does not mean “red” in Greek. Though I can can see why the mapmakers chose “Red”, because the name might have come from “Roodt Eyelandt” (Dutch for red island) which was the original name of Block Island. Still, RHODE Island is the current name and it has nothing to do with the color red in Greek.

      And Rome/Roma has absolutely nothing to do with “Current town” as Rome was named after its founders Romulus and Remus, neither of which mean “Currenttown” or anything even remotely close to that.

      1. Nic says:

        “And Rome/Roma has absolutely nothing to do with “Current town” as Rome was named after its founders Romulus and Remus”

        Nope, Romulus and Remus are a myth – they were a just-so story created to ‘explain’ how Rome came into being and how it got its name, retrospectively.

    2. John says:

      Did some more research. It’s supposed that the name “China” is derived from the first dynasty, the Qin. The character is 秦.
      There is no real translation for this as it is so rooted in history as a name and just a name.

      Wikipedia claims that Qin can also be translated as “Ash tree”, but I can’t find any supporting evidence of that both from research and my personal understanding .

      The radical of the Qin character is 禾, which refers to grain or the rice plant itself, so there’s a very loose connection to Rice. However, it’s very clear that the name Qin has little to do with rice itself. While many derived words in Chinese carry over meanings from their root due to ancient origins, it would still be inaccurate. This is likely where the translator messed up.

      A good example would be Chair. Chair in Chinese uses a “wood” radical since most chairs were made out of wood. So it would be like translating Chair to Wood. So a country called “Chairland” becomes “Wood land”…yeah no, it doesn’t work.

  8. jackie says:

    Rachel and Si. Wales is only the the land of the strangers to the English, it is derived from an old anglo- saxon word Wealas which means strangers. we have always called ourselves Cymru, which in Welsh means ‘the Land of Brothers’, and this name predates the English name by several hundred years.

  9. Ciarán says:

    Westland is not what Ireland translates to. That idea went out over a hundred years ago. Ireland comes from Éire which comes from the goddess Ériú and originally meant something like ‘abundance’. ‘Ire’ just happened to sound like a Norse word for
    ‘West’ that the Vikings applied to the Irish of the time.

  10. Tom1969ca says:

    Toronto means “Carrying Place”, not “Meeting Place”; it is a reference to the native portage that began there and headed north to what is now Lake Simcoe.

  11. Ed K says:

    Nice try, but whoever did this should have read a bit of history first. For instance, Pit Dwellers Town has nothing to do with William Piit for whom Pittsburgh was named and the etymological root of the Pitt surname has nothing to do with pits or holes in he ground.

  12. Danallen says:

    Buffalo, despite its seemingly obvious name, was originally called Beau Fleuve by early French settlers when they reached the Niagara River.

    So, Beautiful River is the original meaning.

  13. Nishi Jain says:

    Though this is a brilliant idea, I am not sure of accuracy of the actual naming. Sri Lanka means “resplendent island”, and not “Island of Happiness”, just like Bharat/India means “Devoted to light as against darkness” and not “Land of the Flow”.
    This is a mammoth task that would require a lot of research from historians and anthropologists. But once accomplished it can serve as a really formidable map of world culture.
    If that scholarly a feat is not possible, then I suggest people from different lands send the etymological roots of their respective native places.

  14. Katy says:

    It’s amazing how quickly the comment section descends into histrionics. Personally, I’d like to see some of the naysayers do better and not have their own work savaged.
    I, for one, enjoyed looking at this and can appreciate the effort to make it. It is meant to be taken with a does of fun and enjoyed.

  15. S says:

    The map is entertaining, and will undoubtedly sell very well (kudos on an excellent coffee table book). It is a work of fiction based vaguely on folk-etymologies. The title itself would make any etymologist cringe and then bang his or her head against a desk. But it is still fun.

    Getting “Land of the Flow” (India) is a pretty creative way to say “river.”

    From the classical Latin India , denoting an imprecisely-defined region of Asia, extending from South Asia to the borders of China, sometimes confused with Ethiopia, Arabia, etc. < Hellenistic Greek Ἰνδία < ancient Greek Ἰνδός the River Indus ( < Old Persian (Achaemenian) hindu an eastern province of the Achaemenid empire (Persian hind India), Avestan hiṇdu , həṇdu river, (natural) frontier Hellenistic Greek Σίνθος the River Indus; also Σινθία India, Byzantine Greek Σινθίος Indian, all rare); gradually extended by Persians and Greeks to all the country east of the Indus) + -ία -ia suffix1.

    “India, n.”. OED Online. June 2013. Oxford University Press. 15 June 2013 .

  16. Daniel says:

    Well, some of these are silly. Yes, “Barbara” comes from an older word which meant barbarian, but St. Barbara was a person in her own right–and the city is named after a particular person. And, Los Angeles is wrong. The original name of the city was “El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles,” then changed to “El Ciudad de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles.” These literally mean the town/city of our Lady, the Queen of the Angels (or messengers). “San Diego” is wrong, too. “Diego” translates as “John,” which means “gracious” from the Hebraic form of the name. I have to let go of how far he took them, because so many of them feel like a stretch. But when I let go of that, it is still to read.

  17. Lydia says:

    Wow turns out there are very few things as entertaining as reading comments by a bunch of white people offended by white people and indignant over the plight of all who are not white people, whilst discussing a map made in good faith for fun and enjoyment that nobody has claimed to be the end all be all authority on anything. Y’all really LOVE to make a fuss and sound like a bunch of a-holes!!!!

  18. Lydia says:

    Also, kudos to the person who did this, it was obviously a side project for fun/passion and the amount of research and effort that went into it is really cool. I’m sure the comments legitimately- and politely- correcting errors within this honest effort are actually really appreciated and will be taken into account. But man, the quickness with which some of you folks jumped to anger and outrage over mistakes is disheartening and clearly highlights how much some folks just love to fight.

  19. Sally says:

    Makes places seem so much friendlier. Too bad it’s not a “world map” – half of them are America – there’s a lot more world than that.

  20. MJS724 says:

    Yes, America was named for Amerigo Vespucci. Duh. But the name “Amerigo” has a meaning too. The assertion here is that Amerigo means Home Rule. Anyone have the knowledge to dispute that?

    What, you think your own name doesn’t have a meaning? Every name means something. Duh.

    1. Crystal Shepard says:

      Although many names mean something, perhaps most, it is not the case that all names mean something. In African american families, for example, it is not rare for names to be given that are created by the parents.

  21. Simone says:

    All the negative comments notwithstanding, this is absolutely fascinating! I would love to get a wall map of this.

    1. Crystal Shepard says:

      Because the meaning of those names is transparent enough even without adding a space in the middle of each?

  22. Paul Luchter says:

    Also,some AMerican native names are not where the actual natives lived. For example, the Illinois and Iowa may come from Michigan when white men chased them out. Massapequa was an Indian chief and hardly a place name.

    Long Island of New York was known as Sewanhacky, Wamponomon and Paumanake. The first two are said to have come from the abundance of the quahog, or hard clam, the shell of which furnished wampum, which was first used as money in the settlements. Some Indian tribe names on L.I. used for place names: Canarsee, Rockaway, Merrick, Manhasset and Montauk. Ronkonkoma is a lake made by a glacier.

    A part of Dutchess County was traded to New York colony, along with the current Suffolk County by Connecticut colony in exchange for the Greenwich peninsula. This sliver of Dutchess County was known as The Oblong and at its southern end where the railroad was eventually built was known as The Swamp.

  23. Paul Luchter says:

    Bushwick in Brooklyn comes from a Dutch name for lush green land, or simr. During the British reign, it supplied pippen apples used to prevent scurvy in the British Navy.

  24. Moonstreet says:

    actually Dublin, Ireland should be BLACK POOL, not Dark Pool The name Dublin is derived from the Irish (Gaelige) words Dubh (black) Linn (Pool)

    1. Crystal Shepard says:

      There was no indication of an intent to provide the names of the ancient natives on this map. The stated purpose is replacing place names with their meanings. “Bakersfield” doesn’t need to be swapped out for its meaning, because its meaning is plain to see.

      Though maybe it should have been replaced with “Baker’s field” for those with poor brain function.

  25. Robert C Ricardson says:

    Interesting if true, but so what? Yes, there are stories here, but as time goes on the reprieved truth is lots with those born to that time. All else is speculation. What is the most convenient definition is most accurate? Lots of folks have opinions but few can authoritatively back them up. Such is life. All else is supposition.

  26. Nic says:

    San Francisco=St. Francis
    “Saint Little Frank One” would be San Franquito

    Also, Angeles means Angels, although angels are sort of messengers… Still, Spanish names here are a bit off.

    1. Xyxthus says:

      Its good to see Los Angeles is right. Angels is a bastardization of the Greek word ‘aggelos’ which means ‘messenger’ So those guys on bikes delivering parcels all over the downtown core are bicycle angels!

  27. Emm Gee says:

    Many of the American names sound like someone’s playing a drunken version of Dwarf Fortress.

  28. Henry says:

    How do they get “Land of Five Rivers, Horsemen, and Turtles” from Pakistan? The name literally just means “Pure land”.

  29. John says:

    Ireland doesn’t mean Westland- i think it was named after a person… does anyone know this story?

  30. Joss says:

    Birmingham doesn’t come from Bear Guard Home, it’s probably ‘Beorm-inga-ham’, ie the settlement/home of the people of Beorm. Beorm doesn’t mean Bear, it’s something like ‘yeasty’ or ‘fermented’.

  31. Bernard Sussman says:

    I see the UK is labelled “Land of Stangers”. An 1802 world atlas says that the original name of Wales meant “Land of St-r-angers”, but I cannot find a reference to Stangers or what they were. Hell of a typo and nobody noticed it before it went to press (and they put it in their display ads!).

    As for North America, the usual and entirely believable story is that a Native American (an American Indian in old terminology) was asked “What did you call this land before the white man came?” “OURS!”

    1. jackie edwards says:

      Hi Bernard, they have labelled Wales as The Land of the Stangers, I believe they mean ‘strangers, not stangers.’ But Wales is only the the land of the strangers to the English, it is derived from an old anglo- saxon word Wealas which means strangers. we have always called ourselves Cymru, which in Welsh means ‘the Land of Brothers’, and this name predates the English name by several hundred years.

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