Springfield is a particularly common toponym in the English language, especially in the United States. Continue reading
I’ve mentioned before that I’m always fascinated by the statistics of this blog, particularly the demographics of my visitors (i.e. you). I discovered recently that via Facebook, I can see some of the cities or particular regions that frequent visitors come from. That’s really interesting, but also kind of scary as I might recognise who some people are based on those places, and then know if they’re reading or not in a particular week.
I’m therefore not going to look at that report too much, but I did notice an interesting name crop up: Mechanicsville, Georgia (U.S). Continue reading
The above is the longest place name in Ireland, and is obviously quite a mouthful. It’s an Anglicisation of the original Gaelic name Muiceneach idir Dhá Sháile, which, as you all know, means “pig-shaped hill between two seas.” Most modern placenames in Ireland are similar Anglicisations. For example, many Irish towns begin with Bally- or Balli-, coming from the Irish word Baile (town) being part of the original name. A town like Ballycastle would have originally been name Baile an Chaislean (town of the castle).
Such Anglicisation can lead to redundancy. This is often the case with rivers, as many of them begin with Owen-, from the Irish word abhainn, meaning river. So Abhainn Buí, meaning the Yellow River, was translated to the River Owenboy.
Some pretty ordinary sounding placenames have such origins, but some can be a bit of a mouthful due to some clumsy translation: Continue reading