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Encyclopedia > Toponymist

Toponymy is the taxonomic study of place names, their origins and their meanings. The word is derived from the Greek topos, place, and ounouma, name. It is itself a branch of onomastics, the study of names of all kinds. Taxonomy (from Greek verb tassein = to classify and nomos = law, science, cf economy) may refer to: the science of classification (see alpha taxonomy) a classification Initially taxonomy was only the science of classifying living organisms, but later the word was applied in a wider sense, and may also refer to... In geography and cartography, a toponym is a place name, a geographical name, a proper name of locality, region, or some other part of Earths surface or its natural or artificial feature. ... Onomastics (Onomatology) is the study of proper names of all kinds and the origins of names. ...


A toponymist is one who studies toponymy. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the first occurrence of the word "toponymist" can be dated roughly to the middle of the nineteenth century. It can be argued that the first toponymists were the storytellers and poets who explained the origin of certain place names in order to elucidate their tales; sometimes place-names served as the basis for the legends themselves. The process of folk etymology usually took over, whereby a false meaning was extracted from a name based on its structure or sounds. Thus, the toponym of Hellespont was explained by Greek poets as being named after Helle, daughter of Athamas, who drowned here as she crossed it with her brother Phrixus on a flying golden ram. The name, however, most likely is derived from an older language, such as Pelasgian, which was unknown to those who explained its origin. George Rippey Stewart theorized, in his book Names on the Globe, that Hellespont originally meant something like "narrow Pontus" or "entrance to Pontus," "Pontus" being an ancient name for the region around the Black Sea, and by extension, for the sea itself. The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is a comprehensive dictionary published by the Oxford University Press (OUP). ... Folk etymology (or popular etymology) is a linguistic term for a category of false etymology which has grown up in popular lore, as opposed to one which arose in scholarly usage. ... Hellespont (i. ... Helle (mythology) - a figure in Greek mythology Helle, Denmark - a municipality in Denmark Helle, Netherlands - a village in the Netherlands This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... The king of Orchomenus in Greek mythology, Athamas (rich harvest) was married first to the goddess Nephele with whom he had the twins Phrixus and Helle. ... In Greek mythology, Phrixus figured prominently in the story of Jason and the Argonauts. ... Ancient Greek writers used the name Pelasgian to refer to groups of people who preceded the Greeks and dwelt in several locations in mainland Greece, Crete, and other regions of the Aegean as neighbors of the Hellenes. ... George Rippey Stewart (1895‑1980) was an American etymologist, an expert on names, and a professor at the University of California. ... Map of the Black Sea. ...

Vladivostok: "Lord of the East" or "To rule the east"?
Vladivostok: "Lord of the East" or "To rule the east"?

Toponymists attempt to approximate the original meaning of a place-name, their conclusions often competing with popular or spurious etymologies that may sound more poetic or attractive to tourists. Thus, the river-name “Mississippi” is claimed to mean “Father of the Waters” (though it may simply mean “Big River”), the state name “Idaho” was said to mean "Gem of the Mountains" (though it really is merely an invented name), and the city name “Vladivostok” is translated as “Lord of the East” (“To rule the east” is a closer translation of the name). Image File history File links File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File links File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Vladivostok Train Station. ...


Toponymists are sometimes used by governments in order to verify the accuracy of certain names as used by cartographers, the media, researchers, publishers, and their duties also include the inputting of new names into databases and topographical maps. Cartography is the study of map making and cartographers are map makers. ... Surface of the Earth Topography, a term in geography, has come to refer to the lay of the land, or the physiogeographic characteristics of land in terms of elevation, slope, and orientation. ...


Noted Toponymists

George Rippey Stewart (May 31, 1895‑1980) was an American toponymist, a novelist, and a professor of English at the University of California, Berkeley (until 1962). ... Isaac Taylor (1829-1901), son of Isaac Taylor, and a philologist, toponymist, and Anglican canon of York (from 1885). ... Professor William J. Watson, 1865-1948, was the first Gaelic speaking scholar to place the study of Scottish place names on a firm linguistic basis. ...

See also

In geography and cartography, a toponym is a place name, a geographical name, a proper name of locality, region, or some other part of Earths surface or its natural or artificial feature. ... // Placename Origins By Continent Africa The ancient Romans used the name Africa terra --- land of the Afri (plural, or Afer singular) --- for the northern part of the continent, corresponding to modern-day Tunisia. ... This article contains information that has not been verified and thus might not be reliable. ... This article provides a collection of the etymology of the names of subnational entities. ... This list of country nicknames compiles the aliases, sobriquets and slogans that countries are sometimes known by, officially and unofficially, to locals, outsiders or their tourism boards. ... British toponymy (relating to the mainland and islands closely linked to it including the Shetland Islands, the Orkneys, and the Channel Islands) is the study of place names, their origins and the trends associated with naming places in specific regional areas. ... This is a list of the origins of the names of counties of the United Kingdom. ... The study of place names is called toponymy; for a more detailed examination of this subject in relation to British place names please refer to British toponymy. ... This is an incomplete list. ... A partial list of Roman place names in Great Britain. ... This is a list of historical African place names. ... The place names of the Maghreb come from a variety of origins, mostly Arabic and Berber, but including a few derived from Phoenician, Latin, and several other languages. ... Japanese place names include names for geographic features, present and former administrative divisions, transportation facilities such as railroad stations, and historic sites in Japan. ... Following is a list of rivers stating the Latin and equivalent English name. ... This list is a compilation of German toponyms (i. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... Most cities in Europe have different names in different languages. ... // Asia Chang Jiang (Yangtze): Chinese long river Dongjiang: Chinese east river Huang He: Chinese yellow river Sefid-rud: Persian: White river Aravand-rud: Persian: Fast river. Europe Avon: Brythonic meaning river Cam: Brythonic meaning crooked Clwyd: Welsh meaning hurdle Danube: Latin Danuvius, from Iranian (Scythian or Sarmatian) dānu- river... There are a number of places named after famous people. ... An-pêng (town near Tainan, Taiwan) Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania Echota, the old center of the Cherokee nation [1] Friedeburg, a city in the Frisian region of Germany Friedenburg, town in Perry County, Missouri Jerusalem Kyoto (old name Heian = peace) International Peace Garden, Manitoba, Canada and North Dakota, USA... This article lists songs that contain geographical names (as opposed to personal names) in their titles. ... In linguistics and grammar, a toponym is a name derived from a place or a region. ... Appellation dOrigine Contrôlée (AOC), which roughly translates as term of origin is the French certification granted to certain French geographical indications for wines, cheeses, butters, and other agricultural products, by the government bureau Institut National des Appellations dOrigine (INAO). ... The following international geographical names are either interesting or unusual. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with List of place names with unpredictable pronunciation. ... A demonym or gentilic is a word that denotes the members of a people or the inhabitants of a place. ... The following is a partial list of adjectival forms of place names in English and their demonymic equivalents, which denote the people or the inhabitants of the places. ...

External Sources

  • Who Was Who in North American Name Study
  • George Rippey Stewart, Names on the Globe (1975).

  Results from FactBites:
 
Toponymy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (460 words)
It can be argued that the first toponymists were the storytellers and poets who explained the origin of certain place names in order to elucidate their tales; sometimes place-names served as the basis for the legends themselves.
Toponymists attempt to approximate the original meaning of a place-name, their conclusions often competing with popular or spurious etymologies that may sound more poetic or attractive to tourists.
Toponymists are sometimes used by governments in order to verify the accuracy of certain names as used by cartographers, the media, researchers, publishers, and their duties also include the inputting of new names into databases and topographical maps.
Manitoba Conservation (1893 words)
In Manitoba, the Minister of Conservation is responsible for geographical naming and has delegated the Provincial Toponymist to be the provincial member on the GNBC and to administer the Manitoba Geographical Names Program.
The toponymist not only relies on maps and local histories, but interviews local residents to determine the names with established local usage.
The exact application of the name, its specific language, its pronunciation, and its origin and meaning are all important facts to be recorded during a name survey.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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