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Related to Place-name: toponym, toponymy



the branch of onomastics that studies toponyms (place names), their meaning, structure, origin, and area of distribution. The aggregate of toponyms for a given area constitutes its toponymy. Microtoponymy is the study of the names of such smaller geographical units as localities, springs, whirlpools, and farmlands. Toponymy is closely interrelated with geography, history, and ethnography.

Toponymy is an important research tool in historical lexicology, dialectology, and etymology. Some toponyms, particularly hydronyms, preserve archaisms and older dialectical features and often originate in the substrate languages of a given area. Toponymy aids in reconstructing the history of peoples and in defining the boundaries within which they lived. It also helps to determine the areas in which languages were once prevalent and to locate former cultural and economic centers and trade routes. The transcription of toponyms establishes their original spelling and the period of their introduction into other languages; this information is used in military cartography and in all types of communication.


Nikonov, V. A. Vvedenie v toponimiku. Moscow, 1965.
Popov, A. I. Geograficheskie nazvaniia. Moscow-Leningrad, 1965.
Zhuchkevich, V. A. Obshchaia toponimika, 2nd ed. Minsk, 1968.
Pospelov, E. M. Toponimika i kartografiia. Moscow, 1971.
Murzaev, E. M. Ocherki toponimiki. Moscow, 1974.


References in periodicals archive ?
Having accepted an Estonian origin for the name Ergeme leads to the following assertion, that this place-name predates 1323 and that it had been in use from before construction of the castle of the same name.
Even if you have no interest in translations, you may still find yourself interested in some of Nagel's comments on what Tolkien mainly intended to signify with the place-names.
I roamed around the neighbourhood where we were filming, looking out for interesting place-names, signs, inscriptions, posters .
The majority of Germanic place-name elements found in Scottish sources do not appear on record before the Middle Scots period 1450-1700 (Scott 2003b).
It should be noted that place-name scholars have recently begun to question the long-held belief that formations in plural -ingas or -inga- necessarily originated as folk-names.
1960 "Iroquois Place-names in the Champlain Valley.
Both documents have proven extremely useful for the historical dialectologist in recent times and, in spite of the methodological differences in the treatment of the place-names recorded in each one of them, I would like to focus on their complementary character as informants of processes of linguistic change in early Middle English.
The second part deals with the way place-names are constructed, which is where the elements and symbols come in, and how some places, Maesteg for example, find direct parallels in English, Fairfield.
This book is now in its third edition, each adding more stories to Canada's rich treasury of place-names.
However, in view of the additional fact that hris is extremely rare with personal names of any kind, it is at least possible (and in my view probable) that Dodgson was wrong, that an earlier place-name was added to the word for 'scrub' as a specifier, and that that place-name was *We-land.
While it is true that name scholars towards the beginning of the present century were uncertain whether occurrences of Odda in pre-Conquest documents were of native origin or had been introduced from the continent,(16) the matter has long since been resolved by evidence brought to light in volumes of the ongoing English Place-Name Survey.