Thursday, November 10, 2011

Places with People-Names

I have to admit, I'm not generally a fan of place-names on people. I see names pretty literally, so something like "Cole's town" [Colton] or "barren field" [Leland] just doesn't make sense on a person to me. Obviously, I'm more in the minority in that matter.
But, it always make me giggle to see the argument, "Well, what about Austin, Georgia, & Chad? Plenty of people have those names!" Well, yes, they do, but in the first two cases, they were named for a person, and in the final, it's just a coincidence.

  • Adelaide, Australia--after Queen Adelaide, wife of King William IV of England
  • Africa--coincidence: the name can be an anglicization of Gaelic Aifric,"pleasant"; the continent's name is of uncertain origin
  • Alberta, Canada--after Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, and her father Prince-Consort Albert, daughter & husband, respectively, of Queen Victoria
  • Alexandria, Egypt--after Alexander the Great
  • America--after mapmaker Amerigo Vespucci, whose name is a form of Emmerich
  • Austin, Texas, USA--after Texas colonial leader Stephen F. Austin, whose surname is a form of Augustine
  • Brittany, France--after the ancient Britons, "painted people"
  • North & South Carolina, USA--after King Charles I of England
  • Chad--coincidence: the name is from Welsh Ceadda, "battle"; the country from the Kanuri word for "lake"
  • Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA--from the Dakota name for another Native American tribe, "strange speakers"
  • North & South Dakota, USA--from the name of the Native American tribe, "allies, friends"
  • Devon county, UK--after the Celtic tribe the Dumnonii, "valley dwellers"
  • Europe/Europa--after legendary Phoenician princess Europa
  • Florence, Italy--coincidence: the name is from Latin Florentius, "flourishing"; the city from Latin fluentia, "flowing"
  • Gary, Indiana, USA--after lawyer & businessman Elbert H. Gary
  • Georgia, USA--after King George II of England
  • Israel--from its Biblical founder, Israel, aka Jacob, grandson of Abraham
  • Kerry county, Ireland--after the Celtic tribe the Ciarraí, "dark", named for its founder, Ciar
  • Madison, Wisconsin, USA--after Pres. James Madison
  • Milan, Italy--coincidence: the name is from Slavic mil, "darling"; the city from Latin Mediolanum, meaning uncertain
  • Orlando, Florida, USA--after local legend Orlando Reeves, whose name is a form of Roland
  • Paris, France--after Celtic tribe the Parisii, poss. "craftsmen". It coincides with a (masculine) Greek name of unknown meaning
  • Santiago, Chile--from St. Iago, a form of Jacob/James
  • Virginia, USA--after Elizabeth I, "the Virgin Queen". It is also the feminine form of Verginius.

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