Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Foreign Language Versions Of Names Of Places In England

Bath - Caerfaddon (Welsh), Aquae Sulis (Latin)

Berwick-upon-Tweed - Berwig or Caerferwig (Welsh)

Birkenhead - Penbedw (Welsh)

Bishop's Castle (Shropshire) - Trefesgob (Welsh)

Birmingham - Birmingemas (Lithuanian), Birmingema (Latvian)

Boston - Bolstoen (obsolete) (Dutch)

Bristol - Briostó (Irish), Bristole (Latvian), Bryste (Welsh), Caerodor (Welsh) (obsolete)

Buckingham - Bouquinquant (Obsolete) (French)

Cambridge - Caergrawnt (Welsh), Cantabrigia (Latin), Cantabrígia or Cambrígia (Portuguese), Kambabryggja (little used) (icelandic), Kembridžas (Lithuanian),

Kembridža (Latvian), Kembriĝo (Esperanto), Kergront (Cornish)

Canterbury - Caergaint (Welsh), Cantorbéry (French), Cantuária (Portuguese, Spanish), Kantaraborg (Icelandic), Kantelberg (obsolete) (Dutch, German),

Kanterberg (obsolete) (German)

Carlisle - Caerliwelydd (Welsh), Cathair Luail (Irish, Scottish Gaelic)

Catterick - Catraeth (Welsh)

Chelsea - Sealsaí (Irish)

Chester - Caerllion-ar-Dyfrdwy usually abbreviated to Caer (Welsh), Castra Devana or Deva (Latin)

Chichester - Caerfuddai (Welsh)

Chirbury - Llanffynhonwen (Welsh)

Colchester - Camulodunum (Latin), Camulodunon (Brythonic)

Coventry - Koventri (Albanian)

Crewe - Criw or Cryw (Welsh)

Dartmouth - Dortmuiden (obsolete) (Dutch)

Dover -  Daveren (obsolete) (Dutch), Dofr (Welsh), Dofrar (little used) (Icelandic), Douvres (French), Doveris (Lithuanian), Dubris (Latin), Duvra (Latvian),

Dúvres (former Spanish)

Exeter - Exonia (Latin), Karesk (Cornish), Caerwysg (Welsh)

Falmouth - Aberfal (Welsh), Vaalmuiden (obsolete) (Dutch)

Glastonbury - Glaistimbir or Gloineistir (Irish)

Gloucester - Caerloyw (Welsh), Glocester (French alternate), Glevum (Latin)

Great Yarmouth - Járnamóða (little used) (Icelandic), Kambabryggja (little used)Jarmuiden (obsolete) (Dutch)

Hereford - Henffordd (Welsh)

Kington (Herefordshire) - Ceintun (Welsh)

Lancaster - Caerhirfryn (Welsh), Lencastre (Portuguese)

Leicester - Caerlŷr (Welsh), Leicestria (Church Latin), Ratae (Latin)

Leominster - Llanllieni (Welsh)

Lichfield - Caerlwytgoed (Welsh)

Liverpool - Learpholl (Irish), Lerpwl (Welsh), Liverpul (Albanian), Liverpūle (Latvian), Liverpulis (Lithuanian), Liverpulo (Esperanto), Llynlleifiad (former


London - Llundain (Welsh), Londër (Albanian), Londain (Irish), Londe (Limburgish), Londen (Afrikaans, Dutch), Londinium (Latin), Londona (Latvian), Londonas

(Lithuanian), Londono (Esperanto), Londra (Albanian, Italian, Maltese, Romanian, Romansh, Turkish), Londres (Basque, Catalan, French, Ladino, Portuguese,

Spanish, Tagalog), Londrez (Breton), Londyn (Polish), Londýn (Czech, Slovak), Lontoo (Finnish), Loundres (Cornish), Luân Đôn (Vietnamese), Lundúnir

(Icelandic), Lunnainn (Scottish Gaelic)

Ludlow - Llwydlo (welsh)

Manchester - Manchain (Irish, Scottish Gaelic), Mamucium (Latin), Manceinion (Welsh), Mançester (Albanian), Mančestra (Latvian), Manĉestro (Esperanto),

Mančesteris (Lithuanian), Manchéster (Portuguese), Mánchester (Spanish)

Nantwich - Yr Heledd Wen (Welsh)

Newcastle-upon-Tyne - An Caisteal Nuadh (Scottish Gaelic), An Caisleán Nua (Irish), Nova Castra (Latin), Neufchâtel-sur-Tyne (obsolete) (French)

Norwich - Noordwijk (obsolete) (Dutch)

Northwich - Yr Heledd Ddu (Welsh)

Oswestry - Croesoswallt (Welsh)

Oxford - Àth nan Damh (Scottish Gaelic), Áth na nDamh (Irish), Oksford (Azeri, Polish), Oksforda (Latvian), Oksfordas (Lithuanian)
, Oksfordo (Esperanto),

Öxnafurða (little used) (Icelandic), Oxonia (Latin), Oxónia (Portuguese), Resoghen (Cornish), Rhydychen (Welsh)

Penkridge (Staffordshire) - Pencrug (Welsh)

Penrith - Pen Rhudd (Welsh), Pioraid (Scottish Gaelic), Peerit (Scots)

Peterborugh - Peterburg (rare) (Dutch)

Plymouth - Aberplym (Cornish), Pleimuiden (Dutch alternate), Plimuto (Esperanto)

Portland - Poortland (obsolete) (Dutch)

Portsmouth - Porsemue (obsolete) (French)

Ross-on-Wye  - Rhosan-ar-Wy (Welsh)

St. Helens - Sain Helen (Welsh)

Salisbury - Caersallog - (Welsh)

Sandwich -  Zandwijds (obsolete) (Dutch)

Scarborough - Scharenburg (obsolete) (Dutch), Skarðaborg (obsolete) (Icelandic)

Shrewsbury - Amwythig (sometimes rendered Yr Amwythig) (Welsh)

Southampton - Suðurhamtún (little used) (Icelandic)

Stonehenge - Côr y Cewri (Welsh)

Truro - Truru (Cornish)

Tynemouth - Tijnmuiden (obsolete) (Dutch)

Westminster - San Steffan (Welsh), Ouestmoutiers (obsolete) (French)

Whitchurch (Shropshire) - Yr Eglwys Wen (Welsh)

Winchester - Caerwynt (Welsh), Venta Belgarum (Latin), Vicêtre/Bicêtre (obsolete) (French), Vinčester (Bosnian,) Vinčesteris (Lithuanian)

Worcester - Caerwrangon (Welsh)

Wroxeter - Caerwrygion (Welsh)

York - Caerefrog or Efrog (Welsh), Eabhrac (Irish), Eboracum (Latin), Efrawg (Breton, Cornish),  Evrok (Cornish), Iorc (Catalan), Iorque (Portuguese), Jorvik

(Old Norse), Jórvík (Icelandic), Jork (Bosnian, Macedonian, Polish), Jorko (Esperanto), Jorka (Latvian), Jorkas (Lithuanian)

Some of these forms are quite rare, obsolete, or are recent coinages not necessarily officially recognised yet. As far as I can tell this is a complete list

featuring languages using the Latin alphabet. Of course there are quite a few places in England which had Latin names, including my home town of Doncaster

(Danum), but these are not included here.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Examples Of Arab Placenames In Spain


Arabic placenames are fairly common throughout most of Spain, the further south the more they predominate. This is not surprising since many parts of Spain were occupied for several hundred years by the Moors.

Many of these names begin with the letters 'Al', 'Ben,' 'Gibra, 'Cala'' or 'Guadal' Many river names begin with the element 'Guadal' too. Arabic is a Semitic language and so these names are not related to names in any other parts of Europe, apart from similar names in Portugal, Sicily, and Malta.. There are also a few placenames in Spain which are of Carthaginian origin, also a Semitic language, long extinct now though.

Friday, February 5, 2016

The Word For 'Butterfly' In Various Languages

In English butterflies are so called because their shit looks like butter...not because the name is a mispronunciation of 'flutter by.' In most other languages the word has a completely different origin though.


In Russian the origin of the word is 'peasant woman' or 'grandmother' The same word is also used for 'bow tie.' Several Romance languages use variations of the original Latin 'papilio' which also had the meaning of 'tent.' This is where the word 'pavilion' comes from.  

A butterfly is known as a 'summer fly' or even a 'summer bird' in various Germanic languages. and in ancient Greek the word for 'butterfly' was the same as 'soul,' but in Modern Greek butterflies are 'petals.'

Thursday, February 4, 2016

German False Friends

A list of German words which are the same as an English word, but which means something completely different.

Gift - Poison
bald - soon
Puff - brothel
Slip - underpants
Dose - tin/can
fade - boring
Mist - manure
Parole - motto/slogan
Quark - cheese or trifle
Quote - proportion
Rat - advice
Roman - novel
Smoking - dinner jacket
Stapler - forklift

Monday, February 1, 2016

Placenames In Poland Of German Origin


All of these places are located in the north eastern corner of the country, an area that was previously part of German East Prussia. This type of placename is concentrated in this area, but similar names are found all over Poland.

Signs And Notices

Here are three signs or notices I've taken photographs of when I've been walking. They were posted on my walking blog. Walking The Peak.

This is a wrought iron sign on the wall of a farmhouse. It was taken in a village in the Peak District in Derbyshire, where I regularly go walking. In the local dialect a 'low' is a hill.

'The 'Pig of Lead' used to be a pub; it's a private residence now. This bus stop is at the bottom of a steep hill so I'm a bit puzzled by the message 'Only the best got here.'

A speed camera on a footpath?

Modified German Placenames In Romania


It's quite difficult to imagine what the original German names were. There are maybe two or three dozen more such placenames in Romania, most of them in Transylvania.