If you’ve watched or read Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, you probably know the line “What’s in a name? that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet”. Places have names and these names often come from landmarks, words and people who have contributed to the development of the community; while some names have interesting backgrounds and stories.
This town in the Philippines was known as “Sexmoan” because of the Spanish friars’ attempt to transcribe Sasmuan, which, according to a 17th Century Kapampangan dictionary, came from the ancient Kapampangan root word “sasmo” (meaning “to meet”). Sasmoan is synonymous to the word “pitugmuan” meaning “meeting point or meeting place of the datus”. The name of the town was unanimously changed to Sasmuan in 1991, since its previous name denoted a negative sexual connotation about the town and its dwellers because of the prefix Sex having something to do with the English word sex.
Naples is one of the Oldest cities in the world, it used to be a Greek settlement before it was conquered by the Romans in the 4th century BC. Although “Naples” literally means “new city”.
Saint Petersburg (Russia)
Its name was changed three times since its founding. The first was given by the late emperor Peter the great after his patron saint. After the World War I it was changed to Petrograd. Upon the death of Vladimir Lenin its name was changed to Leningrad, before it was reverted to Saint Petersburg when Russia emerged as an independent country.
This country is often called “Land of the Midnight Sun”. One-third of the country is situated on the Arctic Circle, where there is almost continues daylight from May to June. The sun never fully sets and its rays are visible even at midnight; while in midwinter the far north is dark almost all the time.
Krungthepmahanakhon Amonrattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilokphop Noppharatratchathaniburirom Udomratchaniwetmahasathan Amonphimanawatansathit Sakkathattiyawitsanukamprasit is the full ceremonial name of Bangkok, the capital and most populous city of Thailand. The name was used during the reign of King Mongkut. It is composed of Sanskrit and Pali root words which can be translated as “City of angels, great city of immortals, magnificent city of the nine gems, seat of the king, city of the royal palaces, home of gods incarnate, erected by Visvakarman at Indra’s behest”. The city is known as Krung Thep Maha Nakhon or Krung Thep and its name, consisting of 168 letters, is listed as the world’s Longest Place Name in Guinness World Records.
Inaccessible Island (South Atlantic Ocean)
Inaccessible Island is an extinct volcanic island, located in the middle of the South Atlantic Ocean. The place got was named as Inaccessible Island because of the difficulty in landing on the island and penetrating the place due to its rough terrains.
Death Valley (United States)
Death Valley in California is one of the hottest locations in the world. It got is English name when 13 pioneers died while trying to cross the desert valley in 1849 during the California Gold Rush. The highest recorded land temperature of 56.7° C or 134° F was recorded inside the Furnace Creek, California in 1913.
We may find some places and their names to be uninteresting but if we do a little research and try to look at their backgrounds, we might stumble upon something more interesting than simply wandering around the area. We should not simply travel to make our eyes full of images of different places but also to fill our minds with more knowledge.