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Map of Translated Place Names

Image: Kalimedia

Cartography blog Strange Maps has a map of the British Isles showing current place names translated into modern English. It's one from a collection known as The Atlas of True Names. You can view a larger image at the link.

Link | Other Maps of Translated Place Names | News Story

I'm sorry, but the Dublin=Blackpool one is a popular myth among the English. The english seem to find it amusing that "dubh linn" in gaelic would translate to "black pool" in english. The humour presumably being that Blackpool is a tacky seaside resort in the north west of England.

However Dublin is the city's name in english, not gaelic. It's name in gaelic is Ath Cliath, which doesn't mean Blackpool.
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Very cool. I'll have to order this.

NorwegianBlue, I noticed some things that are wrong in the U.S. Pesky German/English/Gaelic/whatever translations.
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One problem with a lot of place names and their translations is that until they were pinned to a page they tended to change (even after they were pinned down some continued to chane). Another is that they may already have been (mis)translated, perhaps more than once. Combine the two and you can end up with something that is nothing like the original name. Then along comes an academic who works their etymological magic on the current name to arrive at a meaning a million miles from the original.

It is for example common knowledge that the town of Pontefract in England translates to broken bridge. Indeed, you can arrive at "Pontefract" if you start at "broken bridge" in latin. There are no roman records of a town called Pontus Fractus or similar. Pontefract is not on a river, like many castle towns it's on a hill, so it's unlikely there was ever a bridge of any significance, broken or not. Before it was known as Pontefract the Normans called it Pomfret, so it's likely that the name Pontefract derives somehow from Pomfret. And is nothing to do with bridges at all.

The Normans were, as any fule kno, French so a careless entymologist could easilly decide that Pontefract gets it's name from a plate of fried chips. Pommes Frite? Oh well, never mind.
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While the Irish for Dublin is indeed Baile Atha Cliath, there is still a very direct link with Dubh Linn as the English name is an anglicisation of the phrase. Dubh Linn was the name given to a pool that formed along the river Poddle (I think). So there was a place that was once called Dubh Linn from which the English name is taken. It is in modern Irish that we have Baile Atha Cliath (The Town Of The Hurdled Ford). There is an error in their map, but obviously "Blackpool" is alot more amusing than "The Town Of The Hurdled Ford".
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