The Atlas of True Names

posted by Jason Kottke   Dec 04, 2008

The Atlas of True Names contains maps with very literal place names.

Called the “Atlas of True Names,” the new map traces the etymological roots of European and global place names and then translates them into English. The “City of Boatmen” is also known as Paris. Should you travel to the Land of the Fire Keepers, you’d find yourself in Azerbaijan. And Italy comes from the Latin word vitulus, which means “calf.”

New York is “Wild Boar Village”, Chicago is “Stink Onion”, Great Britain is “Great Land of the Tattooed”, and Grozny is “The Awesome”. However, Language Log notes that some of the translations should be taken with a grain of salt. (thx, andreas)