The Atlas of True Names

Posted July 10, 2013 by
in Beautiful Creations, Cabinet of Curiosities, Where to Go? | Add your comment »


Did anyone else see this amazing Slate post last week about the evocatively titled Atlas of True Names?

It maps the literal meanings of countries, towns, and bodies of water for a very evocative portrait of the world; Italy is “Land of Calves,” while Brazil is “Blazewood Land.” Perhaps unsurprisingly, one discovers that many town names describe the rivers that run though them: there’s “Swamptown” (Berlin) and “Riverbend town” (Riga) and “Fenny River Town” (Moscow) and “Marshy River Town” (Minsk).

What does your town’s name mean? Mine is easy to decipher: Piermont, which has a long pier stretching into the river and a steep mountain behind it.

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