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paleolithic
2010-07-07, 11:46
For you who live is some countrie in the Americas (or are interested in the matter):

How common is it with native American placenames in the Americas? And should one change back more of the modern, European derived, place names to Amerindian ones?

Do you have any good examples of Amerindian toponymes, what Amerindian people they came from and what they mean?

Zupan
2010-07-07, 11:49
Probably 50% have native american toponyms.

It's common that the conquering peoples often take over toponyms or do some slight adjustments like in the name of Canada. That's a native americna toponym anglicized though :p

pinguin
2010-07-07, 14:29
Most our toponymes are of that origin, with the exception of the cities names.

Chile, for instances comes from the Quechua chiri that means cold... a cold country.
The toponyme I like the most is a lake called Vichuquen... which in Mapuche means (Vilu-Lafken = Lake snake)... Well, the lake has the shape of a snake.

---------- Post added 2010-07-07 at 09:31 ----------


Probably 50% have native american toponyms.

It's common that the conquering peoples often take over toponyms or do some slight adjustments like in the name of Canada. That's a native americna toponym anglicized though :p

Native languages in Canada usually are very difficult to pronounce. I remember how complicated was to pronounce Saskatchewan and Saskatoon... However, most of the places still preserve theirs original names, which is something good.

Queue
2014-03-15, 01:34
In the USA, many place names, for states and cities, come from Native American words. Not uncommon.

In Guatemala, most place names come from native languages. Many places has a Mayan name, and a Spanish or Nahuatl name, or a Spanish name followed by a native word. The Nahuatl speaking Indians from Mexico invaded Guatemala and helped the Spaniards take control, while also naming many of the places. E.g. Quetzaltenango (Nahuatl derived), place of the quetzal bird, but it is called Xelajú (under ten mountains) by Mayan people, another example would be Santa Cruz del Quiché (Spanish name followed by a native word). "Guatemala" itself comes from either Mayan or Nahuatl derived words that means "Many tree" or "Place of many tree." Very common.

It's always cool to preserve the original name, gives the country a richer history and uniqueness.

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Cynical
2014-03-15, 01:42
Some of the countries in the new world have a name of Indigenous origin.
Haiti, Guatemala, Chile, Mexico, Peru, Canada to name a few. Many towns/cities/states/provinces in the new world have a name of Indigenous origin. Like Zacatecas in Mexico or Manitoba in Canada etc lol.

Caipira
2014-03-15, 04:20
Here in Brazil, many of the cities (maybe most of them) have native american toponymes, specially the older ones.

The city were I live is named Taubaté, from tab'ybaté (a retraction of taba, "village", and ybaté, "high"), meaning something like "village on the high". I read once that in my state (São Paulo), most toponymes were from tupi language. Most of the main cities (with more than 100.000 inhabitans) have tupi names, like Sorocaba, Votorantim, Itapetininga, Itu, Jundiaí, Pindamonhangaba, Guaratinguetá, Mogi-Guaçu etc. In the neighboring Paraná state, most of the main cities have tupi names too, like the capital Curitiba – from Curi'ityba (Curi'i, "pine tree", tyba, "agglomeration"), "pine tree agglomeration" – Umuarama, Paranaguá, Guarapuava, Apucarana etc.

States with native toponymes (tupi and others) are: Paraná, Pará, Paraíba, Maranhão, Acre (from Aquiri), Amapá, Ceará, Goiás, Pernambuco, Piauí, Roraima, Sergipe and Tocantins. Brazil have 26 states and one Federal District, so there are 13 (or half) states with amerindian names.

Some of the main rivers have native american names too: Tietê, Paraná, Uruguay, Paraguay, Parnaíba, Paraíba, Tocantins, Araguaia etc.

Many of the main hills/mountains etc. also have indian names: Mantiqueira, Araras, Borborema, Carajás, Maracaju, Aimorés, etc.

DrDawud
2014-03-15, 05:17
In the American Southwest, a lot of Navajo places have been given English names.

Some places have Navajo names like Tohajiilee (in English,pronounced something like toʊhæd͡ʒɪiː, but diferent in Navajo), which comes from the Navajo word tó hajiileehé, meaning a natural spring (where one draws water) or something alike.

The town of Gallup, New Mexico is called Naʼnízhoozhí in Navajo