THIS IS WHAT I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS!!!
This cartography couple, inspired by the Middle Earth place names created by J.R.R. Tolkien, have produced an Atlas of True Names. They researched the origins of 1500 cities and bodies of water and translated them to English. New York City is New Wild Boar City, Malta is Isle of Honey, Baghdad is God’s Gift, and Chicago is Stink Onion. And how cool is this: Great Britain is the Great Land of the Tattooed
From the New York Times:
"We wanted to let the Earth tells its own story," Stephan Hormes (the cartographer/ author) told Der Spiegel. "The names give you an insight into what the people saw when they first looked at a place, almost with the eyes of children."
I suspect a years-long settlement between warring etymologists to figure out the most definitive consensus on some of these meanings, but the idea is brilliant and completely fascinating. I hope they do a yearly edition and that there are thousands more names added to each one.
Veevers tidbit: I'm way into maps. I have a vintage National Geographic map that I look at pretty regularly. I'm determined to memorize the entire globe. I got into the whole thing when I had the opportunity to take a big trip a few years ago. I started dreaming about going to the farthest islands I could find. I unexpectedly found myself getting really into the history of it all and ended up doing a decent amount of research. The ones I really want to see before I die are:
the Sandwich Islands
and Pitcairn (the history of Pitcairn is amazing)
That's all. Where would you go?