Because of the historical development of the area, other local places use 'Whaplode' as part of their name. When the parishes were originally laid out, a thousand or so years ago,[further explanation needed] in order to give each enough resources to provide a living, they were made long and narrow. In this way each parish had its share of marsh for pasture and perhaps salt making, Townland for arable farming, and fen for fowling, thatch and turf. As the wetlands were reclaimed other settlements were made in the newly inhabitable places and these needed to be distinguished from the main village. In Whaplode parish these outlying places are Whaplode St Catherine (TF3420) and Whaplode Drove (TF3113). The village used to have a railway station to the south of the village on the former Midland and Great Northern Joint Railway.
In old documents the village it is sometimes spelt "Whapload". The main village lies on the marine silt ridge, known as the Townlands, which rises between the former salt marsh and the former fen to be found around The Wash. This ridge follows the A151 road. Its neighbours on the Townlands are Holbeach and Moulton. Whaplode St Catherine is a hamlet in Whaplode parish.