The name of the region most likely comes from Demotic pꜣ-šʿ-mr which literally means "the sand bank" where "sand" refers to Lake Burullus which has this name in both Coptic (ϣⲱ Sho:) and Arabic (الرمل ar-Raml).
The Coptic name in attested in its Bashmuric (or Dialect G) variant – ⲡⲥⲁⲙⲏⲣ (rendering Egyptian sounds like š with exclusively Greek letters (e.g. "ⲥ" instead of "ϣ") is a feature of the dialect). The Bohairic Coptic form of the name is ⲡⲓϣⲁⲙⲏⲣ.
The boundaries of El Bashmur have not been constant throughout the centuries. Perhaps from the mid-eighth to the mid-ninth century, El Bashmur encompassed the entire marsh region northeast of Fuwwah (Coptic: Ⲙⲉⲗⲉϫ, Melej) extending as far to the east as just north of Dekernes. Later it may have been limited to the eastern part of this area. The name El Bashmur survives in this region as the name of a Nile canal that breaks off about 4.5 miles (7 km) east of Mansoura, Egypt by El Salamun and runs through the area between the Damietta arm of the Nile and Dekernes before emptying into the El Sirw canal some 3.5 miles (5.5 km) south of Dakahlia.
- Maspero, J., and G. Wiet (1914-1919). Matériaux pour servir à la géographie de l'Egypte. Cairo.
- Timm, S. (1984) Das christlich-koptische Ägypten in arabischer Zeit, Vol. 1, pp. 354-56. Wiesbaden.