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List of Falkland Islands placenames

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This is a list of English and Spanish language placenames in the Falkland Islands. Most of the Spanish language names are quite different in origin to their English equivalents, and many have religious resonances. Some names were given by the Spanish conquistadores, while others were given later by the Argentine government.

The Spanish names are almost never used by residents of the islands themselves, and some, such as Malvinas and Puerto Argentino, may be considered offensive by them due to their association with the 1982 invasion of the Falkland Islands.[1] Under a declaration issued jointly following the 1999 agreement lifting travel restrictions to the islands, Argentina undertook to review the Argentine place names for Falkland Island locations, imposed under decree by General Galtieri.[2] However, to date, Argentina still continues to use these placenames to the frustration of the islanders.[3] Many are not generally in use as Spanish names, rather they are names conferred by an Argentine Government committee where there is no Spanish language equivalent.

The Falkland Islands take their name from the Falkland Sound, a strait separating the archipelago's two main islands.[4] The name "Falkland" was applied to the channel by John Strong, captain of an English expedition, which landed on the islands in 1690. Strong named the strait in honour of Anthony Cary, 5th Viscount of Falkland, the Treasurer of the Navy who sponsored their journey.[5] The Viscount's title originates from the town of Falkland, Scotland, whose name comes from "folkland" (land held by folk-right).[6] The name was not applied to the islands until 1765, when British captain John Byron of the Royal Navy, claimed them for King George III as "Falkland's Islands".[7] The term "Falklands" is a short name used to refer to the islands.

The Spanish name for the archipelago, Islas Malvinas, derives from the French Îles Malouines — the name given to the islands by French explorer Louis-Antoine de Bougainville in 1764.[8] Bougainville, who founded the islands' first settlement, named the area after the port of Saint-Malo (the point of departure for his ships and colonists).[9] The port, located in the Brittany region of western France, was in turn named after St. Malo (or Maclou), the Christian evangelist who founded the city.[10]

At the twentieth session of the United Nations General Assembly, the Fourth Committee determined that, in all languages other than Spanish, all UN documentation would designate the territory as Falkland Islands (Malvinas). In Spanish, the territory was designated as Islas Malvinas (Falkland Islands).[11] The nomenclature used by the United Nations for statistical processing purposes is Falkland Islands (Malvinas).[12]

A few names have the same form in both English and Spanish; for example Darwin, San Carlos, Salvador and Rincon Grande.


Map of the Falkland Islands, with British names
Map of the Falkland Islands, with Argentine names

Names of islands[edit]

English language name Spanish language name Notes
Falkland Islands Islas Malvinas The Spanish name for the islands, "Islas Malvinas", is derived from a French original "Îles Malouines" (St Malo/Maclevine Islands)
West Falkland Isla Gran Malvina Despite the Spanish name, East Falkland is larger
East Falkland Isla Soledad
Barren Island Isla Pelada Direct translation
Beaver Island Isla San Rafael
Beauchene Island Isla Beauchéne
Bleaker Island Isla María
Carcass Island Isla del Rosario
Eddystone Roca Remolinos English name commemorates Eddystone off Devon and Cornwall
George Island Isla Jorge Direct translation
Great Island Isla Grande Direct translation
Jason Islands Isla Sebaldes "Sebald Islands" was once applied to the whole archipelago, and is derived from Sebald de Weert, the first European explorer widely credited with sighting the islands. The Jason Islands are subvided into two groups in Spanish.
Leeward part of Jason Islands Islas los Salvajes Grand Jason and Steeple Jason
Windward part of Jason Islands Islas las Llaves Flat Jason, Seal Rocks and North Fur Island
Keppel Island Isla de la Vigía
Lively Island Isla Bougainville
New Island Isla Goicoechea
Pebble Island Isla (de) Borbón/Isla Bourbon
Ruggles Island Isla Calista
Saunders Island Isla Trinidad
Sea Lion Island Isla de los Leones Marinos Direct translation
Sedge Island Isla Culebra
Speedwell Island Isla Águila Formerly "Eagle Island" in English
Staats Island Isla Staats Direct translation
Weddell Island Isla San José Formerly "Swan Island" in English (cf Swan Islands)
West Point Island Isla Remolinos Formerly "Albatross Island"

Names of settlements[edit]

English language name Spanish language name Notes
Stanley Puerto Stanley (Puerto Argentino) Both Spanish names are currently used, "Puerto Argentino" was first used during the Falklands War and is favoured by supporters of the Argentine claim. "Port Stanley" persists in unofficial English usage[13]
Port San Carlos Puerto San Carlos Direct translation
Goose Green Pradera del Ganso, Ganso Verde [sic]
Port Louis Puerto Luis Both names derive from the original French name of "Port St Louis", during the Spanish occupation it was renamed "Puerto Soledad", the settlement was briefly named "Anson's Harbour" by the British but reverted to Port Louis[14]
Port Howard Puerto Mitre
Teal Inlet Caleta Trullo
Johnson's Harbour Puerto Johnson Indirect translation

Land features[edit]

English language name Spanish language name Notes
Cape Dolphin Cabo Leal
Mount Usborne Cerro Alberdi
Mount Adam Monte Independencia/Monte Beaufort[13]
Mount Robinson Monte Independencia until it was found Mount Adam was higher[13]
NA Peninsula de Freycinet The peninsula north of Port William (no English equivalent)
NA Peninsula de San Luis The north east peninsula containing Johnson Harbour, Port Louis and Rincon Grande (no English equivalent)

Marine features[edit]

English language name Spanish language name Notes
Falkland Sound Estrecho de San Carlos English name comes from the Sound, San Carlos Water has a narrower meaning in English
Scotia Sea Mar del Scotia The name Scotia Sea was conferred in about 1932 after the Scotia, the expedition ship used in these waters by the Scottish National Antarctic Expedition (1902–04).
Choiseul Sound Seno Choiseul Originally named by Louis de Bougainville after the French Foreign Secretary, the Duc de Choiseul
Berkeley Sound Bahía de la Anunciación
Adventure Sound Bahía del Laberinto
Bay of Harbours Bahía de los Abrigos
Grantham Sound Bahía de Ruiz Puente
Foul Bay Bahía Sucla
Port Albemarle Bahía Santa Eufemia
Port William Puerto Groussac
Queen Charlotte Bay Bahía San Julián
Port Edgar Puerto Edgardo
King George Bay Bahía 9 de Julio
Byron Sound Bahía San Francisco de Paula
Keppel Sound Bahía de la Cruzada
Stanley Harbour Originally known as "Beau Porte" (French),[15] and later as "Port Jackson" by the British. Occasionally called Port Stanley.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "AGREEMENT OF 14th JULY 1999". Falklands.info. Archived from the original on 7 August 2011. Retrieved 23 July 2007.
  2. ^ "International Relations". Falkland Islands Government. Archived from the original on 8 April 2008. Retrieved 28 May 2008.
  3. ^ "AGREEMENT OF 14th JULY 1999". falklands.info. Archived from the original on 20 November 2008. Retrieved 28 May 2008.
  4. ^ Jones 2009, p. 73.
  5. ^ See:
  6. ^ Room 2006, p. 129.
  7. ^ See:
  8. ^ Hince 2001, p. 121.
  9. ^ See:
  10. ^ Balmaceda 2011, Chapter 36.
  11. ^ Foreign Office 1961, p. 80.
  12. ^ "Standard Country and Area Codes Classifications". United Nations Statistics Division. 13 February 2013. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
  13. ^ a b c The Toponymy of the Falkland Islands as recorded on Maps and in Gazetteers Archived 22 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine The Permanent Committee on Geographical Names for British Official Use.
  14. ^ "Falkland Islands Information Web - History of the Falklands - Louis Vernet: The Great Entrepreneur". Archived from the original on 1 April 2010. Retrieved 19 July 2007.
  15. ^ Dom Pernety, Antoine-Joseph. Journal historique d'un voyage fait aux Iles Malouïnes en 1763 et 1764 pour les reconnoître et y former un établissement; et de deux Voyages au Détroit de Magellan, avec une Rélation sur les Patagons. Berlin: Etienne de Bourdeaux, 1769. 2 volumes, 704 pp. Online vol. 1 & vol. 2. Abridged English version.


  • Balmaceda, Daniel (2011). Historias Inesperadas de la Historia Argentina (in Spanish). Buenos Aires: Editorial Sudamericana. ISBN 978-950-07-3390-8.
  • Dotan, Yossi (2010). Watercraft on World Coins: America and Asia, 1800–2008. Vol. 2. Portland, Oregon: The Alpha Press. ISBN 978-1-898595-50-2.
  • Foreign Office (1961). Report on the Proceedings of the General Assembly of the United Nations. London: H.M. Stationery Office.
  • Hince, Bernadette (2001). The Antarctic Dictionary. Collingwood, Melbourne: CSIRO Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9577471-1-1.
  • Jones, Roger (2009). What's Who? A Dictionary of Things Named After People and the People They are Named After. Leicester, England: Matador. ISBN 978-1-84876-047-9.
  • Paine, Lincoln (2000). Ships of Discovery and Exploration. New York: Mariner Books. ISBN 978-0-395-98415-4.
  • Room, Adrian (2006). Placenames of the World (2nd ed.). Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc. ISBN 978-0-7864-2248-7.

External links[edit]