List of tautological place names

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A place name is tautological if two differently sounding parts of it are synonymous. This often occurs when a name from one language is imported into another and a standard descriptor is added on from the second language. Thus, for example, New Zealand's Mount Maunganui is tautological since maunga is Māori for mountain. The following is a list of place names often used tautologically, plus the languages from which the non-English name elements have come.

Tautological place names are systematically generated in languages such as English and Russian, where the type of the feature is systematically added to a name regardless if that contains it already. For example, in Russian, the format "Ozero X-ozero" (i.e. "Lake X-lake") is used. In English, it is usual to do the same for foreign names, even if they already describe the feature, for example Lake Kemijärvi (Lake Kemi-lake), or Saaremaa island (Island land island, actually island land island land, since island comes from an old English word for island land).


Lakes and other bodies of water[edit]

Mountains and hills[edit]


Human structures[edit]

  • Calatañazor Castle, Spain (Eagles Castle Castle – from Arabic Qal'at an-Nusur, 'Castle of the Eagles')
  • Calatayud Castle, Spain (Jewish Castle Castle – from Arabic Qal'at Yahud, 'Jewish Castle')
  • Calatrava la Vieja Castle and Calatrava la Nueva Castle, Spain (The Old Rabah's Castle Castle and The New Rabah's Castle Castle – from Arabic Qal'at Rabah, Rabah being the first Muslim owner of the first ("old") castle in the 8th century)
  • Carmarthen, Wales (Welsh : Caerfyddin) – (Fort fort by the sea – "Caer"/"Car" = Welsh for fort (from Latin castra), "marthen"/"m(f)yrddin" is Welsh name derived from Latin Moridunum, which itself derived from Brythonic "môr" (sea) and "din"/"dun" (fort))[6]
  • Cartagena, Spain – originally Carthago Nova (New New City), from Latin "New Carthage"; Carthago itself is from Phoenician Qart-ḥadašt, 'New City'
  • Châteaudun, France (Castle Stronghold – French and Gaulish)
  • El Camino Way in Palo Alto, California (The way way – Spanish)[7]
  • El Pont de Suert, Catalonia, Spain – literally 'the bridge of bridge'; "Pont" is the Catalan word for 'bridge' derived from Latin pons, pontis 'bridge' and "Suert" is the Basque word for 'bridge'
  • El Puente de Alcántara, Toledo, Spain (The Bridge of the Bridge – Puente from Spanish, Alcántara from Arabic اقنطرة al-qanṭarah 'the bridge')
  • Forumtorget in Uppsala, Sweden. Forum being the Latin word for square and torget also meaning square. Thus, Square-square.
  • Gaza Museum of Archaeology, known as "the al-Mat'haf Museum."[8] In Arabic, المتحف al-Matḥaf means 'the Museum'; thus, it is being called "the the Museum Museum."
  • Laugardalslaug (a swimming pool in Reykjavík, literally 'the pool of the valley of the pool'; the valley was originally named after pools used for washing clothes, but a swimming pool was subsequently built there)
  • Linguaglossa, Italy (Sicily) (from Italian "lingua", "tongue" and Greek" "γλώσσα", "tongue")
  • Moorestown Township, New Jersey
  • Napton-on-the-Hill, Warwickshire – Napton means "settlement on the hill"
  • Pawtucket Falls (Massachusetts) and Pawtucket Falls (Rhode Island)Pawtucket is an Algonkian word meaning "at the falls in the river (tidal stream)".[9]
  • Staðarstaður, Iceland (Staður means "a pastor's farm" and is a common suffix to the names of such farms—this means "Pastor's farm which is a pastor's farm")
  • Street Road is a highway that passes through several towns slightly north of Philadelphia, PA – Two nearly synonymous English words
  • Trendle Ring earthwork in Somerset, England (Circle Circle)


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Victor Wadds, ed., The Cambridge Dictionary of English Place Names, 2004, s.n. River AVON
  2. ^ Piesarskas, Bronius; Bronius Svecevičus (1995). Lithuanian Dictionary. London: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-12857-9. 
  3. ^ a b Kansalaisen karttapaikka.
  4. ^ McDonald, Fred; Julia Cresswell (1993). The Guinness Book of British Place Names. London: Guinness Publishing. ISBN 0-85112-576-X. 
  5. ^ The Debunking of Torpenhow Hill
  6. ^ Hywel Wyn Jones, The Place-Names of Wales, 1998
  7. ^ Merriam-Webster (1998). Merriam-Webster's Spanish-English Dictionary. Springfield, MA: Merriam Webster. ISBN 0-87779-165-1. 
  8. ^ Bronner, Ethan (July 25, 2008). "Museum Offers Gray Gaza a View of Its Dazzling Past". New York Times. Retrieved June 6, 2013. 
  9. ^