The Atlas of True Names

The Atlas of True Names

A map of North America showing place names with their meanings

An unusual new map has been released, called the Atlas of True Names.

It reveals the etymological roots, or original meanings, of the names of countries all over the world.

Listen Listen to some place names (31 secs)


The map was created by Stephan Hormes.

With so many different meanings and translations for place names, Mr Hormes says he did not intend the map to be a scientific scholarship.

Instead he chose names that he believed were the most likely explanation, as a way of introducing the world of place names to a wider audience.

The BBC's Sunita Nahar asked him what had inspired him to create such a map.

Listen Listen to Stephan Hormes (5 mins 9 secs)

First broadcast 29 December 2008

To visit Stephan Hormes' website, click here.