Sunday, 21 August 2016

Grenada Place Names Explained

Having blogged samples of my books on English place names and also examined the etymologies of the nations of the world and their respective capitals I thought it time I cast my net a little wider. As English place names share some links to other tongues it would be interesting to see if any of the elements contributing to our place names could be found elsewhere. Continuing an alphabetical tour of the world and a look at the largest of Grenada's settlements. Note many of these are transferred names from colonial days and, while they are hardly relevant in Grenada, the name is nevertheless still defined as are those which are clearly simply descriptions of the place and, for anyone who speaks even a smattering of French, self-explanatory - although it is not always easy to see why the name was coined.

Dunfermline is a name taken from the Scottish town, where the origin is disputed. If this represents Gaelic dun then this probably refers to the prominent rocky outcrop, here with the addition of two river names - the Tower Burn and the Lyne Burn.

Gouyave was named by the French owing to its proliferation of guava trees. Previously this had been Charlotte Town after Queen Charlotte, wife and consort of King George III.

Grenville is named after former British prime minister George Grenville, and is also known by its former French name of La Baye.

St George's is the capital and renamed by the new administration in 1763 and clearly referring to the patron saint of England. However the earlier name of Fort George had been named after King George III.

Sauters is undoubtedly the best name on the island, although it probably also qualifies as the most unfortunate. When the French held this island the last remaining Carib people leapt to their deaths from the 40-metre high cliff now known as Carib Leap, seemingly a better proposition than living under French rule. The town became known as sauters. as this is the French for 'jumpers'.

Apres Tout translates literally as 'after all'.

Belmont is 'the beautiful mount'.

Bonaire means, quite simply, 'good air'.

Crochu is French meaning 'hooked'.

Grand Roy is understood as 'great king'.

L'Anse Aux Epines translates as 'prickly or thorny bay'.

La Fortune really does mean 'fortune'.

La Mode translates as 'fashion'.

La Sagesse means simply 'wisdom'.

La Tante means 'the aunt'.

Morne Fendue describes the 'cracked mountain'.

Morne Jaloux Ridge was named as 'the jealous mountain'.

Morne Longue comes from 'the long mountain'.

Morne Tranquille is clearly 'the quiet mountain'.

Note the spellings of the places are English as the piece is written in English.

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