Sunday, 10 May 2020

Taiwan 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 Taiwan's cities.

Taipei City and New Taipei City is a form of the original T'ai-pei or 'north of Taiwan'.

Kaohsiung is thought to come from the early Siraya language and means 'bamboo forest'.

Miaoli takes two Hakka Chinese words meu 'cat' and li 'raccoon dog'.

Taitung simply tells us it can be found in 'eastern Taiwan'.

Penghu used to be called Ilhas dos Pescadores or 'fishermen islands'.

Kinmen comes from the Chines for 'golden gate'.

Keelung is from the Chinese from 'rooster cage'.

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

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