Sunday, 24 May 2020

Tanzania 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 Tanzanian cities.

Dar es Salaam is the capital city and means 'place of peace'.

Dodoma is fron the Bantu Gogo language meaning 'it has sunk'.

Sumbawanga translates as a warning to those bringing in superstition and spiritual healing as it translates as 'throw away your witchcraft'.

Musoma is a shortened form of the word omusoma or 'spit' and a reference to this standing on a spit of land extending into Lake Victoria.

Iringa represents the Hehe word lilinga or 'fort'.

Babati's name is traditionally said to be a misunderstanding. When a German asked a boy what the name of the place was, the boy thought he'd asked a very different question and responded with baba ti or 'he is my father'.

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

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