Sunday, 31 August 2014

Countries of the Americas – How They Were Named

When compiling a crossword recently I had to check the spelling of Guatemala more than once as it never looked right as the answer to seven down. Having got these letters in the right order I found myself thinking more about the origins of this particular name, when I should have been filling in the rest of the clues and answers.

Hence I made a note to investigate this and other names and the result is an examination of the origins of the names of the countries of the Americas. Quite recently, at least on an etymological timescale, this was known as the ‘New World’ and thus all these names would clearly be among the most recent, or so I thought.

Antigua and Barbuda – discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1493, Antigua was named after the church of Santa Maria la Antigua in Seville, Spain. Ironically the newly-discovered island (to the Europeans) was named after St Mary the Ancient. Barbuda was also named by Columbus, this meaning ‘bearded’. The earliest known inhabitants were the Arawak peoples, who knew the islands as Wa'ladli and Wa’Omoni respectively. The meaning of both names is unclear and thus are probably derived from personal names.

Argentina – when Englishman Sebastian Cabot led a Spanish expedition, he traded with the local tribes for silver. He named the river Rio de la Plate (today known as River Plate in English) meaning ‘the river of silver’ in the mistaken belief the precious metal was found in these waters. The country’s name means ‘silvery’, derived from the Latin argentina but only used since 1826 when the nation gained its independence.

Bahamas – has two schools of thought. If this is from the Spanish then it is ‘shallow sea’ from baja mar. However if this was originally the name of a small stream on the island of Cuba, later applied to the strait between there and Florida and from there to the islands then this represents a local name Guanahani and the meaning unknown.

Barbados – named by Spanish explorers as Los Barbados meaning ‘the bearded’, a reference to the moss hanging from the fig trees growing here.

Belize – is named from the River Belize, itself a Maya name thought to come from belix meaning ‘muddy water’.

Bolivia – known by the Spanish colonial name of Upper Peru until independence in 1825, this nation was named by the man who led the liberation from Spain, Simon Bolivar.

Brazil – is named from a tree, not that which bears brazil nuts but from brazil-wood. The wood was a source of a red dye, known to the Portuguese as braza literally ‘heat’ or ‘coals’. This was used prior to the discovery of the Americas to refer to a red dye obtained from the Far East and known by the Latin brasilium. The earlier name for this region was also Portuguese, named by Cabral in 1500 Vera Cruz meant ‘true cross’.

Canada – is a vast country of 3.8 million square miles named for tiny area around the St Lawrence where the Iroquoi referred to their kanata meaning ‘settlement’ or ‘village’.

Chile – may sound like a Spanish name but comes from the local Araucanian chili which really does mean ‘cold’ or ‘winter’. This is purely coincidental and is in no way related to ‘chilly’ but named by the Incas who found the climate here distinctly cooler than their native lands.

Colombia – the idea that Christopher Columbus arrived here in 1502 led to this being adopted as the nation’s name when achieving independence in 1863. Sixteenth century Spanish settlers had known this as New Granada.

Costa Rica – is a Spanish name literally referring to the ‘rich coast’. This recalls the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1502 when he called this the Costa del Oro or ‘coast of gold’ as the natives wore a great deal of gold and presented some of these trinkets as gifts.

Cuba – is certainly from the Taino language but the meaning is not overly clear. It could be from a word cubao ‘abundant fertile land' or coabana ‘great place’.

Dominica – when Christopher Columbus arrived on November 3rd 1493 it was a Sunday, hence it named it from the Latin dominica meaning ‘Sunday’. Prior to this the native Carib people called it Wai’tu kubuli or ‘tall is her body’.

Dominican Republic – shares an origin with the previous name, it settled by the Spanish one Sunday in 1496.

Ecuador – features the Spanish word for ‘equator’ which crosses the map of Ecuador. Previously it shared the name of the capital city of Quito, a name which will be explained next time when I look at the origins of the capital cities of the countries of the Americas.

El Salvador – named by Spanish settlers, originally just for their fort but later spreading to the whole region, it means ‘the Saviour’ in Spanish.

Grenada – not another named by Christopher Columbus, although he was its discoverer in 1498, for he called it Conception as it was found on the religious feast day known as the Immaculate Conception. The present name is taken from Granada in Spain, itself meaning ‘pomegranate’ and a reference to the four hills on which Spanish Granada is situated, said to be reminiscent of the four divisions of this fruit.

Guatemala – the name which started it all off is a Spanish version of a native name. The Tuendal word was uhatzmalha describing ‘the mountain that gushes forth water’ and referring to the volcanic mountain Agua.

Guyana – was previously British Guiana, both traceable to the native peoples who lived here when the region was first explored at the end of the fifteenth century. They were the Guaizas, which translates as ‘we who must be respected’.

Haiti – is from a Carib word thought to mean ‘mountainous’ or perhaps ‘rocky’.

Honduras – a name from the Spanish for ‘depths’ and traditionally named by them as they were so thankful for being delivered safely to shore after the journey across the depths of the Atlantic. Such creative etymology would doubtless be accepted if it were not for the very deep coastal seas here, indeed so deep it was a number of years before technologies and manpower enabled a harbour to be constructed.

Jamaica – another dating back to the pre-European days, this from the Arawak Xaymaca or ‘island of springs’. This is certainly better than the offering of Santiago by Christopher Columbus, chosen because he landed here on July 25th 1494, St James’ Day. In defence of Columbus he did have more places to name (or should that be rename?) than just about anyone in recorded history and at least he did not resort to naming them after relations or pets.

Mexico – the capital, Mexico City, gave the nation its name, itself a reminder of the lake which once occupied the region where this vast city now stands. It was named by the Aztecs who knew it as Metzlianan from metz-tli or ‘moon’, as the lake was dedicated to such, and atl or ‘water’. When they established their city on the island in the middle of the lake they named it Metzxihco or, quite literally, ‘in the navel of the waters of the moon’.

Nicaragua – was named by the Spanish explorer Gil Gonzalez in 1522, taking the name of the native chief Nicarao whose name is of unknown derivation.

Panama – is probably best known for its canal, the Panama Canal being named after the country, itself taking the name of its capital, Panama City. There are a number of theories as to the origin of Panama, all agree it comes from a native language but the question of which language, and therefore which word, is disputed. Some point to the local trees growing in the forest, others suggest this came about when the first settlers arrived in August, a time when butterflies abound, and called it the place of ‘many butterflies’. Most often cited is the story of the fishing village known by this name which was supposed to mean ‘abundance of fish’. Panamanians, eager to produce something from this confusion, have officially adopted the meaning of ‘abundant with fish, trees, and butterflies’, a tourist winner if ever there was one. This does not take into consideration the native Kuna word bannaba meaning ‘distant’ or ‘afar’.

Paraguay – is another chain, the country taking the name of the River Paraguay, in turn coming from the local tribe known as the Paragua, whose name comes from para simply ‘water’.

Peru – will forever be associated with the Incas, who knew their homeland as Tahuuantin-syun or ‘four provinces’. The modern name was coined by Spanish settlers who arrived to find the River Biru, itself thought to be a local word meaning ‘river’ or maybe a celebrated chieftain.

Saint Kitts and Nevis – takes the first part of the name from St Christopher, the name given to the place by Christopher Columbus, referring to the patron saint of travellers. When English settlers arrived 130 years later, they used Kit as it was then the common pet form of Christopher. Nevis came from the original Spanish name of Nuestra Senora de las Nieves or ‘Our Lady of the snows’ – the white clouds covering the top of the mountain appearing as snow. This was later corrupted to Nevis, also the name of the island’s highest mountain. Note this has no etymological connection with Scotland’s Ben Nevis although, quite coincidentally, Ben Nevis similarly describes ‘the mountain with its peak in the clouds’.

Saint Lucia – one of the Windward Islands and named after the Sicilian martyr St Lucy as it was on her feast day, December 13th, that he landed here in 1502.

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines – as with the previous name the main island was named by Christopher Columbus, for he landed here in 1498 on the feast day of St Vincent. It was previously known as Youloumain by the native Caribs as it was ‘a land blessed with rainbows, mist, fertile valleys, and sun’. The Grenadines are a chain of smaller islands stretching southwards and share an origin with Grenada.

Suriname – was known as Dutch Guiana but changed to represent the former indigenous people, the Surinen.

Trinidad and Tobago – is the name of two islands, Trinidad named by Christopher Columbus in 1498. It is often said he named it because he arrived here on Trinity Sunday, the Spanish word for ‘trinity’ being trinidad, however it is more likely the ‘trinity’ was the three peaks seen as the island is approached. Columbus also discovered neighbouring Tobago, which he named from the native Haitian tambaku meaning ‘pipe’ as they were smoking tobacco, the English word having the same derivation.

United States of America – requires no explanation for the first two words, the first evidence of the name found in a letter dated January 2nd 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, George Washington’s aide-de-camp. This is not the case with the name of the continents of North America and South America. Traditionally they were named by the Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci, from Latin version of his first name. Usually it will have been his surname and this would have produced the United States of Vespuca, so perhaps this was discounted in favour of that now in use by Martin Waldseemuller. This German cartographer produced a world map in 1507 on which he named the ‘Americas’. He based the new lands on notes made by Vespucci published in 1502 and 1504 in which he never refers to the new lands as ‘America’. All Vespucci ever did was prove the discoveries of Columbus were not of a new and shorter route to the east but of a new and vast continent previously unknown to those on the Eurasian continent.

Uruguay – is named after the River Uruguay, itself thought to be from the native term uru ‘bird’ and guay ‘river’ and officially said to represent ‘the river of the painted birds’.

Venezuela – was first seen by European eyes in 1499 on the voyage of Alonso de Ojeda. The navigator on this voyage was the aforementioned Amerigo Vespucci who, on seeing the villages built on piles to keep the buildings clear of the waters of Lake Maracaibo, was reminded of Venice and thus called it Veneziola or ‘Little Venice’ (Spanish influence altering the spelling to the modern form). However this is disputed by some who point to the account by one Martin Fernandez de Enciso, another member of the same crew, speaks of the local people referring to themselves as Veneciuela.

As mentioned earlier the origins of the capital cities of these countries will be discussed next time.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Northumberland Place Names - Hexham

Last time I offered a taster of my Durham Place Names, due out this autumn. Publication will coincide with Northumberland Place Names and, as previously, offer a quick glimpse of this release. I have chosen the lovely town of Hexham, as it is the one place which stands out when recalling my days researching and photographing.


A place name found as Hagustaldes in 685, this is Old English hagustald ham and 'the homestead of the warrior'.

The street names of Hexham seem to have changed more than most towns of its size. Perhaps this is due to the topography, where much of the original settlement sits atop the escarpment which naturally limits the expansion and means necessary improvements and alterations inevitably wipe away something of the earlier town. Examining both current and earlier names provides a glimpse into the later history of a town or village.

What is now Robbs Car Park was previously Alma Court which, along with Alma Place, also lost, were named from an inn which had taken the name of a battle fought in the Crimea. Here, on September 20th 1854, the first engagement of the war saw a combined Anglo-French force of more than 60,000 defeat little more than half that number of the Russian army. The battle took the name of the River Alma, in turn named from the Tatar word for ‘apple’. Eastgate, literally the ‘eastern route into the place’, was previously Bondgate from bondigata and telling us this road led past ‘the land of the bondsmen’ or peasant farmers.

What was Carlisle Road has become renamed in several places, in particular Shaftoe Leazes. This is found in several places in this part of the country and always describes a long strip as ‘the shaft-shaped ridge of land’. Fore Street speaks of itself as ‘the front entrance’ and should be understood as the main entry point, there once being a Back Lane, too. Pudding Mews, previously Golden Lion Lane, was probably named for the sticky morass of which the road was made. While this is often seen as mud, it could easily have been sewage or, particularly considering the use of ‘pudding’, the intestines of slaughtered animals. A similar evolution is seen in what was Half Moon Yard, again named after a pub, becoming the self-explanatory Slaughter Houses.

St Hilda’s Road certainly fits with the nearby names, where St George’s Road, St Andrew’s Road, St Wilfrid’s Road and St Cuthbert’s Road link to Priestlands Crescent, Priestlands Avenue, and Priestlands Road. However St Hilda’s Road was previously known as Hilda Street which may have been named from a resident rather than the saint. Intake, earlier given as Intack, is an early field name pointing to ‘the land recently enclosed for farming’. Merry Leazes was probably a deliberate change, for the modern suggests something pleasant while the earlier Mirrey from miry tells us it was known for being muddy.

From the Saxon name Eardwulf comes shortened form seen in Ardley as 'the woodland clearing of a man called Earda'. Aydon Shiels would have begun as 'the sheds or huts associated with a man called Ealdwine'. Telling us it was once known as 'the row (of dwellings) associated with a man called Bacga', the hamlet is now marked on the map as Bagraw. Coastley has nothing to do with the shoreline, this is 'the leah or woodland clearing of a man called Cocc'.

Dipton comes from deop dene 'the deep valley'. Dotland features an Old Scandinavian personal name in 'the cultivated land of a man called Dot'. Eshells features the suffix sheles, here either follow a personal name in 'the shed of a man called Asketin' or, if the first element is Old Scandinavian eski, 'the shed by the ash trees'.

Hackford belongs to that group of places where, simply be defining the name, we see an image of the place as it appeared in Saxon times. Here the first element is heck, a regional variation on haecc or 'hatch gate'. This is understood to refer to a gate downstream from the ford, one which prevented animals from either straying or being carried downstream when the river was in spate.

Greenridge is easily seen as 'the grassy ridge of land'. Ham Burn is simply enough, from ham burna it describes 'the stream by a homestead'. Harwood Shiel speaks of 'the summer pasture by the boundary wood'. Hotley was Holtolaye in 1296, this referring to 'the leah or woodland clearing of a man called Holte'. Langhope is from Old English lang hop 'the long enclosed valley'.

Found as Lilleswrth in 1233 and as Lilleswude in 1663, this is probably 'the woodland of a man named Lilla', although that early record does seem to be describing 'the worth or enclosure of a man called Lilla'. Recorded as Linelis in 1251, Linnolds is 'the farm of a man called Linnel', itself a pet form of Linbeald. Nubbock was once known as Yokesley, a name meaning 'the woodland clearing of someone called Yoke'. This is not a true personal name but comes from dialect yoke, used to describe a 'spouse or bedfellow' and genderless. First seen as Nobbock-scheles in 1479, Nubbock quickly lost its suffix leaving a name which has defied all attempts to define it.

Riddlehamhope, seen as Redeleme in 1214 and Ridlam in 1338, here is 'the homestead of the ridded or cleared valley'. Rowley is an Old English name from ruh leah meaning 'the rough woodland clearing'. The stream known as the Rowley Burn takes its name from the place. A place name of Steel comes from the word steel, a term once used by Scots dialect speakers to refer to 'a long line of rocks projecting into the sea'. Yarridge is recorded as Jernerig in 1232 and Yarwrigg in 1298, a name from Old English gearwe hrycg 'the ridge where yarrow grass grows'.

The Station Inn was named to advertise refreshment for travellers arriving on the (then) new mode of transport. Similarly the Globe conveys the message that this place will open its doors to all.

Doubtless salmon would have been served at the Salmon Inn, which means this is an advertisement for what was on offer. Another advert is seen in the Tap and Spile, the two parts hammered into a wooden barrel to enable easy dispensing of the contents. The tap is clear, a very simple version of the modern household tap, the spile is less clear. Anyone who attempts to pour any liquid from a container will know if no allowance is made to allow air to enter and replace the volume of liquid drawn off causes a bubble to enter and the steady flow is interrupted, often with messy results. Hence the spile was hammered into the top of the barrel and removed to encourage a nice steady flow of the contents through the open tap, then replaced when the tap was closed.

Location was in mind when naming the Shiregate public house, the Dipton Mill Inn, and the Old Tannery. However the Heart of England pub is clearly many miles from the centre of the country, indeed the name has nothing to do with location but can be found at nearby Hexham Racecourse, where the most famous race is the Heart of All England Steeplechase and the Heart of All England Cup presented to the winner. Traditionally this recalls the time when James VI of Scotland rode south to become James I of England and thus unite the two kingdoms. It is said he reached Hexham and announced: "Verily this is the heart of all England".

Other names include the Hare and Hounds, a reminder of the once popular sport of hare coursing. The Grapes, an image associated with the production of wines. The Coach and Horses shows this was a staging post for the major means of land transport in times before the railways. The Rose and Crown is a patriotic name, rose for the nation and the crown its monarch. The Kings Head carries an image of Charles II, a reference to 1660 and the Restoration of the Monarchy. Common as the animal lends itself readily to anthropomorphisation, the Fox Inn is as popular as ever.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Durham Place Names – Hartlepool

It may still be summer but currently the weather is decidedly autumnal. For me autumn, at least on a professional note, means the publication of a new book. Not aware of the exact date yet but offer a sample to whet the appetite.


A place listed as Herterpol around the end of the twelfth century, this name comes from Old English heorot eg pol and describes 'the pool or bay near the peninsula frequented by stags'.

Street names begin with Alma Street, named after the battle which was fought on 20th September 1854, considered the first battle of the Crimean War it is often seen as a pub name. Baltic Street was named for it being associated with those principally trading with the Baltic provinces of Estonia, Livonia and Courland. Cleveland Street commemorates the Marquis of Cleveland, who served as mayor in 1831. Another mayor was William Vollum, a ship owner who served five terms as mayor and who had Vollum Road named after him. Prissick Street was named in 1841 to mark the work of philanthropists Henry and Elizabeth Prissick. Stripe is an old street name, taken from a field name referring to a long, narrow strip of land.

The hamlet of Brierton appeared as Brerton and Brereton in the fourteenth century, while quite recently the name is recorded with the alternative spelling of Brearton. The name is of Old English origin in braer tun 'the farmstead of the brambles'. Stranton comes from Old English strand tun 'the place on the shore'. Throston has been recorded since the fourteenth century, although 'the farmstead of a man called Thor' will have existed since shortly after Roman times. Trickley is derived from a little used English word trickle describing 'the farm of sheep dung'.

On the coast is the name of Eden, seen as Geodene, Iodene and Yoden in early records, this speaks of 'the valley of Goda'. From naes byht comes the name of Nesbitt and describes 'the bend at the headland'. Found as Ovetun in the twelfth century, the name of Owton is from a very common personal name and refers to 'the farmstead of a man called Offa or Ofa'.

Seaton Carew is found as Ceattun, Setona, Seton Carrowe, and Seton Karrow between the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. Here Old English sae tun refers to 'the farmstead on the sea'. The addition is seen in the name of former tenant Petrus Carou, whose surname appears to be a nickname rather than a place name as there are no references as 'de Carou'. Another Old English name is Throston, a name speaking of 'the tun or farmstead of a man called Thurstan'. Inscar Point is a coastal feature derived from Middle English sker 'a rocky cliff', while further along the coast we find Maiden Bower, traditionally where a young woman was flung to her death on the rocks by her violent lover. Possibly describing 'the farmstead of a man called Neale', Nelson is first seen as Nelestune in 1196.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Heraldry in Pub Names

When preparing my books on the origins of place names I like to include a selection of pub names. Defining such is a different way of looking at the history of place. Many landowners will have had an interest in the local pub and for their support, or perhaps that should be to earn that support, saw the family name used for the name of the pub.

As that name would have made no sense to the largely illiterate locals the sign used their coat of arms, or perhaps a portion of it, which would have been instantly understood. Even today we use imagery to represent the written language – in signs for public transport, in logos used by brands and companies, and in the icons on screens of our phones and computers. Quite quickly it became commonplace for the term ‘Arms’ to be used even when heraldry was not behind the name. Hence we see Arms used with the place name, the message showing the location of the premises and effectively using ‘Arms’ as a synonym for ‘pub’.

Over the years the lords of the manor move on and their name does have a tendency to disappear from the name, particularly in the larger towns and cities. Yet heraldry still plays a part and while the full arms mean a complex and thus expensive sign, to take a particular part of the image and use that as the name retains the link to the family while producing a new name. This imagery, as legible for our ancestors as the written word is to us, is often misunderstood and does produce some creative explanations.

A good clue to a sign taken from heraldry is the many strangely-coloured animals (both real and imaginary) we see in pub names. Examples include White Lion, Blue Boar, Green Dragon, and the most common of them all, the Red Lion. Another pointer is the inclusion of the number ‘Three’ in the name. It just so happens that three was used in heraldry and is seen in names such as Three Tuns (Worshipful Company of Brewers and Worshipful Company of Vintners), Three Horseshoes (Worshipful Company of Farriers), Three Cups (Worshipful Company of Salters), Three Crowns (Worshipful Company of Drapers), and Three Wheatsheaves (Worshipful Company of Bakers) and many others.

There are even examples of heraldry giving first a pub name and latterly a place name. The most famous being the Elephant and Castle which, while often said to be a corruption of the Infanta de Castile, it actually began as the crest of the Cutlers’ Company. The elephant represents the ivory used to produce the handles of the best knives while the ‘castle’ is actually a howdah on the back of the beast.

If there are any specific pub names you would like to see defined, or any definitions of unusual names you have to offer, I would be delighted to hear from you.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Origins of African Capital Cities (M to Z)

Last week I followed up a post from more than two years ago and looked at the origins of the names of the countries of the African continent. My original posts were split into A to L and then M to Z. It makes sense to use the same split for the capital cities of these nations and therefore this week the remaining nations beginning M to Z are covered.

Madagascar is governed from Antananarivo, formerly known as Tananarive, and both have the same origin with the modern form featuring the prefix an meaning ‘at’. The original is from a Malagasy word tanana with the prefix speaking of ‘a thousand villages’.

Malawi’s capital is Lilongwe, itself the name of the river on which it stands and a has the expected simplistic meaning of ‘big river’.

Mali’s capital is Bamako, itself named after a Soninke chief named Bamma who lived here. The suffix ko means ‘behind’ and thus this place was ‘behind Bamma’s village’, that village being Motibadougou.

Mauritania is governed from Nouakchott. This we know to mean literally ‘one who has no ears’ and understood to refer to someone with small ears rather than non-existent ones. The individual is unknown but must have been of importance and likely a chief.

Mauritius has the capital named Port Louis from Louis XV as this was a French colony.

Morocco’s capital is Rabat, derived from the Arabic word ribat remembers this was found as a fortress in the 12th century for the name means ‘fort’.

Mozambique’s capital is named after the river Maputo, both therefore carry the name of one son of Nuagobe, an eighteenth century chief. Prior to 1975 the city was known as Lourenco Marques, also named after an individual, the Portuguese navigator who first mapped this region in the sixteenth century.

Namibia’s capital of Windhoek still shows the Dutch influence in a name meaning ‘windy cape’. Prior to the Dutch local tribes referred to this as ‘the fire water’ and ‘place of smoke’, both a reference to the steam of the hot springs.

Niger takes the name of the river. Its capital, Niamey, refers to where the local tribe drew water ‘to the left of the tree’.

Nigeria’s capital is Abuja, itself named from the Hausa emirate which derived its name from a fortification founded in 1828 by Abu Ja, literally ‘Abu the Red’.

Rwanda’s capital is Kigali, a name comes from a Kinyarwanda term loosely transalted as ‘those who fight together’.

Sao Tome and Principe was named by Portuguese sailors after St Thomas who landed here on his feast day. The capital is also known as Sao Tome.

Senegal is governed from Dakar, a name from the Wolof word describing the ‘tamarind tree’.

Seychelles is governed from Victoria which, rather predictably, is named after Queen Victoria.

Sierra Leone’s capital of Freetown was founded 1787 by the British as a home for liberated slaves.

Somalia’s capital is Mogadishu, thought to come from the Arabic Maq’ad Shah or ‘the seat of the Shah’ and a reminder of the Persian influence.

South Africa has three ‘capital’ cities. Cape Town takes its name from the Cape of Good Hope; Pretoria was named to honour its founder, Andries Pretorius; and Bloemfontein, from the Dutch ‘spring among the flowers’.

South Sudan has the newest capital city in the world. Juba coming from Djouba, a people also known as the Bari.

Sudan has the capital Khartoum, an Arabic name Al-Khurtum meaning ‘elephant’s trunk’. This refers to the shape of the area, a headland formed by the White Nile and Blue Nile.

Swaziland is one of those countries with more than one capital city. Lobamba has never been adequately explained but Mbabane is named after the chief Mbabane Khunene, who lorded it here before the arrival of the Europeans, and whose name comes from the local river and means ‘the thing that crushes’, an excellent description of the erosive power of this river in spate.

Tanzania’s capital is Dodoma and means, in the native Gogo tongue, ‘it has sunk’.

Tunisia is named after its capital, with Tunis of unknown origin. Often said to represent the Phoenician goddess Tanith, the name is known to pre-date the arrival of the Phoenicians.

Uganda has the capital city Kampala, itself named after the hill on which it stands and named as ‘the impala hill’. This does not show wild impala grazed here, although the animals were seen here they were quite tame.

Zambia is governed from Lusaka, named after the former chief Lusaakas who was here at the end of the nineteenth century.