Sunday, 25 August 2019

Niger 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 Niger's cities.

Niamey refers to where the local tribe drew water 'to the left of the tree' from the river which gave Niger its name, the river Niger coming from the Tamashek language where gher n-gheren means 'river among rivers'.

Birni-N'Konni is derived from the Hausa language and refers to 'the walled town of Konni'.

Dogondoutchi, usually reffered to as simply Doutchi, is derived from a local phrase meaning 'high hill'.

Doro is a Beri-Beri name simply meaning 'fishing port'.

Tchintabaraden translates as 'the valley of the young girls', named because young women and girls were once forced to head to a large well on a daily basis for water. Since running water has been installed, this is no longer necessary.

Mayahi or Mayaki, is from the Hausa people's name for their ruler.

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


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