Geographically Speaking: Tips on Naming Places
If you’re creating your own landscape, you will need names for your towns, cities, streets, lakes, mountain ranges, roads, countries… So how do you go about naming these?
Every place in your world will have a history, and names often spring from that history, changing and adapting over time.
- Towns are often named after the rivers they are built on (every community needs access to water so most towns evolve around water sources). If the river is called the ‘Irent’, the town may be called ‘Irent Town’, changing to ‘Irenton’ over time.
- Towns are also named after their founders, streets often named after significant people or events in the town’s past.
- Nearby places often share parts of their names. If a mountain range is called the ‘Yellon Mountains’, you may have ‘Yellon Gorge’ connecting the towns of ‘Upper Yellon’ and ‘Lower Yellon’.
- Areas may be named after what is grown there. You may have ‘Banana Valley’ or ‘Orchard Plains’.
- They may be named after the main industry. ‘Miner Hills’, ‘Cider Fields’, “Weaver Tracks’.
- Places might be named as to what they look like. ‘Golden Plains’, ‘Misty Way’, ‘Silver Hills’.
Names of places do not appear spontaneously or by accident. They are based on the history, location, or appearance of their location.
Also remember that names change and adapt over time, and some places have their official names as well as a nickname the locals use.
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