View Full Version : Troubles with english toponymy...

01-05-2013, 09:28 PM
I need help for my WIP map.
The official name should be "United Island's States", but perhaps it is a mistake. Isn't it?
Other names could be:
"Island's United States" or
"Newfoundisland's United States" or
"United States of Newfoundisland".
What do you think is most correct? Thanks.

01-06-2013, 02:07 AM
"Islands" is plural, meaning that there is more than one island.
"Island's" with the apostrophe before the s is possessive, meaning that something belongs to one island.
"Islands'" with the apostrophe at the very end, is possessive plural, meaning that something belongs to two or more islands.

An island can be a state, and a state can be an island. Like Hawaii.

But if you're going to make a name of a country, and the country is made up of islands, some possibilities for a pleasing sound might be "The United Islands of....." or "The United Island States of...." or even "The United States of the.....Islands". You just need a name to replace the "...".

01-06-2013, 09:16 AM
Thank you, ManOfSteel. :)
I'm going to give this official name: "The United States of The Newfoundislands". Short form: "USN". It sounds very good to me.

01-08-2013, 11:56 PM
Sounds good!

03-18-2013, 05:37 AM
Just one thought though - Newfoundland is actually an island (part of Newfoundland, a province on the east coast of Canada). If "newfoundislands" is the name of country, you could try different ways of "reducing" ("newfoundisland" when said quickly in English sounds a lot like "newfoundland") - you could try "newfounden", for example. Or, you could even just combine words from another language; use Latin for a somewhat English "feel", like "Novenvi" ([Latin] Nova + invenio = New-find; a Great English-Latin dictionary is HERE (http://www.archives.nd.edu/cgi-bin/wordes.exe)).

It's hard to figure out how sounds combine, disappear, or change when you string words together (like New + Found + Islands), but the best way is to say each would clearly and slowly, then speed up until you can't really hear each individual word clearly. You'll automatically start slurring the words together, and sounds will change or disappear altogether ("is" from "islands" disappears if you say "new-found-islands" really fast, and if you keep going the "-ands" at the end of "islands" drops into "-len" or even just "-n").

- kes

06-26-2013, 09:55 AM
Thanks for your advice, kestrelgrey. :)

I've never thought such kind of things as word-stringed fast pronunciation.
Since my mother language is italian, which has very clear sounds and more or less no word-stringing, it was natural to me not caring about that.

Well, "The United States of The Newfounden" is pretty good! However, the official name will be the last of my choices on that map. I'm still striving with terrain making! :D

06-26-2013, 10:29 AM
Coming up with place names is so much fun! In a collaborative world I build with a friend awhile ago he added a section of coastline and labled it "The Stiches". He then explained that it was originally called "The Coast of Riches" but the locals have a word game/dialect that they use to combine words by taking pieces of each. Cultural detail and a great name all in one!

Also "Newfoundland" in Canada is usually pronounced "NOO-fn-land" so kestrelgrey is spot on about "reducing". Very cool insight.