View Full Version : Help with names for map elements

12-31-2009, 05:01 AM
So I am working on a large map using a combination of PS 7 and CC3 and I was just putting the finishing touches on one section. As I was naming some of the map elements (i.e. forests, mountains, hills, towns, etc...) I discovered that there are not too many synonyms available for my tastes. I am trying to be as varied and orginal as possible but I am running out of ideas for cool names.

Anyways, I was wondering what other people came up with. Don't post if you don't want me to copy your ideas!

Some examples

Forests: (How many ways can you call forest a forest?)
The Feywild Forest
The Misty Vale
The King's Woods
The Dismal Woodlands
The Cloakwood

.... mountains
.... peaks
.... ridge

.... Hills

Any and all ideas would be great. Thanks in advance.

12-31-2009, 11:08 AM
It's true that there aren't a whole lot of different English words that mean "lots of trees." However, you don't necessarily need to label every mountain range "The <Name> Mountains." If your mountains look like mountains, it may be just as good to simply call them "The <Name>s." For instance, if you were looking at a map of Europe, and there was a large label over the mountains that said "Alps," you'd probably get that those were the mountains called the Alps.

Tad Williams' fantasy trilogy Memory, Sorrow and Thorn featured a large forest called Aldheorte ("Old Heart"). Sometimes it was referred to as the Aldheorte forest, but on the maps, it didn't say "Forest," as the depiction of trees made that obvious.

Many forests are simply named for the country they are in. The word Amazon refers to the rain forest, the river, and the basin in which forest and river reside.

Of course, on the other end of that, are features that pick up additional descriptors as time goes by: Sherwood Forest is a bit redundant.

Steel General
12-31-2009, 11:13 AM
From Thesaurus.com (http://thesaurus.com);

backwoods, brake, chase (http://thesaurus.reference.com/browse/chase), clump, coppice, copse, cover (http://thesaurus.reference.com/browse/cover), covert (http://thesaurus.reference.com/browse/covert), grove, growth (http://thesaurus.reference.com/browse/growth), jungle (http://thesaurus.reference.com/browse/jungle), park (http://thesaurus.reference.com/browse/park), shelter (http://thesaurus.reference.com/browse/shelter), stand (http://thesaurus.reference.com/browse/stand), thicket, timber, timberland, weald, wildwood, wood (http://thesaurus.reference.com/browse/wood), woodland, woodlot, woods

12-31-2009, 12:12 PM
From Thesaurus.com (http://thesaurus.com);

backwoods, brake, chase (http://thesaurus.reference.com/browse/chase), clump, coppice, copse, cover (http://thesaurus.reference.com/browse/cover), covert (http://thesaurus.reference.com/browse/covert), grove, growth (http://thesaurus.reference.com/browse/growth), jungle (http://thesaurus.reference.com/browse/jungle), park (http://thesaurus.reference.com/browse/park), shelter (http://thesaurus.reference.com/browse/shelter), stand (http://thesaurus.reference.com/browse/stand), thicket, timber, timberland, weald, wildwood, wood (http://thesaurus.reference.com/browse/wood), woodland, woodlot, woods

Thesaurus is your friend. :)

As said already, you do not always have to use the explanatory part of the name (forest, wood, mountains, etc).

Sometimes a place can gain a name of it's own based on events that transpired there. It may not have anything to do with it's being a mountain, field or whatever. "You don't want to go in there my friend, there is a reason they call it..'Widowmaker.'"

12-31-2009, 12:14 PM
Also, we have just started a thread here:


12-31-2009, 10:43 PM
Thanks for the help. I was already aware that I could name places after names that did not include its type and have been doing so but I did not want to name them all that way. I was using wikisaurus but I see that I was looking at the wrong place!

Thanks for all the input everyone!

01-01-2010, 03:51 AM
Don't forget, there's also lots of languages. And names don't always get translated or replaced when someone new takes over, either.

01-03-2010, 01:11 AM
Hi symrin, I also have difficulty churning out name that either sounds cool, logical or works. I'm not sure if fantasy setting names will work for you, but if they do, I would recommend checking out these sites:

Town name generator (http://k4-pacific.com/nametown.php) (to get new names, just refresh the page or hit F5)
Tavern name generator (http://www.rdinn.com/tavern_name_generator.php)
Fantasy name generator (http://donjon.bin.sh/name/)
Another fantasy name generator (http://www.rinkworks.com/namegen/)
Cottage name generator (http://www.cottagesmith.com/Misc/CottageNameGen.php)

Hope these helps.

01-03-2010, 03:58 PM
Moved to Toponymy.

This is a really cool discussion and worth a lot of thought for a number of reasons, but not least because of Alfar's place name generator. The more synonyms for woods, forests, mountains etc we can come up with the easier it will be to come up with a place name generator which will make those huge maps easier to label. Where is Alfar these days anyway?

Anyway, back on topic. First stop: Thesaurus:


abundance, alp, bank, bluff, butte, cliff, crag, dome, drift, elevation, eminence, glob, heap, height, hump, mass, mesa, mound, mount, palisade, peak, pike, pile, precipice, pyramid, range, ridge, shock, sierra, stack, ton, tor, volcano, bank, cliff, crag, escarpment, headland, hill, mountain, peak, promontory, ridge, rock, alluvion, bank, batch, bunch, bundle, clump, cluster, deposit, heap, hill, lot, mass, mound, mountain, parcel, pile, set, shock, stack, acclivity, altitude, ascent, boost, eminence, heave, hill, hillock, hoist, levitation, mountain, platform, ridge, rise, roof, top, uplift, upthro.


backwoods, brake, chase, clump, coppice, copse, cover, covert, grove, growth, jungle, park, shelter, stand, thicket, timber, timberland, weald, wildwood, wood, woodland, woodlot, woods, backcountry, backwoods, boscage, bramble, briar, brush, chaparral, creeper, forest, hedge, hinterland, jungle, outback, plant, scrub, scrubland, shrubbery, the wild, thicket, vine, wilderness,
back country, backwoods, boondocks, boonies, bush, countryside, cow country, farmland, farms, forests, green belt, hinterland, middle of nowhere, outback, outdoors, province, sticks, up country, wide open space, wilderness, wilds, woodlands, woods

01-04-2010, 03:20 PM
Where is Alfar these days anyway?

I got dragged off the 'net by a couple of events, one of them being my arm refusing to type for a month and a half. I got better ;)

Back on topic, you can also do variations of the words:

Hill: hyl, hel, hell, hale, hylle
Forest: forst, fers, fer, fore, fors


01-04-2010, 04:13 PM
Sorry to hear that, Alfar, but glad to see you back!!!

I need to download your placename generator again as I have now upgraded to Windows 7, I still have in mind a saxon place name lexicon which is on my 'to do' list.



01-06-2010, 05:41 AM
Thanks again for all the ideas and links.

01-05-2014, 11:30 PM

Try these

wooded area

rock face


I hope it helps


08-14-2014, 05:02 PM
translate each world to as many languages as possible (google translator), put google to pronounce it once. try pronouncing after it. no matter how far you got from the real sound, try spelling it in a way that, in your language, it sounds similar to what you pronounced. you now have a new word for forest/mountain/hill. thats prettu much how french/english/spanish/portuguese and lots of languages and dialets around europe (wouldn't be surprised if around the world) were formed.