to·pon·y·my (tə-pŏn'ə-mē) n.
- The place names of a region or language.
- The study of such place names.
This morning I ran across some unusual place names in the news and started thinking. I tend to do that sometimes.
When you’ve lived in an area for a while, it’s easy to forget that people in other parts of the country find some of our place names hard to pronounce. Clackamas always trips people up. You can tell someone’s not from here by the way they pronounce Willamette (emphasis on the am, please). Aloha, one of the communities on the west side, is not a-low-HA, but a-LOW-a. Champoeg (sham-POO-ee) is, among other things, an Oregon state park. Oh, and if you say or-ee-GONE, you’ll get chased out of the state with torches and pitchfork-waving folk.
What are some of the weird names where you’re from, the ones you’ve become so accustomed to that they’re not weird anymore?