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What is a place-name?

The study of place-names includes names of geographical habitats, such as lakes, mountains (nature names) and towns, villages, streets, farming areas and buildings (settlement names or culture names).

The study of place-names includes names of geographical habitats, such as lakes, mountains (nature names) and towns, villages, streets, farming areas and buildings (settlement names or culture names).

The concept of place-names is defined as follows:

  • A place-name is the unequivocal term used to signify a certain geographical habitat under a certain period of time by a certain group of people.

Place-names are our most important tool for knowing our surroundings and providing a sense of locality. Where there are people, there are also place-names.
However, place-names also play an important role in people's sense of identity and belonging. Names are often reminiscences of a living past and contribute to a feeling of home and security. Place-names are an intangible part of the cultural landscape.

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