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Latin names for states, provinces and regions

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Latin names for states, provinces and regions

Postby Jefferson Cicero » Sun May 20, 2007 7:50 am

Salve!

Recently, I have been trying to find proper Latinisations for the names of states and regions of the U.S and Canadian provinces and regions. I assume that all state and province names have already been Latinised, but I cant find anywhere online to learn what most of those Latinisations are.

I have found New York, as Novum Eboricum, taken from the original Latin name for York in England. I havent found the original Latin for Jersey or Hampshire.

Arkansas has been Latinised as Arkansia since the state was founded, and Maryland was Latinised as Marylandia in colonial times.

Pennsylvania needs no translation since it's already Latin.

Obviously, state names like Virginia, Georgia, California need no change to make them work in Latin, nor do state names such as Alabama, Florida, Alaska, Montana, etc.

Other states have proven more difficult for a rusty amateur like me. Should Kansas become Kansia, or must we retain the final 's' since it is pronounced, giving us the rather unwieldy 'Kansasia'?

Another one that has me confused for the moment: Texas. 'Texia', 'Texasia'?

Tennessee: 'Tennessia', 'Tennesseia'?

Mississippi, Missouri: 'Mississippia', 'Missouria'? Or Missouri could be rendered as 'Missoura', because this is the pronounciation used by older generations of Missourians. Likewise, older generations in Alabama used to call themselves 'Alabamians', so 'Alabamia' could conceivably be an alternative Latinisation.

Ohio, Idaho, Colorado, Utah have me stumped. Perhaps worst of all is Illinois. How in the world do we Latinise it? 'Illinoia'? Or should we try to go back to the original meaning of the word, and Latinise that? If so, there seem to be at least two possibilities for the original meaning of that word.

Then there are Wisconsin, Michigan, Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine, Connecticut, Wyoming. 'Wisconsia or Wisconsinia', 'Michigania', etc.? How do we do these?

Another difficult one: Hawaii. 'Hawaiia?', Hawaia'? Or could it remain unchanged?

Oklahoma could be retained as is, ir perhaps we could translate the original meaning into 'Rubrapopula'. Alright, maybe that's going a bit far.

What about New Mexico: Nova Mexicoa, Nova Mexica?

Delaware? Perhaps we could go back to the etymological meaning of 'Warre' ( the state is named after Baron de la Warre).

Well, Nova Scotia is a dead giveaway. What about Quebec, Labrador, or the region called 'the Maritime Provinces'. Is there not a shorter name for this region that could be Latinised, such as 'Maritimia'? Newfoundland: come on now, can we do better than 'Newfoundlandia', or some long winded Latin translation of 'new found land'? Perhaps 'Vinlandia', or 'Vitisia'?

Nova Anglia is easy enough.

The South proves to be a complicated case. It would logically be 'Australia', but this is already taken. Using the name of the South wind, we get 'Austria', also already taken (My God!) We could use the nominative, coming up with 'Austeria', or we could go with 'Austrinia'. Another alternative wouild be Meridia, but no, that's now the name for some silly new designer pharmaceutical, so how about Meridiana (this word may be the best since it has already been used before, in the name of the town of Meridian, Mississippi)? Or we could even go with 'Dixia'. Using the supposed origin of the word Dixie (the French 'Dix', or 'Ten') we could Latinise it into the ridiculous 'Decemia'.

The North: 'Septentriona', or even, from the name of the North wind, the more wieldy and wonderful sounding 'Aquilonia'? Alright, that's the movie homeland of Conan the Barbarian, but it was also a real region or dukedom or something like that in the baltic region in the middle ages and the renaissance. So perhaps we must stick with the longer, less wieldy word.

We could have Atlantica Media or Mediatlantica for the Midatlantic region, Mediocassia or Medioccidentalia or even Mediazephyra for the Midwest. I like combining the adjective with the noun better than using the adjective as a separate word, such as 'Zephyra Media'. It just seems more efficient and more fitting to render the name for a cultural or geographic region as a single word. After all, I would rather call myself a 'Mediocassian' than an 'Ocassia Median', lest someone think I were a Mede with some weird disease. But perhaps this is not acceptable.

Can someone just point me to some place online that might explain all this?

J.C.
(no, the other J.C.) :wink:
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Postby Lucus Eques » Sun May 20, 2007 12:49 pm

These are all in John Traupman's CONVERSATIONAL LATIN. Otherwise, the Latin wiki has about the same:

http://la.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States#Civitates
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Postby Jefferson Cicero » Mon May 21, 2007 10:16 am

Thank you, Lucus. I didn't know there was a Latin Wickipedia. I should have guessed, since they have it in so many languages.

Well, they all seem to make sense, but I dont understand why the Wicki names change all the k's into c's. It seems unnecessary, and I've seen 'Arkansia' several times over the years, but never with a 'c.' Likewise, why replace the 'k' in Kansas with a 'c', but not the 'k' in Kentucky? Well, I guess it doesn't matter, so I'm going to use the k's where they are found in the original, since the letter is rather under-utilised in Latin anyway.

Likewise, I'll still call the South, 'Meridiana', denoting a cultural entity with it's own unique character and history, rather than just a section of the empire, as 'Auster' seems to imply. For the same reason, I'll still call the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest 'Mediatlantica' and 'Mediocassia' whenever I please, and anyone who doesn't like it that I append the adjective to the front of the name needs to give me a good reason not to, since I believe I have seen such forms in Roman city names.

That also goes for calling the Maritime Provinces 'Maritimia', since they also constitute a unique cultural region, and this region deserve it's own name, instead of just being referred to as a collection of provinces.

Some may object to my doing these things, but I dont think I'll have to worry about being hunted down by the Emperor's language police and dragged in chains to grammar prison any time soon.
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Re: Latin names for states, provinces and regions

Postby Jefferson Cicero » Tue Sep 04, 2012 11:29 am

This is a long dead topic, one I forgot about long ago. But a few months ago, when reading about a subject completely unrelated to this topic, I came across a couple possible names for American regions which might work, and then it took months for me to remember this topic here at the Textkit forum.

For the Mid-Atlantic region, (New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey), we could use the name of the old Dutch colony out of which these three colonies/states were created by the English: New Netherland. The Latin name for it was Novum Belgicum. The Belgians may not be happy with this, but we cant please every one.

Moving on, it is a little known fact that in 1774 or so, a plan was introduced into parliament which would have established a new British colony south of the Great Lakes. It's southern boundary would have been the Ohio river, it's western boundary the Mississippi, and it's eastern, the Wabash and Maumee rivers. This colony would have included all or part of every modern Midwestern state except for Iowa, which it would have bordered. It would have been called Charlotina, a rather nice name.

So there we have it, and this topic rises from the grave, no doubt to fall right back in.
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Re: Latin names for states, provinces and regions

Postby Diaphanus » Sat Sep 15, 2012 5:15 pm

Salve!

I'm glad that the city I am living in right now, Fredericton, has an official (or at least as official as can be) Latin form of its name:

Fredericopolis

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Re: Latin names for states, provinces and regions

Postby Jefferson Cicero » Mon Sep 17, 2012 2:23 pm

Salve, Siaphanus!

I never expected a reply from anyone, so it's nice to hear from you.

I have a question. I'm not really all that knowledgeable about Canada or it's history, since I am a product of an American public school system which keeps most Americans ignorant of their own history, never mind the history of any other country. For most Americans, Canada is a vast nothingness north of the border. That's not a put down on Canada, it's just a statement of the total ignorance most Americans have concerning their cousins to the north.

When I first started this discussion several years ago, I did a little research into what might be considered the cultural regions of Canada, in an attempt to identify them and come up with Latin names for them. I didn't learn much, but I thought I identified the Maritime provinces as a distinct region of Canada. After all, the region is separated from the rest of Anglo-Canada by Quebec.

Well, you're from there, so what's your take on this? Do you or most of your fellow citizens see the Maritime provinces as being distinct from the rest of Canada, in any cultural, regional, or historical sense? Do the people of those provinces have any common identity that is different from the rest of Canada, in the way that the South or the Midwest have with regard to the rest of America?
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Re: Latin names for states, provinces and regions

Postby ptolemyauletes » Fri Oct 19, 2012 6:54 pm

Canada is definitely divided into distinct regions, culturally and linguistically, though for the most part, aside from Quebec, these differences are far less pronounced than in the USA or Great Britain.
I would divide it thusly:
The Maritimes
Quebec
Ontario
The Prairies (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta)
British Columbia
The North

This is a very rough division, but it is real.
The accents out in the Maritime Provinces are quite distinct, especially in Newfoundland.

There are also divisions between city folk and country folk, with country folk being much more... well, folksy in their talk. It's probably equal to the difference between an Ohio accent and an Upstate New York... maybe. Most city Canadians sound like the major American News broadcasters, very flat. We also have Mennonites, and other religious sects, who are a lot like the Amish, and sound quite unique.
I once had a piano delivered by some Mennonites, and they kept calling it a puyana.

The Prairies tend to be more Conservative, and... dare I say it, redneck. More of a Gun culture and maybe more like Americans in some ways. I know I am insulting some people, but this is my own experience of my OWN UNCLES! :)

BS is quite laid back, as is the accent, and they are more liberal as well, as is Ontario generally.

The North is populated by rugged Europeans, and Inuit and other natives.

There is a definite city/country divide everywhere.
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Re: Latin names for states, provinces and regions

Postby Jefferson Cicero » Wed Oct 24, 2012 5:07 pm

Thanks for the reply, Ptolemyauletes. Your regional divisions are basically what I was thinking based on what little I knew , and what I might have said if I had known enough about Canada to to be more confident of my own judgement.

Surely the provinces must already have Latin names, but I never could find any information about them, so I'll give it a shot.

As with America, some of the regional and provincial names are dead giveaways, but others will be much harder to tackle. Newfoundland is still a particularly difficult one, and Quebec as well. It will take some time and research on the names and etymologies.
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Re: Latin names for states, provinces and regions

Postby cb » Thu Oct 25, 2012 9:18 am

hi, you've probably already found this, but in the vatican bookstore next to st peters square there is a dictionary of place names in latin. i didn't read the intro but i got the feeling that the papal secretary must have a list of place names for all the towns and places around the world having cathedrals (i don't know, i'm just guessing that the papal secretary sends/sent stuff in latin and indicated the place name somewhere in the correspondence) and i wondered if this dictionary was somehow based on the papal secretary's list.

all my musings above aside, if you don't have this dictionary already, it might be worth looking in the vatican bookstore website for this dictionary as it may be useful to you. cheers, chad
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Re: Latin names for states, provinces and regions

Postby bedwere » Thu Oct 25, 2012 3:42 pm

Lexicon nominum locorum

ISBN-13: 978-88-2091-254-3
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Re: Latin names for states, provinces and regions

Postby Jefferson Cicero » Thu Nov 01, 2012 3:38 pm

Thank you both, Chad and Bedwere!

Just what I was looking for, and it's also affordable!
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Re: Latin names for states, provinces and regions

Postby bedwere » Thu Nov 01, 2012 10:25 pm

Jefferson Cicero wrote:Thank you both, Chad and Bedwere!

Just what I was looking for, and it's also affordable!

Welcome!

Check also this huge and out of print work:

Orbis Latinus

While Lexicon nominum locorum lists the names in the vernacular with the translation into Latin, Orbis Latinus is an alphabetical list of all Latin names of places. You can download the three volumes in pdf format.
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Re: Latin names for states, provinces and regions

Postby Jefferson Cicero » Fri Nov 09, 2012 7:02 pm

Thank you again, Bedwere! I had no idea this even existed. It looks like there will be no need for researching provincial names now. Perhaps regional names may still need to be worked out.

I really can't over-emphasize how great these volumes are!
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