The Atlas of True Names: making the familiar seem strange

Did you know that Great Britain can also be called ‘Great Land of The Tattooed’?

Not because of the popularity of tattoos in this country. Rather, it’s the name you arrive at if you look deeper into the etymology of the words ‘Great Britain’. (Maybe this is why Cheryl Cole couldn’t help getting her infamous rose tattoo?)

This etymological approach to place names has been pursued by a company called Kalimedia and they’ve now produced a series of maps of The British Isles, Canada, The USA and Europe called The Atlas of True Names.

As Kalimedia says on its website:

Once the names have been taken back to their roots and translated into English, it is immediately apparent that our world has an extraordinary affinity with Middle Earth, the mythical continent where the events of Tolkein’s The Lord of the Rings are played out.

So, I can now say that I come from The Great Land of The Tattooed.  I was born in Northern Enclosed Farm (Northampton) but I now live in the capital city, Unfordable River Town (London). Or should that be Unaffordable River Town?

So – where are you from?

Atlas of True Names - section of SE England. Photo credit:


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