What’s In A Name You Ask? A Lot!

What’s In A Name You Ask? A Lot!
Name sign on the station building of the town with the longest name in Europe, on Anglesey Island in Wales, UK Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Uncover the longest named places on planet Earth, right here!

Zagrav Benipal
October 24 , 2019
05 Min Read

The land on which we humans’ dwell; this outlandish yet beautiful place we call planet Earth, is truly a place full of splendour, laughter and some very bizarre places. This piece looks to shed some light on the later of the aforementioned, the ‘bizarre’ if you will. So, have a tall glass of water to ready yourself (perhaps keep another glass on standby), follow it with a deep breath, here we go!

7. Venkatanarasimharajuvaripeta, India


Venkatanarasimharajuvaripeta or Venkata Narasimha Rajuvaripet or V N Rajuvaripeta (28 letters) is a railway station in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, situated on the border with Tamil Nadu. So small is its size, that mail trains and express trains do not even halt at Venkatanarasimharajuvaripeta! Passenger trains stop on request, only when there are commuters to be either picked up or dropped off.  

It might be worth your while to rehearse its enunciation, especially if you plan to board a train from the station. Lest you get in a cab and stutter to explain your destination to the cab driver and end up missing your train in the process or worse mispronounce it and end up elsewhere altogether.  

6. Äteritsiputeritsipuolilautatsijänkä, Finland

The longest one worded place name in Finland and the third longest in Europe, the 35 letter word is said to have no genuine meaning in Finnish or otherwise and was in all likelihood fated to be nothing more than alliterative hogwash. As for the place, it is an expanse of bog in the largest and northernmost region of Finland – Lapland. 

The owner of a pub in Salla (a municipality in Lapland) elected to name his enterprise after the tongue twister of a word, in a bid to have a title he knew no one else would. After initially trying for two names and failing, he settled on Äteritsiputeritsipuolilautatsi-baari  (after much exasperation we imagine). The pub was acknowledged to own the longest title of any commercial establishment in Finland, that is, until it shut its doors in 2006. 

5. Azpilicuetagaraycosaroyarenberecolarrea, Spain

Spain pinches the fifth spot with this 39 lettered humdinger. Positioned in Azpilkueta, Navarra, its connotation stems from Basque language, denoting, “The low field of high pen of Azpilkueta.” At a mighty 39 letters, it indisputably stands as the most extensive name in Spain and the second longest in Europe.

Said to be among one of the greenest regions in Europe, Navarra has no fewer than 50 natural reserves and over 70% of its electricity is said to originate from renewable sources. If that isn’t praise worthy then nothing else is. 

4. Tweebuffelsmeteenskootmorsdoodgeskietfontein, South Africa

Coming in at a close fourth, this farm in North West province of South Africa comprises 44 letters. While Europe has been alluded to (no. 5 and 6), this is the longest one-word place name in Africa. In the native language of South Africa - Afrikaans, Tweebuffelsmeteenskootmorsdoodgeskietfontein stands for, “The spring where two buffaloes were cleanly killed with a single shot”.

This is not the sole instance of South Africa’s love for long worded names, the less cumbersome farmstead labelled ‘Bovenendvankeelafsnysleegte’ in the Upper Karoo, although indisputably striking, does not make the cut for this list. 

Illustrious South African songwriter and musician, Anton Goosen also has a song titled ‘Tweebuffelsmeteenskootmorsdoodgeskietfontein’ in his 2014 album called Putonnerwater.  

3. Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg, United States

Having already touched upon this in an earlier piece, you can find out averything you need to know about Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg here

2. Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, Wales

Weighing in at a mighty, wait for it, 58 characters! Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch is both the longest titled place in United Kingdom and in Europe. Before you commence harassing and tugging at your mind strings with the name, you will be glad to know that there is a shorter version, and its referred to as Llanfairpwll or Llanfair PG. The outlandish name is used to represent a greater community of villages in Wales which can be found on the islands of Anglesey.

While there are conflicting versions of the tale, some say the origins of the word were credited to a tailor while others attribute it to a local cobbler. Notwithstanding the exact origin, the name was altered for promotional purposes, with an aim to draw tourists who would want to come to the community with the worlds longest name.  

1. Taumatawhakatangi­hangakoauauotamatea­turipukakapikimaunga­horonukupokaiwhen­uakitanatahu, New Zealand

If you are still with me, gosh, I’m vastly impressed and highly gracious. You have almost made it! Albeit a little dizzy and at a loss for words I can imagine (as I'am), but focus all your energies on the longest named place in New Zealand and in the world. At number 1, with an astonishing 85 letters, Taumatawhakatangi­hangakoauauotamatea­turipukakapikimaunga­horonukupokaiwhen­uakitanatahu or the unassuming abbreviation Taumata topples the charts, reigning supreme. 

Taumata, a hill near Porangahau, in southern Hawke's Bay, has a Māori inference which signifies, “the place where Tamatea, the man who had big knees, the climber of mountains, the slider, the land-swallower that travelled about, played the nose flute that he had to the loved ones.” Taumata has also been bestowed the tag officially by Guinness Worlds Records.

So the next time you feel irked at having to type Safdarjung Development Area in Delhi or Vasna Bhayli Road in Gujarat or for that matter Kasarvadavali in Maharashtra, you need only recollect any of the abovementioned places!  

Find out about some bizarre rules from around the world. Some of these are truly shocking!   

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