HILL HILL HILL HILL
In England, there's a town called Pendle Hill, and in Connecticut, there's a place called Pendleton Hill. Let's break down those names! Originally, Pendle was spelled either pennul or penhul, a toponym which was formed in the 12th or 13th century. The first component is pen, which was the Cumbric (a Brittonic language) word for "hill", and the second bit, hul, traces to Old English hyll, which also meant "hill" and is obviously the etymon of the word hill itself (this, through Proto-Germanic huliz, meaning "stone", comes from Proto-Indo-European kollem, "rock"). You can kind of see where I'm going here: Pendle Hill actually translates into "hill hill hill". While this may seem like the ultimate redundancy, Pendleton Hill is possibly even more so. One etymological theory is that -ton (meaning "town", of course) comes from the Old English word dun, meaning "hill". Although there are other possibilities, "hill hill hill hill" would make it the most whimsical place name there is.
1/13/2022 09:36:52 pm
I don't know if this is completely accurate but a friend told me the River Avon Taff in Wales is like this, Avon is from the Welsh word 'afon' which means river, and 'taf' comes from an old word that means a large, still river, so that would make it River River River.
3/9/2022 02:24:13 pm
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Hello! I'm Adam Aleksic. This year, I graduated from Harvard University with a degree in Government and Linguistics. There, I co-founded the Harvard Undergraduate Linguistics Society and wrote a thesis on Serbo-Croatian language policy, magna cum laude. In addition to etymology, I also really enjoy trivia, politics, vexillology, geography, board games, conlanging, art history, and law.