Geographical renaming

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Summary

Geographical renaming is the changing of the name of a geographical feature or area. This can range from the uncontroversial change of a street name to a highly disputed change to the name of a country. Some names are changed locally but the new names are not recognised by other countries, especially when there is a difference in language. Other names may not be officially recognised but remain in common use.

Details

Many places have different names in different languages, and a change of language in official or general use has often resulted in what is arguably a change of name.

There are many reasons to undertake renaming, with political motivation being the primary cause; for example many places in the former Soviet Union and its satellites were renamed to honour Stalin. Sometimes a place reverts to its former name (see for example de-Stalinization). One of the most common reasons for a country changing its name is newly acquired independence. When borders are changed, sometimes due to a country splitting or two countries joining together, the names of the relevant areas can change. This, however, is more the creation of a different entity than an act of geographical renaming.

Other more unusual reasons for renaming have included:

  • To get rid of an inappropriate or embarrassing name

A change might see a completely different name being adopted or may only be a slight change in spelling.

In some cases established institutions preserve the old names of the renamed places in their names, such as the Pusan National University in Busan, South Korea; the Peking University in Beijing, People's Republic of China; Bombay Stock Exchange, IIT Bombay and the Bombay High Court in Mumbai, Republic of India; University of Madras, Madras Stock Exchange, the Madras High Court, and IIT Madras in Chennai, Republic of India; the University of Malaya, Keretapi Tanah Melayu, in Federation of Malaysia; and SWAPO (South West Africa People's Organization), the ruling party of Namibia.

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External Links

  • WikipediaName Changes Since 1990: Countries, Cities, and More

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