Jerry W. Gainey

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"Toponymy" seems to be a little know subdivision of onomastics, the broader field of the study of names in general, i.e. of the vocabulary of a language. "Toponym" means simply "place name", and "toponymy" has been defined as "the study of linguistic designations for places and other aspects of geographical reference" (Hymes 1964 : 176). As Hymes says, the interest in place names is often one of historical or local curiosity as when, for example, someone might be heard to query, "How did that place ever get to be called เส้าไห้ saw5 haj3 ?", or "Why is this area called บางบ่อ baag1 boo2 when one sees only canals and rice fields about ?" etc.1 Surely they become the subject of conversations of even non-linguists; and folk etymologies of place names are very common.2 In fact, I have heard at least two versions of the origin of หนองมน or หนองมนต์ (the spelling depending on the version) noog5 mon1, the village-market area located near the Bangsaen campus of Srinakharinwirot University in Chonburi province.



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