Definitions starting with N

ID #2950

Names (place names)

The names of many Bahamian islands and settlements go back hundreds of years and serve as reminders of earlier periods of the islands' history. The Lucayan Indians had their own name for each island and many of these were preserved by the Spanish and later the British, such as ABACO, Bimini,  Exuma, and Mayaguana. Other Lucayan names, such as  Cigatoo, Ciguatea and Guanahani, were changed. The Spanish left their name for the Bahamas and certain of its islands such as San Salvador, San Sa and perhaps Inagua. Later the British settlers brought names that served as reminders of everything from their piety (Eleutheria ) to their pirates (Watling's Island), kings (Charles Town), royal houses (Nassau), governors (Gambier), soldiers (Nicholls Town), and earlier settlements else-where (AndrosNew Providence).Bahamians' African roots are reflected in informal names like Congo Town and Nango Town, or historical names like New Guinea.

Bahamians sometimes have their own pronunciation for certain place names (Brilan, Lutra, MiamuhBermooda) or the names of their in-habitants (Cubian, Coobian Hitian, MERICANS). Their nicknames for the inhabitants of various Bahamian islands and settlements are usually good-natured insults referring to occupations (Crab-catcherHog-catcher, Goat-catcherG, sheep-runner) Or to reputed Customs (Shark, Shark-Eater, Obeah People) or purported characteristics (first picker). Although the source of some such names is clear—such as Conian or Green Turtle - other nicknames are more cryptic, such as Cigillian, Fire-Bug, Crab or Soldier Crab. However, no one would miss the insult of being called a JC Mosquito or Hatchet Bay Fly.

Tags: Encyclopedia definition, geography, Lucayan, Spanish

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Last update: 2012-10-29 16:05
Author: Holm and Shilling, DBE, 1982
Revision: 1.6

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