The world is full of amazing locations and some are simply too good for commonly mundane names. Below is a list of places that have drifted far from the economy of words and have instead hung their hat on sheer length.
Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Yuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit
Though it has been truncated for everyday conversation, the official name of Bangkok, Thailand is the 167-letter title seen above. While the shorter translation equates roughly to the jeweled city of the god Indra, the longer version is a proud display of history. TRANSLATION: “The great city of angels, the supreme unconquerable land of the great immortal divinity (Indra), the royal capital of nine noble gems, the pleasant city with plenty of grand royal palaces and divine paradises for the reincarnated deity.”
Located near Porangahau, the 85-letter mammoth above is the name of a 1,000-foot hill in New Zealand. Shortened to Taumata for common-speak, the word was derived from the Maori language and is the longest place-name in any English speaking country. TRANSLATION: “The brow of the hill where Tamatea, with the bony knees, slid and climbed mountains. The great traveler sat and played on the flute to his beloved.”
The Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen, and Matsu (Chinese Taipei)
In an effort to be accepted by the World Trade Organization (without overtly offending its motherland China), Taiwan was forced to craft a very definite, yet politically correct, title. Now officially known as the string of words above, the region managed to name itself in a deliberate fashion that defined their role in Asian commerce – it only took 68 letters to get their point across.
Not to be outdone, the Fairbourne Steam Railway in Gwynedd, Wales compiled a 67-letter name that would rival the regional record. In pure competition with Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, the railway now boasts the longest title in all of Wales. TRANSLATION: “The Mawddach station and its dragon teeth at the Northern Penrhyn Road, on the golden beach of Cardigan Bay.”
Al Jumahiriyah al Arabiyah al Libiyah ash Shabiyah al Ishtirakiyah al Uzma
Known to the English language as simply Libya, this African name is a bit more long-winded in its native tongue. Conceived in the late 70s as a response to the change in government structure toward “people’s power,” the phrase stems from an Arabic term that is roughly translated as “state of the masses.” Consisting of 63 letters in total, Libya’s official name is the longest of any sovereign country in the world.
What use to be the longest place-name in all of Wales was this 58-word tongue twister known to locals as Llanfairpwll. The first twenty letters are said to be true to the original word but the following 38 were allegedly added during a 19th century publicity stunt. TRANSLATION: “Saint Mary’s Church in the hollow of white hazel near a rapid whirlpool and the Church of Saint Tysilio near the red cave.”
El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles de la Porciúncula
Though we commonly abbreviate it to simply “LA,” the City of Angels technically boasts the longest name in the entire United States. Consisting of 57 letters, the original name of Los Angeles has a bit more to it than commonly known. TRANSLATION: “The town of our lady the queen of the angels of the little portion.”
The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations
A little known bit of trivia is the fact that the smallest state in the US has the longest official name on the books. Spanning 45 letters, the original name comes from the merger of two early colonies: Providence Plantations and Rhode Island. Though the name is officially the full title above, you’re most likely to have only heard it referred to as Rhode Island – if at all.
There is a lake near Webster, Massachusetts that has a most unique 45-letter name. Officially named in the 1920s after a social push for boundary fishing, its origin is an Indian dialogue that roughly translates: “You fish on your side, I’ll fish on mine, and no one fishes in the middle.”
West of Pretoria in South Africa is a farm that has a 44-character name. Literally translated to mean, “two buffalos shot dead using one shot fountain,” this bizarre name was derived from the Afrikaan dialect and is commonly used in advertising to describe small rural towns.
Villa Real de la Santa Fé de San Francisco de Asis
The capital of New Mexico is referred to in short as Santa Fe but that’s a far cry from its actual name. Spanning a 40-letter phrase, the original name is one of the longer location names in the world. Derived from a Spanish description, it literally means the “Royal city of the holy faith of St. Francis of Assisi.”
Manitoba Canada has over 100,000 lakes but none of them compare in namesake to this one. Derived from a Cree Indian phrase, this stream of letters literally means “where the wild trout are caught by fishing with hooks.” Boasting 31 letters in total, this lake has the longest name in all of Canada.
Joining the ranks of long-winded Australian names is a second hill. Although it’s made up of half of the letters, this 30-character name is beyond a mouthful. Located in South Australia, the name is derived from the regional Pitjantjatjara language and roughly translates to mean, “Where the devil urinates.”
What is thought to be the longest port name in the world, this town in County Galway, Ireland is another tongue twister. It’s a small peninsula that jets into Camus Bay and consists of 22 letters. Derived from the Irish phrase “Muiceanach idir Dhá Sháile,” it means something along the elegant lines of “pig-marsh between two salt waters.”
Finally, the Australians make another appearance with this long-winded name for a salt lake in the south-central portion of the continent. Spanning 19 letters (not including lake), this is one of the more poetic concoctions and translates to literally mean, “stars dancing on water” in the local Aboriginal dialect.