Place Names and Identities

  • Botolv Helleland University of Oslo


This paper discusses various approaches to the topic "place names and identities", addressing the meaning of place names, their role as links to the past as well as their identity-building capacity. The author argues that there is an intimate relationship between place and place name, and he discusses how place names may reflect or give rise to feelings of individual and collective identity attached to the places in question. Three particular personal experiences of the identity role of place names are given, two at the beginning of the paper and one in the conclusion.