Abbreviations of place names

Discussion in 'All Languages' started by Cecilio, Nov 4, 2006.

  1. Cecilio

    Cecilio Senior Member

    Valencia, Spain
    Spanish, Valencian/Catalan
    I have noticed that in colloquial American English it is very typical to use abbreviated forms of place names. For example:

    - NY: New York
    - Frisco: San Francisco
    - LA: Los Angeles
    - Cali: California

    Is this also common in other languages or countries?

    The only example I can think of in Spain is "Barna", which is sometimes used as a short form of "Barcelona".
  2. Etcetera

    Etcetera Senior Member

    St Petersburg, Russia
    Russian, Russia (St Petersburg)
    In Russian, abbreviated forms of place names aren't very common.
    St. Petersburg is often called just Peter (Питер). Some natives find this disgusting, but I don't see anything wrong about it. The diminutive Питер was widely used by writers, journalists and literary critics ib the 19th century.
    Leningradskaya oblast' (Leningrad region) is very often just Lenoblast'.
    Yekaterinburg is sometimes shortened to Ye-burg (Е-бург), but this form is very, very informal because of some connotations...
    Novosibirsk may be called N-sk (Н-ск). This abbreviation reminds of the so-called "город Н.", where the action takes place in some 19th century novels.
  3. Ilmo

    Ilmo Member Emeritus

    In Finland, the capital Helsinki is quite often called Hesa.
    The secong largest town Tampere is called Manse, which is an abbreviation of Manchester; they say that this Finnish industrial town is in some way the "Manchester of Finland".
    The abreviation Frisco (San Francisco) is quite well known also in Finland, thanks to the seamen.
    We have Finnish names for many of the best known capitals, and for instance Kööpenhamina (Copenhagen) is often abbreviated Köpis.
    I've heard some people speaking about Nyk and meaning New York.
    Even L.A. is sometimes used, pronounced in that case El-ei
    I guess those are the most of them. at least no other names cross my mind at the moment.
  4. jester.

    jester. Senior Member

    Aachen, Germany
    Germany -> German
    In my region, the city of Aachen is often abbreviated as AC.

    That is the abbreviation used on the number plates of the cars in this region.

    But I doubt that anyone who is not from here would understand it.
  5. You have given away the secret by now:D
  6. moldo

    moldo Senior Member

    Dutch, Netherlands
    In the Netherlands the fans of the Rotterdam soccer club Feijenoord call Amsterdam (the city of Ajax), 020 because they do not want to say the name of that place.
    020 is the city telephone code of Amsterdam.
  7. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Lx: Lisbon
    Fx: Funchal
  8. Cecilio

    Cecilio Senior Member

    Valencia, Spain
    Spanish, Valencian/Catalan
    Are these just written forms or are they also used in oral language?
  9. Whodunit

    Whodunit Senior Member

    Deutschland ~ Deutsch/Sächsisch
    For German:

    NY (New York) is understood when written.
    LA (Los Angelos) is understood when spoken or written.
    HH (Hamburg) is understood when written.
    DD (Dresden) is understood when written.

    Towns starting with Bad Li... are often referred to as "Bali."
  10. Cecilio

    Cecilio Senior Member

    Valencia, Spain
    Spanish, Valencian/Catalan
    I have heard some hip-hop songs where they say NY (pronun. [en-why]) to refer to New York, but I'm not sure if it's a very common use.
  11. pickypuck Senior Member

    Badajoz, Spanish Extremadura
    Extremaduran Spanish
    Portu = Portugalete.
    Sanse = San Sebastían de los Reyes.
  12. Thomas1

    Thomas1 Senior Member

    polszczyzna warszawska
    In Polish We don't use many of them, perhaps locals have some abbrevations of their cities' names but they are not widely used. The few I know are:
    Wawa -- Warszawa
    Wrocek -- Wrocław

    Also, when a city has a compound name people very often use just one of the words that make up the whole (most often the first part).

  13. Whodunit

    Whodunit Senior Member

    Deutschland ~ Deutsch/Sächsisch
    I was speaking about German, not English. :)
  14. jazyk Senior Member

    Brno, Česká republika
    Brazílie, portugalština
    When spoken, I think only BH (Belo Horizonte, in Brazil) is used.
  15. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Just written.
  16. spakh

    spakh Senior Member

    Anatolian Turkish
    Gaziantep= Antep
    Şanlıurfa= Urfa
    Kahramanmaraş= Maraş
    Afyonkarahisar= Afyon (karahisar means black fort)

    I think these towns can be good examples.
    gazi, şanlı and kahraman are titles given to those cities as a reference of their inhabitants' glamorous struggles (and their great success) against bloody French invasion in south-eastern Turkey after the WWI. They mean great, glorious, dignified, etc.:)
  17. sound shift Senior Member

    Derby (central England)
    English - England
    There are lots of local abbreviations in spoken, colloquial, English, for example:

    Donny (Doncaster)
    Macc (Macclesfield)
    Ilson (Ilkeston)

    Don't tell me you haven't even heard of the official versions!
  18. ronanpoirier

    ronanpoirier Senior Member

    Porto Alegre
    Brazil - Portuguese
    We have POA for Porto Alegre, but it seems that the only ones who know that are us :) It's rarely used at the spoken language but it's understood anytime. But people from other states don't understand eve nthe writen form. :)
  19. MingRaymond Senior Member

    HK Cantonese
    In Chinese, there are many of them.

    For example, the city Guangzhou(廣州) is 粵, Shanghai(上海) is 滬. For provinces, Guangxi (廣西) is 桂, Fujian(福建) is 閩. Nearly every provinces have abbreviations, some of them have more than one.

    In Hong Kong, people like to creat trendy names for places. It is abbreviations too. For example, 尖沙嘴 becomes 尖嘴,旺角 becomes MK(from the English name Mong Kok).
  20. Ilmo

    Ilmo Member Emeritus

    In Sweden, on the coast of Bay of Botnia, there is a small (and old) town with a rather long name Örnsköldsvik, that may be difficult to pronounce even for the Swedes themselves. That is for sure the reason that the natives themselves call their home town in a short way only Övik.

    Örnsköldsvik means literally Cove of Eagle's Coat of Arms.
    Övik means only Island Cove.
  21. Chazzwozzer

    Chazzwozzer Senior Member

    NY: New York
    LA: Los Angeles

    İst: İstanbul
    Ank: Ankara:
    Ant: Antalya
  22. Anatoli Senior Member

    Melbourne, Australia
    Native: русский (Russian), home country: English
    In Russian we seldom abbreviate but there are some common exceptions:

    Санкт-Петербург- Питер (Петербург)
    Sankt-Peterburg (St. Petersburg) - Piter (read: Pe-ter), also Peterburg (dropping Sankt)
    Владивосток - Владик
    Vladivostok - Vladik
    Нижний Новгород - Нижний
    Nizhni Novgorod - Nizni
    Мурманск - Мурман (I heard this long ago, not sure if it's still used?)
    Murmansk - Murman
  23. olivinha Senior Member

    Português, Brasil
    Rio = Rio de Janeiro
    Sampa = São Paulo
    Belô = Belo Horizonte

    Tijuana = TJ
  24. samanthalee

    samanthalee Senior Member

    Mandarin, English - [Singapore]
    Chinese abbreviation for their province is the most illogical of all other languages. We have
    Guangzhou = Yue
    Shanghai = Hu
    Guangxi = Gui
    Fujian = Min
    Hainan = Qiong
    Anhui = Wan
    Hebei = Ji
    Hubei = Er
    Henan = Yu
    Hunan = Xiang
    Jiangxi = Gan
    Shangdong = Lu
    Shangxi = Jin

    by the way, they are used on car plates too...
  25. Cecilio

    Cecilio Senior Member

    Valencia, Spain
    Spanish, Valencian/Catalan
    That's interesting. Why do you have abbreviations which are so different from the original word, like "Min" from "Fujian"? Do people in general know these abbreviations and use them in everyday conversation?
  26. samanthalee

    samanthalee Senior Member

    Mandarin, English - [Singapore]
    Hmm...I have no idea why it is so...

    I guess people in China will know these abbreviations. But us in Singapore just have vague knowledge of them.

    These abbreviations are usually used as adjectives. For example "Yue Drama" is the name we give to the Chinese Opera form well-loved in Hong Kong, because it originates from Guangzhou. (In English it is called Cantonese Opera because Guangzhou used to be spelled as Canton in the old days, like Beijing was Peking)
  27. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    Praha (Prague)
    magyar (Hungarian)
    I know this

    Budapest = Bp. (only written)
    Amsterdam = Adam
    Bratislava = Blava (spoken)
  28. federicoft Senior Member

    In Italian provincial codes are often used in written form.

    Rome - RM
    Milan - MI
    Naples - NA
    Turin - TO

    Probably there are some slang abbreviations used in spoken language, but I can't think of any right now.
  29. Ajura Senior Member

  30. mcibor Senior Member

    I know that some people from Szczecin, when writing to other people from Szczecin refer to our town as Sz-n.
    But it's not Poland-wide.

    I heard also
    Jadę do Zakopca instead of Jadę do Zakopanego
    But it's not very common.

    PS. LA and NY is known in Poland
  31. filoutjie Member

    Sydney, Australia
    Australia, Afrikaans
    I can think of a few in South Africa: Port Elizabeth = P.E., Durban = Durbs., Bloemfontein = Bloem., Amanzimtoti = 'Toti. Johannesburg = Jo'burg. We also sometimes called it Johies and I think I've heard it called Jozi.
  32. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    I think in Flanders we do not abbreviate names of towns or cities while speaking. There is a tendency to shorten them in informal written texts, I think: BxL, A'pen (Antwerp), G'bergen (Geraardsbergen). But this is quite different from what Americans do.

    I cannot think of other abbreviations now...
  33. OldAvatar Senior Member

    In Romania, there are 41 counties. The abbreviations has entered into the common language from the ones used in car number plates and they are similar with the ones from USA, formed by two letters, except Bucharest which has only one letter.
  34. Mišo Senior Member

    Preßburg aka Pozsony
    Austrian German & Hungarian
    Our capital city has nice nickname - Blava. ;)
  35. kusurija

    kusurija Senior Member

    Lithuania, K. city
    Lithuania Czech
    In former Czechoslovakia (and some time later) was in use these "abbreviations" on the number plates of the cars:
    Banská Bystrica: BB, BC
    Bardejov: BJ
    Benešov: BN
    Beroun: BE
    Blansko: BK
    Bratislava(hl.m.=capital, abbr.: Blava): BA, BL
    Bratislava-vidiek: BH, BY
    Brno-město: BM, BS, BZ
    Brno-venkov: BI, BO
    Bruntál: BR
    Břeclav: BV
    čadca: CA
    česká Lípa. CL
    české Budějovice: CB, CE
    Český Krumlov: CK
    Děčín: DC
    Dolný Kubín: DK
    Domažlice: DO
    Dunajská Streda: DS
    Frýdek-Místek: FI, FM
    Galanta: GA
    Gottwaldov: GT, GV(newly: Zlín: ZL)
    Havlíčkův Brod(abbrev.:Havlobrod) HB
    Hodonín: HO
    Hradec Králové: HK, HR
    Humenné: HN
    Cheb: CH
    Chomutov: CV
    Chrudim: CR
    Jablonec nad Nisou: JN
    Jičín: JC
    Jihlava: JI
    Jindřichův Hradec: JH
    Karlovy Vary(abbr.:Vary): KV, (KR)
    Karviná: KA, KI
    Klatovy: KT
    Kolín: KO
    Komárno: KN
    Košice-město: KE
    Košice-vidiek: KE
    Kroměříž: KM
    Kutná Hora: KH
    Levice: LV
    Liberec: LI, LB
    Liptovský Mikuláš: LM
    Litoměřice: LT
    Louny: LN
    Lučenec: LC
    Martin: MT
    Mělník: ME
    Michalovce: MI
    Mladá Boleslav: MB
    Most: MO
    Náchod: NA
    Nitra: NI, NR
    Nové Zámky: NZ
    Nymburk(abbr.:Nbk) NB
    Olomouc(abbr.: Olmík): OC, OL, OM
    Opava: OP
    Ostrava (abbr.: Ova): OV, OS, OT
    Pardubice(nickname: Puchov): PU, PA
    Pelhřimov: PE
    Písek: PI
    Plzeň-město: PN, PM
    Plzeň-jih: PJ
    Plzeň-sever: PS
    Poprad: PP
    Považská Bystrica: PX (cf.:příbram)
    Praha(abbr.:pha)hl.m.=capital) AB, AC, ...-AZ
    Praha-východ: PH, PY(Brandýs nad Labem-Stará Boleslav)
    Praha-západ: PC, PZ
    Prachatice: PT
    Prešov: PO
    Prievidza: PD
    Prostějov: PV
    Přerov: PR
    Příbram: PB
    Rakovník: RA
    Rimavská Sobota: RS
    Rokycany: RO
    Rožňava: RV
    Rychnov nad Kněžnou: RK
    Semily: SM
    Senica: SE
    Sokolov: SO
    Spišská Nová Ves: SN
    Stará Ľubovňa: SL
    Strakonice: ST
    Svitavy: SY
    Šumperk: SU
    Tábor: TA
    Tachov: TC
    Třebíč: TR
    Uherské Hradiště: UH
    Ústí nad Labem: UL, US
    Ústí nad Orlicí: UO (not 魚! )
    Veľký Krtíš: VK
    Vranov nad Topľou: VV
    Vsetín: VS
    Vyškov: VY
    Zlín: ZL
    Znojmo: ZN
    Zvolen: ZV
    Žďár nad Sázavou: ZR
    Žiar nad Hronom: ZH
    Žilina: ZA, ZI
    other abbreviation: Poděbrady: Pdy...
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2008
  36. javiskefka New Member

    English - Mid-Atlantic
    The capital city of the United States, Washington, DC (which stands for District of Columbia), is commonly called just DC. Locally we also say 'The District'.

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