peninsula, isthmus etc.

Discussion in 'All Languages' started by Gavril, Sep 6, 2010.

  1. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA
    What words does your language have for "peninsula" and similar land forms? Here's what I can think of in English (definitions are from

    cape ("a piece of land jutting into the sea or some other large body of water.")
    spit ("a narrow point of land projecting into the water.")
    promontory ("a high point of land or rock projecting into the sea or other water beyond the line of coast; a headland.")
    isthmus ("a narrow strip of land, bordered on both sides by water, connecting two larger bodies of land.")
  2. Mahaodeh Senior Member

    Arabic and English
    Peninsula (as a large mass of land surrounded by water from three sides, ex. Iberian Peninsula) = شبه جزيرة = shibh jazeera = lit. semi-island
    Cape = لسان = lisaan = lit. tong
    Promontory = رأس = ra's = lit. head
    Isthmus = برزخ = barzakh = lit. 'divider between two things'

    I have no idea what a spit is called, or if there is a name for it in Arabic.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2010
  3. ilocas2 Senior Member


    peninsula - poloostrov
    cape - mys
    spit - kosa
    promontory - mys
    isthmus - šíje

    mys, kosa (in this sense) are 19th century loanwords from Russian, cause we haven't a sea, šíje means also "nape", later it was used for isthmus, however the whole word was taken from Russian or Polish and it never became widespread in colloquial Czech in the sense of "nape".
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2010
  4. phosphore Senior Member


    peninsula - poluostrvo
    cape - rt
    spit - prevlaka
    promontory - rt
    isthmus - prevlaka
  5. rusita preciosa

    rusita preciosa Modus forendi

    USA (Φιλαδέλφεια)
    Russian (Moscow)
    peninsula - полуостров /poluostrov/ - lit. half-island
    cape - мыс /mys/- lit. point of the foot
    spit - коса /kosa/ - lit. sickle
    promontory - not sure we have a separate word for it
    isthmus - перешеек /peresheyek/ - lit. mid-neck
  6. Orlin Banned

    Last edited: Sep 7, 2010
  7. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    In Greek:
    -Peninsula: «Χερσόνησος» (çer'sonisos, feminine noun); a classical word, a compound, formed by the joining together of the feminine noun «χέρσος»* or «χέῤῥος» ('xĕrsŏs or 'xĕrrhŏs)-->dry land + feminine noun «νῆσος» ('nēsŏs)-->island. «Χερσόνησος» (archaic, «χεῤῥόνησος») is lit. the island with a bridge of dry land to it.
    -Cape: «Ακρωτήρι» (akro'tiri, neuter noun) in vernacular, or, «ακρωτήριο» (akro'tirio) in formal language. From the classsical neuter noun «ἀκρωτήριον» (akrō'tēriŏn), a compound, formed by the joining together of the feminine noun «ἄκρος» ('akrŏs)-->the furthest, highest, outermost point + suffix «-ωτήριον» forming nouns meaning place for, place of.
    -Promontory: «Κάβος» ('kavos, masculine noun), a Venetian loanword-->Cavo.
    -Isthmus: «Ισθμός» (isθ'mos, masculine noun); a classical word, «ἰσθμός» or «ἰθμός» (istʰ'mŏs or itʰ'mŏs) with obscure etymology (some philologists suggest a relation with the irregular verb «εἶμι», with infinitive «ἰέναι». It means "I shall go", its stem is simply «-ι-» and it's cognate with Latin ire); «ἰσθμός» or «ἰθμός» is the neck of land between two seas.
    -Spit: «Εκβολή» (ekvo'li, feminine noun); a classical word «ἐκβολή» (ĕkbŏ'lē, feminine noun), formed by the joining together of the preposition «ἐκ» (ek)-->out of, from + verb «βάλλω» ('ballō)-->to throw so as to hit, hit with a missile, cast, hurl, shoot. «Εκβολή» literally, is that which is thrown out, cast out, jettisoned.

    *From PIE Base *ǵʰers-, rigid

    [ç] is a voiceless palatal fricative
    [x] is a voiceless velar fricative, known as the hard ch
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2010
  8. sakvaka

    sakvaka Senior Member


    niemi = cape
    niemimaa = peninsula (eg. Skandinavian niemimaa)
    kannas (kannasta, kannaksen) = isthmus
    kynnäs (kynnästä, kynnään) = spit

    No special word for promontory, I think. We just call it niemi.
  9. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    These are the Dutch words
    - schiereiland (almost-island)
    - kaap or landtong
    - landengte (isthmus)
    - kaap (promontory)
    - landtong, krib (spit)
  10. Rallino Moderatoúrkos

    In Turkish

    Yarımada (Half-island)
  11. Orlin Banned

    This literal meaning is valid for the Slavic languages listed above.
  12. Frank78

    Frank78 Senior Member


    - Halbinsel (What a surprise it means: "Half island" :D )
    cape - Kap
    spit - Landzunge (land tounge)
    promontory - Landspitze (land tip, although rarely used most people would say "Landzunge")
    isthmus - Landenge (land narrowness)
  13. Grop

    Grop Senior Member

    French has these obvious cognates of the English words : péninsule, cap, promontoire and isthme.

    We also use presqu'île (it sort of means "almost an island"), which is a small peninsula.
  14. jazyk Senior Member

    Brno, Česká republika
    Brazílie, portugalština
    In Portuguese: península, cabo, cordão litoral (nice to meet you), promontório, istmo.
  15. Lars H

    Lars H Senior Member


    In Swedish, and I guess quite simliar in Danish/Norwgian:

    Peninsula = "Halvö", literary half island, as in Arabic, German and other languages
    Cape = We normally say "udde", like "Skagen Odde", northern tip of Denmark
    Spit: I saw a picture of Dungeness Spit, WA, USA and I would call that formation "revel" or more specific "sandrevel"
    Promontory (like a cape but more rocky?) = "Kapp", as in "Nordkapp" in northern Norway. Or udde.
    Istmus = "näs" or "landtunga"
  16. mataripis

    mataripis Senior Member

    Tagalog: Tangway - for peninsula, but when an elevated land is located in flat areas on right and left sides and at the back is attached to the mountain or higher ground, it is called - Imus, pronounced as Ee- mous.

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