Printer Friendly


1. Introduction

This article surveys the transferred names found in the toponymy of Central Harjumaa, Estonia. Central Harjumaa is defined as the region of Northern Estonia comprising the former parishes of Kose (Kos) and Juri (Jur). The study complements a series of my other toponymic articles on the same region (Laansalu 2011; 2012; 2014; 2015), this time focusing on the place names resulting from name transfer.

Name etymologisation is usually based on the belief that all proper names originate in common names (appellatives), but some place names may have further developed from other proper names. In other words, there are two possible ways for a toponym to emerge: either (1) a new name is created on the basis of common names (apellative > toponym) or (2) an extant name is transferred to a place (proprium > toponym) (see also Ainiala, Saarelma, Sjoblom 2012 : 68; Brink 2016 : 159; Pall 1977 : 136).

Thus, the present study is focused on proprium-originating toponyms from Central Harjumaa and attempts to determine what is characteristic of the transferred names of this region, what kind of subgroups can be constituted and what is the nature of the commemorative names of Central Harjumaa. The analysis will start with an overview of transferred names.

2. Transferred names

2.1. Overview

The place names originating in another proper name are called secondary names. Transferred names form a subdivision of secondary names. Estonian onomastics has only used the term siirdnimi 'transferred name' for the names, especially place names, which have been taken along away from their original locations, mostly due to migration (see, e.g., Kallasmaa 1996; Pall 1977; for more specifics about name transfer in Estonian toponymy, see Laansalu 2018). The dictionary "Eesti kohanimeraamat" published in 2016 (1) defines a transferred name as a place name that has migrated together with the former inhabitants of the place, to settle somewhere other than its original location (see EKNR 2016 : 18), a trivial example being New York (USA) < York (Great Britain). The Estonian territory also bears onomastic traces of immigration, such as the village names Kotlandi kula < Gotland, Sweden (Kallasmaa 1996 : 125), Kersleti kula < Kyrkslatt, Uusimaa, Finland (Blom-qvist 2000 : 58), etc.

Finnish place name researchers have taken a wider view (see, e.g., Kiviniemi, Pitkanen, Zilliacus 1974 : 49-50; Kiviniemi 1975) and applied the term transferred name to all place names that have come into use in another place for whatever reason (metaphor, topographic contact, etc). Of course, there are very many place names that owe their emergence to topographic contact. In many languages (e.g. English, Finnish, Danish) metonymic transfer underlies the emergence of numerous settlement names and thus we get a class of metonymic transferred names (see details in Ainiala, Saarelma, Sjoblom 2012; Dalberg 2008; Kiviniemi 1975). As Estonian settlement names are genitive-based, we do not have very many metonymic place names identical to their original source. Rather the opposite, but a close scrutiny reveals a few single examples: e.g., Pringilump, the original name of a body of water, has been extended to refer to a forest (Saar 2008 : 43), and Rocca al Mare, a former seaside summer villa, has now lent its name to the entire area occupied by the Estonian Open Air Museum in Tallinn (Pall 2009 : 230-232). In short, if a farmer settles on the shore of Lake Haukijarvi in Finland, the farm is given a metonymic transferred name Haukijarvi, but in Estonia Lake Nikerjarv has given its closest farm the genitival secondary name Nikerjarve. Previously, such locality-bound names were not grouped under a special term in Estonian, and the general concept of secondary names applied. More recently, this name group has been called vorsnimed (lit. 'offshoot names') (see Saar 2008), i.e. annexes (Ainiala, Saarelma, Sjoblom 2012 : 76). In what order the annexes have sprung up is not always clear, and sometimes they even sprout in different directions, so that it is more accurate to speak of a name cluster than of a name chain (Ainiala, Saarelma, Sjoblom 2012 : 76; Saar 2008 : 42). A name cluster consists of closely located place names that share a name element, while a typical name cluster is comprised of a primary name and its annexes (Saar 2008 : 42). Annexes and name clusters are popular in place name creation, enabling effective creation of new names that are easily located.

Now let us return to the term siirdnimi 'transferred name'. In Estonian onomastics, annexes are not classed under transferred names. Two subcategories of transferred names have evolved (see Saar 2008 : 43). First, the migratory transferred names, which in turn can be divided into two groups: the names given by migrants and the toponyms that have emerged from cognomina given to migrants. The second subcategory of transferred names is comprised of place names formed in comparison. Based on the Finnish example of vertailevat siirrynnaiset, Evar Saar (2008), the Estonian name researcher, has started calling the place names motivated by another toponym and not related to the migration of people vordlevad siirdnimed 'comparative transferred names'. (2) The Estonian term vordlev siirdnimi is a word-for-word translation from Finnish, while in some other languages the comparable term has been motivated by metaphor (English metaphorically transferred names, Swedish metaforiskt transfererat namn). Another suitable Estonian term could be kujundlik siirdnimi 'figurative transferred name', but since vordlev siirdnimi has already been accepted in the Estonian tradition, I will stick to comparative transferred names throughout this paper.

Saar defines the term as follows: "A comparative transferred name is a familiar place name given to another place on a comparative basis" (Saar 2008 : 43). Thus, comparative transferred names are a subcategory of comparative names. While common comparative names are based on a comparison with a general concept, (e.g. muna 'egg' > oronym Munamagi 'egg + hill'; or suur 'big' > nesonym Suursaar 'big + island'), the comparative transferred names are proprium-based, i.e. their underlying comparison is to another object of the same name. For example, Estonian onomast Jaak Simm (1977 : 30) has written: "Some borrowed names may also have a comparative nuance. In Setumaa a group of farmhouses built off the village of Vedernika are called Kamtsatka 'Kamchatka'. [--] In the Kastli village of Aksi there is a distant and lonely field called Siberimaa 'the land of Siberia' " Saar (2000 : 169-170) suggests two explanations for the emergence of names motivated by comparison with geographically distant places: firstly, people's broadening horizons, and secondly, the stimulating effect of the Soviet era with its collective and state farms (kolkhozes and sovkhozes), transformation of nature and propagandist commemorative names. Having analysed the place names of Vorumaa, Saar arrives at the following three generalisations on comparative transferred names: (1) such names are more frequent in places settled more recently; (2) such names are more frequent in regions of forestry than of agriculture; (3) a more robust survival is characteristic of those comparative transferred names that have retained their symbolic value (Saar 2000 : 168). It could be assumed that these three statements could also be valid for the rest of the Estonian nomenclature.

Note that a separate group is made up by analogical transferred names, which are motivated by productive toponymic patterns and by example names lodging in people's onomasticons. For example, it can happen that an attribute sounds like a toponym, but it has never actually been a place name; instead, it has been formed after a productive name pattern. The farm name Savimae, for example, did not originate in the place name Savimagi 'lit. clay hill', but Savimae has been assigned to a place because the construction sounds fit for a place name and the place has a clayey soil (see Kiviniemi 1975 : 49-52; Saar 2008 : 160-161). However, toponyms based on this kind of analogy have been left out of the current discussion.

Transferred names may also bear witness to internal resettlement (see Ainiala, Saarelma, Sjoblom 2012 : 48; Pall 1976 : 97). For example, Finnish linguists Saulo Kepsu and Timo Alanen have found toponymic proof that the first inhabitants of Helsinki must have come from the region of Hame (evidence is seen in the name Konala, previously Konhola, which presumably echoes the name Konho of a place situated in Hame County) (Ainiala, Saarelma, Sjoblom 2012 : 48). Estonian internal migration is testified to, for example, by farm names echoing the names of other places or settlements (e.g. Saaremaa at Kassinurme village, Pal; Kunda at Pade village, Lai; and Petseri at Agali village, Von); these names indicate relatively recent individual resettlement from the place the name refers to (3) (Simm 1976b : 15). However, the recognition of internal migration is not quite straightforward, as the names have to be distinct from the rest of the local toponyms. Estonian onomast Marja Kallasmaa (2010 : 8) has pointed out that the closer the names are to the appellatives, the more likely they may have developed in parallel. And the same applies to place names originating in personal names, especially recent ones. Thus, one should never simply discard the possibility that similar place names occurring in different places may have emerged independently of each other.

2.2. Transferred names in Central Harjumaa

Next, a closer look is taken at the transferred names (4) found in the toponymy of Central Harjumaa (Jur, Kos). Most of the research material comes from the Place Name Archive (PNA) of the Institute of the Estonian Language, and additional information has been found in the Estonian National Place Name Register (PNR) and the Address Data System (ADS) of the Estonian Land Board. (5)

Ameerika 'America' (land unit, ADS), Ameerika mets 'American forest' (PNA), Ameerika poik 'American Cross' (PNR), Ameerika tee 'American Road' (PNR), Ameerikanurga 'American Corner' (land unit, ADS), Ameerikaplatsi 'American Square' (land unit, ADS) (Jur) < Ameerika 'America'. The name cluster has developed from the forest name Ameerika mets, which is most likely a comparative transferred name. According to the Place Name Archive, the name was motivated by the thickness of the local forest, which was imaginatively associated with American forests. That is most probably folk etymology. According to Simm (1977 : 30) it is a comparative name motivated by its distant location from the local centre. However, it may well be an annex deriving from a personal name. Namely, since 1916, the Luige farm on the former territory of Kurna manor has been inhabited by a family with the name Ameerikas, which was first assigned in Vigala parish, in parallel with Kolumbus, for example (see Ameerikas 2008 : 5-10).

Damaskuse varav 'Damascus Gate' (PNA) (Jur) < Damaskuse varav 'Damascus Gate'. A comparative transferred name. A former gate leading to the Vahimae pasture next to a village lane in Moisakula. According to a folk tale in the Place Name Archive, attention was drawn to the gate by an inquisitive woman who used to accost passersby with questions about the World War I: 'Mis Tamaskusest ja Tatradellidest ka kuulda on?' 'What's the news from Damascus and the Dardanelles?' So, the gate was named the Damascus Gate, one of the main entrances to the Old City of Jerusalem. The gate has disappeared, but its name is still vaguely remembered.

Heebrea kula, pold 'Hebrew village, field' (PNA) (Kos) < Heebrea (6) 'Hebrew'. A comparative name transferred from the Bible, a folk etymological reinterpretation of the former village name Hiiepere, which was first mentioned as Ydenper in 1453. In 1726, the name was written as Hieper; the development chain is Hiiepere > Eepere > Heebrea (Laansalu 2014 : 132; Laansalu 2015 : 107-108). The popular village name Heebrea has preserved in the field name.

Jamburgi pold, talu 'Yamburg field, farm' (PNA, PNR) (Kos) < Jamburg 'Yamburg'. A comparative transferred name. According to the Place Name Archive, a farmer who was wounded under Yamburg (now Kingissepp, Russia) was awarded with the farm for his service in World War I. The name has also produced an annex Jamburgi pold 'Yamburg field'.

Kanuti (land unit, ADS), Kanutitanav 'Kanuti Street' (PNR) (Jur) < Kanuti (aed) 'Kanuti (Garden)'. These are probably comparative transferred names based on either the Kanuti Garden in Tallinn Old Town or on St. Canute's Guild, which also has inspired the name of the garden. The origin of the name lies in the name of Knud Lavard, a Catholic saint (Mand 2005 : 129-130). As the land unit and the street are situated relatively far from each other, it is possible that the names have emerged separately, and not as a name cluster.

Katsinakula 'Katsina village' (PNA, PNR), Katsina tee 'Katsina Road' (ADS) (Kos) < Gatchina. A comparative transferred name from Russia, adapted from the name of the town named Gatchina. First mentioned in 1900 as [phrase omitted]. The story (Laansalu 2014 : 132) goes that, in the mid-19th century, a group of workers and peasants from the Triigi estate went to Russia, hoping to find vacant land and become their own masters. However, they made it no further than Gatchina, where they were discovered travelling without a permission to emigrate, to say nothing of a pre-ordained destination, and so they had to return. Thereafter, the landlord settled them in a village that he named Katsina.

Kungla talu 'Kungla farm' (PNA, PNR) (Jur, Kos), Vaike-Kungla talu 'Small Kungla farm' (PNR) (Jur) < Kungla. Kungla is a comparative transferred name that was frequently assigned to settler holdings (7). According to the Place Name Archive, Kungla farms could be found in as many as 63 parishes. In general, names ending in -la belong mostly to a relatively recent national romantic layer of farm names as, for example, do Ilula and Pohjala (see also EKNR 2016 : 255-256; Kallasmaa 1996 : 132; 2010 : 100; Pall 1969 : 92).

Lehola tanav 'Lehola Street' (PNR) (Jur) < Lehola. A comparative transferred name probably based on the (national romantic) name of a stronghold in the ancient county of Sakala; the name is associated with such street names as Tasuja and Vambola. There is also a village called Lehola (Kei) (EKNR 2016 : 311).

Muhutalu 'Muhu farm' (PNA, PNR), Muhula (ADS, land unit), Muhumae 'Muhu Hill' (PNR, land unit), Muhunurga 'Muhu Corner' (ADS, land unit), Suur-Muhu 'Great Muhu' (PNR, land unit), Vaike-Muhu 'Small Muhu' (PNR, land unit) (Kos) < Muhu. The name cluster is possibly originating in a cognomen referring to the Isle of Muhu, where the settlers previously lived, and as such, serving as evidence of internal migration (see also Kallasmaa 1996 : 220). However, it is not impossible that the name has been inspired by a natural object, a landform (muhk : Gen. muhu '(smaller) higher place').

Oorebi magi 'Mount Ooreb' (PNA) (Jur) < Hoorebi 'Horeb'. A comparative transferred name from the Bible, according to the Place Name Archive given facetiously by the informant's father. Today the name is basically forgotten.

Pruntali karjamaa, karjamois, pold, talu 'Pruntali pasture, dairy farm, field, farm' (PNA, ADS) (Kos) < Brunnenthal. The name cluster is based on a comparative transferred name possibly borrowed from German toponymy by the local landlord. First mentioned in 1796 as Brunnenthal, the name of a large dairy farm in Kose-Uuemoisa. However, the name may also have been compounded from appellatives and the overlap with German toponyms may be incidental.

Pohjala talu 'Pohjala farm' (PNA) (Jur) < Pohjala. A comparative transferred name often given to settler holdings. Pohjala (Fin Pohjola) --a northerly land in Finnish and Estonian mythology. According to the Place Name Archive, there are farms called Pohjala in 22 parishes. Most names ending in -la, for example, Ilula and Kungla, belong to the relatively recent national romantic layer of farm names.

Ragapardi talu 'Ragapardi farm' (PNA) ~ Ragapardi talu 'Ragapardi farm' (PNR) (Kos) < Reigi. A migratory transferred name originating in the personal name Reigi Bertel, where the cognomen refers to Reigi parish in Hiiumaa. Since the Ungern-Sternberg family possessed lands and estates in Hiiumaa as well as, for example, Alavere, Kose, etc, the transference of a peasant from Reigi parish to Kose was unexceptional (Laansalu 2015 : 115).

Rootsi Kuninga haud 'Grave of the Swedish king' (PNA) (Kos) < Rootsi (kuningas) 'Swedish (king)'. A comparative transferred name. According to the Place Name Archive, there is a legend that a king of Sweden had been buried in that man-made elevation in Kambla village. Another place with the same name is situated in Hiiumaa (Phl; see Kallasmaa 2010 : 214) and two other parishes (Kse, TMr). Toponyms associated with the Swedish king are quite numerous in Estonia. In Pohja-Tartumaa (Lai), for example, there is even a rock called the Rootsi Kuninga soomalaud 'Swedish king's dinner table' (Pall 1969 : 208). Cf. Rootsi magi.

Rootsi magi, oja, soon, talu, tee 'Rootsi hill, brook, spring, farm, road' (PNA) (Jur), Rootsi saun 'Rootsi cottage' (PNA) (Kos), Rootsimae heinamaa 'Rootsi hill pasture' (PNA) (Jur), Rootsipere talu 'lit. Rootsi family farm' (PNA) (Kos) < Rootsi 'Sweden'. The settlement names have probably originated in a cognomen referring to the Swedish origin of the settlers. According to the tradition on deposit in the Place Name Archive, both Rootsi and Rootsipere farms had formerly been run by Swedish masters. However, the rootsi component in farm names can sometimes also mean that the (Estonian) farmer had served in the Swedish Army (cf., e.g., Kallasmaa 1996 : 349-350; Kallasmaa 2010 : 213-214; Pall 1969 : 208; Simm 1976a : 27). An entire name cluster has been formed in Juri parish over time. Rootsi tee is probably a comparative transferred name. According to the Place Name Archive the old log-paved road dates back to the Swedish era, and hence, the name. The same name with a similar folk tradition can be found in the toponymy of Northern Tartumaa (see Pall 1969 : 208). According to the Place Name Archive, objects with this name have been recorded in seven parishes. An interim step in the development of comparative transferred names with Rootsi may be the phrase Rootsi-aegne (or rootsiaegne 'from the Swedish era'). The attribute Rootsi may also have indicated a road built by the Swedish army. Cf. Rootsi Kuninga haud.

Saksamaa heinamaa 'German meadow' (PNA) (Kos) < Saksamaa 'Germany'. Although the name can be a comparative transferred name, it may as well originate in the former dialect term saksamaa hein 'tame hay' (cf. Saareste 1958 : 409). A meadow of the same name has been known, according to the Place Name Archive, in eight parishes, incl. in Saaremaa (Kaa; Kallasmaa 1996 : 364). The saksamaa and saksa attributes have been used very frequently in the Estonian dialect vocabulary, both in connection with the lifestyle of higher class people, or saksad (for example, saksa riie (clothing), saksa roog (food)) as well as to indicate the connection of foreign fauna and flora with Germany (e.g. saksa paju (German willow 'white willow'), saksamaa kuusk (spruce from Germany 'larch')) (Viikberg 2012 : 211). Thus, it may have happened that the place name Saksamaa 'Germany', through the intermediate link of an appellative word com bination, formed the basis for the creation of new place names.

Siberi 'Siberia' (land unit, ADS), Siberi heinamaa, koppel, talu 'Siberian meadow, pasture, farm' (PNA, PNR) (Kos), Siberi kula 'Siberian village' (PNA) (Jur), Siberimaa 'Siberia' (land unit, ADS) (Jur), Pohja-Siberi 'Northern Siberia' (land unit, ADS) (Kos) < Siber 'Siberia'. The comparative transferred name Siberi occurs repeatedly in the Estonian toponym list. For example, according to the Place Name Archive, there is a Siberi kula 'Siberian village' in eight parishes. The metaphoric name has been mostly used for cognitive reasons, namely, the place has been perceived as distant, solitary and marginal (EKNR 2016 : 606; see also Laansalu 2018 : 753-754). According to the Place Name Archive, an informant has mentioned that the Siberi meadow was located very far from its owner's home. As for the Siberi village, the name is said to have been motivated by the fact that the territory used to be totally forested like Siberia (see also Kallasmaa 1996 : 377; 2010 : 224; Pall 1969 : 220). As shown, the Siberi-names have also several annexes.

Siinai kivi 'Rock of Sinai' (PNA) (Jur) < Siinai 'Sinai'. According to the Place Name Archive, the comparative transferred name of biblical origin has been motivated by a farmer's saying that Moses himself must have thrown that rock from Mount Horeb. The name is basically forgotten.

Soodoma pold 'Sodom field' (PNA) (Jur) < Soodom 'Sodom'. Probably a comparative transferred name from the Bible, especially because the name does not function as a family name in Estonian (see also EKNR 2016 : 616-617). The word soodom (also soodum, suodum, sootum) has come to be used in Estonian dialects as an appellative, which among other things, means a poor plot of land (LAED). Names including the Soodoma-component can also be encountered in other places in Estonia, and most are similarly motivated. (8)

Taani talu 'Danish farm' (PNR) (Kos) < Taani 'Denmark'. Probably a comparative transferred name. The name of the recently settled holding may have been inspired by its location near Turgi talu 'Turkish farm'. And yet it is not impossible that the name originates in an ethnonym. According to the Place Name Archive, there are farms with a name containing the Taani-component in four parishes. (9)

Turgi haud, koogas, soon, talu 'Turkish pool, paddock, spring, farm' (PNA, PNR), Turgi karjamaa 'Turkish pasture' (ADS) (Kos) < Turgi 'Turkey'. This name cluster is based on a settlement name Turgi. Since it is and old established name in the area, its ethnonymic origin seems more likely than its reference to the country name (Estonian dial. turk 'Turk'). However, the cognomen may be indicative of the farmer's participation in the Russo-Turkish War (see EKNR 2016 : 393). A third possibility refers the name to an appellative, which is less likely, but not impossible; for variants see Kallasmaa (1996 : 456).

Ugala talu 'Ugala farm' (PNA, PNR) (Jur) < Ugala. A comparative transferred name. According to the Place Name Archive, it was a settler holding given a national romantic name by the farmer (for Ugala detail see EKNR 2016 : 699; cf. also Pall 1969 : 255). Most names ending in -la belong to a relatively recent national romantic layer of farm names, just like Ilula, Kungla and Pohjala, for example.

Ukraina (land unit, ADS) (Kos) < Ukraina 'Ukraine'. Probably a comparative transferred name with no background detail available. Names with an Ukraina-component are also known elsewhere in Estonia; for example, in the Place Name Archive one will find such names as Ukraina heinamaa 'Ukrainian meadow' (Iis) and Ukraina kula 'Ukrainian village' (Joh), cf. also Ukraiinapollud 'Ukrainian fields' in Hiiumaa (Kallasmaa 2010 : 264). Ethnonymic origin cannot be excluded.

Vene 'Russian' (land unit, ADS) (Jur, Kos), Vene kuusik, magi, talu 'Russian spruce wood, hill, farm' (PNA, PNR) (Kos), Vene lage 'Russian glade' (PNA) (Jur), Venekula 'Russian village' (PNA, PNR) (Jur) < Vene(maa) 'Russia'. Probably ethnonymic origin. In most cases, the settlement names are based on a cognomen referring to the Russian origin of the settlers, but sometimes, the reference is to an Estonian peasant who converted to Orthodoxy and thus received the holding from the state (see EKNR 2016 : 747; Kallasmaa 1996 : 489; Pall 1969 : 271-272).

The list reveals that an overwhelming majority of the transferred names found in Central Harjumaa are comparative transferred names. The scarcity of migratory transferred names may also be an indication of how difficult it sometimes is to identify older transferred names. The lack of historical detail, accompanied by folk etymology can erase all traces of a name's possible transfer history.

An exceptional group are the ethnonymic names. In some languages (such as, e.g., English and German), ethnonyms are classified among names. However, in Estonian, ethnonyms are classified among appellatives, i.e. common nouns. The same applies in Finnish, the argument being that ethnonyms exist to classify their referents, not to identify them (see, e.g., Ainiala, Saarelma, Sjoblom 2012 : 135). Usually, an ethnonym becomes a toponym over the intermediate status of a cognomen. Besides ethnos, such a cognomen may refer to coming from another settlement unit or from a group of inhabitants of a certain region. A place name, the origin of which lies in another place name may have undergone a similar process of having a cognomen as an intermediate-therefore, these place names are not immediate genuine transferred names (e.g. place names Kihnu, Lati, Narva, Parnu, Saaremaa, Saksa, and Soome in Northern Tartumaa (see Pall 1977 : 137, 140).

When comparing the primary names that have provided the names listed above, it is evident that more than half of the comparative transferred names have been inspired by geography (e.g. Jamburgi, Katsina), while approximately every fifth comes from the Bible (e.g. Heebrea, Siinai) and another fifth are names emphasising national heritage and national romanticism (e.g. Kungla, Pohjala).

Biblical names have first been adopted in popular use and, according to the tradition stored in the Place Name Archive, they have usually been introduced as humorous metaphors. A similar observation has been made by Saar (see 2000 : 164) when analysing the names of Vorumaa. He also found that initially the use of comparative transferred names tends to be argotic, and an argotic name will survive if no neutral name is used in parallel (Saar 2000 : 170). The Biblical transferred names used in Central Harjumaa have also characteristically been argotic. Having never advanced from the status of a microtoponym, most of them have probably fallen into oblivion by now.

3. Commemorative names

3.1. Overview

Commemorative names have often been regarded as a subgroup of transferred names. According to the British onomast Carole Hough (2016 : 92), commemorative names either identify a place by reference to a historical event or person (e.g. New Orleans in USA < Philippe II, Duke of Orleans) or include a reference to another place (e.g. New Glasgow, New York). There is a subcategory of incident names for names inspired by an event or incident (see, e.g., Hough 2016 : 92; Stewart 2012 : 49-50). It has been argued that commemorative names are attractive for the name giver as they automatically raise the importance of the referent. However, the situation also creates an opportunity for political or ideological manipulation (see, e.g., Tan 2017 : 32). On the whole, commemorativeness is a matter of degree rather than a well-defined concept. After all, commemorative elements can be seen in all of the ordinary place names that have either evolved from ownership relationships or express such relationships (10), for example, estate names originating in the names of their landlords, which are, nevertheless, not classified among commemorative names.

However, in the Estonian and Finnish onomastic tradition (see, e.g., Ainiala, Saarelma, Sjoblom 2012 : 101-102; Onomastika termineid (11)), the term commemorative name (Estonian puhendusnimi) has been restricted to names (usually officially) assigned with the purpose of perpetuating the memory of a person or event. In Estonia most of the names classified as commemorative are place names assigned to commemorate or honour a person. Such names contain either the given name(s) and the surname of the person commemorated (e.g. Carl Robert Jakobsoni tanav 'Carl Robert Jakobson's Street') or their full pseudonym (e.g. A. H. Tammsaare tee 'A. H. Tammsaare Road'). The Procedure for Assigning Commemorative Names (12) (in the Place Names Act that entered into force in 2004) stipulated that (1) the commemorative name assigned to commemorate or honour a person should contain either the person's given name (or names) and surname, or the person's full alias; (2) place names originating in a personal name, which have emerged only due to an association between the person and the place, yet without commemorative intent, do not belong to commemorative names.

However, the approach to commemorative names in this paper is more lenient. Although recently, the assignment of commemorative names has been an official act, a similar phenomenon has also been at work in folk language. Since the main function of a commemorative name is to remind and remember, I here define a commemorative name as a place name assigned to remind and remember a place or person, either real or fictional. (13)

During the Soviet era, a brand-new layer of names was introduced into the Estonian toponymy. These were kolkhoz and sovkhoz names, many of which were commemorative. Of course, the policy was also pursued in the rest of the Soviet Union, not only in Estonia. Indeed, one of the possible approaches is to analyse commemorative names as a tool of the political regime-this is what Jaroslav David (2011) does when studying Czech place names. According to language researchers (e.g. David 2011 : 216; Peterson 1977 : 24), the Soviet government made considerable toponymic changes by organising a massive campaign to assign names that commemorated ideological policies, official actions, and people. The kolkhoz and sovkhoz names comprise a special category. Since the collective farms and state farms were newly established economic units, their names were intended to be politically meaningful, and so, this name group consists of the most politically oriented and the most typically 'Soviet' names. However, history has proved those names to be short-lived. None of them are included in the modern Estonian toponymy any more, and only a few individual annexes can be found.

3.2. Commemorative names in Central Harjumaa

The following commemorative names have been in use on the territory of the Juri and Kose parishes in Central Harjumaa (PNA; PNR):

Aleksandri vald 'Alexander civil parish' (PNA) (Kos) < Alexander II, Tsar of Russia 1855-1881. In 1891, in the course of the Russification campaign, Triigi parish was renamed Alexander parish. In 1917, its original name of Triigi parish was reinstated (EKNR 2016 : 970).

Arnold Sommerlingi sovhoos ~ Sommerlingi sovhoos 'Arnold Sommerling ~ Sommerling sovkhoz' (PNA) (Jur) < Arnold Sommerling, Estonian communist revolutionary. Since the centre of the state farm was situated at Juri, the present-day small borough of Juri used to be called Sommerling when the sovkhoz time existed (EKNR 2016 : 141).

Dimitrovi kolhoos 'Dimitrov kolkhoz' (PNA) (Kos) < Georgi Dimitrov, Bulgarian politician, leading figure in the Comintern.

Johan Vares e (14) kolhoos 'Johan Vares kolkhoz' (PNA) (Kos) < Johannes Vares, Estonian poet and political figure, member of the Communist Party.

Johannes Lauristini nimeline kolhoos ~ Lauristini kolhoos 'Johannes Lauristin ~ Lauristin kolkhoz' (PNA), Lauristini maantee 'Lauristin Road' (PNA) (Kos) < Johannes Lauristin, Estonian politician and writer, member of Communist Party. Lauristin had actually been raised in the same region, in the village of Kolu. According to the Place Name Archive, there was another kolkhoz named after him in Laanemaa (LNg) as well.

Jurioo (land unit) (PNR) (Kos) < Jurioo ulestous 'St. George's Night Uprising'. Name commemorating a historical event. (15)

Kaarelsbergi magi ~ Kaltsbergi magi 'Kaarelsberg ~ Kaltsberg Hill' (PNA) (Jur) < ? Karl XII, King of Sweden 1697-1718. According to the Place Name Archive, the name is motivated by the name of the king Karl XII. However, the etymology is doubtful, for a more likely version see Kalsberi kula.

Kalevipoja kolhoos 'Kolkhoz of Kalevipoeg' (PNA) (Jur) < Kalevipoeg, giant and hero of Estonian folk legends and the leading character in the epic written by F. R. Kreutzwald. According to the Place Name Archive, the name was inspired by the Linda kolhoos 'Linda kolkhoz' in the neighbourhood (Linda was Kalevipoeg's mother). There are numerous names with a Kalevipoja-component in Estonia, often with a legend with it. There are also several kolkhozes dedicated to Kalevipoeg, the Place Name Archive has information on such kolkhozes from seven parishes.

Kalsberi ~ Kalsperi kula, talu 'Kalsberi ~ Kalsperi village, farm' (PNA), Karlsbergi talu 'Karlsberg farm' (PNR) (Kos) < ? Karl XII, King of Sweden 1697-1718. First mention: 1782 Carlsberg; the name originates in the personal name Karl and the German word Berg 'mountain, hill' (Laansalu 2014 : 132). According to the tradition recorded in the Place Name Archive, the name was meant to commemorate the king's stay at this place together with his army--if true, the name could be classified among incident names. On the other hand, 'personal name + Berg' has been a typical pattern for creating the names of the large dairy farms that belonged to manor. Therefore, the royal descent of the name is unlikely and should be regarded as folk etymology ('incident names' associated with royalty are, after all, rather popular in Estonian folk tradition). Cf. Kaarelsbergi magi.

Linda kolhoos 'Linda kolkhoz' (PNA) (Jur) < Linda, mother of the main hero of the epic Kalevipoeg. In the Place Name Archive, there is a record according to which the kolkhoz was named after Linda's rock in the nearby Lake Ulemiste. In addition, the archive has information on kolkhozes named Linda in four more parishes.

Lydia Koidula nimeline kolhoos ~ Koidula kolhoos 'Lydia Koidula ~ Koidula kolkhoz' (PNA), Koidula talu 'Koidula farm' (PNR) (Kos) < Lydia Koidula, Estonian author, and leading poet of the National Movement (see also EKNR 2016 : 222). Koidula was a popular national romantic name for a settler holding, and according to the Place Name Archive, there were 18 parishes with Koidula farms. There are also several kolkhozes dedicated to Lydia Koidula, the Place Name Archive has information on such farms from four parishes.

Mitsurini kolhoos 'Michurin kolkhoz' (PNA) (Jur) < Ivan Michurin, Russian horticulturist and plant breeder.

Nikolai allee, vald 'Nicholas' Avenue, civil parish' (PNA) (Kos) < Nicholas II, Tsar of Russia 1894-1917. According to Gustav Vilbaste's data on place names, the spruce allee was established in honour of Tsar Nicholas II. The parish was established in 1891, in the course of the Russification campaign. It was renamed Ravila parish in 1917 (EKNR 2016 : 983).

Noukogude Eesti kolhoos 'Soviet Estonian kolkhoz' (PNA) (Jur) < Noukogude Eesti (Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic).

Rummu-Juritee 'Rummu Juri Lane' (PNR) (Kos) < Rummu Juri, a legendary character of fiction and film, whose prototype was a peasant named Juri Rumm(o).

Suvorovi kolhoos 'Suvorov kolkhoz' (PNA) (Kos) < Alexander Suvorov, Russian military leader and theoretician of warfare.

Taara magi, talu 'Taara hill, farm' (PNA, PNR) (Kos) < Taara, mythological god of the ancient Estonians. A divine origin is very likely for the settler holdings named Taara. Kallasmaa has compared the first part of the meadow name Taaravainu (Rak) with appellatives such as taara 'gander' and taara, taaram, taarask 'old man'. And referring to Lauri Kettunen, she does not dismiss the possibility that Estonian names with a Taara-component are mythological in nature, bringing parallels with the name of the pagan god Taara (see EKNR 2016 : 641-642).

Tasuja tanav 'Tasuja Street' (PNR) (Jur) < Tasuja 'Avenger', alias of the leader of the St. George's Uprising in 1343 as depicted by Eduard Bornhohe in his story Tasuja. The name comprises a series of national romantic street names along with Lehola and Vambola. As a farm name, Tasuja has been recorded in 13 parishes. (16)

Vambola a a s, niit, pold, talu 'Vambola lea, meadow, field, farm' (PNA, PNR, ADS) (Kos), Vambola tanav 'Vambola Street' (PNR) (Jur) < Vambola, main character of Vambola, a story by Andres Saal. As a national romantic farm name, Vambola is found in as many as 24 parishes. As a street name, it comprises a series of national romantic names along with Lehola and Tasuja. A whole name cluster has been formed in Kose parish around the farm name.

Vladimiri vald 'Vladimir civil parish' (PNA) (Kos) < Vladimir, commemorating the senior Grand Duke of the House of Romanov. (17) Vladimir parish was established in 1891, in the course of the Russification campaign. It was renamed Kuivajoe Parish in 1917 (EKNR 2016 : 997).

It appears that half of the recorded commemorative names in Central Harjumaa belong to kolkhozes and sovkhozes. The origins of the commemorative names of the kolkhozes and sovkhozes can be divided into two groups: (1) names of persons important in Soviet politics (2/3 of the names); (2) names important for national identity and national heritage (1/3 of the names). The substantial contradiction of the two groups can be explained by the official principle of the Soviet cultural and national policy of the time, which was: 'national in form and socialist in content'. This meant that national/ethnic cultures were considered acceptable to a certain extent, in order to demonstrate the positive aspects of Stalinist national policy.

Another characteristic of the kolkhoz and sovkhoz names is having several variant names. This proves the observation (e.g. David 2011 : 225) that as commemorative names tend to be rather lengthy they often develop shortened vernacular forms: Lauristini kolhoos 'Lauristin kolkhoz' instead of Johannes Lauristini nimeline kolhoos 'Kolkhoz named after Johannes Lauristin', Koidula kolhoos 'Koidula kolkhoz' instead of Lydia Koidula nimeline kolhoos 'Kolkhoz named after Lydia Koidula' etc. The name pattern using the word nimeline, i.e. 'named after' (Rus [phrase omitted]), sounds somewhat clumsy in Estonian (18) and so the names have been adapted. (19) Of course, the Place Name Archive does not include all the options and shortened forms, but it can be assumed that shorter versions of most of the long names soon developed.

The kolkhoz and sovkhoz names only appear in the PNA. They are not included in the other registers (PNR, ADS), and in the area under observation, almost no annexes have developed. This is confirmation of the fact the kolkhoz and sovkhoz names (along with the economic units they represented) only appeared in our (name) culture for a certain period and they are no longer used today.

Most other commemorative names, including a couple of fictional characters (e.g. Tasuja, Vambola) and one incident name (Jurioo 'St. George's Night'), carry on a national romantic tradition. Three commemorative names refer to the Tsarist era (Aleksandri, Nikolai, Vladimiri), while the commemorativeness of Karlsberg-names is open to doubt, probably being based on folk-etymological interpretations.

4. Conclusions

There are two ways for a toponym to develop: (1) apellative > toponym, whereby a new name is created based on common nouns, and (2) proper name > toponym, which involves the transfer of an extant proper name, usually another toponym or anthroponym. The latter process is called name transfer, which results in the formation of a secondary name. In Estonian onomastics, two main subgroups of transferred names can be constituted: migratory transferred names and comparative transferred names. Migratory transferred names are defined as place names which have migrated together with resettlers. Place names that imitate the names of other, better known, places are called comparative transferred names. Commemorative names can be regarded as a semantic subgroup of comparative transfer names by nature. Commemorative names have been given to remember, commemorate or honour a person (real or fictional), or sometimes an event (incident names).

The study was focused on the transferred toponyms of Central Harjumaa (Jur, Kos). It was revealed that, compared to migratory transferred names, there is a considerably higher proportion of comparative transferred names. Half of the comparative transferred names echo names known from geography (e.g. Ameerika mets 'American forest', Jamburgi talu 'Yamburg farm', Katsina kula 'Gatchina village', Siberi kula 'Siberian village'), while every fifth name is based on Bible names (those have only been used in popular language, though, e.g., Damaskuse varav 'Damascus Gate', Heebrea kula 'Hebrew village', Siinai kivi 'Rock of Sinai', Soodoma pold 'Sodom field') and every fifth has a national romantic touch (e.g. Kungla talu 'Kungla farm', Pohjala talu 'Pohjala farm'). Ethnonymic place names can be highlighted as an exceptional group because ethnonyms are also geographic in nature, referring to a group of people as well as a place or region (e.g. Muhu talu 'Muhu farm', Venekula 'Russian village'). In addition to ethnonymic names, an apellative interim step can also play a similar role in the transfer of place names in other situations (see Saksamaa- and Rootsi-names).

As for the commemorative names of Central Harjumaa, half of them were kolkhoz and sovkhoz names, which in turn could be divided into propagandist names (e.g. Lauristini kolhoos 'Lauristin kolkhoz', Mitsurini kolhoos 'Michurin kolkhoz', Arnold Sommerlingi sovhoos 'Arnold Sommerling sovkhoz'), making up 2/3 of the kolkhoz and sovkhoz names, and names referring to national heritage (e.g. Kalevipoja kolhoos 'Kolkhoz of Kalevi poeg', Koidula kolhoos 'Koidula kolkhoz'), making up 1/3 of the kolkhoz and sovkhoz names. This is indeed characteristic of the era: the national culture was accepted to a certain extent, in order to demonstrate the positive aspects of Stalinist national policy. The rest of the commemorative names were national romantic, referring mostly to well-known figures (real, literary or mythological) (e.g. Rummu-Juri tee 'Rummu-Juri Lane', Tasuja tanav 'Tasuja Street'). A couple of the names referred to the Tsarist era.

The linguistic analysis of place names helps us understand the motives of place name genesis, reveals the details of settlement history and settlement culture, and demonstrates how political eras can create and obliterate entire layers of toponyms. This study enabled the following conclusions to be drawn: (1) there was a scarcity of migratory transferred names in the material that was analysed, while the dominating type was comparative transferred names; (2) comparative transferred names are inspired mostly by geography, in addition there are names that come from the Bible and names that emphasise national heritage and national romanticism; (3) biblical names were mostly ephemeral microtoponyms confined to folk usage; (4) commemorative names have mainly derived from names that were important for Soviet policies or ones important for national heritage and national romanticism; (5) kolkhoz and sovkhoz names are a special layer of commemorative names that was created all at once and vanished as abruptly as it emerged, without leaving any particularly deep traces in Estonian toponymy.


Tiina Laansalu

Institute of the Estonian Language



Sources of the examples: ADS--Address Data System of the Estonian Land Board --; EKNR--M. Kallasmaa, E. Saar, P. Pall, M. Joalaid, A. Kiristaja, E. Ernits, M. Faster, F. Puss, T. Laansalu, M. Alas, V. Pall, M. Blomqvist, M. Kuslap, A. Steingolde, K. Pajusalu, U. Sutrop, Eesti kohanimeraamat, Tallinn 2016; LAED--Lexical Archives of Estonian Dialects of the Institute of the Estonian Language; PNA--Place Name Archive of the Institute of the Estonian Language; PNR--National Place Names Register--

Iis--Iisaku parish; Joh--Johvi parish; Jur--Juri parish; Kaa--Kaarma parish; Kei--Keila parish; Kos--Kose parish; Kse--Karuse parish; Lai--Laiuse parish; LNg--Laane-Nigula parish; Pal--Palamuse parish; Phl--Puhalepa parish; Rak--Rakvere parish; Rei--Reigi parish; TMr--Tartu-Maarja parish; Von --Vonnu parish.


Ainiala, T., Saarelma, M., Sjoblom, P. 2012, Names in Focus. An Introduction to Finnish Onomastics, Helsinki.

Ameerikas, K. 2008, Mina ja minu lahedased, Kiili.

Blomqvist, M. 2000, Svenska ortnamn i Estland med estniska motsvarigheter. Rootsi kohanimed Eestis eesti vastetega. Viron ruotsalaisia paikannimia virolaisine vastineineen. Swedish Place-Names in Estonia with Estonian Equivalents, Ekenas (Skrifter utgivna av Svenska folkskolans vanner 158).

Brink, S. 2016, Transferred Names and Analogy in Name-Formation.--The Oxford Handbook of Names and Naming, Oxford, 158-166.

Dalberg, V. 2008, Name and Place. Ten Essays on the Dynamics of Place-Names, Copenhagen.

David, J. 2011, Commemorative Place Names--Their Specificity and Problems. --Names 59 (4), 214-228.

Hough, C. 2016, Settlement Names.--The Oxford Handbook of Names and Naming, Oxford, 87-103.

Kallasmaa, M. 1996, Saaremaa kohanimed I, Tallinn.

--2010, Hiiumaa kohanimed, Tallinn.

Kivi, A. 1972, Tallinna tanavad, Tallinn.

Kiviniemi, E. 1975, Paikannimien rakennetyypeista, Helsinki.

Kiviniemi, E., Pitkanen, R. L., Zilliacus, K. 1974, Nimistontutkimuksen terminologia. Terminologin inom namnforskningen, Helsinki (Castrenianumin toimitteita 8).

Laansalu, T. 2011, Asustusnimed Kiili vallas.--ESA 56, 109-126.

--2012, Specific Developments in Kiili Place Names.--ESUKA 3 (1), 173-187.

--2014, Kohanimede eriarengutest Kose kihelkonna asustusnimede pohjal. --ESA 59, 127-138.

--2015, Kose kihelkonna poliste asustusnimede vanus ja paritolu.--ESA 60, 101-126.

--2018, Nimesiire ja selle kasitus Eesti toponomastikas.--KK, 747-763.

Mand, A. 2005, Tallinna Kanuti gild ja selle oldermannid keskajal.--Vana Tallinn XVI (XX). Modus vivendi II, Tallinn, 129-157.

Pall, V. 1969, Pohja-Tartumaa kohanimed I, Tallinn.

--1976, Asustusajaloo ja toponuumika seostest.--Keel, mida me uurime, Tallinn, 96-101.

--1977, Pohja-Tartumaa kohanimed II, Tallinn.

Peterson, C. B. 1977, The Nature of Soviet Place-Names.--Names 25 (1), 15-24.

Pall, P. 2009, Eesti kohanimed.--Eesti murded ja kohanimed, Tallinn, 223-297.

Saar, E. 2000, Lajast ilmast lainatuq vordlovaq kotussonimeq Voromaal. --Odagumeresoomo piirisuameq. Keskused laanemeresoome piiridel, Voro (Voro Instituudi toimondusoq 10), 163-170.

--2008. Vorumaa kohanimede analuus enamlevinud nimeosade pohjal ja traditsioonilise kogukonna nimesusteem, Tartu (Dissertationes Philologiae Estonicae. Universitatis Tartuensis 22).

Saareste, A. 1958, Eesti keele moisteline sonaraamat I, Stockholm.

Simm, J. 1976a, Lati, Poola, Rootsi, Soome, Vene.--Horisont 6, 27.

--1976b, Viru, Harju, Saarlase.--Horisont 9, 15.

--1977, Vordlusnimed.--Horisont 12, 30.

Stewart, G. R. 2012, A Classification of Place Names.--Names 60 (1), 46-55.

Tan, P.K.W. 2017, Limits to Styling. The Case of Adjustments in Commemorative Names.--Language & Communication 57, 29-36.

Viikberg, J. 2012, Etno- ja toponuume murdekeelest: saksa ja saksamaa eesti loodussonavaras.--Puhendusteos emeriitprofessor Mati Hindi 75. sunnipaevaks, Tallinn (Tallinna Ulikooli eesti keele ja kultuuri instituudi toimetised 14), 203-218.


[Please note: Some non-Latin characters were omitted from this article].
COPYRIGHT 2019 Estonian Academy Publishers
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2019 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Laansalu, Tiina
Publication:Linguistica Uralica
Date:Jun 1, 2019

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2022 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters |