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Place Names In Jamaica
 By Ethnic Association

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place names in jamaicaPlace names in Jamaica

I got this question...

"Can you tell me the places in Jamaica that got its name by each ethnic group".

And love it!

Yes you can tell that I enjoy some questions more than some, right :-)


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But Jamaican place names is a topic that I've always been intrigued about.

Why?

I can bet you and (probably) win, that nowhere in the world has the type of place names we have! 

We have some of the funniest, weirdest and most whimsical.

How about...

  • mi no call you no come
  • put together corner, 
  • corn puss gap
  • grateful hill
  • and, wait and bit? More here

Lol.

See also: Places Named After Marcus Garvey

But outside of those, the majority of places in Jamaica actually has names related to, in some shape or form, the dominant ethnic groups who were here, meaning the ruling class, and yes, mainly Europeans, specifically the empires of Spain and Britain.

And in many cases, the place names here are exact names (or variants) of districts, towns, cities, parishes and counties from the empires.

And then there are other place names based on tribes (eg. Accompong from the Akan (African) name Acheampong, distinguished persons, religion and even the land area itself, eg. Bamboo, St. Elizabeth.

And so now, I'll share with you some of the most notable places in Jamaica named based on their ethnic association.

I'll list the name of the place followed by the parish in which it can be found, eg. Bog Walk, St. Catherine.

And one more thing, Although I'll list one place name,  note that in some cases, that place name is shared. Not only is it found in several other parishes, but also places in the same parish!

Ready :-)

Jump to:

Places In Jamaica With Welsh Association

  • Bangor Ridge, Portland
  • Cardiff Hall, St Ann
  • Chepstowe, Portland,
  • Denbigh, Clarendon
  • Llandilo, Westmoreland
  • Llandovery, St. Ann and
  • Llanrumney, St. Mary
  • Milford, St. Ann
  • Monmouth, Portland
  • Morgan’s Bridge, Westmoreland,
  • Newport, Manchester
  • Pembroke,St. Mary
  • Pencarne, St. Mary
  • Swansea, St. Catherine
  • Wales, Manchester
  • Ythanside, Portland

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Places In Jamaica With Scottish Association

  • Aberdeen, St. Elizabeth
  • Arthur’s Seat, Clarendon
  • Auchenbreck/ Achendown, Westmoreland
  • Berrydale, Portland
  • Caledonia, Mandeville
  • Clydesdale, Portland
  • Culloden, Westmoreland
  • Dalvey, St. Thomas
  • Deeside, Trelawny
  • Dumbarton, Portland
  • Dumfries, Trelawny
  • Dundee, St. Elizabeth,
  • Dunisane, St. Andrew
  • Dunkeld, St Mary,
  • Elderslie,St. Elizabeth
  • Mount Vernon, St. Thomas,
  • Moy Hall, St. Thomas
  • Papine, St. Andrew
  • Roxbro/Roxborough, Manchester
  • Stewarton, Portland
  • Stewarton, Trelawny
  • Stirling Castle,St. Elizabeth
  • Stoney Hill, St. Andrew
  • Tulloch, St. James

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Places In Jamaica With Spanish Association

Spain, by the way, has the distinction of been the first to 'discover' Jamaica, and so while the English (who took it later) changed many of the names, several still retains some of the Spanish names, or variants of it.

  • Bog walk, St. Catherine
  • Cabariita Pint, near Old Harbour, St. Catherine
  • Cabaritta Island, St. Mary.
  • Cabaritta Punta, Westmoreland
  • Galina Point (Gallina Punta), St. Mary
  • Lacovia (La Caoban), St. Elizabeth
  • Liguanea (Hato de Liguan), St. Andrew
  • Lluidas Vale, St. Catherine
  • Magotty, St. Elizabeth;
  • Montego Bay, St. James
  • Mount Diablo, St. Ann
  • Ocho Rios, St. Ann
  • Oracabessa , St. Mary (Auracabeza)
  • Port Antonio (Puerto de San Antonio), Portland
  • Port Esquivel, also called Old Harbour Bay, St. Catherine
  • Port Maria, St. Mary (the English equivalent of what the Spanish once called Puerto Santa Maria)
  • Porus, Manchester,
  • Savannah la Mar (Sabana-de-la-mar), Westmoreland
  • Seville ( Sevilla Nueva), Jamaica's first Capital
  • Spanish Town (St. Jago de la Vega), St. Catherine

See more at  Spanish names of places in Jamaica.

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Places In Jamaica With Irish Association

  • Altamont,Kingston
  • Ballyholly, Manchester
  • Carrickfoyle, Trelawny
  • Charlemont, St. Catherine.
  • Cherry Gardens, St. Andrew,
  • Clonmel, St. Mary
  • Donegal, St. Elizabeth
  • Dublin Castle, St. Andrew,
  • Hibernia, Manchester
  • Irish Town, St. Andrew
  • Kildare, St. Elizabeth
  • Knockpatrick, Manchester
  • Mount Eagle, Westmoreland
  • Newry, St. Mary
  • Spring Garden, Westmoreland
  • Vinegar Hill, Westmoreland

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Places In Jamaica With English Association

And now the English. Off the bat, you probably now by now that the majority of place names in Jamaica are English derived or related right?

And remember that in many cases, they take the names of places and institutions in Britain, from roads and parishes to even taverns (eg. Vauxhaul)

But remember that some also took the name of the ruling class and land owners.

For example, Duncans in Trelawny, was a property owned by Peter Duncans in 1784.

Also, Guys Hill (First owner, Richard Guy), Heron's Hill (Alexander George Heron), Longville (Samuel Long, who arrived with the Penn & Venables in the 1655 expedition, May Pen (part owned by the Rev. William May), Rose Hall (Rose Kelly), and a lot more.

Here are a few more that were so named based directly on their rulers, leaders or owners.

  • Admiral Mountain,
  • Appleton Estate, St. Elizabeth
  • Bowden, St. Thomas:
  • Duncans, Trelawny
  • Falmouth, Trelawny
  • Grants Pen, St, Andrew
  • Guys Hill, St. Catherine
  • Heron's Hill, Manchester
  • Longville, Clarendon
  • Mandeville, Manchester
  • May Pen, Clarendon
  • Miranda Hill, St. James
  • Rose Hall, St. James
  • Temple Hall, St. Andrew
  • Vauxhall, St. Elizabeth &
  • Victoria Town, Manchester 

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Places In Jamaica With Other  Ethnic Association

Although perhaps in the minority, the following are other notable place names in Jamaica.

Places in Jamaica with Indian Names

  • Bengal, at the border of St. Ann and Trelawny, so named after a region in India.

  • Madras, St. Ann: another region in India. It is also a reminder of the number of indentured East Indians who came here in the mid 1800's to work on the sugar plantations.

Places In Jamaica with German Names

  • German Town, Westmoreland
  • Berlin, near Munro College in St. Elizabeth. This place is named after the German capital.

Places In Jamaica with African Names

  • Accompong, St. Elizabeth. The maroon village that got its name from the Akan tribe in Africa. It came from the word 'Acheampong'.

  • Calabar, St. Ann. That's a place in  Nigeria from where a lot of slaves came.

Places In Jamaica With Taino (Arawak) Place Names

And finally, despite their genocide, we still have a few place names from our earliest recorded settlers. They are:

  • Arawak in St. Ann & of course,
  • Jamaica, interpreted from the taino word Xaymaca.

Other Ethnicity/ Nationalities

And perhaps I should also make mention of  and Italian, Egyptian and New Zealand place names...

  • Sanguinetti in Clarendon. From it's first  owner, Jacob Sanguinetti who was an Italian Jew.
  • Goshen in St. Elizabeth. Which has the name of a place in Egypt. And on record as the first site of a church in Jamaica, and 

  • Wai Rua in St. Andrew. A place in New Zealand  that means 'place by the river.'

This list however is a start, I'll continue to update as new information is gleaned.

What do you make of it though? What did I miss? Do you have a suggestion or recommendation?

I'd love to hear from you. Please share it in the comments section below or contact me here.

Watch Video! Why Is Jamaica Full Of British And Spanish Names?

Recommended Further Reading

If you find this fascinating and wish to learn more about Jamaica place names, I'll direct you to perhaps the two best authorities on this topic.

  1. Frank Cundall with his book, JAMAICA PLACE NAMES 
  2. And Inez Knibbs Sibley in her book, DICTIONARY OF JAMAICA PLACE NAMES  which was published by the institute of Jamaica. 

Click on each of the links to see there current prices on Amazon.

You have received :-)

Now share you new found knowledge with your friends!

References for Place Names In Jamaica By Ethnic Groups

  • "Waa Gwaan? Resources on the Jamaican Language", https://waagwaanja.wordpress.com/2015/03/03/funniest-jamaican-place-names/

  • Tortello, Rebecca, "What's In A Name", http://old.jamaica-gleaner.com/pages/history/story0048.htm

  • Lance Neita, Of names and places, Jamaica Observer, http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/columns/Of-names-and-places_83117

  • Frank, Cundall, Jamaica Place-Names

  • "Fun place names", https://waagwaanja.wordpress.com/2015/03/03/funniest-jamaican-place-names/

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Other Pages Related To Place Names In Jamaica

Return to History Of Jamaica from Place Names In Jamaica
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A patriotic Jamaican who adore its culture, Wellesley has been using this medium to share what he calls 'the uniqueness of Jamaica with the world' since April 2007.  

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