Last month I went to Stink Onion.
That's just one Midwestern place name that looks startling fresh in the Atlas of True Names, which you can preview at the Telegraph's web site.
Middle Earth’s evocative “Midgewater”, “Dead Marshes” and “Mount Doom” are strikingly similar in nature to Europe’s “Swirlwater”, “Darkford” or “Smoky Bay”, as revealed by the Atlas of True Names.
Names are fun to think about. My September trip to North Dakota brought me back through places I knew from childhood with their flint-hard native animist names--Spearfish, Sundance, Bear Lodge--mixed with the names of military commanders who subdued those same animists--Sturgis, Sheridan, Fort Collins.
They made a change from the baroque Catholic religiosity of New Mexico and southern Colorado place names.
I belong to what is, in effect, the Blood of Christ Shooting Sports Club. Translated, it sounds like something from Franco's Spain!