I don’t understand you Stink Onions! (and other fun etymologies)

The following image is from the Atlas of True Names. It’s a pretty cool map that replaces the geographical names with their (occasionally false/presumed) etymologies. Here’s a snapshot of North America. “Stink Onion” is my home town (I actually already knew that one). My favorite, though, is “I Don’t Understand You!” which is the apparent etymology of the word “Yucatan.” Although language log contests the story, apparently Spanish explorers asked natives what the land was called, to which they replied “Yuk ak katan,” which in their language meant “I don’t understand you!” It’s a hilarious story and I hope it’s true, but LL chalks it up to a common etymological “folklore” that pops up all over the world. Nevertheless, it made it into this atlas, so that means it’s true, right?

Click on the link above for a bigger/more complete map.

(one more quick note: Trinidad & Tobago means exactly what you would think it means: Trinity & Tobacco. Fun name)

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