Thinking allowed — 04 January 2019

Although there was an earlier settlement on the site, the city of London (in latin Londinium), was established by the Romans around AD 43. It served as a major imperial commercial centre until its abandonment during the 5th century, however the origin of the name London is still uncertain.

Geoffrey of Monmouth, in his 12th-century work Historia Regum Britanniae, suggested it derived from an ancient King Ludd who, on capturing the settlement, renamed it Kaerlud, which became Karelundein and then London. This has been widely accepted, though Monmouth’s book is full of myth.

RICHARD COATES, in his 1998 article A new explanation of the name of London in transactions of the philological society, suggests the name derives from the pre-Celtic word Plowondia, meaning “boat river” or “swimming river”, because the Thames becomes too wide to ford in London. He also outlines other theories such as the Welsh-derived Llwn Town (“city in the grove”), or Glynn din (“valley city”).

Another suggestion is that it comes from Luandun, “city of the moon”, a reference to the temple of Diana, supposedly on the site of St. Paul’s Cathedral.

The World Gazetteers lists 27 other Londons of which 18 are in the United States alone. There is even an asteroid called 8837 London discovered in 1989 by Eric Walter Elst a Belgian astronomer.

Here, I believe is the definitive list:

London, England, a city in the United Kingdom
London, Ontario, a city in Canada
London, Belize, a village
London, Equatorial Guinea, a village
London, Finland, a section of Jakobstad
London, Kiribati, a small city on Kiritimati
London, Nigeria, a village
London, Limpopo, a village in South Africa
London, Mpumalanga (Noordprovincie) in South Africa
London, Mpumalanga (Graskop) in South Africa

In the United States:
London, Conecuh County, Alabama, an unincorporated community
London, Montgomery County, Alabama, an unincorporated community
London, Arizona, an unincorporated community
London, Arkansas, a city
London, California, a census-designated place
London, Indiana, an unincorporated community
London, Kentucky, a city
London, Michigan, an unincorporated community
London, Minnesota, an unincorporated community
London, Missouri, an unincorporated community
London, Ohio, a city
London, Richland County, Ohio, an unincorporated community
London, Oregon, an unincorporated community
London, Pennsylvania, an unincorporated community
London, Tennessee, an unincorporated community
London, Texas, an unincorporated community
London, West Virginia, an unincorporated community
London, Wisconsin, an unincorporated community

A version of this post was published by CabbieBlog on 4th October 2011

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