NAMES OF INTEREST IN JAMAICA
towns and villages with interesting names span the island
of Jamaica. There are some that are quite unusual and then
there are those that are humourous. Each place name has a
story behind it and it is quite interesting to learn how some
of these names originated.
town in St. Elizabeth was named after an officer of the Jamaica
Militia, Colonel Guthrie. He was instrumental in formulating
the Peace Treaty with the Maroons in the 18th. century.
is the name given to a dangerous corner near Dunn’s
River where there is a deep fall into the sea.
town is located in the parish of Trelawny. Its name refers
to the rich colour of the soil found in this area.
is said that usually when, persons in this town who were not
accustomed to wearing shoes, acquired a new pair, they would
carry the shoes over their shoulders until they reached their
destination. At the gate, they would “shoe themselves”.
This town is located in the parish of St. Elizabeth.
area acquired its name during the time of the buccaneers or
is a spot near Mandeville where it is said that the market
women would stop and put their goods and themselves together
before reaching into the town.
to an area in St. Elizabeth where the rain seldom falls. This
results in crops of poor quality being reaped, if any at all.
was once a rich planter who had two daughters he was grooming
to “marry well”, so they could increase the family’s
wealth. However, both daughters later announced that they
were going to become nuns. This frustrated the father who
eventually gave the land away to the church and renamed the
area Nun’s Pen.
in St. Elizabeth, was named during the time of the Maroons.
It is said that during the early years, the Maroons did not
have a very positive attitude towards unexpected visitors.
Therefore, if they did not sanction someone’s entrance,
he was led through the most torturous routes in the hope that
this would lessen his curiousity.
in Trelawny, encourages travellers to stop and observe the
view from there.
is a town in Westmoreland, its name being a corruption of
that of a French colonist, M. Saverent.
town is located at the foot of Spur Tree Hill in St. Elizabeth.
It is said that when there is a heavy downpour, water flows
through the town from three directions making it almost impassable.
are many other towns and districts that have very interesting
names with an equally interesting history. Quite a few of
them got their names from the time of the Arawaks, the name
of the island included. Others came about during the time
the Spaniards ruled including Ocho Rios and Savanna La Mar.
Many of the rivers here still maintain their Spanish names
as well, such as, the Rios Cobre, Grande, Minho, Bueno, Magno
and Pedro. When the English took over, they too had their
influence on some of the place names in Jamaica. Many of the
places were named in honour of their Governors including Lawes,
Heywood and Beckford Streets in Downtown, Kingston.
are also those places that derived their names from natural
features, such as, Blue Mountains, Dry Harbour and Green Island.
Jamaica an interesting place to live?