A toponym is a word of Greek origin, consisting of two parts: topos – “place” and onoma, or onym, – “name”. Consequently, toponyms are the proper names of rivers, lakes, swamps, settlements, streets, individual parts of the relief, or otherwise geographical names.
Place names play an extremely important role in human life. Indeed, none of us can do without geographical names. Even those of them that are known only to the inhabitants of one village are irreplaceable in speech: with their help, the place of work, the place of hunting and fishing, the place of rest are indicated; they serve as landmarks along the way.
Geographical names are the most valuable monuments of the spiritual culture of mankind. They are passed down from generation to generation and for centuries and millennia keep the memory of the people about its past. Every street, every village, town or city has a past.
The history of the formation of geographical names reflects the development of human cognition and the evolution of a person’s attitude to the external world, natural, created by natural conditions, and social, formed as a result of the interaction of various social institutions.
Place names can be called a mirror of history.
The value of historical toponyms is undeniable: any name contains historical information that makes it possible to judge the reasons for the emergence of the name; as well as linguistic information that allows you to judge the peoples who previously inhabited the territory.
Names surround us. It is no exaggeration to say that we live in the world of place names.