Vol. 56 No. 2 (2008)
Research Article

Going to the Devil

Published 2008-06-01



After surveying some of the origins for American placenames associated with the Devil, we determined the prevalence of those placenames including their cognates, e.g., Satan or equivalents in other languages, e.g. Diablo, and related terms such as Hell and its synonyms, e.g. Hades, compared to placenames with angel or Heaven and their equivalents, e.g., archangel, Cielo. We found a much higher prevalence of Devil and Hell placenames attached to natural sites such as mountains and lakes compared to inhabited sites such as cities and schools which were more likely to contain the terms angel or Heaven in their placenames. We also found a considerably higher percentage of Devil and Hell placenames in the western and southern states than in the northeastern and Midwestern states.


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