Vol. 57 No. 2 (2009)
Research Article

Residential Toponyms and Urban Change (1890–2000) in a Seaside Resort Town, Benicàssim, Spain

Published 2009-06-01


  • ...More



This paper examines the naming patterns of residential dwellings in a seaside resort town, Benicàssim (Valencia), on Spain's Mediterranean coast. The fieldwork encompassed a survey of over 500 dwelling units along the town's coastal margin which has been developed over the last 100 years. Names, specifically personal names and surnames, are most commonly used, with women's name's being most frequent. Almost invariably these are associated with single-family dwellings. Geographical referents, usually of invoking exotic destinations and references to the sun and sea represent other significant categories. These names are used as toponyms for apartment buildings and other multi-unit residences. Recent naming patterns, usually for apartments, include a number of made-up names using prefixes or suffixes referring to the local area.


  1. Aguilar Civera, Inmaculada ed. 2006. Benicàssim y la historia del ferrocarril. Valencia: Conselleria d’Infraestructures i Transport.
  2. Bright, William. 2004. Colorado Place Names. 3rd ed. Boulder, CO: Johnson Books.
  3. Burriel Orueta, Eugenio. 2008. Personal communication. June 14.
  4. Cameron, Kenneth. 1985. The Place-Names of Lincolnshire. Nottingham: English Place Name Society.
  5. Ekwall, Eilert. 1960. The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place-Names. 4th ed. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
  6. Empson, Donald and Kathleen M. Vadnais. 2006. The Street Where You Live: A Guide to the Place Names of St Paul. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.
  7. Ginés Escuder, A. 1972. Geografia agraria de Benicàssim. Valencia: Universidad de Valencia. Suplemento de Saitabi. 35 pp.
  8. Gudde, Erwin G. 1998. California Place Names: The Origin and Etymology of Current Geographical Names. 4th ed. revised and enlarged by William Bright. Berkeley: University of California Press.
  9. Hipólito Sesé, Maria Dolors. 2002. “Els noms dels centres d’Ensenyament a Barcelona.” Societat d’Onomàstica (Barcelona) 104–105: 9–36.
  10. Hoffmann, P. 1992. “Tourism and language in Mexico’s Los Cabos.” Journal of Cultural Geography 12(2): 77–92.
  11. Johnston, James Brown. 1903. Place-names of Scotland. 2nd ed. Edinburgh: D. Douglas.
  12. Koegler, Karen. 1986. “A Farewell to Arms: The ‘Greening’ of American Apartment Names.” Names 34: 48–61.
  13. López Gomez, A. 1972. “Los masets de Castellon.” Cuadernos de Geografia (Valencia) 11: 1–6.
  14. Mathews, Constance Mary. 1972. Place Names of the English-speaking World. New York: Scribner.
  15. McNamara, J. 1991. History in Asphalt: The Origin of Bronx Street and Place Names. 3rd ed. New York: Bronx County Historical Society.
  16. Mills, A. D. 2004. A Dictionary of English Place-names. London: Oxford University Press.
  17. Millward, Celia and Richard Millward. 1984. “Ski-trail Names: A New Toponymic Category.” Names 32: 191–217.
  18. Nácher Escriche, J. 1996. Turismo litoral y desarrollo económico local: Una aproximación territorial al caso de Benicàssim. Doctoral Thesis. Facultad de Ciencias Economicas, Universidad de Valencia.
  19. Norton, Thomas E. and Jerry E. Patterson. 1984. Living it Up: A Guide to the Named Apartment Buildings of New York. New York: Atheneum.
  20. Ortells Chabrera, Vicent. 2005. “La industria ceramica a la Plana de Castello. Tradicio historica i mundialitzacio actual.” Treballs de la Societat Catalana de Geografia 58: 35–66.
  21. Ortells Chabrera, Vicent. 2006. “El ferrocarril y la construccion urbana: De una villa del Camino Real a la ciudad-red del siglo XXI.” Benicàssim y la historia del ferrocarril, ed. Inmaculada Aguilar Civera. Valencia: Conselleria d’Infraestructures i Transport,57–82.
  22. Pacione, M. 1977. “Tourism: Its Effects on a Traditional Landscape in Ibiza and Fomentera.” Geography 62: 43–47.
  23. Parsons, James J. 1973. “Southward to the Sun: The Impact of Mass Tourism on the Coast of Spain.” Yearbook of the Association of Pacific Coast Geographers 35: 129–145.
  24. Piñón, J.L. and L. A. Armino. 1982. “Una historia sencilla de una transformacion urbana. Las Villas de Benicàssim.” Cimal (Valencia) 18: 28–32.
  25. Quereda Sala, José. 1979. Benicasim y la espectular transformacion de su paisaje. Castellon: Diputacion Provincial de Castello. 115 pp.
  26. Room, Adrian. 1992. “Saints and Sites: The Interrelationship Between Church Dedication and Placenames in England.” Names 40: 261–270.
  27. Sarthou Carreres, C. 1910. Impresiones de mi tierra. Valencia: Biblioteca Grafica Valenciana-i. Reprint of the original edition, 1984.
  28. Stewart, George R. 1970. American Place-Names; a Concise and Selective Dictionary for the Continental United States of America. New York: Oxford University Press.
  29. Stump, Roger. 1988. “Church-naming Practices among Eastern Rite Catholics in the United States.” Names 36: 85–90.
  30. Tarpley, Fred. 2006. “Naming America’s Graveyards, Cemeteries, Memorial Parks, and Gardens of Memories.” Names 54.2: 91–101.
  31. Verge Caballer, Joan Antoni. 2006. “Significacio dels toponims rurals del terme de Rossell.” Actes de lai1iJornada d’Onomâstica Sant Mateu 2006. Valencia: Academia Valenciana de la Llengua,217–233.
  32. Vogel, Virgil J. 1983. 1owa Place Names of Indian Origin. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press.
  33. Wichman, Frederick B. 1998. Kaua’i: Ancient Place-names and Their Stories. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.
  34. Wilhelm, Albert E. 1988. “Pretty is as Pretty Says: The Rhetoric of Beauty Salon Names.” Names 36: 61–68.
  35. Zelinsky, Wilbur. 1990. “A Toponymic Approach to the Geography of American Cemeteries.” Names 38: 209–229.
  36. Zelinsky, Wilbur. 2002. “Names of Chicago’s Churches: A Tale of (at least) Two Cultures.” Names 83–103.