Vol. 70 No. 1 (2022): Names: A Journal of Onomastics

Spanish Place Names of the Falkland Islands: A Novel Classification System

Yliana V. Rodríguez
Universidad de la República, Uruguay & Univeristeit Leiden, The Netherlands

Published 2022-03-09


  • contact onomastics,
  • toponymy,
  • conflict linguistics,
  • gaucho,
  • Falkland Islands,
  • Argentina
  • ...More


It has been argued that no Spanish toponymic inventory is used in the Falkland Islands (Woodman 2016). Nonetheless, maps attest to the presence of several Spanish names. The existence of these place names reflects the history of the area. Even though the Falklands currently host an English-speaking community, the Islands have a long history of Spanish-speaking settlers. The former Spanish administration as well as contact with 19th century Spanish-speaking gauchos left quite a few Hispanic toponyms. Mostly coined after 1833, these toponyms collectively reflect the need for orientation, delimitation, and land management for livestock. However, there is another group of Spanish place names that is not used in the Islands. These toponyms are partly a result of the ongoing Argentinian claim of sovereignty over the Falklands. The objective of this paper is twofold: to account for the existence of Spanish place names used locally to refer to the Islands, and to present a novel classification system for the Spanish-language toponymic inventories of the Falklands into Gaucho-heritage and Argentinian. For these purposes, both traditional and modern approaches of toponomastic analyses were employed.


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