A placename is often much more than just a label. A name may bespeak the history of a nation, the culture of a people, or the hopes of an individual. Such connections are revealed in this very large reference work on placenames of the world, which offers an in-depth look at the origins of each. First published in 1997, this 2006 edition contains 6,000+ entries--natural features such as mountains, rivers and lakes and human entities such as cities and countries. Each entry includes the name of the feature; a brief description and its geographical location; and the origin of the name with relevant historical, biographical and topographical details. Appendices give the meanings of common elements of non-English placenames (e.g., Abu, as in Abu Dhabi, means "father of"); major placenames in European languages (e.g., Pays-Bas and Paesi Bassi are the French and Italian names, respectively, for what English speakers call the Netherlands); and transcribed Chinese-language equivalents for the names of the world's countries and capitals.