Jamaican place names range from the commonplace to the bizarre. Densely distributed across the map of the island, they not only intrigue the visitor and the resident but also provide clues to Jamaica's past landscapes and its social and economic history. Written from a historical and geographical perspective by two authors with an intimate knowledge of the island, this book presents an entirely new approach to the study of Jamaican place names. Maps and other sources dating from the earliest years of European contact to the twenty-first century are used to compile a data base of over 20,000 names. Analysis provides clues to the culture and national origins of the dominant planter population who were the major name-givers but also include many names with distinctive Jamaican 'creole' meanings. Today, Kingston, May Pen, Rio Bueno, Me No Sen You No Come, George's Plain Mountain and Content, names derived from a variety of sources, are all equally Jamaican and equally fascinating. "Jamaican Place Names" is written for both the scholar and the general reader with an interest in the island's landscapes and history.
B.W. Higman is William Keith Hancock Professor of History, Australian National University, and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia. His award-winning publications include Slave Population and Economy in Jamaica, 1807-1834, which won the Bancroft Prize in American History; Slave Populations of the British Caribbean, 1807-1834, which won the Elsa Goveia Prize of the Association of Caribbean Historians; and Montpelier, Jamaica: A Plantation Community in Slavery and Freedom, 1739-1912, which also won an Elsa Goveia Prize and an award from the Jamaica National Heritage Trust.