12 Locations with Stupendously Long Place Names Nobody Can Pronounce

Some places around the world have names so long and complicated they’re impossible to pronounce. From villages in Wales to hills in New Zealand, here are 12 of them.

Most travel destinations are famous for their historical sights, culinary delights, cultural attractions, or natural beauty. Yet a handful of specific locations have a rather more “niche” claim to fame:

They have the longest place names on the planet. Some are so long they’re impossible to pronounce and require more than a single breath to say. The signposts made for them are a sight to behold, too. They have to be meters wide just to squeeze all the letters on.

Keep reading to discover 12 of the longest.

1. Taumata­whakatangihanga­koauau­o­tamatea­turi­pukaka­piki­maunga­horo­nuku­pokai­whenua­ki­tana­tahu

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This tongue-twister is the name for an unassuming hill in Hawke’s Bay on the North Island of New Zealand. It has an incredible 85 letters, making it the longest single-word place name in the world.

The language is Maori, and the translation means, “The summit where Tamatea, the man with the big knees, the climber of mountains, the land-swallower who traveled about, played his nose flute to his loved one.”

2. Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch

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What looks like an illegible string of letters is actually the name of a village in Wales on the Isle of Anglesey. Containing 58 characters, nowhere else in Europe has a one-word place name this long and no other settlement in the world has so many letters.

In Welsh, it means “The church of St. Mary at the pool of the white hazels near the fierce whirlpool and the church of the red cave.”

3. Chargoggagoggmanchauggauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg

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Welcome to the longest one-word place name in the United States. Chargoggagoggmanchauggauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg is a lake in Webster, Massachusetts, and (according to the sign you’ll find there) the traditional home of the Nipmuc people. It has 45 letters, and the translation means, “Fishing place at the boundaries – neutral meeting grounds.”

4. Tweebuffelsmeteenskootmorsdoodgeskietfontein

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Tweebuffelsmeteenskootmorsdoodgeskietfontein is a farm in South Africa located roughly 120 miles west of Pretoria. Containing an impressive 44 letters, it’s officially Africa’s longest one-word place name.

In Afrikaans, it means “The spring where two buffaloes were shot stone-dead with one shot.” If you ever decide to visit, you may hear people refer to it simply as “Twee buffels” (two buffaloes).

5. Azpilicuetagaraycosaroyarenberecolarrea

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Azpilicuetagaraycosaroyarenberecolarrea is a place in northern Spain, specifically in Azpilkueta, in the landlocked Chartered Community of Navarre. Its name has 39 letters, making it the longest in Spain and the second-longest in Europe. It’s a Basque (or Euskara) word that means “The low field of a high pen of Azpilkueta.”

6. Äteritsiputeritsipuolilautatsijänkä

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This is the name of a bog region in Lapland. It’s Finland’s longest place name, but unlike other entries on this list, it doesn’t mean anything. Although puoli means “half” in Finnish, lauta means “board,” and jänkä means “bog,” Äteritsiputeritsipuolilautatsijänkä is said to be gibberish.

Fun fact: A pub owner in Finland once named their pub Äteritsiputeritsipuolilautatsi-baari. Apparently, he’d become frustrated that every other name he tried to register had been taken.

7. Krungthepmahanakhon Amonrattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilokphop Noppharatratchathaniburirom Udomratchaniwetmahasathan Amonphimanawatansathit Sakkathattiyawitsanukamprasit

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It might not be one word, but it’s definitely a mouthful! This string of 168 letters is the full ceremonial name of Thailand’s capital, Bangkok. Go there, and you’ll hear locals calling it Krung Thep.

Translated from Thai, it means, “City of angels, the great city of immortals, magnificent city of nine gems, seat of the king, city of royal palaces, home of gods incarnate, erected by Vishvakarman at Indra’s behest.”

8. Pekwachnamaykoskwaskwaypinwanik

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Welcome to Canada’s longest one-word place name. Pekwachnamaykoskwaskwaypinwanik is a freshwater lake in Manitoba. It’s a 31-letter Cree word that means “Where the wild trout are caught by fishing with hooks.” As an aside, Manitoba itself is thought to come from a Cree word meaning “The strait where the spirit lives.”

9. Andorijidoridaraemihansumbau

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If you ever find yourself in Bukpyeong-myeon, in South Korea’s Jeongseon County, you may stumble upon a street with a name that’s 28 letters long.

Andorijidoridaraemihansumbau is officially the longest single-word place name in South Korea, and it translates to “A road so rocky and rough that even squirrels can’t breathe enough.”

10. Mamungkukumpurangkuntjunya

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Time for the longest official place name in Australia. Mamungkukumpurangkuntjunya, which has 26 letters, means “Where the devil urinates” in Pitjantjatjara – a particular dialect of the Western Desert language spoken by the Pitjantjatjara people.

The place itself is actually a hill in South Australia, around 68 miles west of a town called Marla. How it earned its rather “descriptive” name is unclear…

11. Noordhollandschkanaaldijk

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No such mystery surrounds the origin story of Noordhollandschkanaaldijk’s name, though. This 25-letter word means “North Holland canal dike,” which is exactly what it is (a dike in Amsterdam).

The Dutch are no strangers to long placenames. You can also find Blindeliedengasthuissteeg (“Blind craftsmen guesthouse alley”), Reijmerstokkerdorpsstraat (“Reijmerstok town road”), and many others with 20 letters or more.

12. Vilgiskoddeoayvinyarvi

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This place name in Russia feels short compared to others on this list. But it still contains 22 letters, including nine vowels. It’s a Saami word that means “Lake by the mountain of the great white reindeer” or “Lake under wolf mountain.” You also see it referred to as “Wolf Lake on the Mountain.”

Whatever translation you use, Vilgiskoddeoayvinyarvi is also famous for having the deepest man-made hole on Earth – the Kola Superdeep Borehole. Drilled by the Soviet Union in the 1970s, it extends over 7.5 miles into the Earth’s crust.

Please note: the images in this post do not represent the places described.


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Author: Danny Newman

Title: Writer and Content Creator

Expertise: Travel, Digital Nomadry, Outdoors, Blogging

Danny Newman is a writer, content creator, and digital nomad from the UK. He founded the travel and lifestyle blog What’s Danny Doing, a popular resource for people seeking more adventure, self-discovery, and purpose. A nationally syndicated writer, Danny’s work features in dozens of online publications, including MSN.com and news sites across the US.