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Dutch resembles a cross between English and German. Many variant spellings are found in old Dutch. For example, France has appeared on maps as Francrijck, Francryck, Frankrijk, Frankryk, Vranckrijck, Vranckryck, Vrancrijck, Vrancryck, Vrankrijk, Vrankryck, and Vrankryk, to mention a few. In some cases, variant spellings are given below. However, users should be aware that many other variants exist. The following letters are often used interchangeably: (c-ck-k), (d-dt-t), (f-v), (i-ij-y), and (s-z).

aan at, on
aangrenzend adjacent
aardbodem surface of the earth
aarde earth
acht eight
achter behind
Achter Indie Further India
achtste eighth
afbeelding representation
afteekening depiction
al (alle) all
algemeen general
als mede as well as
anders otherwise
Antwerpen Antwerp
Azie Asia
baai, bay
baan orbit
beginnende (beghijnnende) part, beginning
begrepen included
behalve except, besides
bekend known
belegering siege
Beloofde Landt Promised Land
bemagtigd captured
berg mountain
beschrijving description
betekenis meaning
beter better
bevaarbaar navigable
bevaren navigate
bevuilen dirty
bezitting possession
bij by, near (as in location)
bocht gulf, bight, bend
boeckverkooper (boekverkoper) bookseller
breedte geografische latitude
Bretagne Brittany
caart (caert) map, chart
canaal channel
cirkel circle
clippen, klippen rocks, reefs
cust coast
d’ (de) the
deel part
derde third
dieplood sounding lead
diepte depth
door by (authorship), through
dorp village
drie three
Duitsland Germany
duizend thousand
een an, one
eerst first
eeuw century
eiland (eijland, eijlandt, eyland, eylant) island
elf eleven
elfde eleventh
en (ende) and
gaet (gat) entrance
gebeergte chain of mountains
gebetert improved
gebiedt region
gecorrigeert corrected
gedeelte part of, portion
gedruckt printed
geheel whole, entire
gelegen situated
gelegenheid (gelegentheijt, gelegentheyt, ghelegentheyt) situation
gelijk gradige zee kaart “equal-degree” chart
geografische lengte longitude
gesternte constellation
getrokken extracted
gezigt (gezicht) view
goud gold
graad degree
graadboogh quadrant
graade compass
graafschap county, earldom
graveerkunst engraving
groot great
Groot-Brittannie Great Britain
haar (hare, heure) their
half eilandt peninsula
halfrond hemisphere
handelaar dealer
haven harbor
heerlijkheid manor, district
heilig holy
heilige saint
Heilige Land Holy Land
hemels celestial
het the
Hispangien Spain
hoek angle, corner
hoekmeter quadrant
honderd hundred
hoofdstad capital
inde in the
ingang entrance
inhoudende containing
inkomen (inkoomen) entrance
Ioodtsche Landt Holy (i.e., Jewish) Land
jaar year
kaap cape
kaart (caart, caert, kaert) map
kaartje small map
kaartverkoper mapseller
kanaal canal
keizerrijk (keyzerryk) empire
klein small
kolonie colony
kompasroos compass card (compass rose)
koningrijk kingdom
krijg war
kust coast
laatste latest
landengte isthmus
landschap landscape
landstreek region
langs along
meer lake
met with
Middellandsche Meer Mediterranean Sea
mijl mile
mitsgaders together with
moeras marsh
mond (mont) mouth
na after
naar to, toward
naaukeurige (nauwkeurig) accurate
nabijgelegen (nabygelegen) adjacent
neder (neer) lower
negen nine
negende ninth
nieuwe new
noord (nort) north
noordelijk northern
noordelijkste northernmost
Noordpool North Pole
Nordzee North Sea
oceaan ocean
of (ofte) or
om around, about
omleggende surrounding
onder under
onderkoningschap viceroyalty
ondiepte shoal
ontdekking discovery
ook also, likewise
oost east
oostelijcke eastern
oostelijkste easternmost
Oostenrijk Austria
op on, upon, at
opdoeningh discovery
opper upper
oud old
over over, across, beyond
papier paper
pascaart (pas-caart, pas caart, pascaert, paskaart, paskaert) sea chart
passaat wind, tradewind
perkament parchment, vellum
plaatsnijder engraver
plaeten (platen) banks
platte zee kaart plane chart
plattegrond ground plan
pool pole
ree road
reede roadstead
reize journey
rievier (rivier) river
rijk (ryk) empire, kingdom
rots rock
sande plaeten sand bar
scheepvart naval
schets sketch, outline
schipvaert navigation, seafaring
slick (slijk) mire
Soute Eijlanden Cape Verde Islands
spoorweg railroad
stad city, town
Stille Zuidzee Pacific
steeg (steegh) alley, lane
straat (straet) strait
strekkende stretching
strom (stroem) stream
stuck (stuk) part
stuurman helmsman
‘t the
t’ (te) at, in
tegenvoeters antipodes
tegenwoordig present times, nowdays
tekening sketch, darwing
tien ten
tiende tenth
tocht (togt) journey, expedition
toneel scene
tot until, as far as
tot aan up to
tropisch tropic
tusschen (tussen) between
twaalf twelve
twee two
tweede second
uit (uyt) out
uitgegeven published
vadem fathom
van from, of
van de polen polar
vandaag today
vande of the
verbeetert improved
verdeelt divided
verdeling division
verdrag treaty, pact
vereenigd (verenegd) united
Verenigde Staten United States
vermaard famous
vermeerdert augmented
verthoonende (Vertonende) showing
vertooninghe appearance
vier four
vierde fourth
vijf five
vijfde fifth
Vlaanderen Flanders
Vlaemsche Flemish
Vlaemsche Eijlanden Azores
vliet brook
vlijt diligence
voerbij before
volgens according to
volksplanting colony
voor for
voornaamste major, principal
waar true, where
waarneming observation
waerachtig true, accurate
wassende part increasing
wassende gradige pascaart increasing degree chart (Mercator chart)
wereld (waereld, wareld, weereld, werreld, werelt) world
werelddeel continent
west west
westelijcke western
westelijkste westernmost
wijk district
wild savage
woestyne (woestijn) desert
woud forest
zee sea, ocean
zee kaart sea chart
zeer very
zeevaarder navigator
zeilschip sailing vessel
zes six
zeste (seste) sixth
zeven seven
zevende seventh
zijne its
zuid (zuijd, zuyd zuyt , zur, suyt) south
zuidelijk southern
zuidelijkste southernmost
zuur acid
zwarte black

French nouns and adjectives have two genders, masculine and feminine. Adjectives and articles agree in gender with the nouns they modify. Plurals are formed as in English by adding s, except for words ending in -au or –eu, which add x. Adverbs are usually formed from adjectives by adding -ment as in exactement (exactly). Verbs are conjugated in a somewhat complex manner. Generally the infinitive ends in -er -ir -oir or -re. The third person singular present indicative often ends in -t (il peut, he can), while the third person plural ends in -nt (ils peuvent, they can).

a (he, she or it) has
à at, in, to
abrégé (abrégée) shortened, condensed
académie academy
actuel (actuelle) present time, current
adjacent (adjacentente) adjoining, contiguous
alizé tradewind
alors then
Américain (Américaine) American
Amérique America
ancien (ancienne) ancient, previous
Anglais (Anglaise) English
Angleterre England
année year
anse cove
appellé (appellée) called
après after
aquatique aquatic
archipel (archipelague) archipelago
archiduché archduchy
armée army
arpent land measure (approximately an acre)
arpentage survey
astronomie astronomy
assujetti (assujettie) attached, subject
au at the, in the, to the
augmenté (augmentée) enlarged, augmented
aujourd'hui today
auspices patronage
aussi also, likewise
auteur author
autrefois formerly
autres other
aux at the, in the, to the
avec with
axe axis
azimut azimuth
baie (baye) bay
banc bank
bas (basse) low
blanc (blanche) white, empty
bois forest
bouche mouth
bourg borough, market town
boussole compass
campement encampment
canal channel, canal
cap cape, headland
Cap de Bonne Espérance Cape of Good Hope
capitaine captain
carte map
catholique catholic
célèbre celebrated
celles these, those
celui (celle) this, that
cent hundred
cercle circle
ces these
cet (cette) this, that
chemin path, track, route
chemin de fer railroad
chez at the place of
Chine China
Chinois (Chinoise) Chinese
Chrétien (Chrétienne) Christian
cinq five
cinquième fifth
circonvoisin (circonvoisine) surrounding
cité city
colonie colony
comme like, as
commissaire-priseur auctioneer
composé (composée) composed, constituted
comprenant comprising, covering
comprend comprises, includes, covers
compris comprised, included
comte count
comte (comtez) county
confins borders
connaissance knowledge, understanding
connu (connue) known
contenant containing
contre against
copié (copiée) copied
corrigé corrected
cosmographe cosmographer
cosmographie cosmography
cosmographique cosmographic
côte (coste) coast
couronne crown
cours course
croquis sketch
curieux (curieuse) curious, strange
dans in
dauphin (dauphine) prince(ss)
de of
débouquement where a river or strait enters the sea
déchiffrage legible
déchiré torn
déclinaisons magnetic variation
découverte discovery
décrit (décrite) described
dédié (dédiée) dedicated
degré degree
dépôt (dépost) depository
depuis from
dernier (dernière) past, latest
des of the
dessinateur draftsman
dessiné (dessinée) drawn, laid out, designed
dessus upon
détaillé (détaillée) detailed, itemized
détroit (destroit) strait
deux two
deuxième second
devant before
dictioinaire géographique gazetteer
dire to say
distinctement distinctly
distingué (distinguée) distinguished
divers diverse, different, varying
divisé (divisée) divided
dix ten
dixième tenth
dont of which
douze twelve
douzième twelfth
dressé (dressée) drawn, laid down
du of the
duché (duchez) duchy
echelle scale
église church
elle it, she
elles they
embouchure river mouth
en it, at, to
enchères auction
encore again, more
entire (entière) entire
entre between
équateur equator
esquisse sketch
est (he, she, or it) is
est east
et and
établissement settlement, establishment
état (estat) state
été been
étendu (étendue, estendu) lying, stretched
être contigu à to border on
étude study, early draft
exactement exactly
extrait extract
extrémite extremity, end of the earth
faisant making
fait (faite) made, done
fameux famous
faubourg suburbs, outskirts
feu fire
feuille leaf, sheet
fils son
fleuve river
flibustier buccaneer
fond depth, bottom
fort (forte) strong, large, fort
general (générale) universal, general
géographe geographer
géographie geography
géographique geographical
golfe (golphe) gulf, bay
gouvernement government
grand (grande) large, great
grave (gravée) engraved
guerre war
habit dress, attire
haut high
havre harbor
héritier heir
histoire history
historique historical
horloge clock
huit eight
huitième eighth
hydrographe hydrographer
hydrographie hydrography
il he, it
illustré (illustrée) illustrated
ils they
imprimé (imprimée) printed
indiquant indicating
inférieur (inférieure) lower
ingénieur engineer
intérieur interior, inland
intitulé (intitulée) entitled
isle (Île) island
isthme isthmus
itinéraire route
jusque up to, as far as
l' (la, le) the (singular)
La Manche English Channel
lac lake
laquelle (lequel) who, which
les the (plural)
lesquels (lesquelles) who, which
leur their, them
levé (levée) raised
libraire bookseller
lieu place
lieue league
ligne line, one-twelfth inch
limite boundary
limitrophe adjoining, bordering
Londres London
lors then
lui him, her
lunaire lunar
lune moon
luy he
maison house
manière manner, behavior
manuscrit manuscript
mappe map
mappemonde world map
marchand dealer
marée tide
marge margin
marine navy, marine
marqué (marquée) marked
mémoire memoir, report
mer sea
Mer du Nord Atlantic Ocean
Mer du Sud Pacific Ocean
Mer Glaciale Arctic Ocean
méridional (méridionale) southern
mettre à la voile sail boat
mieux better
mille thousand
ministre minister
moin less, least
monde earth, universe, world
monseigneur title of respect
mont (montagne) mountain
montrant showing
mouillage anchorage
mouvement movement, motion
navigateur navigator, sailor
neuf nine
neuvième ninth
nom name
nord north
nouveau (nouvel, nouvelle, neuf, neuve) new
nouvellement recently
nouvelles news
occident west
occidental (occidentale) western
on someone, one, he
ont they have
onze eleven
onzieme eleventh
ordinaire ordinary, usual
ordre order
oriental (orientale) eastern
ou or
where
ouest west
ouvrage work
païs (pays) land, country, nation
palais palace
palatinat palatinate
par by, at
particulier (particuliere) particular, detailed, special
particulièrement particularly
partie part
pas strait
pas not
péninsule peninsula
petit (petite) small
peuples peoples
pli fold
plusieurs several
possédé (possédée) possessed
pouce inch
pour for
premier (première) first, foremost
près de near
preséntemente currently
presenté (presentée) presented, offered
preséntement for the time being, presently
presque almost, nearly
presqu'île peninsula (almost island)
principal (principale) main, leading, principal
principalement principally, mainly
principauté principality
pris (prise) taken
privilège permission (as in copyright)
province province, country
publié (publiée) published
quatre four
quatrième fourth
quay quay, wharf
que that
quelque some
qui who, which, that
recent (recentente) recent, new
récif reef
reconnu (reconnue) recognized
rectifié (rectifiée) corrected
recueil collection, compendium
redigé (redigée) composed, drafted, edited
reduite reduced, scaled down
reine queen
relation narrative, account
remarqué (remarquée) remarked, observed
renommé (renommée) well-known
retour return
revu revised
riviere river
rocher rock
roi (roy) king
route road, course
royaume kingdom
rue street
sa his, her, its
saint (sainte) holy
sauvage savage
se (s') himself, herself, themselves
seigneurie manor, domain
selon according to
sept seven
septentrional (septentrionale) northern
septième seventh
servir to assist, to serve
ses his, her, its
situé (située) located, situated
sixième sixth
son his, her, its
sonde sounding
sont they are
sortie going out, exit
sous under
sud south
suite sequel, continuation
suivant according to, following
supérieur (supérieure) upper, larger
sur on, upon, above
tableau picture, view
terre earth, land, world
terrestre terrestrial
territoire territory, district
tire (tirée) derived
toise fathom
tout (toute) all, whole (singular)
tous (toutes) all, whole (plural)
traduit (traduite) translated
treize thirteen
très very
tributaire tributary
trois three
troisième third
trouvé (trouvée) found
un (une) one
uni (unie) united
universel (univerelle) universal
usage use
vaisseau vessel
vallon valley
vent wind
vieux (vieil, vieille) old
ville city, town
voisin (voisine) neighboring, nearby
voyageur traveller
vue view

This list of words most commonly found on German maps should help decipher most titles and legends. Plurals of nouns usually form by adding -en, -e, -er, or -eln, and practically never by adding -s. Nouns, pronouns, adjectives, and articles have four cases, these also being indicated by endings. It is usually not necessary to know these endings to get the meaning of a short title or phrase. Vowels with umlauts are sometimes written without umlauts followed by an e. Thus ä becomes ae, ö becomes oe, ü becomes ue. Sometimes ss is written as ß. German spelling has mutated over the centuries. Sometimes interchanged are: (c-z), (ch-k), (dt-t), (f-v), and (i-y).

abbildung illustration
abriss summary, plan, outline
abteilung part
acht eight
achte eighth
allgemeine general
alt old
am at the
amt office
an (auf) at, on, by
ander other
angrenzend bordering
ans to the
armee army
auch also
auflage (Ausgabe) edition, issue
aus from, out of, by
ausführlich detailed, complete
ausgebessert repaired
aussere exterior, outside, outer
aussicht view, prospect
bach brook, stream
bad bath
bahn road, path
bai (bay) bay
bearbitet repaired
begreifend comprising, containing
bei (bey) at, by, with
belagerung siege
benachbart adjacent, neighboring
berg mountain, hill
berühmt famous
beschnitten trimmed
beschriftung lettering
beschreibung description
bis as far as, till
bisthum (bistum) bishopric, diocese
blatt sheet
blattgross full page
breite latitude
bruch swamp
bucht bay, inlet, creek
charte chart
churfürstenthum electorate
das the
datiert dated
den (der, das, die) the
Deutsch German
Deutschland Germany
dorf village
drei three
dritte third
durch through, by means of
eigentlich true, proper
ein one
ein (eine) a, an
eingerissen torn
eis ice
eisenbahn railroad
Eismeer Polar Sea
elf eleven
elfte eleventh
entdeckung discovery
enthaltend containing
entwurf sketch, draft, plan
erbe heir
erde world, earth
erdteil continent
erforschen explore
eroberung conquest, acquisition
erst first
erstausgabe first edition
etlich some, several
eyland (eiland) island
falte fold
farbig in color
faltig folded
fluss river
flut tide
fortsetzung continuation
Frankreich France
Franzosisch French
frey (frei) free
fünf five
fünfte fifth
fürstenthum principality
gantz (ganz) entire
gasse street, alley
gebiet district, region
gebirge mountain range
gegen towards, opposite to
gegend region, district
gehörig belonging to
Gelobte Land Promised Land
gennant called, named
geschichte history
gestalt shape, form, figure
gezeichnet drawn, designed
gravieren engraving
grafschaft count's domain, county
gross large
grundriss ground plan, sketch
hafen harbor
haff lagoon
halb- half-
halbinsel peninsula
halbkugel hemisphere
haupt principal
hauptmannschaft captaincy
hauptstatt (hauptstadt) capital
heilig holy
herrschaft manor, estate, dominion
herzogthum (herzogtum) dukedom, duchy
heutig nowadays
hochstift bishopric
hundert hundred
ihr its, their
im in the
in der Platte in the plate
ins in the
insel island
jahr year
jahrundert century
jenseits beyond
kap cape
Kap der Guten Hoffnung Cape of Good Hope
karte map, chart
kartusche cartouche
Kaspische Meer Caspian Sea
keyser emperor
klein small
kloster monastery, nunnery
Köln Cologne
könig king
königreich kingdom
kreis circle, district; also: orbit
kriegsshauplatz theater of war
kupferstich copperplate
kurfurstentum electorate
kuste coast
lädiert damaged
lager camp
land land, country
landkreis district, hinterland
landschaft landscape, estate, district
länge longitude
lauf course, route
markt market, market-town
marmoriert marbled
maßstab scale
meer sea, ocean
meerbusen bay, gulf
meerenge strait, channel
meile mile, league
mit with
mittag noon
mitternacht north, midnight
nach after, according to
nebst besides
neu new
neuest newest
neun nine
neunte ninth
nieder low
nörd north
nördlich northern
Nördlicher Polarkreis Arctic Circle
ober upper, higher
oder or
ohne Jahr no date
ort place, region
ost east
österreich Austria
östindien East Indies
östlich eastern
Ostsee Baltic Sea
pergament vellum
plan plan, map, chart
platz place
provinz province
quell source
radierung etching
rand margin
reich empire, kingdom
reichsstadt imperial city
reise voyage, trip
richtig correct
sampt together with
scheitelpunkt zenith
schiffbar navigable
schloss castle
sechs six
sechste sixth
see lake, sea, ocean
segelschiff sailing ship
sehr very
sein its
sieben seven
siebente seventh
signiert signed
so so, thus
solch such
sowohl as well as
staat state, country
stadt (Statt) city
städteansicht city view
steindruck lithograph
sternbild constellation
stift bishopric
Stille Meer Pacific Ocean
strasse street, strait
stück part
süd south
südlich southern
Südlicher Polarkreis Antarctic Circle
Südpol South Pole
Südsee South Sea
sund sound, strait
tafel table, chart
tag day
tausend thousand
theil (teil) part
Tote Meer Dead Sea
treffen encounter, battle
über over, above
übrig remaining
um about, around
und and
Venedig Venice
verbessert improved
vereinigt united
Vereinigten Staaten United States
vestung fortress
vier four
vierte fourth
vogelperspektive bird’s-eye view
vom from the, of the
von from, of
vor before, in front of
vorgebirge promontory, cape, headland, foothills
vorstellung conception, representation
wahr true, correct
wahrhaftig true, genuine
wald forest
wappen coat of arms; escutcheon
wasser water
wasserfleckig waterstained
wassertiefe sounding
welch which, what, who
welt world
welttheil (weltteil) part of the world; continent
Wendekreis des Krebses Tropic of Cancer
Wendekreis des Steinboks Tropic of Capricorn
Westindien West Indies
wie how
wiek bay, cove
Wien Vienna
zehn ten
zehnte tenth
zu to
zum (zur) to the
zwei two
zweite second
zwischen between, among
zwolf twelve
zwolfte twelfth

A number of early maps have titles in Italian, among them maps by Coronelli, Dudley, Zatta, and publishers of the Lafreri School. Most titles are fairly easy to guess, but the following list of terms may be helpful. Italian nouns and adjectives have two genders, masculine and feminine. Many masculine words end in -o, which changes to -i in the plural. Many feminine words end in -a, which changes to -e in the plural. However, there are exceptions. Nouns ending in -e in the singular become -i in the plural.

For the articles and article-preposition combinations, several forms are given. The form used depends on the gender and starting letter of the following word, but the rules need not be known to translate into English. Occasionally, when a word ends in a vowel, and the following word begins with a vowel, the terminal vowel is often replaced by an apostrophe, as in dell'America.

a to
adiacente adjacent
ai (agli, alle) to the (plural)
al (allo, alla) to the (singular)
alto high, upper
altrementi otherwise
altro other
antico ancient
anticamente anciently
appresso near
aquaforte etching
atlante atlas
Atlantico Atlantic Ocean
australe southern
baia bay
banco di sabbia sandbank
basso low, lower
Belgio Belgium
bocca mouth
boreale northern
bussola compass
caduta waterfall
canale channel
capitale capital
capo cape
carta chart
celeste celestial
cento hundred
che that
chi rel who, whom, whose
chiamato named
Cina China
cinque five
citta (civita) city
coi (cogli, colle) with the, by the (plural)
col (collo, con lo, colla) with the, by the (singular)
colorato colored
cominciare to begin
con with
conosciuto known
contea county, earldom
contenere to contain
corretto correct
corso course
cosmografo cosmographer
costa coast, shoreline
costellazione constellation
da from
dai (dagli, dale) from the, by the (plural)
dal (dallo, dalla) from the, by the (singular)
Danimarca Denmark
decimo tenth
dei (degli, delle) of the (plural)
del of
del (dello, della) of the (singular)
delineato drawn
della of
descritta described
descrittione (descrizione) description
detto said, called
di of
dieci ten
disegno plan, drawing
dodicesimo twelfth
dodici twelve
ducato duchy
due two
e (ed) and
Egitto Egypt
emisfero hemisphere
entrata entrance
equatore equator
esatto exact
est east
fatto done
finire to finish, to end
fino as far as, until
Firenze Florence
fiume river
foce mouth
foglio folio, sheet
fortezza fortress
fra in, between, among
Francia France
Galles Wales
geografia geography
geografico geographical
geografo geographer
gia formerly
Giappone Japan
gli the
golfo gulf
grado degree
grande (gran) large
Grecia Greece
hoggidi nowadays
i (il) the
impero empire
incisione engraving
Inghilterra England
Inglesi Englishmen
intagliata engraved
intagliatore engraver
intorno around
Irlanda Ireland
isola island
isoletta islet
istmo isthmus
la the
lago lake
latitudine latitude
le the
levante east
lo the
longitudine longitude
Luigiana Louisiana
maestro main, master
maggiore greater, major
mappa map
mare sea
margine margin
meridiano meridian
meridionale southern
Messico Mexico
meta half
miglio mile
mille thousand
minore lesser, minor
molto much
mondo world
montagna mountain
monte mount
navigare to navigate, to sail
nei (negli, nelle) in the (plural)
nel (nello, nella) in the (singular)
nono ninth
nord north
nove nine
Nuova Zelanda New Zealand
nuovamente again, newly
nuovo new
o or
occidentale western
Olanda Holland
Olandesi Dutch
orientale eastern
orizzonte horizon
osservazione observation, comment
ostro south
ottavo eighth
otto eight
ovest west
ovvero or
paese country, village
parte part
particolare particular
penisola peninsula
pianta map
piega fold
piu most
polo pole
ponente west
porto harbor, port
Portogallo Portugal
presso at, by, near, in
primo first
principale principal
privilegio copyright
projezione projection
provincia province
provincie provinces
quarto fourth
quattro four
questo (questa) this
qui here
quinto fifth
rada roadstead
rappresentante representing
redatto written, drawn up
regno kingdom
ridotto reduced
ritratto image
riviera coast
scoperta discovery
scoperte discoveries
scoperto discovered
Scozia Scotland
secca shoal
secondo second, according to
sei six
selvaggio savage, native
sesto sixth
sette seven
settentrionale northern
settimo seventh
sia else, both
sino as far as, until
sobborgo suburb
sonda sound
Soria Syria
sotto under
Spagna Spain
Spagnuola Hispaniola
specchio mirror
spiaggia shore, beach
stabilimento establishment
stampa printing press, print
stamperia printing establishment
Stati Uniti United States
stretto straits
su on
sud south
sui (sugli, sulle) on the (plural)
sul (sullo, sulla) on the (singular)
suo his, her, its
superiore upper
Svezia Sweden
Svizzera Switzerland
tavola map
terra earth
terzo third
tramontana north
tre three
tropico tropic
Turchia Turkey
tutto all
ultimo latest
un (uno, una) a
undicesimo eleventh
undici eleven
Ungheria Hungary
universale universal
uno one
vecchio old
veduta view
vero true

The Renaissance Latin used on maps is very similar to classical Latin, although there are vocabulary differences. The vocabulary below should be sufficient to extract the essence of Latin titles and legends appearing on old maps.

One cannot teach Latin in a paragraph. However, as a primer, Latin is an inflected language. Word endings change to reflect usage. Nouns are declined, and entries below give the nominative (subject) case, followed by the genitive (possessive). Plurals and other cases exist, but are not given here. Adjective entries give the three endings for the masculine, feminine, and neuter nominative case. Verbs appear in the third person singular. Bear in mind that adjectives may appear before or after the nouns they modify. Also, the letters i and j, and u and v are often used interchangeably. Some examples may be helpful:

Americae Nova Tabula. Here America has been inflected, and appears in the genitive (possessive) singular. Thus the title is New Map of America. Hispaniae Novae Descriptio. This is very similar to the above example, but now Novae agrees with, and thus modifies, Hispaniae. Therefore, the translation is Description of New Spain, and not New Description of Spain, which would have been written as Hispaniae Nova Descriptio.

Virtually all towns, cities, countries and geographical features of the Old World (and many of the New World as well) have Latin or Latinized names. Only a few are listed here. Many of these names can be confusing, such as Albania (Scotland) and Argentina (Strassburg). We recommend Orbis Latinus by Dr. J.G.Th. Graesse for a comprehensive dictionary of these names. It is currently available on the Columbia University website www.columbia.edu/acis/ets/Graesse/contents.html

a (ab) from, by
ac and
adjacens adjoining
Aestivarum Insulae Bermuda (Sommer’s Islands)
Albania Scotland
Albion Britain
aliquot some
alter other
amplissimus most splendid, most glorious, wonderful, esteemed
Anglia England
annus year
anthropophagi cannibals
apud at the establishment of
aqua water
archiducatus archduchy
archiepiscopatus archipiscopate
Archipelagus Septentrionalis Aegean Sea
Argentina Strassburg
atque and
auctor (auctore) author or creator of a work
Aurea Chersonesus Malaysian peninsula
australis southern
Batavia Jarkata
Belgium Novum New York
borealis northern
caelestis celestial
Cambria Wales
Candia Crete
carta map, chart
Casarea Insula Jersey
centum hundred
chersonesus peninsula
chorographica geography
cis on this (same) side of
citra on this side of
cognitus known
comitatus county
compendiosus abridged
complectens comprising
comprehendens including
conatus effort
confinis neighboring region, adjacent
Constantinopolitanum fretum Bosphorus
continens (continentis) adjacent or neighboring
conventus district, as of a city
cum with
cum privilegio with privilege, as in copyright
decem ten
decimus (decima, decimum) tenth
delineavit (del.) delineated
descripsit drew
descriptio description (as a map)
dicio (dicionis) dominion
dioecesis (diocese) district
ditio (ditionis) dominion
divisus (divisa, divisum) divided
dominium ownership, rule
ducatus duchy, dukedom
duo (duae) two
duodecim twelve
Eboracensis nova civitas, New York City
editus (edita, editum) published
emendatus (emendata, emendatum) corrected, improved, amended
episcopatus episcopate, bishopric
et and
ex from, out of
ex officina from the workshop of
exactissime most exactly
exactissimus (exactissima, exactissimum) most exact
excudebat (excudit, excud, exc.) made or struck (printer or publisher)
exhibens displaying
facies shape or appearance
fecit made (often refers to engraver)
fere approximately
finitimus (finitima, finitimum) neighboring
florentissimus (florentissima, florentissimum) most flourishing, eminent or prosperous
flumen (flumeninis, fluvius, fluvii) river
fretum strait, channel
geographicus (geographica, geographicum) geographical
Germania Inferior Netherlands
Heres (heredis) heir, successor
Hierosolyma Jerusalem
hodie present time
hodiernus (hodierna, hodiernum) present, modern
imago (imaginis) image, likeness, copy
Imaus Mons Himalayas
impensa (impensae) cost, expense
impensis expense (generally indicates publisher)
impensus (impensa, impensum) expensive
imperium (imperii) empire, dominion
in into, in, on, at
incola (incolae) inhabitant
inferior (inferius) lower
insula (insulae) island
integro (integra, integrum) whole, entire
Internum mare Mediterranean Sea
inventit devised (usually indicates cartographer or draftsman)
inventor inventor (usually indicates cartographer)
item also
iuxta (juxta) near
lacus lake
limes (limitis) boundary, route
litus (litoris) coast, beach
locus (loci) place, district
Londinum London
Lutetia Paris
mappa (mappae) map
marchionatus marquisate
mare (maris) sea, ocean
Mare Crisium (moon) Sea of Crises
Mare Fecunditatus (moon) Sea of Fertility
Mare Frigoris (moon) Sea of Cold
Mare Humorum (moon) Sea of Moisture
Mare Hyrcanum Caspian Sea
Mare Imbrium (moon) Sea of Rains
Mare Nubium (moon) Sea of Clouds
Mare Rubrum Red Sea
Mare Serenitatis (moon) Sea of Serenity
Mare Tranquillitatis (moon) Sea of Tranquility
Mare Vaporum (moon) Sea of Vapors
meridonalis southern
milia (milium) thousand
mille a thousand
mundus (mundi) the world, the universe, the earth
nec (neque) and besides, and also
nec non besides, and also
neotericus modern
nonus ninth
novem nine
novissimus (novissima, novissimum) newest, most recent
noviter newly
Novum Eboracum New York
novus (nova, novum) new
nunc now, nowadays
occidentalis (occidentale) western
oceanus (oceani) ocean
Oceanus Procellarum (moon) Ocean of Storms
octavus (octava, octavum) eighth
octo eight
officina (officinae) workshop, factory
olim formerly
oppidum (oppidi) town
ora border, coast
ora maritima seacoast
orbis globe, orbit
orientalis (orientale) eastern
pagus village, province
pars (parties) part, region
passim ubiquitous
per through, by
pictor (pictoris) painter
pinxit (he) drew, painted
plus (pluris) more
Pontus Euxinus Black Sea
praecipuus (praecipa, praecipum) excellent, extraordinary, special
praesertim especially
praeter past, beyond
presbiter elder, priest
Presbiter Ioannis Imperior Prester John’s Empire
pretiosus (pretiosa, pretiosum) valuable, precious
primus (prima, primum) first
promissionis promise
propius (propia, propium) special, particular
prout as, just as
quartus (quarta, quartum) fourth
quattuor four
qui (quae, quod) who, which, what, that
quinque five
quintus (quintua, quintuum) fifth
recens (recentis) recent
recens (recenter) recently, newly
regio (regionis) line, boundary, region
regnum (regni) kingdom, dominion
retectus (retecta, retectum) opened up, made accessible
sanctus (sancta, sanctum) holy
scilicet certainly, naturally
Scotia major Ireland
scripsit (he) wrote or drew (sometimes indicates lettering engraver)
sculpsit (sculp, sc.) (he) carved (usually indicates engraver)
secundum according to
secundus (secunda) second
sedes belli seat of war
septem seven
septentrionalis (septentrionale) northern
septimus (septima, septimum) seventh
seu or
sex six
sextus (sexta, sextum) sixth
Sinarum Regio China
Sinus Gangeticus Bay of Bengal
situs (sita, situm) situated
sive or
sophus (sopha, sophum) wise
stellatus (stellata, stellatum) starry
subjacens (subjacentis) near
sumptibus at the cost of (usually indicating the publisher)
sumptus cost
superior (superis) upper, higher
tabula (tabulae) map, chart
tam so, so much, to such an extent
tam. . . quam. . . both. . . and. . .
Taprobana Ceylon, Sri Lanka
Taurica Chersonesus Crimea
terra (terrae) the earth, land
Terra Sancta Holy Land
terrestris (terrestre) terrestrial
tertius (tertia, tertium) third
theatrum belli theater of war
totus (tota, totum) all, entire, total
totius whole
tractus district, region
trans across, beyond
tres (tria) three
tribus tribe
Turcicum Imperium Ottoman Empire
typus (typi) image, figure
undecim eleven
universalis (universale) universal
unus (una, unum) one
urbs (urbis) city
uterque (utraque, utrumque, utriusque) each, both
vel or
ventus (venti) wind
verissimus (verissima, verissimum) truest
vernacule in the vernacular
verus (vera, verum) true, actual
vetus (veteris) old
vicinus (vicina, vicinum) nearby
vulgo commonly, generally, in the vernacular


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