Places with single-letter names (including seven places in Norway called Å)

TheWorldGeography has a list of six places whose names are a single character: seven villages in Norway called Å and another in Sweden called Å, a river in Oregon called D and another in Scotland called E, Denmark's Ø hills, and a village in France called Y. Why not?

Å is a village in the municipality of Moskenes, in Lofoten, Norway. This village is traditionally a fishing village, specialising in stockfish, but now also features tourism. The town contains the Lofoten Stockfish Museum and the Norwegian Fishing Village Museum. The place is sometimes referred to as Å i Lofoten ("i" means "in") to distinguish it from other places named Å (seven villages in Norway have the name Å). In Scandinavian languages, "Å" means "river".

6 Geographical Terms With Shortest Names in the World (Thanks, Bosko!)

(Image: File:Å i Lofoten.jpg , Matthew Mayer/Wikimedia Commons)



      1. We had a minister here in Sweden named Gun Hellsvik (pronounced “hells-week”). She was fairly popular with foreign politics journalists who thought the image of a small middle age woman didn’t fit the name.

        1. I am surprised if they did not have some fun with the first name as well.


          i guess i should quote this bit from Wikipedia:

          “Mona Grudt, Miss Norway 1990 and Miss Universe 1990, is from a small town near Hell. During the 1990 Miss Universe competition, she listed herself as “The beauty queen from Hell” as a publicity stunt.”

          And while on that topic:

          1. I distinctly remember thinking that character had an interesting look to her compared to the other random background characters on TNG. Easily one of the most attractive extras in the series :)

          2.  I attended a seminar at Hell last week. :-)
            The hotel had excellent food, but the rooms were very hot.

          3.  @penguinchris:disqus i noticed her because i was revisiting the series recently (never had a real chance at watching it all during the original run), and her accent stood out.

    1. Well, at least for Swedish, I would say river is fine as a translation, although perhaps a small river. If you check out the English names of some “å”-rivers they seem to be tranlated to river. A brook or a stream would be “bäck” or a small “å”. Words do not quite translate 1:1.

    2. Å is derived from a proto-word signifying simply “Water(s)”, as in “a body of water”, being a geographic feature.

  1. Coincidentally, I’ve eaten at the restaurant pictured to the right of the D river.  Extremely good food and service! ;)

  2. Ø should mean “island” because the hills seem like islands in Denmark, which is quite flat.
    Of course they make for wonderful suffixes.  “ø”, most things ending in it are island. Most things ending in å have a brook or stream associated. Sø are lakes, if it ends that way it is probably a lake or has one in the vicinity. 

    By themselves and alone, they are the torment of people learning the language, because they are single letters and represent very difficult vocal sounds, to make and to distinguish.

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