Often quoted as being the longest place name in the world is the Welsh village of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, usually shortened to Llanfairpwll or Llanfair PG, which gained its name from a publicity stunt to drive tourism in the 1860s.
However, Llanfairpwll is only the Guinness World Record Holder for the longest place name in Europe with its 58 characters that mean: “Saint Mary’s Church in the hollow of white hazel near a rapid whirlpool and the Church of Saint Tysilio near the red cave”.
The record for the longest single word place name belongs to a hill near Porangahau on the North Island of New Zealand, dedicated to the legendary warrior and explorer Tamatea, with 85 letters.
Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu, or Taumata Hill for short, means: “The summit where Tamatea, the man with the big knees, the slider, climber of mountains, the land-swallower who travelled about, played his nose flute to his loved one.”
The crown for the longest place name in the world that includes hyphens or spaces may come as a surprise to some. Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, is known locally as Krung Thep (City of Angels) but that is just an abbreviation of its record breaking name.
The 176 character full name of Bangkok reads: Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Ayuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit.
This means: “The city of angels, the great city, the residence of the Emerald Buddha, the impregnable city of God Indra, the grand capital of the world endowed with nine precious gems, the happy city, abounding in an enormous Royal Palace that resembles the heavenly abode where reigns the reincarnated god, a city given by Indra and built by Vishnukarn”.