Many words, it is evident, have a romantic interest owing to their association with the names of particular places or particular persons. These proper names, in their turn, have their own interest, and in this, also, there enters the element of romance. Names such as Yosemite and Himalayas appeal to one through sheer beauty of sound. To euphony, however, is joined romance in the appeal of many names; the romance of simple sentiment in Loch Lomond and Killarney, that of sacred story in Nazareth and Bethlehem, that of idealized existence in Avalon and the Hesperides, that of remoteness and mystery in Samarcand and Timbuctoo. Places more near at hand are not lacking in this kind of appeal. Who is there that has not his Carcassonne that he vainly longs to see? Who is there that has not felt allurement even in the prosaic names sonorously proclaimed by a train announcer? Who has not felt the desire to promenade on the Nevski Prospekt (at least in earlier, happier days) on Piccadilly or the Corso, on Unter den Linden or the Champs Elysées?
Strangely fascinating are place-names, not only by their euphony, but by their romantic associations. But besides this special appeal which belongs to them, place-names have the kind of interest that attaches to other words; they introduce one to interesting features of history and exhibit interesting sides of human nature.
The study of English place-names has lagged far behind that of other elements in the English vocabulary. Indeed, the scientific study in this direction may be said to have