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genitive: Portobello
validated name
Explanatory note
  • English

    Portobello is a commemorative name celebrating victory in the battle of Portobello in Panama by British forces in 1739. The place-name was clearly coined in a Romance language such as Spanish or Italian. Waterloo is another example of an external name celebrating the site of a battle in which the British were victorious — in that instance a Flemish toponym — preserved in Irish street-names (e.g. Waterloo Road in Dublin 4). In names like these the original placename was coined in a language other than Irish or English and is therefore considered a name of ‘foreign’ origin in Ireland. Foreign names were also introduced to our corpus of names in other ways, for example by those who travelled abroad on the ‘Grand Tour’: well-known examples include Italian names such as Frascati, Maretimo and Marino, or French names such as Clermont, Beaumont, Bellevue and Fleurville. There is no evidence that placenames such as these were ever given an Irish form while that language was the vernacular. They are retained in their original form on both English and Irish signage, as recommended in Streetnames: Guidelines, published by the Placenames Commission in 1992 (see The legal Irish version of the name of the administrative townland Portobello was declared as Portobello in The Placenames (County Dublin) Order 2011.

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