Terms for special
branch of learning has its own special terms, words that
may or may not make their way into the daily lexicon of users.
Here are some such words from Geography; some are familiar, some
An archipelago is
a large group of islands. The word comes from the Italian
Archipelago, which again is derived from the Latin Egeopelagus,
made up of ‘arkhi’ or ‘chief’ and ‘pelagos’ or ‘sea’.
Originally, the word was used as a proper noun to refer to the
Aegean Sea that has numerous islands, but later it came to be
used for any group of islands.
A monadnock is an
isolated hill or mountain that rises above a plain because it
resisted erosion. The feature gets its name from Mount Monadnock,
a peak in New Hampshire, whose name in Algonquian means isolated
A shoal, in
geography, is a shallow area in a body of water or a sandbank or
sandbar in the bed of a body of water, constituting a navigation
It comes from the
Old English ‘sceald’ or ‘shallow’. The homonym shoal
that refers to a school of fish or a crowd has a different
origin, probably from the Dutch ‘schole’, meaning ‘band or
An isthmus is a
narrow strip of land with water on each side, joining two larger
landmasses. It can also be used for any narrow organ, passage or
strip of tissue joining two large organs or cavities.
Originally, ‘isthmus’ comes from the Greek word ‘isthmos’
or ‘neck of land’.
When a river takes
a winding course, it is said to meander. A lane or road can also
meander; so can a person. If a speaker proceeds speaking
aimlessly without any clear goal, the word ‘meandering’ can
be used as an adjective. Similarly, an aimless wanderer is also
a meanderer. If a work of art has winding or interlocking lines,
for example, as a mosaic often has, these lines are called ‘meanders’.
The word ‘meander’ comes from the Latin ‘maeander’ that
was derived from the name of a Greek river that was winding and
was called ‘Maiandros’.