Oxford Experts! An oxymoron?
News: Apparently, in the Oxford Concise Dictionary of World Place Names (2005), the entries for some of our cities read as follows:
Bangalore – A city which takes its name from the fact that it was founded as a mud fort in 1537 by Kempe Gowda, a local chief in the Hoysala kingdom, in an area where the population spoke mainly Bengali. The Bengalis took their name from a chief called Banga!!!! What the?
Mysore – City of buffalos
Hubli – Old Village
Chandra Shekara, convener of the Kannada Geleyara Balaga pointed out the mistakes to The Hindu and went on to clarify the origin of these city names:
1) Bangalore had nothing to do with Bengalis. Tradition had it that the name emerged from Bendakaluru.
2) Kempe Gowda was a chieftain who had nothing to do with the Hoysala kingdom, having built Bangalore during the reign of the Vijayanagara rulers.
3) Mysore does come from Mahishi (which means a buffalo), but it was never a City of Buffalos. The name came from Mahishasura, the demon.
4) Hubli is a derivative of Hu-Balli (flower and creeper).
Chandra Shekara and V.C. Chinnegowda, president of the KSRTC Kannada Kriya Samithi, told The Hindu that they would burn a copy of the book on Monday on Mahatma Gandhi Road. They said Kannada organisations such as Kannada Janashakthi, Karmika Loka, Kendriya Nagara Kannada Sangha and Bangalore Nagara Zilla Sahitya Parishat would participate in the protest.
You would think “Oxford” would get it right! And people that are not familiar with the actual origin of these city names are likely to go by what this book has to say. So the next time, you want to look up any town or city, please think twice before buying into what the Oxford Concise Dictionary of World Place Names has to say.