Places in the United States named after one place in England but twinned with another

As you know, lots of places in the United States are named after places in England. And often, those places are also twinned with their English namesake.

But not always. Here’s a list of places in the United States named after one place in England but twinned with another:

  • Birmingham, Alabama (twinned with Liverpool in Merseyside)
  • Cambridge, Massachusetts (twinned with Southwark in London)
  • Plymouth, Massachusetts (twinned with Exeter in Devon)

I find lists with unwieldy yet necessarily long titles rather compelling, especially when the list itself is short.


Tautonyms are the wonderful Latin scientific names of species where the generic name and specific name are identical words. They’re allowed in zoology but not in botany. Here are some mammal tautonyms:

  • Alces alces (moose)
  • Bison bison (American bison)
  • Capreolus capreolus (European roe)
  • Chinchilla chinchilla (short-tailed chinchilla)
  • Dama dama (fallow deer)
  • Gazella gazella (mountain gazelle)
  • Giraffa giraffa (southern giraffe)
  • Gorillia gorilla (western gorilla)
  • Hoolock hoolock (western hoolock gibbon)
  • Lemmus lemmus (Norway lemming)
  • Lynx lynx (Eurasian lynx)
  • Macrophyllum macrophyllum (long-legged bat)
  • Meles meles (European badger)
  • Mephitis mephitis (striped skunk)
  • Mops mops (Malayan free-tailed bat)
  • Rattus rattus (black rat)
  • Redunca redunca (common reedbuck)
  • Uncia uncia (snow leopard)
  • Vulpes vuples (red fox)

Many bats are named with tautonyms.

And for good measure, here are some mammal triple tautonyms, where the subspecies is also the same word:

  • Alces alces alces (the Eurasian elk)
  • Bison bison bison (the Great Plains bison)
  • Capreolus capreolus capreolus (the European roe buck)
  • Giraffa giraffa giraffa (the South African)
  • Gorilla gorilla gorilla (the western lowland gorilla)
  • Meles meles meles (the European badger)
  • Redunca redunca redunca (the Bohor reedbuck)

There is one fruit…

In Mr. Willis of Ohio (an excellent episode of the often excellent West Wing), Martin Sheen’s President Bartlet poses this teaser to his staff:

“There are three words, and three words only, in the English language that begin with the letters dw.”

With help, the staff arrive at dwarf, dwindle and dwell.

Not so, Mr. President. There are seven distinct word stems, according to Chambers (dictionary of choice round these parts). By word stems I mean that, if you count dwell, then dwells, dwelling etc. are out of the picture.

Here they are:

  • dwale – Deadly nightshade / A stupefying drink (obsolete) / A black colour (in heraldry)
  • dwarf – An especially small person / A small manlike being, esp a metalworker / An animal or plant much below the ordinary height / Anything very small of its kind / A small star of high density and low luminosity
  • dweeb (if you allow US slang) – A fool, nerd
  • dwell – To abide or reside (formal or archaic) / To remain / To rest attention / To continue long (obsolete)
  • dwile – A floorcloth or mop
  • dwindle – To grow less / To waste away / To grow feeble / To become degenerate
  • dwine – To pine / To waste away (Scottish)

And there are three more if you allow Scottish and South African words:


  • dwam (or dwalm or dwaum) – A swoon (obsolete) / A sudden sickness / A dream, state of inattention
  • dwang – A piece of timber used to reinforce joists, etc, a strut (also used in New Zealand)

South African:

  • dwaal – A state of inattention or confusion