19 Totally Redundant and Tautological Place Names. |

19 Totally Redundant and Tautological Place Names.

A tautology is an expression or phrase that says the same thing twice, just in a different way. Differently said, it is an expression that has two or more parts that are redundant, or synonymous. Most often, a tautology is considered undesirable and a fault of style and is avoided at all costs in literary works. Common speech, though, is filled with redundancies and tautologies. One famous redundant phrase that everybody uses is “it is what it is” right? Everybody can be redundant and tautologous, even George W. Bush when he famously said “Our nation must come together to unite.”


The names and expressions below are tautological in a different way. They’re unintentionally redundant. This happened because there is more than one language that goes into the name. Most people don’t understand how redundant these names are until they understand the foreign words that make them up. So here are the most famous places that you probably didn’t know are redundant.

1. Lake Tahoe

Tahoe means “Lake” in the Native American Language.

2. Sahara Desert

Sahara means “Desert” in Arabic.

In the Arabic language, the Sahara Desert is referred to as The Greatest desert, which sounds like a more fitting name, to be honest. It’s called the greatest as it is the biggest desert in the world and runs across 10 countries. 

3. Milky Way Galaxy

Galaxy means “Milky” in Ancient Greek.

I think when it comes to this one, scientists should have known better because science is all about accuracy. And a fitting term is the least our galaxy deserves. Because of this tautology, some scientists, such as Isaac Asimov, suggested the alternative and more accurate term The Home Galaxy.   


4. La Brea Tar Pits

La Brea means “the tar” in Spanish.

5. Minnehaha Falls

Minnehaha is the Dakota word for “Waterfall“.

6. El Camino Way

El Camino means “The way” in Spanish.


7. Avenue Road

8. Street Road

9. Mississippi River

Mississippi means “big river” in Algonquian.


10. The Rock Of Gibraltar

Gibraltar came from the Arabic Jabal Tariq, or “The Rock of Tariq

11. East Timor

Timor comes from the Indonesian/Malay timur, for east

12. The Los Altos Hills

Los Altos means “the hills” in Spanish.


13. Rio Grande River

14. Mount Fujiyama

Mount Fujiyama means mount mount Fuji because yama means mountain in Japanese.

Other Famous Examples of Tautology

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