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The oronym (from the Greek : ὄρος oros “mountain” and ὄνομα onoma “name”) is used in name research to describe the mountain and mountain names , a subgroup of toponymics . In the case of mountain names , the boundary to room names ( choronyms ) is fluid.

The Oronymie deals with the study of Oronyme. Research focuses on the origin, meaning, history and regional distribution of oronyms and the creation of corresponding systematics.

Mountain naming in the German-speaking Alpine region

The outskirts of the Alps were probably already entered in the 5th millennium BC by people working in agriculture, who used the semi-flat open spaces and, a millennium later, did mining. In the Bronze Age, trade routes led across the mountains. Agriculture, mining and finally the trade of the mule traders were thus the basis of life, which resulted in the alpine cultural landscape that was encountered in the 19th century when the area was opened up for tourism. Cultural landscapes reflect past and present in their namesake. This in the sense that the name is recorded in the respective dominant language (s), the other in such a way that older linguistic states are preserved in the name. Because the Alpine region was - like the whole of Western and Mediterranean Europe, by the way - originally neither Germanic (German) nor Romanic ( Ladin or Italian ) and also not Slavic ( Slovenian ), but non- Indo-European and was gradually Indo-Germanic from eastern Central Europe ( instead of Indo-European one often reads Indo-European), that is, Indo-European- speaking , most recently Celtic tribes immigrated repeatedly, overlying the indigenous population, which left behind a number of names, e.g. B. * kamok- 'chamois' (Latin camox , Italian camoscio , Ladin ciamurc , furlanic ciamòz , German chamois or chamois , Slovenian gams ) or * trogio- 'footpath' (from which dialect Troje or Troie ), but especially Alpe or Alm (Alemannic Alp , Bavarian Ålm from Alben , in Tyrolean dialects including East Tyrol also (the) Ålbe / Ålwe ) 'Bergweide'; this word has always been used in the plural to denote the mountain range of the Alps and also occurs outside the “alpine” area (e.g. Swabian and Franconian Alb , also Franconian Alb ) and came into German via Romansh, Latin alpis (mostly) 'high-altitude pastureland', plural alpes or as the name Alpes ; Alpine substrate word, originally probably 'mountain, also pass'. Diminutive: (das) Älpl, Alpl, Älpele etc. ( spoken in Middle Bavarian L -voweled dialects [áibl or áiwl] and written Aibel, Eibel ; only the Italian name Alpi and Slovenian Alpe ).


The word Tauern probably also belongs to the pre-Indo-European language class; this appellative also extends beyond its actual, geographically defined area ("Tauern window"). There are - etymologically and semantically - two Tauern names, Tauern I and Tauern II . The appellative (der) Tauern I means' mountains; Pass 'mountain passage suitable for cattle driving'. Over some mountain crossings called Tauern, important trade routes led from time immemorial, on which the "Säumer" transported goods with pack animals and grinding wagons , but the original meaning was 'mountain' (a substrate word , pre-Roman or Romanic * taur- 'mountain'), only later 'pass'.

Even if it is particularly common in the Eastern Alps, this mountain word is widespread throughout southwest Europe and in the Mediterranean area as far as Asia Minor. Aside from the core area, it occurs in Austria as a mountain name at Plansee near Reutte ( Tauern , 1,841 m), as Ober- and Untertauern near Kitzbühel (two mountain farms, documented in 1484 Obertauern ), further umlauted at Taiern (field name above Vomp near Schwaz), all Tyrol, then as a mountain name southeast of Bad Ischl ( Tauern , 1108 m, and Tauernwand , Upper Austria) and in Bavaria on the Samerberg (Berghof, 1369 on the Tauern ). In Slovene this name came to be tur- , but this cannot be clearly separated from Tauern II .

The common Slavic word tur- 'Bodenschwellung, derleitiger Hügel' (among other meanings) is based on names such as Ossiacher Tauern , Slovenian Ture , and Turia-Wald , Slovenian Turje , both in Lower Carinthia outside the “actual” Tauern area. In addition, there is the Slovenian name Pod Turjo (literally 'under the Tauern') for the village of Neuhaus an der Gail , which contains an out-of-the-way mountain name . How Tauern I and II are related is difficult to decide and would lead too far here, probably the Alpine Slavs further developed the alpine substrate word * taur- to * tur- and identified with their word tur- (that not all Tauern names have the same origin have already recognized the well-known Innsbruck name expert Karl Finsterwalder ). In Old High German, the Tauern name was Tûro , it may have come into German through Slavic mediation.

other names

Most of the mountain names are relatively young and have only recently come down to us, which often makes them difficult to interpret. Karl Finsterwalder rightly counted them among the most difficult names to interpret. In general, they were defined in the course of the economic development of our mountains, initially as mountain pastures and for mining, later also as hunting areas and since the 19th century. for tourism. In earlier times v. a. Boundary descriptions and documents relating to pastures (in land records, registers of goods and the like) as well as protocols of disputes over grazing rights. Only a very limited number of mountain names are noted on old maps.

The German names of (old) Bavaria and Austria (excluding Vorarlberg) are dialectologically Bavarian-Austrian, only in the west Alemannic; typically Bavarian-Austrian is z. B. Bichl 'Bühel, Hügel', typically Alemannic Fluh 'Fels (-abhang, -platte)'. We also owe numerous names and words to Romansh or Ladin and Alpine Slavic or Slovenian, e.g. B. (die) Kaser 'Sennhütte' (from the Romansh, cf. Romansh caséra or casère , also with the initial [č-], whereby the details remain unclear) or Tschadín ( that , only occurs in mountain and field names ) Romanesque catinus 'Kessel, Napf' ('Kar'). Furthermore Kulm (several times in Carinthia and Styria, mostly based on the Slovenian holm 'hill, Kogel ', but can also represent the Roman mountain word culmen 'summit; mountain transition; mountain (meadow)', because a Kolm in North Tyrol [Zillertal Alps] or Golm in Vorarlberg [Rätikon] is clearly Romanesque origin) or Daber (East Tyrol) 'Klamm' (in Slovene deber or daber 'Schlucht'). Also noteworthy is the semantic equation German furnace 'rock', Slovenian peč 'furnace and rock' (e.g. furnace [Carinthia, Karawanken], Slovenian Peč , Italian Monte Forno , today mostly triangle ).

Although the mountain names are mostly relatively young - most of the older ones come from the High and Late Middle Ages - the same language classes can be found in them as in other names, both in the individual mountain names themselves, e.g. B. Hochgolling (Salzburg / Styria, Niedere Tauern, Golling from Slavic golьnikъ ) to Slovenian gol 'bald, uncrowded ', i.e. ' Kahlenberg', Galzig (Tyrol, Lechtal Alps ) from Romanesque col siccu 'dry mountain', Taunus (revived in 18-19. century. to ancient sources, previously just the height ), Rhon (vordeutsch, of uncertain origin) as well as in the individual Berg words (such. as Kogel from Romanesque cucullus 'hood' or tip , top German Gupf out Romanesque cuppa 'rounded summit'). Historical landscapes are also reflected in the Bergnamesgut, e.g. B. Ries (Bavaria, from ancient Raetia ).

What are the mountains named after?

The old master of mountain name research in Austria, Eberhard Kranzmayer (1897–1975), distinguishes the following semantic groups of mountain names:

  1. -5. Site names in the broadest sense, namely:
    1. according to the shape and nature ,
    2. according to (general) natural phenomena such as weather,
    3. after the plants (Flora),
    4. after the animal world (fauna) and
    5. after the neighborhood ;
  2. Cultural names according to economic use and the like;
  3. Ownership names according to ownership structure;
  4. cultic-mythical or religious names based on ideas and traditions of the indigenous population;
  5. artificial or learned names , shaped by geographers and mountaineers as well as by tourism.

In many cases, mountains have different names depending on where they were named from, e.g. B. Villacher Alpe vs. Dobratsch ( Gailtaler Alpen ) or there is a down-to-earth folk name like Harlouz and a tourist “official” name like Ferlacher Horn (Carinthia, Karawanken). We also find so-called “migrated names”, these are names for mountains, meadows and alpine pastures that have been transferred from lower elevations to objects in higher elevations. So is z. B. the (large) Muntanitz in the Granatspitzgruppe after the field name Im Muntanitz and this is so named after the Muntanitzbach , ie the name Muntanitz "wandered" from the brook upwards. Or the Gössnitz valley was the model for the Gössnitzscharte and the Gössnitzkopf . The name of the settlement Peischlach at the exit of the Kalser valley “wandered” far up, over the Peischlach Alm in the upper area of ​​the Ködnitz valley to the Peischlachtörl .

Site names according to shape and texture

If only one example is given for each mountain name in this section, it does not mean that that name appears only once. Rather, the more or less well-known mountain name was selected as an example (e.g. Schneeberg occurs several times in Austria and Germany). The first examples are some (general) mountain words such as mountain (in the entire German-speaking area, originally used very generally for every elevation, in the flat north also for low elevations), e.g. B. Kahlenberg (Vienna), Schneeberg (Lower Austria), plus the collective mountains , z. B. Fichtelgebirge (so only since the 19th century, first document 1542 Vichtelberg ), a 'mountain area where there are many spruce trees'; also the highest mountain of the German part of the Erzgebirge is called Fichtelberg . Both appellatives are therefore widespread throughout the German-speaking area. - Su sub (3) also under forest .

'Bühel, Hügel' (Bavarian dialect form of Büh (e) l , Old High German buhil ), e.g. B. Hirschbichl (Lower Austria), Pfaffenbichl (Tyrol).
'rocky summit' (from Romanesque * cubulum 'cave', with meaning development to 'rock', the old meaning in the loan word Gufel 'rock cave, overhanging wall'), v. a. in Tyrol and Carinthia, clearly separated from Kogel in rural dialect , z. B. Spitzkofel (Tyrol, Lienz Dolomites ), Torkofel (Carinthia, Gailtal Alps ).
'rounded summit' (translated from Romanesque cucullus 'hood', widespread and very productive in almost the entire Bavarian-Austrian region), e.g. B. Feuerkogel (Upper Austria, Höllengebirge ), Ochsenkogel (Styria, Lower Tauern).
Spitz (the)
(on cards often (the) tip ), e.g. B. Hochspitz (Tyrol, Carnic Alps ), Granatspitz (e) ; the point is the older, Upper German dialect form, the point is the high German, younger and standardized form that is becoming more and more popular on maps, e.g. B. Zugspitze (1590 and 1656 Zugspitz , at 2962 m the highest mountain in Germany in the Wettersteingebirge; it takes its name from the Zugwald , which is either after the avalanche trains or the narrow streets that made it possible to pull hay and logs through the dense forest, so named).
Kar (that)
'Gebirgskessel, Bergmulde (mostly filled with rubble)', continues an old word for 'vessel' (which is still preserved in the dialect with the composition Kaschkar from Käsekar 'vessel for making cheese'; Romansh equivalent of Chadin ), e.g. B. Hochkar (Lower Austria / Styria, Ybbstal Alps ), Koralpe (Carinthia / Styria, Noric Alps ).
(widespread mountain word, related to nocks , including nockerl ) 'high, flattened or rounded dome' (so especially in the Carinthian nock area ), in Tyrol 'small elevation, small overgrown rock, highest crest of a mountain (and the like)', z. B. Mirnock (Carinthia), Hoher Nock (Tyrol, Rofan Mountains ).
'Bergkopf, -kuppe; rundlicher Gipfel '(borrowed from the Romanesque cuppa ' rundlicher Gipfel ', proper' cup, shell ', of which Kuppe [Low German]) particularly often only in Lower Carinthia (often corresponding with Slovene vrh ' hill ', e.g. Matschacher Gupf ( Karawanken , Slovene Mačenski vrh ) and around Bad Ischl in the Salzkammergut (there for pointed peaks, after the pointed shape of the hat of the local folk costume, e.g. Rottensteiner Gupf ); see Middle High German gupf (e) 'tip, summit', of which güpfel 'Summit' is derived). In Grimm's dictionary we find gupf (e) 'Kuppe, Spitze, Gipfel'. The basic meaning is 'something protruding with mostly a round tip', also 'that which protrudes over the edge of a vessel'.
Eck, Egg (that)
'Top; projecting height, mountain or hill edge '(Bavarian the corner instead of the corner ), very often, z. B. Hocheck (23 times in Austria alone) or Hochegg (9 times); also contained in the southernmost point of Germany Haldenwanger Eck / Egg ( Allgäu Alps ) or still in the form "Hohneck" (in the Lorraine-Alsatian Vosges ).
Fluh (the)
'abrupt Felsabhang, Felswand' (Alemannic, Middle High German vluo , Old High German fluoh , hereditary word), z. B. Mittagsfluh, Weißenfluh (both Bregenzerwaldgebirge ).
Schrof (f) en (the)
'rough rock, fissured rock' (too rugged ), e.g. B. Schrofenpass (Allgäu Alps, Tyrol), Schroffenberg (Lower Austria).

There are also transmissions such as:

( Köpfl 'Bergkopf, Kuppe' as well as dialect Gupf , see above), z. B. Seekopf 'Bergkopf über dem See' (Carinthia, Carnic Alps) or the very numerous low mountain range peaks in the Black Forest or in the Vosges,
Jerk / back
'Back' (e.g. Bocksruck [Styria, Niedere Tauern], synonymous Bosruck [Upper Austria / Styria, Ennstaler Alps ] and Poßruck [Styria, Noric Alps ], Hunsrück [part of the Rhenish Slate Mountains, 1074 Hundesrucha 'Hundsücken'], Hausruck [Upper Austria]),
( Hörndl 'Bergspitze, projecting mountain nose', e.g. Ferlacher Horn [Carinthia, Karawanken]),


( Jöchl (e) , 'Bergjoch, high mountain pass', transferred from Joch 'Zuggeschirr'),
( Törl 'small bottleneck, narrow mountain passage', translated from Tor in the sense of 'entrance'),
Comb / camp
(actually crest , 'ridge of a mountain ridge', Middle High German kamp ),
('Pile (especially haystack)') etc.,

also names such as Hohe Wand (Lower Austria), Haller Mauern (Upper Austria / Styria, Ennstal Alps), Schuss / Schieß 'sloping point', Zinken 'Zinke, Zacken an der Gabel' etc. - individual cases are names such as Glockner (1562 Glocknerer , 1583 Glogger , dialect Glogger 'Eisglocke') or Dachstein (1238 Torstein , 1787 Doorstein , after the dialect pronunciation [suppository r ] first Tachstein in 1746 , at the time of the strong glaciation in the 17th / 18th century also called Schneeberg ).

Site names according to the weather

According to the weather angle z. B. Wetterkreuz ( Venediger Group , Kitzbüheler Alpen ), Wetterstein (mountains) (Bavaria / Tyrol), Donnerkogel (Salzburg / Upper Austria, Dachstein), Nebelstein (Lower Austria), Schauerkogel (Styria, Mürzsteger Alps), also names such as Böses Weibl or Weibele (Tyrol several times), to which the numerous Baba (actually 'old woman, grandmother') correspond in the Slovenian-speaking area of ​​Carinthia (Carinthia, Karawanken, several times); according to the position of the sun z. B. Mittagskogel (Carinthia, Karawanken), Zwölferspitz (e) (Carinthia / Salzburg, Ankogelgruppe ) (i.e. the ' Zwölfuhrspitze '), in Sexten (South Tyrol) there is a real "sundial": Elfer-, Zwölfer-, Einserkofel , similar on the Dobratsch (Carinthia) Neuner-, Elfer-, Zwölfernock , or in the Dead Mountains Neuner- to Einserkogel ; Sonnblick (in Middle High German sun (nen) blic 'sun shine ', as adjective 'sun-shined, shining through') (Carinthia / Salzburg, Goldberg group); after the snow z. B. Snow Mountain (Lower Austria u Fichtelgebirge.), Snow Kogel (Lower Austria, Ybbstaler Alpen); after the glaciation glacier (from late Latin * glaciarium = glacies 'ice' + -ariu , so colloquially only in the Alemannic area, e.g. Klostertaler Gletscher [Vorarlberg, Silvretta group ]), Ferner (in North Tyrol, e.g. Ötztaler = Gurgler Ferner [Tyrol, Ötztal Alps ]) and Kees (approximately from the North Tyrol-Salzburg border area to the east, e.g. Krimmler Kees [Salzburg, Venediger Group], Wurtenkees = Mölltaler Glacier [Carinthia, Goldberg Group ], the latter like Hallstätter Glacier [ Upper Austria, Dachstein (also Karlseisfeld )] not down to earth). Furthermore , snow is related to 'old, (partly) frozen snow (from the previous year)', cf. also Bavarian-Austrian ferten 'in the previous year', furthermore the semantic parallel in the Romance neighborhood vedretta in the Fassa valley from Latin vetus 'old'), (the) Kees represents an old word for 'ice cream'.

Site names after the flora

Names like Felber Tauern (on old maps also Windischer Tauern , named after the Felbertal in the north, whose name is based on the place name Felben , in Middle High German velwen , an old word for 'willow tree'), Grasberg (Styria, Hochschwab group ), Kahlenberg (Vienna ), Zirmkogel (Salzburg, Kitzbüheler Alpen) (= 'Zirbenkogel'), Feichtenberg (Upper Austria, Voralpen) 'Fichtenberg' (like the Fichtel Mountains ), Hochtannberg (Vorarlberg, Allgäu Alps), Speikkofel (Carinthia, Noric Alps), Speikkogel (Styria , Noric Alps), Speikberg (Upper Austria, Dachstein Mountains, to Speik , an alpine plant [Valeriana celtica]) etc., including numerous names from the pre-German layer, e.g. B. Semmering (Lower Austria / Styria, from Slavic čemerьnikъ 'hellebore region', cf. Slovenian čemerika 'white hellebore, white Germer').

Since mountains are mostly covered with extensive forests, the terms mountain and forest are often mixed up . Therefore, several mountain landscapes have names such as Wiener Wald (west of Vienna), Black Forest (east or north of the Rhine in Württemberg, black in the sense of 'dark, dark') or Westerwald . Further examples would be the Teutoburg Forest (a ridge in the Münsterland; where the famous battle took place, only the name has been handed down since Roman times and means something like 'Volksburg', probably a Germanic refuge), the Thuringian Forest or Odenwald (of unclear origin). Conversely, the word mountain could also take on the meaning of 'forest' (for example in Lower Carinthia).

An old word for the mountain forest (in the Central German area) or the damp, also swampy (oak and beech) forest in lower lying areas and in the plains (Upper German) is hard . This is based on the Harz (781 Hart , 870 Harz , final probably from the genitive, cf. Harzburg , 1187 Hartesburch ). The eastern edge of the Palatinate Forest Haardt and the Spessart also contain this appellative (839 Spehteshart 'Spechtswald').

Moos is both the name of a group of plants and the Bavarian dialect for 'moor', including mountain names such as Hochmoos ( Wetterstein , Tyrol) or Mooskopf (Ötztal Alps, Tyrol). The diminutive for this is Mös (e) l , the boggy grass floor is also called Filz in dialect , of which the place names Filzmoos (Salzburg and Styria) and Hochfilzen (Salzburg). In Central German Venn corresponds , as a mountain name romanticized Venusberg near Bonn. Part of the Eifel bears the name (the) Hohe Venn . The name of the Eifel is also related to the flora, it is probably based on * Aik-fil 'Eichenville', i.e. the oak-covered part of the Ville ridge (which contains a strange word for 'even, flat') between the Rhine and Erft, also called foothills . The mountain name Elm points to a stock of elms (in Braunschweig, as early as 997 and 1152, in Old Saxon elm 'elm (nwald)').

Site names after the fauna

Names like Gamsgrube, Gamskarlspitze (both Hohe Tauern), Gamskogel (Upper Austria, Totes Gebirge), Gamskofel (Carinthia, Carnic Alps), Gamsstein (Tyrol, Ötztal Alps) etc. (in Bavarian-Austrian chamois 'chamois', in the new orthography chamois ), Hirschenkogel (Lower Austria / Styria; an old dialect word for 'deer' is Hirz , e.g. in Hirzeck [Styria, Niedere Tauern]), Hühnerkogel (Carinthia, Noric Alps) etc. Most of these names are associated with hunting together like u. a. also Jagerkogel (Carinthia / Salzburg, Ankogel group) or Gjaidalm und -stein (Upper Austria, Dachstein Mountains, to ancient dialect Gjaid 'hunting'). In addition to the mule paths for the transport of goods and the cattle paths for the cattle drive and cattle drive, the Jägersteige are the oldest paths in the mountains, which is then reflected in the name estate.

Site names according to the neighborhood

Many mountains got their names from the neighborhood, so many mountain groups are called after the respective landscape names of the immediate vicinity (e.g. Allgäu Alps [Tyrol / Vorarlberg] or Gurktaler Alps [Carinthia / Styria, part of the Noric Alps ]), Bohemian Forest ( Bohemia), also according to localities (e.g. Kitzbühel Alps [Salzburg / Tyrol] or Gutensteiner Alps [Lower Austria]), sometimes also according to historical models (e.g. Noric Alps [Carinthia / Salzburg / Styria], according to the Roman province Noricum or Teutoburg Forest [Münsterland]). Farm names (e.g. Koschutnikturm [Carinthia, Karawanken] after the farm Koschutnik at the foot of the mountain) and place names (e.g. Wiener Berg [Vienna]) as well as alpine pastures and corridors in the immediate vicinity were often used as names for individual mountains and peaks. z. B. Wolayerkopf [Carinthia, Carnic Alps] after the field name Wolaye or Bielschitza [Carinthia, Karawanken], Slovenian Belščic a, d. i. 'Vellacher Alm' (the alpine pastures of Karner Vellach , Slovenian Koroška Bela near Jesenice / Assling , Slovenia).

Refuge huts (e.g. Klagenfurter Spitze after the Klagenfurter Hütte [Carinthia, Karawanken]), Alpine Club sections (e.g. Austriascharte [Upper Austria / Styria, Dachstein Mountains]) after the AV section Austria, Rostocker Eck (after the Rostocker Hütte , today Essen-Rostocker Hütte of the AV section of the same name, Venediger Group, Tyrol) and deserving alpinists (e.g. Simonyspitzen [Salzburg / Tyrol, Venediger Group] and Simonykees [Tyrol, Venediger Group]) have contributed to the diversity of Austrian mountain names.

Culture names

Most often Alpe , dialect (Bavarian-Austrian) Alm , old and in the west Albe [ålwe], Alemannic Alp / Alb 'Bergweide' (see above), z. B. Hochalm (Styria, Niedere Tauern), Saualpe (Carinthia, Noric Alps) etc .; also names like Kuhberg (Lower Austria, Vienna Woods), Ochsenkogel (Upper Austria, Dachstein Mountains) or Rosshorn (Tyrol, Rieserferner Group ) after Kuh-, Ochsen- and Rossalmen in the vicinity. In the Alemannic area z. B. Maiensäß 'Voralpe, spring pasture'.

After the (often already historic) mining z. B. Erzberg (Styria, Ennstal Alps), Ore Mountains (Saxony / Czech Rep.), Goldberg Group (Carinthia / Salzburg), Eisenhut (Styria, Noric Alps and Lower Tauern), Salzberg (Upper Austria, Pre-Alps), Knappenboden (Tyrol, Lechtal Alps) ) etc.

Property names

Mostly compositions with place and farm names, so the Villacher Alpe (Carinthia, Slovenian dialect B (e) ljaščica from Slovenian Beljak 'Villach') is so named after the grazing rights of the Villach farmers, or Hochschwab (Styria) after a document that cannot be proven Farmer Schwab ; similarly also names like Karwendel (Tyrol, from an old personal name such as Gerwendel, Garwendel ) or Gaberl (Styria, Noric Alps, 'Gabriel'). Examples from the Hohe Tauern z. B. Dorfer Alm and Peischlacher Alm .

Cultic-mythical names or religious names

In the old folk belief names such as Hochkönig (Salzburg), Kaiserburg (Carinthia, Nock area), König (s) stuhl (Carinthia / Salzburg / Styria, Noric Alps) and Hochstuhl (Carinthia, Karawanken) and the like are justified; Names like Übergossene Alm (Salzburg, Berchtesgadener and Salzburger Kalkalpen) are tied to legend . It is often not clear whether some mountain names are actually based on a legend or mythical figures, some authors (e.g. BE Kranzmayer) explain mountain names such as Venediger (after the 'Venice men (little men)') or Totes Gebirge , others on the other hand, quite soberly, Venedians regard Venedians as a more or less accidental transfer of names or the Dead Mountains after their desolate and plant- less landscape due to lack of water. - Numerous mountains are named after saints or the churches and chapels consecrated to them such as B. the 4 mountains of the "Carinthian Vierbergelauf" Magdalens- , Ulrichs- , Veits- and Lorenziberg (Noric Alps, around Zollfeld and Glantal ). The Ulrichsberg originally bore the name Mons Carentanus and was decisive for the name of the state of Carinthia; Today it should be called * Karnberg , like the small town at the foot of the mountain in the north.

Artificial or scholarly names

Artificial naming took place partly from mountaineering-tourist, z. B. Klagenfurter Spitze (Carinthia, Karawanken), Slovenian translated Celovška špica after the Klagenfurter Hütte (this after the Klagenfurt section of the Austrian Alpine Club), partly from geographical needs (e.g. Lienz Dolomites [Carinthia / Tyrol]), Rhenish slate mountains , Hessisches Bergland etc. Most of the mountain names with a high and large compound are secondary and are considered to be the highest elevation of a peasant or popular mountain stock such as z. B. Obir, König and Venediger , "officially" Hochobir (Carinthia, Karawanken), Hochkönig (Salzburg) and Großvenediger (Salzburg / Tyrol). Scholarly names are the names of the mountain groups, which are partly after a mountain (e.g. Granatspitzgruppe [Salzburg / Tyrol], Fichtelgebirge etc.), partly after historical models (e.g. Karawanken [so since modern times after Karuankas near Ptolomäus] , Noric Alps [after the Roman province of Noricum , Carinthia / Salzburg / Styria], also Teutoburg Forest ) are so named. Other names are wrong in their spelling such as B. Birnlücke (Salzburg / Tyrol, still 1888 Pyrlücke , after the old name Pirra or Birlbach of the watercourse in the South Tyrolean Ahrntal) or Dirndln (Dachstein massif, really Türnln 'small towers' to the traditional turn 'tower').

The terms Alpen and Tauern (see above) are also of learned origin as collective terms, and as mountain words they are also popular; Tauern , became a term for mountain crossings relatively late. Other names for mountain crossings are Joch (e.g. Stilfser Joch , South Tyrol), Sattel ( Ammersattel , Bavaria / Tyrol), Tor / Törl ( Hochtor , Fuscher Törl , both Glockner area, Torstein , today Dachstein , see above), Höhe ( Turracher Höhe , Carinthia / Styria) etc., e.g. T. also pass popular, but some passes and transitions included originally (and still vernacular) is often no such generic word for. B. Wechsel (Lower Austria / Styria), Loibl (Carinthia, Karawanken) and Gaberl (Styria, Noric Alps). The word sequence Pass Lueg (Salzburg), Pass Thurn (Salzburg / Tyrol) etc. is striking .

Even if today's mountain naming is more recent, quite a few oronyms (as a linguistic unit) date from earlier times, as peoples who moved up have often retained the original name of a hill, a mountain, a mountain range. In the Alps, for example, Roman and Celtic roots are common, including pre-Celtic and pre-Indo-European.

See also


  • Patrick Brauns : The mountains are calling. Alps, languages, myths . Verlag Huber, Frauenfeld 2002, ISBN 3-7193-1270-4 . (about mountain names and Alpine languages)
  • Karl Finsterwalder : Tyrolean toponymy. Collected essays and papers . 3 volumes. Innsbruck 1990–1995, ISBN 3-7030-0222-0 .
  • Eberhard Kranzmayer : The mountain names of Austria . 2nd Edition. Vienna 1968, DNB 457662859 .
  • Iris Karner: The mountain names of the Karawanken. A look at the mountain names of the peaks from Thörl Maglern / Vrata-Megvarje to Dravograd / Unterdrauburg. 2012, ISBN 978-3-7069-0691-3 .
  • Heinz-Dieter Pohl : Austrian mountain names . In: Onoma. 33 (1997), pp. 131-151.
  • Heinz-Dieter Pohl: The mountain names of the Hohe Tauern. (OeAV documents No. 6). Innsbruck, Austrian Alpine Association - Hohe Tauern National Park 2009, OCLC 699249701 .
  • Heinz Dieter Pohl: Dictionary of mountain names in Austria. (Austrian name research, special series Volume 7). Inst. For Slavic Studies d. Univ. Salzburg, 1984, DNB 860826414 .
  • Andrea Schorta: How the mountain got its name . 2nd Edition. Terra Grischuna Verlag, Chur 1991, ISBN 3-7298-1073-X .

Web links

  • Mountain name , Heinz-Dieter Pohl, on members.chello.at (excerpts from the written work)