THE BLOG
10/20/2010 08:14 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

'Toponymity': The 13 Strangest Birthplaces Of Common Words (PHOTOS)

It's not too much of a shocker to find out that the tuxedo jacket was popularized in Tuxedo Park, New York, or that Cologne was manufactured in the German city. But how many people know that "hack" comes from Hackney in London, jeans from Genoa, or coach from the Hungarian city of Kocs?

My new book, "Toponymity: An Atlas of Words," is a guide to vocabulary derived from the names of places and peoples. Like my last book, "Anonyponymous," it focuses on the little-known origins of common words and phrases. The research was full of strange surprises, like discovering that "bugger" was connected to "Bulgarian" or "cretin" to "Christian."

This slideshow collects 13 of the weirdest entries in the book. While you won't find all of the toponyms on Google Maps, these people and places have left their mark on our language forever ...