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General Information
An Overview
The Crossing
The Blue Lagoon
The Comino Tower
Local Legend
Santa Marija Chapel
The 1715 Battery
Meeting Marija
Tal-Hmara
Eco-Conservation
Comino Waters
Old Comino Maps
Comino in the Arts
Related Pictures
Printable Version


PASTE YOUR MESSAGES AND OPINIONS HERE !







front cover of prof.
Godfrey Wettinger's
'Local Placenames;
1300 -- 1800'

fisherman






For the benefit of those who do not have Maltese fonts we list the Comino placenames in normal Latin text, i.e. without the special Maltese font charcters, supplemented below by graphics that show the proper spelling in the Maltese language.


Comino Map

Local Placenames Table -- Maltese Fonts

In the above table we list the Comino placenames in their proper Maltese spelling, whereas below (in geographical order) they appear in plain Latin text.

  Local Name Ref English meaning   Link:
Bejn il-Kmiemen 1 Betwixt the Cominos visit the page
il-Hobza 8 the Loaf
il-Bejta tal-Fenek 5 the Rabbit's Burrow
l-Ghar tal-Mazz 15 'Tal-Mazz' (Pile) Cave view from the sea
Taht il-Mazz 15 beneath the 'Mazz' (Pile) seen from the tower
Ras l-Irqieqa 18 Narrow Point let's go there
it-Torri 13 the Tower visit the page
il-Palazz 12 the Palace [sic. hospital] let's go there
Wied Ernu 23 Ernu Valley
it-Trunciera 14 the Battery visit the page
Ta’ Prexxa 21 of the Breach lit. view from the sea
id-Darsa 4 the Molar
l-Imkebba 16 the Wrapped One lit.
Ras l-Imnieri 17 Lanterns Point
il-Kola 10 [Santa Maria] Bay see below
il-Kappella 9 the Chapel visit the page
San Niklaw, il-Qala ta’ 19 Saint Nicholas' Bay let's go there
tal-Hmara 22 of the Donkey visit the page
Ghar Ghana 2 Song Cave view from the sea
ic-Cimiterju 3 the Cemetery
il-Forn 6 the Bakery let's go there
il-Hazina 7 the Waste
Stazzjon tal-Birdlife 20 'Birdlife' Station aerial view
Wied l-Ahmar 24 Red Valley
il-Modd
11 il-Modd       a unit of measure




Protecting our Oral Heritage

my-malta.com was extremely preoccupied by the lack of documentation concerning Comino's toponomy.   The most authoritative work on vernacular placenames, Placenames of the Maltese Islands, 1300-1800, the product of avid research by Professor Godfrey Wettinger, gives little information about Comino.

This is understandable considering the source of information was notarial deeds that primarily dealt with arable land. For hundreds of years, Comino was an exclusive hunting ground for the Knights of S. John and, therefore, the sparse tracts of land under cultivation were unleased.

Most of its garigue was noted for the production of cumin and its famed wild thyme honey.   British cartographers scaled the island's waters in order to chart treacherous reefs, rocks and boulders that dot its eastern and south-eastern coasts.

We are concerned that modern commercial maps contain erroneous information about the local placenames. One clear example is l-Imnieri, that is repeatedly referred to as Ghemieri. The latter is the plural of the Maltese word Ghamra, that means 'an abode'. The singular of Imnieri is Imnara, 'a lantern'. It is all too obvious that no abode could be built on a narrow headland that at times is submerged in rough weather. The same site housed a lantern that warned sailing vessels to stay clear.   We are also aware that the battery, referred to by the islanders as it-Trunciera, should in precise military terms be referred to as batterija. We do, however, feel that we have to respect the islanders' common usage of the word it-Trunciera despite this technical anomaly.

I took the task to document the oral testimony of old seafarers, now octogenerians, who knew the Cominan and Gozitan coastline and waters by heart.

Steve Borg


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