I like language and I sometimes think about how place names come about. I'm often surprised at the complete lack of originality that denizens of a particular place demonstrate in naming their town, city, whatever.
The #1 choice in the too-dumb-to-think-up-a-name category is: the exact same name as some old city. Examples: Rome, NY; Moscow, IN; Berlin, VA; Vienna, VA
The next most obvious choice is to stick the word "New" in front of some old beloved city. Gag. How boring: New York, New Jersey, New Mexico, etc.
Equally obvious is to stick: town, ton, burgh, city, ville, land, or polis on the end of some Noun.
Slightly more creative and a little more natural is, well, nature landmarks as a suffix:
So I went on a hunt for place names because I was curious. Some interesting hits turned up for place name etymology: German, Latin, Slavic, Greek, Celtic, city residents,
- German names from prehistoric and medieval times:
- with the suffix -au, -aue (related to rivers or water), see German words Au or Aue. This meaning of -au (earlier spelling ow, owe, ouwe) describes settlements at rivers, creeks. Example: Passau, a town Aue, rivers named Aue.
- with Low German suffix -oog (= "island"). Example: Dutch Schiermonnikoog.
- with the suffix -um (North Germany), -heim (South and Central Germany, Switzerland, Alsace), -ham / -am (Bavaria and Austria), -hem / -em (West) (all cognate to English home and the English place name suffix -ham). Examples: Alkersum, Bochum, Borkum, Pforzheim, Kirchham, Schiltigheim
- with the suffix -ing or -ingen, -ungen, -ung, -ens (meaning "descendants of", used with a personal name as the first part). Examples: Göttingen, Straubing, Esens.
- with the suffix -stadt or -stedt ("town"). Examples: Darmstadt, Neustadt.
- with the suffix -burg ("keep", borough). Examples: Hamburg, Luxembourg, Regensburg (with the river Regen), Salzburg (with the Ancient Roman reference to salt), Straßburg (Strasbourg).
- with the suffix -berg ("mountain"). Examples: Heidelberg, Nürnberg (Nuremberg), Königsberg ("king's mountain", now Kaliningrad)
- with the suffix -dorf or -torf ("village"). Example: Düsseldorf.
- with the suffix -furt ("ford"). Examples: Erfurt, Frankfurt.
- with the suffix -brücken or -brück ("bridge"). Examples: Saarbrücken, Osnabrück, Innsbruck.
- with the suffix -hausen ("house"). Examples: Mülhausen (Mulhouse), Mühlhausen, Schaffhausen.
- with the suffix -feld ("field"). Examples: Bielefeld, Mansfeld.
- with the suffix -werth, -wörth, or -ort ("holm"). Example: Kaiserswerth, Donauwörth, Ruhrort
- with the suffix -roth or -rath, -rode, -reuth, -rade ("clearing"). Example: Roth, Wernigerode, Overath. It can also be used as the prefix -Rade: Radebeul, Radevormwald.
- German names from modern times. They usually follow the established patterns.
- Wuppertal ("Wupper valley"), Karl-Marx-Stadt ("Karl Marx city", name for Chemnitz during the DDR era), Wilhelmshaven ("William's harbour", referring to King William I of Prussia).
Maybe I'll call my house something like manor estates do. Problem is, I can't think of anything ... We jokingly refer to Mom's as Home Base, mine as Outpost 1, and my brother's as Outpost 2.