University of Wisconsin Press colophon



University of Wisconsin Madison crest that links to main university site

Association of University Presses member logo that links to main AUPresses site



Catalog Archive / Fall 2016

Place Names of Wisconsin

From Abbotsford to Zachow

The colorful history and culture of Wisconsin are reflected in its place names, from those created by Native Americans, French explorers, and diverse European settlers to more recent appellations commemorating political figures, postmasters, and landowners. Organized alphabetically for easy reference, Edward Callary’s concise entries reveal the stories behind such intriguing names as Fussville, Misha Mokwa, Couderay, and Thiry Daems. Fun to read and packed with information, Place Names of Wisconsin is a must-have for anyone interested in Wisconsin and Midwest history, language, geography, and culture—or anyone who simply wonders “why did they name it that?”


Edward Callary is a professor emeritus of linguistics at Northern Illinois University and the past president of both the American Name Society and the North Central Name Society. He is the author of Place Names of Illinois and the editor of Place Names in the Midwestern United States and Surnames, Nicknames, Placenames, and Epithets in America.




“Up-to-date and fully documented, this alphabetical guide to more than two thousand names of Wisconsin’s counties, towns, cities, and villages will be the definitive resource on Wisconsin place names for years to come. Readers—whether locals, travelers, or scholars—will enjoy learning about the unique history of the state as reflected in its place names.”
—Luanne von Schneidemesser, senior editor, Dictionary of American Regional English

“An extraordinary compilation of original research on Wisconsin place names presented in a very readable, informative, and entertaining style.”
—Roger Payne, executive secretary emeritus, U.S. Board on Geographic Names

“The introduction is laced with apt examples of naming patterns and sources. It explains pseudo-Indian names and corrects many fanciful but false popular accounts of name origins. And, Callary includes a helpful pronunciation guide for anyone confronted with Mazomanie, Menomonie, and Muscoda for the first time.”
—James P. Leary, editor of Wisconsin Folklore



Download Cover: color | b/w

Request Review Copy

Request Exam Copy


Of Related Interest

Wisconsin Talk

Wisconsin Talk
Linguistic Diversity in the Badger State
Edited by Thomas Purnell, Eric Raimy, and Joseph Salmons

Wisconsin's Past and Present

Wisconsin’s Past and Present
A Historical Atlas
Wisconsin Cartographers’ Guild, with an introduction by William Cronon

Place Names of Wisconsin: cover depicting a manilla map of Wisconsin at a slight angle, with the surrounded states blurred. The title text is contained within three stripes, alternating between teal and black, at the bottom of the page. Larger images

October 2016
LC: 2016012949 F
360 pp. 6 x 9
1 map

Book icon
Paper $21.95
ISBN 9780299309640
Shopping cart

Review Cart