Place names are continually changing, and new names are adopted for many different reasons such as invasion, revolution, and decolonization. The Concise Dictionary of World Place-Names includes selected former names, and, where appropriate, some historical detail to explain the transition. The names of places often offer a real insight into the places themselves, revealing religious and cultural traditions, the migration of peoples, the ebb and flow of armies, the presence of
explorers, local languages, industrial developments and topography. Superstition and legend can also play a part.
This new edition has been updated to include over 750 new names, including Azincourt, Kropyvnyts'kyy , and Tlaxcala. It has also been edited to reflect socio-political and geographical shifts, notably the reorganisation of the French regions, and their consequent name alterations, as well as the decommunization of Ukrainian place-names.
In addition to the entries themselves, the dictionary includes two appendices: a glossary of foreign word elements which appear in place-names and their meanings, and a list of personalities and leaders from all over the world who have influenced the naming of places.