Adrian Room

Adrian Richard West Room (27 September 1933, Melksham – 6 November 2010, Stamford, Lincolnshire)[1][2][3] was a British toponymist and onomastician, a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society[4] and a prolific author of reference works relating primarily to the origins of word and place-names.[5]

Between 1952 and 1979, Room served in the Royal Naval Reserve, Special Branch, retiring as a Lieutenant Commander.[1] Before becoming a full-time author, he was employed at King's College School, Cambridge, where he taught modern languages and was a senior house master. He later, until 1984, worked as a senior lecturer in Russian for the Ministry of Defence.[6]

Selected publications

  • Place-Names of the World. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1974.
  • Place-name changes since 1900: A world gazetteer. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1980. ISBN 0710007027
  • Naming Names: Stories of Pseudonyms and Name Changes with a Who's Who. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1981. ISBN 0710009208
  • Dictionary of Trade Name Origins. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1982. ISBN 0710008392
  • Brewer's Dictionary of Modern Phrase & Fable. 2000. (Editor) ISBN 9780304350964
  • Cassell's Foreign Words and Phrases. London: Cassell & Co., 2000. ISBN 0304350087
  • A. to Z. of British Life
  • Dictionary of Confusable Words
  • Bloomsbury Dictionary of Place Names in the British Isles
  • A Dictionary of True Etymologies
  • Who's Who in Classical Mythology
  • Dictionary of Pseudonyms: 13,000 Assumed Names and Their Origins[7] (This edition published after his death)
  • Cassell's Dictionary of Word Histories
  • Dictionary of Irish Place Names
  • Cassell's Dictionary of First Names
  • The Guinness Book of Numbers
  • Room's Dictionary of distinguishables
  • Ntc's Dictionary of Changes in Meaning
  • The Fascinating Origins of Everyday Words
  • Brewer's dictionary of names
  • Tuttle dictionary of dedications
  • Room's Dictionary of Differences
  • Concise dictionary of word origins
  • Ntc's Dictionary of Word Origins
  • Dictionary of Confusing Words and Meanings
  • Dunces, Gourmands & Petticoats
  • Cassell Dictionary of Proper Names
  • A Concise Dictionary of Modern Place Names in Great Britain and Ireland
  • Dictionary of Changes in Meaning
  • Nicknames of Places: Origins And Meanings of the Alternate And Secondary
  • Dictionary of Coin Names. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1987. ISBN 0710206461
  • African Placenames
  • Dictionary of Translated Names and Titles
  • Dictionary of Cryptic Crossword Clues
  • Dictionary of Dedications
  • Room's Classical Dictionary
  • The Street Names of England
  • The Hutchinson Pocket Dictionary of Confusible Words
  • Dictionary of Astronomical Names
  • A dictionary of contrasting pairs
  • The Naming of Animals
  • A Dictionary of Art Titles
  • Guide to British Place Names
  • Dictionary of World Place-names Derived from English Names
  • The Pronunciation of Placenames: A Worldwide Dictionary
  • Dictionary of place-names in the British Isles
  • A Dictionary of Music Titles
  • Alternate Names of Places: A Worldwide Dictionary
  • Ntc's Dictionary of Trade Name Origins
  • Placenames of France
  • Bloomsbury Dictionary of Dedications
  • Literally Entitled
  • Encyclopedia of corporate names worldwide
  • Ntc's Classical Dictionary
  • Cassell's Dictionary of Modern American History
  • Hutchinson Pocket Dictionary of First Names
  • The Hutchinson Pocket Dictionary of Place Names
  • Placenames of Russia and the Former Soviet Union
  • Room's Dictionary of Distinguishables and Confusibles
  • An Alphabetical Guide to the Language of Name Studies
  • Dictionary Of British Place Names


  1. Contemporary Authors Online, Gale, 2002; accessed 20 May 2013.
  2. Staff. "Society for Name Studies in Britain and Ireland: Nomina". Society for Name Studies in Britain and Ireland. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
  3. "Room Adrian (Notice of death)". Stamford Mercury Group (Rutland & Stamford Mercury). 12 November 2010. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  4. Cover notes, Place-Name Changes Since 1900: A world gazetteer. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1980. ISBN 0710007027
  5. Contributor biographical information for Brewer's dictionary of modern phrase & fable/compiled by Adrian Room, Library of Congress, 21 May 2013; retrieved 21 May 2013. Archived here.
  6. "Adrian Room". Book Alliance, New Delhi. Archived from the original on 22 June 2015. Retrieved 21 June 2015.
  7. Adrian Room (20 September 2012). Dictionary of Pseudonyms: 13,000 Assumed Names and Their Origins, 5th ed. McFarland. p. 1. ISBN 978-0-7864-5763-2.

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