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 publicationsEdit

  • 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. ^ a b 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.