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I've been in Hong Kong long enough to notice some patterns appearing in the names of Hong Kong's places. Most of the places had 角 or 灣 in them.

For example: 角: 旺角, 大角嘴, 北角, 沙頭角

灣: 灣仔, 西灣河, 銅鑼灣, 荃灣

Is there a reason why 'corner' and 'bay' are used very commonly for place names in Hong Kong? I can guess for 'bay' because Hong Kong is a harbor with coasts, quarries and bays.

But for 角, why would so many places be named after corners?

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Wikipedia has a page entitled Place names of Hong Kong, which mentions:

  • Kok (角) - point (of land), horn, angle

Point is also a common term in English place names.


A good example of this can be found on another Wiki page: Origins of names of cities and towns in Hong Kong. Here they have the example of 沙頭角:

City | Language Origins | Meaning

Sha Tau Kok | Chinese | sandy head point


Another good example might be North Point (北角). As this ejinsight article examplains:

Many of Hong Kong’s geographical place names have been in use for more than 150 years. Some describe their specific locations. North Point is one of them.

North Point sits on the northernmost tip of Hong Kong Island, a major cross-harbor interchange on the MTR line.

  • Thanks! I actually know about that Wikipedia article but it is not comprehensive enough. It would be interesting to know why 角 is common. – udidosa Jun 9 at 14:13
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    @udidosa The same reason bay is so common, HK is on the water, there are bound to be many headlands. – user3306356 Jun 9 at 15:03
  • You might also want to check those olds maps drawn before land reclamations. – KH.Lee Jun 10 at 7:18

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