The 'Maliban' biscuit brand gets its name from the Maliban Hotel, which AG Hinni Appuhamy started at Maliban St, Pettah (now AG Hinniappuhamy Mawatha) - originally Maliebaan Straat, named for Maliebaan, the Pall Mall alley in Utrecht.Leyn Baan Street in Galle is from 'lijnbaan', meaning 'rope walk' or 'ropery'. Selector .selector_input_interaction .selector_input. Selector .selector_input_interaction .selector_spinner.
The Dutch also christened the islands of Jaffna in remembrance of Dutch towns, such as Hoorn, Delft, Leiden, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Middelburg and Enkhuizen, but these names (with the exception of Delft) have all but disappeared and have been replaced by their local Tamil names.
The British who followed the Dutch left many place names within the capital Colombo city, like streets, squares and quarters, but their influence on larger geographical features like towns is limited.
The latter was known as 'Guadelupe' by the Portuguese, which the Dutch took to mean 'Agua de lupe' which they translated accordingly.
It is still known as 'aadelippu' in Sinhala and Tamil.
Today, however, toponyms and their etymologies are a source of heated political debate in the country as part of the political struggles between the majority Sinhalese and minority Sri Lankan Tamils.
The morphological structure of Sri Lankan place names by and large depends on the language.
Sinhala and Tamil favour transparent compounds involving geological features combined with an animal or plant, while the European languages are more person centered and derive place names from saints or nobility or army.
Place names of Sinhala origin, have a typical X Y structure, where Y is a geographical feature such as mountain, river or village and X is a qualifier, like an animal or plant often found at that place, or otherwise associated with it.
Irrigation and agriculture classifications are Kulam or Kulama (tank), reflecting the most common village name endings in Anuradhapura and Puttalam districts, The Portuguese, who came to the island in 1505 and left in 1658, often gave names of Saints to whom the churches in the vicinity were dedicated. Joseph's Road are examples of these and Milagiriya had the church of Our Lady of Miracles (milagre in Portuguese).
A name like "Grand Pass", a northern suburb of Colombo, is the English rendering of "Grande Passo", the name of a ferry established by the Portuguese, to cross the Kelani River.
Other notable classifications are deities such as Amman, Andi, Kali and Pillaiyar.