Type Settlement
Scripts تمبكتو(Arabic)
Pronounced Pron. teem-BOOK-too(Arabic)  [key·IPA]

Meaning & History

Meaning uncertain. It could be derived from Songhai meaning "hollow, hole", or from Berber meaning "place of small dunes". This is the name of a city in central Mali. Descriptions of the city's wealth and remoteness first reached Europe from the 16th-century Berber author Leo Africanus. Since then the city has been used in Western Culture as a symbol for a distant, mysterious place.

Related Names

Other Languages & CulturesTombouctou(French) Tumbutu(Koyra Chiini) Tombuctú(Spanish)
Entry added November 16, 2019