List of Mapudungun placenames

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The following is a listing of placenames from the Mapudungun language, generally from Chile and southwestern Argentina.

Note: this list includes only currently used placenames that have a Mapudungun etymology for at least part of their name


Placename Meaning Region (Chile)
or Province (Argentina)
Type Comments
Abtao end/limit of the territory Los Lagos channel, island
Achao sandy and protected harbour Los Lagos beach, channel, city/town
Aconcagua place of heathers Mendoza, Valparaíso mountain, river
Allipén Araucanía, Bío-Bío river
Ancud to dry Los Lagos city/town, gulf
Anticura sun stone Los Lagos river, village
Antihue sunny place[1] Los Lagos hamlet
Antillanca sun/light green quartz[1] Los Lagos volcano
Antimahuida sun/light mountain[1] Los Lagos village
Antuco sun and water Bío-Bío volcano


Buchupureo Big Wave Limit between VII & VIII Regions, Chile)
Type Comments
Bariloche from Furiloche: people from the other side of the mountain Los Lagos, Río Negro city/town, mountain pass
Bío-Bío Araucanía, Bío-Bío river
Boldo from folo, a shrub (Peumus boldus) La Araucanía
Bucalemu big forest Valparaíso
Butacura big stone Los Lagos hamlet


Placename Meaning Region (Chile)
or Province (Argentina)
Type Comments
Caburgua dug with a spoon Araucanía lake, waterfall
Calafquén lake like a sea Araucanía, Los Ríos lake
Calbuco blue waters[1] Los Lagos channel, city/town, peninsula, volcano
Caleufú Neuquén river
Callaqui Bío-Bío volcano
Calle-Calle lot of Iridaceaes Los Ríos river once called Guadalfquén
Carahue the city that was Araucanía city/town
Carelmapu green territory[1] Los Lagos headland
Carirriñe green chusquea coleou cane Los Ríos, Neuquén mountain pass, river
Carrenleufú Chubut city/town
Catirai callyíi, to cut, and raigheii, the flower of the trees, meaning short flowers[2] Bío-Bío valley
Cau-Cau kawkaw 'seagull' Los Ríos river
Chacay Discaria serratifolia[3] Atacama valley
Chacao protected harbour Los Lagos bay, channel, village
Chapelco chapel (a local bush) water Neuquén mountain, river
Chiguayante "chiguay" fog "antu" sun Bío-Bío city -
Chillán Bío-Bío city
Chiloé chille 'small seagull' and -we 'place' Los Lagos archipelago, island
Chimbarongo crooked head or place between fogs O'Higgins city/town
Choshuenco yellow water Los Ríos city/town, volcano
Cochamó confluence/estuary[1] Los Lagos bay, river, village
Conguillío water with Araucaria araucana pine nuts Araucanía lake
Copahue Bío-Bío volcano
Colhué Huapi red island Chubut lake
Concón place of owls Valparaíso city/town
Coñaripe way of the warrior Los Ríos city/town
Cucao Pteroptochus[1] Los Lagos bay, lake, river
Curarrehue Araucanía city/town
Curicó kurü 'black' and ko 'water' Maule city/town
Curiñanco kurü 'black' and ñamko 'red-backed hawk' Los Ríos beach, village


Placename Meaning Region (Chile)
or Province (Argentina)
Type Comments
Dalcahue place of canoes Los Lagos city/town
Dollinco mussel water Los Lagos river


Placename Meaning Region (Chile)
or Province (Argentina)
Type Comments
Futalafquén big lake Chubut lake
Futaleufú big river Chubut, Los Lagos river
Futrono from Futronhue: place of smoke Los Ríos town/city


Placename Meaning Region (Chile)
or Province (Argentina)
Type Comments
Guafo from Wafün: tusk Los Lagos island


Placename Meaning Region (Chile)
or Province (Argentina)
Type Comments
Hornopirén snow oven Los Lagos village, volcano once called Quechucaví; five districts
Huahum Los Ríos, Neuquén mountain pass, river
Huapi island Los Ríos island
Huechuraba clay birthplace Santiago commune/city
Huerquehue place of messengers Araucanía mountains
Huilo-Huilo Los Ríos waterfall


Placename Meaning Region (Chile)
or Province (Argentina)
Type Comments
Lácar place of landslides Neuquén lake
Lebu river Bío-Bío city
Licán Ray rock flower Araucanía city/town
Limay clear/clean Neuquén, Río Negro river
Liquiñe Los Ríos town, river, hot springs
Llaima blood veins Araucanía volcano
Llanquihue hidden place Los Lagos, Los Ríos city/town, lake, river
Lolol land of crabs and holes O'Higgins commune/town
Loncoche head of an important person Araucanía city/town
Loncomilla gold of the lonco Maule river
Lonquimay summit Araucanía city/town, volcano


Placename Meaning Region (Chile)
or Province (Argentina)
Type Comments
Máfil hugged between rivers Los Ríos town
Maihue wooden glass Los Ríos lake
Maipo Mendoza, Santiago river, valley, volcano
Malalcahuello Araucanía hot springs
Mamuil Malal corral of wooden sticks Araucanía, Neuquén mountain pass, village
Mapocho river of the Mapuche Santiago river
Melipeuco Araucanía city/town
Melipulli four hills Los Lagos city/town
Mulchén people of the west Bío-Bío city/town, river


Placename Meaning Region (Chile)
or Province (Argentina)
Type Comments
Nahuelbuta big puma Araucanía, Bío-Bío mountain range
Nahuelhuapi island of the puma Neuquén, Río Negro lake
Nahuel Rucá house of the puma Buenos Aires city/town
Neuquén sweep away Neuquén, Río Negro city/town, river


Placename Meaning Region (Chile)
or Province (Argentina)
Type Comments
Panguipulli hill of the puma Los Ríos city/town, lake
Pellaifa Los Ríos lake
Peñalolén fraternal meeting place Santiago city/town
Pichilemu little forest O'Higgins city/town
Pillanleufú river of the devil/spirit Los Ríos river
Pilolcura hollow stone Los Ríos beach, bay
Pirihueico snowy curvy water Los Ríos lake
Pucón entrance Araucanía city/town
Puduhuapi island of the pudu[1] Los Lagos island
Puelo east[1] Chubut, Los Lagos lake, river
Pullinque Los Ríos lake, river
Puyehue place of sweet water fishes Los Lagos, Los Ríos, Neuquén lake, mountain pass, volcano
Punucapa black/fertile earth for legumes Los Ríos village


Placename Meaning Region (Chile)
or Province (Argentina)
Type Comments
Quellón from Queldon; Aristotelia chilensis Los Lagos city/town
Quemchi red/pottery earth Los Lagos city/town
Quetrupillán sleeping pillán Araucanía, Los Ríos volcano
Quiapo originally Cuyapu or Cuyamapu, meaning cuya, weasel and mapu land [4] Bio-Bio hill/river
Quilicura three stones Santiago commune/city


Placename Meaning Region (Chile)
or Province (Argentina)
Type Comments
Rahue place of gray clay[1] Los Lagos, Neuquén city/town, river, village
Rancagua place of canes O'Higgins city/town
Ranco Los Ríos city/town, lake
Reloncaví valley district Los Lagos estuary, sound
Riñihue place of Chusquea coleou Los Ríos city/town, lake
Rupanco shaked waters Los Lagos lake


Placename Meaning Region (Chile)
or Province (Argentina)
Type Comments
Talca thunder Maule city/town
Talcahuano from tralcam wenu; thundering sky Bío-Bío city
Temuco Blepharocalyx cruckshanksii water Araucanía city/town
Tinguiririca round/shining quartz O'Higgins city/town, river, volcano
Tolhuaca Araucanía volcano
Traful Neuquén lake
Tralcan thunder Los Ríos mountain
Tromén Neuquén lake, volcano
Tucapel take by force Bío-Bío town


Placename Meaning Region (Chile)
or Province (Argentina)
Type Comments
Vitacura big stone Santiago city/town


Placename Meaning Region (Chile)
or Province (Argentina)
Type Comments
Yelcho carry foam Los Lagos lake, river

See also