What's in a name
Andrew Waugh, surveyor general of India, released the
most important finding of the 'Great Arc' of mountains
from the south of India to the Himalayas: Peak XV was
the highest mountain in the world and would henceforth
be known as 'Mount Everest', in honour of Waugh's
predecessor, Sir George Everest. Waugh's proposal met
with much initial opposition, including from Everest
himself who thought a local name should be used. In
response Waugh claimed that there was no 'local name
that we can discover'. But this was always certainly
untrue, even if Waugh himself didn't know it. Very
likely there were many scholars who knew the Tibitan
name for the mountain: Qomolangma, which can be
interpreted as 'Goddess Mother of the Universe' or (more
literally, if less poetically) 'Princess Cow'.
as 1733, the French produced a map on which Everest is
indicated as Tschoumou Lancma. In addition, on the very
day Waugh's paper on Everest was presented to the Royal
Geographic Society, another was read that revealed the
local Nepali name to be Deodhunga. Still, the Everest
contingent gained the upper hand (even the writer of the
Nepali paper wanted the great man's name used) and in
1865 the Royal Geographic Society declared 'Mt Everest'
would henceforth designate the world's highest mountain.
Of course, this has had little effect on what Tibetans
and Chinese call the mountain.
Lonely Planet - Tibet