What is the meaning of "village is synonymous worldwide" in below context?

I understand meaning of synonymous is "same in meaning" but could not understand its meaning here.

This seaside village is synonymous worldwide with this unsolved shocking case.

Source of information is here: https://youtu.be/3prCCJIhIKA?t=140

3 Answers 3


The name of the village is "Praia da Luz" and the case is the disappearance of Maddy McCann.

When the case is so famous that when people say "Praia da Luz", people will immediately think of the case.

The town of Cheddar is synonymous with cheese.

Bhopal is synonymous with the deaths of thousands of people from a gas leak.

And so on. It is a "journalistic" type expression, slightly more fancy than normal speech.

  • So it means "the seaside village is synonym of popularity with its unsolved shocking case"?
    – Pankaj
    Commented Mar 7, 2021 at 22:12
  • There is one more sentence right after that in the video- This is original - one that is now reliant on public appeal for help is to be a breakthrough, I could rewrite it like this but no understand at at about it - one that is now dependent on making a serious request to public is to be a dramatic turn in an incident. but what is the meaning?
    – Pankaj
    Commented Mar 7, 2021 at 22:13
  • 4
    Not "popularity". In plain speech you could just say "This seaside village is very well known worldwide for this shocking unsolved case"
    – James K
    Commented Mar 7, 2021 at 22:34
  • Thanks a lot. That really helped.
    – Pankaj
    Commented Mar 7, 2021 at 22:36
  • 1
    For the second part, you have misquoted slightly: "The case is reliant (depends on) a public appeal for help (the appeal made by the police for help finding the criminal) if there is to be a breakthrough" So to solve the case, there needs to be help from the public.
    – James K
    Commented Mar 7, 2021 at 22:38

It's not 'American' English specially. The video is a British TV news report about the village of Praia da Luz in Portugal, where the British child Madeleine McCann disappeared in 2007. When many people hear the name of the village they think of the case of the little girl.

  • can you paraphrase it? This seaside village is synonymous worldwide with this unsolved shocking case.
    – Pankaj
    Commented Mar 7, 2021 at 22:07
  • 1
    Praia da Luz means Madeleine McCann to many people. Commented Mar 7, 2021 at 22:33
  • 2
    Also worth pointing out that "all over the world" is probably seriously overstating it. Are people outside the readers of the rag printing this drivel, and the residents of Maddy's home town and Praia de Luz itself, still remotely interested in this? Commented Mar 7, 2021 at 22:37
  • I just remember all the UK 'red top' (tabloid) newspaper front pages screaming "FIND MADDY". Didn't one offer a reward? As if that would do anything. Cynical circulation building. We don't know her or her family personally, so I would rather stick with 'Madeleine'. Commented Mar 7, 2021 at 22:40
  • Can you please help me here? ell.stackexchange.com/questions/288074/…
    – Pankaj
    Commented Jun 5, 2021 at 16:27

It means:

  • "People all over the world associate the name of the village with the shocking unsolved case (of Madeleine McCann)."

It is an example of the sort of typical hyperbole and overstatement that is part and parcel of the sort of "newspaper" which prints such appalling drivel.

  • The "newpaper" is the BBC
    – James K
    Commented Mar 7, 2021 at 22:35
  • @JamesK All the more pleased I am to have stopped paying any attention to any of the "news" they publish. Commented Mar 7, 2021 at 22:39

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