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Can I say "Everest mount", instead of "Mount Everest"? I want to know the rule of such combinations.

Or why do we say "Eiffel Tower", not the other way around?

Thanks for giving me the right way to go!

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  • Related Why do we say "Mississippi river" instead of "River Mississippi"?, but I think there is a better duplicate around here somewhere.
    – ColleenV
    Mar 16, 2022 at 13:52
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    I’m voting to close this question because questions asking "Why?" regarding idiomatic structures or patterns in English often lead to opinion-based or fuzzy answers and may be more appropriate for chat.
    – LawrenceC
    Mar 16, 2022 at 17:19
  • The name of the mountain is Mount Everest, so we call it that; there is no mountain called Everest Mount. By the same token, there is a peak in Massachusetts called Holy Mount, and you would not call it Mount Holy, because that is not its name. There are certain common patterns in the naming of geographic and other landmarks, but no universally reliable rules; you just need to learn the names as you would any other name.
    – choster
    Apr 11, 2022 at 17:09

2 Answers 2

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Andy Bonner gives an excellent summary of what the conventions are around different geographical entities.

But the question asks "Why do we do this?", so let me answer that:

We just do.

There is no real reason for it. You can learn the conventions, but there isn't a real logic, and pretty much all the conventions have exceptions: "Mount Everest" but "Brokeback Mountain"; "Mediterranean Sea" but "Sea of Azov"; "River Nile" but never "River Mississippi".

I'm afraid you will just have to learn the conventions.

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See these questions:

The bottom line is that geographical features have a lot of inconsistency in their naming. There are trends—"Mount X" is much more common than "X Mountain"—but many mountains follow the second pattern. Lakes can also go both ways: "Lake Superior," "Singletary Lake." Sometimes you hear explanations that the pattern is based on size, but these fail to take many exceptions into account. You simply have to learn the pattern that each geographic feature uses. (To complicate matters, they may take opposite patterns in other languages, like "the Mediterranean Sea" vs "el Mar Mediterráneo.")

(Note, although many mountains use the pattern "X Mountain," you almost never use "Mount" as the second word. And except for specific mountain names, any use of the noun "mount" as a synonym for "mountain" is archaic or poetic ("Moses descended from the mount").

The Eiffel Tower is a different matter. The French call it la Tour Eiffel, and we call it "the Eiffel Tower," simply because of conventions in both languages about identifiers in proper and common nouns. In English, when you create a proper noun by adding an identifier to a common noun, like "Ocean View Restaurant," the identifier (the "name part") comes first, and the common noun (the "type of thing") second. In many languages, the pattern is the opposite (Restaurante Vista Del Mar).

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