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"The Swiss Family Robinson" describes the shipwreck and survival of a Swedish family on an uncharted island in the Pacific Ocean. Knowing that rescue is not expected, they begin to explore the island, salvaging what they can from their ruined ship, and building a suitable refuge.
Early in their explorations (Chapter 4), William, the father and narrator, suggests that they begin naming the places they have seen, otherwise it will be difficult to refer to them in the future. They begin by naming the location of their landing "Safety Bay", and proceeding from there;
Other names were quickly chosen. Our first place of abode we called Tentholm; the islet in the bay, Shark's Island; and the reedy swamp, Flamingo Marsh. It was some time before the serious question of a name for our leafy castle could be decided. But finally it was entitled Falconhurst; and we then rapidly named the few remaining points: Prospect Hill, the eminence we first ascended; Cape Disappointment, from whose rocky heights we had strained our eyes in vain search for our ship's company; and Jackal River, as a name for the large stream at our landing place, concluded our geographical nomenclature.
The names are, as one might expect, largely descriptive and linear in those descriptions. In the following Chapter, William spontaneously names the island New Switzerland.
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