Etymology
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tell (n.)
"mound, hill," 1864, from Arabic tall, related to Hebrew tel "mount, hill, heap." Compare Hebrew talul "lofty," Akkadian tillu "woman's breast."
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down (n.2)

"a hill of moderate elevation and more or less rounded outline," Old English dun "height, hill, moor," from Proto-Germanic *dunaz- (source also of Middle Dutch dunen "sandy hill," Dutch duin), "probably a pre-insular loan-word from Celtic" [Cambridge Dictionary of English Place-Names], in other words, borrowed at a very early period, before the Anglo-Saxon migration, perhaps from PIE root *dheue- "to close, finish, come full circle."

The more general meaning "elevated rolling grassland; high, rolling region not covered by forest" is from c. 1400. Specifically of certain natural pastureland districts of south and southeast England (the Downs) by mid-15c.

The non-English Germanic words tend to mean "dune, sand bank" (see dune), while the Celtic cognates tend to mean "hill, citadel" (compare Old Irish dun "hill, hill fort;" Welsh din "fortress, hill fort;" and second element in place names London, Verdun, etc.). German Düne, French dune, Italian, Spanish duna are said to be loan-words from Dutch.

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knoll (n.)
Old English cnoll "hilltop, small hill, clod, ball," related to Old Norse knollr "hilltop;" German knolle "clod, lump;" Dutch knol "turnip," nol "a hill."
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Massachusetts 

U.S. state; the word is plural, originally (1614) a name for the Algonquian native people who lived around the bay, from Algonquian Massachusett "at the large hill," in reference to Great Blue Hill, southwest of Boston. Related: Massachusettensian.

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Durham 

c. 1000, Dunholm "city on a hill," a merger of Old English dun "hill" (see down (n.2)) and Scandinavian holmr (see holm). The change from -n- to -r- is a result of Norman confusion (see Shrewsbury). As a breed of short-horned cattle, by 1810, so called from being bred there.

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brae (n.)
"steep slope," in northern England especially "the side of a hill," early 14c., from Scottish, "slope, river bank," perhaps from Old Norse bra "eyelash," cognate with Old English bræw "eyelid," German Braue "eyebrow" (see brow). "The word must have passed through the sense of 'eye-brow' to 'brow of a hill', supercilium (cf. OE. eaghill 'eye-hill'=eyebrow)" [OED].
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Golgotha 
hill near Jerusalem where Christ was crucified, via Latin and Greek, from Aramaic (Semitic) gulgulta, literally "(place of the) skull," cognate with Hebrew gulgoleth "skull." The hill so called for its shape (see Calvary).
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Merlin 

name of the sorcerer and soothsayer in Arthurian legends, from Old French form of Welsh Myrddhin, probably from Old Celtic *Mori-dunon, literally "of the sea-hill," from *mori "sea" (from PIE root *mori- "body of water") + dunom "hill" (see dune).

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Areopagus 
1640s, Greek, Areios pagos "the hill of Ares," west of the Acropolis in Athens, where the highest judicial court sat; second element from pagos "pinnacle, cliff, rocky hill," related to pegnunai "to fasten, coagulate," from PIE root *pag- "to fasten." Sense extended to "any important tribunal."
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Toledo 
city in Spain, famous from 16c. for its sword-blades of fine temper; the place name is Celtic, from tol "hill."
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