City names have been used as sources for knowledge of space in Egyptological research – especially with reference to concepts such as abroad and urbanity. This interpretation is based on classifier variation in the spelling of place names in the Egyptian border regions, e. g., the same name can be spelled with a hieroglyph associated with the concepts urban and Egyptian (Gardiner-Zeichenliste 049) as well as with hieroglyphs, that are linked to the concept abroad (Gardiner-Zeichenliste N25 und T14). A relationship between this variation and historical-political or conceptional changes in the border area of Egypt and (amongst others) the Levant has been thereby established. Theories of linguistic categorization have not as yet been applied to the material, although classifiers are linguistic elements (morphemes). My contribution thus demonstrates how categorization approaches, especially prototype theory, can help reconcile seemingly contradictory data. The hieroglyphic and hieratic spelling of the Egyptian city Sile (Tjaru) will serve as an example.