English Place Names

Module code: EN3167

The place-names of England, studied in conjunction with the landscapes to which they belong, represent a fascinating body of evidence for the development of the English language and for the history of its speakers. This module trains you on how to research place-names, considering their etymology, the languages in which they were coined and their relationships with history and landscape. You will conduct your own fieldwork to explore the place-names of an area of interest to you within England, and will gain practical experience in interpreting place-names and understanding the development of the English language and landscape.

Topics covered:

  • Place-name etymology
  • The contribution of Brittonic, Latin, Old English, Old Norse and French to English place-naming
  • Place-names as evidence for political, social and agricultural history
  • Early documentary sources for place-names, including charters and Domesday Book
  • Personal names in place-names
  • Place-names as evidence for landscape