English Place-Names

English Place-Names

English Place-Names

English Place-Names

Excerpt

It is impossible to write a book of this kind without constant reference to the numerous published works on English place-names, particularly to the volumes of the English Place-Name Society and to Professor Eilert Ekwall's The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place-Names. In these works the meaning suggested for each of the names is based on the evidence of the early spellings which are given, so that the reader may check the proposed etymology against the material provided. No one, except Ekwall himself, has a personal collection of early place-name spellings for the whole of the country, from which a general book could be written, so that a writer on the subject is almost entirely dependent on these major works for this material. It is impossible in such a book as this to indicate in individual detail and by means of footnotes my indebtedness to other scholars, but I hope that this debt will be made eminently clear by the acknowledgements which follow.

Ekwall's outstanding position in the field of English place-names is universally recognized, and his Dictionary is the standard reference book for all interested in the meanings of the names of our cities, towns, villages and hamlets. Most of the names included here will in fact be found in the Dictionary, and a comparison will immediately show the debt I owe to it. A selection of his other important studies is given in the Bibliography, and from these the reader will readily gather his unique importance as a place-name scholar. I can only add my own tribute to Ekwall's work, for my personal debt to it is very great, as is that of all other present-day students of place-names.

The publications of the English Place-Name Society, of course, include all the names in the respective counties found in the Dictionary, and countless others. In fact, the more recent volumes of the Society contain all the names marked on the Six-inch Ordnance Survey maps, and so provide an almost complete collection of the place-names of the counties dealt with, for, in addition, they consider many names now no longer in current use, but which are of importance to scholars in other fields of study. The Society's . . .

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