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University of Nottingham - Key to English Place Names



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The University of Nottingham’s Key to English Place Names provides an up-to-date guide to the interpretation of the names of England's cities, towns and villages.

The names of villages and towns frequently refer to particular people(s), social and administrative activities, landscape, birds and animals, crops and vegetation, and most of them are well over a thousand years old. In other words, the names can tell us something important about the history of those places, and how they were perceived, which would otherwise be unknown.

You can use the Key to search for a particular place-name, or to browse through the names of a particular county. It will provide you with a name's meaning and a break-down of the different parts of the name (its 'elements') and the language(s) of those elements.


 Place Names - Meanings (England)

In common with most historically-based research, the University of Nottingham uses the county-boundaries that stood before local government reorganization in 1974.


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