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English Place Name Suffixes


English Place Name Suffixes
By Linus Joseph Dewald Jr., Editor
Fall 2001 and Revised 21 May 2004

We found an interest explanation by Peter D. Chilvers on the Essex Co., England mailing list (Essex-UK-L.rootsweb.com) as to the meaning of some of the suffixes used in the designation of places in England. Some of those same terms were also prefixes, while others were combined to become more descriptive of a location (Felsted, in Essex County, England is likely a combination of "Fell" and "Stead." For that meaning, see the terms below).

Not surprisingly, many of those place names were carried to, and used in, colonial America by former residents of those places in England.

Roman Terms: 50 BC - 410 AD

Caster: Fort; Camp; Later town 
Cester: Fort; Camp; Later town 
Chester: Fort; Camp; Later town 
Fos (s): Ditch 
Port: Harbour; Gate 
Street: Paved way 
    
Celtic Terms: 800 BC - 400 AD

Aber: River mouth or ford 
Afon: River 
Allt: Hillside 
Avon; Esk; Eye; Dee: River 
Bedd: Grave 
Bre-; Drum; Don: Hill 
Caer: Fortress 
Capel: Chapel 
Carnedd: Cairn 
Castell: Castle 
Coed: Wood 
Cwm: Valley 
Dinas: City 
Glan: River Bank 
Hamps: Dry stream in Summer 
Llan: Church 
Llyn: Lake 
Mawr: Big 
Môr: Sea 
Mynydd: Mountain 
Pant: Hollow 
Pen; Bryn: Hill; Head 
Plas: Palace 
Pont; Bont: Bridge 
Porth: Harbour 
Tre: Hamlet; Village; Town 
Treath: Beach
Ynys: Island 
    
Saxon Terms: 350 AD - 1000 AD

Bourne: Stream 
Burn: Stream 
Burg: Large village 
Croft: Small enclosure 
Cot: Small hut 
Delph: Ditch, dyke or stream 
Den(n): Pig pasture 
Eg; Ey; Ea; Eig: Island 
Fall: Area cleared of trees 
Fen: Fen 
Field: Field 
Ham: Village 
Hurst: According to 'Dictionary of Place-Names in the British Isles' by Adrian
	Room, 'hurst' meant 'hillock or wooded hill' and came from the Anglo-Saxon
	(Old English) 'hyrst'. He says that it is particularly common in Surrey and
	Sussex. Hurstpierpoint, now in West Sussex, was just Hurst until after the
	Norman Conquest. It was still called 'Herst' in the Domesday Book. But
	Pierpoint was added when  Robert de Pierpoint became lord of the manor late
	in the eleventh century.

Ing: People 
Lake: Lake 
Ley; Lea: Clearing 
Mere: Pool 
Moor: Moor 
Moss: Swamp 
Riding; Rod: Cleared land 
Stead: place 
Stoc: Summer pasture 
Stoke: 'Daughter' settlement 
Stow: Holy Place 
Ton; Tun: House; Farm 
Weald; Wold; High Woodland 
Wic; Wike: Farm; Group of huts 
Wood: Wood 
Worth: Fenced land 
Worthy: Enclosed land 
    
Viking Terms: 750 AD - 1100 AD

Akr: Acre 
Beck: Stream 
Booth: Summer pasture 
By: Farm; Village 
Ey: Island 
Fell; How: Hill or mound 
Fiord: Fiord 
Fiskr: Fish 
Gardr: Yard; landing place 
Garth: Enclosure 
Gate: Road 
Geit: Goat 
Gill: Ravine or valley 
Holm(r): Island 
Hus: House 
Ings: Marsh; meadow 
Kald: Cold 
Kelda: Spring, stream 
Kirk: Church 
Laithe: Barn 
Lin: Flax 
Lund: Grove 
Melr: Sandbank 
Orme: Serpent 
Pollr: Pool 
Skar: Cleft 
Sker: Rock 
Slack: Stream in a valley 
Stakkr: Rock in the sea 
Stan: Stone 
Stokkr: Sound 
Tarn: Lake 
Thorp: Daughter settlement 
Thwaite: Forest clearing; meadow 
Toft: Homestead 
Wath: Ford 
Wray: Remote place 

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