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A Dictionary of English Place-names (Oxford Paperback Reference) Paperback – 18 Jun 1998


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Product details

  • Paperback: 440 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks; 2nd Revised edition edition (18 Jun. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192800744
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192800749
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 593,718 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"Another volume for every local historian's bookshelf." -- Local Historian

"a book which will prove to be an invaluable travelling companion" -- Landscape History

About the Author

A. D. Mills is Emeritus Reader in English, University of London, and Editor of The Place-Names of Dorset (English Place-Name Society). He is a member of the Council of the English Place-Name Society, and the Society for Name Studies in Britain and Ireland.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

62 of 63 people found the following review helpful By R. J. Hole VINE VOICE on 15 Jan. 2003
Format: Paperback
I bought this because after looking around I decided it was the best English place-name dictionary available. I am interested in etymology, the derivation of place-names and surnames but I am also an amateur genealogist. This book along with 'A Dictionary of English Surnames' by Reaney & Wilson deserve a place on any genealogist's or local historian's bookshelf.

The entries are easily understandable, e.g.

"Luxborough Somerset. Lolochesberie 1086
(DB). 'Stronghold, or hill, of a man
called Lulluc'. OE pers. name + burh or
beorg."

At the back is a glossary of common elements like burh or beorg.

There is a 16 page introduction that includes some history of place-name formation.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dianne Hardwick on 24 Dec. 2010
Format: Paperback
My interest in this volume was as a reference work for historical research. The introduction explains about the diverse origins of English place names (and it is only England the book covers, not Wales and Scotland) explaining their Celtic, Old English or Scandinavian origins. It deals with the way placenames developed from either the people who settled or lived in the area, the function the place performed or the topographical feature which may have given the place its name.

The main body of the book also has useful county maps pre 1974 and after 1974 but although it has many entries, very small hamlets or villages may not have a mention. The book ends with a glossary of the parts of English placenames and, as one would expect, a useful guide to further reading. It could help to build up a good picture of the historical origins of a locality.

Although this edition is a 1997 reprint it represents, for the general reader, a very good value reference work at modest cost. It would be of interest to researchers into family and local history especially.
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By Nicholas Casley TOP 500 REVIEWER on 27 Aug. 2013
Format: Paperback
This is a review of the original 1991 edition. One feels one can trust AD Mills through his work for the reputable English Place-Name Society, some of whose county volumes I have in my possession. In his preface, he writes how space simply does not allow him to provide the full range of early spellings for each entry to substantiate his conclusions, but he assures us that his etymologies are based on analysis and evaluation of the full range available.

Before the dictionary proper, Mills provides a twenty-page introduction to the subject. He says, "The main object of this dictionary is simple - to explain the most likely meanings and origins of over 12,000 English place-names in a clear, concise, and easily accessible form, based on the evidence and information so far available." He covers not only settlements, but counties, districts, rivers, etc. He then gives a necessarily brief overview of the chronology of the invasions of peoples into England, and thus the languages used in name origins. This overview is accompanied by some interesting examples. In addition, he explains how place-names are formed in different contexts.

Two maps are provided of both the pre-1974 and post-1974 counties (but now, of course, re-arranged again). A glossary is also supplied, listing common place-name elements, as well as a bibliography for further exploration. The only thing I found that is missing is a pronunciation guide for inflected vowels. (This may have been included in later editions.) But overall, this is a reputable A-Z dictionary covering the whole of England.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mike Lloyd on 16 Jun. 2011
Format: Paperback
I must admit that I am a bit of a sucker for reference books, they're more interesting than 75% of TV and this one rates quite highly.
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