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Place-Names: A Pocket Guide to Over 1500 Place-names in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales (Discovering Books) Paperback – 1 Oct 2005


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Product details

  • Paperback: 72 pages
  • Publisher: Shire Publications Ltd; 4th Revised edition edition (1 Oct. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747806179
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747806172
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 1 x 17.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 982,278 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

The late John Field, editorial assistant in the English Place-Name Society, was engaged in place-name research for many years. He had a particular interest in field-names and published 'English Field-names: A Dictionary' in 1972 and 'A History of English Field-names in 1993.

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Customer Reviews

2.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kai-Mikael Jää-Aro on 23 Jan. 2012
This is an extremely information-dense book. In less than seventy pages, it manages to explain the meaning of some 1500 names, while at the same time giving an idea of how these meanings have been found out.

There are multiple layers of place-names in Britain--Celtic, Roman, Anglo-Saxon, Nordic, French, each introducing their own traditions for naming, renaming and reusing place names--and Field goes through each layer, explaining common naming themes and name parts for each of them. Common endings, such as -ton and -bury are explained, and Field also notes that not all in fact do have the same origin, but that names have changed over time, as the older meanings have been forgotten and the misheard or misunderstood names have been normalised towards superficially more intelligible ones. At the same time, pronounciations of the names may, centuries later, give a hint to the original meanings. I learned that medieval spelling wasn't random and that old spellings can give realiable hints of the actual meanings of names, while at the same time misspellings have sometimes created new and fanciful names. The place-names evoke what the land looked like a thousand years and more ago, and what settlers looked for and took notice of.

The book ends with some suggestions for amateur scholarship, how to find out about the local names of streets, meadows and other such things and has a brief but useful list of references.
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By tel boy on 4 Oct. 2014
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Still looking for a better book
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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mr. D. J. Royle on 10 Feb. 2010
I thought this book was explaining how towns and villages got thier names it does'nt
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 1 review
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Discovering UK place names 20 Jun. 2009
By Sydney D. Darlington - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Facinating review of the many origins of place names in Great Britain, and fun reading!
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