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on 11 February 2018
A very useful quick reference to place-names BUT why on earth did the author call it "British Place Names"? I actually like the fact that it includes so many Irish place-names and the author does a good job on them as well. It is great to see the names of our islands (British, Irish and Manx) mixed together just as our history has always been and may that continue in peace and collaboration. I believe the book would even have better sales possiblities if called the by the more accurate (and more respectful) title "British & Irish Place Names". In return we solemly promise not to include William Shakespeare, William Wordsworth, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens or even David Mills in our compendium of "Irish Authors". One reviewer suggested that the Isle of Man is not British either so that might also be incorporated into the title.

I did miss out on some of the names I was curious about, e.g., many place names in the beautiful Isles of Scilly. A wonderful addition to this book would be to include the pronunciation of the names. What's the good of knowing how "Mousehole" got its name if we mispronounce it ... not to mention "Cwmystwyth" and "Ysbyty Ystwyth "! We could reduce the number of tourists looking for "war witch", "done leg hairy", "kirk cud bright" and "god manchester".

Anyway, forgive the author for the title and buy the book! It's useful when you need it and still fascinating when you don't!
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on 24 December 2017
This is an amazingly comprehensive collection of historical information. It covers 99.99% of British place names and their origin.
To get all possible derivations for some very obscure names would take a lifetime and a far bigger book! So I think a certain amount of guesswork went on over a name being related to possibly a person's name back in the years of the Doomsday Book. I did set about checking if the book had details of two places I know of that are rather obscure to see if it had included them and it had missed them out (Bowerswain in Dorset and Nately Scures in Hants) though to give it due praise it had got mention of Bowerchalke and Up Nately which was near enough. To cover Wales, Ireland and Scotland was some considerable feat. So if you are interested in place name origins this is the next best thing to going on the www to find out in greater depth.
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on 14 June 2014
This is one of my favourite ever books & a must-have on a UK road trip. Fascinating to dip into to find out the origins of all those funny place names you've wondered about & it's surprising how many really places are included. There were, however, quite a few places in Cornwall missing. If you like this book, check out 'Origin of Words', which is also brilliant.
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VINE VOICEon 23 February 2012
Maybe it's a sign of middle age but I find the derivation of place names fascinating - especially when played as a guessing game in the car. This book is an authoritative and mainly very plausible reference to place names. I've only found one or two that are not included - this makes the perfect book for the car, or the smallest room.
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on 9 May 2017
I love place names and the meanings behind them, once you have the basics you can work out what a lot of place names mean but this book is good as it will give you the meaning of places that don't have a lot of the standard parts like, ham, field, mouth and pool
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on 14 February 2013
When I am driving around the countryside and for many years I wondered "What does that funny village name means?". I bought this book and found it to be well laid out, very educational and fun. Makes a great book to leave on your coffee table. It always get picked up and the reader ends up engrossed and having a laugh at some of the names. Great buy.
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on 19 January 2016
nicely presented book which answered the questions I had about 'why is this place called this'. with the information given it usually is so obvious why.
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on 16 May 2016
We keep getting out to reference different names as they come up. Handy little reference book to have on your shelf.
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on 2 July 2017
very interesting and entertaining
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on 16 September 2015
Great resource for those studying or interested in onomastics. Somewhat Anglo-centric, though this is largely the nature of the discipline in Britain.
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