Tribal and National Identity in Germanic Place-Names

                                                                                    (Written: July 2002; Last update: 23 March 2015)


Font Colour Key:

maroon = modern names of regions and nations;
blue = modern individual settlement names;
green = medieval forms of place-names and words

(Old English, Old Norse, Old Danish, Middle High German, etc.).


 Opening remarks

In Germany, particularly, ethnic names or the names of tribes have later taken on territorial connotations and become the names of individual geographic or political regions and states, e.g. Sachsen, Schwaben, Franken. The OHG tribal name in the dative plural often refers to the territory or land occupied by that tribe, e.g. (800s) hier in Vrankôn ("here among the Franks, in the Franks' territory"), 1195: ze Swâben ("among the Swabians, in their territory"), c.1200 (Nibelungenlied): dâ zen Burgonden, so was ir lant genant ("there among the Burgundians, which their land was also called"). Singular forms of the Länder names begin to appear around 1250, where forms like MHG Swâbin (modern Schwaben) start to be used.

   Names of Nations and Regions

ENGLAND: "land of the Angles" (c.890: Englaland, 1000: Englaland) from OE Engle "Angles" (later "English") in genitive plural Engla and land. England came to mean "land of the English" rather than merely "land of the Angles" as far back into OE times as 880, when the adjective Englisc meant "English" and not merely "Anglian". Other compounds found in OE found denoting "England" are Angelcynn and Angelþêod (both meaning "the nation of the English") from 880 onwards.

Essex: "the East Saxons" (later coming to denote the territory settled by them) (894: East Seaxe, 904: East Sexe, 1086: Exsessa; OE êast + Seaxe "Saxons").      

Sussex: "the South Saxons" (later coming to denote the territory settled by them) (607: Suð Seaxe, 722: Suþ Seaxe, 773: Suþ Seaxna lond, 895: Suð Seaxum, 1086: Sudsexe; OE sûð + Seaxe "Saxons").

Wessex (now only in historical usage): "the West Saxons" (later coming to denote the territory settled by them - the OE kingdom was centred on Winchester) (709: West Seaxna lond, 871: West Seaxe; OE west + Seaxe "Saxons").

Middlesex: "the Middle Saxons" (later coming to denote the territory settled by them) (704: Middelseaxan, 767: Middil Sæxum, 1086: Midelsexe; OE middel + Seaxe "Saxons").

Norfolk: "the northern folk" (1043-5: Norfolk, 1075: Norðfolc, 1086: Nordfolc; OE norð + folc "people"). This name separated them from the "southern folk", i.e. those of Suffolk. In the Old English Bede, Norþfolc is used to refer to dwellers north of the Humber.

Suffolk: "the southern folk" (895: Suthfolchi, 1055: Suðfolc, 1086: Sudfulc, 1095: Sudfolka; OE sûþ + folc "people"). This name separated them from the "northern folk", i.e. those of Norfolk.

Surrey: "the southern district" (but see below) (722: Suþrige, 871-89: Suþregum, 1011: Suðrig, 1086: Sudrie; OE sûþer-, where means "district"). The context of a form from 823, Suþrige, and the Suðrigena land (i.e. "land of the dwellers in the south") which is found in Bede, suggests at least a partial derviation from an OE term for "folk, people". This supposes that the second element of the form in Bede is an element derived from OE and means "inhabitant of a district", thus giving a possible meaning of "inhabitants of the southern district" which later became the name of the region (cf. Gothic gauja).

Northumberland: "land north of the Humber" (867: Norþhymbre, 985: Norðhymbraland). OE Norþhymbre originally meant "Northumbrians, those of the Angles who live north of the Humber" and the OE forms reflect a time when the area covered by the name was much larger than is the case today. Northumbria is now only used in an historical sense. Northumberland is first recorded in its modern sense in 1130, after English territory in the Lowlands had been ceded and York and Durham had been granted their own district territories.

Mercia: "boundary dwellers" (OE Merce) - probably refers to this Midlands kingdom's boundary with Wales but may alternatively refer to the border with Deria to the north. Mercia bordered all the original OE kingdoms except Kent and Sussex.

East Anglia: is a Latinisation of OE Êast Engle "the East Angles". Such was originally a folk-name, covering at least the Angles of Norfolk and Suffolk, which later became the name of the district they lived in. The term today unofficially covers Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and (illogically) Essex.

DANMARK: "boundary of the Danes" (i.e. against the Saxons in the south) and the folk-name underlying it was first recorded in 551 in the Latin name of the tribe Dani. From the late 800s, we have the first recorded form of the country itself in OE Denamearc (from Wulfstân's account of his trade route to Hedeby in King Alfred's adaptation of Orosius), compounding the genitive of Dene "Danes" and mearc "boundary, border". OHG Denemarca is also recorded and the later ON Danmörk from the folk-name Danir "Danes". We have to wait until the first of two great runestones erected at Jelling in Jylland to get a native version of the name. On Jelling I (c.935 AD), erected by Gorm the Old, we read tanmarkar (in the genitive singular) and on Jelling II (c.985 AD), raised by son Harald Bluetooth, a tanmaurk is carved. No attempt will be made here to go into the etymology of the stem word.

Jylland (English Jutland): "territory of the Jutes" - the name "Jute" is known first from OE sources of the 6th century (Êotas, Iotas) and possibly had an original meaning of "man" from a supposed *jótr (cf. ON ýtar). The Jutes numbered among the tribes who took part in the Anglo-Saxon invasions of Britain in the 5th century. Later forms include OE Gotland (890s), 1075: ODan. Jutland, Iutland (from ODan. Iûtar "Jutes"), ON Jótland (from ON Jótar "Jutes, Danes"). Adolf Noreen has linked the name to the first element in the Swedish lake names Juten, Jutern and therefore postulated the alternative interpretation "waterland" (de Vries).

Himmerland (an area between Ålborg and Hobro): "(home-)land of the Cimbrians" (1231: Himbersysel, 1268: Ymbersusyl, 1450: Himmerland) - the first element is probably from an inhabitant-name connected to the Cimbrians, a tribe who early in the 2nd century BC migrated to Rome. However, the name still remains somewhat shrouded in mystery. Noreen has linked the tribal name to the bird name ON himbri, Nynorsk imbre "the great northern diver" (de Vries).

Hardsyssel (Ringkøbing amt): "district of the forest dwellers" - (c.1187: Hartesyssel, 1231: Harthæsysæl) includes the old folk-name harderne which contains ODan.*harth "forest" and hence the folk-name ODan.*harthar means "the forest dwellers", just as ON hörðar are preserved in Hordaland. ODan.*harth is only known in Danish place-names but recorded as an independent active word in Old Saxon and Old High German.

Angeln (a former region of Denmark between the river Schlei and the Flensburger Förde in eastern Schleswig, now part of Landkreis Schleswig-Holstein, Germany): may be a derivation from an ON adjective öngr "narrow, tight" and give the noun *angul, *ængil which answers well to small watercourses. If this is correct, the regional name probably stems from the name of the local fiord. German linguist Dieter Berger prefers a German view, rather than a Scandinavian one, and derives the name from the Old Saxon adjective engi "narrow, thin" (cf. OHG engi, older angi). These Scandinavian and West Germanic offerings clearly go back to a common Germanic root and either may be the source for Angeln. It is well to remember that Danish eng "narrow, tight" (early modern Danish eng) is a loan from German anyway and the Scandinavian solution given by Jørgensen assumes an unrecorded form in Old Danish. For that reason, I prefer the German-based interpretation of the name. 

This regional name is mentioned because it clearly recalls the name of one of the West Germanic tribes who took part in the Germanic conquest of eastern and southern Britain in the 500s AD, i.e. the Angles (OE Engle). Roman historian Tacitus mentions them in his Germania (Latin Anglii, Angli) but does not state their location. The Anglo-Saxon historian Bede, writing in the first part of the 8th century, claims that the region had been deserted since the migration of the Angles to England (c. 450 AD, possibly before) and his own time: "… is þæt land ðe Angulus is nemned and is sæd of ðære tide þe hî ðanon gewiton oð tôdæge þæt hit wêste wunige". The region was under the control of Swedish vikings about 900 AD (King Olaf and sons Gnupa, Gurd and Sigtryg ruled in Hedeby until 934), and in the 1200s was a possession of the Danish crown. It later became the seat of the Holsteinish nobility.  

Bornholm (an island belonging to Denmark in the Baltic): the first recorded form is OE Burgenda land (late 800s) from Old English and means "land of the Burgundians" (cf. OE Burgendas "Burgundians" perhaps meaning the "high-lying"). From ON records of c.1000 AD, we find an at hólme but without any mention of tribal connections. A later ON Borgundarholmr "islet of the Burgundians" does appear. Danish first supplies a Burghændæholm in 1231 and the modern form of the name first appears c.1450, probably owing to Middle Low German influence. The first element of the compound is probably the genitive plural of the folk-name Burgunder "Burgundians" but may alternatively derive from an older name *Burghund for the island itself.

Thy (northwest part of Jutland, between Limfjorden and the Atlantic): possibly "district of the people". Older forms (such as 1075: Thuit, 1231: Thiud, 1253: Thuit) show that the name is in origin identical with ODan.*thiûth "folk, people" (cf. OE þêod, ON þjóð, OS thiod) which expanded in meaning to "folk-area" in other names for districts such as Sveþiuþ "nation of the Svea" in Swedish Uppland. Another interpretation, sees the name of the district derive from a related inhabitant-name, ODan.*thýthir, which corresponds to teuton and accords with a belief that the Teutons originally spread from this area.

SVERIGE "kingdom or realm of the Svea" is already found in OSwed. as Svearike, Sverghe and ON Svíaríki (cf. OE Swêorîce). This name comes from the period after the Svea (i.e. the ancient Swedes - OSwed. svear, ON Svíar, OE Swêon) had moved southwards to conquer those territories which were formerly held by the götar (the ancient inhabitants of present Väster and Öster Götland), thus forming a new kingdom which bore the name of their tribe as conquerors. An older regional name is OSwed. Svethiudh, Sveþiuþ, ON Svíþjóð "nation of the Svea" (cf. OE Swêoþêod), referring in ON and medieval Swedish sources to Swedish Uppland with its centre in Old Uppsala. The name Svealand is quite young and is a large area of Sweden covering modern Uppland, Södermanland, Närke, Dalarna, Västmanland and Värmland, and contains the old tribal name svear. The name svear itself is debated. One suggestion finds in it ComGerm.*swê- "own, belonging to oneself" and therefore the tribal name would have originally meant "their own, belonging to them". Another suggestion is a side-form *siwi- to the ComGerm. root *saiwi- "sea". The svear would have therefore denoted "the people by the sea".

Götaland: comprises a very large region of Sweden, including Västergötland, Östergötland, Småland, Öland, Dalsland, Bohuslän, Halland, Blekinge, Skåne and Gotland (the Baltic island). In the regional name, and in the district names Västergötland (1070: Westragothia) and Östergötland, we have the tribal name OSwed. götar (ON gautar, OE geatas; thence OSwed. Götland, ON Gautland "Götland"). In ablaut form, OSwed. göt "Götalander" also appears in the name of the island Gotland (OSwed. Gotland, OGnutish Gutland), which contains the folk-name gute, plural gutar "Gotlander(s)". The present form with -o- is probably due to Middle Low German influence and confusion with gotar. Etymologically related to götar "Götalanders", and linguistically identical to gutar "Gotlanders", is the name of the Germanic tribe gotar (ON gotar, OE Gotan) "Goths", whose own name for themselves was Gutþiuda "nation of the Goths". Although the linguistic relations have been determined and these have shed a little light on the social and historical relations, the exact relation between the three etymologically related terms and those regions or toponyms named after them is still unclear. It seems for certain that both Gotland and Götaland refer to the Goths but the precise circumstances and relations remain shrouded in mystery.

NORGE, NOREG: the first recorded form denoting Norway comes from Latin of c.840, where Nortuagia is found - surely a Latinisation of a Germanic term. From about 880 AD, we have the first record of the name in a Germanic language, OE norðweg "the North way". This comes from the Norwegian Óttar's (OE Ohthere) account of his trade route from northern Norway towards the south in King Alfred's translation and adaptation of Orosius. In this account, OE Norðmanna land "land of the northmen" is also found (cf. later ON norðmanna land "Norway"). The oldest Scandinavian form comes from the Jelling II runestone from Jutland, Denmark, and is dated c.985 AD. Here it is written that King Harald Bluetooth "conquered all Nuruiak (ODan.*Norwegh) for himself". Swedes and Danes called the inhabitants of Norway norðmenn and so did the Anglo-Saxons. Old Norse literature records two differing forms Norvegr (or Norveghr) and Noregr (or Noreghr) from assumed older *Norðrvegr. The debate then becomes one of which of these is the elder and whether they actually do derive from the older supposed form or have some other derivation. Earlier scholars naturally enough assumed that the second element was ON vegr "way" (cf. the OE name) but recent research in Norwegian dialects has thrown up the possibility instead of ON ríki "kingdom, realm" (cf. ON Svíaríki "kingdom of the Swedes"). It is almost universally agreed that the first element is ON norðr "north" and the name (if we accept the first interpretation) would then mean "the north way" or perhaps "the land which lies to the north" (cf. ON suðrvegr "lands to the south" i.e. Italy, Germany, etc.). Certainly OE Norðweg and later English Norway, German Norwegen, all suggest that the coast of Norway was seen as a guide to sail along to the north, i.e. "the north way". The name probably originally referred to the coastal strips of the west and north of the country and only later to the east and interior of the country. It may have been a term imported from Sweden or Denmark. The current standard term (at least in areas where Bokmål is dominant), Norge, appears to have gained currency via an East Norse influence (i.e. Danish or Swedish) on Norwegian written forms in the Middle Ages and early modern period. The form Norge (/når'ge/) is now almost the norm everywhere, but in the past pronunciation and written form varied a good deal according to region or dialect. Norrig(e) is sometimes found in the poetic language of 1700s and 1800s Dano-Norwegian (and hence accords well with the "ríki" theory of origin). Norig was used in landsmål from about 1850 until the early 1900s (with Noreg as a side-form) and Noreg has been the official Nynorsk term since 1938. The debate still goes on about the original provenance of both forms (i.e. Norge and Noreg) - are they East Norse terms or native forms? - and Norwegian dialect forms, regional forms and their pronunciation have often been brought into the argument. The matter is still not resolved and is too complex to outline here.

Finnmark (the name of a fylke): "mountainous forestland controlled by the Lapps". The name compounds ON finn "Lapp" and mörk "forest". In ON times, Finnmörk was used not only about the present region of Norway but also the Russian, Swedish and Finnish "Finnmarks" and the interior mountainous and wooded regions further south.

Hordaland (the name of a fylke): "land of the hörðar" (ON Hörðaland - compounding the genitive plural of hörðar, the name of a local tribe living around the Hardangerfjord, whose name is congruent with ComGerm.*haruðôz, (cf. OE Hæredas, runic Swedish Haruþs). The stem in compounds *haruð-, probably means "warrior, hero" and must have marked out the tribe as noted for their prowess in war. De Vries however links the stem to the OE word harað "wood" found in place-names and MLG hart "forest".

Rogaland (the name of a fylke): "land of the rygir" - the East Germanic tribal name rugii is first mentioned c.100 AD by Tacitus and then in several younger sources. The rygir are a tribe who probably entered Norway during the Völkerwanderungszeit. The name of the Rogaland fylke compounds the genitive of ON plural rygir + land. In OE sources they were called the Rugas and their tribal identity appears in such personal names as Germanic Rugila and OHG Rugolf (de Vries).

Ryfylke is a province and judicial district in Rogaland and is recorded as ON Rygjafylki, from the folk-name rygir. It thus means "fylke of the rygir"; cf. ON Rygr "man from Rogaland".

Telemark (name of a fylke and a province in ON times) "forest of the teler" (ON Þelamörk, compounding the folk-name þilir in the genitive plural and mörk "forest". The name þilir may have a connection with ON þel "base, bottom" or ON þeli "frost".

(NEDERLAND) Drenthe (province in the northeast of the Netherlands, whose capital is Assen) is recorded in 944 as Thriente. According to Moerman, the complex derivation assumes that the name has been massively syncopated during its lifetime, but it appears noneless to have originally contained a tribal name. Firstly, the initial element can be taken to mean "three" (Dutch drie) and suggests that this region was tripartite at one time. The second element can in part be explained by the Germanic suffix -ante, which appears in tribal names (cf. Twente, whose older form of 797 tuianti clearly shows this suffix). Drenthe has originally been a compound tribal name *tu-ab-ante according to Moerman (the suffix -ab also appears in tribal names; this ab-ante later becomes bant in some place-names e.g. Testerbant, German Sachsenbande) with the word "three" comprising the initial element (later thri-ente). In the Roman period, the Tubantes lived in Twente. I have to admit I still find Moerman's explanation unclear.  

Friesland "land of the Frisians" is first recorded in 1285 in a chronicle written in Dordrecht (South Holland) as Vrieselant. It is also found in Jacob van Maerlant: Spieghel Historiael (1288) but begun in 1285; Part one - Van Cycile. XXXIII:

Al Vrieselant verre ende na,

Tusscen der Elven ende Sincval,

Rekent men te Sassen al.

("All Friesland far and near between the Elbe river and the Zwin (in Flanders) is reckoned to Saxony.")

DEUTSCHLAND as a geo-political name has only existed since 1871 and, of course, the name does not refer to a particular Germanic tribe of antiquity. Before the Holy Roman Empire (ended by Napoleon), there were only various Germanic tribes who gave names to the regions in which they lived. However, various similar formulations denoting affinity to the land or tribal states composing the now modern Germany are known long before then. The very first appearence is in the Annolied of c.1100 AD, the oldest known significant historical work in German, in which we meet the expression in diutischemi lande (lit. "in the lands of the folk" (i.e. fellow Germans)), the adjective OHG diutisc "German" (lit. "of the people"; cf. OSax. thiodisc) is also found in this text. From the Kaiserchronik of c.1150 AD we find in Diutisk lant, while other early forms include MHG daz tiusche lant (plural: diu tiuschen lant) and MHG 1400s: Tiutschland. As a compound, Deutschland (in contemporary spelling) does not become the norm however until the 16th century. The adjective modern German deutsch, from which the name Deutschland is derived, stems from West Germanic *þêodisk "belonging to the people", from Common Germanic *þeudô "folk, nation" (cf. OHG diota (from which the adjective is derived), Gothic þiuða, OE þêod, ON þjóð, OSax. thioda, MDu diet "nation, people"). 

Bayern is a Land in which the core settlers originally were the West Germanic Bajuwaren. Their name stems from Latin Baiochaimai "dwellers of the Boierland", which was one of the homelands of the Bavarians before they emigrated. Boierland is from OHG Beheim "Boier-home", referring to the Celtic peoples conquered by the Germanic Marcomanni.

The province is thus named after a tribe of immigrant settlers who take their name from one of their original homelands, itself named after the original Celtic inhabitants whom they conquered.

Fläming (Upper and Lower) is a sandy ridge of highland ("Landrücken") in the middle Elbe region, southwest in Landkreis Brandenburg, between Belzig and Jüterborg. It was settled in the 1100s by colonists from the Niederrhein and Netherlands, and subsequently named after them (Latin Flamingia) "land of the Flemmings" (here meaning Dutchmen) - cf. MHG Vlæminc "Flemming".

Franken is an historic region in the area of Upper and Middle Main, spanning the Landkreise Bayern and Baden-Württemburg. It now represents only a small part of the once great Frankish kingdom of Charlemagne and his sucessors (Latin Franconia). The name of the region is identical with the tribal name Franken "Franks" (3rd century Latin Franci), OHG Franchun, OE Francan, ON Frakkar (all in the plural), except the geographical name appears in the dative plural OHG Vrankôn (OHG Francôno lant "land of the Franks" in the genitive plural is also recorded). Ôstirvranchin ("East Franconia") appears in the 1200s to refer to the land on the Main. The etymological background behind the Germanic tribal name is slightly obscure but is thought to derive from the supposed Germanic adjective *franka "brave, courageous" (cf. OE fram "bold, strong, active", ON framr "capable; brave").

Niedersachsen first appears as a regional name in the 1300s and then denoted the old territory of the Saxons (cf. OE Eald-Seaxan "old Saxony"), in contrast to the Meissen Saxons. Middle Low German Nêdersassen ("Low Saxony") is recorded and so are the older sassenlant, dat lant to Sassen "land of the Saxons". The present day regional name has developed its cultural and historic consciousness from this once merely geographical name and was formed in 1946 with the union of the then Prussian province of Hannover with neighbouring Braunschweig (Brunswick), Oldenburg and Schaumburg-Lippe.

Ostfriesland (an area of Niedersachsen) is so named from an earldom that was created in 1464 (that of Ostfriesland) which unified the regions of Emden, Aurich, Leer and Norden into one territory. In terms of cultural and linguistic ties, Ostfriesland is considerably closer to the Niedersachsen of which it constitutes a part, than to the Dutch West Friesland or the Frisians in the Schleswig-Holstein.

Hessen is called Hassia in 10th century Latin, which stems from the dative plural of the tribal name Hessen. In 1074 Hessun provinica is recorded, while in MHG we find daz lant ze Hessen (and so distinguishing the tribe from the land which is not now the case). Derivation is thought to be from the still unexplained West Germanic tribal name Chattern (Latin Chatti), which in 750 AD is found as ad Chassos. In Middle Latin the name appears as Hassi, Hessiones (presumably through native influence) and the later earldom of Hessen was already known in 897 AD as Hessa. The modern region was first called Großhessen through the union of the Prussian provinces of Kurhessen and Nassau with the Volkstaat Hessen.

Sachsen the name for the geographical region is a result of medieval political-dynastical developments of the Low Saxon northwest transferred to the central German eastern areas. The old German duchy of Sachsen (Latin Saxonia) arose about 900 in the regions occupied by the Old Saxon tribe comprising modern Westfalen, Ostfalen and Nordalbingen. Modern Sachsen has nothing in common but the name with this ancient duchy, being at least 150 miles southeast in a border region conquered by dukes from Slavic Wends.

Sachsen-Anhalt was one of the two Länder or states created by the Soviets in the German territory occupied by them after the War. The other was Sachsen.

The West Germanic tribal name Sachsen (OHG/OSax. Sahsun, OE Seaxe) is a derivation from the Germanic substantive OHG/OSax. sahs, OE seax, ON sax "knife, short sword" which was a characteristic weapon of the oldest Saxons. Such a sword may have originally been made from stone and the word is related in form to Latin saxum "stone, rock".

Schwaben is an area in southwest Germany between the Black Forest, Lech and the Bodensee. It is the core area of the old tribal duchy of Schwaben. The name stems from Germanic *swêba- probably meaning "free, unbounded", and the name of the tribe is found in OHG Swâba ("erst im 8.Jh. taucht dann der Volksname Schwaben auf" (Berger)), Latin Suêbi. The Swabians were a West Germanic tribe known from Caesar's "Gallic Wars", probably based in the present day Brandenburg region. The modern name descends from forms like MHG ze Swâben (1195), Swâbin (c.1250), which stem from the dative plural of OHG Swâba.

Thüringen was formed in 1920 through the union of four Saxon duchies and named after the historic Thüringen super-regional landgrave. Between the 12th and 15th centuries, this was the most important territorial power in this part of the kingdom. The name goes back to 600s Latin Thoringia, Thuringia (hence the English name) which lay between the Thüringer Wald and the Elbe river. The Thuringians were a Germanic tribe who were absorbed in 531 by the allied Saxons and Franks. Late OHG provides us with 1073: Dyringen, 1074: Duroingen (both representing the dative plural) and MHG Türingen daz lant "land of the Thuringians", derived from the tribal name MHG Duringe (Latin Thuringi is first recorded in the late 300s AD). As concerns etymology, some scholars have seen a Germanic substantive corresponding to ON þori "part, greater part", with the suffixed name forming element -ing. More likely, however, is a corrupted derivation from the Germanic tribal name Hermunderen (Latin Hermundari) who in the first couple of centuries AD occupied the middle Elbe region. Their name stems from Germanic *irmino "great, extensive" (cf. OE eormengrund, ON jörmungrund).


 Individual Place-Names:


Note: as the OE nouns tûn and hâm and the ON noun can have several varying meanings according to the type of settlement denoted, these words are retained in the interpretations of the names, since it cannot be known for certain which meaning they may have had in any particular name. This practice is also often followed in textbooks on place-names.

OE tûn may denote "enclosure", "farmstead", "estate", "village" with an approximate development from the first of these meanings to the latter over the OE period.

OE hâm may denote "village", "manor", "homestead, household".

ON may denote "farmstead, individual dwelling", "settlement", "hamlet", "village" (the meanings of by in the various Scandinavian countries across time is complex and controversial and not important here).


       Low Germanic Tribes

Friston (ESussex) "tûn of the Frisians" (1086: Frisetuna; OE Frîsatûn), Friston (Suffolk) "tûn of the Frisians" (1086: Frisetuna; OE Frîsatûn), Freston (Suffolk) "tûn of the Frisians" (995: Fresantun; OE Frîsatûn), Friesthorpe (Lincs.) "emigrant settlement of the Frisians" (1086: Frisetorp), Frieston (Lincs.) "tûn of the Frisians" (1086: Fristune; OE Frîsa "of the Frisians" + tûn), Frieston (Lincs.) "tûn of the Frisians" (1086: Fristun; OE Frîsa "of the Frisians" + tûn), Frisby by Galby (Leics.) " of the Frisians" (1086: Frisebi OE Frîsa "of the Frisians" + ON ), Frisby on the Wreak (Leics.) " of the Frisians" (1086: Frisebie; OE Frîsa "of the Frisians" + ON ), East Firsby, West Firsby (Lincs.) " of the Frisians" (1086: Frisebi; OE Frîsa "of the Frisians" + ON ), Firsby (Lincs.) " of the Frisians" (1202: Frisebi; OE Frîsa "of the Frisians" + ON ), Monk Fryston (Barkston Ash Wapentake, WYorks.) "tûn of the Frisians" (c.1030: Fristun, 1166: Munechesfryston; OE Frîsa "of the Frisians" + tûn + munuc added later in relation to Selby Abbey), Water Fryston and Ferry Fryston (Osgoldcross Wapentake, Yorks.) "tûn of the Frisians" (1086: Friston), Frankby (Merseyside) " of a Frank (Frenchman)" (1315: Frankeby; OE Franca "Frank, Frenchman" + ON ; this is disputed and the toponym may compound ODan. Franki, a personal-name), Englebourne (Devon) "stream of the Angles" (1086: Engleborne; OE Engla "Angles" + burna "stream, brook"), Englefield (Berks.) "open land of the Angles" (871: Engla feld), Engleton (Staffs.) "tûn of the Anglians" (1242: Engleton; OE Engla + tûn(?) - probably a settlement of East Anglians in Mercia), Saxham (Suffolk) "hâm of the Saxons" (1086: Saxham, Sexham; OE Seaxe "Saxons" + hâm), Saxondale (Notts.) "valley of the Saxons" (1086: Saxeden, c.1225: Saxendal; OE *Seaxnadenu or *Seaxnadæl), Saxton (Cambs.) "tûn of the Saxons" (c.1080: Sextuna; OE *Seaxtûn), Saxton (WYorks.) "tûn of the Saxons" (1086: Saxtun; OE *Seaxtûn), Exton (Hants.) "tûn of the East Saxons" (940: æt East Seaxnatune, 1086: Essessentune; an East Saxon colony in Wessex), Markfield (Leics.) "open land of the Mercians" (1086: Merchenefeld; OE *Mercnafeld), Markingfield (WYorks.) "open land of the Mercians" (1086: Merchefeld; OE *Mercnafeld), Markington (WYorks.) "tûn of the Mercians" (1030: Mercingatun, 1086: Merchinton), Canterton (Hants.) "tûn of the Kentishmen" (1086: Cantortun; OE *Cantwaratûn; Kentish (Jutish?) settlers in Wessex during OE period), Conderton (Worcs.) "tûn of the Kentishmen" (875: Cantuaretun; OE Cantwaratûn).

Ingleby (Derbys.) "the of the English" (1009: Englabi, 1086: Englebi; ON *Englarbý), Ingleby (Lincs.) "the of the English" (1086: Englebi; ON *Englarbý), Ingleby Arncliffe (NYorks.) "the of the English" (1086: Englebi; ON *Englarbý; Arncliffe means "eagle cliff" OE earn + ON klif), Ingleby Barwick (NYorks.) "the of the English" (1086: Englebi; ON *Englarbý), Ingleby Greenhow (NYorks.) "the of the English" (1086: Englebi; ON *Englarbý; Greenhow means "green hill" OE grêne "green" + ON haugr "hill, mound"), Inglewood Forest (Cumb.) "wood of the English" (1150: Engleswod; OE *Englawudu; apparently an English settlement in northern Welsh territory).

Flempton (Suffolk) "tûn of the Flemings" (1086: Flemingtuna), Flimby (Cumb.) " of the Flemings" (1174: Flemingby; ON Flæmingr + ).

         Lost names:

Flemingaland "open land of the Flemings" (recorded 1075); Frismarsh (EYorks.) "marsh of the Frisians" (probably a post-1086 name; OE Frísa "Frisians" + OFrench mareis "marsh").

 Danes and (Irish-)Norsemen

Danby (Langbargh East Wapentake, NYorks.) "the Danes' " (1086: Danebi; ON *Danabý), Danby on Ure (Hang West Wapentake, NYorks.) "the Danes' " (1086: Danebi; ON *Danabý), Danby Wiske (Gilling East Wapentake, NYorks.) "the Danes' " (1086: Danebi; ON *Danabý), Danthorpe (Holderness Wapentake, EYorks.) "the Danes' emigrant settlement" (1086: Danetorp; ODan.*Danaþorp), Denaby "the Danes' " (1086: Denegebi; Denigea from OE Dene "Danes"), Upper Denby (WYorks.), Lower Denby (WYorks.), Denby (Derbys.) "the Danes' " (1086: Denebi; OE Dena "of the Danes" + ON ), Denby Dale (WYorks.) "the Danes' " (1086: Denebi; OE Dena "of the Danes" + ON ), Denny (Cambs.) "the Danes's island" (1176: Daneya; found in other forms Deneia, Deneya; OE Dena "of the Danes" + êg "island"), Denver (Norfolk) "the thoroughfare of the Danes" (1086: Danefella; probably a corruption of OE *Denafær), Normanby (Lincs.) "the Norwegians' " (1086: Normanebi, 1115: Nordmanabi; ON *Norðmannabýr), Normanby (Langbargh East Wapentake, NYorks.) "the Norwegians' " (1050: Norðmannabi, 1086: Normanebi; ON *Norðmannabýr), Normanby (Ryedale Wapentake, NYorks.) "the Norwegians' " (1086: Normanbi; ON *Norðmannabýr), Normanby (Whilby Strand Wapentake, NYorks.) "the Norwegians' " (1110: Normanneby; ON *Norðmannabýr), Normansburgh (Norfolk) "Norwegian's hill" (1100s: Normanesberht; ON Norðmaðr "Norwegian" (could be a personal-name though)), Normanton (Derbys.) "tûn of the Norwegians" (1086: Normantune; late OE Norðman "Norwegian" + tûn), Normanton (Leics.) "tûn of the Norwegians" (c.1215: Normantona; late OE Norðman "Norwegian" + tûn), Normanton le Heath (Leics.) "tûn of the Norwegians" (1209-35: Normenton; late OE Norðman "Norwegian" + tûn), Normanton (Lincs.) "tûn of the Norwegians" (1086: Normenton; late OE Norðman "Norwegian" + tûn), Normanton (Notts.) "tûn of the Norwegians" (958: Normantun; late OE Norðman "Norwegian" + tûn), Normanton upon Trent (Notts.) "tûn of the Norwegians" (1086: Normentune; late OE Norðman "Norwegian" + tûn), Normanton (Rutland) "tûn of the Norwegians" (1183: Normanton; late OE Norðman "Norwegian" + tûn), Normanton (Agbrigg Wapentake, WYorks.) "tûn of the Norwegians" (1086: Normantone; late OE Norðman "Norwegian" + tûn), Norman Cross (Hunts. - a hundred name; 963: Norðmannescros, 1086: Normannescros) "cross of a Norwegian (or Norseman)" - (probably a Norwegian among Danish settlers), Ferrensby (WYorks.) " of a man from the Faroe Isles" (1086: Feresbi, 1239: Feringeby; ON færeyingr "Faroe Islander" + ).

Irby (Ches.) " of the Irish-Norsemen" (1100: Erberia, 1190: Irrebi; ON *Írabý), Irby up on Humber (Lincs.) " of the Irish-Norsemen" (1086: Iribi; ON *Írabý), Irby in the Marsh (Lincs.) " of the Irish-Norsemen" (1115: Irebi; ON *Írabý), Irby (NYorks.) " of the Irish-Norsemen" (1086: Irebi; ON *Írabý), Ireby (Cumb.) " of the Irish-Norsemen" (1185: Yrebi; ON *Írabý), Ireby (Lancs.) " of the Irish-Norsemen" (1086: Irebi; ON *Írabý), Ireleth (Lancs.) "hill-slope of the Irish-Norse" (1190: Irlid, 1200: Ireleyth; ON Írar "Irishmen" + hlíð "hill-slope"), Kirk Ireton (Derbys.) "tûn of the Irish-Norse" (1086: Iretune; ON Írar + tûn; "Kirke" from ON kirkja "church" added later), Little Ireton (Derbys.) "tûn of the Irish-Norse" (1086: Iretune; ON Írar + tûn; "Little" added later), Irton (Cumb.) "tûn of the Irish-Norse" (1086: Iretune; ON Írar + tûn).

Swaffham Bulbeck (Cambs.) "settlement of the Swæfas (i.e. Swabians)" (c.1050: Suafham; OE Swæfhâm), Swaffham (Norfolk) "settlement of the Swæfas (i.e. Swabians)" (1086: Suafham; OE Swæfhâm).

Lost names:

Normanby (Halikeld Wapentake, Yorks.) "the Norwegians' " (1086: Normanebi).



                                                                                          Low Germanic tribes

Frisenborg (in Kolstrup, Stepping Sogn, Haderslevområdet, Sønderjylland) "hill (or perhaps "fortified settlement") of the Frisians", Frisenbjærg (natural feature near Kolstrup, Stepping Sogn, Haderslevområdet, Sønderjylland) "hill of the Frisians" (1716-18: Frießen birr; tribal name sønderjysk Frise "Frisians" recorded with German -en plural ending), Frisenlund (Ketting Sogn, Als, Sønderjylland) "grove of the Frisians" (1790: Frisenlund; tribal name sønderjysk Frise "Frisians" recorded with German -en plural ending + Old Danish (?) lund "grove, copse"), Frisbjærg (Spandet Sogn, Tønderområdet, Sønderjylland) "hill of the Frisians" (1778-83: Friesbierg, 1912: Frisbjerg; tribal name sønderjysk Fris "Frisians" + Old Danish (?) biargh or perhaps the male personal-name Frise, Frese), Frisbæk (the name of a section of Lobæk, Nørre-Løgum Sogn, Tønderområdet, Sønderjylland) "stream of the Frisians" (1704: Friesbeck, 1912: Friisbæk; sønderjysk Frise "Frisians" + Old Danish (?) bæk "stream, brook"), Frisbækhoved (Nørre-Løgum Sogn, Tønderområdet, Sønderjylland) "Frisians' stream hill" (1704: friesbeck hoi, 1801: Friesbeck Hoiv (-hoved "head" appears to be a later corruption); sønderjysk Frise "Frisians" + Old Danish (?) bæk "brook, stream" + Old Danish (?) høgh "hill, mound"), Frisholm (Nørre-Løgum Sogn, Tønderområdet, Sønderjylland) "islet of the Frisians" (1801: freesholm; sønderjysk Frise "Frisians" + Old Danish (?) holm), Friskær (Nørre-Løgum Sogn, Tønderområdet, Sønderjylland) either "scrubwood of the Frisians" or (with the newer meaning of kær) "marsh of the Frisians" (1802: Frieskier; sønderjysk Frise "Frisians" + Old Danish (?) kiær "scrub, brushwood" but later "marshland"), Frisvad (Nørre-Løgum Sogn, Tønderområdet, Sønderjylland) "ford of the Frisians" (1802: Frieswoy, 1912: Friisvoj; sønderjysk Frise "Frisians" + Old Danish (?) wath "ford, wade"), Frisvad Høj (Nørre-Løgum Sogn, Tønderområdet, Sønderjylland) "Frisians' ford hill" (1531: Frijsway høy; sønderjysk Frise "Frisians" + Old Danish (?) wath "ford, wade" + Old Danish høgh "hill, mound"), Frisvad Løkke (Arrild Sogn, Tønderområdet, Sønderjylland) "enclosure at the ford of the Frisians" (early modern (?): Friiswaadlykke, 1912: Frisvadlykke; sønderjysk Frise "Frisians" + Old Danish (?) wath "ford, wade" + Old Danish lykki "enclosure"), Friskærbæk (Arrild Sogn, Tønderområdet, Sønderjylland) "brook at the Frisians' scrubland (or marshland)" (1912: Friiskærbæk; sønderjysk Frise "Frisians" + Old Danish (?) kiær "scrub, brushwood" or "marshland" + Old Danish (?) bæk "stream, brook"), Fristoft (Mjolden Sogn, Tønderområdet, Sønderjylland) "croft of the Frisians" (1929: Fristoft; sønderjysk Frise "Frisians" + Old Danish (?) toft "land for settlement, building"), Frisefenne (Højer Landsogn, Tønderområdet, Sønderjylland) "paddock or enclosed pastureland of the Frisians" (early modern (?): Frieszfenne; sønderjysk Frise "Frisians" + Middle Low German venne or Old Frisian fenne > Danish fenne "paddock, enclosed marshland"), Frisvad (Tinglev Sogn, Tønderområdet, Sønderjylland) "ford of the Frisians" (1800s (?): Friiswoy, 1912: Frisvaj; sønderjysk Frise "Frisians" + Old Danish (?) wath "ford, wade"), Frisvej (Burkal Sogn, Tønderområdet, Sønderjylland) "road or track used especially by Frisians" (1912: Fritsvei; sønderjysk Frise "Frisians" + Old Danish (?) wægh "way, road, track"; Gammel Frisvej in Tinglev Sogn, Tønderområdet, Sønderjylland is of the same origin), Frismose (Abild Sogn, Tønderområdet, Sønderjylland) "moor of the Frisians" (1855: Friismoosen, 1912: Friesmose; sønderjysk Frise "Frisians" + Old Danish (?) mosæ "low lying marshy land, moor"), Frisen (Øster-Løgum Sogn, Åbenråområdet, Sønderjylland) "Frisians or (pertaining to) things Frisian" (1912: Friesen; this was probably formed with the jysk adjective frisisk "Frisian" in analogy with other place-names containing the names of nations), Frisløkke (1 - Rise Sogn, Åbenråområdet, Sønderjylland; 1799: Frieslucke; 2 - Bjolderup Sogn, Åbenråområdet, Sønderjylland) "Frisians' enclosure" (presumably related to the nearby Frisvej), Frisvej (Bjolderup Sogn, Åbenråområdet, Sønderjylland) "road or track especially used by Frisians" (1771: Friese Vey; sønderjysk Frise "Frisians" + Old Danish (?) wægh "way, road, track"), Frisvej (Hjordkær Sogn, Åbenråområdet, Sønderjylland) "road or track especially used by Frisians" (1912: Friisvej; sønderjysk Frise "Frisians" + Old Danish (?) wægh "way, road, track"), Frisvej (Uge Sogn, Åbenråområdet, Sønderjylland) "road or track especially used by Frisians" (1778-82: vesten Friisveyen, 1782: Friis Veyen, 1912: Frisvej; sønderjysk Frise "Frisians" + Old Danish (?) wægh "way, road, track"; the road goes from Lovtrup to Åbenrå, taking in Bolderslev en route), Frismose (Bov Sogn, near Vejbæk, Åbenråområdet, Sønderjylland) "moor of the Frisians" (1798: Nörrfrismoos; sønderjysk Frise "Frisians" + Old Danish (?) mosæ "low lying marshy land, moor"), Frisholm (Sønder-Hygum Sogn, Haderslevområdet, Sønderjylland) "islet of the Frisians" (1774-6: Friis Holm; sønderjysk Frise "Frisians" + Old Danish (?) holm), Friskær (1 - Branderup Sogn, Haderslevområdet, Sønderjylland, 1772-4: Friiskiær, 1794-1806: Frieskier; 2 - Rurup Sogn, Haderslevområdet, Sønderjylland, 1815: Friskjær (a copse on the road from Branderup to Rurup); 3 - Branderup Sogn, Haderslevområdet, Sønderjylland, 1928: Friskjær; all are sønderjysk Frise "Frisians" + Old Danish (?) kiær "scrub, brushwood" but later "marshland" and therefore either "scrubwood of the Frisians" or (with the newer meaning of kær) "marsh of the Frisians"), Frisgrov is the name of a ditch in Tønder Amt, Sønderjylland, Frisvad (a village northeast of Varde, Esbjergområdet, Jylland) "Frisians' ford (over the Nøgelbæk)" (1502: Friswadh; probably containing the inhabitants' name ODan. Fris(e) + wath "ford, wade"), Fristrup (a village west of Hobro and east of Møldrup, Himmerland, Jylland) "emigrant settlement of the Frisians" (1466: Friisdruup, 1499: Fresdrup; ODan. Fris(e) + þorp "emigrant, daughter settlement"), Fristrup (hamlet south of Aabybro, Vendsyssel, Nørrejylland) "emigrant settlement of the Frisians" (ODan. Fris(e) + þorp "emigrant, daughter settlement"), Fristrup (small settlement north of Brønderslev, Vendsyssel, Nørrejylland) "emigrant settlement of the Frisians" (ODan. Fris(e) + þorp "emigrant, daughter settlement"). These last three place-names may all alternatively contain the male personal-name Fris and this is how Aage Houken views them.

Frisenvænge (northeast of Fåborg, Svendborgområdet, Fyn) looks unlikely to refer to Frisians this far northeast, but it may possibly refer to a immigrant colony. Frislund is a wood south of Langå, Viborgområdet, Jylland and Frisenlund is the same (north of Søllested, Lolland) both of which may contain ODan. Frise "Frisians".

Only Saksborg (Burkal Sogn, Tønderområdet, Sønderjylland) appears to have any likelihood of containing ODan. Saxæ "Saxons" (1685: Sax borgh, 1799: Saxborg; the second element is ODan. burgh - either "hill" or "fortified settlement"), while identical Saksborg (Ullerup Sogn, Tønderområdet, Sønderjylland; 1912: Saksborg) may also have the same origin. Alternatives may be the more common referent of saks "sword, knife" (this is the favoured interpretation), the Old Danish personal name Saksi, Saxe (ruled out by the older forms lacking a possessive), while the original meaning of ODan. sax "rock, boulder" renders the compound tautological.


                                                                                                 Lost name:

Frisby "settlement of the Frisians" (is according to local tradition, the name of a now lost settlement in Sønderjylland (earlier: Friesby; sønderjysk Frise "Frisians" + Old Danish by "settlement" (cf. ON býr "farm") - names with this element are probably older rather than more recent, although in Denmark the element has been productive from the Viking period down to the modern age; note the English instances of Frisby, Firsby above! The English names' second elements are due to the settlement of Danes in north and eastern England).


                                                                                              False Friends”:

Family-name Fris etc.: Frisestoft (Svenstrup Sogn, Als, Sønderjylland; 1770: Frieses Tofft, Frisens Tofft, contains a family-name Fries), Friskær and Fristoft (Fjelstrup Sogn, Haderslevområdet, Sønderjylland) and Fristoft (Skrave Sogn, Haderslevområdet, Sønderjylland) probably contain the family-name Fris.

Man's name Frise: Frisballe (Nordborg Landsogn, Als, Sønderjylland) derives from the man's name ODan. Frise, as does Frisroj (Vedsted Sogn, Haderslevområdet, Sønderjylland; 1789: Friesrey).

Personal-name ODan. Saxe, Saksi: Sakstoft (Tønder Landsogn, Tønderområdet, Sønderjylland), Saksmose (Tønder Landsogn, Tønderområdet, Sønderjylland; 1613: Sachßmoes), Saksbjærg (Notmark Sogn, Als, Sønderjylland; perhaps though from sax "knife"), Sakservej (Bevtoft Sogn, Haderslevområdet, Sønderjylland; 1785: Saxe Veyen), Sakservej (Skrydstrup Sogn, Haderslevområdet, Sønderjylland; 1638: Sauffsewei), Sakstrup (Bjærgby Sogn, north of Hjørring, Vendsyssel, Nørrejylland).

Substantive ODan. sax "knife, short sword" (an implement for hunting is often implied): Saksbæk (1 - Hørup Sogn, Als, Sønderjylland; 2 - Arrild Sogn, Tønderområdet, Sønderjylland), Saksgaard (Ulkebøl Sogn, Als, Sønderjylland), Sakslund and Saksmark (Ketting Sogn, Als, Sønderjylland), Saksmade (Jegerup Sogn, Haderslevområdet, Sønderjylland), Saksvad (Skrave Sogn, Haderslevområdet, Sønderjylland), Saksholm (1 - Sønder-Hygum Sogn, Haderslevområdet, Sønderjylland; 2 - Gran Sogn, Haderslevområdet, Sønderjylland; 3 - Obbekær Sogn, Tønderområdet, Sønderjylland), Saksholt (Vejstrup Sogn, Haderslevområdet, Sønderjylland), Sakskøbing (a town in Lolland) "marketplace at Sax ford" (i.e. the ford over the river Sax, so named since some part of it reminded of a knife shaft) is how Jørgensen interprets it (although other interpretations read ODan. personal-name Saxi).

Several instances of Saksager and more Saksmose are also irrelevant to the investigation.

A Tyskland (Uge Sogn, Åbenråområdet, Sønderjylland) literally "Germany" appears to be rather young (1798: Teuschland-Aecker) and probably a Danicisation of a name first given by German settlers. There are several other local names containing tysk- but all appear not to be very old.


                                                                                         (SWEDISH) FINLAND

Svenskby (Västra Nyland) "village of the Swedes" (1451: Swenska bol "settlement of the Swedes"), Finnby (Västra Nyland) "village of the Finns" (1410: Finby, 1540: Finby), Finnby (Strömfors, Östra Nyland) "village of the Finns" (1451: Finneby) - both of these must have been in Swedish dominated areas where Finnish settlements were the exception, Svenskby (Strömfors, Östra Nyland) "village of the Swedes" (1458: Svenskby), Sviby (Jomala) "settlement of the svear" (i.e. Swedes) (1486: Swiaby, 1496: Swiaby; OSwed. Svear "Swedes" and by "settlement"), Suila (Sydösterbotten) is a Finnicized form of earlier 1550: Oluff Swi (apparently "Olaf the Swede"), 1699: Jacob Swij (apparently "Jacob the Swede"), which distinguish the owner of the land as a Swede, Svenskas (a farm name, Kronoby socken, near Gamlakarleby town, Österbotten) was recorded in 1699 as Peer Carlson Swensk "Peter Carlson the Swede" and marking out its owner as an immigrant.

Elsewhere in Finland, we have evidence of German immigrant settlement (presumably the greater part during the Hansa period): "En rätt talrik grupp bevarar minnen om Finlands medeltida förbindelser med Nordtyskland…" (Nordisk Kultur V, p.186). The author of the section, T.E. Karsten, goes on to cite some examples of these place-names: Saksa and Sassi (northern Germans), Friisilä and Frisans (West Frisians), Flander and Flaaminki-Flemming (probably Dutchmen) and adds that there are many more. At present I have no more data for these names and others like them. 



Nordmannvik (gard in Kåfjord kommune, Tromsø) "inlet of the Norwegians" where nordmann is used to distinguish Norwegians from Lapps (Sami) and Finns who have always constituted a large part of the local population, Finnsnes (gard and village in Lenvik kommune, Tromsø) "the Finns' headland" (c.1400: Finznes; probably ON *Finnisnes), Finnskogane (stretch of woodland east in Solør, Hedemark) "the Finns' forests" - name taken from the the Finlanders who colonised the area in the 1600s and the locality represents the strongest Finnish influence in southern Norway, Finneid (1 - gard and village in Fauske kommune, Nordland) "gangway of the Lapps" (1567: Finndeid) and (2 - gard in Hemnes kommune, Nordland) "gangway of the Lapps" (1567: Findiedt; both names probably involve finn(ar) "Sami" and ON eið "gangway"), Hordvik (gard in Bergen) "inlet of the Hörðar" (see discussion on Hordaland above) from ON *Horðavík, Hordnes (gard in Bergen) "headland of the Hörðar" (c.1520: Hornes, Horrenes, Hordenes; probably from ON *Horðanes - see discussion on Hordaland above), Trondheim (kommune in Sør-Trøndelag) "dwelling or home of the Trønders" (ON: Þróndheimr, Þrándheimr; first element is probably the tribal or folk-name ON Þrændr (Norwegian Trønder), which is the present participle of ON þróask "grow" - the folk-name perhaps means "the strong, the fertile"), Hardanger (area around Hardanger fiord, Hordaland) probably "ford or inlet of the Hörðar" (ON Harðangr, 1300s: i Harðangre; ON tribal name hörðar (see discussion on Hordaland above) and angr "inlet, fiord"; however, not all scholars interpret it this way).



                                                                                              Low Germanic Tribes

Vreeswijk (Nieuwegein parish, Utrecht) "settlement of the Frisians" (918/48: Fresionwic, 1217: Vresewik; ODu. wic "settlement" + Fresia "of the Frisians"), Vriezekoop (Jacobswoude parish, Zuid-Holland) "purchased land of the Frisians" (1275: Vrisencop, 1316: Vriesencoep; ODu. cope "land obtained by purchase" (cf. OE cêap, ODan. køp) + the tribal name Friesen), Vriezenveen (Vriezenveen parish, Overijsel) "peat moor of the Frisians" (1413: Vrezevene), Engelum, Fris. Ingelum (Menaldumadeel parish, Friesland) one possibility is "home of the Angles" (1335: Anglum, 1399: Anglim, 1439: Yngelim; from ODu.*Angla-haim), Englum (Zuidhorn parish, Groningen) one possibility is "home of the Angles" (1529: Englum; from ODu.*Angla-haim), Sassenheim (Sassenheim parish, Zuid-Holland) "homestead or dwelling of the Saxons" is one interpretation (1100s: Sasheim, Saxheim; from ODu.*Saksa-haim, where the first element means "of the Saxons"), Fransum (Zuidhorn parish, Groningen) "homestead of the Franks" is one interpretation (1285: Franchim, Frenchem; from ODu.*Franka-haim, where the first element denotes "of the Franks"), Frieswijk (Diepenveen parish, Overijsel) "district of the Frisians" (1457: Vriezewijk), Vriezendijk (once an island north of Tolen, Zeeland) "dyke or ditch of the Frisians" (1264: Vrysendyke, 1290: Vriesendike).



      Low Germanic Tribes

Sachsenburg (Sachsen) "fortified place of the Saxons" (first known in the 1100s), Sachsenburg (Westfalen) "fortified place of the Saxons", Sachsenburg (near Thumby, River Schlei, Landkreis Schleswig-Holstein) "fortified place of the Saxons", Sachsenbande (southwest of Neumünster, Landkreis Schleswig-Holstein) "district or boundary of the Saxons", Sachsenbande (near Heide, Dithmarschen, Landkreis Schleswig-Holstein) "district or boundary of the Saxons" (both apparently from OSax. bant (cf. OHG banz) "district, boundary, frontier"), Sachsenheim (town northwest of Ludwigsburg, Baden-Württemberg; formed by the union of Großsachsenheim and Kleinsachsenheim in 1971) "home dwelling of the Saxons" (1138-52: Sahsenheim, 1298: Sachsenhein, 1408: Sachsinhein; formed from the tribal name Sachsen, OHG Sachsen and heim "home" therefore *OHG Sachsenheim; this was very likely a settlement of Saxons established by Charlemagne after the Franco-Saxon wars), Sachsenwaldau (near Reinbek, southeast of Hamburg) "wooded island of the Saxons" (compounds MLG wold "wood" or "wooded uplands" with OHG ouwa, auwia, MHG ouwe "island" (cf. OE êg, ON ey, OFris. ei "island") with the tribal name OHG Sachsen "Saxons"), Frankenberg (Sachsen) "fortified place of the Franks" (1214: Vrankenberch, 1350: Frankinberg; Berger comments: "wohl mit dem Volksnamen Franken gebildet wie der Name des benachbarten Ortes Sachsenburg mit dem der Sachsen." (p.109)), Frankenburg-Eder (Hessen) "fortified place of the Franks (on the Eder)" (1243: Frankenberg; from this Berger concludes, we can assume "dass bereits in der Karolingerzeit hier eine fränkische Grenzburg gegen die Sachsen stand." (p.109), Frankenfeld (Westfalen), Frankenhausen (town east of Sonderhausen, Thüringen) "settlement of the Franks" (998: Franconhus, 1100s: Franchenhusen), Frankenthal (town in the Vorderpfalz, Rhineland-Pfalz) "valley (settlement) of the Franks" (772: Franconadal, 792: Frankondal), Frankfurt am Main (city in Hessen) "ford of the Franks" (794: Franconofurd, 888: Frankenfurt), Frankfurt/Oder (a town on the middle Oder, east of Berlin, Brandenburg) "Frankfurt on the Oder" (1253 (MLG): Vrankenvorde, 1258: Vrankinfort, later HG: Franchenvurt, Franckfurt "ist wohl schon durch die ersten Ansiedler von Frankfurt am Main her übertragen worden." (Berger, p.111), Frankenstein (Schlesen), Holzendorf (Mecklenburg-Vorpommern) "village of the Holsteiners", Flemmingen (southwest of Naumburg, Sachsen) "the Dutchmen" (c.1140: Flemmingen; first as an occupant name but by 1161 had become the name of the village - 50 Dutch colonists were settled here before 1140), Friesoythe (town in the north of Oldenburgish Münsterland, Niedersachsen) "region with many islands owned by the Frisians" (?) (1322: Vrysoyte, 1582: Frieß Oitha; the second element appears to be a compound of OSax. -ithi (a collective suffix - here presumably indicating land ownership) and ODu. ô, MDu. ô, ooch "island" and the whole might therefore mean "region with many islands"), Friezenburg (in Deezbüll, Nordfriesland, Landkreis Schleswig-Holstein) "fortified place of the Frisians", Friesenheim (northeast of Bredtstedt, Nordfriesland, Landkreis Schleswig-Holstein) "dwelling of the Frisians", Friesenhof (1 - east of Kiel and south of Schlesen, Landkreis Schleswig-Holstein; 2 - southeast of Sieverstedt, Angeln, Landkreis Schleswig-Holstein; 3 - southwest of Tönning, Eiderstedt, Landkreis Schleswig-Holstein) "large house, dwelling of the Frisians" (tribal name Friesen and OHG hof "house, large dwelling" (cf. etymologically identical but differing in meaning OE hof and ON hof), Friesentreu (small settlement west of Flensburg, Angeln, Landkreis Schleswig-Holstein) "___ of the Frisians", Friesick (village southeast of Wanderup, Angeln, Landkreis Schleswig-Holstein) apparently "settlement, dwelling of the Frisians" (compounding tribal name Friesen and OSax. wîk or OFries. wîc "settlement, dwelling" (cf. OE wîc "settlement, dairy farm"); the name must have marked out the presence of (North) Frisians among their Saxon neighbours and the antiquity of the name is indicated by the second element which is not known in HG).

Sachsenhausen (a district on the left bank of Frankfurt, Hessen) Berger expressly points out, is probably named after a man called Sahso and has (according to Prietze) nothing to do with a local legend that defeated Saxons were transplanted there by Charlemagne after the 782 Massacre of Verden.


    Other Germanic Tribes

Düringsdorf (near Halle, Sachsen-Anhalt) "village of the Thuringians", Schwabach (town south of Nürnberg, Bayern) "river of the Swabians" (1021: Suabaha, 1117: Suabach, 1348: Swabach; compound of OHG swâbo "Swabian" and OHG aha from Gmic.*ahwô "flowing water"), Schwoosdorf (near Lausite) "village of the Swabians", Bardowick (north of Lüneburg, Niedersachsen) "village of the (Lango)Bards" (805: Bardaenowic, 800s: Bardunwich, 955: Bardewic, 1124: Bardewich; Bardowick was a suburb of the older Bardengaues - (892: Barthunga, 1006: Bardaga) which was named after resident Langobards before their migratation to the south), Dürkheim (town in Rheinland-Plalz) "home dwelling of the Thuringians" (778: Turincheim, 946: Thuringeheim, 1035: Dorenkheim, 1559: Durckheym, 1847: Dürkheim; it attests to a colony of Thuringians settled by the Frankish king), Dorn-Dürkheim (near Worms, Rheinland-Pfalz) "dry Dürkheim" (825: Thuringoheim, 1299: Durrendurckheim; as Dürkheim above, originally "home dwelling of the Thuringians" with MLG durre "arid, dry" affixed in medieval times), Rheindürkheim (at Worms, Rheinland-Pfalz) "Dürkheim on the Rhine" (812: Durincheim, 1026: Duringeheim; therefore OHG *Thuringoheim "home dwelling of the Thuringians" with Rhein- a much more recent affix), Dörnbach (near Rockenhausen, Rheinland-Pfalz) "brook of the Thuringians" (1315: Duringebach, 1355: Dorngebach; OHG Thuringo "of the Thuringians" and OHG bah, MLG bach "brook"), Türkheim "home dwelling of the Thuringians", Bayreuth (town on Roten Main, Bayern) "clearning of the Bavarians" (1194: Baierute, 1321: Beierreut, 1488: Bayreut, 1633: Bayreuth; compound of the tribal name Bayern, OHG Beiera "Bavarians" and OHG riuti "clearing" (cf. ON ryðning) and Bavarian settlers are supposed to have made the initial clearing).



A Dictionary of English Place-Names by A.D. Mills, Oxford: Oxford U.P., 1998;
Altnordisches Etymologisches Wörterbuch by Jan de Vries, zweite verbesserte Auflage, Leiden: Brill, 2000;

Dansk Etymologisk Ordbog by Niels Åge Nielsen, København: Gyldendal, 1989;
Das Geheimis der deutschen Ortsnamen. Neue Kunde aus alter Zeit by Hermann A. Prietze, Pähl: Verlag Hohe Warte, 1955;
Die germanischen Sprachen: Ihre Geschichte in Grundzügen by Claus Jürgen Hutterer, Wiesbaden: VMA-Verlag, 4. Auflage, 2002;
Die skandinavischen Sprachen. Eine Einführung in ihre Geschichte by Einar Haugen, Hamburg: Helmut Buske Verlag, 1984;
English Place-Names by Kenneth Cameron,
London: B.T. Batsford Ltd., 3rd ed., 1988;
English Place-Name Elements by A.H. Smith, 2 Vols., English Place-Name Society Vols. 25 + 26, Cambridge: Cambridge U.P., 1987;
Geographische Namen in Deutschland: Herkunft und Bedeutung der Namen von Ländern, Städten, Bergen und Gewässern ed. by Dieter Berger, Duden Taschenbücher, Mannheim: Dudenverlag, 1993;
Germanerna. En inledning till studiet av deras språk och kultur by T.E. Karsten, Stockholm: Bökförlaget Natur och Kultur, 1925;
Geschichte der deutschen Sprache: Ein Lehrbuch für das germanistische Studium by Wilhelm Schmidt, Stuttgart: Hirzel, S., 7. verb. Aufl., 1996;

Håndbog i danske stednavne by Houken, Aage, København: Rosenkilde og Bagger, 1956;
Introduction to the Survey of English Place-names (Vol. 1) ed. Mawer, A. & Stenton, F.M. Part 1: Introduction, Cambridge: Cambridge U.P., 1925;
Íslensk Orðabók by Árni Böðvarsson, Reykjavík: Menningarsjóður/Mál og Menning, 1996;
Kortfattad Svensk Språk Historia by Gösta Bergman, Stockholm: Prisma Bokförlaget, 1995;
Nederlandse plaatsnamen: een overzicht by H.J. Moerman, Brussel: Naaml. Venn. Standaard-Boekhandel, 1956;
Nederlandse Plaatsnamen. De herkomst en betekenis van onze plaatsnamen by van Berkel, G. & Samplonius, K., Utrecht: Het Spectrum, 1995;
Nordiska: Våra Språk förr och nu by Jóhanna Barðdal, et al., Lund: Studentlitteratur, 1997;
Norsk Språkhistorie by Vemund Skard, Oslo: Universitetsforlaget, 1977;
Norsk Stadnamngranskning edited by Ola Stemshaug,
Oslo: Det Norske Samlaget, 1973;
Norsk stadnamnleksikon by Sandnes, Jørn (ed.) & Stemshaug, Ola (ed.), Oslo: Det Norske Samlaget, 1998;
Ortnamnen i Sverige by Bengt Pamp, Lund: Studentlitteratur, 1970 (a good general textbook);
Ortsnamen. Ihre Entstehung und Bedeutung by Prof. Johannes Feldmann,
Halle: Buchhandlung des Waisenhauses, 1925;
Our Forefathers: the Gothonic Nations by Gudmund Schütte, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (2 Vols.), 1929;
Place-Name Evidence for the Anglo-Saxon Invasion and Scandinavian Settlements, Nottingham: English Place-Name Society, 1987;
Problems of Place-Name Study (Being a Course of Three Lectures delivered at King's College), by A. Mawer, Cambridge: Cambridge U.P., 1920;
The Scandinavian Languages: An Introduction to their History by Einar Haugen, Cambridge, Mass: Harvard U.P., 1976;

Signposts to the Past by Margaret Gelling, Sussex: Phillimore, 1988;
Stednavne Vol. V of Nordisk Kultur published by Magnus Olsen, København-Oslo-Stockholm, 1939;
Stednavne og Kulturhistorie by Kristian Hald, København: Dansk Historisk Fællesforenings Håndbøger, 2.oplag, 1969;
Stednavnordbog by Bent Jørgensen (Gyldendals små røde ordbøger), København: Gyldendal, 1994;
Sønderjyske Stednavne (Danmarks Stednavne nr. 3) udgivet af Stednavneudvalget, København: G.E.C. Gads Forlag, 19 vols (1931-44);
The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place-Names by E. Ekwall, Oxford: Oxford U.P., 1960;
The Origin of English Place-names by P.H. Reaney, London: Routledge & Keegan Paul, 1960;
Vad våra Ortnamn berätta by Jöran Sahlgren, Stockholm: Bonniers Förlag, 1932;
Vore Stednavne by Kristian Hald,
København: G.E.C. Gads Forlag, 2. rev. udgave, 1965 (An excellent textbook on Danish place-names in general);
Words and Places by Isaac Taylor,
London: J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd., 1864;
Ættegård og Helligdom by Magnus Olsen,
Oslo: H. Aschehoug & Co., 1926.

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