Suffixes in Place Names: Origin and Meaning

 There are certain elements of settlement names that appear in many names most noticeably certain suffixes that crop up in many settlements names. Many place names share similar suffixes there is almost always some meaning associated with them.

The more prominent ones and especially the ones of the English-speaking world pop up so often that’ll make more sense.

When we look into them as these suffixes usually refer to specific features of that area a great example of this will be the suffix of mouth like we see with Portsmouth polymer and Bournemouth to name a few. This suffix refers to a place, it is the mouth of a river or large opening of water into either majority of places with the suffix of by water another example would be the Dale suffix back in Rochdale which is an old English word for a valley the mouth places . There are others in the US and other places but that’s more due to the whole British Empire thing. However in UK we have loads of play suffixes that pop up all over the country what’s interesting about these is how they do graphically laid out take the cess the suffix as an example most of these appear in the South a Midlands of England like with Winchester, Chester, Leicester Gloucester etc this comes from Latin meaning camp it makes sense this comes from Latin and it would mainly be in the more southern side of England as the Romans would their Latin would have come into the nation via the south while the B suffix is no some meaning settlement or village be seen in Derby and Grimsby which are all northern and where the Vikings would have entered a nation from though this doesn’t line up perfectly with Manchester using a variation of the the suffix being in the north and rugby being more sovereign than Leicester  too is Bury like we see of Glastonbury and Canterbury this suffix means fortified enclosure what’s interesting about the brief suffix is that has changed over time becoming borough brah , bro these suffices so wit pronounce if you just doing them on their own as with Middlesbrough and Edinburgh in Scotland however what’s interesting about this is that across the pond in the USA this suffix has changed pronunciation to become Berger like we see of Pittsburgh and Gettysburg in fact Gettysburg has taken it a step further and changed the spelling to be more phonetic to this pronunciation there’s even a new Edinburgh in Ottawa Canada and this name is often pronounced as Edinburgh as opposed to his native Scottish pronunciation aloft these common suffix is how it just means city or town in other languages which have gone on to be used in English like with viola which was originally French / Latin we see this stateside with places like Knoxville at Gainesville and Charlottesville we also have the Greek term for city which has been picked up in America polish a suffix seen in Minneapolis and Indianapolis what about in the non-english speaking world

Dutch suffix of damn like we see in Amsterdam Rotterdam and Leah damn but damn in these names reference how these cities are built by or across bodies of water in the same way we and beavers use dams while most prominent with Stockholm the home suffix is not only found in Sweden but other northern European countries too like with the Danish Bornholm and the German Dan whole this word element comes from the Old Norse Homer meaning small island which of course makes sense as Stockholm is a city built on Islands the German Dan home is literally just an island in the Baltic In The Slovak grad the grad part of these names simply mean things like town or city places were grad in their name can be found in countries like Bulgaria with his lasso grad in Croatia with by a grad there’s a municipality  in Slovenia just called grad and of course there’s the many grads of Russia Kalengrad Petrograd Leningrad however those last two names are different names for the same city which is now called Petersburg .

About Rashid Faridi

I am Rashid Aziz Faridi ,Writer, Teacher and a Voracious Reader.
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