Germanic toponymy

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Germanic toponyms are the names given to places by Germanic peoples and tribes. Besides areas with current speakers of Germanic languages, many regions with previous Germanic speakers or Germanic influence had or still have Germanic toponymic elements, such as places in Northern France, Wallonia, Poland and Northern Italy.

Comparative table[edit]

In round brackets, the contemporary cognate for the toponym in the respective language is given. In the square brackets, the most frequently used name in English is given.

Proto-Germanic
(or ancient loan word from
Celtic, Greek or Latin)
English

and Scots

Dutch

and Afrikaans

Low German (High) German Continental
North Germanic
(Danish, Norwegian, Swedish)
Other Germanic languages Loans or remnants in
non-Germanic languages (mainly in Old Northern French)
*baki[1]
"creek"
-bach, -beck, -batch, -brook, -brooke, -bech, -beach, -broke, (beck)
(1) Harbrook, Emm Brook, Sparkbrook, Walbrook, Marshbrook, Fullabrook, Sandbach, Comberbach, Brinsabach , etc., (2) Fulbeck, (3) Caldbeck, (4) Holbeck, Wansbeck, Starbeck, Welbeck, Skirpenbeck, Boosbeck, Killingbeck, Pinchbeck, Purbeck, Birkbeck, Swaffham Bulbeck, Leigh Beck, Waterbeck, etc., Pulverbatch, Inglesbatch, Oxbatch, Wisbech, Holbeach, Holbeck, Holbrook, Holbech, Bolingbroke, Stradbroke, Begbroke, Kembroke Hall, Hazelbadge, Burbage, etc.
-beek (beek)
(5) nl:Roosbeek (Vlaams-Brabant), Bierbeek, Lembeek, Schaarbeek [Schaerbeek], Sint-Jans-Molenbeek, etc.
-bek, -beck, -brook,
(2) de:Harbrook, de:Billbrook, Hilkenbrook, Wesuwer Brook, de:Marschbrook, de:Hammerbrook, Fuhlbek (Wehrau (river)),[2] Reinbek, Wandsbek, Hasselbeck, Gladbeck, Havixbeck, etc.
-bach, -bock
(1) de:Sandbach, (6) Wambach, (5) Rohrbach, (3) Kaltenbach, Hasselbach, Bütgenbach (Luxemburg), Mühlbock [Ołobok], etc.
-beck, -bekk, -bäck, -bæk
(2) Fulebæk (DK), (4) Holbæk (DK)
*berga-[3]
"hill, mountain"
-bergh -berrow -barrow -berry (barrow)
Sedbergh, Thrybergh, Caldbergh, Bedbergh, Babergh Hundred, Rubergh Hundred, East Bergholt, Bergh Apton, Berghersh, Inkberrow, Bromsberrow, Sedgeberrow, Whitbarrow, Cruckbarrow, Fellbarrow, Wanbarrow, Brockenbarrow, Ingleberry
-berg, -bergen (berg)
(2) Bergen [Mons], Geraardsbergen, Grimbergen, Kortenberg
(1) Barg, (2)Bargen[4] -berg
Heidelberg, Kaisersberg [Kaysersberg], Königsberg [Kaliningrad], Nürnberg [Nuremberg], Bamberg, Bromsberg, Bromberg, Kruckenberg, de:Fellberg, Berghain
-berg
(2) Bergen
-bergue(s) in Northern French via Old Low Frankish or Old Saxon
Isbergues, (1) Berck, Barques, Barc, Bierges
*brugjō-[5]
"bridge"
-bridge -brigg (bridge)
Cambridge, Knightsbridge, Woodbridge, Fordingbridge, Seabridge Agbrigg, Felbrigg, Lambrigg, Gillingbrigg, Brigg, Brigroyd
-brugge (brug)
Brugge [Bruges], Zeebrugge
-brücken, -brück, -bruck -brig
Innsbruck, Osnabrück, Saarbrücken, Brig
-bro, -bru
*burg-[6][7]
"city, fortified town, fort"
-borough, -bury, -burgh, -brough (borough)
Canterbury, Tilbury, Aldbury, Grimsbury, Limbury, Cissbury, Kentisbury, Holmbury St Mary, Shoeburyness, Irthlingborough, Peterborough, Knaresborough, Middlesbrough, Hemingbrough, Mickleburgh, Aldeburgh, Rumburgh, Happisburgh, Bamburgh, Edinburgh, Salsburgh, Pedlersburgh, Cunningsburgh
-burg (burg, burcht)
Aardenburg, Limburg, Middelburg, Tilburg
-borg
Hamborg [Hamburg]
-burg
Burg bei Magdeburg, Regensburg, Neuburg, Salzburg, German: Straßburg, Lower Elsassish/Alsatian-German: Strossburi, Luxemburgish -buerg
Lëtzebuerg [Luxembourg]
-borg
Nordborg, Rendsborg, Sønderborg

-bourg in Northern French, via Old Saxon, Old English, Old Norse and German
Cherbourg, Cabourg, Bourbourg, le Neubourg, Luxembourg, Strasbourg (single Bourg, Borgo, Buergo, etc. or with a following element are common everywhere in the Romance speaking world)

*felthuz[8]
"plain, open land, field"
-field -fold (field)
Huddersfield, Mansfield, Macclesfield, Mirfield, Wakefield, Sheffield, Moorfields, Dogmersfield, Aperfield, Archenfield, Kerfield, Whisterfield, Bentfield Green, Bloomfield, Westerfield, Summerfield, Thunderfield, Bassingfield, Lindfield, Englefield Green, Exfold, Penfold, Chiddingfold
-veld
Schinveld, Warnsveld
-feld, -felde, -filde (Feld)
Bielefeld, Mansfeld, de:Moorfeld, de:Mirfeld, de:Westerfilde, Sommerfeld, Urfeld, de:Eichsfeld
*furdi-, *furdu-[9]
"low water crossing"
-ford, -forth (ford)
Bradford, Guildford, Oxford, Stafford, Watford, Hereford, Sandford, Thetford, Stanford, Arford, Conford, Lemsford, Hannaford, Filford, Wyfordby, Gosforth, Garforth, Stainforth, Ampleforth, Handforth, Dishforth, Catforth, Shawforth, Birdforth, Yafforth, Hollowforth, Strafforth

-firth (firth)
Burrafirth, Holmfirth, Firth of Forth

-foort, -voort, -voorde (voorde)
Amersfoort, Vilvoorde, Eexter-Zandvoort, Zandvoorde, Papenvoort
-ford, -fordt, -vörde, -forde
Herford, de:Herzford, Bremervörde, de:Diersfordt, de:Conneforde, Osterforde, Lemförde, Buttforde, Bökenförde
-furt
Dietfurt, Erfurt, Frankfurt, Ochsenfurt, Steinfurt,
-forth de:Steinforth, de:Bruneforth, de:Kaiforth, de:Honigforth, de:Achelforth, de:Stallforth -fjorden
Oslofjorden, Limfjord
-fort
Northern French Houllefort
*hafnō-[10]
"harbor, port"
-haven (haven)
Shellhaven, Sandhaven, Buckhaven, Newhaven, Whitehaven, Greenhaven, Peacehaven, Cockhaven, Middlehaven, Stonehaven, Littlehaven, Fairhaven, Balhaven, Cuckmere Haven, Orwell Haven, Holland Haven, Anton Haven, Cuckhold's Haven
-haven (haven)
Eemshaven, Ketelhaven, Delfshaven
-haven (haven)
Bremerhaven, Wilhelmshaven, Cuxhaven
-hafen (Hafen)
Friedrichshafen
-hamn, -havn
København [Copenhagen], Åkrahamn
Faroese: -havn
Tórshavn, Skudeneshavn
French Le Havre, several le Hable
*haima-[11]
"homestead, dwelling"
-ham, -om (home)
Denham, Dunham, Newham, Nottingham, Rotherham, Tottenham, Ickenham, Twickenham, Sydenham, Alkham, Wokingham, Manningham, Edmondsham, Kirkham, Gotham, Egham, Debenham, Bassingham, Foxham, Great Blakenham, Berkhamsted, Walthamstow, Epsom, Wilsom, Besom, Hollom, Hysom, Allum Green, Cocum, Hoccum, Cottam, Hannam's Hall, Buckinghamshire, Bodiam, Northiam, Mitchum
-(g)em, -(h)em, -en, -um -ham (heem, heim)
Alphen, Berchem, Nossegem, Wevelgem, Zaventem, Blijham, ne:Kolham, ne:Dongjum(Donningham), Drogeham, Foxham, Blankenham, Den Ham
-um,
Alkersum, Nordenham, Bochum, Borkum, Wilsum, Walsum, Fulerum, Loccum, Arnum Bolzum, Achtum, Heyersum
-(h)am,-heim, -(h)em, -um (Heim)
Crailsheim, Kirchham, Hausham, de:Hundham, de:Borkerham, Mannheim, Pforzheim, Schiltigheim, Bassenheim, Cochem, Waldhambach, Babensham, Egglham
-heim, -hem, -um, Trondheim, Varnhem, Lerum Unknown East-Germanic language:
*Boiohaimum [Bohemia][12]
-ham, -hem, -ain, -[s]ent in Northern French via Old Low Frankish, Old Norse or Old English
Ouistreham, Étréham, Huppain, Surrain (Surrehain 11th century, then Surreheim 12th century[13]), Inxent (Flemish Enessem)
*hufa-[14]
"enclosed area, garden"
-hope, -hop -op -hove
Woolhope, Stanhope, Mithope, Bullinghope, Byerhope, Dinchope, Dryhope, Longhope, Mythop, Northop, Middop, Glossop, Worksop, Warsop, Hove
-hof, -hoven, -hove (hof)
Wintershoven, Zonhoven, Volckerinckhove, Hove
-hoft,
Bockhoft, Ahrenshoft
-hof, -hofen (Hof)
Bechhofen, Diedenhofen [Thionville]
(translated into -court in Northern France, compare Bettenhoven, Bettenhoff with Bettencourt, Bethancourt, etc.)
*hulmaz[15]
"elevation, hill, island"
-holm, -holme, -hulme (holm)
Grassholm, Denholm, Buckholm, Marholm, Bromholm Priory, Killingholme, Hempholme, Skokholm, Nunburnholme, Hubberholme, Skyreholme, Holmsgarth, Holmwrangle, Holmethorpe, Holmbush, Holmwood, Holmsted, Holmegate, Steep Holm, Cobholm, Levenshulme, Kirkmanshulme
-holm (holm)
De Holm
-holm (holm)
Holm, Holm
-holm (holm)
Holm, Holm
-holm (holm)
Stockholm, Holm
Faroese: -hólmur (hólmur)
Gáshólmur
-homme, le Houlme, le Hom in Old Norman
Robehomme, le Houlme
W.Gmc. *kirika from Greek kyriake -kirk (church)
Colkirk, Falkirk, Ormskirk, Chadkirk, Peakirk, Romaldkirk, Halkirk, Woodkirk, Algarkirk, Laithkirk, Whitkirk, Oswaldkirk, Bradkirk Hall, Houndkirk Moor, Kirkcambeck, Kirkcudbright, Kirkwall, Kirkby, kirklees, Whitchurch, Stokenchurch, Baschurch, Dymchurch, Hornchurch, Offchurch, Churchover, Churchstoke, Churcham
-kerk, -kerke (kerk)
Duinkerke [Dunkirk], Middelkerke, Nijkerk, Ridderkerk, Koudekerk aan den Rijn, Adinkerke, Koolkerke, Kaaskerke, Klemskerke, Grijpskerk, Oldekerk, Niekerk
-kerk, (Kirche)
Aldekerk
-kirche, -kirchen (Kirche)
Feldkirch, Neunkirchen, Gelsenkirchen, Kirchweyhe, Kirchham
-crique, -kerque in Northern French
Yvecrique, Criquetot, Dunkerque (Dunkirk)
*landom[16]
"land, ground, soil"
-land (land)
England, Ireland, Scotland, Sunderland, Northumberland, Shetland, Lothingland, Bishop Auckland, Holland, Breckland, Upholland, Rutland, Hartland, Kessingland, Westmoorland, Heligoland, Leyland, Buckland, Kingsland, Westlands, West Midlands, Fenland, Litherland, Thurgoland, Dormansland, Leesland, Thurland Castle, Backaland, West Heogaland, Swaisland, Wringsland, Sealand
-land (land)
Friesland, Holland, Nederland [Netherlands], Zeeland, Gelderland, Westland, Nuland, Dirksland, Duiveland, Sint Philipsland, Flevoland, Hamaland, Heuvelland, Rilland, Kempenland, Reiderland, Engeland, Nieuwlande, Lageland
-land (land) -land (land)
Deutschland, Moormerland, Wangerland, Blockland, Holtland, Ammerland, Sauerland, Westerland, Saarland, Seeland, Munsterland, Vierlande, [Germany], Emsland, Burg-Reuland, Rheinland, Carinerland, Muttland, Südbrookmerland, Thurland, Neuholland, Oberneuland, Helgoland
-land (land)
Jylland, Nordland, [Jutland], Sjaelland, Hjelmeland, Jørpeland, Iveland, Froland, Gogland
-land, -lan in Northern French
château d'Ételan, Heuland, le Tingland, le Vatland, etc.
*rotha
"clearing"
-royd, -rode, -rod, -rith, -road, -royde
Ackroyd, Murgatroyd, Kebroyd, Hangingroyd, Boothroyd, Oldroyd, Mytholmroyd, Dockroyd, Odd Rode, Bergerode, North Rode, Wivelrod, Blackrod, Heyrod, Gollinrod, Ormerod, Harrod, Walkerith, Huntroyde Hall, Cockroad
-rade, -ray, -rode, -rooi (rode)
Asenray, Gijzenrooi, Landsrade, Middelrode, Nieuwrode, Nistelrode, Sint-Genesius-Rode, Stamproy
-rade, -rath, -rode, -roth -rod -rith
Overath, Radebeul, Radevormwald, Roth, Wernigerode, Heyerode, Darlingerode, Ivenrode, Hainrode, Rainrod, Rumrod, Wallmerod, Karith
-rud, -rød, -röd, -ryd, Buskerud, Birkerød, Kajerød, Bergeröd, Tolvsrød Rœulx, Rœux, Ruitz in Northern French[17] Swiss: Cormérod (Kormerat)
*stainaz[18]
"stone"
-stan, -stam, -stone (stone)
Stanlow, Stanmore, Stanfree, Stanground, Stambermill, Stamford, Stonehaven, Staines, Stanwick, Stenhousemuir
-steen (steen)
Steenokkerzeel, Steenkwijk
-steen (steen)
Sleswig-Holsteen [Schleswig-Holstein]
-stein (Stein)
Schleswig-Holstein, Stein, Steinfurt, Stein-Wingert
-sten -stain, -étan in Northern French
Grestain, Roche Gélétan, Étaimpuis, Estaimpuis (Dutch Steenput)
*thurpa-[19]
"farm, settlement"
-thorp, -thorpe -throp -trop -thrup -drup -drop
Cleethorpes, Scunthorpe, Mablethorpe, Casthorpe, Catthorpe, Boothorpe, Ibthorpe, Cutthorpe, Swanthorpe, Ingmanthorpe, Copmanthorpe, Thorpeness, Heythrop, Winthrop, Knostrop, Wilstrop, Westrop, Etrop, Upthrup, Pindrup, Staindrop, Newdrop, Souldrop, Burdrop, Throop
-dorp (dorp)
Hazerswoude-Dorp, Opdorp
-dorp, -trop (dorp)
Dusseldorp [Düsseldorf], Bottrop, Waltrop, Frintrop, Uentrop, Hiltrop, Castrop-Rauxel, Huttrop
-dorf, -torf (Dorf)
Dorf
-torp, -arp, -rup Kattarp, Kastrup, Olofstorp Lorrain -troff Bénestroff (German Bensdorf) -tourp(s), -tour, Torp in Old Norman
Clitourps, Saussetour, le Torp-Mesnil
Lat vīcus[20]
"dwelling place, village"
-wich
Ipswich, Norwich, Harwich, Aldwych, Lower Ledwyche, Lutwyche Hall, Heckmondwike, Warwick, Alnwick, Gatwick, Lerwick, Hawick, Fenwick, Berwick, Gippeswyk Park, Walwick, Glodwick, Hardwicke, Rumboldswyke, Ankerwycke Yew, Lowick, Shopwyke, Casewick, Borthwick, Breiwick, Edgwick, Keckwick, Muggleswick, Osbaldwick, Barnoldswick, Smethwick, Withernwick, Plardiwick, Sesswick, Wick, Hamwick Green, Hackney Wick, East wick, Marchweeke, Northweek, Highweek,
-wijk (wijk)
Ewijk, Waalwijk, Harderwijk, Oisterwijk, Noordwijk, Beverwijk, Noorderwijk, Meeswijk, Wervik
-wig, -wich -wick
Sleswig-Holsteen [Schleswig-Holstein], Kettwig, Dellwig, Sleswick, Brunswick, de:Suderwich, de:Suderwick, Oer-Erkenschwick, de:Berwicke, Lowick, de:Harwick, de:Crosewick, de:Ellewick, de:Wennewick, de:Holtwick, de:Kockelwick
-wig, -wiek (Weich)
Schleswig-Holstein, Prorer Wiek, Wyk
Craywick, Salperwick, French Flanders
*walhaz[21][22]
"stranger, non-Germanic person"
wal- (Welsh)
Cornwall, Wales, Walsall, Walsden
wal- (Waal)
Wallonië [Wallonia]
wal-
Wallis [Valais]
Unknown Germanic language:
Wallachia
Germanic wal- became:
  • gal- in Gaelic, via Old English
    Galloway
  • gaul- in French, via Frankish
    Gaul

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "etymologiebank.nl". etymologiebank.nl. Retrieved 2012-09-25. 
  2. ^ Wolfgang Laur, Historisches Ortsnamenlexikon von Schleswig-Holstein, Karl Wachholtz Verlag, 1992, p. 261b.
  3. ^ "etymologiebank.nl". etymologiebank.nl. Retrieved 2012-09-25. 
  4. ^ Wolfgang Laur 138b.
  5. ^ "etymologiebank.nl". etymologiebank.nl. 1922-04-05. Retrieved 2012-09-25. 
  6. ^ "etymologiebank.nl". etymologiebank.nl. Retrieved 2012-09-25. 
  7. ^ "Online Etymology Dictionary". Etymonline.com. Retrieved 2012-09-25. 
  8. ^ "Online Etymology Dictionary". Etymonline.com. Retrieved 2012-09-25. 
  9. ^ "etymologiebank.nl". etymologiebank.nl. Retrieved 2012-09-25. 
  10. ^ "Online Etymology Dictionary". Etymonline.com. Retrieved 2012-09-25. 
  11. ^ "etymologiebank.nl". etymologiebank.nl. Retrieved 2012-09-25. 
  12. ^ "etymologiebank.nl". etymologiebank.nl. Retrieved 2012-09-25. 
  13. ^ Louis Guinet, « Des toponymes normands en Ham (-ain) et de l'étymologie du français hameau » in Annales de Normandie, 1963, Volume 13, Numéro 13-2, p. 76 (online : French) Persée Revues scientifique
  14. ^ "etymologiebank.nl". etymologiebank.nl. Retrieved 2012-09-25. 
  15. ^ "Online Etymology Dictionary". Etymonline.com. 1973-08-23. Retrieved 2012-09-25. 
  16. ^ "Online Etymology Dictionary". Etymonline.com. Retrieved 2012-09-25. 
  17. ^ Albert Dauzat et Charles Rostaing, Dictionnaire étymologique des noms de lieu en France, Edition Larousse 1968, réédition Librairie Guénégaud, Paris, 1979, p. 566a.
  18. ^ "Online Etymology Dictionary". Etymonline.com. Retrieved 2012-09-25. 
  19. ^ "Online Etymology Dictionary". Etymonline.com. Retrieved 2012-09-25. 
  20. ^ "Online Etymology Dictionary". Etymonline.com. Retrieved 2012-09-25. 
  21. ^ "Online Etymology Dictionary". Etymonline.com. Retrieved 2012-09-25. 
  22. ^ "etymologiebank.nl". etymologiebank.nl. Retrieved 2012-09-25.