The place name is of Old English origin. It is first mentioned in the 10th century in the form Hengestesige, and probably means "stallion island". It may also mean "island of a man named Hengest", but there is no evidence to link the place to the historical Hengest. Place names ending in “-ey” (“island”, commonly used of higher ground in a marshy area) are of early formation, probably names bestowed by the first English farmers who tackled the area.
There are two villages, North Hinksey to the west of the city of Oxford and South Hinksey to the south-west. There is also a suburb called New Hinksey to the south of the town centre, which contains the city council ward Hinksey Park. Hinksey Stream runs past the west of Oxford, a branch of the River Thames. Hinksey Hill Farm lies on Hinksey Hill, close to South Hinksey.
- Mills, A.D. and Room, A. (1998) A Dictionary of British Place-Names Oxford University Press
- M. Gelling, Towards a Chronology for Early English Place Names in D.Hooke (ed), Anglo-Saxon Settlements (1988) p. 71 and 73,
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