The reason behind place names in UK

The study of place names is called toponymy and the British Isles has a varied toponymy due to the different settlement patterns, political and linguistic histories. Many languages and cultures have had an impact on geographical names including Anglo-Normans, Anglo Saxons, Romans and Vikings.



The origin of the suffix ‘ham’ is from Old English (Anglo-Saxon) meaning farm, homestead, [settlement].

Rotherham, Newham, Nottingham, Tottenham, Oldham, Newsham, Faversham, West Ham, Birmingham, Lewisham, Gillingham, Chatham, Chippenham, Cheltenham, Buckingham, Evesham, Wrexham, Dereham, Altrincham, Durham, Billingham, Hexham.

Another one with different spellings is the suffix ‘caster’, ‘chester’, ‘cester’, or ‘ceter’. This name of Roman origin means camp or fortification.

Lancaster, Doncaster, Gloucester, Caister, Manchester, Worcester, Chester, Exeter, Cirencester, Colchester, Tadcaster, Leicester, Towcester.

List of generic forms in place names in the United Kingdom and Ireland


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