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Intriguing AngloSaxon personal names in the landscape

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Author Topic: Intriguing AngloSaxon personal names in the landscape  (Read 192 times)

Mearcstepa

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Intriguing AngloSaxon personal names in the landscape
« on: January 15, 2020, 11:09:36 AM »
I spend a lot of time pouring over place names in the Gloucestershire edition of the English Place Name Society series of books in my library. What I find particularly interesting among many other interesting things about A-S placenames is the great variety of personal names. There is a group of names beginning with 'P' which are intriguing, like 'Peota' 'Peoda' 'Pefe' 'Pyddi' , and then there's the 'Bacga' names that have given the modern 'Badge' name in the villages of Badgeworth and Bagendon. No meaning is known for these names as far as the English Place Name Society knows, or perhaps there is some obscure academic work somewhere that has tried to glean some meaning from the more obscure (at least to us) A-S personal names? I just thought I'd put this here because there a lot of A-S personal names captured in placenames that are not known from other sources. Could they be names of unknown local deities, or personal names derived from unknown local deities? Among my favourite A-S personal names is the one from nearby Uley, Owlpen, which is apparently Olla's Pen or fenced in ground.

David

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Re: Intriguing AngloSaxon personal names in the landscape
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2020, 12:38:05 PM »
In Germanic p > f according to Grimm’s Law. Therefore initial p is uncommon in Old English and usually indicates a loanword from a non-Germanic language, particularly Latin.

Mearcstepa

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Re: Intriguing AngloSaxon personal names in the landscape
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2020, 04:33:07 PM »
thats interesting I did know about old Penda's name being unusual for the Germanic language because of the P and so likely not to be a Germanic name. There's a few P names broadly around my part of the land like Pegglesworth and Paxford up on the Cotswolds, and closer by Paganhill and the lost field name Pidgemore. Near to Bristol is Patchway. I wonder what loan word/words were being used in such P names and if they show borrowing of names from the existent Brittonic population in the region or were they borrowed earlier when Germanic menfolk were fighting as mercenaries in the Roman Empire?