Discussion on All Things British

Dopey Damian   Sun Sep 25, 2005 8:56 pm GMT
URIEL: you're dead right! Maybe that's because of the gradual Angicisation of names that were originally French from the days of Willy the Conker.

Who'd have guessed that Cholmondeley is just plain old Chumley.
Or Beauchamp (how French can yoiu get!!!) is a mere Beecham.

Beauchamp...there are loads and loads and loads of places (mostly cute little villages) with Beauchamp as part of their double barrelled names - eg Shelsley Beauchamp, Langley Beauchamp, Acton Beauchamp, Beauchamp Fitzpaine, Beauchamp Fitzgerald (try and beat that one......sounds obscene sort of! :-) )

I wonder if Beauchamp means "beautiful field"?
Uriel   Sun Sep 25, 2005 9:41 pm GMT
The English were obviously just practicing for the Scottish towns -- damn! Karma just hit me! Dumped yogurt on my lap! That'll teach me to make fun of the Scots....
JJM   Sun Sep 25, 2005 10:12 pm GMT
Beauchamp = Campo Bello (whence Campbell)
Rolls   Sun Sep 25, 2005 10:24 pm GMT
Correct me if I am wrong, your telling me that English towns have their origins from the French? Very facisnating, a real cultural rub-off.
Damian   Mon Sep 26, 2005 8:17 am GMT
ROLLS: English (and Scottish!) place names have origins in many sources as a result of all the invasions we have had in over 2,000 years. Brythonic and Scots Celtic place names in Wales and Scotland are just that. Then came the Romans between 54BC and 410AD. All their settlements developed into towns and of course they were given Roman names.

They formed a tiny settlement, calling it Londinium, on the north banks of the river they called Tamesis (now the Thames). Now Londinium is a wee bit larger and you know what it's called now.

The Romans set up army bases called "castris" and towns that eventually developed on those sites had related endings such as Leicester, Worcester, Gloucester, Manchester, Cirencester, Doncaster, Lanchester, or just plain Chester, a present day city which was founded by the Romans in AD79 around the large Roman fortress they called Deva.

After the Romans left us, a whole lot of new peoples over the centuries invaded in droves and they all left their mark in the names of places which later evolved into what you see on the map today.

Rolls...the French influence (from the Normans) was only a part of all this.......the names of places in different regions of England reflect the tibes of people who originally settled there following all those incursions.

Over the years places with French names gradually became Anglicised to what exists today but some...such as Herstmonceux and Rievaulx just seemed to retain their orginal spellings.

The Vikings (from the North of Europe...eg Scandinavia) were responsible for the many English place names ending with the suffix -by. As in Derby, Grimsby, Appleby, Wetherby, etc. If you look at the map most places with the -by ending are on the eastern side of England (it was mainly England in this respect).

Similarly, many English place names ending with -bury or -borough. Canterbury, Peterborough, Dewsbury, Ledbury, Shrewsbury, Newborough, Salisbury, Pulborough. etc.

Places on rivers which were easily crossed over a ford when the water was shallow became Oxford, Bedford, Stamford, Brentford.

If the water was too deep and they had to build a bridge towns became Cambridge, Redbridge, Axbridge.

Lots more examples....but no time now as I have a living to earn! :-)
Larry Bernstein   Sat Aug 26, 2006 4:56 pm GMT
How about 'Bossy Boots' and 'Smarty Pants?' Do you have others like them?
Guest   Sat Aug 26, 2006 9:09 pm GMT
greg   Sat Aug 26, 2006 9:09 pm GMT
Beauchamp —> Fairfield

Toponymie : <Beauchamp> (France septentrionale) est sans doute lié à <bellus> & <campus> : 1/ beau champ — 2/ champ de bataille.

Patronymie : <Beauchamp> est très répandu en Normandie.
greg   Sat Aug 26, 2006 9:47 pm GMT
Damian : « Over the years places with French names gradually became Anglicised to what exists today but some...such as Herstmonceux and Rievaulx just seemed to retain their orginal spellings. »

Voici une liste de villes (ou autres lieux) britanniques à toponymie anglo-saxonne avec leurs équivalents en (ancien) français :

Aroie (actuellement inusité) — Ayrshire
Arondel (actuellement inusité) — Arundel
Cantorbire (actuellement inusité) / Cantorbéry (en usage) — Canterbury
Douvres (en usage) — Dover
Édimbourg (en usage) / Daneborc / Taneb(r)oc / Teneb(r)oc (actuellement inusités) — Edinburgh
Estanhangues (actuellement inusité) — Stonehenge
Evrevic / Evroïc (actuellement inusités) — York
Galinguefort (actuellement inusité) — Wallingford
Gloëcestre (actuellement inusité) — Gloucester
Guincestre / Wincestre (actuellement inusités) — Winchester
Guinesores (actuellement inusité) — Windsor
Hantone (actuellement inusité) — Hampton
Londres (en usage) — London
Sohantone (actuellement inusité) — Southampton
Ben   Sun Aug 27, 2006 6:30 am GMT
"That's not cricket" is widely understood to mean that something has not been conducted in a spirit of fair play. This expression is not restricted to the sport itself but applied to any situation whereby somebody has behaved in a dishonourable or dishonest manner.

A little archaic, though. Not sure if it has retained common currency in this day and age.
greg   Sun Aug 27, 2006 9:44 am GMT
Herstmonceux (Hurstmonceux) : Herst/Hurst + de Monceux —> http://www.cowbeech.force9.co.uk/hmcxhistory.htm#NAME

Rievaulx (Rivis) : Rye + vaulx

Jervaulx (Joreval/Yorevale/Jervis/Gervayes) : Ure/Yore + vaulx

Meaux (Melsa)

Berverley (Beverlac) : beaver + lac

Beauly : Beaulieu (Écosse)
Damian in East Finchley N   Sun Aug 27, 2006 2:48 pm GMT
Herstmonceux in Sussex is famous for its castle and national heritage study centre.

Beaulieu is the current spelling of the yachting centre on the edge of the New Forest in Hampshire....it's pronounced as "bew-lee" by the English.

England (in particular, as distinct from the rest of Britain) is littered with place names which are French in origin, or are very influenced by French, and it adds so much interest to the map. Don't forget, French was at one time the official Language of the English and Scottish courts...the up and coming English tongue of the time was looked down up with disdain almost...regarded as inferior. The peasantry spoke this form of English at the time...the aristocracy all spoke the superior French.

There are several towns of considerable size in England which incorporate "de la" or "le" in their names even today....Ashby de la Zouch (Leicestershire) and Stanford le Hope (Essex) or Chester le Street (Durham).
Damian in East Finchley N   Sun Aug 27, 2006 2:54 pm GMT
An English mate from the North of England has just bollocked me big time for not mentioning Newton le Willows in Lancashire. :-(
Damian in N2   Sun Aug 27, 2006 2:58 pm GMT
PS - I've never heard of most of these places before! Ha! :-)
zxczxc   Sun Aug 27, 2006 4:29 pm GMT
Those places are mostly insignificant... I must say, I can't think of many places with French names round these parts (Middlesex).