The origin cannot (unlikely
to) have come from the modern word 'shore' which
was not used in Saxon times, and does not appear to be used
in its current meaning until the 14th century. Scor,
pronounced 'shor' was probably a word at the time meaning
'slope' or a similar topographic feature.
(However, this is according to English Dictionaries. The American Heritage Dictionary 3rd Edition is different.)
It is also cannot be derived from the Latin/Saxon word 'õra' meaning shore or landing place for boats for linguistic reasons.Words were simply not constructed like this and the word 'õra' disappeared from use. (Origin of place names of Bognor and Pershore, but there is not 100% agreement on the meaning of õra. I am satisified AH. The earliest reference I can find to õra is a document called "Ora Maritima" by Festus Rufus Avienus dated 366 AD. AH.)
books usually give the meaning for Shoreham as 'estate
at the foot of a steep slope'.
Steep slope was from the Saxon word 'scor'. pronounced 'shor', but written 'sore' by the Norman scribes.(This was first thought to be as they would pronounce the word. The French Normans had difficulty in pronoucing certain consonant groups. Or is this a German sound shift ? Treat this as speculation.).
This is the most reasonable explanation, although my first thoughts were that the slope is hardly steep, it is too steep to plough.
(The American Heritage Dictionary 3rd Edition gives the etymon for the word 'shore' as scora and this would be consistent with the past participle of scoren, shear, shorn.This is the same origin.)
Normans changed the writing of English from the clear and easily readable
insular hand of Irish origin to the delicate Carolingian script then in
use on the Continent. With the change in appearance came a change in spelling,
e.g. sc to sh (Ency. Britannica)
(This is an over-simplified explanation.)
As for the palaeographical statement, I don't think your edition of the Ency. Brit. has caught up with research in this area. Insular minuscule wasn't always used by the Anglo-Saxons - the situation is quite complex, including 'pointed minuscule', 'square minuscule' and others, but Carolingian influence in this area came to England in the 10th century at the time of the great monastic reform movement, not after 1066. (CB)
Whether this word 'scora' was in use for the current meaning of 'shore' when Shoreham was given its name in Saxon times is debateable. The actual shore as we know it today would be more than one mile to the south, although the River Adur estuary had carved an inlet adjacent to Old Shoreham. (see reconstructed map).
= probably from the Saxon 'hamm', a geographical feature roughly
corresponding to a peninsula surrounded on three sides, usually by
marsh. Later the marsh may have been drained to become
Also a bend in a river or a river meadow?
[NB. Ham Road adjacent to the Civic Centre, Police Station, and Supermarket, acquired is name from the Ham(m), and so did Hammy Lane, and the Hamm Allotments (adjacent to Eastern Avenue).]
>Re Shoreham: it seems to me unsafe to assume
derivation from Old English _hamm_ ('hemmed-in land') rather than OE _ha:m_
('a homestead, a village') in the absence of any -hamme or -hom spellings
in what is quite a substantial medieval record. You're quite right to note
that _hamm_ does occur in the parish in the name Ham (surviving in Ham
Road etc.), but none of the data assembled by Mawer & Stenton (The
Place-Names of Sussex, EPNS, pp.246-7) provides evidence for _hamm_ in
the name Shoreham itself.
My guess is that this in turn came from the MLG word hamme, OE ham, hom, referring to the thigh (joined to the buttock like a peninsula) and the origin of the word ham for the joint of pigmeat.
le Ham 1549
The Hamme, Green Hamm, and Hamm Fields are mentioned in a Duke of Norfolk map of 1752.
There is some topographic/soil evidence to back up this claim as well (and there is no indication that this was known to Margaret Gelling).
Reference (for hamm):
"Place Names in the Landscape" by Margaret Gelling,
pages 41- 50.
ISBN 0 460 04380 3
More notes: web page
The Gelling classification was later refined by John Dodgson, who divided category (5) into (5a) "cultivated plot in marginal land" and (5b) "an enclosed plot, a close", and added a category (6) "a piece of valley-bottom land hemmed in by higher ground" (Dodgson 1973). While Gelling had argued that "land in the bend of a river" was the original meaning of hamm, Dodgson looked upon the whole set of meanings as figurative expressions of the basic concept of "a surrounded, hemmed-in place" and Karl Inge Sandred's subsequent thorough study of the etymology of the element suggested to him that the original meaning was "enclosure" and that the meaning "plot of ground by a river" developed from this because river-meadows were frequently enclosed to protect them from straying cattle (Sandred 1976). [extract from the web page]
'ham' meaning village or homestead is also a possibility.
Interpretation by Andy Horton. References available. 24/9/97, and 3/1/98.
In 1457 the port of
Shoreham is named in a document as Hulkesmouth
alias Shorham. The New Shoreham Borough Seal of c. AD 1295 shows a ship
in a curved form. A type of ship known as a hulc
is known from late 10th century laws, and in the 15th century this type
of boat was the main trading vessel of northern Europe. The seal is the
logo of King's Manor School, Shoreham.
From a mistake in interpretation of 5th century Roman documents for Portus Adurni, which was originally claimed to be in what is now the Adur estuary, but now known to be at Portchester. The name appeared in Michael Drayton's 'Polyolbion' in the 17th century (1612).
Ardaoneon (R&C 43) next
Holder suggested a connection with ND's Portum Adurni , traditionally assigned to Portchester (SU6204). This connection is further argued in PNRB's Portus Ardaoni. But as Williams points out, "there is no certainty as to the true location of Portus Adurni".
Entry in Notitia Dignitatum:
Praepositus numeri exploratorum, Portum Adurni.
New research: Old river names like the Thames often have ancient origins, pre-Saxon, i.e. Celtic. I have now discovered the Cornish (Celtic) word "dowr" and the Welsh "dofr" which means water. The must be a possibility that (Adur without the A) was in existence as the common name of the river before Michael Drayton erroneously attributed 'Portus Adurni' to a location near the current Adur.
New: 'a-dhowr' (Cornish) means of the water, or from the water. Now, there still must be considerable doubt over the origin Adur from the Celtic (there are no comparable names in Wales or Cornwall).
As for Adur, the Modern Welsh for 'water' is 'dwr' (pronounced 'door' with a long 'oo'), but the Old Welsh predecessor of 'dwr' is 'dofr'. This is where Dover gets its name. (Carol Biggam)
There is a River
Adour in France.
- Aturonna, vient de atur (rivière) + onna (source).
- Du ligure passé par l'ibéro-basque aturra : la source
In fact, we probably do have the pre-English name of the Adur recorded in the Ravenna Cosmography as 'Nuba' / 'Novia' (see Rivet & Smith pp. 426-7), most likely a British *_nouia:_ 'new, fresh, lively'. (Paul Cullen).
Nuba (for Nova R&C 68) is a settlement
name derived from the name of the river. Both the Adur and the Cuckmere
are candidates for Ptolemy's Kainos Limen (Novus Portus) and Ravenna's
river Novia (R&C 267). The Ouse can be
precluded because the settlement Mutuantonis (R&C 69 (Lewes?)), is easily related to Midewinde, the earlier river-name.
The Roman Map of Britain
The river has also been known
as the Sore (Holinshed's Chronicle 1577). This is likely to be because
of back-formation. Back-formation is the reverse of affixation, being the
analogical creation of a new word from an existing word falsely assumed
to be its derivative. (i.e. Sore arose after the name Shoreham and not
the other way round).
e.g. The river that runs through Arundel used to be called the Tarrant (Tarente c.725), when the Old English name Arundel was first in use. Later, the river was called the Arun, not from the original root of Arun ( hoar - valley #), but named as an abbreviation of the name of the town.
However, in Celtic names, Aberdeen, Falmouth (Aberfal) and others, the river name came first.
( # hoar refers to the shrub "horehound" ? Ballota nigra and dell is a smallish valley ?)
ofer may be the flat-topped hillsite mentioned by Ann Cole.
The 'ofer' above is a preposition with meanings 'over, beyond, above, upon, in, across' etc. Cole's 'ofer' is a noun. They're different words - the preposition has a short initial 'o', and the noun has a long 'o'. This indicates a different history. (CB)
The south is harder to explain than wic which is Old English (originally Latin) for a farm, and certainly much more than this, the trading centre (road to London), market centre, and centre of the agricultural estate.
There have been considerable studies, debates, even some controversy or at least conflicting views, on the origin of wic in place names and their historical context. The Latin root vicus is clear.
Information on Ray Hamblett's Lancing web pages:
le Milhouse, le Wynd Milhill 1549
Kyngeston next to the Schorham 1279
Kyngeston Bouci 1315
Robert de Busc held the manor in 1199
Trailgi 1086 (now Truleigh) OE treow + leah = tree + clearing
Sele noua Schorham 1261
Eringeham 1086 DB (possibly Ering = arable ? AH)
Staninges 1086 DB
Hethenburiels, Etenesburieles 1279
Slonk Hill (Shoreham) possibly from slohtre OE possible meaning a field of some type unknown, or it could even come from slah-thorn which is the sloe thorn, blackthorn in the books. Notes.
La Houne 1288
Porteslage, Porteslamhe 1086 DB, Portes Ladda 1080 France
Harundel(le) 1086 DB
Eldretune 1086 DB Aldringeton 1200
Storgetune 1086 DB (storca = storks?)
ofer means over in this context, but this is not the meaning for lots of ofer = over in place names like Southover (on the outskirts of Lewes.)
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