Word Ways


Jay Ames


England is an onomastician's paradise: over the years, detailed studies of many different kinds of English names have been compiled and published. English place names have been previously discussed in Word Ways; in addition, it has reviewed books of house names, surnames and personal nicknames. But did you know that the English have also made a practice of naming all the pieces of land forming part of the agrarian economy of a village? These 'field names', as they are called, have been quite thoroughly documented by the appropriately-named John Field in English Field Names: A Dictionary, issued in many editions. Most are modern names, being taken from the Tithe Awards of later documents; however, the practice goes back many centuries.