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Subject:

Re: Stefna

From:

Jeremy Harte <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

The English Place-Name List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sat, 5 Nov 2011 16:17:24 -0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (32 lines)

Dear John,

Yes, I see what you mean. I'd cover my back a bit by suggesting that there's a spectrum which extends from tautologies wholly unconscious for ordinary speakers, such as River Avon, to those such as Mansion House where you know what a word means, more or less, but still feel the urge to add a second generic to it. So for 'no longer understood' read 'only semi-understood'. Access to the inner dialogue of OE and ME speakers is not easy but I suspect that the coiners of names like Creechbarrow could have told you, if pressed, what a crg was but still felt the need to add beorg when talking about the hill. Of course Stevenhethe might have been a concession to non-Norfolcians unfamiliar with ON loanwords.

Jeremy Harte

-----Original Message-----
From: The English Place-Name List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of John Briggs
Sent: 05 November 2011 14:55
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Stefna

On 05/11/2011 12:54, Jeremy Harte wrote:
> 
> Since Crakestevene was a meadow with common of pasture (http://www.archive.org/stream/cu31924011387853/cu31924011387853_djvu.txt), it looks as if stefna in England has the sense 'open ground', whatever it might mean in Scandinavia. And see Stephen's Heath in Ashby (PN Norfolk 2 p45 and p73) where it self-evidently looks like 'heath'; we hear of herbage apud Stefne 1353, underwood in Stefne 1381 before there is Stevenhethe 1466, as if h had been added epexegetically when people no longer understood that 'the stefna' meant 'the heath'.

I 'm not convinced that that's a correct usage of "epexegetically" - surely the addition would only be epexegetical if some people, at least (particularly those doing the exegesis), *did* understand that 'the stefna' meant 'the heath'?

There is a similar case in "Pla(i)stow Green".

John Briggs

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