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Archiver > GENBRIT > 2003-07 > 1057681994

From: "Phil C." <>
Subject: Re: counties; was Interesting children
Date: Tue, 08 Jul 2003 17:33:14 +0100
References: <> <beb1sp$3mv$> <beco46$ma7$> <> <>

(dcw) wrote:

>In article <>,
>Phil C. <> wrote:
>>I suspect any connection between castra and castration would be very
>>ancient (IE?) and speculative but others may have better sources. IIRC
>>the -caster, -chester, -cester etc endings to place names may actually
>>be A-S - the word had evidently already been borrowed from Latin before
>>the English settlement. It wasn't used by the Romans to name their forts
>>with the single known exception of Castra Exploratum in Cumbria(?)
>"Chester" (on various forms) seems to have been used by the Anglo-Saxons
>for any Roman settlement. Many of them had never been anything that the
>Romans would call "castra".

The common -wich and -wick endings are also evidently from a borrowing
into W. Germanic languages from Latin - "vicus". I don't know what
particular qualities such settlements had to require the importation of
a new term. My impression is that the A-S had lots of words for
settlements - nearly all of them rather fluid in meaning.
Phil C.

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