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River Names

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gerontius grumpus
39203.  Tue Dec 13, 2005 7:06 pm Reply with quote

In a recent episode Stephen mentioned the fact that some river names are repeated in different forms around the UK. I'm not sure which ones he was talking about but it might have been Exe, Esk, Usk.
I have often thought that there are really very few original names of rivers in Britain because so many rivers share the same name in different forms. Other examples include:

Thames, Thame, Tame, Teme.

Tyne, Teign, Tone.

Allen, Aln, Alwyn.

Dove, Dovey, Tavy, Taff.

To name but a few.

I wonder if this trend extends into the rest of Europe.

39212.  Wed Dec 14, 2005 3:57 am Reply with quote


Last edited by Gaazy on Wed Dec 14, 2005 4:05 am; edited 1 time in total

39213.  Wed Dec 14, 2005 4:05 am Reply with quote

The names Dovey, Tivy and Taff are all English transliterations of the extant Welsh names Dyfi, Teifi and Tf.

Etymologists have posited that all river names beginning with te- or ta- ultimately derive from an Indo-European root meaning "to flow", though this is contested; if you're ready for some really heavy semantics, try this site.

Last edited by Gaazy on Wed Dec 14, 2005 8:52 am; edited 1 time in total

gerontius grumpus
39269.  Wed Dec 14, 2005 8:46 am Reply with quote

I meant the Tavy in Devon. I had forgotten about the Teifi, so thanks for mentioning it.
Thanks for providing some of the information I needed, perhaps there are even fewer names than I thought if the Thames family fits in this category.

How do you get accents to appear on this forum, like the one in Taf?

Last edited by gerontius grumpus on Wed Dec 14, 2005 8:56 am; edited 1 time in total

39270.  Wed Dec 14, 2005 8:52 am Reply with quote

I've deleted the sic - in my defence, the names on either side were English versions of Welsh names.

Accents are done using the alt key, held down while you press the appropriate code on the numpad - 0226 for , 0234 for , 0238 for and 0244 for .

gerontius grumpus
39273.  Wed Dec 14, 2005 8:54 am Reply with quote


39357.  Wed Dec 14, 2005 1:11 pm Reply with quote

gerontius grumpus wrote:
How do you get accents to appear on this forum, like the one in Taf?

Or you could paste them in from Character Map. I can't get Greek letters to show up this way though.

39593.  Thu Dec 15, 2005 12:23 pm Reply with quote

We've got one river in Herts with two spellings on OS maps - the River Lee or Lea.


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