A Study on Anglo-Scandinavian bý(r)-names: Statistical Analysis and Case-Studies

Neal, Joshua (2023) A Study on Anglo-Scandinavian bý(r)-names: Statistical Analysis and Case-Studies. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

PDF (Thesis - as examined) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Available under Licence Creative Commons Attribution.
Download (21MB) | Preview


This thesis is a large-scale analysis of place-names in England and southern Scotland that contain the settlement-term Old Norse (ON) bý(r) as their generic element. This analysis is based on what is, to my knowledge, the largest corpus of Anglo-Scandinavian bý(r)-names ever constructed. It has allowed for large-scale analysis of their geographical, chronological, and linguistic contexts, and analyses of bý(r)-name sub-groups within these contexts.

This thesis comprises four main chapters. Chapter One establishes the historical context for the use of ON bý(r) as a place-name-forming element in early medieval Britain and, through a case-study of bý(r)-names that seem to contain ethnonyms as their specific elements, suggests that the use of ON bý(r) was more diverse than has commonly been held. Chapter Two details the construction of an Anglo-Scandinavian bý(r)-names corpus for this thesis in a place-names database and its analysis. Chapter Three provides a large-scale analysis of the bý(r)-names corpus focused on their geographical distribution, chronological strata, and specific elements, with related case-studies. Chapter Four is a full-length case-study of 37 bý(r)-names whose generic elements seem to interchange with elements other than ON bý(r).

A primary analytical tool for the analyses of bý(r)-names in this thesis is the use of a ‘heat-map’ representation of their distribution created using GIS software. This map illustrates the ‘core’ (i.e. ‘hot’) and ‘peripheral’ (i.e. ‘cold’) areas of the bý(r)-names distribution in Britain far more clearly than the traditional dot-based maps of place-name scholarship. In this thesis, Anglo-Scandinavian bý(r)-names, from large groups to single names, are analysed in the context of this heat-map.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Carroll, Jayne
Baker, John
Keywords: place names, Old Norse, Anglo-Scandinavian settlements
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
P Language and literature > PD Germanic languages
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Arts > School of English
Item ID: 74185
Depositing User: Neal, Joshua
Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2024 14:56
Last Modified: 21 Mar 2024 14:56
URI: https://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/74185

Actions (Archive Staff Only)

Edit View Edit View