English Place-name Society

Survey of English Place-Names

A county-by-county guide to the linguistic origins of England’s place-names – a project of the English Place-Name Society, founded 1923.


Early-attested site in the Parish of Stockport

Historical Forms

  • Destesleg' c.1251 For
  • Destlegh 1394 Orm2
  • Destellegh 1471 MinAcct
  • Distislegh 1274 Orm2
  • Distisleye 1285 Eyre
  • Disteslegh, Dysteslegh 1308 Ipm 1354 Dow 1495 ChRR
  • Dystesley 1337 Eyre
  • Dystesle(e) 1345,1347 ib
  • Dystysleg 1337 ib
  • Disteleg(h), Dysteleg(h), Dystele(e), Dysteley(e) 1286,1288,1289(17) 1533 ChRR
  • Distelishethe 1316 Pat
  • Distell' 1288 Orm2
  • Distellegh 1467 MinAcct
  • Distilegh 1495 Orm2
  • Distilleighe, Distillaghe, Distilleithe 1560 Sheaf
  • Distley 15 ChRR 1487 Plea
  • Distlegh 1503 ChFor 1535 VE
  • Disley 15,1542 ChRR
  • Disley alias Deane 1580 Dep
  • Dysley 1590,1690 Sheaf
  • Disseley 1447 Eyre
  • Dysceley, Disceley 1547 Chol 1553 Pat
  • Dys(c)heley, Dis(c)heley 1561 ChRR
  • Dishley 1582 Orm2 c.1639 Chol
  • Desley 1528 ChRR


The final el. of Disley is lēah 'a clearing, a wood, a woodland glade'. The first el. has not been defined. DEPN is irrelevant, cf. Diglee 178supra . EPN s.v. suggests dȳstig 'dusty', but the forms with an apparently gen.sg. inflexion, Destes -, Distes -, -is - etc., are against this unless the second -s - is intrusive, or unless dȳstig is used as an OE  pers. by-name *Dȳstig 'Dusty', cf. Dūst (Tengvik 311).

The first el. of Disley probably recurs, with hop 1 'a valley', in Dissop Head infra . It may be an unidentified compound containing OE  wist (gen.sg. -e fem; -es masc. in some compounds) 'being, existence; home; food, sustenance', v. BT & BTSuppl s.v. wist (and compounds cited there), also EPN s.v. In Sx the word denotes a tract or measure of land (Sx 452, 562, NED s.v.), and in Foxtwist, Foxwist 194supra , 331 infra , it must mean 'fox's home', i.e. 'place supporting a fox, a fox's living'. OE  dæg-wist 'food, a meal', i.e. 'the day's provision or sustenance', could be the word required here, Disley and Dissop then being 'woodland glade' and 'valley, at a place to which the day's provisions must be taken', or 'at a place where meals are eaten', or 'at a place where a living is had from day to day'. But daeg-wist has not yet been found in other p.ns., and the picnic connotation does not seem acceptable. A preferable alternative would be to suppose an analogy with Fox(t)wist, an OE  compound dǣge - wist 'dairy-maid's living' (v. dǣge ). Disley and Dissop would then be 'at a place where the dairy-maid makes a living', possibly lēah and hop 1 suffixed to the gen.sg. form of an older p.n. from *dǣge -wist .

The village of Disley was also known as Disley Dene (Distesleghdene 1341Eyre , Destlegh Deyne 1394 Orm2, Distley Deyn 1535 VE, Disteley Dean 1548 Earw, Orm2, Disley alias Deane 1580Dep , Disley Deane 1611LRMB 200, Disley Dene 1724 NotCestr) from its situation in a valley, v. denu , cf. Deane lache 1503ChFor , the Deane lache 1550MinAcct , (v. læc(c)), the Deane House 1550 Earw, (v. hūs ).

Places in the same Parish

Early-attested site

Other OS name