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.


Major Settlement in the Parish of Whitgift

Historical Forms

  • Swynefleth Hy2 BM c.1190–1207 YCh492
  • Swineflet(e), Swyneflet(e) 1189–1207 YCh493 1190–1220 13 ADiii 1246 Ass35d 1253 FF 1382 BM
  • Swyneflitt 1618 PRRth
  • Swinflet(e), Swynflet(e) 1266 Baild 1294 Ebor 1304 Selby 1305 Ch 1316 Pat 1448 Pat
  • Swynfleit 1549 YDii
  • Swynflett 1557 FF


The second el. is OE  flēot, which on topographical grounds no doubt refers to a reach of the Ouse or, if the river was divided by sandbanks, to one of its channels; it can hardly mean 'inlet' here; cf. Ousefleet 7supra . It is difficult to see how flēot in this sense could be connected with OE  swīn 'swine', and Ekwall is therefore right in accepting the possibility of OE  swin2 'creek, channel' as the first el. Presumably this secondary channel was called 'the Swin ', to distinguish it from the main course of the Ouse. The term is found chiefly in YE and L p.n.s