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.

Birmingham

Major Settlement in the Parish of Birmingham

Historical Forms

  • Bermingehā 1086 DB
  • Bermingeham 1214 Cur 1476 Pat
  • Brumingeham 1189 P 1656 StJ
  • Brimingham 1200 FF
  • Brimygham 1377 ADiii
  • Brymmyngham 1424 LeetBk 1500 KnowleG 1509 LP 1549 Pat
  • Brymyngham 1500,1506,1516 KnowleG 1513,1538 LP 1549 Pat
  • Brymingham 1514 KnowleG 1546 LP 1617 Recov
  • Brymigham 1591 BirmDeed
  • Brimingham al. Birmingham 1695 Morden
  • Birmingeham 1206 PatR 1510 Rental
  • Burmingeham 1221 Ass 1438 Pat
  • Burmungeham 1262 Ass
  • Birmingham 1227 FF
  • Burmingham 1235 Fees 1387 BM
  • Bermincham 1245 Pat
  • Bermyncham 1320 FF 1326 Cl 1330 Pat 1417 Fine
  • Bermigham 1247 Pat
  • Burmigham 1262 FF
  • Bernigeham 1285 Ass
  • Bermygham 1298 Cl
  • Burmegham al. Birmyngham 1292 Ipm
  • Bermingham 1248 Pat 1465 et freq
  • Bremingeham 1256 Pat
  • Bremyngeham 1398 KnowleG 1468 Pat
  • Bremyngham 1545 LP
  • Burmincham 1260 Ass 1265 Misc 1286 Pat 1652 ParlSurv
  • Burmynchham 1297 Ass
  • Burmyncham 1332 SR 1341 Pat 1378 Cl 1385 BirmDeed 1395 ADiv
  • Burmyncheham 1354 Pat
  • Byrmycheham, Birmecheham, Byrmychiham 1285 Ass
  • Birmicham 1421 Fine
  • Birmycham 1520 CtRequests 1545 ADv
  • Birmycham al. Birmyngham 1608 FF
  • Byrmycham 1457 BirmDeed 1509 LP
  • Birmycham 1489 BM
  • Birmicham al. Birmingham 1693 Recov
  • Burmicham 1317 FF 16th ADvi
  • Burmycheham 1550 Pat
  • Byrmincham 1326 Ipm
  • Byrmyncham 1440 Pat 1503 BirmDeed
  • Birmincham 1330 Pat
  • Birmyncham 1411 1534 LP
  • Brimygham 1377 ADiii
  • Brymygeham 1460 KnowleG 1546 LP 1569 BirmDeed
  • Brymmyngeham 1535,1537 LP
  • Brymecham 1402 ADv
  • Brymycham 1469,1486,1498,1514,1520 KnowleG 1526 CtRequests 1534 LP
  • Brymycham 1542 MinAcct
  • Brymicham 1590 BirmDeed
  • Brimyncham 1486,1496,1498 KnowleG
  • Brimincham 1553 ADvi
  • Brymmyncham 1519 BM 1520 ADiv 1553 Pat
  • Brymyncham 1549,1551,1553 Pat
  • Brymmyngiam 1486 ib
  • Brymyngiam 1520 KnowleG
  • Bromechham 1504–15 ECP
  • Bromychehame 1538 LP
  • Bromwicham 1576 S
  • Bromecham 1591 LRMB
  • Bromicham vulg. Bermicham 1603 S
  • Bromegem 1650 ParlSurv
  • Birmingham vulg. Bromwichham 1675 Ogilby
  • Bromicham 1679 FF
  • Brymyscham 1506 KnowleG
  • Bormycham 1520 ib
  • Bremygiam 1522 Wollaton
  • Bremycham 1529,1534 LP 1554 FF
  • Bremmycham 1537 LP
  • Breemejam 1573 Wollaton
  • Bermegam 1535 LP
  • Brymedgham 1537 ib
  • Bryngham al. Brymyngham 1586 FF

Etymology

This name would seem to contain the same pers. name Beorma as Burmington infra 298. That name would be a pet form of such an OE  name as Beornmǣr , Beor (n )mōd or Beornmund , or it may possibly be, as suggested by Professor Ekwall, that the originial form was Beornmundingaham , with the same early reduction as in Alveston infra 231. It is probably found also in Barmpton (PN NbDu 11) and Barton in Milton (Ha), DBBermintune , Burmintune , 1327 Banco Estburmynton . The interpretation is therefore 'ham of the people of Beorma or of Beornmund .'

Occasional metathesis of r , giving forms with initial Br -, is found from an early date. Later this established itself as the regular local pronunciation. From the 13th century onwards we have clear evidence also of that pronunciation of original -nge - as [ndʒ] and, with loss of n , as [dʒ], which has given rise to the familiar soft g of Brummagem . For this [indʒ] development cf. PN NbDu 261§ 34 and Zachrisson in Herrig's Archiv cxxxiii, 348 ff. In its later stages it is clear that this popular pronunciation has been affected by that of the neighbouring Bromwich [brʌmidʒ].

Note. In recent times the boundaries of the City of Birmingham have been extended so as to include the whole or parts of the ancient parishes of Northfield, King's Norton and Yardley (Wo) and Handsworth and Harborne (St). The names of the first three parishes have been fully dealt with in the Worcestershire volume of the EPNS. The Staffordshire names will be dealt with in the volume upon the place- names of that county.

Places in the same Parish

Early-attested site

Other OS name