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 St John's, Castlerigg and Wythburn

Historical Forms

  • Satmabannyngg', Setmabannyngg' 1292 Ass
  • Setmabaning 1564 PR(Crosthwaite)
  • Setmabanninge 1577 ib
  • Settmayblessinge 1570 ib
  • Settmablessinge 1572 ib
  • Setrnayblessinge 1575,1584 ib
  • Setmaybanninge 1574 ib
  • Setmaybannyng 1585 Derwent


This is an inversion compound (v. Introduction). The first element is ON  sætr, 'hill pasture.' The second seems to be a Goidelic personal name. It may be Mabanán , Mobanán , containing OIr  Banán (which Ekwall (ScandCelts 69) suggests is the first element of Bannisdale (We)), with the endearing prefix Ma -, Mo -, 'my.' When the personal name had been modified by popular etymology to -banning , 'cursing,' the -blessing form arose by conscious contrast.