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 Derby

Historical Forms

  • in locum qui Northworthige nuncupatur, juxta autem Danaam linguam Deoraby 871 Ethelwerd c.1000
  • Norðweorðig c.1020 LVH
  • Deoraby 917 ASC c.1050 Coins Athelstan ASC 942 Coins c.955 Ethelred
  • Deorby, Deorbi Edgar,EdwardtheMartyr,HaroldHarefoot,EdwardtheConfessor Coins 1049 ASC c.1100 Coins HaroldGodwinson
  • Deorbeiam a.1118 FW
  • Derabi Athelstan Coins
  • Derebiam, Derebi(a), Dereby 1129–38 RegAnt c.1130 HH 1135–47 Gaim c.1150 Gilb 1340 Ch
  • Dyreby 1009 Coins
  • Dorby Ethelred Coins
  • Dirbi EdwardtheConfessor Coins
  • Diorbi William1 Coins
  • Durbi William1 Coins
  • Derb' e.11th Peniarth
  • Derbyi EdwardtheConfessor Coins
  • Derby, Derb(e)ia, Derbi(e), Derbei(e), Derbey(e) 1086 DB 1100–9 RegAnt Stephen Coins 1146 RegAnt 1151 Burton
  • Darbiam 1360 RylPhCh
  • Darby(e), Darbie 1393 Woll 1448 Pap 1675 Ogilby


Derby is one of the few recorded examples of the replacement of an English p.n. by a Scandinavian. The English name is 'north enclosure', v. norð , worðig , but it is impossible to decide what it is north of, perhaps the R. Trent.

The Scandinavian name is in all probability 'farm of the animals or deer' from OScand  djúr and . The area must have been well frequented by deer or the like, for less than two miles north of Derby is Darley Abbey, supra 443. Cf. West Derby (PN La 114–5).

Places in the same Parish