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.

Buckhorn Weston

Major Settlement in the Parish of Buckhorn Weston

Historical Forms

  • Weston(e) 1086 DB 1210–12 RBE 1212 Fees 1220 Cur 1235–6,1242–3 Fees 1249 FF 1428 FA
  • Westun' 1248 Weld2
  • Boukeresweston 1275 Banco 1317 FF 1345 Pat 1387,1403 Cl
  • Bokeres Weston(e) 1285 FA 1288 Ass
  • Bukeres Weston 1289 Orig 1348 1361 ib
  • Bouker(e)s Weston 1303,1412 FA 1414 Fine
  • Bukeresweston 1310 FF 1360 Ipm
  • Bukereweston 1286 Orig
  • Bokereweston' 1288 Ass
  • Burkereweston (sic) 1301 FF
  • Buckerweston 1550–3 BMI
  • Bakeres Weston' 1288 Ass
  • Buckerns Weston 1543 AD
  • Bo(u)kerne Weston 1346 FA 1352 FF 1428,1431 FA
  • Bowkerneweston 1428 ib
  • Weston Bukkehorne 1535 VE
  • Buckerswerton (forBuckersweston) als. Buckhorne 1647 DorR
  • Buchorne Weston 1664 HTax
  • Weston Maundevyll 1387 Pat
  • Weston Maundevyle 1412 FA
  • Weston Maundevile als. Boukers Weston 1414 Fine
  • Boukerswaston als. Weston Maundevile 1414 IpmR
  • Bokesweston 1424 ADII


'West farm', v. west , tūn , perhaps referring to its situation in relation to Gillingham. The addition Boukeres -, etc, later Buckhorn -, has not been satisfactorily explained.Fägersten 4 offers no suggestion. Tengstrand MN 90 suggests that it contains OE  būc 'belly, stomach; pitcher', a word not hitherto noted in p.ns. but here used as a hill-name to describe the 414′ hill N of the village, either in a compound with ærn 'house' (with sporadic reduction of ME  -ern to -er ), or with interchangeable suffixes -ere and *-ern (cf. discussion of Pimperne 2110–12). Ekwall DEPN (also Selected Papers 78), citing only two 13th cent. spellings in Bokere (s )-, suggests 'of the scribe(s)' from OE  bōcere 'scribe'; this explanation is adopted by Smith EPN 1 39. However, in view of the late appearance of -ern - (from 1344) and the interchange of Bouk -, Bok -, Buk - among the 13th cent. forms, neither explanation seems quite satisfactory.Boukeres -, etc should rather be associated with the ME  occupational term bouker 'a buck-washer, a bleacher' (Fransson 109, in surnames from 1229), a derivative of ME  bouken (< OE  *būcian ) 'to steep in lye, to bleach' (surviving as ModE  dial. buck OED vb., cf. also ModE  dial. buck OED sb., recorded as (E) Do dial. by Barnes 52: 'Buck (E.) A book or washing of clothes'). Bouker may then have been a byname of one of the early lords of the manor of Weston, or it may have reference to a specific feudal service (for another Do p.n. that may refer to a place where cloth was bleached, cf. Blashenwell 18). The forms with -es (Boukeres , etc) may have originally represented a gen.sg. form, but these could be taken to be either sg. or pl. Thus the later appearance of -n - in forms from 1344 is probably to be explained as the analogical ME  wk.gen.pl. ending -ene (v. -ena ) common in Do in the 14th cent. (as in e.g. the forms for Fryer Mayne 1208, Winterborne Monkton 1266), with the addition of a further analogical -s to the already pl. form Bouker (e )ne in some spellings. The Buc (k )horne of 1647 and 1664 and modern Buckhorn are clearly a result of popular etymology based on this form (it may be of interest to note that the compound buck-horn 'the horn of a buck' is not on record before 1447–8 NED, except in surnames from 1271 MED, although a quite distinct ME  word buk-horn (probably from MDu) 'cured fish' is on record from 1391 MED).

The other affixes, Maundevyll and Moygne , are of the common manorial type. Part of the manor was held by Robert de Maundevill of Geoffrey de Maundevill in 1268 FF, cf. also Robert de Ma (u )ndevill (e )1310 ib, 1346 Hutch3, John de Mandeville 1360 ib, and land here came to the Moygne family (which gave its name to Owermoigne 1138) at the end of the 14th cent. through marriage, v. Hutch3 4115–6.