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.

Small Mouth

Early-attested site in the Parish of Wyke Regis

Historical Forms

  • Small Mouth 1811 OS
  • Smalemue Hy3 Cerne 14 Ass 1244 Acct 1249
  • Smal(e)mouth(e) 1328 MinAcct 1332 SR
  • passeg' apud Smalemuth 1387 Ilch 1391 ADI
  • 'ferry of Smalemuth' 1420 ib
  • 'the passage of Smalemuth' 1421 1570 AddCh
  • passagii mei iacent' apud Smalemuth, domum meam super Smalemuth 1379 AD
  • 'ferry of Smalemothe' 1419 ADI
  • Small(e)mouth 16 RoyMap 1526 ADVI
  • Smalmoythe 1539 LP
  • tenement called Smalemouthes howse… together with the passinge and passinge boote of Smalemouth 1570 AddCh
  • Small Mouth Mower 1582 Ilch 18

Etymology

Small Mouth (SY 668762), Small Mouth 1811 OS, Smalemue Hy 3 (14) Cerne (p), 1244Ass (p), 1249 Acct, Smal (e )mouth (e )1328MinAcct , 1332 SR (p), passeg ' apud Smalemuth 1387Ilch , 1391 AD I, 'ferry of Smalemuth '1420 ib, 'the passage of Smalemuth '1421 ibet freq to 1570AddCh , passagii mei iacent ' apud Smalemuth , domum meam super Smalemuth 1379AD , 'ferry of Smalemothe '1419 AD I, Small (e )mouth 16RoyMap , 1526 AD VI, Smalmoythe 1539 LP, tenement called Smalemouthes howsetogether with the passinge and passinge boote of Smalemouth 1570AddCh , Small Mouth Mower 1582 (18) Ilch , 'the narrow mouth', v. smæl (wk. obl. smalan ), mūða , alluding to the estuary of East Fleet (v. Fleet par. infra ), with hūs , mōr , passing . The house and ferry are described in 1774 Hutch1 1601 as 'the passage house called Smallmouth where is the ferry into the isle of Portland', cf. The Passage Houses 1710 Map, Passage Close , (Moor and ) Passage Lawn 1841TA , v. passage ; there was a ferry here until 1839 when a bridge was built, v. Ferry Bridge infra ; the reference to Lyme Howsse , wher passage ys to Portlande 1539 LP may also belong here. The ferry would seem to have been here quite early, but at one time there was also a 'causeway' here; Leland (1 250) must be referring to this place when he writes of 'a point of land wher a trajectus is into Portland by a long causey of pible and sand', cf. Bridge Fm supra .