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 Bessingby

Historical Forms

  • Basinghebi 1086 DB
  • Basingebi, Basingeby 1086 DB 1114–24,1135–9 Bridl 1128–32 BM
  • Besingbi, Besingby, Besyngby 1114–24 Bridl 1232 FF 1446 Ch
  • Basingby 1125–33,1145–53 Bridl
  • Besingebi, Besingeby 1155–7 YCh 1156–7 Bridl 1166 RBE 1195–8 P 1231,1246 Ass
  • Bessingby 1157–8 YCh1159
  • Bessynby 1521 Test
  • Besinby, Besinbie 1455 Test 1560 FF
  • Bessonby 1650 ParlSurv 1695 Morden


The first element may be a patronymic formation 'the people of Basa or Besa ' (v. ing ), but there is little or no evidence for such -inga - formations with OScand  by. It is therefore more likely to be a patronymic Basing or Besing with an uninflected genitive. Each name is well recorded, Basing in LVD (ZEN 23) and Besing in the ERY Hernisius filius Besing (1142–54 YCh 1201) and elsewhere. The former may be from OE  Bassa or OScand  Bassi (ZEN 23), the latter from OScand  Bessi (a variant of Bersi , cf. LindN and Baswick supra 72). As there is no clear evidence for a change of a to e in Middle English, Besing - seems more probable and in that case the less frequent but earlier Basing - forms would be Anglo-Norman spelling variants (cf. IPN 112). 'Besing 's farmstead.'

Places in the same Parish