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 Howden

Historical Forms

  • Iugufled, Iucufled 1086 DB
  • Jukeflet 1153–85 Riev 1199 OblR
  • Jukefluet 1180–95 YCh984–5
  • Yukkeflet(e), Yuckeflet(e) 1180–9 YCh 1204 Ch 1253 Ass 1246 Works c.1348 YD 1432
  • Yokeflet(e) 1189–95 YCh 1303 Ebor 1550 FF
  • Jeochefled 1199 OblR
  • Huickeflete 1199 FF
  • Jokesflied, Yokesfliet 1199 P
  • Yukesflet 1231 FF
  • Iukeflet 1200 Cur
  • Icleflet (v.l.), Ykefflet 1200 Cur
  • Ucceflete 1313 YearBook
  • Yockeflet 1201 FF
  • Yukeflet 1240,1252 FF 1246 Ass
  • Yhucflet 1246 Ass
  • Yucflet(e), Yukflet(e) 1246 FF 1300 Pat 1498 FF
  • Jokflet 1281 Pat
  • Youcflet 1353 Ipm
  • Yowkflete 1537 FF
  • Yewk(e)flete 1562,1570 FF


There are three possibilities in explanation of Yokefleet.Perhaps the obvious one is a compound of OE  geoc (iuc , etc.) 'yoke' and fleot , in reference to a stream or ditch connecting two rivers (the Ouse and either the Old Derwent or the Foulness) ; there are still remains of such a watercourse running due north from Yokefleet, but this may be part of a more recent drainage scheme. There is nothing in local topography to suggest a meaning 'creek which forks' which we have in Yokefleet (PN Ess 17). The main difficulty in associating Yokefleet with OE  geoc , however, is that it does not explain satisfactorily the late Yewke - spellings which according to the phonology of the dialect should go back to a ME long close vowel ō , and a word containing this original vowel would, on the parallel of Rudston supra 98, provide one explanation of the regular early Yuke - spellings: they would be forms with vowel-shortening before the following consonant-group, a suggestion confirmed by the Yukke -, Yucke - spellings. The most appropriate source would be the OScand  pers. name Jókell , with early reduction to Jóke , and this would certainly account for the three spellings with a genitival es and the spelling Icleflet , if these are not merely occasional errors. Alternatively, we may possibly have OE  gēoc 'help, support, safety,' which is found in geocburnan in BCS 1125, so called because it gave help to the mill (v. PN Sx 240 n.), and possibly in Yokehirst (PN Sx 300). Yokefleet might have been described as 'the safe reach or creek' if the Ouse was formerly as free from sandbanks in this stretch as it is to-day; but as this sense is not exactly paralleled we should probably regard the name as 'Jokel 's stretch of water.'