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 Hungarton

Historical Forms

  • Qveneberie 1086 DB
  • Quenebia c.1130 LeicSurv
  • Quenebya Hy3 Crox
  • Quenebi 1210 P m.13 Laz 1404
  • Queneby e.13 Peake c.1225 Berkeley 1230 Cur 1384,1396 Pat 1428 Nichols 1477 Charyte e.16
  • Quenib' a.1250 Laz 1404
  • Quenyby 1343 Ipm 1389 Cor
  • Quenesbi
  • Quensby 1384 Cl
  • Quenby 1237 Cur 1260 Ass 1385 Banco 1386 Cl
  • Qwenby 1380 Win 1393 Cl 1416 ELiW


Perhaps 'the farmstead of the women', v. kona (kvenna gen.pl.), ; i.e. a Scand  *kvennaby , cf. Whenby YN 30 and Kvinneby (Sweden), v. E. Hellquist, De svenska ortnamnen -by , Göteborg (1918), 72.Ekwall's view (DEPN s. n .) that the DB form Qveneberie represents an earlier important Anglo-Saxon *Cwēnebyrig 'the queen's manor', with -byrig > -berie , may be safely discounted since Leics. p.ns. in burh are formed with the nom.sg. burh rather than with its dat.sg. byrig (v. the discussion of the name Asfordby) and Queniborough, a rich and major vill, lies only five miles to the north-west. It is scarcely conceivable that two royal vills so close together would have been known by identical names. Quenby was relatively poor and insignificant, worth only a quarter of Queniborough by DB. It was depopulated in the 15th cent, by enclosure. It is noteworthy that its Anglo-Saxon neighbour was Hungarton on its poor soils and that both itself and nearby Ingarsby were given over to sheep in the 15th cent, rather than being maintained as arable estates.

A possible but less likely explanation of the p.n. is that the first el. is indeed OE  cwēn 'a queen' and that an OE  generic such as þrop 'outlying farmstead' or stoc 'dairy farm, cattle farm' has been replaced by Scand  and that the settlement was an outlying dependent farmstead or cattle ranch of Queniborough.