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.


Early-attested site in the Parish of Market Harborough

Historical Forms

  • Scirdaykotys 1200×50 MktHPR
  • Shirdaycotes 1343 ib
  • Schirdecotes 1441 MktHPR
  • Schirdecotys, Schyrdecotys 1461 ib
  • Schirdycotes, Shurdycotes 1490 ib
  • Shirdecotes 1507 Wyg
  • Sherdecotes 1523 ib
  • Sherticotes 1635 Terrier
  • Shirticoates 1638,1679 ib
  • Shirtycotes 1655 MktHPR
  • Shirticoats 1703 Terrier
  • Shirtecoat 1722,c.1730,1744 ib


The earliest forms all appear to present a name with three elements, the second of these being OE  dæg 'a day'. If the second el. is indeed dæg , then the first would seem to be the OE  adj. scīr 'bright, fair', so that the name (literally 'bright, fair day shelters') may be interpreted as 'fair- weather shelters', presum. alluding to summer shielings used in transhumance. An alternative explanation may be 'derelict cottages (or animal shelters)', with an unrecorded OE  adj. scirde which may be compared with the OE  adj. sc (e )ard 'broken'. The longevity of this name in the great north open-field of Great Bowden and its use elsewhere in the eastern hundreds of Leicestershire suggest a well-recognized adjunct of husbandry and hence the former interpretation may be preferable, v. scīr 2 , dæg , cot (and scirde , (-ig 3 ), cot ).