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 East Harlsey

Historical Forms

  • Salecohc 1190–1200 YCh
  • Salkok 13,1323 YD
  • Salcok 1243 Fees 1508 Guis
  • Salcock 1301 LS


The origin of this name is not quite certain. OE  coc is not recorded in any sense which would suit the final element.There are, however, in this district indications of Irish influence of the same type as that found in Ryedale and Cleveland (v. Airyholme (Ryed) and Coldman Hargos and Lackenby 49, 148, 159supra ). Irish pers. names found about here in the 11th and 12th cents. are Dughel , Malgrin , Melmidoc , and Ghilemichel (v. Revue Celtique , xli. 45); Irby 218infra and the lost Irton in Birdforth 193supra point to Irish-Norwegian influence, whilst Blow Gill (Bird) is an indication of Norwegian influence which is usually associated with Irish names in Y.

Bearing this in mind, an Irish-Norwegian origin of the name Sawcock is not out of the question. Indeed, the best solution of the name is to assume that it is an example of the Irish-Norw  reversal of the order of elements, as in Hillbraith 158 supra . Sawcock would then mean 'Cock's hall' from ON  salr (as in Upsall 158, 200supra ) and a pers. name Coc . This pers. name is itself a difficulty; it appears in the later additions to LVD as Cocus de Coldigham (60 d , l. 11), and, although it might ultimately be connected with OE  cocc , 'cock(bird),' it seems in this case better to derive it from the well-evidenced OIr  pers. name Coc (h ), a woman's name, or OIr  Cocca , Cocha , identical with Welsh  coch , 'red' (cf. Smith, loc. cit. 55), and the OBrit  pers. name Coccos (Förster 105).

Places in the same Parish

Major Settlement