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.

North Otterington

Major Settlement in the Parish of North Otterington

Historical Forms

  • Otrin(c)tun(e), Otrin(c) tona 1086 DB 1088 LVD50d 12 RegAlbi.68
  • Otheringeton' 1208 ChR
  • Ot(e)rington' 1208–10 Fees 1219,1231 Ass 1254 Ebor
  • North Ot(e)rington' 1292 ib
  • Oterinton 1227 Ebor


The form Ostrinctune for South Otterington 208infra suggests that we have here an OE  pers. name Ōhthere , but that is only on record as King Alfred's anglicising of ON  Ōttarr and as the name of a Swedish king in Beowulf , and it would be difficult to explain the later forms on the basis of initial Oht -.These should have given Ought (possibly Ohthere lies behind Oughtrington (Ch) but unfortunately no forms for this have been found). More probably Oter is the right form and is an OE  pers. name derived from otor , 'otter,' which lies behind Otteringham (YER), DBOtringeham , and the lost Oteringhithe (Nf), DB Otringeheia . This name was identical in form with the common Anglo-Scand  name Oter derived from Óttarr . Confusion with this Oter and knowledge that its OE  equivalent was Ohthere might lead to the spelling of the first Oter - name as Ostr -. v. ingtun .

Places in the same Parish