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 Duston

Historical Forms

  • Duston(e) 1086 DB
  • Doston 1303 ADiii


There is a Dust Hill in Sibbertoft infra 121, and a Dusthul (13th AD ii) which survives as a field-name infra 282, and a late Dustholme (1624) in Barton Seagrave, and the first element here must be the common word dust , though no such p.n. element has been noted elsewhere. The term has various meanings in dialect, e.g. chaff (EDD s. v .), and the sense need not be that commonly found in StEng. Baker (i, 138) favours the common dust etymology, and speaks of the light pulverising value of the soil here.

Another possibility is that we have to do with a lost OE  *dus , allied to the word dûs , 'heap,' found in Westphalian p.n.'s (cf. Jellinghaus 57) and in other German place-names (cf. Förstemann ON i, 779–80). Falk-Torp (s. n. dysse ) associate the word with ON  dys , 'stone grave-how,' Norwegian dialectal dussa , 'irregular heap,' and, with different vowel-grade, OFris  dûst , 'confused mass.' Duston is on a hill and, if that is the first element, might take its name from the hill or from some lost barrow.

Places in the same Parish