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 Stoke upon Tern

Historical Forms

  • Pechesey(e) 1255–6,1253–63 Ass
  • Pechchiseye 1256 HAC
  • Peccheseye 1271–2 Ass
  • Pethesey 1284–5 FA
  • Picheseye 1291–2 Ass
  • Pettsey 1778 PR(L)
  • Petsey 1833 OS


Second element ēg 'island'. Petsey is beside the R. Tern, a short distance S.W. of Stoke upon Tern village. The river has side-channels in this stretch, and a water-enclosed or a slightly raised site here would deserve the term ēg .

The first element is problematic. Pethesey 1284–5 is likely to be a mistranscription, and most of the spellings indicate an original Peces -.Pitsea PN Ess 167 has analogous spellings but with regular Pic (h )-, occasional Pe (t )ch -, indicating an original Pices -. The Essex name is usually ascribed to a recorded OE  personal name Pīc . For Petsey the only available suggestion is an unrecorded personal name *P c .

The occurrence of two similar (?related) personal names with ēg can reasonably be ascribed to coincidence: monothematic personal names are the most frequent qualifiers in -ēg compounds.

In the Essex name the change to -t - is recorded from 1488. In the Shropshire name there is a gap in available forms after 1327, so the change was probably earlier than its appearance in 1778. This is a development found in other names, e.g. Bletsoe Bd, which is Blechesho (u ) in DB.