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.


Volume edited by : J. E. B. Gover, Allen Mawer, F. M. Stenton (with A. Bonner) 1934

Historical Forms

  • (in regione) Sudergeona c.750 Bede
  • Suðriʒena 8th Bede
  • (in regione) Suðregeona c.795 BCS275 c.1200
  • Suþrig(e)na lande c.1000 ASBede
  • (in) Suþregum c.880 BCS558
  • (on) Suðregan t.EdConf KCD846 c.1300
  • (to) Suþrigea 836,855 ASC c.900
  • (to) Suðrig(e)an 836,855 ASC c.1150
  • on Suþrige, to Suþrige 722,823 ASC c.900
  • Suðrig 1011 ASC c.1150
  • (mid) Suðrigium 852 ASC c.900
  • (mid) Suðrigum 852 ASC c.1150
  • (of) Suþrigum 921 ASC c.925
  • (on) Suðrigum 955 BCS912 14th
  • Suðrege 722 ASC c.1150 KCD850 t.EdConf 13th
  • Suþerege 1052 ASC c.1075
  • in Suthrian 909 BCS627 c.1150
  • (in) Suðrian 1006 KCD715 c.1250
  • Suððereie t.EdConf KCD848 13th
  • Suthereye 942 BCS774 c.1300
  • Sudrie 1086 DB
  • Sudreia 1130 P c.1147 Ch 1317
  • Suthreia 12th France
  • Suthreie 1122 Merton
  • Southray 1380 Cl
  • Sutrega 1076–84 Crispin
  • Surreie 1202 P
  • Surre 1377 Moulton


The second element in this name is an element , the OE  cognate of Ger gau , 'district,' which is not found independently in OE, but is found in more than one OE place-name, as noted by Chadwick, Studies in OE pp. 54–5, and further discussed by Ritter, Englische Studien lxii, 110–12. It is found in Ely (C), the Elge regio of Bede, Lyminge (K), Limingae BCS 97, Eastry (K), Eastorege , Eosterege , Eosterge BCS 318, 332, Sturry (K), Sturigao BCS 6, all the forms except that for Sturry being from the 8th and early 9th centuries. Surrey and Eastry are similar formations from expanded forms of the common adjectives of direction sūð and ēast , and have their exact parallels in OGer  Sundargawi (9th cent.), later Sondergai in Bavaria, and OGer  Ostargao (8th cent.), later Oostergoo in Holland. Surrey clearly means therefore 'southern regio .' Ritter notes that in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle the term Suþrige is often interpreted as the name of the inhabitants of a district, rather than as the name of the district itself. This is clear, for example, in the gen. pl. Suþrigea (s. a. 836 A) and the dat. pl. Suþrig (i )um (s. a. 853 A, 921 A). Such forms naturally arose from the frequency of folk-names in -e , such as Seaxe , but there was also a genuine earlier folk-name of the weak declension, as shown by the gen. pl. forms Sudergeona , Suðriʒena (Bede), Suðregeona (BCS 275) and the corresponding regione Eastrʒena (BCS 254, an original 8th century MS). Here we have as the second element the OE  cognate of the Gothic gaujans , 'inhabitants of a district.' These again have their continental parallels, as noted by Ritter (loc. cit .), e.g. fines Badanahgowono (8th cent.), i.e. Badanachgau (Förstemann, ON i, 313–14), marca Salageuuno (9th cent.), i.e. Saalgau on the Saale (op. cit. ii, 662–3). For the historical significance of the name, v. supra 1 ff.