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.

Wype Doles

Early-attested site in the Parish of Whittlesey

Historical Forms

  • Wepe 1199 ElyCouch
  • (le) Wype, (le) Wipe c.1250 ElyM 1597 WisbechMap
  • Vipe 1458 Fenlandiv
  • the Tenants Doles in Wype 1668 ib


Wype Doles is Wepe 1199ElyCouch , (le ) Wype , (le ) Wipe c. 1250ElyM et freq to 1597Wisbech Map , Vipe 1458 Fenland iv, the Tenants Doles in Wype 1668 ib. i. This is probably from an OE  *wīp , allied to the verb wīpian , 'wipe.' The ultimate history of that word is obscure, but Walde-Pokorny (i, 241) suggests that the original idea is of something which moves or swings (cf. the Latin cognates such as vibrare ) and it may be that wip originally denoted a reed or something of that kind and then a clump of reeds, a reedy spot. Cf. Ekwall's association of Wispington (L) with ME  wisp , earlier *wips , 'wisp of hay or straw,' used perhaps in the sense 'thicket' (DEPN).