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.

Hoff

Major Settlement in the Parish of Appleby St Lawrence

Historical Forms

  • Hofes 1158–66 YCh
  • Houf' 1179 Pipe
  • Hof a.1239 Ch 1294 Ass 1256 Pat 1297
  • Hoff 1251 Weth 1279 FF 1292 Ass48 1304 ChancW 1466 Pat
  • Hoffe 1256 Ass4 1272 Ipm 1278,1279 Ass 1292 Ipm 1704 Terr
  • Off 1272,1274 Fine
  • Hogh 1504 Ipm
  • Hough als. Hoff 1632 FF
  • Huffe 1579 Rent4
  • Overhoofe 1609 Comm

Etymology

Probably from ON  hof 'temple, heathen temple, sanctuary', rather than OE  hof 'dwelling, court', 'temple', which rarely, if ever, occurs in p.ns.; ON  hof , on the other hand, is frequent in Scand p.ns. (cf. NGIndl 55–6). In the earliest Scandinavian the word was used, as all authorities agree (Cleasby-Vigfusson s.v., Jóhannesson 203, 1027, HellquistSvEO s.v., etc.), exclusively of 'a temple', and the meaning 'chieftain's house, court', common in the WGerm languages (OE , OSax , OHG  hof ), is not found in Scandinavia before the 14th century; that meaning of ON  hof is borrowed from MLG or MHG. No signs of a Viking temple, other than the name, survive, but a mile to the south-west the glade, in which the farmstead called Hofflunn stands in the extensive wood of Hoff Lunn (infra ), may well have been a lund or grove offering sanctuary in Viking times. The first form Hofes may be a plural representing the two settlements at Hoff and Nether Hoff (ii, 96supra ); the spellings Ho (u )gh are inversions which could occur when ME  -gh - had become dial. -f - (v. Phonol. §19).

Places in the same Parish