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.

Nottingham

County Town in the County of Nottinghamshire

Historical Forms

  • Snotengaham 868 ASC c.895 Asser c.1000 ASC 868 c.1050
  • Snotengeham t.Athelstan Coins
  • Snotingaham 922,924 ASC c.925 ASC 942 ASCharters c.950 ASC c.975 ASC c.1050 ASC 863 ASC c.1000 868 c.1050 1067 c.1100 868 c.1120
  • Snotingham ib.
  • Snotingeham 1086 DB
  • Snotn, Snoti t.Hy1 Coins
  • Snot t.Stephen ib
  • Notingeham 1130 P 1154 RBE 1230 Bracton
  • Notingaham c.1145 France
  • Nothingaham 1158 DurhamDandC
  • Notingham t.Stephen Ch 1316 t.Hy2 Cur 1301 Fees 1207 1227
  • Nottingham 1172–4 BorRec
  • Nottingegame, Nottinggame 1624 Browne
  • burgus Francensis late12th GenNSxvi
  • burgus Gallicus c.1240 Wollaton
  • the Frankisburgh 1304 IpmR
  • burgus franciscus 1308 ib
  • le Frencheborgh 1384 ib
  • burgus Anglicus 1312 ib
  • Englisheburgh 1384 ib

Etymology

'The hām of the people of Snot ,' v. ingas . For the personal name, which is found in DB, v. Feilitzen 368. The same man or his people gave name to the adjacent Sneinton below 174. Asser s. a. 868 speaks of Snotengahamquod Britannice Tigguocobauc interpretatur , Latine autem speluncarum domos .Asser's Latin rendering of the alleged British name Tigguocobauc is defensible, for as Stevenson notes (Asser 231), Old Welsh  Tigguocobauc may be rendered 'cavy house,' the word being a compound of *tig (Modern Welsh  ) and guocobauc (Modern Welsh  gogofawg ) but there is no other record of this name for Nottingham and it is certainly not the equivalent of Snotengaham in significance. More probably the name is an invention of Asser himself. He may well have heard of the ancient cave dwellings in the red sandstone hill at Nottingham and invented a suitable Welsh name to describe such a site. The town was divided into burgus Francensis late 12th GenNS xvi, burgus Gallicus c. 1240 Wollaton, the Frankisburgh 1304 IpmR, burgus franciscus 1308 ib., le Frencheborgh 1384 ib., 'the French borough' in the neighbourhood of the Castle, and burgus Anglicus 1312 ib., Englisheburgh 1384 ib., 'the English borough.'The earliest quotation is from a charter referring to the giving of seisin coram portmannemot (i.e. at a meeting of the townsmen) de burgo Francensi in Notyngham .

Parishes in this County Town

None