Place Name Etymology Common Elements in Danish Place Names - Place Names in Denmark - PAGE 2 - MyDanishRoots.com

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Place Name Etymology: Common Elements in Danish Place Names - Root Words K-W

Root words continued...

-KLOSTER
Meaning: monestary.
Examples: Løgumkloster, Egensekloster, Gudumkloster.
Description: Usually settlements founded around monestaries. The affix usually indicates a local place name, and not a personal name.
-KØBING
Meaning: Market Town.
Examples: Rudkøbing, Nykøbing, Ærøskøbing.
Description: Only used for a few Market Towns.
-LEV
Meaning: property, inheritance.
Examples: Haderslev, Sejerslev, Branderslev.
Description: Derives from Old Danish ''-lef'', which again derives from Old Germanic ''liban''. The original meaning is ''the remainder'' or ''what''s left''. Nearly all of the prefixes derives from personal names; the name of the person who owned the village.
Date: These settlements dates back to the 3rd - 6th century.
-NÆS
Meaning: headland, promontory, ness.
Examples: AsnĂŚs, RosnĂŚs, HelgenĂŚs.
-RIS
Meaning: small forest.
Examples: Kelleris, Skerris, Egeris.
Description: This meaning only refer to place names. Alternative spelling in old place names is -riis.
-RUM
Meaning: place, lot.
Examples: Esrum, Virum, Farum.
Description: In case of more corrupted place names, these are often difficult to seperate from place names ending with -um (See -um).
-RUP, -STRUP, -TRUP, -TORP, -TERP
Meaning: outlying/new settlement.
Examples: Svenstrup, Marientorp, Bønnerup.
Description: These so-called ''thorp'' settlements where founded as a outlying settlement or new secondary settlement from a overpopulated village. The affix usually refer to the name of the first owner(s) or founder(s), but can also refer to an appellative.
Date: These settlements dates back to the 10th - 12th century.
-RØD, -RUD, -ROD
Meaning: clearing in a wood.
Examples: Skovsrod, Ubberud, Blovstrød.
Description: From Old Danish ''ruth'' and Old Norse ''ruĂ°'' which points to a wooded area which had to be cleared of trees before settling, or to a natural clearing. The naming tradition derives from the woodlands in North Zealand, and from there it spead to other localities.
-SKOV
Meaning: forest, wood.
Examples: Agerskov, Antvorskov, Lejrskov.
Description: Alternative spelling in old place names is -schou.
-STED
Meaning: place.
Examples: Sigersted, Grindsted, Ensted.
-SØ
Meaning: lake.
Examples: Vedersø, Agersø, Baadsø.
-TOFT, -TOFTE
Meaning: a single farmstead.
Examples: Engestofte, Gentofte, Assentoft.
Description: Originally a single farmstead, which over time grew to a village or town.
-UM
Meaning: settlement or farmstead/village.
Examples: Engum, Husum, Aulum.
Description: -um comes from Old Norse ''heimr'', the same element as in ''hjem''/''home''. Sometimes weakened to -m (as in Gram). This suffix is found throuhout the germanic areas, but in Scandinavia the it never refer to a personal name.
Date: These settlements dates back to the 3rd - 6th century.
-VAD, -WAD
Meaning: ford.
Examples: Mulvad, Raadvad, Stenvad.
Description: Derives from Old Danish: ''vaĂ°''. Such place names indicate a village located near the place where a river or stream could be crossed. -wad is another old variation of the spelling.
-VANG, -VÆNGE
Meaning: field.
Examples: Østervang, Toftevang, NyvÌnge.
Description: Usually derives from the fields, in which the common land of the village where devided. Also found with the meaning ''plain where meetings are held''.
-VED
Meaning: forest, wood.
Examples: Sundeved, Egtved, NĂŚstved.
Description: Derived from Old Danish ''-with''. This root word is also found in a weakened form in the place names with the endings -et, -it, -ede etc. Usually near larger woodland areas.
-VEJLE
Meaning: ford.
Examples: Faarevejle, Ørevejle, Vejle.
Description: Derives from Old Danish ''wĂŚthil'' a side form to Old Norse ''vaĂ°ill''. Such place names indicate a village located near the place where a river or stream could be crossed. -weil or -weile are other old variations of the spelling.
-VIG
Meaning: creek or bay.
Examples: Rørvig, Dybvig, Kragevig.
Description: Alternative spelling in old place names are -wig or -wick, the same element which are found in ''Viking''.

Other common root words are -mark, -hede, -mose, -tang, -lund, -løkke, -øre, -ü, -üs, -kÌr, -feld(t), -strand, -kilde, -ø etc.

A few numbers and facts...

  • 500,000

    ...Danes emigrated up to 1968, and of these about 70% departed for the USA. In the 1800's alone a vast majority of 90% went to the USA. Read more...

  • 261,065

    This many individuals, comprising of 4.6 percent of all Danes, carries the surname JENSEN followed by NIELSEN, HANSEN, PEDERSEN and ANDERSEN. Read more...

  • 1,000

    Of the 5,000 basic words in modern English, as many as 20 percent are so-called loan words from the Old Norse language (ON). Read more...

  • 1769

    This year the first Danish census was taken. The next censuses were taken in 1787 and 1801 and from 1834 onwards every 5-10 years. Read more...

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