Form Simplex (sub-divide by language) Cross, Hill, Ford, Mill, Kirk, Pirie (=dweller at pear-tree, though could be nickname = small) Plural -s Brooks, Fields, Mills. The singular form is now often non-existent or rare e.g. Stile vs Styles “Many surnames..acquired a terminal -s after having existed as hereditary names for several generations without any such ending.” (McKinley, HBS p86) The plural form is mostly a post-1500 phenomenon. (See also: other genitival forms, e.g. patronyms – Williams, occupational – Parsons.) Prepositions Reaney observed that the lack of a preposition in topographical surnames is quite common in the south of England in the late 13th and early 14th centuries. Conversely, this documentary absence is quite rare in the north until the late 14th century. This may reflect actual regional colloquial differences or just differing scribal practices for translating into quasi-Latin form. (Reaney, DBS, pp xvi-xvii) Atte/de… a nation divided Where there was a preposition + topograph it was predominantly Middle English atte with the exception of the north of England where del, dil or de la were predominant. “The comparative use of these two prepositions divided a northern onomastic region from a southern one… The preposition de la and its elided variants were employed almost exclusively in northern counties. Moreover in the western side of the North, its deployment extended down to the middle of Staffordshire and Derbyshire… The preposition continued to be used habitually in the upland areas of the West Midlands. In the East Midlands, forms of de la did not normatively continue below the Humber, so that atte was predominantly used in Lincolnshire.” (Postles, 2007, The north through its names p187) Examples of the divide In the 1307 Hertfordshire lay subsidy there are 550 topographical surnames of which 500 were prefixed by atte and only 50 by de la. “In East Anglia… Carlsson estimated that the preposition del predominated before 1275, but that its prominence persisted towards the middle of the 14th century only in Suffolk, whereas it had by then been replaced by at(te) in Norfolk. By contrast del continued to dominate through the North.” (Postles, 2007, The north through its names p191) Preposition (retained in modern form) A: Achurch At…: Atack (dweller at the oak tree) By…: Bysouthern, Bynorthern, Bywestern This pre-fixed form was strong in Essex in the early 14th century; whilst in Sussex the prefix transmuted into A. (Postles, 2007, North through its names p98) De, de le, de la, del: Delbridge, De Ash > Dash. Dil: A variant of del, heavily associated with Lancashire. Over… Under…: Underhill Preposition (dropped in modern form) Atten: Atten eye > Nye N…: Nash, Noaks Affixes Suffixes -by Compass points, e.g. Northiby, Southiby, Eastiby/Oustiby, Westby. Vague directions, e.g. Uppiby, Duniby. In the lay subsidies, this form (-by) was not “reserved to any socio-economic or socio-legal group… The principal characteristic of this form of byname was its geographic concentration in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries either side of the Humber’s mouth.” (Postles, 2007, North through its names p96) -er and -man In the 13th and 14th centuries, names in –er and -man were used interchangeably. There are many examples in Sussex whilst the –er form is rare in northern England. Both these suffixal forms were formed relatively late; they were not hereditary before 1200. The suffixes –er and –man only appear to have been used with simplex topographical terms. (MacKinley HBS p 81) Class here surnames whose suffixes have no specific toponymic association e.g. Fieldhouse, Fielding, Fieldgate.