Keith Briggs

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OE and ME cunte in place-names

This article of mine appears in the Journal of the English Place-Name Society, 41, 26-39 (2009).

A pdf preprint is available here (1.4Mb). This is typeset with pdfLaTeX and looks much better than the printed version, but has different pagination. There are no applicable errata, but the addenda below do apply to this pdf.

A pdf offprint from the journal is available here (2.7Mb). The errata below apply to this. Note that this pdf does not have bibliographic details for EPNS volumes like “PN W” etc. These can be found here. They are already in the pdf preprint linked above.


  1. page 31, top: an “and” should be inserted before Cropelane.
  2. page 34: for “In most cases no exact feature be precisely identified” read “In most cases no exact feature can be precisely identified”.
  3. page 37, note 5: for “virginate” read “virginitate”.
  4. page 37, note 5: the bit starting “Could the mysterious feðer cuncan siðe” was intended to be a separate note.
  5. pages 37 and 39: “Thompson” should be “Thomson”.
  6. page 38: the reference Géraud should read Paris sous Philippe-le-bel, d'après des documents originaux, et notamment d'après un manuscrit contenant le ròle de la taille imposée sur les habitants de Paris en 1292.
  7. page 38: in the reference Nyrop, “ogfolke-minder” should be “og folke-minder”.


  1. 2014-03-02: Much use is made of the examples in my paper by Emma Rees The vagina: a literary and cultural history (Bloomsbury 2013), especially pp.16–19.
  2. 2010-04-23: Dr. Mark Page of the The Centre for English Local History in the University of Leicester, has kindly sent me this extra example: On the bishop of Winchester's manor of Taunton (Somerset), the account for the sub-manor of Holway in 1409-10 records the transfer between tenants of a large holding including 1 acre of overland called Gropekunteleye in the tithing of Henlade. The account is printed in The Pipe Roll of the Bishopric of Winchester 1409-10, ed. Mark Page (Hampshire Record Series, 16, 1999), p. 19, where this name is mis-transcribed as Gropekimteleye.
  3. 2010-07-19: A Gropecuntlane in Orford (Suffolk) in mentioned in 1500. See W. D. Macray (ed.), Records of the dissolved Corporation of Orford, Suffolk, in Reports on manuscripts in various collections, vol. IV, Historical Manuscripts Commission, 1907, pages 255–278, at 259.
  4. 2010-08-09: It is pointed out by Heather Wallis in Excavations at Cinema City, Norwich, 2003-6: late Saxon and medieval occupation (Norfolk Archaeology XLV (2009), 469-87 at 472) that PN Nf:1.122 mislocates Gropecuntelane in Norwich by identifying it with Opie St. The correct location is a lost lane on the Cinema City site, which is immediately east of St. Andrews church on the opposite side of St. Andrews Hill, and on the south side of St. Andrews St. (TG231087).
  5. 2010-09-13: the reference to Cuntesik 1348-9 in Nettleham, Lincolnshire on page 34 is more precisely PN L 7:69.
  6. 2011-03-11: another Lincolnshire case: Cuntewade 1547–80 in Algarkirk, recorded on page 24 in A. E. B. Owen (ed.), The records of the Commissioners of Sewers in the Parts of Holland, 1547–1603, volume 3, The Publications of the Lincoln Record Society; v. 71 (1977).

bibtex citation

  author={Keith Briggs},
  title={OE and ME \textit{cunte} in place-names},
  journal={Journal of the English Place-name Society},
  volume={41}, pages={26--39}, year={2009}
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