Etymology

Lose Hill.

Place names on a map; what do they mean, how were they arrived at, and how do they describe the feature they are applied to? To answer these questions it is easiest to look at the names as if they are the names of people. This means we can split them into the categories of first name and surname.

Let us start by looking at the surnames of places, finding the word that the name is derived from, and defining the feature.

Beds         A smooth or level tract of land bearing vegetation.
Bower       Old English bur; a shady recess.
Brook        Old English broc; small stream.
Brow         Old English bru; the projecting edge of a cliff or hill.
Clough      Old English cloh; a ravine or a valley.

On the maps, the words clough and brook are often used in a confusing manner. In a valley the water is named in blue, e.g. Arnfield Brook, the clough is named in black e.g. Arnfield Clough. 

If a feature is called, for example, Cat Clough, then the water in the feature is Cat Clough Brook. Conversely if a ravine is shown to hold a stream, e.g. Greenfield Brook, then the ravine is Greenfield Brook Clough.

Common    Unenclosed or waste land.
Cote             Old English; a shed or stall for cattle or fodder.
Covert        Old French; covert, a hidden or sheltered place. used locally to mean a small wood or plantation.
Croft           Old English; croft, arable enclosed pasture land.
Dean           Old English; denu a wooded valley.
Den              As above.
Dene            As above.
Dike            Old Norse dik; a water course or channel.
Edge            Middle English; a brink or verge on a projecting hill or precipice.
Flat              Middle English; without curvature, indentation or projection.
Ford            Old English ford; a shallow place in a river or water where man and beast can cross by wading.
Grain          Old Norse grein; a valley or stream branching off another.
Green         Middle English grene; common grassland close to, or in a village.
Grough       A local word for a watercourse worn into a peat moss.
Gully           Water worn ravine or channel on a hill side.
Gutter         Old French gotiers; a water course, brook or channel.
Head           Old English heafod, source of a stream or river or a hill.
Heath          Old English hette, open country covered with shrubs.
Hey              Old English hege, a hedged enclosure.
Hill               Old English hyll, a natural elevation on the earths surface.
Hole             Old English hol, an animals burrow or a depression in the ground.
Holme         Middle English holme, flat low lying land by a river.
Hurst           Old English hyrst, a wood or thicket.
Intake          A local word for rough moorland intaken for pasture.
Knarr           Middle English knarre, rugged stones or rocks.
Knoll           Old English cnoll, the rounded summit of a hill.
Knowl         As above.
Lane            Old English lanu, narrow way between banks or hedges.
Low             Old English hlow, a tumulus.
Moor           Old English mor, waste land on hills and mountains.
Moss           Old English mos, wet spongy soil or peat bogs.
Nab             Old Norse nabbr, a projecting peak.
Naze           Old Norse naess, a cape or headland.
Ness           As above.
Peak           Old English peac, a pointed summit.
Pike            Old English pic, a pointed summit.
Plantation   A wood of planted trees.
Ridge         Old English hrycg, the crest or top of a hill.
Rocks         Middle English roche, boulders and exposed stone outcrops.
Scar            Old Norse Sker, rocks or crags on a hillside.
Sike            Old English sic, a stream or water course.
Shaw          Old English sceacga, a small wood.
Slack          Old Norse slakki, a dell or valley or a depression on a hillside.
Spring        Old English, source of a river or stream.
Stone         Old English stan, rocks, crags or cliffs.
Twistle       Old English twisla, land at the junction of streams.
Top            Old English topp, a summit or high point.
Vale           Middle English, land between hills traversed by a river or stream.

The first name of places printed on the maps can be further divided into the following categories:-
  • Animals that have lived, or still live in the wilds;
  • Plants and trees that grow or have grown;
  • Names of proportion or location;
  • The colour, texture and use of the land surveyed.

Firstly we deal with the animals. In one part there is a belt of pig names, starting at Bower Clough Head, going down onto Boar Flat, into the Swineshaw Valley and ending at Bower Fold.

Boar                 The male pig, the name lives on in Boar Flat.
Boggart           A local word for a ghost or spirit.
Brockhole      Old English brochol, a badgers burrow.
Buck                 Old English buc, a male deer.
Cat
Cock
Cow
Crow
Deer
Fox
Hart
Hare
Hern               A young heron.
Howlet          An owlet, a young owl.
Lamb
Ox                Used once in Ox Rake Brow, Rake being Old Norse for pasture.
Pye               A magpie.
Ram
Raven
Shepley       Sheep Lea, a sheep meadow.
Snail
Swine
Throstle        Old English prostle, a song thrush.
Tup                  Middle English tup, a male sheep.

Secondly, we look at the flora of the region through the names printed on the map. 

Arnfield         Arn is one of many names applied to the Alder tree it is derived from the Old English alor.
Ashway          Old English aesc is the ash tree and way is corrupted from Old English vra a corner in this case on the corner of a hillside.
Audenshaw   Again a formation from Alder, this time it implies the wood of alder trees.
Bent                 Old English beonet, many varieties of grass and reeds are called  Bent.
Bilberry         A common edible wild berry ofthe genusvaccinium myrtillus.
Birchen          Pertaining to the birch tree.
Bracken         Middle English braken, the fern pteris auilina.
Brushes         Middle English bwshe, a thicket of small trees.
Cloudberry    A small plant with a white flower which grows on many northern moors.
Cowbury        A corruption of Cowberry, the Red Whortleberry.
Ellentree        From Elren tree another name for the alder.
Featherbed    The name is applied to many moors where the bog cotton grows in profusion.
Fern                  Old English fearn, it exists as many varieties.
Flax                   Old English flaex, linum usitatissimum, plant grown for its linen fibres.
Greave             Old English grafa, a thicket or copse.
Herbage         Green pastures.
Hollingworth,  Old English holeon worp, an enclosure close by holly bushes.
Hollins            Pertaining to the holly bush.
Linshaw          From the Old English lind, a lime tree.
Oak                 Old English ac.
Ogden            Old English ac-denu, an oak wood.
Peat                The remnants of decayed vegetation, of which more will be said  later.
Reddishaw     Old English hread, reeds, the reedy wood.
Thorncliffe     Old English torn, the thorn bush, standing on a cliffe or  brow.
Turf                Cut sods, or peat cut for burning.
Wimberry       A local word for bilberry.
Woodland      Tracts of land covered with mixed timber.
Whams          Old Swedish reeds, a place covered with reeds.

Names of proportion and location, most of which are commonly used and require little, or no explanation.

Broad
Far
Great
Hades           A corruption of the Old English heafdu, a head, used to identify a summit.
Higher
Little
Long
Low
Lower
Middle
Near
Nether           Old English nipera, lower or under.
North
Round
Small
South
Upper
West

Lastly, words that describe the colour, texture and use of the land surveyed.

Acre              Old English aecer, arable land.
Ancote         Old English ana-cot, the lonely hut.
Bare
Black
Blind            Obsure or blind.
Bleak
Bord             Old English bord, an edge or a coast.
Broken
Brun              Old English, brown.
Burnt
Carr              Swedish kaer, a fen or morass.
Chew            Old English ceo, a gill as on a fish, corrupted to mean a gil, which is a ravine on a hill side.
Dead
Dewhill            A wet dewy hill.
Dun                 Old English dun, a dingy brown colour.
Dry
Green
Grey
Hurling             The sound of a rushing wind.
Ing                      Old Norse eng, meadow land.
Iron                    No iron deposits exist in the area but many of the sedimentary rocks give the  streams and bogs a rusty iron colour.
Laund                Old French, untilled ground.
Ley                      Old English leah, open untilled land.
Lumb                 Old English lum, a hollow or deep pool.
Marsden           Old English mercels-denu, a valley used as a boundary line.
Meadow
Mould                Old English molde, boose earth or rock.
Rakes                 Old Norse, pasture land or the path leading to it. 
Rhodeswood  Old English rod, a clearing, in this example, a clearing in a  wood.
Red
Ruddle              Old English rudig, a red clay used for marking sheep.Wet
Wilderness.

From "Pathwise in Longdendale and Glossop"
by kind consent of author the late David Frith

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