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Pogbie
November 3, 2012
10:45 pm
Carole
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October 2, 2012
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The Scottish Place-Name Society's conference in Edinburgh today was excellent, raising all kinds of interesting issues. Alison Grant's paper on uses of place-name evidence in Scots dictionaries set me thinking about Pogbie, one of the names mentioned in Bill Patterson's paper on Lammermuir charters. The traditional derivation of the first element from either a personal name or a word for a supernatural creature doesn't seem particularly convincing to me. I've suggested in previous articles that some English place-names attributed to the latter might alternatively derive from an Old English *pocca or *pohha, referring to the fallow deer. At first I didn't think that element would be plausible in combination with a Scandinavian generic (by), but since Pogbie doesn't seem to be recorded until the thirteenth century, it's possible that the generic had become established within the Scottish toponymicon by that stage, while Alison's suggestion of rebranding the so-called 'Old English' stratum in Scottish place-names as 'Proto-Scots' brings the two strands closer together. I'm therefore starting to wonder whether Pogbie might be semantically parallel to Derby 'deer farm'. Views?

November 7, 2012
10:50 am
Peder Gammeltoft
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November 7, 2012
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I absolutely agree with you, Carole, the SPNS conference was a great venue. I did have my thoughts on Pogbie as well, but rather on possible Scandinavian origins to the specific. Words in initial p- in Scandinavian are generally condsidered to be loanwords into Scandinavian themselves, and that may be so here, also. However, if we remain at the derivation from ON púki, then I am slightly surprised that it is always the 'supernatural being' that is being stressed. There is also another meaning to the word, namely 'little boy, in Scandinavian. Not so much used in Danish anymore, albeit recorded: http://ordnet.dk/ods/ordbog?query=puge but used in Scanian as påg 'boy'. There is also another word in Scandinavian, albeit a loan from probably Low German, poge (http://ordnet.dk/ods/ordbog?as…..uery=poge-), which has a range of meanings, such as 'stick, rod' and 'fence, enclosure'. I wonder whether this could be a possibility also. However, Low German loans in Scandinavian are considered to be of Medieval origin, so there is a temporal problem in this suggestion.

November 8, 2012
10:36 pm
Carole
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That's very interesting, Peder! The 'little boy' meaning raises the possibility of a parallel with English place-names like Chilton from Old English 'cild', variously interpreted as 'child', 'young person' or 'young nobleman', although I've also suggested an alternative meaning 'young animal'. I wonder if there might also be a link with the name-type Barnby in the English Danelaw, from Old Norse 'barn' meaning 'child, offspring'.

November 15, 2012
12:19 pm
Peder Gammeltoft
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November 7, 2012
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Thanks for the reply, Carole, very interesting indeed! There are several place-names in Denmark with the element 'barn' as a specific. I have never done a search for other words for offspring – perhaps something interesting could turn up? I think I'll check that out in due course. Thanks, Carole!

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