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Place Names


Broadcast Date: Tuesday 24 February 2004
Summary: The origin and development of place names

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Place NamesWhat’s in a name? How important is it for us to understand place names?

Professor J R R Tolkien, who knew something of the power of words was a member of the English Place Name Society – a research group, founded in 1923, that has been based at the UK’s University of Nottingham since 1968 and is a long-standing project that aims to explain the origin and development of all the place-names of England, based on the analysis of spellings recorded in documentary sources over 1400 years.

Professor Tolkien was an active member of the society and his books drew heavily on Anglo Saxon and Celtic languages for the names of places and characters in his books.

“Oscar” is an Anglo Saxon name meaning “Spear of God” – how many spears will Peter Jackson’s interpretation of Tolkien’s work be collecting in the upcoming awards?

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Research-TV Feed: Tuesday 24 February 2004. For more information about this film and Research-TV, email, or call 020 7004 7130.

Page contact: L Handford Last revised: Mon 26 Jun 2006
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