Sunday, March 1, 2009

looking through a pool, darkly (in a few instances)

The old Roman city of Lindun is generally supposed to have given the district of Lindsey its name, but the Romans probably latinized the more ancient British name of Lindeseie.

The earliest reference to the place-name is from a dedicatory inscription to Fortuna found at Mainz in Germany and dated to the end of Domitian's reign. This inscription records the name as LINDO, which is the dative form of Lindum. It is very likely that the name Lindum is a Romanised version of the original Celtic, the exact meaning of which is uncertain.

The fore-part of the name lin undoubtedly refers to the pool in the river Witham below the modern castle, which word is recognizable in both modern Welsh (llyn; 'lake'), and Gaelic (linne; 'pool'). The Romanised ending -dum, leaves us with some difficulties, however, as the Romans were in the habit of making the local place-names more easily pronounceable to their civilized tongues by giving them this 'catch-all' ending. The Celtic name for the area could have been Lindo, Lindon, Lindun or even Lindunon, all of which would have different meanings in the Celtic tongue.

When we look at the possible endings of the name among the Celtic languages, we see that there are two general possibilities;

1. Referring to a settlement or fortification on the hill overlooking the pool;
* Gaelic; dun 'fort', 'castle'.
* Welsh; din 'hillfort'; dinas 'citadel'; dyn 'enclosure'.
* Celtic; dunum 'fortified settlement'.
2. In reference to the colour or opacity of the pool itself;
* Gaelic; dubh 'black'; donn 'brown'.
* Welsh; du, ddu 'black', 'dark'.

Try these...

linden linden' lindenan lindenbaum lindenberg lindeneau lindenfeld lindenna lindenstein lindenstrs lindenthal linder linderback linderbeck linderbm linderbusch linderdel lindered lindereling' linderer linderg lindergreen linderinggs linderman lindermann lindern linderot linderott linders lindersay lindersbusch linderson lindes' lindesai lindesay lindese lindesei lindeseia lindeseie lindesey

Often has the writer been asked the question, if the Linzees knew
when they changed from the Scottish form Lindsay or the English
spelling Lindsey, to our system of ending the name with an " ie " or
" ee ", and the use of " z " instead of " s "? Our answer has been
that we could show the precise spelling
Linzee for over three hundred
years, while the form
Linsee was even older and derived from the
spelling of the name in the more ancient documents and seals
. A
few instances will now prove this statement.

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