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Thoughts occasioned by a drive home from Norwich

July 26, 2017

I happened to be driving back from Norwich along the A11 at the weekend and noticed a sign for the village of Chippenham. That’s funny, I thought. Isn’t Chippenham much further west? Well, it is of course; the larger and better-known market town of Chippenham is in Wiltshire. Yet here was another one, in Cambridgeshire: and I then reflected that lots of English towns have the prefix Chipp- in their names. There is also Chipperfield, and Chippings Norton, Ongar and Sodbury.

The reason is that Chipping is an old English word for market; so you can be sure that any place with that prefix has or once had a regular market. That’s also where the word cheap comes from (I’m surmising that Cheapside in London was next to a market); and the words shop and shopping are also related to it. So that’s all quite interesting, isn’t it?

P.S. May I bring to your attention my comic fantasy YA novel The Infinite Powers of Adam Gowers – here is the link: https://unbound.com/books/adam-gowers . Go there and you will see a neat little 2-minute video of me explaining why the time for this novel has come! And if you support it you will get your name in the back and an invitation to the launch party.

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4 Comments
  1. Paul Cryer permalink

    Suffix or Prefix?

  2. Mark Brafield permalink

    Driving in a similar part of the world I came across a sign to Risby Saxham and immediately resolved that I had to write a detective story with him as my hero. Risby Saxham, private eye.

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