Attested: Lactodoro on the Antonine Itinerary's itinera 2 and 6.
Where: Towcester Roman settlement at SP689481, in Northamptonshire, where Watling Street crosses the river Tove.
Name Origin: Latin laxus ‘wide, loose, open’ is an excellent description of the three lackadaisical channels of the river Tove at Lactodoro. Various English words (lag, lack, delay, relax, etc) are in that semantic area, with no certain etymology, and there is no need to invoke other explanations such as lactic ‘milky’. The ending is of course *duro- ‘crossing’, sitting in an unusual position at the end of the name.
Notes: Ekwall (1928: 414-415) convincingly explained the modern river name Tove as “derived from a lost adjective tōf meaning ‘dilatory’ .... I hardly know any English stream to which the name ‘the dilatory one’ would be more applicable”. It is tempting, but probably wrong, to suggest that the Cosmography's Iaciodulma was corrupted from Lactodorum.
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Last edited 31 January 2021 To main Menu