AttestedDolocindo at position 28 in the Ravenna Cosmography

Where:  A Roman-era port on the river Parrett in the Somerset Levels, most likely at modern Bridgewater, around ST299370, rather than Crandon Bridge, ST330400.

Name origin:  PIE *delə-/*dol- ‘to divide’ contributed to many later place names in the sense of sharing out of resources, especially beside a river.  Dolemeads beside the river Avon at Bath is a good example.  The -cindo part is more difficult: Latin scindo ‘to cut’ from PIE skei- seems the most likely parallel, ahead of Old English cinan ‘to split into pieces’, or a meaning like ‘first’ seen in Cindocellum.  The resulting sense of ‘deal-and-cut’ would fit the “trans-shipment port where goods brought by road and river through Somerset were loaded onto larger vessels that could cross the Bristol Channel” description of Rippon, 2008.

Notes:  The core meaning of Dol- has been preserved by English dole, deal, and dal (Indic for split peas).  Bede used Irish daal ‘part’ to explain Dalriada, but Gaelic dail, dalloch, etc (Watson, 1926:414-418) generally moved on to the derived sense of ‘meadow’, as did Welsh dôl and northern English dale.  Latin dolo ‘to chip’ had vowel O but its derived senses went towards pain.  See here for a general discussion of ancient names in Somerset.

You may copy this text freely, provided you acknowledge its source as, recognise that it is liable to human error, and try to offer suggestions for improvement.
Last edited 24 August 2023     To main Menu