Attested: Ptolemy 2,3,6 Σιδουμανιος (or Ειδουμανιου) river mouth
Where: Ptolemy's order of names and coordinates would fit one of the big estuaries in East Anglia, with the wide and marshy Colne-plus-Blackwater more likely than Orwell-plus-Stour or Crouch-plus-Roach.
Name origin: The first element of Σιδουμανιος is like Old English sid ‘wide, spacious, large’, from PIE *sē- ‘to sow, to spread out’, which survives as an adjective only in northern dialect, but it contributes to various place names, such as Sidestrand in Norfolk and also Sitomagus at Ixworth, Suffolk. Old Irish sith- ‘long’ might be cognate. The second element is related to Latin mano ‘to flow’ or μανος ‘loose’, from PIE *ma- ‘damp’. In Britain that element developed mainly towards marsh, leaving few clear parallels in river names (such as the Lincolnshire Witham, formerly Wiğma) and only debatable ones in place names (Manea, Manningtree, etc).
Notes: The lack of clear parallels in Celtic prompted Rivet & Smith to prefer a spelling Eidumanis (with Greek Epsilon easy to misread as Sigma) suggested by Ekwall(1928) on a theory that the name's first element might have come from PIE *widhu- ‘wood’ losing its initial W sound.
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Last edited 28 October 2022 To main Menu