kent place names - s

St Margarets at Cliffe was mentioned in the Domesday Book in the Latin form of Sancta Margarita. The implication is of a church dedicated to St Margaret at a place previously called simply Cliffe, which is the same word as English cliff and goes back to the Old English clif.

St Marys Hoo is an Old English hoh or spur of land, and this is how it appears in its earliest form, as Hoge right back in 687. By 1272 it had become Ho St. Mary, having acquired an affix from the dedication of its church.

St Peters takes its name from the dedication of its eleventh-century church, and was first recorded in 1254 as Borgha sancti Petri, the Borough of St Peter.

Sandwich is an Old English name, Sandwicæ, which literally meant a sandy harbour or sandy trading centre.

Sevenoaks.No surprises with Sevenoaks, which indicates seven oak-trees. It is interesting, though, that unlike many place-names its spelling has changed with the language to make continually clear its meaning. The Old English roots, seofon and ac, are more apparent in the first recorded mention of the town, in about 1100, as Seouenaca.

Shorne is literally a steep place, from the Old English scoren, taking its name from what is now called Shorne Hill. Its was first mentioned in about 1100 as Scorene.

Smarden. From an etymological point of view, one would expect to go to Smarden for the butter, since that is what its name indicates. The Old English smeoru means butter, and the -den is the Old English denn or woodland pasture. It was first recorded in about 1100 as Smeredaenne.

Smeeth is etymologically the same word as smithy and derives from the Old English smiththe. It was recorded as early as 1018 as Smitha.

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