City Name

York City Name

York has been called by numerous names over the years, with some of the names below:

ROMAN PERIOD : Eboracum / Eburacum
ANGLIANS : Eoforwic / Eoferwic / Eferwic
VIKINGS : Jorvik
DOMESDAY : Euerwic
MEDIEVAL : Yerk (fourteenth century), Yourke (sixteenth century), Yarke (seventeenth century)

Charles Brunton Knight wrote, with regards to the development of the city name after the Roman occupation, “the city was given by its new masters the name of Eoforwic; but that name did not so greatly differ from its Roman name as at first sight appears; it is, indeed, merely the Anglian way of expressing the old name of Ebrauc or Eboracum. It seems probable that in Roman times the accent was placed on the first and third, not the second and fourth, syllables, of the name Eboracum, and that the terminal -um was often omitted in common speech. Thus the city would then usually be spoken of as Eborac (pronounced Ebborahc) whence the transition to the Ebrauc of Romano-British days, with the accent still on the first syllabl, is very obvious and very natural. The Angles, in trying to pronounce the name Ebrauc, followed a practice very common in Early English speech, and turned the B of Ebrauc into a V sound, according to the well-known Grimm’s Law of Phonetics; thus on their lips the name became something like Evrauc or Everwick. Thus Everwick is almost an exact modern English way of spelling the word whih Early English writers expressed as Eoforwic; and indeed Everwick is the name given to York, and so spelled, in many medieveal documents from the eleventh to the fourteenth centuries”.
The actual origins of the name are unclear, Francis Drake in his 1730s book, Eboracum, suggested that the city name may derive from the old name for the Ouse, the Eure. Others have suggested that it may come from the Saxon word for boar, which was ebor, and wic, which was place, ie, place of the boar, and others have suggested it comes from the old English word for yew tree, Ebor. What is known however is that one of the most important cities in the world, New York, is derived from the city name. It was actually named after the Duke of York, James Stuart in 1664.

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