Ever wondered why our towns and villages are so named? Were they a deliberate creation by our ancestors or did they evolve naturally over time?
What form was taken by the Shapwick Monster? Why did the Victorians change the name of Great Bones, thinking it inappropriate? Why would the name of a quarry be remembered as providing one with a sore posterior? Which street sign shows the name of a prime suspect in the Jack the Ripper murders? And is Five Ways really where six lanes converge?
In these pages we examine the origins of the names with which we are otherwise so familiar. Towns, villages, districts, hills, streams, woods, farms, fi elds, streets and even pubs are examined and explained. Some of the defi nitions give a glimpse of life in the earlier days of the settlement, and for the author there is nothing more satisfying than finding a name which gives such a snapshot. The definitions are supported by anecdotal evidence, bringing to life the individuals
and events which have influenced the places and the way these names have developed.
This is not just a dictionary, but a history too, and will prove invaluable, not only for those who live and work in the county, but also visitors and tourists, historians and former inhabitants, indeed anyone with an interest in Dorset.