The first element of Grainsby, in the Haverstoe Wapentake of Lincolnshire, is of uncertain origin. It is likely the Old Norse male byname Grein, Old East Scandinavian Gren, from Old Norse grein, Old Danish gren ‘a branch’. Alternatively the element could be the Old Norse appellative grein ‘a branch (of a tree); a fork (of a river)’. This word survives in dialect as ‘a small valley forking off from another’, but there is nothing in the topography of Grainsby that supports this sense. The second element is Old Norse by ‘a farmstead, a village’.
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Find out about Grainsby, Lincolnshire.
Kenneth Cameron, A Dictionary of Lincolnshire Place-Names. Nottingham: English Place-Name Society (1998), p. 53.
Kenneth Cameron with John Field and John Insley, The Place-Names of Lincolnshire IV, English Place-Name Society Volume LXXI (1995), pp. 98-99.
Gillian Fellows Jensen, Scandinavian Personal Names in Lincolnshire and Yorkshire. Copenhagen: Akademisk Forlag (1968), p. 104.