Scartho, in the Bradley Wapentake of Lincolnshire, is a difficult name. The second element is clearly Old Norse haugr ‘a hill, a mound’. The first element, however, has been the subject of much discussion. It has been suggested that the first element is the Old Norse male personal name Skarði or the Old Norse element skarð ‘an opening, an open place in the edge of something, a gap, a mountain pass’. Since the area is now built up, it is nearly impossible to determine the exact topography of the place. It may be pointed out that there are patches of glacial sand and gravel and alluvium at the top of the hill.
It has also been suggested based on forms of the name in Scarf- that the first element is Old Norse skarfr ‘a cormorant’, but these spellings occur in only one source.
On balance, skarð provide an acceptable first element, but twentieth-century development makes certainty impossible.
- Viking Names
- bird, landscape, Lincolnshire, male_name, place-name
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Find out about Scartho, Lincolnshire.
Kenneth Cameron with John Field and John Insley, The Place-Names of Lincolnshire V, English Place-Name Society Volume LXXIII (1997), pp. 135-136.