Somerby, in the Yarborough Wapentake of Lincolnshire, probably comes from the Old Norse male personal name or byname Sumarliði and the element by ‘farm, settlement’.
The original byname means ‘the summer traveller’ and is recorded six times in Lincolnshire (all in Lindsey) in the Domesday Book. The spellings in Domesday parallel that of the place-name.
Probably identical in origin is Somerby in Leicestershire.
Alternatively, the name has been suggested to come from the Scandinavian compound sumar-hlíðar ‘summer slopes’, referring to pastures only used in the summers.
Old Norse Name
- Viking Names
- male_name, personal-name, place-name
Kenneth Cameron, The Place-Names of Lincolnshire II. English Place-Name Society Volume LXIV/LXV (1991), pp. 264-5.
Gillian Fellows-Jensen, Scandinavian Settlement Names in the East Midlands. Copenhagen: Akademisk Forlag (1978), p. 70.