Wigston Magna

Wigston Magna, Leicestershire

Wigston Magna, in the Guthlaxton Hundred of Leicestershire, is an Anglo-Scandinavian hybrid from the Old Norse male personal name Víkingr and the Old English element tun ‘an enclosure; a farmstead; a village; an estate’. Alternatively the first element might be the Old Norse appellative víkingr ‘a viking’, the probably source of the personal name. It has also been suggested that the first element may be the Old English male personal name Wicing or Old English wicing ‘a pirate, a viking’; however, these suggestions are doubtful because the length of the initial vowels of these elements are uncertain, therefore, the Old Norse male personal name is generally accepted as the first element.

The Medieval Latin affix Magna ‘big, great’ arose when there was confusion between forms from Wigston Magna and Wigston Parva, which have different etymologies and development, around the the sixteenth century. Some forms of the name also have the affix with two steples because Wigston Magna possessed two medieval churches.

Wigston Magna is also known as Wigston and is a joint parish with Oadby.

Ascribed Culture


Viking Names


hybrid name, Leicestershire, male_name, place-name, Viking

Further information

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Image © Mat Fascione, via Geograph, CC BY-SA 2.0


Barrie Cox, The Place-Names of Leicestershire V. English Place-Name Society LXXXVIII (2011), p. 218.