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Middle English occupational bynames as lexical evidence: a study of names in the Nottingham borough court rolls 1303–1455. Part 2, etymologies


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This paper is the second of a two-part study of occupational bynames in the Nottingham borough court rolls. Part 1, ‘Methodology’, discussed previous literature on the lexicographical value of Middle English bynames, described the contents of the Nottingham rolls and set out the methodological principles and practicalities that inform the etymological analyses in the present paper. The 51 bynames selected for discussion in Part 2 either provide evidence for words that are absent from the Middle English Dictionary (hereafter MED) or antedate MED’s earliest citation or, through their forms and contexts, shed fresh light on the etymology or sense of the source word. The names have been drawn mainly from the original manuscripts of the borough court rolls, hereafter abbreviated as CtR.1 Additional name forms have been taken from an unpublished calendar of the rolls prepared by Trevor Foulds and Jill Hughes (hereafter abbreviated as CalCtR),2 and from extracts of rolls published in the Records of the Borough of Nottingham, hereafter abbreviated as Rec. B. Nottingham (see Stevenson 1882–3). The surviving rolls begin in 1303 and continue with some gaps (notably from 1336 to 1351) until 1455.