Attested: RC Coccuveda (or Cocuneda or Coccimeda); Bede Cocuedi fluminis
Where: The complex of Roman forts and camps at Chew Green, Northumberland, around NT788084, where Dere Street crossed the river Coquet.
Name origin: Coccuveda probably begins like κοκκινος/coccum ‘scarlet’, a word derived from plant-gall dye technology developed in the ancient Middle East. It ends like PIE *wed- ‘water’ or possibly a word for ‘ford’ such as Latin vadum or OE węd. Rivers tend to get names based on ‘red’ after geologically recent disturbance of iron ore deposits (often by human mining activity) puts iron in their water, but in this case a more likely explanation is the reddish colour of the feldspar component of igneous rocks in the Cheviot Hills.
Notes: RC lists Coccuveda after Bremenium, thereby seeming to backtrack on itself a bit. This goes against RC's normal practice, and is surprising since Dere Street was such an established Roman road.
Last Edited: 28 August 2016