Lemanis

Attested:  RC Lemana (a harbour estuary) and Lemanis (place)
  AI iter 4 ad portum Lemanis (twice);  ND Lemannis (twice);  TP  Lemanio

WhereLemanis meant the Roman fort of the Saxon Shore at Stutfall Castle, Lympne, Kent, at TR11743423, which was destroyed by a landslip on a changing coastline.  Lemana referred to the river estuary beside which the fort originally sat.

Name Origin:  The English word liman (ultimately from Greek λιμην ‘harbour’, which diffused into various languages including Arabic, Turkish, and Russian) is a remarkably exact match to the fort’s likely topographical situation described by Cunliffe (1980:258-259).  There seems to be no consensus on which PIE root led to λιμην, but the top possibilities are *lei- ‘to flow, to pour’ and *lei- ‘slimy, to slip, to glide’, which led to words such as English loam and slime, or Latin limus ‘mud’.  Or else maybe Latin limen ‘threshold, entrance’ (of uncertain origin) is appropriate to a harbour entrance, especially with a bar at its mouth.  See under Λεμαννονιος for another slant on possible roots for this name.

Notes:  Nonsense Celtic elm-tree etymologies promoted by Jackson and others did not fool R&S, who wisely homed in on “water-names”.

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Last Edited: 24 July 2016