Attested: RC Melezo
Where: Somewhere in Dorset near the headwaters of the river Stour. RC lists Melezo before Ibernio (probably Hod Hill), while coming from the north-west. One possible candidate location is Fontmell Magna, at ST866169, an ancient village whose initial Font- probably came from Latin fontanus ‘spring’. The tantalisingly named Bedchester is nearby.
Name origin: Possibly from PIE *melit- ‘honey’. Melezo resembles the French word mélèze for a range of tree species that yield sweet sap, like the one used to make maple syrup.
Notes: Other possible meanings of mel- in place names across Europe include ‘hill’, ‘yellow’, ‘bare’, ‘black’, ‘bowl’, ‘sheep’, ‘apple’, or ‘badger’!
Last Edited: 8 August 2016