One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
in place names A piece of wild land cleared or reclaimed for cultivation.‘Bassenthwaite’
- ‘The lesser topographical names like thorpe, and in Norwegian-dominated areas thwaite, were marginal settlements and clearings.’
- ‘It is full of fells and pikes, dales and thwaites, all old Viking words which are preserved here but not used widely elsewhere.’
Middle English: from Old Norse thveit, thveiti ‘paddock’, literally ‘cut piece’.
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