AI sheds light on the ancient origins of England’s place names

Places with “ton” in their name, such as Shitterton in Dorset, are said to be the most archetypically English

James lox

Attempting to uncover the ancient origins of English place names has long kept academics and hobbyists busy, with each name often attracting multiple conflicting ideas. Now, artificial intelligence offers a way to analyse the names’ similarities to a host of other European languages, revealing hints about their roots.

Michael Dalvean at the University of Western Australia took a list of 18,799 place names from England and 84,687 from Ireland, Scotland, Wales,…

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