I dispute the usage note, where it says the common usage British usage "River Name" comes from an earlier "River of Name", with the example "River (of) Jordan".
However most rivers in the UK are not named with adjectives but just with names. Locally you could refer to the Thames, the Severn, the Blackwater - they are names, not adjectives. There is no citation for this (putative?) explanation of the usage. Does anyone know of sources that explain the different usages (River before or after the name) and, if not, can we delete this explanation for the meantime?
EDIT: well, looks like I am plain wrong! There's a good discussion here for you. I'm (evidently) not a good lexicographer, so perhaps one of you lovely people could make use of it? Many thanks, with apologies to the relevant editor. NearlyDrNash (talk) 23:22, 12 July 2015 (UTC)
I dispute usage (2) "Any large flow of a liquid in a single body (e.g., 'a river of blood')." as being a meaning of the word, such cases are merely metaphors. — Nicholas Shanks
- Century Dictionary had an entry:
river (ri'vfer), n. [< rive1 + -er1.] One who rives or splits. An honest block river, with his beetle, heartily calling. J. Echard, Obs. on Ans. to Contempt of Clergy, p. 23. . [(Latham.) DCDuring TALK 16:24, 8 July 2010 (UTC)