English edit

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Etymology edit

From Middle English Temese, from Old English Temes, Temese (compare Welsh Tafwys), from Latin Tamesis, Tamesas.[1] Variant spellings with h arose in Middle English due to the mistaken assumption of a Greek etymology.[2]

The Latin name is from Proto-Brythonic *Tamesis, from Proto-Celtic *tamesās (river, waters, literally darkness), a masculine ā-stem of *tames, Proto-Indo-European *tm̥Hes-, zero-grade of *témHes-, *témHos- (darkness), an s-stem from the root *temH- (dark). Related to Proto-Celtic *temeslos (darkness), *temos (dark). A parallel in Proto-Celtic of "dark, darkness" taking on the figurative meaning of "water" can also be found in Proto-Celtic *dubros (water, dark), from Proto-Indo-European *dʰubrós (dark), yielding Welsh dŵr (water), Irish dobhar (water, sea, dark, gloomy). Hydronyms with their origin in this term also occur elsewhere in Europe, for example Portugal's Douro.

Alternatively from Proto-Celtic *tā-,[3] *tāyo- (to melt, flow), from Proto-Indo-European *teh₂- (to melt), or from unknown non-Indo-European root.[4][5]

Possible cognates include the names of rivers and tributaries such as:

More at Thames.

Pronunciation edit

  • (rivers in England and Canada, town in New Zealand): enPR: tĕmz, IPA(key): /tɛmz/
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • (river in Connecticut): IPA(key): /θeɪmz/
  • Rhymes: -ɛmz, -eɪmz

Proper noun edit


  1. A river in southern England, flowing 336 km (209 mi.) from Gloucestershire, through Wiltshire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Surrey and Greater London to the Thames Estuary and North Sea.
  2. A sea area centred on the Thames Estuary.
  3. A river in Ontario, Canada, flowing 258 km (160 mi.) to Lake St. Clair.
  4. A river in the U.S. State of Connecticut flowing 24 km (15 mi.) past New London to Long Island Sound.
  5. A town in the North Island of New Zealand, situated on the Firth of Thames (a large bay) and the Coromandel Peninsula.
  6. A surname.

Derived terms edit

Translations edit

References edit

  1. ^ Mallory, J. P., Adams, D. Q., editors (1997), Encyclopedia of Indo-European culture, London, Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, page 147
  2. ^ Douglas Harper (2001–2024) “th”, in Online Etymology Dictionary, retrieved 14 December 2021.:The awareness that some Latin words in t- were from Greek th- encouraged over-correction in English and created unetymological forms such as Thames and author
  3. ^ Kitson, Peter R. (1996) “British and European River Names”, in Transactions of the Philological Society, volume 94, number 2, →DOI, pages 73–118
  4. ^ Jackson, Kenneth H. (1955) “The Problem of the Picts”, in Wainright, F. T., editors, The Pictish Language, Edinburgh: Nelson, pages 129–166
  5. ^ Coates, Richard (1998) “A new explanation of the name of London”, in Transactions of the Philological Society, volume 96, number 2, →DOI, pages 203–229
  6. 6.0 6.1 Falileyev, Alexander (2010) Dictionary of Continental Celtic Place-names: A Celtic Companion to the Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World, CMCS Publications, →ISBN
  7. ^ Delamarre, Xavier (2012) Noms de lieux celtiques de l'Europe ancienne (-500 / +500): dictionnaire, Arles: Errance, →ISBN

Anagrams edit