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Hotel Guide for Edinburgh

Etymology - Edinburgh United Kingdom


Etymology - Edinburgh

The origin of the city's name is understood to come from the Brythonic Din Eidyn from the time when it was a Gododdin hillfort. In the 1st century the Romans recorded the Votadini as a Brythonic tribe in the area. After it was besieged by the Bernician Angles the name changed to Edin-burh, which some have argued derives from the Anglo-Saxon for "Edwin's fort", possibly derived from the 7th century king Edwin of Northumbria. The burgh element means "fortress" or "group of buildings", i.e. a town or city and is akin to the German burg, Latin parcus, Greek pyrgos etc. The first evidence of the existence of the town as a separate entity from the fort lies in an early 12th century royal charter, generally thought to date from 1124, by King David I granting land to the Church of the Holy Rood of Edinburgh. This suggests that the town came into official existence between 1018 and 1124.

The charter refers to the recipients as "Ecclisie Sancte Crucis Edwinesburgensi". This could mean that those who drafted the charter believed Edwin to be the original source of the name and decided to derive the Latinisation from what they believed to be the ancient name.


Hotel-Frederick HouseEdinburgh