Settlement names formed from imperatives – University of Copenhagen

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Names in Denmark > Place-names > Common place-name types > Imperative names


Settlement names formed from imperatives

The imperative names are names such as Kryb-i-ly 'take-shelter,' Stat-ene 'stand-alone,' Spring-forbi 'jump-past,' and Kig-ind 'drop-in.' They are often formed from an imperative form of a verb and an adverb or a prepositional phrase.

When referring to settlements, the imperative names often denote inns, single farms and houses, but they can appear as nature names or refer to other quite different localities, e.g. the imperative Far-i-mag 'travel in comfort' which is a part of the Copenhagen street name Farimagsgade.

The use of imperative names began in the 17th century, and in the following centuries more and more names of this kind are encountered in the written sources. The name type is used well into the 20th century.