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.
This overview of the most important Danish settlement names, provides a tool to place names in time. For instance it is now possible to ascertain that Hvessinge must be hundreds of years older than Glostrup although Hvessinge actually is a part of Glostup today.
However, many place names have a form in present time that does not immediately reveal from which words the name was originally formed. Some of these corrupt names look like other name types, and some have passed through independent changes. By examining the oldest written sources, it is often possible to see from which endings those names were formed originally.
Examples of this are Grænge on Lolland, which is an inge-name, and Klinting in Vestern Jutland, which is an um-name. Further to that Maglemer on Lolland is a tved-name, Gislev on Funen is originally formed from one word, and Græsted in Northern Zealand originally ended in ‑holt. In other words, a place name is never sure to consist of the words immediately obvious from the present day spelling.