Settlement names in -inge
Danish place names ending in -inge are among the oldest place names in Denmark. The oldest inge-names are said to be from the first centuries of the Christian era. The youngest may have been formed as late as the early Viking Age. Today, the names end in -ing in Jutland and in -inge on the islands east of Jutland. This includes Flemming and Bjerring in Jutland as well as Lydinge and Døjringe in the islands.
The ending in the inge-names has a place marking meaning, e.g. Ketting 'the place with the cats', but it can also contain an originally genitive plural form of an inhabitant appellation, e.g. Varming that originally is an inhabitant appellation referring to the town's original name Varmhøj. Thus, Varming means 'the Varmhøj inhabitants town'.
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.