Settlement names ending in ‑rød
Some of the settlement names formed in the Viking Age and in the Middle Ages end in words that tell us that the settlement is situated in a clearing. This includes, mainly, place names ending in ‑rød and ‑tved.
The ending ‑rød is related to the verb rydde 'to clear.' The Old Danish form of the word is ruth, and this has developed into rød on Sealand where this name type is widely occuring, cf. names as Hillerød and Birkerød. The common occurence on Sealand, especially in North Sealand, has caused the ending ‑rød to be regarded as the normal form of this ending. Nevertheless, it is a special dialectal development. In other areas of the country, the actual normal form is ‑rud or ‑rod, e.g. Morud and Eskerod, but the rød-form has spread into many parts of the country that actually are not included in the area where the dialectal rød-form belongs.
Some of the rød-names are formed with personal names; this includes personal names that were common in the Viking Age and in the Middle Ages, just as we have seen with the torp- and bøl(le)-names. There are, however, no rød-names in the former Viking colonies, and, therefore, this name type must be dated to the very last part of the Viking Age and the Middle Ages.
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.