Totterdown Lane
Posted: 09 August 2007 08:01 AM   [ Ignore ]
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This a street in Tooting, London that has long intrigued me. Any ideas why it is called this? It is not steep. People staggering out of gin mills? Or a corruption of another word?

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Posted: 09 August 2007 10:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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The name Tooting is Saxon, meaning “[the abode of] the Totingas, i.e. Tota’s people”. I’m just guessing, but it’s quite possible that Totterdown was the name of a now-vanished place containing the same name, e.g. Totandun ("Tota’s hill").

Possibly coincidentally, Tottenham in East London contains the same personal name , from Totenham, “Tota’s homestead”.

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Posted: 09 August 2007 11:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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’This a street in Tooting, London that has long intrigued me.’

Where? There appears to be a street called that in Weston-Super-Mare and one in Fairford in Gloucestershire, but none in London, at least as far as I or the Streetmap site knows.

Incidentally, there is a street called Market Hill in Cambridge that is indeed next to the market but is perfectly level.

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Posted: 09 August 2007 12:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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but none in London, at least as far as I or the Streetmap site knows.

Ask Streetmap for Totterdown Street. It’s just to the east of Tooting Broadway.

there is a street called Market Hill in Cambridge that is indeed next to the market but is perfectly level.

How perfectly? Spirit-level level? In the Fens, a couple of feet of altitude is enough to leave a piece of ground above water when all around is flooded, and thereby to merit the appellation “hill”

[ Edited: 09 August 2007 12:10 PM by Syntinen Laulu ]
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Posted: 09 August 2007 01:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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There’s a district of Bristol called Totterdown.  It used to be rundown, but now it’s upmarket.

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Posted: 09 August 2007 02:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Syntinen Laulu - 09 August 2007 10:24 AM

The name Tooting is Saxon, meaning “[the abode of] the Totingas, i.e. Tota’s people”. I’m just guessing, but it’s quite possible that Totterdown was the name of a now-vanished place containing the same name, e.g. Totandun ("Tota’s hill").

Possibly coincidentally, Tottenham in East London contains the same personal name , from Totenham, “Tota’s homestead”.

Being a long time Gooner, I can’t help but think that “totterdown” nicely describes what Tottenham have been doing for the last 40 years or so. What’s in a name?

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Posted: 10 August 2007 09:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Street not Lane, sorry. I walked past it once and the name stuck in my head like Arthog Lane on another perambulation. I was being too literal - down is also a chalk hill now I think about it as in the South Downs. The tota link sounds very persuasive.
I liked my gin mill theory from bawdier times when there was a Gropecunt Lane in London. Still.

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Posted: 10 August 2007 10:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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I don’t know if the origin is the same for both, but a BBC Bristol site says of Totterdown in Bristol:

The name ‘Totterdown’ is derived from the Old English ‘totem’ which means ‘view’, so Totterdown literally means ‘look out on the down’.

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