[DWJ] Bristo(l) (was: Big Bad Read)

Belben, Philip (Energy Wholesale) Philip.Belben at eon-uk.com
Fri Jun 30 06:19:24 EDT 2006

>> And Judith, who is back trying to catch up on the masses of DWJ email
>> after two days in bed with a verynasty bout of something I won't go
>> into details about, asks:
> So, how do you pronounce Bristol? Is the 'l' silent? I have always
> assumed briss-tle.

That's right.  The L is sounded, and probably was before it was written;
but the locals sometimes make the T silent (in which case it's often
written "Bristle").

Interesting that my dictionary of English surnames says that the surname
"Bristol" cannot derive from the town, since the name was frequently
recorded when the town was still called Bristow.  The dictionary
therefore suggests places like Birstall, near Leicester, as the origin
of the surname.

I would beg leave to disagree.  If someone from Bristow moved to another
part of the country, and was asked where he came from, his new
neighbours might well think he'd said "Bristol" and name him

And Charlie's information that the name of the town occasionally sported
its final L as early as 1200 probably supports my theory.

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