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 Thames (disambiguation) on Wikipedia


From Middle English Temese, from Old English Temes, Temese (compare Welsh Tafwys), from Latin Tamesis, Tamesas[1], possibly from Proto-Celtic *tamesās (river, waters, literally darkness), masculine ā-stem of *tames[2], Proto-Indo-European *tm̥Hes-, zero-grade of *témHes-, *témHos- (darkness), s-stem from the root *temH- (dark). Related to Proto-Celtic *temeslos (darkness), *temos (dark).

A parallel in Proto-Celtic of "dark, darkness" taking on the figurative meaning of "water" can also be found in Proto-Celtic *dubros (water, dark), from Proto-Indo-European *dʰubrós (dark), yielding Welsh dŵr (water), Irish dobhar (water, sea, dark, gloomy).

Alternatively from Proto-Celtic *tā-[3], *tāyo- (to melt, flow), from Proto-Indo-European *teh₂- (to melt), or from unknown non-Indo-European root[4][5].

Possible cognates include the names of rivers and tributaries such as:


  • (rivers in England and Canada, town in New Zealand): enPR: tĕmz, IPA(key): /tɛmz/
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • (river in Connecticut): IPA(key): /θeɪmz/

Proper noun[edit]


  1. A river in southern England, flowing 336 km (209 mi.) from Gloucestershire, through Wiltshire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Surrey and Greater London to the Thames Estuary and North Sea.
  2. A sea area centred on the Thames Estuary.
  3. A river in Ontario, Canada, flowing 258 km (160 mi.) to Lake St. Clair.
  4. A river in the U.S. State of Connecticut flowing 24 km (15 mi.) past New London to Long Island Sound.
  5. A town in the North Island of New Zealand, situated on the Firth of Thames (a large bay) and the Coromandel Peninsula.
  6. A surname​.

Derived terms[edit]



  1. ^ Mallory, J. P.; Adams, D. Q., editors (1997) Encyclopedia of Indo-European culture, London, Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers, page 147
  2. ^ Matasović, Ranko (2009) Etymological Dictionary of Proto-Celtic (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 9), Leiden: Brill, →ISBN, page 378
  3. ^ Kitson, Peter R. (1996), “British and European River Names”, in Transactions of the Philological Society, volume 94, issue 2, DOI:10.1111/j.1467-968X.1996.tb01178.x, pages 73–118
  4. ^ Jackson, Kenneth H. (1955), “The Problem of the Picts”, in Wainright, F. T., editors, The Pictish Language, Edinburgh: Nelson, pages 129–166
  5. ^ Coates, Richard (1998), “A new explanation of the name of London”, in Transactions of the Philological Society, volume 96, issue 2, DOI:10.1111/1467-968X.00027, pages 203–229
  6. 6.0 6.1 Falileyev, Alexander (2010) Dictionary of Continental Celtic Place-names: A Celtic Companion to the Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World, CMCS Publications, →ISBN
  7. ^ Delamarre, Xavier (2012) Noms de lieux celtiques de l'Europe ancienne (-500 / +500): dictionnaire, Arles: Errance, →ISBN