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English River Names: Flow gently sweet Afton and Avon

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Some months back, we ran a blog about the names of rivers in Western Europe, and we promised to follow it up with one on English and Irish waterways.  Well here, at last, it is.

The landscapes of the British Isles and Ireland are traversed by rivers, some as long as the Thames and the river Shannon, some flowing across national borders, from England to Scotland or Wales, while others are much smaller streams.

Not surprisingly, most of these names are less lyrical than the French and Italian examples, more simple and straightforward.  A sizable number of them already exist as people names—Amber, Tamar, Perry, Douglas –while the rest are possible crossovers.  Of these, some sound decidedly masculine (Dart, Dewey), while others could conceivably be used for girls.

ENGLAND, SCOTLAND AND WALES

AERON

AFTON

AIRE

ALLUN

ALYN

AMBER

ANNAN

ANTON

ARROW

ARUN

ASH

AVERON

AVON

AYR

BEAL

BEAULY

BOYD

CALDER

CARY

CASSLEY

CLYDE

COLE

CONNOR

CONON

CRANE

DANE

DART

DEVON

DEWEY

DOON

DOVE

EDEN

ELY

EXE

GLEN

GRETA

GWENDREATH

HANNON

ISIS

ISLA

JORDAN

KEMP

KENN

KENSEY

KENT

LARK

LEW

MARDEM

MEDINA

MERSEY

MORDA

NEVIS

PERRY

QUINNY

REA

RHONDDA

SEVERN

SID

SILVER

TAMAR

TAVY

TAY

THAMES

TRENT

TYNE

VALENCY

WHEELER

WILEY

YARTY

IRELAND

ANNALEE

ARNEY

AVOCA

BROSNA

CALLAN

CAREY

CLADAGH

CLARE

DENNETT

DERRY

DOUGLAS

DUFF

FANE

FERGUS

FINN

FOYLE

GLENELLY

LAGAN

LIFFEY

REELAN

SHANNON

TOLKA

VARTRY

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