Field name

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Historical Bavarian land map with registered field names
District plan of Reichenau (1876) with field names
Field names on field map from Baden-Württemberg
Field names on a historical field map from the 18th century from Brandenburg
Map of Gottenheim with field names (1883)
Map with field names of the Saterland
Receipt of the field name Bavaria in 1982

A field name , in Austria, Ried name , the roll-call name (corridor designation) for a small-scale part of the landscape ( corridor ). Field names divide the area and help with orientation and identification. Field names identify the smaller and smallest geographical units, such as mountains and peaks , valleys (which also belong to the oronymika ), forests , pastures , meadows , fields and floodplains , paths , tubs , corridors.

Field names are geographical names (in Switzerland: local names ) that were coined by the local residents and often passed on in local language without written down. The name group of field names has a large variety and a versatile testimony value. The appellative vocabulary they contain is richer and more differentiated than z. B. for settlement names ( place names in the sense of the word). The field names research or Flurnamenetymologie is part of the place names Research ( toponymy ), the general preoccupation with names in the geography .

In surveying , a field name in the narrower sense refers to groups of land used for agriculture or forestry ( parcels , parcels) in the districts of the municipalities , which form a unit in their field form. This definition, based on property and community law and boundaries, differs from the original historical one, in which neither property rights nor land, community or even national boundaries are generally relevant. In the cultural landscape characterized by use, the two terms often meet (for example in the name of a special field, a piece of forest or an alpine pasture).

The field name as a common name

Field names are and were mainly common names . As a rule, they are only known within a city or village. Only by clearly identifying management (to register ), ownership ( land registers ) or land use ( usage ) to be controlled. Field names are used to clearly identify the location, i.e. the location of a parcel within the district . Here is an example from Central Hesse.

  • Example: Acker from Karl Müller, house name "Gehanns", in the corridor "vor der Heege", is referred to (in High German) as "Gehanns Karl seine Acker vor der Heege". The name of the owner is linked to the type of use of the property, prefixed to the property in question.

This was especially true for parcels that were subject to real division and therefore often belonged to the same owner for only one generation. If, on the other hand, the right of inheritance was exercised, the land remained undivided. Then the owner was not named and the property was only linked to the name of the farm / house.

  • Example: Arable land that belonged to the farm with the name “Menn”, in the corridor “Auf der Bette”, was then called “Menn-Acker auf der Bette”. Very large properties that belonged to the farm sometimes had their own field name, for example “Menn-Keschbeem”.

Field names of a farm are among the most common etymological roots of family names in German. In rural areas, especially in the Alpine region and the foothills of the Alps, these farm names are still recorded in telephone books today.

Requirements for the spelling of field names on plans and maps

  1. Formulate guidelines for the spelling of the field names on plans and maps of a certain area.
  2. Pay attention to vertical coordination: The chosen spelling should be the same on all plans and maps of a certain area in all scales .
  3. Leave the selected spelling unchanged on later editions of the plans and maps so that no misunderstandings arise.

Etymology of field names

Large-scale field names or location names have mostly been handed down over centuries. Field names that go back to prehistory and early history are rather rare, apart from river names or names of prominent mountains. Sometimes a very old designation still shines through in the final syllables.

All historical and linguistic developments are reflected in the field names. Many small-scale field names emerged only after the abolition of the three- field economy and after the abandonment of the field and pasture management, as well as after the abolition of the common land after 1800. In the regions where real division of property was practiced, many new and additional field names were created. In particular the attributes at, on, over, under, in front of and behind indicate a division of property. If, on the other hand, the property was only passed on to one heir ( inheritance right ), additional names were not required. Therefore, there are comparatively fewer field names in these districts.

The topographical conditions are also reflected in the field names . Small-scale structured landscapes require more field names. In mountain regions, for example, where even small differences in the location of a parcel require different agricultural treatment (sowing time, mowing, etc.), there are also smaller-scale field names.

Field names can only be explained etymologically if one deals with the time of their creation. Anyone who wants to interpret more than just simple terms from the field names is usually wrong. Every field name is based on a naming motif, a characteristic that is attached to this particular location. At the time of its creation, this feature was described using the vocabulary that was common at the time. That is, the name originated from the local dialect and was handed down and passed on in this way. The meaning of the name was retained, but the vocabulary, pronunciation and spelling have changed.

When the field names were set down in writing in the 19th century ( cadastral spelling), bad mistakes were made - from the etymologist's point of view. Names were disfigured and thus became unusable for research, as they lead to nonsensical interpretations in the "spoiled German" form. In most cases, the meaning of the name for the layer of younger field names with the local dialect can still be sufficiently clarified.

On-site surveys of older farmers who are familiar with the area and who still speak the dialect are often excellent sources (see Oral History , the collection of oral traditions). This problem also includes the environment of the " Germanizations " and corresponding processes in other languages, which are based on the political conflicts of the last centuries.

Various field names or their components have, depending on the region, an Old High German , Old Low German , Romance or Slavic origin - in rare cases there are even references to Celtic linguistic material - and are therefore hardly understandable for the general public, especially since they may have diverged greatly depending on the dialects of the region .

Field names are often also traditional location or usage designations such as “Auf der Warte”, “Vor den Tränken”, “Roßmorgen”, “In der Lache”, “Beim Klingelborn”, “In Messflur”, “Gänseweide”, “Schafsheide” "Etc. Field names often have references to former owners:" Kirchhuf "," Bischofswiesen "," Herrenbungert "," Scholzenheck ".

Today's field names

The field names are recorded in the official maps .

  • In Germany, they are entered in the cadastral maps of the land registry offices, but not always in the local expression. These have in turn been taken from the Brouillon cards and the pure cards of the 19th century.
  • In Austria they are noted on the Austrian map (ÖK50). This has around 100,000 field / vineyard names. It is based on the three Habsburg land recordings, in particular the third, the Franzisko-Josephinische Landesaufnahme 1869–1887. In addition, some of the federal states also have more specific field name directories.
  • In Switzerland, outside of the built-up area, each individual parcel (or each so-called Gewann ) is named with an official field name. When a parcel is combined or divided, the officially valid field name is also redefined. The field names are determined by the cantonal land surveying offices in cooperation with the cantonal nomenclature commissions and the respective municipalities and entered in the cadastral plans of the individual municipalities. The spelling of the field names, which used to be a "condemned German", is more or less based on the rules proposed in the middle of the last century by Guntram Saladin , then editor at the Schweizerischer Idiotikon , in most of the German-speaking cantons . According to these, the notation is basically in dialect form, but in a spelling that complies with the usual, standard German-based typeface.

The names of settlements and streets in new development areas in cities and municipalities that are being built on areas that were formerly used for agriculture are often based on the respective field names.

Examples of field name etymology

Abbreviations: ahd. = Old High German , and. = Old Low German , md. = Middle German , mhd. = Middle High German , mnd. = Middle Low German , or = Upper German , hd. = High German , Latin = Latin , Slav. = Slavic

  • almeinde , mhd. " Allmende ", "Gemeindeflur" (variants: algemeinde , almeine , almeide ):
    Almai, Almeinde, Almeine, Algemaine, Alemende, Alimende, Almen, Alm , Almed, Elme, Elmen, Elemend, Elmend, Olm, Olmed , Olmet, Olme, Oalm, Öllmet, Walme, Welme.
  • aha ahd. "flowing waters", together with ouwa ahd. "island", "water-flooded land", "moist ground", "river island" and
  • belse , mnd. In den Belsen , means something like "in the midst of poplars or aspen trees"
  • biunta , ahd. “what the fence winds around” (ie closed farmland or the garden ):
    leg, baind (t), -point ; Benn, Bende; Beu, Beune, Beunde; Am, Binn, Binder; Stage, Bünt, Pünt; Benge, Binge, Bingen , -binge (s); still Switzerland / south today for allotments
  • boumgart , ahd. " (fruit) tree garden ":
    Bangert, Bongert, Bungert, Banggarten, Bonggarten, Bamgarten, Bomgarten, Bumgarten, Bömgarten, Bemgarten.
  • brant , brende mhd. "Brand"
  • bruoh , pruoh ahd., mhd. bruoch , brôc " marshland ":
    Bruch , Broich, -broich , Broil, Brook, Brauck
  • Latin culmen "high point", " culmination ", " summit " (to cŏlŭmen , "something high") - Kulm , Kolm , overlay with the name of St. Koloman
  • drêsch , mnd. "Uncultivated land", " fallow land ", not regularly used, unploughed arable land , mostly lying on a slope with a thin crumb, was left fallow for several years (10 to 25) and used as sheep pasture, then the lawn was peeled off (chopped off), dried, the earth shaken out and the lawn burned, the land plowed up, sown with rye, oats, millet, then with potatoes and then again used as fallow for years:
    Driesch, Drösch, Drusch, Dreisch, Dreis, Dreusch, Dreus, Dreisk, also with T. written
  • espan , "free, unfenced pasture land belonging to the municipality":
    Espan , Eschpan, Eschbann
  • fenni ahd. " Moorland ", "Moor weide ": Fenn (e) , Venn, Fehn , Veen
  • fluh , fluhe , flüh ( flühli ), flühe ( flüheli ), flue , flueh , flüe ( flüeli ), flüeh ( flüehli ); also flieli
  • gard , gart ahd. "the protected"
  • haga (z) germ. ("fence", "enclosure")
  • hauw mhd. Hauung, "Niederwald"
  • hat " Hutung ": -hut , -hude
  • lanfer , lanter , lantert, often in connection with land forces
  • lug , lugk slaw. "Meadow":
    Luch " swampland "
  • matt , in Swiss general " Magerrasen ", the vegetation form " Matte " or " Alm (mountain pasture) ": -matt , Matte , Matten
  • mossmoor ”:
    maize, corn; Mias, Mies, Mis, Misse; Moss , moss , Mös, Mösl, Möse (n); Gmos ; Must
  • plan slaw. " Anger " (village square, which is jointly used as a meadow)
  • ried , nd. reet " Röhricht ", " Moor ":
    Ried, -rieth (possibly also on clearing , see clearing name )
  • clearing , nd., reuten or " clearing " (removal of the trees together with the roots)
  • senge , mhd. " slash and burn"
  • impact , often turnpike (shock, -slag) in connection with road crossings in militia, also of MHG. "precipitation"
  • loop , loop , often in connection with road passages in land defense services
  • donate , mhd. "donate"
  • stoc (h) ahd. "Stubben"
  • swenden , pret. swante , swande mnd. "Waste"
  • wang , ahd. "fenced meadow ", " Hag " (cf. Folkwang , Swedish -vång ): Wang , -wang , cheeks

Other field names can also be found in the lists in the article Place Name .


For general information on place names, see the references to the article Toponomastik .

Regions, Germany:

Web links

Wiktionary: field name  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. a b Susanne Fuhrmann: Historical namesake . Diploma thesis 4008/2008 Abstract. Ed .: BEV - Federal Office for Metrology and Surveying . September 2008 ( pdf , - no longer available [accessed on May 19, 2010] "Riednames are the" addresses "of the profitable properties", pdf p. 2 - to the Styrian vineyard database ). In a more general sense, “Riednames denote topographically different parts of the landscape. They name mountains and valleys, forests and fields and other uninhabited areas outside of settlements. ”In: Susanne Fuhrmann, Federal Office for Metrology and Surveying: The Franziszeische Cadastre. Digital historical geographic base data in the Federal Office for Metrology and Surveying (BEV). The original folder of the Franziszeischen Kataster , Wien und D., p. 7 ( pdf ( memento of the original dated December 15, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this note. ,, accessed December 9, 2013).
     @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  2. Local names (field names) on national maps : The current spelling should remain unchanged on "The once chosen spelling of field names (local names) on plans and maps should remain unchanged" - about the problem of adapting field names to linguistic usage
  3. Susanne Fuhrmann, Federal Office for Metrology and Surveying: The Franziszeische Cadastre. Digital historical geographic base data in the Federal Office for Metrology and Surveying (BEV). The original folder of the Franziszeischen Kataster , Wien und D., p. 8 ( pdf ( memento of the original from December 15, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link has been inserted automatically and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this note. ,, accessed December 9, 2013). @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  4. Online about VoGIS for Vorarlberg; these specifically give the local, etymologically correct designation, not the form of the regional recordings, which was often ambiguously translated into standard German at the time
  5. Instructions regarding the collection and spelling of the geographical names of the national surveying and official surveying in German-speaking Switzerland (instructions 2011), based on the instructions drawn up by Saladin in 1948 .
  6. ^ Konrad Kunze : dtv-Atlas onenology. First and last names in the German-speaking area. Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, Munich 1998, p. 103