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SunnysideA Sociolinguistic History of British House Names$
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Laura Wright

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266557

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266557.001.0001

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Sunnyside Timeline

Sunnyside Timeline

(p.146) 6 Sunnyside Timeline

Laura Wright

British Academy

The timeline summarises the findings presented in the book and re-orders them in chronological order. Dividing land into sunny and shady parts was originally a technical North British legal concept to do with land tenure, evidenced in manuscripts from the twelfth century and with counterparts in Scandinavia known as solskifte. When the open-field system was abandoned, houses built on former sunny divisions retained the name Sunnyside. Greens was the Scottish Gaelic expression of the same concept. The name largely stayed within North Britain until the Nonconformist movements of the 1600s spread it southwards via networks of travelling Quakers, who took it to North America. In 1816 Washington Irving saw Sunnyside, Melrose when visiting Sir Walter Scott, and renamed his house Sunnyside accordingly. Wealthy London nonconformists named their grand suburban villas Sunnyside, consolidating the trend. Twentieth-century plotlands house-naming is also considered, and the prevalence of historic sol- farm names in Scandinavia.

Keywords:   solskifte, Scottish Gaelic, nonconformism, Quakers, Washington Irving, Sir Walter Scott, plotlands, Scandinavia

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