1) In place-names, for dense tree growth.

The many meanings of ‘thick’ which are on record from the Old English period include ‘dense’, used of trees or woods. The word could be a noun in its own right, and in 1579 a Craven document listed a certain Thycke or Ryse of Thornes and Underwood in Littondale. As an adjective it is commonly found in minor place-names, linked with different types of trees: 1277 Thyckeholyns

that is hollies

1300 Thykthorndale

that is thorns

1421 Thykwethyns

that is willows and 1472 Thekehesils

that is hazels. It was rarely used of the ash or oak but one example has been recorded: 1681 a close or parcel of ground called Thickoakes, Selby. Examples of the word occur in letter books for the Dartmouth estate, kept now in the estate office in Slaithwaite, and they include its use as a verb: 1806 Thicken Campinot Plantation and Meal Hill Wood

1807 found Owlers Wood growing quite thick from the Larch which I had planted three years since. It can be contrasted with ‘light’ above.

places Selby Littondale
dates 1277 1300 1421 1472 1579 1681

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