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Why is the English town of Middlesbrough so spelled, and why is the first 'o' of borough missing, as it is not with such as Scarborough, Peterborough, Knaresborough, etc.

I note that there are towns called Middlesborough in the United States which retain a first 'o'. But my spell checker does not like them!

  • Probably reflects a syncopated pronunciation or metathesis of burh. – TRomano Mar 22 '15 at 13:28
  • Because . . . chaos. – Robusto Mar 22 '15 at 13:43
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    They ran out of space on the sign. – Hot Licks Mar 22 '15 at 13:51
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    @HotLicks Shouldn’t that have made it Middlesboroug? – Janus Bahs Jacquet Mar 22 '15 at 13:57
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    I don't think you will find a definite answer, anyway (according to an anecdote) it may just be that Middlesbrough was misspelled when it was given its charter in 1853 and that this version stuck. My previous post shows that the name had many different spellings in past centuries and a spelling error might just be the case. – user66974 Mar 22 '15 at 20:40
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Apparently until the start of the 19th century, it was merely an estate in an area which may have been named after a church in Middleburg.

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