I live in a road called 'Kells Meend' and for years I've been trying to find out what the word 'Meend' means.

Here's the road name on Google maps.

And, on Streetmap (if you scroll around)you can see other examples:

  • Coleford Meend
  • Bream's Meend

The area (The Forest of Dean) used to be known for coal mining and timber production so it might have something to do with that.

The only reference I can find is wikipedia but that refers to - 'In Hindustani music, meend refers to a glide from one note to another' - which, I suspect is not the meaning of the word in this context.

Anyone got any ideas ?

  • 1
    Seems as if @mplungjan has hit the nail on the head. I was about to ask if you were in Gloucestershire or Monmouth. But it would appear from the map that you are east of Offa's Dyke. If you go into the county record office in Gloucester there should be someone there who can point you to the history of this. They may well be able to provide books/links etc where you can find out more of the history. If they can't help try Monmouth. How romantic. I wish I lived in a Meend rather than a plain simple Avenue.
    – WS2
    Commented Jun 16, 2015 at 14:48

1 Answer 1


Looking for Meend etymology I found

The distribution and origin of meends in the Forest of Dean

There have been several interpretations of the origin of meend. The most current and now widely accepted is that to be found in Smith’s “Place-Names of Gloucestershire” (1964).
[...] He considered that meend is derived from Old Welsh ‘minid’, meaning mountain’, and was rendered as munede during the medieval period, eventually occurring as meend through a variety of post-medieval forms such as myne and meene.
It has cognate forms along the Welsh Marches and in Wales as Mynydd.

It came to be used to define an area of open space, often associated with the royal forest.

...I venture to think that this view rests upon insufficient basis. First of all, such ridges as are in the Forest have always been called so: i.e. Serridge. (13th c. Seyrrudge); and, when the 13th c. Forest-Scribe referred to an exceptional hill, he frankly terms it "Mons." Not a Single instance of Mynydd has survived in that peculiarly conservative region; whereas there are over twenty Meands. Secondly, wherever this term occurs it carries the sense of open unfilled, or common, land, throughout the Bailiwicks; in fact, it is identical with the Meanelands of Co. Kent: lands held in common (A.S. gemǽne).

As mentioned in comments, we have gemeente and Mient's in Dutch - stemming from uncultivated land for common use - viz. Commons...

  • 1
    What a great answer. I like the definition "The word is often used in association with “forest waste”. These areas lay outside the forest plantation inclosures and were historically exploited by local communities for grazing and as a source of bracken, gorse and brushwood." On the 1780 map with our house on it (and little else !), we're in between two 'arms' of forest much like we are today (as can be seen on the maps linked above).
    – Pat Dobson
    Commented Jun 16, 2015 at 16:16
  • 1
    Third link now - this page has gone to the top.
    – Chris H
    Commented Jun 16, 2015 at 18:22
  • 2
    Very interesting; I see some similarity with the Dutch the word 'meent'. It is used as a street name across the Netherlands and dates back to the medieval period (also as mient, gemeynt) where is was used to define an area of uncultivated land for common use. It later became used to define pasture commons.
    – DeltaLima
    Commented Jun 16, 2015 at 21:02
  • 2
    Oh! Reading on a bit further in the article linked to in this answer (p. 41ff.), it becomes clear that Ben Lennon (its author) agrees that meend is not from Brythonic /ˈmɨnəð/ at all. In fact, he suggests that it is cognate with the Dutch word gemeente (and presumably also meent/mient), deriving from OE ġemǣne ‘common’ with a d-extension identical to the one seen in Dutch and German. It is thus basically mean + d. Commented Jun 17, 2015 at 10:39
  • 1
    I updated the answer. I hope it still falls under fair use. In any case the paper itself is a good resource for this question
    – mplungjan
    Commented Jun 17, 2015 at 12:23

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.