River Thames London 2024
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The Celtic derivation of the Roman appellation Tamēsis forms the basis of the name we use to refer to our wonderful river today. The etymology stems from the Celtic population inhabiting the area along the banks of the River Thames prior to the Roman arrival.

They are thought to have named the river ‘dark’ which would translate to ‘Tamas’ in Sanskrit, which heavily influenced the Celtic word, thought to have been ‘Tamessa’. Today, a glance at the waters will make it very apparent where the inspiration came from for that name. The joining of the ‘Thame’ or ‘Thyme’ and the Isis in Dorchester, Oxfordshire, is thought to be why the ending ‘sis’ was eventually added to the name. The name “Isis” is often still utilised when referring to rowing at the University of Oxford. With much speculation on these theories, why not come onboard and decide for yourself after hearing more on the matter from our educational guides. Make sure to look our for depictions of the Thames and Isis found along the river, as one famous example at Henley Bridge demonstrates:

But how do other people today refer to the Thames?

Tamesis: Támesis (Spanish)

Themse: tɛmzə (German)

Tamiza: Tâmisa (Portuguese)

Tamis: Tamise (French)

Temza: Темза (Bulgarian)

Teems : تيمز / تايمز (Arabic)

Tames: Темс (Russian)

Tamis: தேம்ஸ் (Tamil)

Tames: टेम्स (Hindi)


09 October 2023 /
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