When (if ever) is it acceptable to drop “shire” from a UK county name?

Generally speaking, if there is a town/city with the name of the county, the ‘shire’ is kept. Like in Yorkshire you have York. But there no town or city called Devon, so no one calls the country Devonshire.

Do all English counties end in shire?

Shire names in England

The counties that do not use “-shire” are mainly in three areas, in the south-east, south-west and far north of England. Several of these counties no longer exist as administrative units, or have had their administrative boundaries reduced by local government reforms.

Why do some English counties end in shire?

“Shire” is just the Anglo-Saxon equivalent of the old French word “county”, so Yorkshire, for example, means “County of York”. A couple of them you have to manipulate a bit, presumably because Lancastershire and Chestershire were a bit of a mouthful; but it’s still fairly obvious where the name came from.

Is a shire the same as a county?

is that county is (historical) the land ruled by a count or a countess while shire is former administrative area of britain; a county.

What does shire mean in UK?


Definition of shire

1 : an administrative subdivision especially : a county in England. 2 : any of an old breed of large heavy draft horses of British origin having heavily feathered legs.

What is the oldest county in England?

List of ancient counties of England by area in 1891

Rank County Area (square miles)
1 Yorkshire 6,067
2 Lincolnshire 2,646
3 Devon 2,605
4 Norfolk 2,044

Is Wessex still a county?

Wessex, one of the kingdoms of Anglo-Saxon England, whose ruling dynasty eventually became kings of the whole country. In its permanent nucleus, its land approximated that of the modern counties of Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire, and Somerset.

How many shire counties are there in the UK?

28 Shire County

With a non-official definition of the Shire, there are a total of 28 Shire County in the UK. Moreover, the Shire means a management unit with more than one territory.

Why is it called the shire?

Many readers have suggested that J.R.R. Tolkien was using “Shire” to denote some sort of special relationship to England — i.e., they believe that Tolkien was hinting that the Shire was supposed to be identified with modern England.

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