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Ballywatticock, County Down


perhaps Ir. Baile Uaiteacoc ‘Watticock’s townland’


The second element of this place-name is almost certainly an English surname which may well contain the diminutive ending -cock (see note on Ballyalicock in this parish).  However, it is difficult to establish the surname in question, especially as several historical forms contain i rather than in the first syllable of the surname, e.g. Ballewitticock in 1625 (CPR Jas I 585a).  Whittock and Whitewick are possibilities; see Reaney (1958 351, 352).  The former is a diminutive of Old English hwit ‘white’; the latter, which derives from Whitwick in Leicestershire, is pronounced Whittick, and if the suffix -cock were added to this, it would quite likely result in a pronunciation approaching Watticock. Other possibilities are the surnames Watt, from a pet-form of Walter (Reaney 1961, 345) or Walthew (Reaney 1961, 342).  Among the variant forms Reaney lists for Walthew is Waddy 1312 AD.  Again, if the suffix -cock were added to either Watt or Waddy, the resulting form would strongly resemble Watticock.


Hannan R. J. (1992): Place-Names of Northern Ireland vol. 2 p. 225; with additions PT 2012.

Additional Information

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference
Ballewattecock1623Ham. Copy Inq. [1623] xliv
Ballywatticock1623Ham. Copy Inq. [1623] xxxi
Ballewitticock1625CPR Jas I 585a
Ballowatecoke1627CPR Chas I 229
Ballywattecock1650cInq. Ult. (Down) $109 Car. I
Ballywattycock1650cInq. Ult. (Down) $109 Car. I
Ballewitticock1659cCensus 1659 94
Ballewittcock1661BSD 87
Ballywatticock1675Montgomery MSS 268 n.35
Ballywittecock1810Wm. Map (OSNB) E 32
Ballywitticock1830cBnd. Sur. (OSNB) E 32
Watticock''s town1834cJ O'D (OSNB) E 32
Ards Lower
Parish in 1851
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