The author

Elizabeth Steynor (formerly Toppin)

I am a transplanted ex-American who has been a  writer and editor, both freelance and a in a ‘proper job’  for many years. I have written about a number of different topics from real estate to fashion and finance to Blu-ray manufacturing and online technology.

Along the way I have also written about local history, when I developed a fascination and passion for weird and wonderful London street names and the even weirder and more wonderful stories and people behind them. What started as a hobby took on a life of its own and after time I had compiled enough information to fill a whole book on the subject.

Traditional publishers at the time (nearly two decades ago) did not believe that it was a topic that would interest readers and so I shelved the whole project for a while until the rise of the internet, the blog and the ebook provided what shows every sign of being perfect medium for this book.

I hope that this book will see the light of day some time.

20 thoughts on “The author

  1. Peter Briggs February 24, 2017 / 1:07 pm

    Hi, Elizabeth.

    I love the etymology of street names, and was interested in your blog.

    I was rather struck by the “renaming” of Tooley Street, particularly its timing. I’ve always found it very interesting, the close proximity of Tooley Street to the Globe Theatre. The original Globe was built on Maiden Lane (now Park Street) a few hundred yards Westwards…towards Tooley Street.

    Nicholas Tooley was an actor, and executor of Richard Burbage’s will at just about the time of the renaming of the street. Burbage rebuilt and had half-shares in the Globe.

    Tooley was his stage name…his birth name was Wilkinson. I find the synchronicity of his name, given the theatre was yards away from the road, striking. Was Tooley street renamed for the actor…or did the actor take his stage name from the street? Interesting coincidence, either way.

    • thestreetnames February 24, 2017 / 3:45 pm

      Dear Peter, I’m glad you like my blog and that you share my fascination with the etymology of street names. Thank you also for the interesting information about Nicholas Tooley – I must learn more and add that to the text. All the best.

  2. Al Cunniff September 24, 2018 / 4:36 pm

    Hello Elizabeth,

    I just discovered your great streetnames blog and have enjoyed exploring it today.

    I am researching street names of Westminster in the 1600s-1800s, and I wonder if you can suggest a current-day historian who might help me with a few questions I have.

    Thanks in advance.

    • thestreetnames September 28, 2018 / 10:31 am

      Thank you for your kind comments. I’m afraid the historians of my research are more historical themselves, so I am not au fait with current historians. Sorry I couldn’t be of more help.

    • thestreetnames October 2, 2018 / 4:11 pm

      Hi, again, Al, apologies for the brevity of my last reply. What are you working on? Perhaps we can help each other. If there are any particular street names I can help with, please let me know.

  3. Al Cunniff April 2, 2019 / 9:13 pm

    Elizabeth, are you familiar with the book “A Wanderer in London,” by E.V. Lucas (1913)? Starting on page 247 he devotes a few pages to explaining the origin of the names of numerous London streets and neighborhoods. You’d like it.

    • thestreetnames April 3, 2019 / 6:50 am

      Thanks for the tip, Al. That’s one I’ve not come across – I’ll see if i can lay my hands on a copy. All the best, Elizabeth

  4. scotthatton September 18, 2019 / 4:49 pm

    Hi Elizabeth. Fascinating to find that we are working on a very similar project (street name histories of London). I have been going down the Amazon self publish route which makes things a lot easier! Not saying I’ve sold any yet though!

    • thestreetnames September 20, 2019 / 10:06 am

      It is certainly a fascinating subject – worthy of many books. Good luck with yours!

  5. pubastrology September 27, 2019 / 10:45 am

    Hi Elizabeth,

    Further to your ‘Horse and Dolphin’ blog – here is an explanation for the derivation of the tavern name.…

    Connections between OLD PUB SIGNS, the STARS and the SIGNS OF THE ZODIAC.

    Red Lion – Leo
    Bull’s Head – Taurus
    Golden Fleece – Aries
    The Goat Inn – Capricorn
    The Bear, The Plough – Ursa Major
    The Golden Swan – Cygnus
    The Green Dragon – Draco
    The Greyhound – Canis Major
    Fox and Goose – Vulpecula and Anser
    The Punchbowl – Crater
    The Angel – Virgo
    The Ship – Argo Navis
    Robin Hood – Sagittarius (the Archer)
    Eagle and Child – Aquila and Antinous

    The Horse and Dolphin constellations fit into this category and are located next to each other in the star charts.

    See the Equleus and Delphinus star chart (Horse and Dolphin) as depicted by Johannes Hevelius (published 1690)

    I’ve found three historical pubs in London with this name:

    The first is most likely the one in your blog.

    Horse and Dolphin, Maxfield Street, near St. Ann’s, London 1737
    Black Horse and Dolphin, Mansfield Street, Soho, London 1765
    Dolphin and Horseshoe, Lamb’s Conduit Passage, Red Lion Street, Holborn, London,
    England 1765

    Looking forward to reading your blog in more detail now that I’ve found it!




  6. Vicki Pinchin July 14, 2020 / 6:55 pm

    Hi Elizabeth;

    Regarding Pinchin Street – It is my name and I was told by family members that Pinchin Street in Whitechapel was named after a great great grandfather who was a doctor who invented a type of penicillin so they named the street after him.
    I was also told that we emigrated from France to England at some point so your comment about the name origin is correct.
    My grandfather then immigrated to Manitoba Canada in the early 1930s or 1940s.

    • thestreetnames July 15, 2020 / 3:24 pm

      Hi, Vicki, that’s fascinating. I haven’t ‘met’ anyone else whose family has had a street that I’ve mentioned named after them! Thanks for that piece of information. All the best, Elizabeth

  7. alkozma January 6, 2021 / 3:05 pm

    Dear Elizabeth, I’m fascinated by your blog and grateful for your research.

  8. Gibson Square August 19, 2021 / 10:45 pm

    Hi Elizabeth

    Every month on CabbieBlog I featured a piece entitled the ‘London Grill’ which gives the same 10 questions appertaining to London to our guest contributor:

    After finding your street names blog I thought that writing for CabbieBlog might interest you.

    If you should so choose to participate, contact me, I will, of course, give full attribution, background information and links with the post.

    • thestreetnames August 20, 2021 / 9:41 am

      Hi, Gibson Square. I’m so glad to ‘meet’ a reader of my blog. Now that I have discovered yours I shall follow it with interest. Yes, that sounds fun. I’d be delighted to take part. All the best, Elizabeth

  9. jan September 14, 2021 / 2:26 pm

    Dear Elitabeth,
    I stumbled over Your very interesting blog while searching about any connections between mermaids and prostitutes. You write that in the 16th century this had been a common naming. Not being a native speaker, could You tell me where to look for some more ethymological evidence? That would be very kind. Thanx,

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