THE name HEDON is thought to derive from the old Germanic English words ‘Heath’ and ‘dun’ Heathdun with Heath meaning an uncultivated piece of heather and grass-covered land, and Dun describing the colours in the range grey to brown or – and this is much more romantic – that same range of colours at dusk (sunset).
Someone who came from Heathdun would possibly be known outside of that settlement just by the name of the place. And indeed Heathdun is an old-English first name – and later a surname – meaning ‘somebody from the heath’.
The variations of the boys and girls name Heathdun prove interesting; Heathdan, Heathdon, Hadan, Haddan, Haddon, Haden, Haedan, Haeden, Haedon, Haedun, Haydan and Hayden (although by the time we get to this derivative it can also mean ‘Heathen’). Heath, of course, remains a popular name today.
As we know from the history of our town, Hedon has consistently been spelt differently through the ages depending upon which scholars wrote about the place e.g. Heddon, Hedun, Headon and Heydon.
Dropping the H, apparently, does make a difference, so the pronunciation EY-DahN or Aidan has its origins in Celtic meaning ‘little fire’.
So, if any parents or potential parents in Hedon are currently deciding the name of an unborn child, and want one with a historical link to the town then they might want to consider the above! We’ll be watching over the next months and years for all those Haddon Jones’ and Haydon Smiths!