A dale is an open valley. ''Dale'' is a synonym to the word ''valley''. The name is used when describing the physical geography of an area. It is used most frequently in the Lowlands of Scotland and in the North of England; the term "fell" commonly refers to the mountains or hills that flank the dale. The word ''dale'' comes from the Old English word ''dael'', from which the word "dell" is also derived. It is also related to Old Norse word ''dalr'' (and the modern Icelandic word ''dalur''), which may perhaps have influenced its survival in northern England. The Germanic origin is assumed to be *''dala-''. ''Dal-'' in various combinations is common in placenames in Norway. Modern English valley and French vallée are presumably not related to dale. A distant relative of ''dale'' is currency unit dollar, stemming from German ''thaler'' or ''daler'', short for joachimsthaler coins manufactured in the town of Joachimsthal in Bohemia.Falk, Hjalmar (1991). ''Etymologisk ordbog over det norske og det danske sprog.'' Oslo: Bjørn Ringstrøms antikvariat. . The word is perhaps related to Welsh ''dol'' (meadow, pasture, valley), Russian ''dol'' (valley, reverse side) and Serbian/Croatian/Bulgarian/Russian ''dolina'' (basin, ''doline'' is a geological term for certain surface depressions in karst areas). There is semantic equivalency to many words and phrases, suggesting a common Indo-European affinity. Vale and thalweg are also related.


The following are several examples of major dales that have the name dale. The river name is usually appended with "-dale". There are also many smaller dales; this is not an exhaustive list (see dale (place name element) for more). * Airedale (Yorkshire) * Annandale (Scotland) * Calderdale (Yorkshire) * Clydesdale (Scotland) * Coquetdale (Northumberland) *Eskdale (Yorkshire) * Lonsdale (or Lunesdale, valley of the Lune, Lancashire-Cumbria) * Nithsdale (Scotland) * Rochdale (Greater Manchester) * Teesdale (Durham) * Tweeddale (Scotland) * Tynedale (Northumberland) * Weardale (Durham) * Wensleydale (or Yoredale, valley of the Ure, Durham)


{{DEFAULTSORT:Dale (Origin) Category:Landforms Category:Bodies of water Category:Slope landforms Category:Valleys