Dictionary.com Word FAQs
What do the endings -burg, -burgh, -borough, -boro, -brough, and -bury mean?
Burg was the original Germanic form (derived from Latin burgus), applied to a fortress or walled town in medieval times. This evolved into a burg being a city or town. A borough is a political division originally used in England. The equivalent, burgh, was used in Scotland. In England, borough is pronounced 'burruh' or 'bruh', and burgh is pronounced 'bruh'; in Scotland borough and burgh are both pronounced 'burra'; in the U.S., borough is pronounced 'burrow' or 'borrow'. The ending -bury often ends towns' names in the south of England, but -borough is used more often in the Midlands. The ending -bury is more common in New England, but -burg is more common in the American South and West.