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Tamese was referred to as a place, not a river in the Ravenna Cosmography (c. The river's name has always been pronounced with a simple t /t/; the Middle English spelling was typically Temese and the Brittonic form Tamesis.

A similar spelling from 1210, "Tamisiam", is found in the Magna Carta.

The same origin is shared by countless other river names, spread across Britain, such as the River Tamar at the border of Devon and Cornwall, several rivers named Tame in the Midlands and North Yorkshire, the Tavy on Dartmoor, the Team of the North East, the Teifi and Teme of Wales, the Teviot in the Scottish Borders, as well as one of the Thames' tributaries called the Thame. Jackson has proposed that the name of the Thames is not Indo-European (and of unknown meaning), Indirect evidence for the antiquity of the name 'Thames' is provided by a Roman potsherd found at Oxford, bearing the inscription Tamesubugus fecit (Tamesubugus made [this]).

In non-administrative use, stemming directly from the river and its name are Thames Valley University, Thames Water, Thames Television productions, Thames & Hudson publishing, Thameslink (north-south railways passing through central London) and South Thames College.The Thames through Oxford is sometimes called the Isis.Historically, and especially in Victorian times, gazetteers and cartographers insisted that the entire river was correctly named the Isis from its source down to Dorchester on Thames and that only from this point, where the river meets the Thame and becomes the "Thame-isis" (supposedly subsequently abbreviated to Thames) should it be so called.It boasts great views of the SS Great Britain, the floating harbour and passing boats from the top deck. Food nights include Wednesday pie and a pint, Thursday steak club and Sunday roasts.Other activities include a Monday night quiz, a Tuesday Open Mic night and live music on Thursdays in the downstairs Hold Bar.

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