E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
is the Anglo-Saxon tún, a plot of ground fenced round or enclosed by a hedge; a single dwelling; a number of dwelling-houses enclosed together forming a village or burgh.
Our ancestors in time of war would cast a ditch, or make a strong hedge about their houses, and houses so environed got the name tunes annexed unto them (as Cote-tun, now Cotton, the cote or house fenced in or tuned about; North-tun, now Norton South-tun, now Sutton). In troublous times whole thorpes were fenced in, and took the name of tunes (towns), and then stedes (now cities), and thorpes (villages), and burghs (burrows) . . got the name of townes.Restitution, p. 232.