Bydgoszcz, originally Bydgoszcza (feminine), is a pronoun name the second part of which – 'goszcz' comes from 'gost-jь' possibly or 'gost-ja' an old Slavic root which refers to an urban or suburban trading settlement. There are also a number of other Polish place-names which make use of the 'goszcz' suffix: i.e. Małogoszcz and Skorogoszcz. Bydgoszcz, however, has a long, rich history of etymological change: in 1239 known as Bidgosciam, in 1242 as castrum quod Budegosta vulgariter nuncupatur (castle, which is colloquially called Bydgoszcza), in 1279 as Bidgoscha, since 1558 as Bydgoszcz, that is, until the 16th century, and as Bydgoszcza "fishing village or campsite belonging to Bydgosta".
The name 'Byd-gost' contains archaic elements of the Proto-Slavonic root 'byd' which existed as a variant of the verb 'to raise' (Ancient Russian 'vъzbydati' = stimulating, Proto-Slavonic 'bъděti' / 'bъd 'ǫ' = no sleep, to watch), and the common Slavic root 'Goszcz' (fireplace). Some people identify the name of the town as 'Budorgis', a name from the 2nd century which is listed as being next to the village Calisia on the amber route.