gaelic island names
There are three island names in Shetland of unknown and possibly pre-Celtic origin: Fetlar, Unst and Yell. She perished in the soft sands off that coast and was taken to Seonais Hill above Loch Cnoc and buried there. Great Cumbrae and Little Cumbrae are English/Brythonic in derivation and there are other examples of the use of "great" and "little" such as Great Bernera and Rysa Little which are English/Gaelic and Norse/English respectively. Differences in pronunciation can be found even among neighbours, let alone between people living at opposite ends of the island! Bot dates from 1093 and Bote from 1204. As humans have lived on the islands of Scotland since at least Mesolithic times, it is clear that pre-modern languages must have been used, and by extension names for the islands, that have been lost to history. In the following table place names, their meaning and pronunciation and given. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); Some common components of place names. European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, Ecclesiastical History of the English People, Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, "European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages", Indogermanisches etymologisches Wörterbuch, "Group 34: islands in the Irish Sea and the Western Isles 1", "Britannia in the Ravenna Cosmography: a reassessment", Shetland and Orkney Island-Names – A Dynamic Group, "The martyrology of Donegal: a calendar of the saints of Ireland", From Starafjall to Starling Hill: An investigation of the formation and development of Old Norse place-names in Orkney, "Linguistic patterns in the place-names of Norway and the Northern Isles", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Scottish_island_names&oldid=985367491, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Scotland has over 790 offshore islands, most of which are to be found in four main groups: Shetland, Orkney, and the Hebrides, sub-divided into the Inner Hebrides and Outer Hebrides. St Columba visited Islay on his way north, prior to setting up the famous monastery on the island of Iona, off the south-west tip of Mull. Broderick (2013) p. 6 quoting Coates (1988) p.22, Youngson (2001) p. 62 and as otherwise stated, Gammeltoft, Peder "Scandinavian Naming-Systems in the Hebrides—A Way of Understanding how the Scandinavians were in Contact with Gaels and Picts?" For example, Hunter (2000) states that in relation to King Bridei I of the Picts in the sixth century: "As for Shetland, Orkney, Skye and the Western Isles, their inhabitants, most of whom appear to have been Pictish in culture and speech at this time, are likely to have regarded Bridei as a fairly distant presence.”[102][103] However, the place names that existed prior to the 9th century have been all but obliterated by the incoming Norse-speaking Gall-Ghaeils.[104]. Given the paucity of knowledge about the Pictish language it may be assumed that islands names with P-Celtic affiliations in the southern Hebrides, and Firths of Clyde and Forth are Brythonic and those to the north and west are of Pictish origin. References to trees, plants and animals are common - e.g. Orkney is pre-Norse in origin and Pictish, as may be the uninhabited Orkney island name Damsay, meaning "lady's isle". Ile dates from 800 and Ilea from 690. We do not know what languages the people spoke who may have coined some of these names. Baldi & Page (December 2006) Review of "Europa Vasconica - Europa Semitica", Woolf, Alex "The Age of the Sea-Kings: 900-1300" in Omand (2006) p. 95. In the 14th century John of Fordun also records the name of Inchcolm as "Eumonia" (referring to the monasterium Sancti Columbe in insula Euomonia) a name of likely Brythonic origin. According to Ó Corráin (1998) "when and how the Vikings conquered and occupied the Isles is unknown, perhaps unknowable"[109] although from 793 onwards repeated raids by Vikings on the British Isles are recorded. Breeze, David J. Work with sheep is alluded to in Fang Ruadh, the red fank, or with bringing the crops: Cnoc an t-Sabhail: the hill of the barn. There are many names that derive from the Scottish Gaelic language in the Hebrides and Firth of Clyde.In the Northern Isles most place names have a Norse origin.

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