Rum, Eigg, Muck and Canna
Posted: 17 February 2007 04:33 PM   [ Ignore ]
Total Posts:  63
Joined  2007-02-14

I am doing a little research on the Small Isles of the inner Hebrides (off the westcoast of Scotland)-- Rum, Eigg, Muck and Canna.  Gaelic (or maybe Norse) mavens:  what do the names of these islands means, and where does “Hebrides” come from.  Son of Hebrews seems to be out.


Posted: 18 February 2007 06:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Total Posts:  500
Joined  2007-02-17

If I said that ‘Hebrides’ were men taking advantage of the new civil partnership laws, you’d think I was being frivolous, wouldn’t you?

Posted: 18 February 2007 07:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Total Posts:  6465
Joined  2007-01-03

Ooh! My Oxford Dictionary of British Place Names arrived in the mail yesterday. What serendipity!

Hebrides is from the Roman name for the islands, Ebudae or Ebudes. The meaning of the Latin name is unknown. The Old Scandinavian name is Suthreyar or southern islands, a relative designation being south Orkney and Shetland. The Gaelic is Innse Gail.

Rum is of unknown origin, probably pre-Celtic. The form Ruim dates to 677.

Eigg is Gaelic for indentation. The Gaelic name is Eilean Eigg, or island with an indentation. So it’s a reference to the island’s shape. The name appears in 1654.

Muc means pig in Gaelic and the name Helantmok, or island of pigs, dates to 1370.

The first element in Canna is of unknown origin. The second is from the Old Scandinavian ey, meaning island. The name Kannay appears in 1549.

[ Edited: 18 February 2007 08:17 AM by Dave Wilton ]
Posted: 18 February 2007 08:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
Total Posts:  1623
Joined  2007-01-29

The Hebrides are named for the Norse word Harbredey which roughly means the “isles at the edge of the sea”. This aptly describes the Outer Herbrides which are perched on the furthest point West from the Scottish mainland. The Outer Herbrides is actually made up of many smaller islands which are situated in relatively close proximity to each other.

The Scandinavians called the Hebrides the Sudereyjar or Southern Islands, in contradistinction to the Shetlands which were the Northern Islands. Hence the term Sodor still attached to the Bishopric of Mann, a relic of the time when the Manx bishops held ecclesiastical sway, not only over Mann, but also over the Hebrides. This mixed population of Mann were bilingual, speaking Gaelic and Scandinavian in a more or less corrupt form.


Edit:  Just seen Dave’s post. I think I’ll slink away into my little corner for a while, till everyone’s forgotten I ever spoke.

Posted: 02 July 2010 08:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
Total Posts:  1627
Joined  2007-03-21

I was so hoping that my friend the good Rebbe was contributing again.  But alas, it is a spammer.  Sad.

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