[From A Manx Scrapbook]

CHAPTER II

COAST-NAMES OF RUSHEN

" Every square foot of rock round the coast [of Lewis] on which a man can stand and hold a fishing-rod, has had bestowed upon it the dignity of a name."

(Trans. of Gaelic Soc. of Inverness, xxvi., 450.)

THOSE who were acquainted with the late Charles Roeder of Manchester will not need reminding of his zeal as a collector of folk-lore, place-names and dialect during his brief insular holidays, or of his happy knack of eliciting information. His gatherings have the twofold merit of being taken directly from the lips of fishermen and peasants-many of whom were also his friends — and of being transmitted to his readers exactly as received. What his tact and pertinacity drew forth was promptly committed to his note-book in the words in which it was given to him, however bald sometimes, and occasionally ridiculous, it may have sounded. During two or three walks in his company about the year 1900, in the district to which he returned summer after summer with undiminished affection, I had an opportunity to learn the rudiments of this kind of fishing, and have often regretted letting a score of years elapse before trying seriously to put the lesson into practice.

Besides the considerable body of folk-lore contained in his book, Manx Notes and Queries, and in the papers he contributed to Yn Lioar Manninagh, his account of the Manx herring-fishery, in the course of which he pursues his herrings relentlessly from the pre-natal roe to the post-mortem platter, deserves note as a model of thorough investigation. Though he seldom theorized, his critical comments were usually shrewd and to the point. For example, in his sketch of " The Manxman " as history has moulded him, he emphasizes, on page 26 of his Notes and Queries, a truth which is apt to be overlooked or minified. "With the influx of the Lancashire race, largely recruited from the Fylde, which began with the incoming of the Stanleys in 1407, Douglas, Castletown and Peel became the great centres which transfused the Island with Lancashire blood, manners, customs, habits and ways . . . it may be truly said, what Lancashire has lost in folk-lore can be restituted from the Manx peasantry, whose folk-lore, as it exists now, is largely of Lancashire origin ; their songs, children's games, and music even have been absorbed by the Manx country people, and are found to have penetrated into the most secluded hill and upland villages. The Lancashire rule came as a blessing, and softened the hatred of the foreign yoke which had sunk deep into the heart of the Manx ; their aversion and [antipathy] for anything Irish, Low or Highland Scotch, became proverbial and simmered on for centuries." As regards the " blessing of Lancashire rule," it is true that later he wrote : " The people did not progress or prosper under the Stanleys." But Progress has been found out at last, and the consequences of Prosperity are not always admirable ; it may even be argued that a people is more blest without either of them. He cannot therefore be justly convicted of contradicting himself in these two passages.

Roeder also wrote for the Manx newspapers, in one of which the Notes and Queries were first seriated without attracting the co-operation he would have welcomed. His presentations to the local Society's library, which not many members have seen, included some interesting and probably valuable items. His enthusiasm — the enthusiasm of a stranger, not even English — for old Manx lore, inspired the late Miss Sophia Morrison to devote herself to the subject which became so dear to her, wherein he has an indirect claim also upon our gratitude. He saved much material of various kinds from oblivion ; had he been able to dwell permanently in the Island, as he would fain have done, what a bulky treasure he would have left us ! It is in the belief that Charles Roeder has not received all the credit which is due to him that these memoranda are offered.

All Roeder's Manx folk-lore, or nearly all, was, I believe, published during his lifetime. The unpublished lists of place-names and additions to the Ordnance map, collected up to 1898, which he bequeathed to the Reference Library, Manchester, would form a useful contribution to a Manx " Hogan," or to a complete insular Gazetteer, either of which is likely to remain a long-felt want. From these names I have omitted the few which are recorded by the Ordnance Survey, except when scraps of lore or description were added, or when there seemed to be something fresh to say about them. Some of the number which he communicated to A. W. Moore for the revised edition of his work on the subject are included here, as are a few others common to that work and to Roeder's MSS. ; in both cases because they are not located by Moore. My own comments are kept separate by brackets.

I should add that I am indebted to Roeder for many names of wells in the parish of Rushen which are included in the first chapter of this miscellany ; particulars concerning them taken from him, and from other printed and manuscript sources concerning other wells, are, unless of a very trivial nature, acknowledged in, loco. This applies equally to material contained in succeeding chapters. The complaint may be made that all these matters, these almost effaced traditions, disintegrated legends, and seemingly perishing beliefs, are trivial. And so, for the most part, they are, in what appears of them above the surface ; but try to dig down to their roots, and often enough they are found to be tapping unexpected depths, and sharing origins with growths of a very different description.

THE SHORE-LINE FROM THE LITTLE SOUND NORTHWARDS.

[References to " Ordnance Map " are to the sheets of the 6-in. scale.]

Towl Kirree. [" Sheep's Hole," at Ghaw ny Kirree.] Bow Beg Chitterland, a place for white pollocks. [" Little Kitterland-rock."]

Gob y Obbyr, a place for bollans. [" Headland of the Working," i.e., mine.]

Lagman, a hollow.

Awin Obbyr Noa. ["Stream of the New Working " ; mine or slate-quarry.]

Gob y Dullish. [" Point of the Dullish "-seaweed.] [Im Leod, Ordnance map, comes in here.]

Gob Point."]

Clett Aldriek. [" Aldrick I Offshore Rock."]

Purt Harbour."]

Ghaw Cove."]

Cabbyl Aldriek. [" Aldrick Horse "-i.e., a rock fancied to resemble a horse ; though the word cabbyl is applied to coast-rocks which the liveliest imagination could not liken to horses. It appears to have become a generic term, without reference to contour, and to be peculiar, not only to the Isle of Man, but to the Southern part of its coast.]

Traie (Aldriek) ny Craggyn. [" (Aldrick) Strand of the Rocks."]

Creggyn Myney Aldriek. ["Small Rocks of Aldrick."]

Boalley, " a wall." A great precipice.

Slieu Ynnyd ny Cassan, quite near to Lheim y Shynnee, a hundred yards inland, where the Irish giant left his footmarks in the rock when he jumped across. His club-foot sank into the rock. [" Moorland of the Mark of the Feet." This place is now usually called " St. Patrick's Footprints."]

Carrick Mooiney. [" Urine Rock."]

Dullish Bully. Bully was a nickname of the Ballahowe people. [Literally, " Bully's Seaweed," but probably for doarlish, meaning a break in the cliff.]

Pytt Bully. [" Bully's Pit," a word for a deep place borrowed from the English, as in Pytt Harry Cabbagh near the Thousla Rock, and " Dauby Pitt " in Durham's map, 1595.]

Slieu Bully. [" Bully's Moor or Hillside."]

Towl ny Muck. [" Hole of the Pig," who, in this uninhabited region, was evidently no ordinary pig. See Mucklagh Muck, page 106.]

Ghaw Wither, at Glion Wither. [The place is much more of a " --haw " than a glen, and glion here may apply rather to the small stream which falls through the rift-valley. Wither is not explicable by what survives of Manx, for medher, a small wooden tub, is inadequate. Power, Place-Names of Decies, has a coastal-cliff feature, Gualainn a Weatherach, on which he remarks " meaning unknown," but which suggests the Gaelic miodreach, " disfigurement," as the explanation of both itself and Wither. If so, the name may be due in the present case to the disintegrating tendency of the ground hereabouts. In one spot it is in an early stage of the perpendicular cleavage which is more strikingly exemplified at The Chasms. Near the latter place occurs a name Illmither which seems to contain the same term.]

Lhiondaig Pohllinagh, a green where mermaids sun themselves ; a smooth spot in the East corner of Glen Wither. [" Sward of the Merman."]

Ghaw yn Dullish. Dullish, seaweed which grows in caves where fresh water drops on it they call dullish fer ushtey, fresh water dullish ; good to eat and a remedy for worms.

Gob Jeeragh, not Ghazø Jeeragh, as on map. [" Straight Headland," i.e., upright, perpendicular.] Ennyn Lheean, " Broad precipice."

Ghaw ny Moayrd, not Mooarid, as on Ordnance map. (" Cove of the Tables "-flat rocks.]

Creg y Taggart, " Priest's Rock." [Or " Taggart's Rock " ; but it may refer to the tithe of fish formerly due to the clergy.]

Gob Traie ny Minnies or Minnag. [This and the previous name are inserted from Roeder's additions to the 6-in. Ordnance map. " Point of the Shore of the Fragments."]

The Grooar, behind Port Erin Breakwater, in which are dark caves. " A rough beach." [" The Grains " ; i.e., stones.]

Magher Ghrooar. [" Grooar Field."]

Ghaw Ghorraghey, beneath Ny Chastalyn. [Adjacent

to the foregoing. " Dark Cave." Moore, Manx Names, has a Ghaw Dorraghey, which may be the same place. Ny Chastalyn is " The Castles " on the Ordnance mapa translation.]

[Creg ny Tnneen comes in here on the Ordnance map ; then]

Creg ny Mollan. [" Rock of the Bollans."] Droghad Tim, Port Erin. " Timothy's [Bridge."] Braggan Hill, where the Falcon's Nest Hotel now stands. [Or " The Braggan."]

Kione Hoal Traie, where the Fish-hatchery is. " Over

against the strand." [" Point beyond the Strand."]

Renniaght y Cottier, where Laughton's house is. Fern

grew here. [" Ferny-place of Cottier." The land called

The Rowaney, now largely built upon, was divided into the quarterlands of Rowaney Gawne and Rowaney Collier, of which latter this name is a reminder.]

Ny Pooyl Faarkee, bathing place. [" The Sea-pools."] Folta or Volta, Port Erin. The name of the place from Maddrell's house to the Eagle Hotel was Magher Folta. The well in it is Chibbyr Folla, and the Lower Folta is towards the station. At Creg Folta is the Gutter Folta. [This name belongs to the land bordering

the Spaldrick road as far as the first hill. Creg y Folla is where the lighthouse stands, and was the only place North of the harbour where the fishermen could tie up their boats. Here stood Chibbyr Folta above the lighthouse, and from it ran the Gutter Folla. Gaelic falltach, a cliffy place. The name is almost forgotten now, some thirty years after Roeder wrote.]

Glion y Cain, and Droghad Glion y Cain, on the highroad [at Spaldrick, which crosses the first, " Cain's Glen," by means of the second, " Cain's Glen Bridge." It is possible, however, that " Cain " is a perversion of cheayn, sea.]

Ghaw Harry Perriek. [Ghaw ny Pharick on the Ordnance map. This and Spaldrick represent the Portwick of Durham's map, 1595.]

Goayr Vane, quartz rocks on the land [West of Spaldrick. " White Goat."]

Creg y Bollan Braddaeh. [" Rock of the Thievish Bollan or carp "-ix., stealing the bait.]

Ghaw Roole Moole, Vean, and Sthie. [" Inner, Middle, and Outer Reddish Creek."]

Bay yn Sker. [" Bay of the Sea-rock."]

Claragh yn Sker, " passage between the skers," Claraidh, Irish, a partition, division ; or

Claddagh yn Sker, " stony shore," no doubt the correct form. [Roeder also places a Bay yn Sker here, which Moore has; Ordnance map has y'n Sker only. A sker is a rock near to, but detached from, the land.]

Gob Carn, or Carran, Vradda. [" Bradda-cairn Head." Bradda Hill is known to the fishermen as Cronk Carran, a " haaf " or sea name for a landmark, as is usual.]

Yesberry Clets. [ A clet is an offshore rock.] Carran, or Carn, Vriew. [" Brew's Cairn," if correctly spelt ; otherwise, and more plausibly, " Cliff Cairn "broogh. I have never heard it pronounced.]

Bay Follashen [accent on ultimate]. Now " Johnson's Rock." [Named after Johnson, captain of a ship wrecked near here. Falla, a cliff, shen doubtful ; perhaps " old," with its following noun omitted.]

Bow Champ, a fishing rock. [North of Creg Harlot, and probably named from " The Camp," a conspicuous streak of quartz in the cliff-face above.]

Creg Harlot. [Ordnance map and Moore. Moore queries " Corlett's Rock," but Corlett is not a local name, for what that is worth. Perhaps hurlit, aspirated form of surlit, " tossed," " tumbled " ; i.e., from the cliff, below which it lies in the water.]

Obbyr ny Meainey, the North Bradda lead-mines. [" Work of the Mine."]

Purt Inny Ding, or Port Harry Ding. [The Ordnance map's Purt ny Ding is probably the correct form ;

" Port of the Fort."] Here Capt. Sam Johnson's body was found when his ship was wrecked at Fleshwick. It is a creek ; on the East side of it is

Phott Dhoo, " black pot," or The Stack. Carrick Volta, at the South end of

Volta Bay, or Vulthur Bay ; [for Volta see back] ; and

Volta Carrach [at its North end in Roeder's additions to the Ordnance map].

Ghaw Jiarg, a large cave. [" Red Cave." Ghaw, meaning in its original Norse form gjd a small opening in a lofty coast-line, is used for both coves and seacaves.]

Carran or Yarran ; " The Carn," O.S. map; the name of a little yellow spot on the cliff near Fleshwick. Carran are small white shells that grow on the rocks below high-water mark, under full sea mark. When the Carron and the Yarron are bearing in one it is a fishingmark. [I do not follow these remarks, but no doubt Roeder put down exactly what he was told by his fishermen-friends, except that the definition of Carran is taken from Cregeen's Dictionary.]

Scraaver y Harry or Scraper Harry, " Harry's Cat." A white spot in the cliff like a cat-a haa% name. A place towards Fleshwick Bay. [Scraaver, " scratcher," is a well-known sea-term for a cat.]

[Amulty and Fleshwick Bay come in here.]

Ghaw Ving. Echo. [" Resounding Cave." Bing implies the higher notes of a scale.]

Cashtal Freoiae, a castle rock. [" Heather Castle," in the Southern part of Reckley or Raclay.]

Cashtal Reckley. [Another castle of the fancy, situated at the steep break in the coast known as Reckley--Raclay on the Ordnance map. The affinities of the name seem to lie in the direction of the several " Rathlins " of the Irish coast, the Rachrinn of which these are a modern corruption being the genitive of native forms appearing as Rechra, Rachray, Raghery, etc. Assuming Ptolemy's " Rhikina " to be approximately correct, the transitions to both Rathlin and Raclay are quite normal.-(See Joyce, Irish Names, i., 105, 2nd edn.) To the examples there given might be added Raghley, a small point or peninsula in Sligo Bay, where the pronunciation as I have heard it has escaped the dentalization of the " c " and remains nearest to the Manx word, whether related or not.

Bowyn Harry. Harry was some old fisherman ; three places here are called " Harry's place."

Yn Oghe or the oven, so called because the inside is larger than the mouth ; the waves strike into the mouth with a force that sounds for miles. Another behind Bradda. [A large cave.]

Dooinney Lheeah, a " dullish " cave. [" Grey Man, probably so-named from an adjacent rock.]

Arnarea. The brig " Wilhelmina " wrecked here with loss of all hands 40 [now about 70] years ago. [The Eairnyerey of the Ordnance map, another attempt at representing the Manx pronunciation of a Norse name. "Eagle's Nest"; a steep broken precipice.]

Boayrd yn Eagle. A grassy patch at the top [of the

cliff] where they devoured their prey. [" Table of

the Eagle " ; but were not these " sea-eagles " or ospreys ?]

Garroo Clagh ; a landslip here . . . [" Rugged Boulder(s)." There is a story, still well-remembered in Patrick, that a section of the Peel fishing-fleet manned largely from Dalby sheltered under this place one Sunday night, and a landslide swamped the boats. Most of the remainder which had not run inshore were destroyed by the storm. As with most traditions of the kind, it is impossible to ascertain the date, but Jeffreys, in his anonymous Account o f the Isle o f Man, 1809, says it happened " more than a century past " ; (page 168). It was and is believed to have been a divine punishment for fishing on a Sunday. Sunday fishing has been taboo in modern times, but not always, for in 1610 it was necessary to forbid it by Act of Tynwald, and by further orders in 171, and 1752.] In the outer edge of Garroo Clagh is a little beach with a cave called

Lion's Cave. [So-called, perhaps, from the roaring of 1 he water in it, as the Gulf of Lyons is said to be.] [The Sloc comes in here.]

String Buigh, a good place for pollock. [Stroin Vuigh, Ordnance map; i.e., " Yellow Nose." Nearly a mile farther is Gob yn Ushtey, " Headland of the Stream," which comes tumbling down the cliff. The nomenclature of the coast from here to Niarbyl has been recorded by Mr. Caesar Cashen in Mannin, May, 1915. Off the South-Western shore-line are the following]

FISHING-SPOTS AT SEA. Out of Sloc is

Barnaghyn. [" The Gaps or Clefts."]

The Hole, good for conger. Near Fleshwick is

The Molhëcy ; one of its marks is the corner of a field called

Cornell y Phaark [" Corner of the Pairk " or upland pasture], and the other mark is the hole opening in the Stack at the outer point of the Calf. [" Marks," it is perhaps unnecessary to explain, are land-marks for locating fishing-spots.]

Niarbyl Bay for small cods and flukes.

Creg y Kuvin. [" Rock of the Strait, or Corner."] SHORELINE FROM THE SOUND EASTWARD.

Sluggid ny Keeyleys. [" Whirlpool of the Sound " ;

this is off the North-East corner of the Calf. There is another " Sluggid " near Spanish Head. Although sluggid means literally a " swallowing-place," they are not serious affairs, and are only noticeable at certain states of the tides.]

Towl Crackan, a crab-hole. [" Skin Hole or Cave."]

Gob ny Claghyn Baney. [" Point of the White Boulders."]

[" The Parade " comes in here.]

Towl Ghaw Cabbyl. [" Horse-creek Cave." From Ghaw Cabbyl horses were shipped to and from the Calf, hence the name.]

Bowyn Watlag ["Whelk Rocks"], sunken rocks by Carrick ny Haa. [C arrick Nay on Ordnance map. A

large fishing rock. " Rock of the Sward " ?-of. "The Nay," North of Bradda Head.]

Lhag y Vagher. [" Hollow of the Field."]

Ghaw ny Spyrryd. About 150 years ago copper was mined in it ; the old timbers have been found inside. [" Creek of the Spirit," probably the kind which used to be smuggled out of the Island. Rumours of a howling spirit infesting the place may have been suggested by the name. He has " a head like a big pot with three great horns," which may be why he howls. Spyrryd is also a name, and not a bad one, for the common tern.]

Drug Drine. Blackthorn grows here. [" (Place of) Dogrose Bushes."]

Barroo Ned, named after Ned Carran of the Howe, the owner. [Preferably " Promontory-fort of the Nests," and usually spelt Burroo.] Two large earth and stone ramparts. Six large sets of pit-dwellings. At the Parade, opposite the Calf, I found flint knives and cores on Magher y Chean, on Sound farm, 25th June, zgoi. Fishing-marks here are called

Cleayshyn, " ears," and

Claghyn Baney [" White Stones "], which are quartzite veins.

Glion Cheayn. [North of Carrick Nay. " Glen of the Sea."]

Greeishyn yn Varoo. [" Stairs of the Burroo " Ned, the path between the sea and the top of the cliff.] Clet y Vannae or Vonnae, at Burroo Ned foot, in creek. [" Sea-rock of the Monk."]

Clet y Varoo. [" Sea-rock of the Burrow."]

Creg Cubbin. [Compare Creg y Kuvin above. " Narrow Rock " or " Rock of the Narrow Place."] Ushtey yn Liggea, where the stream Liggea or Liggey runs down from Cregneish. [Lhieggey is a term applied generically to falling water, rather than a river-name.] Also

Cabbyl Liggea. [" Horse-like Rock of the Lhieggey."]

Ghaw Liggea. [" Lhieggey Creek."]

Liggea Veg. [" Little Lhieggey."] Liggea Veanagh [" Middle Lhieggey."]

Bay yn Liggea, not Breechyn. [Both names may be authentic, though Roeder implies that the latter is not used locally; there is a Brogaig, "Breeches Bay" according to McBain, in Skye.]

Ghaw Wow, said to be the biggest [cave] on the Island. Dead hares were found here which had been chased over the cliff by the pack of harriers kept by Gawne of Kentraugh.

Thoagh, Thau, or Thay, Wooar, a perpendicular precipice. [" Big Side."]

Creg yn Lheirn. [Literally " Rock of the Leap," though it is not necessary to believe that anyone has leapt it, or even an animal unless a legendary one. Lheim is a narrow space or pass between two steep banks or cliffs, usually with water flowing between them. This definition does not apply to Lheim y Shynnee, " Leap of the Fox," near Aldrick, which is a sheer rock-face down which the last Manx fox is said to have jumped to escape its pursuers.]

Towl Sophy is a crab-hole here. [" Sophy's Hole or Cave. "]

Creg yn Cabbyl [" Rock of-i.e., like-the Horse."] Ronsdale. [" Seal's Valley," as it stands ; but since that does not make very good sense, perhaps " Ron " represents a man's name.]

Jehibo. [Application and meaning unknown to me.] Kione Spainey is the East end only of the " Spanish Head " of the map. [Though a rusty cannon which used to figure in a private garden in Port Erin was said to have been fished up at Spanish Head, there is no ground for the legend that a ship of the Armada was wrecked there, or that any of the crew came ashore. The whole fleet has been accounted for in works on the subject, and no member of it was lost on the Manx coast.]

Chibbyrt Kione Spainey. [" Spanish Head Well."]

Clieu Wooar, on Spanish Head. [" Big Moor or Hillside."]

Sleshberry. The tide runs out so fast from the rocks that no boat-fishing is possible here. [The Slea ny Bevy of the Ordnance map. " Flank of the Cliff."]

Ghaw Sleshberry. A crabhole at the foot of the high perpendicular cliff.

Cronk Chreen. Surname. [Or "Withered Hill"; of poor vegetation.]

Kione Dhoo. [The " Black Head " of the Ordnance map translates it.]

Cabbyl Dhoo. [" Black Horse," a rock.]

Ghaw ny Buggane, or Ghaw Kione Dhoo, where the Buggane used to shout. Just North of Kione Dhoo. [In Yn Lioar Mann., iii., page 142, Roeder reports, from an informant concerning this place and its sole

inhabitant, that " there was a buggane out there at Black Head, near Spanish Head . . . He was in a cave, roaring awfully sometimes. I have seen the cave often myself, and its floor is paved with white pebbles. His head was like a big horse, and he had eyes like

a pewter plate." To " shout," in Anglo-Manx, is to utter any kind of cry or call, whether human, animal, or, as in the case of the Buggane, demonic. Bugganes themselves are equally indeterminate. Some of them swell up and change their shape while you are looking at them. The name in fact covers almost all apparitions of the gloomier sort, black dogs in particular, and even ghosts when these are not recognizably human. There is also a shore-haunting sea-demon who appears as a horse, or something partially resembling one, and him we seem to meet with here. The Buggane Mooar or Big Buggane, their Chief, is a world-celebrity under other names. It may be their native elasticity and adaptability which have enabled the Bugganes to keep step with the march of Progress, unlike the Giants and the Fairies, who have fallen out of our ranks.

In Anglo-Manx Bugganes are usually masculine, but they may also be neuter ; it depends on their form, or lack of it. In Manx they cannot sit on the fence, though they may lurk behind the hedge. Here Roeder, in defiance of supernatural history, makes his Buggane feminine ; probably a slip for yn.]

Raad ny Mullaghyn. [" Road of the Little Summit," or " of the Mounds."]

Bay Cass Strooan. Sometimes bollan enough ; the " bush " stayed at these rocks for about eight months.

" Bush " = immyr corraa or the butt of spawn herring. [" Stream-foot Bay."]

Ghaw Cass Strooan. [" Stream-foot Creek."]

Robogue. [A ravine, " Rheboeg " on the Ordnance

map. Compare Rebog, on the coast South of Douglas.

The stress is on the ultimate in both. " Rough, broken ground." Cf. Rebogc, Co. Limerick; Joyce, iii.]

Fo ny Renneeyn. [" Under the Ferns." A stretch of beach at the foot of the cliff.]

Ghaw d itcheragh. [" Lazy Creek," perhaps from its slowly-moving water.]

Traie Robogue. [" Robogue Shore."]

Creggyn Mooarey Robogue. [" Big Rocks of Robogue."]

Ghaw Aalish. [" Alice's Creek,"-or Cave.] Mucklagh Muck. A little hole in the cliff below the Chasms, with an entrance like the door of a pigstye. A place for gulls' eggs. [" Pig's Pigstye," but evidently a distinguished pig, since an ordinary animal would have beers sufficiently indicated by mucklagh ; the site, moreover, is not well-suited to pig-keeping. A final adjective may have been dropped-wooar, dhoo, or another. Other places to which the term mucklagh is applied are commonplace enough in appearance, and were doubtless nothing more than ordinary pigenclosures ; yet a significant shade of demeanour towards the word is discernible in some of the older people. The Mucklaghs of Cashel Vanannain " take their name from a legend that they are the rootings of a magical boar," and boars and pigs of an uncanny nature must have been plentiful in the Isle of Man also

at a more romantic stage of its history, for fragments of a Porcine Legend are strewn up and down the countryside.]

Cashtal yn Staggey. English, the Sugarloaf. [" Castle of the Stack " or tall isolated rock.]

The Hall. At the entrance to the subterranean passage to the Sugarloaf. [A natural tunnel through the cliff into Bay Staka, which provides a thrilling bit of navigation for small boats when the tide is high enough.

" Hall " probably stands for " Hole " or toul ; the place used to be called " The Fairy Hole."]

Cabbyl Ranger, just West of the Anvil. [Query " French, or Frenchman's Rock " ?-Frangagh. If so, probably reminiscent of the misadventures of some foreign ship.]

Ingen ny Keirdagh. ["Anvil of the Smithy"; "The Anvil" on Ordnance map.]

Binkyn y Keig, " pincers of Keig." [Query keird or keirdagh, the craftsman, smith ?]

Geaylin ny Gaaue. [A sea-rock under the cliff ; for y Ghaaue-" Shoulder of the Smith," in reference to Ingen y Keirdagh. Geaylin is applied to places on a hill-side below the highest point, as in Geaylin ny Geayee, " Shoulder of the Winds," on South Barrule, Geaylin ny Cholloo on the Calf, and Geaylin Vaughal. By a few people, at least, the word is dimly associated, in a personifying spirit, with the idea of earth-giants, half emergent from their chthonian matrix in the

Rodin manner. The metaphorical use of it in placenames may have given rise to such imaginings in the Isle of Man by reflected suggestion, or they may

be vestiges of a genuine mytho-poesis and of a piece with the epithet bestowed upon the Boyne, " the Arm of Nuada's Wife "-Nuada the deity, Buana his consort -and with the conception of MacCecht the earth-god (cechl, a ploughshare), in the Irish saga of " Då Derg's Hostel " : " two lakes were his eyes, two hills his knees." Seen as twilight deepens into darkness he is mistaken for a mountain, but when his true nature is perceived the army is stricken with panic.]

Carrick Goggan. [" Rock of the Clefts," at Kione ny Goggan, the " Noggin Head " of the map.]

Hippaney. A rock for bollan. [" Ippney," Ordnance map; local pronunciation " Hippaney."]

Ghaw ny Geyrragh. [" Cove of the Sheep."] Callowah. A crack in the cliff. [Calloway on Ordnance map, and applied to the foreshore; " Callowah " is the local pronunciation.]

[Perwick Bay and Glion Perwick come in here.] Creg ny Searroo, the " Shag Rock " of the Ordnance map [which translates it. Errag wooar, big pullet, and feeagh marrey, sea-raven, are other names for the shag or cormorant].

Creg Mwyllin, the " Flat Rock " of the Ordnance map. [" Mill Rock."]

Ny Aieyn Eayl. [" The Lime-kilns."] Gob y Phunt. [" Point of the Pound."]

Jeig, where Port St. Mary Breakwater is built. [Jeep, a ditch, moat or drain; (Cregeen). A drain in this case.]

Creg ny Roan, " Pot Rock," Ordnance map. [" Rock of the Seal."]

Poynt Veg, the little point, where the Pier is.

SHORE-LINE OF THE CALF, GOING FROM NORTH TO SOUTH [THROUGH EAST].

Gob Y Shen Ellan. [" Point of the Old Island."] Duggil. A sheltered corner where pollock and blockan are found. [" Dark Ravine."]

Thie yn Woy Mooar, " House of the Big Boy." Near The Rullick used to be a house where a man lived called the Woy Mooar ; it was a mark for the fishingground off this rock.

Kione ny Holby, Scotch Head. [Kione ny Holby, Ordnance map.]

Creg Folley. A rock at the Calf, a few yards from the mainland ; [i.e., from the Calf Island. An old Port Erin fisherman tells a yarn about this rock which purports to explain its name. An elderly farmer of the Howe or Corvalley, I forget which, was taken out at his own adventurous request for a day's fishing. The crew left him sitting here contentedly while they went on to another lheih. There they were so successful that they remembered his existence only just in time to rescue him when the rising tide was up to his oxters. As they approached they heard him swearing by his conscience (" Er my coonsheance " used to be a favourite AngleManx expletive), and when he caught sight of the boat he flourished his fist at them and shouted: " Cred folly eh shoh ! Cred folly eh shoh ! "-" What folly is this ! " Hence the name of the rock.

This explanation belongs to a school of semi-humorous etymology which has its professors throughout the

Kingdom, but need not be taken seriously. Creg Folley means " Sanguineous Rock," from its colouring.]

Port Noa. [" New Harbour."]

Goll yn Vurrow. The passage between the Calf and the Burrow. [" Course of the Burrow."]

Clettyn yn Vurrow. Three rocks at the South corner of the Sound, covered at high water. [On the East side of it. " Sea-rocks of the Burrow."]

Burrow Fagee is an old name for the Burrow. [Old enough for its meaning to be obscure ; but the general significance is " departure." Why ?] Here also is a place called

Hedgh y Traie, " edge of the tide or eddy."

Sker Vreekey, not " Vreacey " as on Ordnance map. [" Speckled Rock."]

[Rarick comes in here.]

Magher y Wooilin above Rarick. [" Field of the Mill."]

Yn Poyll. ["The Puddle" on Ordnance map. "The Pool" or deep place.]

Ghaw Raun. Seals used to gather here at night, but are absent now. [" Seal Cove."]

Yn Glion, not Yn Leodan [as on Ordnance map. " The Glen."]

Ny Manesyn Mooarey and Ny Manesyn Beggey. Sunken rocks. The " Manusan Rocks " of the Ordnance map.

Gob Caigher. [" Caigher Point," Ordnance map.] Gob y Volley Caigher.

Ghaw Caigher.

Yn Chlie. [" The Earth-hedge or Bank."]

IIshtey yn Chlie. [" Water or Stream of the Bank."] Bowyn Curberry, not Curberry, as on Ordnance map. [" Carbery's Submerged Rock."]

Clett Hurberry or Hurby, not Clett Elby, as on Ordnance map. [Probably Hurberry - " Carbery's Off-shore Rock."]

Lheih Dowyn. [" Deep Fishing-spot "], or

Ghaw ny Foillan. [" Creek of the Gulls."]

Ny Carroo. On the West side of the Calf. A place for whelks. Sea often very rough here.

Towl ny Keelys. [" Hole or Cave of the Narrows."] Ghaw ny Birragh. [" Creek of the Pointed Rock."]

Yn Staggey. A little island. [" The Stack," or tall isolated rock. A common coast-name.]

Goll ny Staggey. The passage between the Stacks. [" Course, or Channel, of the Stacks."]

Glioonyn yn Staggey. [" Knees of the Stack."] Gob y Quarter-Hole. [Probably a corruption of Qualterough, the surname.]

Bow Amultee or Bow Amyltee. Gob Amultee.

Bow yn Chellag Wooar. Chellag is a fish [the pollock, resembling a mackerel ; it is called Calliach in the North of the Island].

Pytt Harry Cabbagh. Cabbagh = " shuddering." [" Stuttering Harry's Pit " or deep spot.]

The Tushla, or T-ushtya as pronounced by the men. (The " Thousla Rock " of the Ordnance map.]

Car Wilys, just East of the bottom of Kitterland They throw their boats here [i.e., draw them up].

FIELD-NAMES O\' THE CALF. Faaie Cronk. [" Hill paddock."]

Magher Veanagh. [" Middle ploughland."] Mill Haggard. [" Mill stackvard."]

Thie Vushell. [" Bushell's house."]

Paark Mooar. [" Big rough-pasture."]

Magher y Wyllin. [" ploughland of the mill."] Cooil Thie. [" House corner."]

Close ny Eanlee. [" Enclosure of the birds."1 NAMES ON KITTERLAND.

Famman Kitterland. [" Tail of Kitterland."]

Dooid Kitterland. [" Blackness, or Black Place, of Kitterland."]

Ghaw Lieh. [Means " Half Creek " as spelt, but more probably " Fishing-spot Creek " ; lheih.]

Yn Keelys Veg and Yn Keelys Mooar. [" The Little Sound " and " The Big Sound " ; the latter is the

" Calf Sound " of the Ordnance map. Keelys, though feminine in Manx, is masculine in Gaelic, hence the uncertainty in the forms of its adjectives. The same remark applies to the word Purt.]

NAMES ABOUT FISTARD.

Lag Boayl Taggart. [" Hollow of Taggart's Place."] Cronk yn Ollee. [" Hill of the Cattle." This is probably the piece of land on Corvalley now called Cronk yn Alley or Alla.]

Cronk Glen Chass. [" Glen Chass Hill."]

Creggan Vule. [" Rocky-place of the Mull " ; it is crowned by]

Tooar Vule. [" Tower of the Mull," a cairn above Cregneish. Once only I have heard it called Car Vanannain, but this does not seem to be known locally. If it was ever an authentic name I can only say to the reader what the young man said to Caeilte in The Colloquy of the Ancients, " There is not anything of which I would interrogate thee sooner than of the reason why the name of Carn Manannain or Manannan's Cairn is given to this one."]

Faale Loauyr. [Sic for liauyr ; " Long Green.")

Faaie Thoalt. [" Barn Green."]

Bwoailley Ghowin Fayle. [" Fayle's Heifer Fold " ; " Fayle " was used at sea for " Gale."]

Magher Spool. Garey Joe.

Nullagh Chrink, on the Foreland near the Chasms. [As written would mean " the Hiding-place of the Hill," but is probably a slip for Mullagh, top.]

Car yn Touree, field near Robogue. "All the summer." [See Cregeen's Dictionary under " Car " ; presumably a reference to farming operations.]

Illmither and Magher yn Illmither, field near the foregoing, also called " the Ferns." [Query, cf. Glen Wither ?-page 94.]

Slieu Robbard [" Robert's Moorland," and]

Slieu Droghad Fayle, on the Foreland near Spanish Head, at the back of Baih ny Breechyn, reaching clown to Cronk Mooar. [Intack belonging to Droghad Fayle, " Fayle's Bridge," a farm about a mile and a half away.]

Cronk y Vretney Veg and Mooar. Both above the Struggan, Port Erin. Wales could be seen from the summit. [" Little, and Big, Hill of the Welshman." Cf. Lllan Vretn.ey, " Welsh Island," Langness.] PLACE-NAMES AND FIELD-NAMES AROUND THE SOUND FARM AND NORTHWARD.

The Rhullick. [" The Burial-ground," long disused.] Magher Bane Pharick. [" Patrick's Light-coloured Ploughland."]

Rass ny Muck. " Pig-seed." [Query, Rassan ny Muck ? In either case, " Shrubby-place of the Pig." Rass and rassan are related to the place-name Rushen, which occurs half a dozen times in the Island and signifies ground covered with bushes or low trees.]

Halliday Twoaie and Halliday Jiass. [" North and South Halliday," two fields at Cronk Halliday on Shenvally farm. " Halliday " is a Border and Cumbrian surname from " Halladha," an old Norse name seen in Dal Halladha, etc., Sutherland. I know of nothing which would connect either the personal or the family name with this Halliday or Hallidee.]

Garey Goil. [Probably garee, rough useless land, rather than garey, a garden. Garee is wetter than reeast,

a word of similar significance. " Rear Waste-land." Roeder has a note, " Gale," which would refer it to the surname.]

Paark y Glion. Where " Bessy Lowry's house " stands, on the road going down to the Sound. [" Roughpasture of the Glen."]

paark y Bully. [An old Manx nickname, here used for the Maddrells ; probably equivalent to a word similarly used in the North, booliach.]

Magher Stabbyl. [" Stable Field."]

Magher Trass Corneilagh. [" Third Corner-field."]

Magher Rowley. At the Sound. [" Reddish Field," see Joyce, ii., 272. Cf. Roaly Vane, Lezayre, Lord's Book, 1703, a good example of the secondary use of bane ; " pale," not " white."]

Magher Runt. At the Sound. [" Round Field." Not necessarily circular, but without angles in its hedges. A common name.]

Glion ny Chellys. [" Glen of the Strait," cheyllys ; i.e., of the Sound, into which its stream runs.]

Cronk Chunney, " Gorse Hill." [A rocky hill at the top of the Sound road. See Chibber Cronk Chunney under " Well-names."]

Slieu Ballahowe, the highest part of Ballahowe farm.

Towl ny Mwaagh. [" Hole of the hare," below the Mull Circle.]

Crosh Molley Mooar. [For its signification and for queer stories about this and the foregoing place see Roeder's Manx Notes and Queries.]

Lag y Vaarlee, at the Howe. [" Hollow of the Thieves."]

Lhiaght ny Verragh or Virragh, The Mull Circle. [Discussed in Manx Notes asad Queries, pages 73 and 75-]

Yons. Yon = John Maddrell, alias Bully; the Maddrells are called after him.

Awin Bully, the rill from the Howe to the Darragh. [" Bully's River."]

Cooyrt, a field on Ballahowe bordering on Struan ny Darragh. [" The Court " ; also applied to the ruined house there.] A place here called

Cabbyl Hobble. [" Chapel-cabbal-of the Gathering

or Populace "-pobbyl. The reason for this name and

the previous one might be worth ascertaining. There is nothing striking about the spot superficially, unless it be the banked-up appearance of the Cooyrt field on its North-East side.]

Bwoaillie Atha, on the Howe. [" Long Cattle-fold or Milking-place."]

FIELDS ABOUT CASS STRUAN.

[Cass Struan, " Stream-foot " or " Stream-side " ; usually pronounced " Cass Struggan."]

Reeastyn Karran or Reeast Wooar. [" Karran's Wastes," or the " Great Waste."]

The Cooyrt. The Court."]

Bwoailee Carnoain. Battlefield. [" Cairn Cattlefold."] Magher yn Edd. Many fields so-called on the Mull. [" Field of the Nest," i.e., nests-singular for plural. ]

Carey Twoaie ny Gooyrtey, and Garey Mooar ny Gooyrtey. [" Northern, and Big, Rough-land of the Court."]

Close Ooir. " Mould [Enclosure."]

Magher Ollan. "Wool [Field." Probably a shearingplace.]

Magher Naunt. " Aunt's [Field."]

Magher Chirrym. " Dry [Field."

Croit Yack. " Jack's [Croft."]

Croit Yon Vess. " John Gale." [" John-of-Bessy's Croft," i.e., John Gale.]

Croit Vorgaid. " Margaret." [" Margaret's Croft."] Croit Sweeney. [" Sweeney's Croft." An Ulster name.]

Croit ny Gruag. [" Croft of the Grub "-singular for plural. ]

Thalloo Cushy. A field joined to Perwick. [" Land at the foot "-of the declivity.]

Thalloo Chiarn. [" Lord's land."]

Thalloo Rea. [" Smooth Land."]

Magher Cronk ny Harrey. [" Field of the Watchhill."]

Magher Droghad Fayle. [See Sheu Droghad Fayle, page 113.1

Magher y Conney Sceab. Not far from Cronk ny Harrey. [" Field of the Broom-plant."]

Faaie Choil. [" Back Green or Paddock."]

Cooil ny Ghoayr. [" Nook of the Gnat " ; or " Goats," ghoair. ]

Creggan Carragh. [" Rough Rocks " ; but Roeder has a note, " boggy," so carragh may be a variant of curragh.]

Cronk yn Thalloo Losht. [" Hill of the Burnt Land.

Slieu Goile. [" Back Moorland."]

Ny Scortyn, or Skerryn, Mooarey and Beggey. [" The Chasms," or " The Sea-rocks," Big and Little.]

Cronk Espart. [" Vespers Hill," or " Evening Hill." See Chibber Cronk Espart, among the Wells.]

Kermeenyn, a field.

Cronk Skibbalt. f" Hill of the Barn," Gaelic sciobõl, a barn or granary.]

Cronk Quinney. [" Gorse Hill," or " Quinney's Hill."] Lhergy Liauyr. f" Long Slope."


 

Back index next

 

Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
HTML Transcription © F.Coakley , 2004