[From ManxNoteBook vol i,1885]
MANY years ago, when the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company resolved to name a new steam-ship after the loftiest mountain in the Island, several persons, including the late Mr. Burman (Secretary to the Lieut.-Governor) and myself, were consulted about the proper mode of spelling the name. Mr. Burman inclined to the opinion that it should be written SNAFIELD, or SNAEFIELD. I unhesitatingly asserted that the correct spelling is SNAEFELL.
In order to obtain an authoritative decision, Mr. Burman wrote to the late Professor Munch, of Christiania, and shortly afterwards received the following reply from that distinguished scholar. Mr, Burman subsequently favoured me with a copy of the learned Professor's letter, which will, undoubtedly, be read with interest by many of the subscribers to The Manx Note Book
I am, faithfully yours,
Victoria Street, Douglas.
[Copy of Professor Munch's letter to Mr. Burman.]
SIR,Your question is very easily answered, but there is another question, viz., whether the correct form of spelling the name will agree with you. This form is Snaefell, SNAEFELL. The name is a very frequent one all over Norway and Iceland, and it is composed from sna- (with the masculine termination sneer) i.e., Snow, and fell, contracted from fiall, i.e., Mountain. Scafell accordingly means "Snow-mountain," and you will find the very same name in the loftiest and grandest promontory of Iceland (no doubt mentioned by Lord Dufferin or Metcalfe) Snaefells jokul, i.e., the Jokul (icicle, iceberg) of Snaefell.*
Now, it is perhaps an awkward thing that the word AE (pronounced as the French ai) is not usual in English. But, whatever you resolve upon as to this point, you ought entirely to abstain from using a d in the end of the name, as that addition would make the composition mean "the field of snow" (la plaine de neige) instead of "the mountain of snow"; " field " being the German " Feld," plain, camp, area, i.e., it would give the name almost a contrary signification from what is originally and really meant by composing it.
Hoping that you will find this explanation sufficient, and with the best wishes for the brave ship,
I am, Sir, your obedient Servant,
P. A. MUNCH. James Burman, Esq., Douglas.
* There is, or was, also a mountain called Scacafell in the Isle of Man, near Ramsey; see Chronicon ream Manniae.
AMONGST the Anglo-Saxon remains in the British Museum are a beautiful silver necklet and bracelet, labelled " Isle of Mann." Desirous of learning their history, I was referred to the gentleman controlling that department of the Museum. He was unable to tell me anything further about them than that they were treasure trove from the Isle of Mann in 1870, presented by the Lords of the Treasury. Do any of your readers know anything further about them ? You would do well to let the Manx people know that now the finders of treasure trove can claim from the Treasury the full intrinsic value of all manufactured precious metals.
J. C. FARGHER. 216 Malpas Road, Brockley, S.E.
*** The following letters, from among many others, have been received wishing The Manx Note Book every success:Sir Henry Loch, Melbourne; Lady Buchan, London; Mr. J. K. Ward, Montreal; Mr. W. S. Kerruish, Cleveland, and Mr. P. Craine, Geneva, U. S.