Gaelic language and placenames.
A very brief note on the history of Gaelic in the Western Isles and some comments about placenames.
Gaelic in the Western
The BBC has a Gaelic for beginners website, which includes sound clips. MacBain's online Gaelic dictionary with its good search facility may be of interest to anyone wanting to chase some words (but be warned, Gaelic like the other Celtic languages mutates frequently). It is also helpful as it relates Gaelic words to other languages, such as Welsh or Manx.
Place names are often of Norse origin, but were later Gaelicised. People who know Wales will see similarities between Gaelic and Welsh place name elements. For instance Gaelic/Welsh/English examples include beag/bach/small, mòr/mawr/large, tràigh/traeth/beach, deas/de/south, innis/ynys/island, abhainn/afon/river.
Examples of Gaelic/Anglicised
place names in the Western Isles
Some examples of Gaelic place names and their Anglicised versions are on the next page.
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