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Animals in Manx Place-Names

by Bernadette Weyde
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• TARROO = a bull. Magher yn Tharroo (field of the bull).

• DOW = an ox. Ghaw-yn-Ghow (cove of the ox)

• BOA (gen. pl. ny baa) = a cow. Creg-ny-baa (rock of the cows).

• MAASE = cattle. Ballavaase (Cattle Farm).

• MUC = a pig. Boal-na-muck (place of the pig); Towl-ny-muck (hole of the pig).

• MUC-AILL = a sow. Cronk-ny-Mucaillyn (Hill of the Sows).

• COLLAGH = a stallion (of the male of most animals, but usually of a horse). Cronk Collach (Stallion Hill); Close-ny-chollagh (Close of the Stallion).

• MOHLT (pl. muihlt) = a wether. Glen-y-Mult (Glen of the Wethers); Craig-ny-Mult (Crag of the Wethers).

• LHEIY = a calf. Ballalheiy (Calf Farm).

• COLBAGH = a heifer. Close-ny-Cholbagh (Close of the Heifer).

• KEYRR or KEYRREY (pl. kirree) = a sheep. Towl-ghaw-ny-Kirree (Hole of the Creek of the Sheep); Giau-ny-Kirree (Creek of the Sheep); Ballakeeragh (Sheep Farm).

• EAYN = a lamb. Knock-y-Nean (yn-ean) (Hill of the Lamb).

• FEEAIH = a deer. Carrick-a-Feeaih (Rock of the Deer); Lheim Feeaih (Deer’s Leap); Curragh Feeheh (Deer’s Curragh).

• EAGH = a horse. Ballaneagh (yn-eagh) (Farm of the Horse.

• CABBYL = a horse. Giau-ny-Cabbyl (Cove of the Horse – this was the cove where horses were swum across to the Calf island); Sloc-na-Cabbyl-Screevagh (Pit of the Scabby Horse).

• SHARRAGH = a foal. Knocksharry (Foals’ Hill); Chibbyr Harree (Foals’ Well) Gob-ny-Sharrey (Point of the Foals; Ballaharree (Foals’ Farm). The well known cairn, Sharragh Vane (White Foal Cairn) is a huge block fo white quartz in the mountains near Druidale. It is now usually called ‘the Sharragh Vedn’.

• MODDEY (pl. voddee) = a dog. Cooil Voddy (dog nook); Cronk-y-Voddey (Hill of the Dog or Dogs); Ellan-y-Voddey (Isle of the Dog or Dogs); Carrick-y-Voddey (Rock of the Dog or Dogs), and in various Ballamodhas, Ballamoddas and Ballamoddeys (Dog Farm).

• QUALLIAN = a whelp, a cub. In local names it is applied to a low hill when near a higher one, as in Slieau Whallian (Whelp’s Mountain) near the loftier South Barrule. Creg-y-Whallian (Crag of the Whelp); Lhergy-Awhallan (Whelp’s ford slope) and Awhallan (Whelp’s Ford).

• GOAYR = a goat. Glione-ny-Goayr (Glen fo the Goat); Close-y-Gaur (Close of the Goat).

• SHYNNAGH = a fox. Cronk Shynnagh and Cronk Shannagh (Fox Hill); Lheim-y-Chynnee (Leap of the Foxes). Foxes are now extinct on the island.

• MWAAGH = a hare. Towl-y-Mwaagh (Hole of the Hare).

• CONNING = a rabbit. Close Conning (Rabbit Close); Croit-ny-Gonning (Croft of the Rabbit); Croit Gonning (Rabbit Croft) and possibly Magher-y-Cunny (Field of the Rabbits).

• KAYT = a cat. Cronk-y-Catt (Hill of the Cat).

• RAUN = a seal. Carrigraun (Seal Rock); Creg-ny-Roan (Rock of the Seal); Ghaw Raun (Seal Cove) and Gob-ny-Roinna (Point of the Seals).

• MAGGLE = a testicle. Slieau Maggle (Testicle Hill) probably so called because the shepherds brought the mountain lambs together there to be cut.

• USHAG = a bird. Chibbyr-ny-ushag (Well of the Bird); Croit-ny-Ushag (Croft of the bird).

• URLEY = an eagle. Cronk Urley (Eagle Hill) where a Tynwald Court was held in 1422. It is called RENEURLING in the Statute Law Book, which would seem to be a corruption of REN-URLEY (Eagle Ridge). Eagles and falcons were formerly common in the Isle of Man, which the Stanleys received from the English Crown for the nominal obligation of presenting a cast of falcons at each coronation.

• FEEAGH = a raven. Glione Feeagh (Raven’s Glen); Creg Feeagh (Raven’s Crag); Edd Feeagh Vooar (Big Raven’s Nest) and Croit-y-Daa-Fiag (Croft of the Two Ravens).

• EARKAN/EAIRKAN = a lapwing. Traie-ny-Earkan (Strand of the Lapwing) and Park-ny-Earkan (Park of the Lapwing).

• FANNAG = a crow. Cronk-ny-Fannag (Hill of the Crow) and Creggan-y-Annag (Rocky Hillock of the Crows). Urns have been found in the tumulus on Cronk-ny-Fannag.

• SCARROO = a cormorant. Creg0ny-Scarroo (Crag of the Cormorant).

• FOILLAN = a seagull. Lag-ny-Foillan (Hollow of the Seagull); Gob-ny-Voillan (Point of the Seagull); Traie-ny-Foillan (Shore of the Seagull) and Ellan-ny-Foillan (Island of the Seagull). The latter is actually a field but was probably once surrounded by water.

• GUIY = a goose. Loughan-y-Eiy (Pond of the Goose); Cronk-ny-Guiy (Goose Hill); Glion-y-Eiy (Glen of the Goose); Gullet-ny-Guiy (Gullet of the Goose) and Mwannal-y-Guiy (Neck of the Goose). In these last two names it is used metaphorically of the narrowest part, in the one case of a little creek, and in the other of a field.

• THUNNAG = a duck. Ballathunnag (Duck Farm); Close Tunnag (Duck Close).

• KELLAGH (pl. kellee) = a cock. Possibly in Airey Kellag (Cock Hill Pasture); Ballakellag (Cock Farm) and Eairy Kellee (Cocks’ Hill Pasture). However, Eairy Kellee may mean Kelly’s Hill Pasture, being sometimes spelled Eairy Kelly, and Airey and Balla-Kellag may be derived from the obsolete surname, Kellag.

• KIARK = a hen. Glion Kiark (Hen Glen) and Close Giark (Hen Close). These names probably arise from the practice of removing the hens in July, August, and September to sties at some distance from the houses so as to prevent them from damaging the corn when it was coming into ear.

• FEDLAG = a feather. Cronk-ny-Fedjag (Hill of the Feather).

• EDD = a nest. Cronk Ned (yn-edd) (Hill of the Nest); Magher-yn-Edd (Field of the Nest).

• SHELLAN = a bee. Glen Shellan (Bee Glen).

• CARNOAIN = a beetle. Bwoaillee Carnoain (Beetle Fold).

• BEISHTEIG = a reptile/peishteig = a little worm, a diminutive of BEISHT, a beast or brute. Thalloo-a-Peishteig (Land of the Little Worm) THALLOO A-PEISHTEIG, ‘ Land of the Little Worm), probably so-called from earthworm.

• SKEDDAN = a herring. Gob-y-Skeddan (Point of the Herring).

• BRACK = a trout. Glione-ny-Brack (Glen of the Trout).

• BOLLAN = the rock fish, a red fish resembling the carp. Creg Vollan (Carp Rock); Traie-ny-Vollan (Shore of the Carp).

• SHLIG = a shell. Ballashlig (Shell Farm). There are several farms of this name on sandy soil inland where shells have been found.
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(source: Surnames & Place-Names of the Isle of Man by AW Moore (1890); photo source unknown)

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