Elete

Attested:  RC Elete

Where:  An island off western Scotland.  Coll, around NM2158, would allow RC's list of names to follow a plausible track across the map.

Name origin:  R&C and R&S could suggest nothing reasonable, but Greek ελετος ‘can be taken or caught’ might refer to hunting of seabirds or sealsEl was a generic name for god in Semitic languages (including that of Punic traders) and eten is an English word for ‘giant’, most familiar when spelled eoten.  This is significant, because Adomnan's name for Coll was Colosus, which has prompted suggestions that there was originally a giant statue on the island, which would of course have since been destroyed by Christian zealots.  Coll now has just one pair of standing stones.

Notes:  See here for a general discussion of islands off Scotland.  Rejected parallels include Welsh elet which meant something like ‘you should go’, English elet, an obsolete word for ‘on fire’, and Latin elate ‘loftily’.

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Last edited: 29 September 2018