Attested: Ptolemy 2,3,5 Ιλα river mouth
Where: Wick harbour, Caithness, near ND368508
Name Origin: ‘Muddy’ from a root that gave Greek ιλυς and Russian ил ‘silt, mud’. See Prosper (2011) about the relation of *ilu- to words like yellow. “Sand from the sea and silt from the river choke the head of the bay, so that the better sheltered areas require constant dredging.” (Graham & Gordon, 1987).
Notes: There are two modern rivers called Isla in Scotland, one of which probably passed beside the Cosmography's Lodone. Ekwall (1928) interpreted modern river names like Loddon as ‘muddy’ and called the name of the river Isle in Somerset pre-English. Helmsdale, along the coast from Wick, was Ilidh in Gaelic.
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Last edited 19 March 2021 To main Menu