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’, with no obvious relatives in Celtic or Germanic. “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 RC’s Lodone. Ekwall (1928) interpreted modern river names like Loddon as ‘muddy’ and called the name of the river Isle in Somerset pre-English.
Last Edited: 6 August 2016