Attested: RC Lemana (a harbour estuary) and Lemanis (place)
AI iter 4 ad portum Lemanis (twice); ND Lemannis (twice); TP Lemanio
Where: Lemanis meant the Roman fort of the Saxon Shore at Stutfall Castle, Lympne, Kent, at TR11743423, which was destroyed by a landslip on a changing coastline. Lemana referred to the river estuary beside which the fort originally sat.
Name Origin: The English word liman (ultimately from Greek λιμην ‘harbour’, which diffused into various languages including Arabic, Turkish, and Russian) is a remarkably exact match to the fort’s likely topographical situation described by Cunliffe (1980:258-259). There seems to be no consensus on which PIE root led to λιμην, but the top possibilities are *lei- ‘to flow, to pour’ and *lei- ‘slimy, to slip, to glide’, which led to words such as English loam and slime, or Latin limus ‘mud’. Or else maybe Latin limen ‘threshold, entrance’ (of uncertain origin) is appropriate to a harbour entrance, especially with a bar at its mouth. See under Λεμαννονιος for another slant on possible roots for this name.
Notes: Nonsense Celtic elm-tree etymologies promoted by Jackson and others did not fool R&S, who wisely homed in on “water-names”.
Last Edited: 24 July 2016