Maulion

Attested:  RC Maulion (or Manlion)

Where:  Somewhere in Inverclyde, Scotland, west of the Antonine Wall, most likely the small Roman fort at Lurg Moor NS29507373, not the one at Outerwards NS23166660 or the fort at Barochan Hill.

Name origin:  Lurg Moor is perched above the Greenock promontory overlooking the Clyde estuary, to fit the meaning of ‘prominent, sticking out or up’ discussed here for M-vowel-L, an ancient wander-word.

Notes:  This analysis overrules previous guesses based on the brown colour of moorland surrounding the fort and a word related to malen ‘to paint’, with the vowel seen in maulstick, or on Celtic words for ‘bald’, often anglicised into Mull and applied to various headlands and hilltops in western Scotland, or on a root *maul- ‘to attract, to seduce’, widespread across Greek dialects (Masson, 1997).

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Last edited: 7 August 2018