Attested: Mixa at position 229 in the Ravenna Cosmography, second of the 8 diversa loca ‘various places’ discussed here.
Where: In the Forth estuary. Exactly where is uncertain, but the island of Inchgarvie at NT138795, where fog now sometimes blankets the bridges, would surely have been familiar to sailors in Roman times.
Name origin: ‘Misty, foggy’, from PIE *meigh- ‘to glimmer, to twinkle, to hide from eyes’. Many striking pictures are posted online of the Forth bridges shrouded in fog (such as this) and “The Forth Estuary is one of the foggiest sea areas of Scotland”.
Notes: We initially missed this simple translation, because Watkins (2011) gives ‘to urinate’ as the primary meaning of *meigh- and place-name dictionaries attribute -mix- in later English names to Old English mixen ‘dung-heap’! Hence an alternative hypothesis (now rejected) that a
word for mixing derived from PIE *meik- might fit a trading place; Greek μιξις is best documented as meaning sexual intercourse, but people meet to trade goods as well as bodily fluids.
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Last edited 13 May 2020 to main Menu.