Attested: Ptolemy 2,3,2 Τουεροβιος ποταμου εκβολαι
Where: Mouth of the river Teifi, in SW Wales, at about SN1649,
located by Ptolemy's coordinates. The river flows through Cardigan.
Name origin: There is no easy Celtic explanation for this name. The τουερο- part resembles τυρος ‘cheese’ and Latin obturo ‘to stop up’, from PIE *teuə- ‘to swell’. The –οβιος ending looks like the *uba/*oba ‘water, river’ element discussed here.
Notes: Curds and whey may be an appropriate metaphor for “the notorious Cardigan bar ... a shifting sandbank that sits across the mouth of the estuary ... a challenge for vessels of significant draft, but it also magnifies any groundswell into a series of challenging waves that have caught out many an unwary mariner.” “At the mouth of the Teifi there is a sand bar which makes navigation challenging as it moves constantly.” “Between 1800 and 1910, some 200 ships were wrecked around the entrance to the estuary.” Two epitaphs from Iberia show a personal name possibly derived from a river *Turobius, for which a good candidate is the modern Douro, also notorious for its river-mouth sandbar. The ancient port of Tyre (Τυρος) in Lebanon (where Ptolemy's main source Marinus lived) is also a good parallel, in terms of geography and commercial activity. Could this be a hint of Phoenician sailors' visits?
Last Edited: 10 August 2016