Attested: Ptolemy 2,3,5 Ουερουβιουμ (or Ουερουιουμ) ακρον
Where: Duncansby Head, the north-eastern point of the Scottish mainland, at ND406733.
Name Origin: The first element is a sailing term from PIE *wer- ‘to
turn’, as in Ουιρουεδρουμ, while the second element might come from *uba ‘water, river’ or perhaps from *ub- ‘to drag, to press down’.
Notes: Rounding Duncansby Head involves a turn through about 120 degrees (very similar to rounding the tip of Thanet to enter the Thames), difficult for early sailing vessels unless the wind and tides were right. Experienced mariners would have wanted to know where they could wait on a sheltered beach with fresh water, possibly for many days. So if the –ουβιουμ part meant ‘river’ rather than open water it might refer to Sannick Bay or Freswick Bay, rather than the Head itself.
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Last edited 10 April 2020 to main Menu