AttestedBotis at position 281 in the Ravenna Cosmography

Where:  Holy Island, at NS051304, in the outer Firth of Clyde next to Arran, deduced from RC's order of listing names.

Name OriginBotis may be related to Gaelic bot ‘tail, penis’, Greek βοτρυς ‘bunch of grapes’, Latin botulus ‘sausage’, and English bud or bot (maggot of botfly).  They all converge to fit the way that Holy Island hangs off the big Isle of Arran, sitting in Lamlash Bay, sheltering the best anchorage and landing beach in a wide area, shaped like a maggot beside the hole it just gnawed.

Notes:  The isle of Bute was probably not here; see instead Saponis.  The name Bute can be traced back only to about 1200, and has been inconclusively discussed in relation to a Gaelic word for ‘fire’, or Greek βοτης ‘herdsman’, or Latin butyrum ‘butter’, or a Celtic (or possibly Semitic) word for ‘hut’ (or possibly ‘church’) related to English booth and bothy.

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Last edited 16 April 2020     To main Menu