AttestedVectis at the end of the Ravenna Cosmography; Ptolemy 2,3,33 Ουηκτις;  Pliny Vectis;  Suetonius insulam Vectem
  Panegyric 8  apud insulam Vectam; Maritime Itinerary Vecta;  Bede Vecta

Where:  Isle of Wight

Name Origin:  The essential meaning was something like ‘little companion’ as discussed by Durham (2011).  Wiht and other, variously spelled, forms that finally settled down as Wight, are a development from the sense of ‘outlying’, shown by Old English wīc and its many cognates, all ultimately derived from PIE *wegh- ‘to go’, via the notion of ‘clan on the march’ explained by Szemerenyi (1977).  Vectis and Vecta were just classical writers’ way of writing *wiχt- and giving it grammatical endings.

Notes:  The ethnicity of the original name givers is uncertain, but the commonly quoted Celtic parallels are not particularly relevant.

You may copy this text freely, provided you acknowledge its source as, recognise that it is liable to human error, and try to offer suggestions for improvement.
Last edited 8 April 2020     To main Menu