Township: Balephetrish

Map Reference: Balephetrish 19

Name Type: shore

Meaning: The specific is ON salt ‘salt’ (see Salt Hellyie ‘a fishing rock in Leean: ON salt- hellur, salt rocks; evidently the rocks at this spot have been utilized as collecting places for dried sea salt’ Marwick 1947, 68). ‘There is a Saltapöl (“salt pool”) at Haroldswick [Unst], so called because formerly people used to gather salt there, left in small hollows in the rock after the seawater had evaporated. This salt was gathered chiefly for the purpose of putting it into butter’ (Jakobsen 1926, 105). Salt was also made by heating seawater in a kettle at the shore. This would imply a fuel source close to the beach. And, ‘in Norway and Iceland salt was chiefly procured from burning seaweed...Salt appears in local names, e.g. Salt-eyrr... Salt-karl ‘one who burns salt’ as the humblest and poorest occupation...Salt-ketill ‘salt kettle’’ (CV, 510). The generic is ON vík ‘bay’.
There is a Saltavik in Uist, a Salt Hellia on Hoy, Orkney, and Salt Ness is a common name in the Northern Isles (SP); Saltvik is a common place-name in Norway (NG); and Saltvík occurs twice as a farm name in Iceland (SAM).

Other Forms: Saltaig - ONB p 53

Port Saltaig - "we are to get taking seaware from any place in Port Saltaig" - letter from Gott crofters about seaweed rights, 1869. AI 1999.68.5

Related Places:

Information:The old "drove road" went between Ben Balephetrish and Hillcrest and along to Saltaig. In one part there was a boggy area on both sides of the road and the "estate" had a "toll gate" there - Hector MacPhail, Ruaig, 4/1995.

Local Form:

Languages : Norse

Informants: OS