Township: Balephuil

Map Reference: Balephuil 20

Name Type: hill

Meaning: The name was translated to me as ScG righe 'field, bottom of a valley' + bheinn 'of the hill', although this does not suit the topography. This is also unlikely to be a Gaelic name from ScG rìbhinn 'maid, snake' (Dwelly); there appear to be no names with this element on SP.
This name is more plausibly derived from ON rifa fem. ‘rift, cleft, fissure’ (CV, 497) with the post-positioned bound definite article > rifin 'the cleft'. ON vin 'natural pasture' was no longer used to generate new names by the beginning of the Viking Age (Sandnes 2010b, 4).
See Rivvo in Rousay, Orkney, (Marwick 1995 (1947), 68), and Riva and de Riva in Shetland (Jakobsen 1936, 91); Rivin and Riven are also names in Shetland (SP); Rive is a farm name in Norway (OR); Rive occurs in Aremark, and Riven occurs four times in Norway (NG). Some of these examples, however, may be derived from ON rif 'sea reef'. See Rif below.

Other Forms:

Related Places:

Information:"Chi thu Rifrinn" Na Baird Thirisdeach, ed Rev Hector Cameron, An ComunnThirisdeach, 1932, p359 "An Teid thu leam a Mhaggie Chaluim?"

"Claisean na Ruigh-bheinn air dubhadh" - Cameron, Rev. Hector (ed.), Na Bàird Thirisdeach, The Tiree Association, 1932, p150.

Local Form:

Languages : Gaelic

Informants: David McClounnan, Balephuil, 1/1994