Township: Baugh

Map Reference: Baugh 300

Name Type: township

Meaning: This is likely to be an unqualified simplex name in ON vágr (dative vági, plural vágar) ‘creek, place-names Vágr, Vágar, a fishing-place in northern Norway’ (CV, 684).
There is a marked difference between the earlier recorded written versions such as Baw and Baugh, and the modern usage in Gaelic and Scots, which is pronounced as the English ‘bag’, much truer to the original Vágr. The more recent versions of this name have the changes: initial V- > B-, the vowel shift /a/>/au/, and the terminal plosive > fricative -g.
‘Back-formation: where ON loan words or loan-names have radical initials which correspond to lenited consonants in Gaelic, they may be ‘restored’ to appropriate radical forms in Gaelic, e.g. ON vág [the accusative form] > ScG bàgh ‘bay’.’ (Cox 2002b, 53)
‘In all Scandinavian languages, ON á has been rounded, and is now pronounced /?/, as in English saw. The spelling is å. The shift probably started around 1200’ (Sandnes 2010a, 65). The first recorded version in 1509, and those following, reflects this vowel shift. The common ScG loan bàgh < ON vágr is therefore likely to have taken place before this vowel shift around 1200. There are three examples of bàgh being used as a generic on Tiree, for example ScG Port or Bàgh a’ Mhuilinn ‘the inlet of the mill’.
There is an Am Bagh in Harris (SP); Vaage occurs seventeen times in farm names in Norway (OR); Vágar is an island in the Faroe Islands.

Other Forms: Bayech, 1509 ER xiii, 216
Baw, 1541 ER xvii, 648
Baigh, 1654 Blaeu (Pont)
Baw, 1674 Retours ARG i no. 82
Baw, 1716 MacLean-Bristol, 1998
Baugh, 1768 Turnbull
Baugh, 1794 Tiree Rental, Cregeen 1964, 38
Baugh, 1878 OS 6inch 1st edition
Tràigh Bhàigh, 1878 OS 6inch 1st edition
Am Bàgh, modern Tiree Gaelic usage, with the definite article

Related Places:

Information:Extracts from 'The Gaelic Otherworld' by John Gregorson Campbell, Edited with commentary by Ronald Black, (Edinburgh; Birlinn, 2005) p94:

The tenants of this farm once got the benefit of seven years’ superintendence of their cattle from a glaistig. There is a place on the farm, still called ‘the Glaistig’s bed’, where she died by falling in the gap of a dyke. She was seldom seen, but was often heard. When driving the horses to pasture she called out, “Get along, get along, thou son of a mare! Betake thee to yonder white bank!” And when the herd-boy was at his dinner she was heard shouting to the cattle, “Horo va ho whish! Did ever any one hear of cattle without a herdsman but these?”

She prepared food for herself by dragging a bunch of eels (of which there is an overabundance in the small lochs on the farm) through the fireplace of a kiln used for preparing corn for the hand-mill. One night, when engaged at this work along with Gocan (i.e ‘a Perky Little Fellow’, her son as is supposed), some one came behind and gave her a rap on the head with a stick. She and her son fled, and as they were going away, Gocan was overheard saying to his mother, “Your old grey pate has been rapped, but see that you have the bunch of eels.”

In appearance this glaistig is said to have been a thin sallow-looking little object, with ringletted yellow hair that reached down to her heels. She had short legs, and in person was not unlike a dwarf.

Local Form:

Languages : Norse