Township: Baugh

Map Reference: Baugh 31

Name Type: sliabh

Meaning: Baugh | A commanding inland house site, beside the tidal stream An Fhadhail. '[The] highest point to which ordinary spring tides flow' is marked as 0.5 km further inland (1878 OS 6 inch first edition, map LXIV). This site was inhabited until the mid-twentieth century. It is 0.5 km inland from the Late Medieval township of Bàgh but is more easily defended, with access from the sea only at extreme high tide, water on two sides and an extensive viewshed.

There are at least two possibilities for the specific:
• ON ørfiris ‘tidal’ (Crawford 1987, 103): 'Ör-firi, or ör-fjara, an out-going, ebbing: Örfiris-ey is the principal name for islands which, at low-water, are joined to the mainland by a reef which is covered at high-water; one such island is near Reykjavik; another at Skard in western Iceland, now called Öffirs-ey; so also Ör-fjara = the island Orfir in Orkney.' (CV, 766) There are numerous small tidal islets called Orosay off Coll, Barra, Uist, and Carloway (Cox 2002, 275)
• ON øyrir ‘ounce’, a measurement of land value worth one ounce of silver (Marwick 1995 (1947), 17); OI eyrir (genitive eyris) 'ounce of silver ... eyris-land 'land giving the rent of an eyrir'' (CV, 136); and øyrir '1/8 of a mark, in Shetland still remembered as a land measure, as in the farm name Ørsland [in Lillesand, Norway (NG)]' (Jakobsen 1936, 124). Baugh and Heanish were valued at the equivalent of half an ounceland each in Late Medieval rentals
There is an Orrawick in Lunasting, and an Orrastacks in Northmavine, Shetland (SP); there are examples of Øresvik in Rødøy and Trøgstad (NG).
There are also a number of alternatives for the generic:
• ON skáli ‘hall or house of a prominent person’, which suits its impressive site. There is a Sgaladal in Uig, Sgalanish in Kilninian, Sgalagro in Barvas, and a Scalagarry and Scalavat in South Uist (SP)
• ON kollr 'hillock', which also suits the topography
• ON garðr ‘farm or fence’, ON geiri ‘a triangular piece of land’ or ON gerði ‘fence’ suggested by the 1st edition OS source form

Other Forms: Orisgal - modern OS

Òdhrasgair - ONB p83, with Orisgair crossed out

Òrisgal - Mary MacKinnon, Parkhouse, 6/2013

Oirisgeal or Oineasgeal - Ailean Boyd, 9/2011

Òinisgear - AB, 6/2013

Related Places:

Ceit and Mairi 'Bel Òrisgail lived there and their house was descibed as a great place for parties. Katie Òrisgail played the fiddle. The house has been described as "the hub of the universe."

Local Form:

Languages : Norse

Informants: multiple

Informant 2: OS