Township: An Àird a Deas,Caolas

Map Reference: Ardeas 78

Name Type: well

Meaning: here are at least two plausible reconstructions:
• ‘ON hrauna, which denotes originally a rough or rocky place, a wilderness’ (Jakobsen 1897, 79). ‘Hraun: in volcanic Iceland the word came to mean a lava field when cold, a burnt place...in Iceland frequently in local names, e.g. Hraun, Hraun-dalr’ (CV, 282). This land at the south-east corner of the island, however, is not particularly rocky or infertile. Turnbull’s 1768 survey locates the farm Kelis Mains here. ‘In the Western Isles the chiefs were legally obliged by the Privy Council regulations of 1616 to keep a mains or home farm...Probably some, if not all, the tacksmen [kept] some land laboured by their own servants, but seventeenth century references to Mains in the western isles are infrequent’ (Shaw 1980, 76). Raonabol could, therefore, be a transfer name. There is an Allt Raonadail in Stornoway, Lewis (SP); Raun is a common specific among Norwegian farm names, as in Raundalen (OR); Hraun is a common simplex farm name in Iceland, and hraun is very common as a specific among Icelandic farm names, including Hraungerði, Hraunbær, and one Hraunból (SAM)
• ON personal name R?gnvaldr. The fact that a sea rock some distance from shore, and a farm name (see above), has the same specific might favour a personal name. There is a Raonasgill in Uig (SP); there is a Rognsund in Alta, Norway (NG); and Rønnevik is a farm name in Norway (OR). There are no Icelandic farm names in R?gnvaldr (SAM)
The generic is likely to be a secondary settlement ON ból ‘farm’ name as there are a number of other Norse names in the township. In particular there is an ON bryggja ‘landing site’ nearby (see Lìbrig, Caolas), an inlet for loading cargo (see Lònamar), and a name in dalr ‘valley or piece of ground’ (see Creachasdal). The generic, however, could be ON pollr ‘pool or bay’, in which case the head-name would be Raonapoll.

Other Forms:

Related Places: Raonabol

Information:
North of the 'log cabin' - DK.

They used to make whisky here - AMcL.

Local Form:

Languages : Gaelic, Obscure

Informants: Donald Kennedy, Port Ban, 11/1995

Informant 2: Angus MacLean, Scarinish, 5/1996