Township: An Àird a Tuath,Caolas

Map Reference: Aird a Tuath 12

Name Type: shore

Meaning: Caolas | Now a widely known house name above the sandy ScG Port Chloinn Nèill 'the inlet of the MacNeills' (see Gazetteer). This is 100 m south of a large expanse of raised cobbled beach, recently extensively quarried. At the east border of this, there is a wide gully known as ScG Sloc na Birlinn 'the gully of the galley' (see Port Chlann Nèill); this is where Urvaig is mapped on the 1st edition OS. It is not obvious which feature this name refers to.

This name derives from ON urð (genitive urðar, dative urð) ‘a heap of stones on the sea beach’ (CV, 657), with ON vík ‘bay’. The only bay nearby is an inlet that is sandy today and known as Port Chlann Nèill (see Gazetteer). Rather than Urð(ar)vík meaning 'the bay of cobbles', it is more likely to mean 'the bay of/at *Urð' (see *Urdha below), with offshore rocks known as *Urðarboði (one name of which survives as Fladarabodha).
There is a Loch Urbhaig on Coll (1881 OS 6 inch first edition) beside Loch Eatharna, suggesting that Urðarvík was the Norse name for the main harbour on the island. Urdvika is a common place-name in Norway (NG); Ørðavík is a settlement name in the Faroe Islands (KO); while Urðarbak is a farm name in Iceland (SAM). The Turnbull source form shows that the Norse name became a Gaelic loan-name.

Other Forms: Runa Huravaig - The Turnbull Map of Tiree 1768 and accompanying survey text.

Urvaig - ONB p6

Related Places:

Information:See SSS Card Index 69/166/A2a.

Local Form:

Languages : Norse

Informants: Angus MacLean, Scarinish, 11/1996

Informant 2: OS