Township: (Rubha) Craignis,Hough

Map Reference: Craignish 37

Name Type: shore

Meaning: With just one oral source for this name, we must tread carefully. This may be a Gaelic name from ScG earball 'tail'. However, this is an uncommon element in the Hebrides, appearing as Airidh nan Earball and Loch nan Earball in Uig (SP), and not appearing in the Carloway Gazetteer (Cox 2002). In addition, the Tiree dialect pronounces earbal as [?u ?? ?b??].
This is more likely to be a Norse name, with the specific ON eyrr (genitive singular eyrar) 'gravel bank ... a small point of land running into the sea' (CV, 136), which is topographically very appropriate. There is an Ervik in Selje, and an Er√łyna in Suldal, Norway (SP); names in Eyrar- are very common among farm names in Iceland, for example Eyrarbakki (SAM).
The generic may be ON pallr 'cliff, step' (see section Eyrarpallr. There is a Pallberg in Unst, Shetland (SP); and there is a Pallen in Songdalen, a Pallan in Hemne, a Pallin in Rissa, and a Pallefjell in Lindesnes in Norway (NG). I could not, however, find pallr used as a generic elsewhere in the Norse expansion zone. The Norse > ScG loan word A' Phalla occurs six times in Barra (Stahl 1999, 100), and it is also common in Carloway (Cox 2002, 348).

Other Forms:

Related Places:


Local Form: An Urball Beag

Languages : Gaelic

Informants: Neil MacKinnon, Balevullin, 2/1994