Township: (Rubha) Craignis,Hough

Map Reference: Craignish 300

Name Type: shore

Meaning: A long, rocky, curved peninsula
This is likely to be derived from OI kráka (genitive singular kráku) 'crow ... [or] as a nickname' (CV, 354; NS): 'Krak/krag- in Scandinavian place-names is derived from ‘crow’' (Sandnes 2010a, 106). This may sometimes be literal, although the hooded crow was relatively uncommon on Tiree and Coll, with just three to four pairs apparently breeding in 1939 (Bowler and Hunter 2007, 177). However, its use here is more likely to be metaphorical, a reference 'derogatively to an outlying farm' or poorer ground: in other words, land only fit for crows (Macniven 2015, 150, referencing Gammeltoft). This is topographically very appropriate. The generic is ON nes ‘headland': Krákunes.
This is a common name in the Norse expansion zone. There is a Craignish in Ardfern, Argyll, a Craakinish on Berneray and a Kraiknish in Bracadale (SP); Kråknes is common in Norway (NG), and this could well be a transfer name; while Krák- is a common specific in the Faroe Islands, as in Krákugil (KO). This element is not found in Iceland (SAM).

Other Forms: Kraginess - The map MVLA INSVLA in the Atlas of Scotland, Atlas Novus, by Joan Blaeu, 1654. These maps were largely based on work by Timothy Pont who mapped Scotland between 1583 and 1596. NLS, 123.

Craignish - The Turnbull Map of Tiree 1768 and accompanying survey text.

ONB p. 10 gives Rudha Chràiginis and Chraiginis.

Related Places:

Information:Cameron, Rev. Hector (ed.), Na Bàird Thirisdeach, The Tiree Association, 1932
Rev. Hector Cameron, p 432:

Siar i o’n traigh gu sail an Rudha,
O’m Fhang ge guineach a’ ghaoth;
A stigh mar a b’ aill gu ban Phuill – a – Mhanaich,
’S gun dail fo Charragh Phuirt-Staoin
Bha Conslum fo sroin is ceol na cruithean
Bha deonach ’mireag ri ’taobh;
’S aig Craignis fadheoidh an seol mu ’claigeann,
’S mo sheoid-sa dhachaidh le saod.


Local Form:

Languages : Norse

Informants: ONB

Informant 2: multiple