Township: Hough

Map Reference: Hough 38

Name Type: watercourse

Meaning: An extensive area involving a Cnoc (where a Coastguard look-out hut was later built), Loch and Rubha

This may be a Gaelic coinage from ScG carragh ‘stone monument’ and ScG staoin ‘awry, crooked’ or ‘juniper’. The modern stress pattern supports this, with stress on the second element staoin. ScG carragh is quite a common element on Tiree occurring five times, for example the natural feature An Carragh Biorach ‘the sharp-pointed stone’ in Cornaigmore. However, common juniper, ScG staoin, while common on Coll, is not currently found on Tiree (Pearman 2000, 98), and there is no obvious stone feature at this machair site today.
The name is more likely to be Norse. The specific is probably from the male ON personal name Kári (genitive Kára). Karisholmen is a farm name in Norway (OR); there are several Icelandic farm names in Kára- as in Kárastaðir (SAM). The generic could be:
• ON st?ng ‘peninsula’. ON st?ng originally meant ‘pole or staff’, but is commonly found in place-names, and could mean a ‘sea mark’, ‘boundary marker’, or navigational headland. Carrastaoin is certainly an important landmark on the north-west corner of the island. St?ng is more usually found as a specific, as at Stangenes in Norway. It is less commonly found as a generic, as at Rokstang, Norway, and Háastöng, Iceland (Whaley, in Gammeltoft et al. 2005, 244-267). The simplex Stöng occurs twice as a farm name in Iceland (SAM)
• ON steinn ‘standing stone’, which an earlier form of ON pronounced *stainn (Kruse, in Gammeltoft et al. 2005, 146; but this may be a dialectal phenomenon, Macniven 2015, 16). There are a Staoin and a Staoisha on Islay, which Macniven derives from ON steinn (Macniven 2015, 177 and 280); there are a number of names in Karistein in Norway (NG)

Other Forms:

Related Places: See Carrastaoin


Local Form:

Languages : Gaelic, Obscure

Informants: OS