Township: Hynish

Map Reference: Hynish 29

Name Type: shore

Meaning: Hynish | A ridge with four 'peaks' forming the southeastern edge of ScG Lag na Cleite 'the hollow of the hill', now known as Happy Valley. The name of the smallest conical summit nearest the sea was recorded by the OS as Mòr-Chlèit. The second, to the east, is larger. It is topped by the impressive Iron Age roundhouse ScG Dùn na Cleite 'the fort of the Cleite', and was recorded by the OS as Cléit Bheag. The most easterly is the largest and is notched; this was recorded by the OS as Cléit Mhòr. The associated valley became known as Lag na' Cleite. One informant described the central peak separately.

ScG cleit < ON klettr became a common loan word on Tiree, occurring twelve times and usually applied to domed offshore rocks, as in Cleit Ruaig. Cleit is also a common loan along the west coast of Scotland. Here, as elsewhere, there is gender anomaly: it is usually feminine, as in Cleit Dhubh in Kintyre, but sometimes masculine, as in Cleit Buidhe, Islay (SP).
However, given that the smaller, seaward elevation probably derives from ON mjó-klettr 'the pointed rock' (see Mòr Chleit below), the next elevation topped by the Iron Age fort is likely to have had an older simplex Norse coinage from ON klettr (dative kletti) 'rock, cliff' (CV, 342).
There are several examples of Clett in Orkney (SP); there are five examples of Kletten in Norway (NG) while Klet, Kletta and Klette are farm names in Norway (OR); Klettar occurs four times as a settlement name in the Faroe Islands (KO); and Klettur occurs twice as a farm name in Iceland (SAM).

Other Forms: Cléit Mhòr - OS

Cleite Mòr - AHMcD

Related Places:

One of three hills forming the seaward side of Happy Valley, there is some confusion over their naming. The OS (OSNB, 244) places Cleit Mhòr furthest away from the sea; Cleit Bheag in the middle; and Mòr Chleit at the shore. OSNB p244-5 gives the same, with the fort on Cleit Bheag.

Local Form:

Languages : Norse, Gaelic

Informants: Willie Lamont, Mannal, 9/1995

Informant 2: Alec Hector MacDonald, Hynish, 11/2015

Informant 3: OS