Township: Kirkapol

Map Reference: Kirkapol 38

Name Type: sliabh

Meaning: The element grian is very productive on Tiree, being the specific in at least four names. We can be fairly confident from the topography here that it derives from OI grænn meaning not only ‘green, of verdure [grass]', but also having the sense 'hopeful' and 'fresh' (CV, 218; see Biggam 2012, 218). The phonetic development æ > i-a is common on Tiree (see section
There is a Grianaisgeir by Fladday (MacKay 2013, 188); Grinnabreck on Rousay, Orkney, is derived from grœnn-brekka (Marwick 1995 (1947), 53); Græn- occurs as a specific twenty-five times in Iceland (another landscape where pockets of green stand out), for example Grænahlíð, with six examples of Grænhóll (SAM). The generic is ON hóll ‘rounded hill’: Grænhóll.
Icelandic grænn had developed from the Old Norse grœnn. This form is seen in the six examples of Grønholen in Norway, although græn- is also quite common, as in Grænvika (NG); in the Shetland names Gruna Taing and Houllna Gruna (SP); the Orkney names Gurness and Howeena Gruna (Sandnes 2010a, 202 and 209); and the three examples of Grønabrekka in the Faroe Islands (KO). For some reason, the Tiree phonetic development resembles that in Iceland rather than those in the Northern Isles and much of Norway.
There is an Eilean Grianal on Skye and a Grianal in Stornoway (SP). Its closest Gaelic equivalent is An Cnoc Glas 'the green hillock' of which there is one local example in Barrapol. The Scots Greenhill is quite common, for example in Sadell, Argyll, and Hoy in Orkney (SP).

Other Forms: Cnoc an t-Sithein

Cnoc Beag Ghrianail - AMcL.

Related Places:

Just to the west of the house 'Ormer' - LMcL

Local Form:

Languages : Norse, Gaelic

Informants: Angus MacLean, Scarinish, 2/1995

Informant 2: Lachlan MacLean (Lachainn Sheumais), Vaul, 6/1994