Township: Mannal

Map Reference: Mannal 300

Name Type: township

Meaning: There are at least four plausible reconstructions:
• OI man 'bondman, probably originally of prisoners of war, who were sold as slaves ... Man-heimar ... the name of a farm in western Iceland. Local legend attributes the name to English captives kept there by Lady Olaf for having slain her husband during the English trade (1467). But at that time the word man had become quite obsolete, and so the name must be older, probably dating from the time of the first settler Geirmund, who had been a freebooter in the British waters before he came to Iceland. He may have had his household of bondmen at this farm' (CV, 409). This is the derivation of Manvik in Vestfold (NS)
• ON man (genitive manna) in the sense of ‘man’, suggesting a meeting place (Berit Sandnes, pers. comm.), or a settlement exclusively of men (Macniven 2015, 219)
• 'The prefix man(n) in Hebridean settlement names is a common one as in the names Manish [on poor land on the east coast of Harris and Raasay]. It is also common in Norway where Rygh gives its meaning as a 'hillocky landscape feature'' (Johnston 1991, 93). There is a Manni Geo in Shetland; Manna, Mannadal and Mannaberg are found in Norway (NG)
• Manndalen occurs eleven times as a place-name in Norway (NG), and Mandal and Mandalen are farm names in OR. Mandal could, therefore, be a transfer name. Mandal in Vest Agder derives from an older river name M?rn (NS). (Interestingly, a nearby beach Sjøsanden 'the sands of the lake' at 800 m is one of the most popular in Norway)
The medial /nn/ has intermittently become /nd/ by a process called hypercorrection (see Briundainn).
The generic is likely to be ON v?llr 'field, meadow' and ON dalr 'area of land'. An explanation for the two forms, Mandalon and Manwell, is generic variation, where a farm name in v?llr and a district name in dalr were variably recorded (Macniven 2015, 353).

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Languages : Norse