Township: Moss

Map Reference: Moss 1

Name Type: sliabh

Meaning: Gammeltoft suggests ON birki ‘birch’ (in compounds birki-viðr 'birch wood', CV, 63), with either ON ból ‘farm’ or ON pollr ‘pool’ (Gammeltoft 2001, 302). The latter is more likely as this was very wet, acidic land before drainage in the nineteenth century, and probably refers to one of two nearby lochs: Loch Staineal (see Staineal below) or ScG Loch a’ Chlàir ‘the loch of the board’. Birch charcoal dated to AD 790-990 has been recovered from a settlement mound in Balinoe (Ramsay 2018).

This may, however, be a transfer name from heavily wooded Norway. Birka- occurs four times as an element in Shetland (SP). Names in Birke- are quite common in Norway (NG and OR); names in Birki- are also common in Iceland, including seven examples of Birkihlið and a Birkiból (SAM).

Other Forms: Cnoc Bhirceapol - ONB, p91, with Cnoc Bhirk-a-poll crossed out.

Cnoc Bhirceapol, common local useage

Related Places:


Local Form:

Languages : Norse, Gaelic

Informants: OS