Township: Ruaig,Sothaigh

Map Reference: Soay 10

Name Type: island

Meaning: He wonders if it could derive from Island of Ploughing - AMcL

Ruaig | An islet on the east side of Sòthaigh, and connected to it by a sand and gravel tombolo; consisting of rocky grazing, the Turnbull Map shows it was not cultivated, and the islet was subsequently much used for kelp collecting

Several Gaelic possibilities are unpersuasive:
• ScG tràghadh 'ebbing'. Rarely found in place-names. There is a Lochan Tràigh (Traghaidh) in Carloway, interpreted as 'the lochan that dries up' (Cox 2002, 336), and a Sgeir Traighaidh on Islay (SP). Tràghadh could refer to the fact that this islet's tombolo is covered at very high tides, but the OSNB (probably JGC, a keen gaeliciser) considered this derivation and ruled it out
• ScG troigh 'foot'. Possibly related to measuring kelp, but this industry developed after the Turnbull survey had mapped the name. There are no names in troigh on SP
• ScG treabhadh 'ploughing'. This was suggested by the oral source. No names found on SP, and topographically very implausible
• ScG treagh 'spear' (Dwelly). No names found on SP
It is much more likely, however, that this is a Norse name derived from OI 'tröð [plural traðir] in the Norse, a piece of fallow land where cattle are kept grazing ... in the Icelandic sense, a pen for cattle during the night ... in local names, Traðir' (CV, 643). The addition of a final intrusive consonant -dh is not uncommon (see section This is topographically very plausible; this tidal islet could act as a natural cattle pen.
This element is quite common, with Dun na Traoith on the Ross of Mull (SP); Tråd- and Trød- being common specifics in Norway (NG); six examples of Tröðin among the settlement names of the Faroe Islands (KO); and five example of Tröð among Icelandic farm names (SAM).

Other Forms: Troigh Isle - The Turnbull Map of Tiree 1768 and accompanying survey text.

Eilean an Treogh - ONB p167, with Eilean an Traodhaidh, "ebbing island" crossed out

Eilean an Treabh - AMcL

Related Places:


Local Form:

Languages : Gaelic, Obscure

Informants: OS

Informant 2: The Turnbull Map of Tiree 1768

Informant 3: Angus MacLean, Scarinish, 3/2010