Township: Ruaig,Ruaig

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Name Type:

Meaning: There may have been a vowel shift in this name over time, Rowbeig becoming Ruaig between 1674 and 1768. ‘In all Scandinavian languages, ON á has been rounded, and is now pronounced /?/, as in English saw. The shift probably started circa 1200...[and it] may have triggered a further chain shift in the back vowels in Norwegian and Swedish.../o/ is raised to /u/’ (Sandnes 2010a, 65). The specific is not transparent, and there are at least four possibilities:
• The male ON personal name Hrólfr fits the earliest recorded version, although there is no medial genitive morpheme /s/. Rolfsvik is a place- name in Lund, Norway (NG), and Hrólfsstaðir occurs twice as an Icelandic farm name (SAM)
• ON rauðr ‘red’...in local names, e.g. Rauði-sandr, from the reddish colour of bogs and moorlands, which was supposed to be a sign that there was iron in the soil’ (CV, 484). Similarly, ON rauði (genitive rauða) ‘iron ore’ (CV, 483). The Iron Age and early medieval settlers made iron from bog iron. This consists of pea-sized nodules of iron that are formed by bacteria living in marshes where the water has run through iron-containing rocks. Its presence is betrayed by a red, oily slick forming on surface water, and areas where this occurred were highly prized. Rauða is a common specific among Icelandic farm names, occurring eighteen times, and there is one example of Rauðavík (SAM); Egil set up his smithy at Rauðanes, Borganes, Iceland (Egils saga, chapter 30). The moorland of Ruaig is known today as ScG An Sliabh Dearg ‘the red sliabh’ because of the colour of its pools
• ON rá ‘nook, corner’ (CV, 485), ‘dividing line’ (see Raerinish in Oftedal 2009, 43). This is topographically plausible at the east ‘corner’ of Gott Bay. There is a Robolls on Islay, for which rauða, hraun ‘bare’ and ON rá have been suggested (Macniven 2015, 278). Ravik occurs six times in Norway (NG)
• ON ró ‘rest, calm, quietness’ (CV, 502). Ro occurs eleven, and Rovik six, times in Norway (NG). This is topographically unlikely at the west end of Gott Bay
The generic is ON vík ‘bay’.

Other Forms:
Rolbaig, 1509 ER 13, 216
Roweg, 1541 ER 17, 647
Roweg, 1638 RMS ix, 828
Rowag (settlement symbol) and Clet Rowag, 1654 Blaeu (Pont) Rowbeig, 1674 Retours ARG vol. 1, 86
Ruaig, 1768 Turnbull
Ruag, 1776 Mackenzie M (sen.), West Side of the Island of Mull with the Islands of Tiri and Coll, EMS.s.654
Ruaig, 1794 Tiree Rental, Cregeen 1964, 37
Ruaig, 1878 OS 6 inch first edition (JGC, OSNB, 139, -)

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Languages : Norse