Township: Salum

Map Reference: Salum 12

Name Type: shore

Meaning: This appears to have been gaelicised as late as the twentieth century as An Cùlaibh 'the back, back parts' (Dwelly), situated, as it is, northeast of (or 'beyond' from the point of view of most of the island) the medieval farming township of Salum (Turnbull Map). Cùlaibh, however, is rare as a Gaelic place-name, although common in everyday speech. There is one example in Kingussie, Lochan a' Chulaibh (SP). For Culaobh on Tiree, the OS did not record a Gaelic definite article, and the OS transcription was -aobh rather than -aibh.
This is more likely to be a Norse name, however. The specific may be ON kúla (genitive kúlu) 'ball, knob ... medically a hump; kúlu-bakr humpback' (CV, 360). Kula is an extremely common name in Norway, and there is a Kuledalen in Buskerud (NG); Kúludalsá is a farm name in Iceland (SAM).
The generic may be höfuð 'head ... head-shaped things' (CV, 307) or höfði 'headland' (CV, 306; Jakobsen 1897, 92): Kúluhöf. Macniven derives Oa, 'with its conspicuous and sheer-faced landform' on Islay from höfuð 'headland' (Macniven 2015, 93); h?fuð is a common generic in Norway, as in Kalhovd, Norderhov and Torshov (NS); and Høvda- is a common specific in the Faroe Islands (KO).

Other Forms: Culaobh Beag - ONB p111

Related Places:


Local Form:

Languages : Gaelic

Informants: Angus MacLean, Scarinish, 11/1996

Informant 2: OS