Township: Sandaig

Map Reference: Sandaig 48

Name Type: shore

Meaning: AS suggests the element smug comes from snot or mucus (see Dwelly).

ON smuga ‘a narrow cleft to creep through, hole’ (CV, 572). ‘ON smuga means first a narrow passage, then a hiding place or refuge’ (Jakobsen 1897, 67), and > the Shetland dialect word smuga (Sandnes 2010a, 246). ON smuga has, however, a fricative -g (Richard Cox, pers. comm.), and in Orkney has > Smogarth and Smoo Field (Sandnes 2010a, 148 and 246). There is a Smugga of Setter on Fetlar, Shetland (SP), a Smukkeholen in Time, and a Smukkehaug in Aurland, Norway (NG). However, polysyllabic names are often difficult to reconstruct safely (see 17.6).
The generic is ON berg (dative bergi) ‘rock’. On Shetland berg > berri as in Skelberri (Jakobsen 1936, 24), and this form is common elsewhere in Scotland too, as in Haberry, Caithness, and Melberry, Walls, Orkney (SP). This feature is now known as Sloc Seònaid, and in the past has been used for drowning unwanted puppies and kittens.

Other Forms: Smugabeireadh - AS

Smugaberidh - MMcA

Smugabearg - Bailtean is Ath-Ghairmean, Niall M Brownlie, Argyll Publishing, 1995, p159, Rock of the Narrow Cleft.

Row Smuckaberg - The map MVLA INSVLA in the Atlas of Scotland, Atlas Novus, by Joan Blaeu, 1654. These maps were largely based on work by Timothy Pont who mapped Scotland between 1583 and 1596. NLS, 123.

Related Places: See Bearg, Sandaig.

McMA places this as to the south of Am Port Mòr and bewteen this an Port an t-Siobair.

Local Form:

Languages : Gaelic

Informants: Alasdair Sinclair, Greenhill, 11/1993

Informant 2: Mary MacArthur, Sandaig, 5/1994

Informant 3: Bailtean is Ath-Ghairmean, Niall M Brownlie, Argyll Publishing, 1995, p159