Township: Sandaig

Map Reference: Sandaig 57

Name Type: well

Meaning: This may be an entirely Gaelic name, with either ScG gon (genitive case ghoin) masc. 'wound; charm' (Dwelly) or ScG cù (genitive case choin) 'dog'. It is unlikely that choin (a common word) would be re-semanticised to ghoin (which is much less common), so it is reasonable to conclude that the latter is the older source form. There is a Loch Goin near East Kilbride, but Ghoin is not found in place-names in Scotland (SP), whereas choin is extremely common: for example Eas a' choin near Kentalen (SP).
However, this is more plausibly a Norse name in an ex nomine onomastic unit. There is an Eilean na Gonna on South Uist; there is a Scare Gun in Orkney, and The Gun, a Gun Geo, a Gun Taings and a Gon Firth in Shetland (SP); in Norway, there are four examples of Gon, three of Gonga and three of Gonge, while Gonge- is a common specific, as in Gongeteigen (NG); there is a Gonguskarð in the Faroe Islands (KO); and a Göngustaðir in Iceland (SAM). The derivation of some of these is likely to be ON göng 'corridor, passage' (CV, 223; 'gangway' is a cognate) used in a topographic sense: for example, Mørkgonga in Åsa, Norway is a substantial gorge created by a crack in the lava plate. In contrast, the land in Middleton is completely flat, although the coastline is heavily indented and one of the inlets – for example, Port Bharabol where there is a boat draw – could be described as a passage. The phonetic development ? > õ?? is also found in Foirnigeir. See Goinneag

Other Forms: Tobar a' choin - Hugh MacLean, Barrrapol, 12/1996; Willie MacLean, Barrapol, 2/1996. This translates as well of the dog.

Related Places:

Information:
On the Barrapol machair - WMcL.

Local Form:

Languages : Gaelic, Obscure

Informants: Mary MacArthur, Sandaig, 5/1994

Informant 2: Hugh MacLean, Barrrapol, 12/1996

Informant 3: Willie MacLean, Barrapol, 2/1996