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Placename Meanings

A number of common placename elements can be interpreted easily and usually accurately and are a starting point to understanding the meanings of townlands, landscape features and so on. Caution must be used however as only by examining old sources can the names be identified with some certainty, and sometimes not even then. Nevertheless many elements and often whole placenames can be inferred from a list such as this.

Gaelic Spelling
Anglicised form
Meaning
Example
Gaelic Spelling
Anglicised form
Meaning
Example
Achadh Aghy Field, Clearing Aughnavallog (Achadh na bhFáinleog - field of the swallows) Gaoithe Gee Wind Drumnagee (Droim na Gaoith - ridge of the wnd)
Allt Alt Steep glen or stream Altadreen (Allt an Draighin - Steep glen/stream of the blackthorn) Garbh Garvey, Garvagh Rough Garvaghy (Garbhachadh - rough field)
Ard Ard Height Ardtimacormick (Ard Tí Mhic Cormaic - height of MacCormick's house) Glas Glass Green Moneyglass (An Muine Glas - the green thicket)
Áth Ath, Augh Ford Aughnacloy (Áth na Cloiche - ford of the stone) Gleann Glen Gken, valley Glengomna (Gleann Gamhna - the glen of the calf)
Baile Bally Town/townland Ballynahone Beg (Baile na hAbhann Beag - little townland of the river) Gort Gort, gart Enclosed field Gortnamony (Gort na Mónadh - enclosed field of the bog)
Ban Ban, bane White Lurganbane (An Lorgain Bhán - the white ridge) Grianán Greenan Place facing the sun Greeenan (Grianán - sunny place)
Beag Beg Small Tullaghbeg (An Tulach Bheag - the little hillock) Iolair

eelar, illar

Eagle Drummiller (Droim Iolair - ridge of the eagle)
Bearnais Barnes, Barnish Gap or pass Barnish (Bearnais - a gap or pass) Inis Inish, Inch Island Inisharoan (Inis an Róin - seal island )
Breac Brack Speckled Knockbrack (An Cnoc Breac - the speckled hill) Lag Lag, Leg Hollow

Legmore (Lag Mór - big hollow)

Bruíon Breen Fairy Dwelling Breen (Bruíon - Fairy Dwelling) Leargaidh Largy Sloping hill Largy (Leargaidh - sloping hill)
Buí Boy Yellow Magheraboy (An Machaire Buí - the yellow plain) Lios Lis Fort Lisnasliggan (Lios na Sliogán - fort of the shells)
Bun Bun Bottom Bunshanacloney (Bun Seanchluana - bottom of the old meadow) Locháin Lochan

Little Lakes

(Loch - lake - plus diminutive)

Loughan (Na Locháin - the little lakes)
Caol Keel Narrow Ballykeel (Baile Caol - narrow townland) Lorgain Lurgan Ridge Lurgantamry (Lorgain an tSamhraidh - ridge of summer)
Carn Carn Cairn - burial mound Carnkirn (Carn Caorthainn - cairn of the rowan) Machaire Maghera Plain Magherabeg (Machaire Beag - small plain)
Carraig Carrick Rock Ballynagarrick (Baile na gCarraig - townland of the rocks) Maigh Moy Plain Moira (Maigh Rath - Plain of the fort)
Ceathru Carrow Quarter (often of a ballybetagh) Carrowlaverty (Ceathrú Ui Laifeartaigh - O'Laverty's quarter) Mór More Big Tamnaghmore (An Tamhnach Mhór - big field or clearing)
Chabrach Cabragh Rough or bad land Cabragh (An Chabrach - rough land) Muine Money Thicket, shrubbery Moneynick (Muine Chnoic - thicket of the hill)
Cill Kill Church Kilminioge (Cill M'Fhionnóg - Little Finn's Church) Mullach mullach Hill summit Mullabrack (Mullach Breac - speckled hill summit)
Clár Clare Plain Clare (An Clár - the plain) Mullán Mullan Summit Mullinsallagh (Mullán Saileach - summit of the willows)
Cloch Clough, Clog Stone (or sometimes stone castle) Cloughanmurray (Cloch Dhún Muirigh - Stone castle of Murrays fort) -na- -na- of the Culnafay (Cuíl na Bheithe - corner of the birch)
Cluain Clooney, Clon, Pasture Coolnacran (Cuain Chrannacháin - meadow of the wooded place) Poll Pol Hollow Ballybollen (Baile na bPollán - townland of the hollows)
Cnoc Knock Hill Knockbane (An Cnoc Bán - the white hill) Poirt Port Landing place Portdoo (An Port Dubh - the black port)
Coill Kill Wood Kilkinamurray (Coill Chon Murchaidh - wood of Murchadh's hound) Ramhar rammer Broad Drumramer (Droím Ramhar - broad rifdge)
Corr Cor Strange, noticeable Corbally (Corrbaile - odd townland) Rath Rath Fort Rathfriland (Rath Fraoileann - Fraiole's fort)
Creagán Creggan Rocky place Cregganboy (An Creagán Buí - the yellow rocky place) Riabhach Reagh Grey Ballyreagh (An Baile Riabhach - grey townland)
Cuíl Col, cool Corner, recess Coolsallagh (Cuíl Saileach - recess of the willow) Rinn Ring Point Ringclare (Rinn Chláir - point of the plain)r
Darach Dara, Derry Oak Tree Edenderry (Éadan Darach - hill-face of the oak tree) Saileach Sally, sallagh Willow Drumsallagh (Droim Saileach - ridge of willow)
Dearg Derg Red Aghaderg (Achadh Dearg - red field) Sceach Skeagh Hawthorn The Skeagh (An Sceath - the hawthorn)
Domhnach Donagh Church Donaghcloney (Domhnach Cluana - church of the meadow) Sliabh Slieve Mountain Slievenabrock (Sliabh na mBroc - mountain of the badgers)
Dísert Desert Hermitage Desertmartin (Dísert Mhartain - Martin's hermitage) Sráid Straid Street/village Straid (Sráid - street/village)
Doire Derry Oak grove Derrylough (Doire Locha - the oakgrove of the lake Sruthán Struan Stream Surhanleanantawey (Sruthán Léana an tSamhaidh - stream of the sorrel meadow)
Draighean Dreen Blackthorn place Dreen (Draighean - place of blackthorns) Tamhnach Tawney, Tonagh Field Tonaghmore (Tamhnach Mór - big field)
Droím Drum Ridge Drumo (Droím Eo - ridge of Yews) Tamlaght Tamlacht Pagan burial place Tamhlacht (Tamhlacht - pagan burial place)
Dubh Doo, duff Black Lough Doo (Loch Dubh - Black lake) Teampall Temple Church Templastragh (Teampall Lasrach - Lasair's church)
Dún Doon, Dun Fort Duneane (Dún Dá Éan - fort of the two birds) Tobar Tober Well Tobernaveen (Tobar na bhFiann - well of the Fianna)
Éadan Eden Hill face Edenmore (Éadan Mór - Big hill face) Tuar Tor Cattlefield Tornaroan (Tuar na Ruán - Cattlefield of the red patches)
Eanach Annagh, Anna Marsh Annaghanarva (Eanach an Arbha - marsh of the corn) Tulaigh Tully Mound or hill Tullyree (Tulaigh Fhraoigh - hill of the heather)
Fada Fad, fada Long Killyfad (An Choillidh Fhada - long wood) Tir Tyr, tir Land Tirfergus (Tir Fearghais - Fergus' land)
Gabhan Gowan Smith Ballygowan (Baile an nGabhann - townland of the smiths) Uachtar Aughter Upper part Aughterclooney (Uachtar Cluana - upper part of the meadow)