Isle of Man and Place Names

Isle of Man and Place Names

The history of the Isle of Man and place names can be traced back to the Iron Age and the Celts. The Isle of Man has its own language – Manx – that belongs to the Goidelic group of Celtic languages. Many place names derive from this Celtic influence, although some originate from Scandinavian languages as a result of the Viking Age and Norse Kingdom.

Isle of Man
Isle of Man

The majority of Manx place names are determined by vegetation, environment and geography, for example:

Fistard – means ‘fish enclosure’. This reflects the practice used by the Scandinavians of keeping fish alive in an enclosure on the seashore and taking them only when they were required.

Ramsey comes from the Old Norse ‘Ransa’ that meant ‘wild garlic stream’.

Kirkbride means ‘the church of St. Bridget’.

Kirk Andreas means ‘the church of St. Andrew’.

Maughold Head is a promontory (head) named after St. Machud. There is also a Kirk Maughold.

Baldrine means ‘farm of the black hawthorn’.

Douglas means ‘black stream’.

Ballakillingan means ‘farm of Fingan’s church’.

The name Ballabeg derives from Balley Beg which means small homestead

Ballameanagh means ‘middle farm’.

See also: The Origin of Place Names

MLA Citation/Reference

"Isle of Man and Place Names". HistoryLearning.com. 2015. Web.