Isle of Man and Place Names

Isle of Man and Place Names

The history of place names on the Isle of Man can be traced back to the Celts and the Iron Age. The Isle of Man has its own language, known as Manx, which stems from the Goidelic group of Celtic languages and has had a huge influence on the place names across the island.

As a result, many place names on the Isle of Man reflect the Celtic languages, although there are also influences from invaders including the Viking Age and Norse Kingdom.

For the most part, Manx place names are inspired by the environment, including the location and vegetation, and the geography.

For example:

  • Kirkbride means ‘the church of St. Bridget’.
  • Kirk Andreas means ‘the church of St. Andrew’.
  • Kirk Maughold means ‘the church of St. Machud’.
  • Maughold Head is a promontory (head) named after St. Machud.
  • Baldrive means ‘farm of the black hawthorn’.
  • Douglas means ‘black stream’.
  • Ballakillingan means ‘farm of Fingan’s church’.
  • Ballabeg is derived from Balley Beg and means ‘small homestead’.
  • Ballameanagh means ’middle farm’.

Examples of place names in the Isle of Man derived from Scandinavian languages are:

  • Fistard means ‘fish enclosure’ and reflects the Scandinavian practice of keeping fish alive in an enclosure on the seashore so they can be taken when needed.
  • Ramsey is derived from the Old Norse word ‘Ransa’, which means ‘wild garlic stream’.


See also:

Ireland and Place Names

Wales and Place Names

Scotland and Place Names

The Origin of Place Names

MLA Citation/Reference

"Isle of Man and Place Names". 2023. Web.