Musicesque placenames in Clare

Musicesque placenames in Clare

Don’tcha just love some of the townland. etc placenames in Clare especially those to do with the music – Liskeentha, Cahernanoorane, let alone places called Cnoc an hiomana (Knockananima?), Caheraphuca, Cloughaphuca, Crag Liath, Lisfearbegnagommaun, Lisheenvicknaheeha, Lios a tSiodhain, Tobersheefra, and, no doubt a ‘host’ of other scary-sounding places. (apologies in advance for any and all spelling and translation issues)

Imagine playin’ an ol’ tune in the middle of a black night in some of those places. Y’d have to be game to be up for that sort of craic eh.

But it’s just all the old tales.
Isn’t it?

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Or having a session any near suheen!? or cnocmhicairt?

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Ah sure, Ireland is covered with placenames like this. Many Gaelgoirs abhor them as they are technically ‘corruptions’ of the original Irish names. See, the Brits in the early 1800’s decided they needed more accurate mapping of the Irish countryside, so they could levy taxes and exercise control more effectively. So, they set about the great six inch survey of Ireland in the 1840’s, triangulating and chaining the countryside. As part of this work, they collected the local placenames and anglicised them so that they could be spelt as Bearla on the new maps.
They tended to ‘translate’ the names phonetically ending up with placenames somewhere between the original Irish and English but closer to the Irish. So Caheraphuca is from the name, probably of a rath or fort in that locality - Chathair an Phúca - the fort of the fairies or spirits etc.

Here’s quite a good website http://www.logainm.ie where you can look up placenames in both Anglicised and what might be original forms.

But you’re right - many do have musicality in their sound but that’s as much to do with the Gaelige as anything

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Perhaps they were made up to confuse the British.

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No -judging by hussar’s post, they were made up by the British to confuse the Irish.

All very confusing.

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I was always told that the mapping was to help the army come any civil war /war of independance/invasion of the British Isles.
Also what happened to the translation of the word ‘Dingle’ which was to be changed a few years ago

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Aw ya gave to go some to beat the good old name of ‘Termonfeckin’ in Co Louth. It’s a wonder that nobody has ever come up with ‘The Termonfeckin Jig’

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Delete ‘gave’ Add ‘have’

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Ah, but sure, isn’t someone always collectin’ taxes and have to find their way round - maps are expensive things to make they say. Whatch y’do is to be changin’ the signs round, that’d fix em.

Wounded, I’m sure the names are as all to do with Gaelige and are very old, maybe thousands of years. (Bearla doesn’t have words that long anyway, I don’t think the Brits would have thought like that, they’dve heard the name for sure I reckon, and put it together from there. Sure it must have given em a headache.)

What is intriguin’ (if not confusin’) is that the locals reckon they always heard things and seen things at some of the hills and the places so much that they gave the places those names - like the phucas with the cahers in front.

There’s a place called Music Hill (I suppose it’d be cnoc na ceol? or somethin like that anyway) in Kilmaley I think it is.
I s’ppose if you’re out there and here music though, you mightn’t be sure it isn’t from the pub across the way there.

But we know better than that don’t we.

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Dubh- tho’ the ancestors are from Clare, you had me checking those wonderful names- so imaginative and generous they seem unreal (Ireland’s problem in a nutshell? 🙂 ). Imagine pronouncing any of them after a few beers, never mind the set… only the Welsh can match that.

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Great names. They’re the sort of names given to places in the absence of television, newspapers and trashy magazines and b*sh*te politics. Just people interacting with their land and talking between themselves about it.
The interesting thing, to me anyway, is whether the names are fanciful or if they reflect the reality to people then, and maybe even now.

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Thanks, pipe, did enjoy that.
I get the feelin’ those old folks aren’t tellin’ all, don’t you? Maybe they can’t say all, for what they think people might think, even though there’s a film being made.
(The ol’ fella givin the wink gives it away eh.) 😉

What about the young fella there. That’s what strikes me about Ireland. I don’t know of many places where a young person would talk openly about that sort of stuff. Certainly not where I am anyway.

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yeah, you definitely get that feeling. Here in the Southern Appalachians you’ll find lots of young folk still deeply interested and involved in their heritage and culture (which is greatly derived from Irish and Scots-Irish roots) and lots of Old Ones with that same wink in their eye as they talk about the Old Ways…

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And where we have place-names like Lickskillet and Spillcorn hehheh

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"Meeting the Other Crowd" is a great read on this topic, Eddie Lenihan and Carolyn Green co-authors. Eddie’s in Clare, I think. Some of the stories in there are very recent as well. Makes you think there’s a lot more than a name to some of these places.

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As a kid i lived for several years in VERY Rustic circumstances. About two mile’s walk up the road from my house was a place called Troublesome Gap. It was (and still is) a difficult raod to travel by car, but I always suspected there was more to that name than just a steep, bumpy road.

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Yeah, know what you mean. These are pretty troublesome too -Oodnadatta, Wallumatta, Parramatta, Wangaratta, Mittagong, Gerringong, Woodenbong, Grong Grong, Wallumbilla, Bogabilla, Muckadilla, Kumbarilla; Wollondilly, Kirribilli, , Mullumbimby, Indooroopilly.
To name just a few…
These all mean very specific things in Australian Aboriginal languages.

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Interesting. Similar stuff in other places too I think

e.g. Marfa Lights in Texas. Min Min lights in Australia. Both similar apparently. Google it, there’ll be plenty there.

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I was hoping someone would point out that Austalia possesses wonderfull placenames too. My favorite has to be Woolloomooloo; I’m given to understand it’s a section of Sidney Harbor.

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AUSTRALIA possesses. As you were.

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Place names here in Arkansas may not be musical but they are distinctive and unusual.
Just off the top of my head (but not the bottom), I can think of Hogeye, Romance, Ink, Possum Grape, "Y" City, and Smackover.
Did you know that you can travel to Aberdeen, Antioch, Athens, Augsburg, Austin, Belfast, Ben Lomond, Berlin, Boston, Carlisle, Cleveland, Columbus, Congo, Corinth, Dallas, Damascus, Delaware, Denver, Dublin, Egypt, England, Florence, Fresno, Genoa, Guernsey, Hamburg, Hanover, Havana, Hollywood, Houston, Jersey, Jerusalem, Jordan, London, Macedonia, Manila, Melbourne, Monticello, Moscow, Nashville, Newcastle, Omaha, Oxford, Palestine, Portland, Scotland, Sweden, Stuttgart, Thebes, Waterloo, and Yorktown without ever leaving Arkansas?
Then there is also Bonanza, Figure Five, Greasy Corner, Jenny Lind, Old Jenny Lind, Alabam, Old Alabam, Ben Hur, Number Nine, Oil Trough, Parthenon, Patmos, Pickles Gap, Pocahontas, Powhatan, Republican (but no Democrat), Rob Roy, Snowball, Social Hill, Friendship, Stamps, Standard Umsted, Tomato, Umpire (perfect name for a baseball town), Widener (which is so small that it is a "Widener" place in the road), and Zion.
Yes, the original European settlers (most of whom moved here from the AppleChain Mountains) were desperate for good names so they stole them from here, there, and everywhere.

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And up untill last year, you had a governor named Huckabee too.

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We’ve wandered a long, long way from Clare to here. Let’s wander back; but don’t let’s discount the musicality of many Australian placenames. Just saying.

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Unfortunately, yes (referring to Mike Huckabee). The current governor is Mike Beebe. We went from one Mike (Republican) to the other Mike (Democrat).
Some of the first European settlers in Arkansas probably wandered here from County Clare. There are still a lot of people here with Irish and Scottish surnames.

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SYDNEY harbor. Sorry for that one, Australians. Happy first day after new year, BTW.

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Jeez, did you see those poor b*t*rds in Times Square for midnight New Year celebrations…it’s bloody snowing.
What a lousy time of the year to have a new year celebration there!
It’s all sweat and beer here today.

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New Years in summer heat is beyond my comprehension. That chrystal ball in Times Square was built by the Waterford factory. Must’ve cost a fortune. Casting about for relevence here.

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Christmas and New Year celebrations in heat are a lot of fun.
Everyone heads outdoors and eat lots of seafood, and champagne. It’s the summer holidays. Gives you a whole different outlook on the world.

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AQ, there are two nurses at this hospital named "crystal". One spells her name "Chrystal’ and the other spells her name "Krystal" (I guess neither one of their parents was good at spelling).
DD, the low temperature was below freezing last night but we went to a New Year’s Eve party anyway since there wasn’t anything falling from the sky. We visited for an hour or two and then we went home before midnight because I have to work today.

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Yes - songs too have a lot of place names in them.. On my many travels through ireland over the years by bus, bike, foot and now campervan We’ve sung or played round the whole country on place names, great fun!

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