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pdtempan
2018-02-06 13:44:19
Slieve Meelmore
I was alerted to a certain 'raging controversy' a few weeks ago, and have managed to avoid it like a nest of termites, but I can put it off no longer. Cra, my friend, you are jumping from the frying pan into the fire by suggesting that the anglicised element 'meel' in Slieve Meelmore/Meelbeg can be equated a) meall 'lump, mass' which is found principally in hill-names in Kerry and in Scotland, AND b) maol 'bald, round hill' as in Cnoc Maol Réidh / Mweelrea and Cnoc Maoldomhnaigh / Knockmealdown. By the way, which one is it? a or b? No, on second thoughts, don't bother answering that, because the correct answer is "neither". Pronunciations collected locally suggest overwhelmingly that the Irish word in question is míol, which is what we have on MV for this peak at present: Sliabh Míol Mór / Sliabh Míol Beag. Both meall and maol are pronounced quite differently from míol, though they can sometimes produce similar anglicisations. Now, you may have a point that ants seem an unlikely motivation for coining this mountain name. Míol not only refers to the ant, but also to the louse, and more generally does an animal, a creature. I notice that míl in Old Irish was used of cattle, or a herd of cattle, and this seems a little more plausible. However, we're not going to commit insecticide just yet. Firstly, it's clear from the Ordnance Survey Name Books that these names were locally understood to refer to ants when John O'Donovan collected them circa 1834. Secondly, there are other names in Irish mountains such as Com Seangán / Coumshingaun, 'coom of the ants'. Seangán means 'ant' unequivocally, so there's no getting away from that one. I grant you that it's worth a note in the next update suggesting the alternative interpretation of Slieve Meelmore / Meelbeg as 'big/little hill of the cattle'. I hardly dare ask whether that will keep you happy ;-) Right, I'm off to bar for a triple Powers. Damn, what's that itching???


RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 16 Next page >>
Track
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Forum: General
Morocco - advice for tackling Jebel Toubkal
spiider28 a day ago.
Has anyone climbed this mountain? I booked to go next month a trip as a surprise for my partner; now getting nervous that we might not be able for it! We'll be going as part of a guided group over...


RECENT CONTRIBUTIONS 1 2 3 .. 16 Next page >>