Gaelic Place Name Components
Tyrone and Kilskerry
Great-grandfather William Brien of Glengeen Lodge, Trillick, is buried at Kilskerry. What do these words mean, the components of Irish place names. Fast forward to "kiil" or "killy" as church. Go further.
1. Irish place names: Go to http://www.irelandstory.com/geography/placenames.html and find that although there have been centuries of Vikings, Anglicizing, changes. A place name may be completely Norse, for example, like Dublin. Also see a larger list at http://www.fionasplace.net/irishplacenames.html. We have listed the ones we found most useful from both sites below. The best for a download, with full sample place names provided, is the fionasplace site.
2. Merely taking an English spelling and going to a dictionary may not lead to the correct Irish meaning. Irish place names are usually descriptive, with multiple components. If there are two lakes, for example, says the site, the larger lake area may have "-more" appended. The smaller, "-beg".
Gaelic words can sound alike, however, so find an expert in Irish dictionaries. While you are there, look up the old Ogham Script, see http://www.ancientscripts.com/ogham.html, patterned slashes or lines read bottom to top on stones, right to left on manuscripts.
Fair use thumbnail from http://www.islandguide.com.uk
2. Some of the frequent Gaelic components
Ard - high.
Ath - ford, in a stream or river
Bally, or Ballyna or Bally means Place of. This is not the same as "town of" as the towns came later.
Beg - small.
Carrick - rock. Carrickfergus.
Clon, Cloon, or Con- a dry place. Clonmel, Clonmacnois, Clonfert
Down-dun-don - fortified place. Downpatrick.
Drum - ridge
"Kil" or "Killi" - church.
Knock - hill.