Wednesday, May 06, 2009

The Maggot - The Gaelic connection - Is the Council's renaming decision against their bilingual policy?

How Maggot Road could look under the bilingual policy of Highland Council?

In a reply to a letter in the Nairnshire, Iain Bain states:

'A similar location in Inverness is also called The Maggot. Roddy MacLean in the Gaelic Place Names of Inverness says the name is a mystery but, alluding also to the Nairn Maggot, he suggests that both names may be derived from Gaelic magh, a plain, flat area. '
'The Gurn has received a comment that makes the following interesting and valid observation.

'At a time when it is an explicit Highland Council policy and priority to introduce Gaelic place names (some of which are manifestly contrived and without historical validity - like putting the word Airport (Port Adhair?) on the signs!), it seems positively perverse to dispense with a road name which apparently has a genuine and legitimate Gaelic derivation. There's a lot more character and interest in retaining a name which has cultural resonance, which could have a relevant Gaelic equivalent underneath it, and which is unique and distinctive - than in adopting a name like Riverside Drive, of which there must be hundreds in towns from the Thames to the Tay...'

Nairns Gaelic heritage is often overlooked but it's there all the same. Take the census figures from 1881 for a start or simply examine the Ordinance Survey map to see the proliferation of Gaelic names that still exist in their original form in the area.. Is it time for Convenor Sandy Park and his coalition colleagues in Nairn to pay heed to Nairn's Gaelic heritage instead of an attempt at Orwellian renaming?


Anonymous said...

Why not just call it Rathad a Mhaga.That way nobody will will have a clue what you are talking about.Maybe the easiest way out,and save a lot of arguements between the Maggoteers.

Anonymous said...

"At a time when it is an explicit Highland Council policy and priority to introduce Gaelic place names"

Aye you will have then noticed that east of Inverness this Policy has'nt been much alligned - not that I am bothered as I think the monies could be better spent albeit I do support the language heritage.

Graisg said...

Just a thought

'Port Adhair' causing a problem for you? There was a time when English didn't have the like so someone thought of using the the words 'port' and 'air' to describe the new fangled place where planes landed and took off again.

Gaelic has the right to invent new names too?

Nairn said...

Just waiting now for the developers to make a request to rename Sandown before they shell out their monies, after all having the word 'down' in a place name isn't very positive is it?
How about West Inches? For west it is and inches will be measurement of your new property to make it sound larger than it really is.

Anonymous said...

iRight's comment about renaming Sandown as West Inches prompts an interesting train of thought. Who knows where this logic might lead us...

"Inch", or "Insch" comes originally from the Gaelic innis (island) and is defined in the Scots Dictionary as "a stretch of low-lying land near a river or other water". In other words, a plain, flat area...which as Iain Bain has already explained, is a magh or Maggot.

So, rename Sandown not as West Inches - but as MAGGOT WEST! Name retained, history honoured, Gaelic respected, everyone happy?

Jane Harkiss said...

Delirious, darling. Fancy a cocktail? PX