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The origin and the meaning of place names can be fascinating.
Most places names on Tiree come from the Gaelic spoken after the Viking power on the West Coast of Scotland had waned. Some place names are older; derived from the Norse, the Gaelic of Dal Riata and some even older still. Gradually, since the end of the 19th Century, English names have crept in, an example being Milton (mill-town).
The township where we live is called Sgairinish or Scarinish and means the ‘Headland of the Cormorant’. Not far from our home, just to the west of our garden, is Sruth a’ Mhuilinn meaning ‘the stream of the mill’. Sruth a’ Mhuilinn flows into ‘Port a’ Mhuilin’ which is translated as ‘the inlet of the Mill’ and it is less than 200 yards from our back garden. How appropriate that for the Millars, the south facing view from our widows is towards ‘Port a’Mhuilin’. Imagine! We have our very own port and inlet!
Many a childhood family holiday was spent on the Great Cumbrae, in the Firth of Clyde, where the main town is known as Millport or in the Gaelic, Port a’Mhuilinn. Here now on Tiree we have our very own Millport.