Meanings of Irish Place Names
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From Geography in Action (UK), by Stephen Roulston.

A number of common place name elements can be interpreted easily and usually accurately and are a starting point to understanding the meanings of townlands, landscape features and so on. Caution must be used however as only by examining old sources can the names be identified with some certainty, and sometimes not even then. Nevertheless many elements and often whole place names can be inferred from a list such as this.

Gaelic Spelling Anglicized form Meaning Example
Achadh Aghy Field, Clearing Aughnavallog (Achadh na bhFáinleog - field of the swallows)
Allt Alt Steep glen or stream Altadreen (Allt an Draighin - Steep glen/stream of the blackthorn)
Ard Ard Height Ardtimacormick (Ard Tí Mhic Cormaic - height of MacCormick's house)
Áth Ath, Augh Ford Aughnacloy (Áth na Cloiche - ford of the stone)
Baile Bally Town/townland Ballynahone Beg (Baile na hAbhann Beag - little townland of the river)
Ban Ban, bane White Lurganbane (An Lorgain Bhán - the white ridge)
Beag Beg Small Tullaghbeg (An Tulach Bheag - the little hillock)
Bearnais Barnes, Barnish Gap or pass Barnish (Bearnais - a gap or pass)
Breac Brack Speckled Knockbrack (An Cnoc Breac - the speckled hill)
Bruíon Breen Fairy Dwelling Breen (Bruíon - Fairy Dwelling)
Buí Boy Yellow Magheraboy (An Machaire Buí - the yellow plain)
Bun Bun Bottom Bunshanacloney (Bun Seanchluana - bottom of the old meadow)
Caol Keel Narrow Ballykeel (Baile Caol - narrow townland)
Carn Carn Cairn - burial mound Carnkirn (Carn Caorthainn - cairn of the rowan)
Carraig Carrick Rock Ballynagarrick (Baile na gCarraig - townland of the rocks)
Ceathru Carrow Quarter (often of a ballybetagh) Carrowlaverty (Ceathrú Ui Laifeartaigh - O'Laverty's quarter)
Chabrach Cabragh Rough or bad land Cabragh (An Chabrach - rough land)
Cill Kill Church Kilminioge (Cill M'Fhionnóg - Little Finn's Church)
Clár Clare Plain Clare (An Clár - the plain)
Cloch Clough, Clog Stone (or sometimes stone castle) Cloughanmurray (Cloch Dhún Muirigh - Stone castle of Murrays fort)
Cluain Clooney, Clon, Pasture Coolnacran (Cuain Chrannacháin - meadow of the wooded place)
Cnoc Knock Hill Knockbane (An Cnoc Bán - the white hill)
Coill Kill Wood Kilkinamurray (Coill Chon Murchaidh - wood of Murchadh's hound)
Corr Cor Strange, noticeable Corbally (Corrbaile - odd townland)
Creagán Creggan Rocky place Cregganboy (An Creagán Buí - the yellow rocky place)
Cuíl Col, cool Corner, recess Coolsallagh (Cuíl Saileach - recess of the willow)
Darach Dara, Derry Oak Tree Edenderry (Éadan Darach - hill-face of the oak tree)
Dearg Derg Red Aghaderg (Achadh Dearg - red field)
Domhnach Donagh Church Donaghcloney (Domhnach Cluana - church of the meadow)
Dísert Desert Hermitage Desertmartin (Dísert Mhartain - Martin's hermitage)
Doire Derry Oak grove Derrylough (Doire Locha - the oakgrove of the lake
Draighean Dreen Blackthorn place Dreen (Draighean - place of blackthorns)
Droím Drum Ridge Drumo (Droím Eo - ridge of Yews)
Dubh Doo, duff Black Lough Doo (Loch Dubh - Black lake)
Dún Doon, Dun Fort Duneane (Dún Dá Éan - fort of the two birds)
Éadan Eden Hill face Edenmore (Éadan Mór - Big hill face)
Eanach Annagh, Anna Marsh Annaghanarva (Eanach an Arbha - marsh of the corn)
Fada Fad, fada Long Killyfad (An Choillidh Fhada - long wood)
Gabhan Gowan Smith Ballygowan (Baile an nGabhann - townland of the smiths)
Gaoithe Gee Wind Drumnagee (Droim na Gaoith - ridge of the wnd)
Garbh Garvey, Garvagh Rough Garvaghy (Garbhachadh - rough field)
Glas Glass Green Moneyglass (An Muine Glas - the green thicket)
Gleann Glen Gken, valley Glengomna (Gleann Gamhna - the glen of the calf)
Gort Gort, gart Enclosed field Gortnamony (Gort na Mónadh - enclosed field of the bog)
Grianán Greenan Place facing the sun Greeenan (Grianán - sunny place)
Iolair eelar, illar Eagle Drummiller (Droim Iolair - ridge of the eagle)
Inis Inish, Inch Island Inisharoan (Inis an Róin - seal island )
Lag Lag, Leg Hollow Legmore (Lag Mór - big hollow)
Leargaidh Largy Sloping hill Largy (Leargaidh - sloping hill)
Lios Lis Fort Lisnasliggan (Lios na Sliogán - fort of the shells)
Locháin Lochan Little Lakes (Loch - lake - plus diminutive) Loughan (Na Locháin - the little lakes)
Loch Lough Lake Drumlough (Ridge of the lake)
Lorgain Lurgan Ridge Lurgantamry (Lorgain an tSamhraidh - ridge of summer)
Machaire Maghera Plain Magherabeg (Machaire Beag - small plain)
Maigh Moy Plain Moira (Maigh Rath - Plain of the fort)
Mór More Big Tamnaghmore (An Tamhnach Mhór - big field or clearing)
Muine Money Thicket, shrubbery Moneynick (Muine Chnoic - thicket of the hill)
Mullach mullach Hill summit Mullabrack (Mullach Breac - speckled hill summit)
Mullán Mullan Summit Mullinsallagh (Mullán Saileach - summit of the willows)
-na- -na- of the Culnafay (Cuíl na Bheithe - corner of the birch)
Poll Pol Hollow Ballybollen (Baile na bPollán - townland of the hollows)
Poirt Port Landing place Portdoo (An Port Dubh - the black port)
Ramhar rammer Broad Drumramer (Droím Ramhar - broad rifdge)
Rath Rath Fort Rathfriland (Rath Fraoileann - Fraiole's fort)
Riabhach Reagh Grey Ballyreagh (An Baile Riabhach - grey townland)
Rinn Ring Point Ringclare (Rinn Chláir - point of the plain)r
Saileach Sally, sallagh Willow Drumsallagh (Droim Saileach - ridge of willow)
Sceach Skeagh Hawthorn The Skeagh (An Sceath - the hawthorn)
Sliabh Slieve Mountain Slievenabrock (Sliabh na mBroc - mountain of the badgers)
Sráid Straid Street/village Straid (Sráid - street/village)
Sruthán Struan Stream Surhanleanantawey (Sruthán Léana an tSamhaidh - stream of the sorrel meadow)
Tamhnach Tawney, Tonagh Field Tonaghmore (Tamhnach Mór - big field)
Tamlaght Tamlacht Pagan burial place Tamhlacht (Tamhlacht - pagan burial place)
Teampall Temple Church Templastragh (Teampall Lasrach - Lasair's church)
Tobar Tober Well Tobernaveen (Tobar na bhFiann - well of the Fianna)
Tuar Tor Cattlefield Tornaroan (Tuar na Ruán - Cattlefield of the red patches)
Tulaigh Tully Mound or hill Tullyree (Tulaigh Fhraoigh - hill of the heather)
Tir Tyr, tir Land Tirfergus (Tir Fearghais - Fergus' land)
Uachtar Aughter Upper part Aughterclooney (Uachtar Cluana - upper part of the meadow)

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