Γαβραντουικων κολπος

Attested:  Ptolemy 2,3,6  Γαβραντουικων Ευλιμενος κολπος

Where:  Near Flamborough Head on the Yorkshire coast, where Selwicks Bay TA254708 slightly outranks Bridlington Bay TA185665 to be Ptolemy's κολπος.

Name Origin:  Ευλιμενος κολπος means ‘bay suitable for a harbour’.  Γαβραντ- might come from PIE *kapro- ‘goat’, which developed an initial G and could also mean ‘horse’ in Old Irish gabor.  However, it is much more likely that it resembles OE ge- ‘with’ plus brant ‘high, steep’, referring to the dramatic cliffs of Flamborough Head.  The -ουικων part has developed from the core meaning ‘outlying’ of words like OE wic and Latin vicus, but does it here match the later element –wick of many bays in this area, usually attributed to Norse vík ‘bay’?  Or should one look for an early settlement, such as the presumed promontory fort with a trace surviving in the so-called Dane’s Dyke?

Notes:  Wulfila's Gothic Bible contains the word gabrannjaidau ‘burned’, with two similar words in other Gothic texts.

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Last Edited: 27 March 2017