Λεμαννονιος κολπος

Attested:  Ptolemy 2,3,1  Λεμαννονιος κολπος and 2,3,12 Λεμαννονιου/Λελαννονιου

Where:  Loch Fyne, feeding into the Firth of Clyde around NR9462, offers the best fit to Ptolemy's coordinates (Marx , 2013) and to his use of the word κολπος ‘bay’.  It is slightly similar in size and shape to Lake Leman, known to Julius Caesar as lacus Lemanus.

Name Origin:  The English word liman ‘natural harbour’ (= the deposit of slime at the mouth of a river!) descends from Greek, but when Beekes (2009) discussed at length the difficult etymology of λειμων, λιμην, and their many relatives he concluded that “for the etymology, only suppositions are at hand”.  The -onnios ending resembles onno ‘river’.  Many “wet” geographical names, such as Portus Lemanis and Verolamium, may be related, along with words such as Latin lama ‘bog’, Old English lám ‘mud’, etc.  Linguists have never really sorted out all the “wet” words beginning with L (lake, lava, leak, lime, loam, lough, etc) which seem to have parallels outside Indo-European. 

Notes:  Rivet & Smith suggested Loch Lomond after Watson (1926) pointed out that Lennox, a district north of Glasgow, was formerly Leamhnacht, which might descend from this name.  Likening that to Old Irish lem ‘elm’ is unconvincing.

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Last edited 25 October 2022     To main Menu