Ουινδογαρα

Attested: (1) Ptolemy 2,3,1 Ουινδογαρα κολπος (or Ουιδογαρα or Ουιδοταρα)
  (2) Ptolemy 2,3,9 Ουανδογαρα (Ουανδουαρα) a πολις of the Δαμνονιοι

Where:  (1) was Irvine Bay.  Marx (2013) identified (2) with Ayr, but Ptolemy's πολις was probably the native power centre known as Kemp Law, inland from Troon, at NS355336 near Dundonald, where there was later a castle.

Name Origin:  See Vindo- ‘floodplain, meandering river’, which shows variation between vowels I and A in other names.  The –gara part was a precursor of gore, a common element in later place names, meaning ‘promontory’, derived from words for ‘spear’, whose PIE root *ghaiso- led to Irish gae but developed most strongly in Germanic languages.  Presumably it referred to the Troon promontory.

Notes:  Irvine, first attested as Yrewyn in 1258, has baffled Celtic scholars, but is a perfect fit to Old English irre ‘wandering, errant’ plus *win ‘floodplain’.  Possible parallels in Celtic languages found by Breeze mean ‘leg’.  A little way north up the coast, Maromago was probably a Roman fort, long suspected to exist at Irvine, while Itucodon was probably an unidentified Roman fort further south, perhaps at Ayr.

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Last edited 4 November 2021     to main Menu