Attested: Ptolemy 2,3,5 Κελνιου (or Καιλιος) river mouth
Where: River Deveron, reaching the Moray coast next to Banff, NJ694639.
Name Origin: PIE *kel- confusingly has a dozen or more meanings, but ‘to cut’ seems most appropriate to explain all the parallels. 6 rivers now called Coln or Colne plus 2 called Clun are a mixed bag of middle-sized rivers, rich in wildlife and not especially bendy, rapid, or easy to navigate. Or else, Greek κελλω (possibly related to the verb hail) meant ‘to put to shore or into harbour’.
Notes: A previous analysis noted *kel- ‘to cover, to conceal’, which developed to *kelna-, and then to Latin cella ‘storeroom, granary’, but Ptolemy wrote well before any Roman army marched along the line of the modern A96 road from Aberdeen to Elgin in need of logistic support by the navy. Still, modern canoeists could reach all the way to the likely vicinity of Lodone camp. And is it significant that Greek κελαινος meant ‘black’ and Watson (1928 p231) wrote that the river Deveron was on record as meaning something like ‘black Eire’?
You may copy this text freely, provided you acknowledge its source as www.romaneranames.uk, recognise that it is liable to human error, and try to offer suggestions for improvement.
Last edited 7 November 2022 To main Menu