Advances in Earth Science research to aid place-name elucidation: a study of colour attribution to names of places in West Cork.

James F. Collins


The contributions that geology, hydrology, biology and sister disciplines have made to the elucidation of place-names are well established but some published interpretations seem outdated in the light of recent advances in many disciplines, including land-use studies. Since the primary function of a place-name was to identify a particular place and not to confuse it with another, perhaps all that was sought or needed was a very minor discriminatory feature. A colour characteristic, either strong or subtle, could and would have been an obvious choice. With ever-increasing data-banks relating to rocks, soils, waters and vegetation and on the changes in land use over recent centuries, data are presented in the belief that some of the earlier postulations made about the colour attribution of place-names can be challenged or amended. Data from West Cork sources are used to show that the origins of colour may be many and that this aspect of toponymy could benefit by reference to recent publications in a range of sciences.

Full Text:






  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright © Geographical Society of Ireland | Home | Contact us | ISSN: 0075-0778 (Print), 1939-4055 (Online) | Last Update: November 10, 2021