River Traligill


River Traligill


This name was the subject of a Twitter discussion and a discussion among the Assynt Lives collective in March 2020. The name is taken locally as meaning Troll River, and the atmospherically emotive locality lends itself to this description. However, Troll in Old Norse, which we assume to be the origin, owing to the "-gil" suffix implying ravine, would be originally be "trǫll", while maps for the last 500 years have consistently used an A sound for the prefix - Tralli/Trally/Trali.
Twitter respondent @coigachassynt noted "Pont map calls it Trallyghyrr and Gordon map Tralligir. 1600s"
Prof Donna Heddle of Orkney's take was that it refers to "Serf's Ravine", from Old Norse: þræll - thrall, noting that a reference to Troll would be variants on "Trogil." Prof. Heddle specifically excludes the possibility of the meaning relating to Troll.


River of the Serf's Ravine
Frequently locally assumed to be "Troll River" or Troll ravine" but see Subject discussion notes