Monday, 30 May 2011

Light Cast on Old Norse

Shetland place-names mainly derive from the Old Norse language of the Viking settlers. The Out Skerries are only 200 miles away from Norway. Skerry comes from sker - a rocky islet or reef. Out derives from both austr, meaning east, and utsker, referring to outer.  Locally the small group is referred to as Da Skerries - not to be confused with Ve Skerries, some eight miles to the north-west of Papa Stour on the other side of Shetland., with the ve coming from the word for west. The Ve Skerries Lighthouse (above) was constructed and completed as recently as 1979.

Scottish Islands Explorer - where place-names proliferate

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