Some Scilly place-names


There are lots of charming and/or peculiar place-names on the Isles of Scilly. How about Illiswilgig? This was recorded in 1584 as Inniswelsick, meaning “grassy island”. An even odder one is Izzicumpucca. Apparently this was originally Islonk an Bucca, meaning “the Bucca’s chasm”. A Bucca is a Cornish imp. A couple which always seem to me as if they ought to be somewhere in the Mediterranean are Minalto and Mincarlo. In both cases the first element is Cornish mên – “stone”. In the first name the second element is altow, meaning “cliffs, and in the second name it is carlyth, meaning “rayfish”.
Photo credit: © Copyright David Lally and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

4 thoughts on “Some Scilly place-names

  1. I have been fasinated by your blog. by the way I’m South Korean who studied two years in the University of Warwick, UK
    I want to learn more about english phonics and pronunciations.
    I have been studying it through web searching and some books
    for myself alone.
    learning by learning, I got to have more questions.
    are there any way for me to ask some questiona to you.

    one of them is about the distinction between similar sound of english.

    especially, voiceless sounds and voiced sounds are dificult to tell apart.

    my own finding is that for me when some vocied sounds come at the end of words or syllables, the sound of vocied sounds seem to get closer to the sound of its voicelss partners.

    can you explain why and let me know the way to distinguish them.

    for example)

    /s, z/ /t,d/ /f,v/ /p b/ /tʃ,dʒ/ and so on


    same sounds of english seems to vary according to the position of appearance like biginning,middle part , ending?

    is that the case ?

    your kindness to answer to me sould be appreciated.

  2. Glorios,

    There are a lot of questions there. I’ll answer them in a separate post.

  3. I always thought it was such a pity that Cornish didn’t linger on in the Scillies until at least the end of the 19th century or even into the 20th….
    After all, surely that’s what offshore islands well away from the hub of a country are for?

  4. Is anyone able to explain the placename origins of Old and New Grimsby on Tresco?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.