Monday, 30 April 2007

Isle of Skye is abolished this thursday


The other thing that's happening on thursday, apart from the elections, is that the Isle of Skye is no more. No, it isn't being towed away and sold off to some private company (but don't give anyone ideas). Instead, it's due for a name change, which hasn't been that well announced. Annoying if you run a business there and you've just forked out for a load of headed paper.

As of thursday, the blob of rocks on the horizon from here will be known as Eilean a' Cheò, which is Gaelic for "Island of Mist". I'm baffled by this. "Skye" sounds more romantic, distant, Scottish, Hebridean. "Mist" sounds like "come here, and there'll be fog so you won't see anything." Eh?

It's even more confusing for the significant proportion of tourists from Germany, as "mist" is German for "manure". Then again, that may not be a bad idea, as there are arguments and counter-arguments as to what extent a place should market itself for tourism.

My Gaelic is pretty ropey; apparently the new name is pronounced "ellan-uh-ch-yaw", rather than the more literal "aylee-achoo" - which I suspect a lot of non-native speakers will attempt to call it on the first go.


  1. How crazy is this! Isle of Skye is known and famous all over the world (I am from Oz). I couldn't wait to get there...and was lucky enough to do so. If they don't want any tourism this is definitely the best way to go about it. Tourism does have its good sides but maybe this new "island of mist" - can't for the life of me think of the Gaelic - would prefer to just sink back into the mist. Very sad I think and very short sighted, even silly imho. oh well, Ayers Rock got renamed Uluru and most people still call it Ayers Rock.

  2. david campbell17 May 2007 at 23:56

    i am totally in shock of this as my family are from the isle and still live there why oh why do peaple have to piss around with things? if it aint broke don't fix it