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Islands - Isles - Islets

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743343.  Tue Sep 14, 2010 9:47 pm Reply with quote

They might be called Thousand Islands, but the real number is ... ?

We have the Calendar Islands, but the days are not numbered enough.

743639.  Wed Sep 15, 2010 10:05 pm Reply with quote

CB27 wrote:
I then found that several old languages had words for water that shared their root with Aqua, but already used a "g", including the Old English word for water "Ig". To describe a land surrounded by water, they called it "Igland", and this eventually became "Island".

It gave rise to other related words, too, such as ait or eyot, meaning an islet or small island, especially one in a river.

Tolkien uses eyot in The Lord of the Rings, in the part where the Fellowship were travelling by boat down Anduin, the Great River. When one imperceptive critic complained of his using obscure words, Tolkien said something like "Well, what else would you call it then?" in retort. (I believe this comes out in Letters, which I cannot put my hand on just quite now; hence the paraphrasal.)

The OED is a bit muddled on the word's origens. For historical forms, it lists all of:
    (1 ʒʒa, ʒeo), 2 eyt, 3 it, eit, 7-8 eyt, eyet, eyght, 8 aight, ayte, 7- ait, 9 eyot
And for etymology, it gives this tangled tale:
    OE. ʒʒa, ʒeo was perh. a dim. of eʒ, ʒ, island (though the ordinary power of -a was to make abstr. nouns, as in hunta hunting). The subsequent phonetic history is obscure: the normal descendant of ʒʒa would be ieth (cf. flieth); the vowel of ME. eyt might arise from an OE. variant ʒa, as in ʒ isle for ʒ (cf. also ONor. ei ‘peninsula,’ in Shetland eid ‘a tongue of land’); but the t is unexplained; the later -et, and mod. -ot, are artificial spellings after islet (MFr. islette) and mod.Fr. lot.
Another fairly common water-related word (or piece of one) that many people don't recognize as such is the guad- element in Spanish toponyms like Guadalupe, Guadalquivir, Guadalczar, and Guadalajara. It comes from Arabic wādī, meaning valley, or dry river valley, or river.

But I don't know how to drag the letter i into that one. I might could stetch it for eyot though, although the more common spelling, ait, is a homophone for the way most but certainly not all people pronounce ate; that is, [eɪt], not [ɛt].

I wouldn't be surprised if it had a variety of different regional (rustic) pronunciations. Can anyone offer any that they've heard?


747019.  Mon Sep 27, 2010 10:18 pm Reply with quote

The well known land Islands Crisis has been under reported. A rare case of a country not wanting to get involved in grabbing territory, or how not to come to the assistance of a related population. A case for peaceful resolution.

747078.  Tue Sep 28, 2010 4:51 am Reply with quote

There is another Interesting 'I' word which also means 'island'; that is Inch as in Inch St. Lawrence, the residence of GBS.
There is in County Limerick, Ireland, a place called 'Inis St Lawrence', near a town called Hospital, named for a House built by the Knights Hospitallers of Jerusalem.
There are a number of places in Ireland and Scotland called Inch, which gave surnames such as Insch and Inge.

747081.  Tue Sep 28, 2010 4:56 am Reply with quote

In the Forth estuary you have Inchkeith, Inchcolm, Inchgarvie, Inchmickery, and in the tidal river Alloa Inch and Tullibody Inch.

747223.  Tue Sep 28, 2010 11:41 am Reply with quote

GBS lived at Ayot St Lawrence, with "Ayot" being another variant of Ait, Eyot, et cetera.

Not that this detracts from those other Inches, Inises, and so on.

747790.  Wed Sep 29, 2010 3:45 pm Reply with quote

mckeonj wrote:
There are a number of places in Ireland and Scotland called Inch, which gave surnames such as Insch and Inge.

And Ince?

747808.  Wed Sep 29, 2010 4:49 pm Reply with quote

Probably, yes.

The surname Ince seems to come from a pre-existing place name - there is an Ince near Ellesmere Port in Cheshire and another near Wigan.

And the place name Ince does seem to come from that word for an island; the Ince near Wigan appears in the Domesday Book as Inise.

772132.  Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:02 am Reply with quote

New Zealand is considered by many to be made up of 5 main islands...

North Island
South Island (also known as the Mainland)
Stewart Island
Chatham Islands (out to the East of the South Island)
West Island (more commonly known by many people as Australia)

There are many more islands around New Zealand - Just north of Auckland there are the Hen And Chicken Islands, in Northland there is the Bay of Islands, Bare Island is close to Hastings, Portland Island is at the top of Hawke Bay, East Island funnily enough is just off East Cape, Mayor Island and White Island (which is an active volcano) are both in the Bay of Plenty, as is Slipper Island.

On the Mainland by Nelson you can find Pig Island, Oyster Island, Bird Island and Rabbit Island as well as Bell Island, and Best Island. Amongst a host of islands in Fiordland National Park is one called Steep-To-Island. There is also Great Island with Little Island alongside it and Small Craft Harbour Islands.

The Knobbies is a small island just off Codfish Island which in turn is just off Stewart Island, as are Shark Island and the Earnest Islands. The Muttonbird Islands have an island there called Timoreislandchimneysisland. Dog Island in Foveaux Straight and Quail Island in Lyttelton Harbour add to the list of animal named islands.

Way to the south of Stewart Island and about 1500km from its namesake city are the Auckland Islands.

772195.  Tue Jan 04, 2011 8:26 am Reply with quote

The Chatham Islands, NZ, lie in the future, being east of 180 longitude. However the International Date line diverts eastward of the islands, and in reality they operate on their own time zone, 45 mins ahead of NZ time (UTC+12/+13 daylight saving).

Another island group with a time zone issue is Kiribati, which straddles the 180 longitude line (and the equator), including the Gilbert Islands, Phoneix Islands and Line Islands. The island groups are so widely dispersed that if the sea surface between them were counted as the area of the country, Kiribati would be the 7th largest country in the world, after Australia and just ahead of India. However, the total land area of Kiribati is just 726km2.

773558.  Sun Jan 09, 2011 7:28 am Reply with quote

An inselberg (German for island mountain) is an an isolated mountain that rises abruptly from a gentle slope or level plain. The term was coined by geologist Wilhelm Bornhardt to describe the features he found in southern Africa. They are also known as kopje/koppie in this region.

Well known features that can be described as inselbergs include Uluru, Australia and Sugarloaf Mountain, Brazil. The characteristic inselberg in the UK is Suliven, north west highlands, below.

Ian Dunn
793996.  Tue Mar 08, 2011 4:21 am Reply with quote

I was listening to a documentary on Radio 2 last night and there was something mentioned which might be quite interesting if it is true. I was wondering if someone can confirm it.

Is it true that the first person to break the 100mph limit on the Isle of Man's TT circuit was George Formby?

Original source of claim: George Formby - Britain's Original Pop Star, Episode 1.

794031.  Tue Mar 08, 2011 6:34 am Reply with quote

I don't know exactly what they're claiming; is it that George Formby was the first person to make a vehicle travel at 100mph on the circuit that the Isle of Man TT races use?

That might be true, for all I know. But if he did, he didn't do it in a race. According to Wiki, the first person to break the 100mph barrier for a lap in a TT race was Bob McIntyre in 1957. But that means an average speed throughout the whole lap of over 100mph, and I expect someone would have made a bike go 100mph at some point on the circuit before that. And that person could have been George Formby, but a professional motorcycle racer would seem a more likely bet.

Ian Dunn
794042.  Tue Mar 08, 2011 7:14 am Reply with quote

I believe you are right - he was the first (or so is claimed) to have been the first man to do it on the circuit, not in an actual race. He was there when he made the film No Limit, what is considered to be his first successful film.

794062.  Tue Mar 08, 2011 9:13 am Reply with quote

Which made me youtube "It's in the air" - saw that movie a thousand years ago, as a child, back in Holland. Still remembered that song, at least the tune, and and delighted that I can now hear it again.
Haven't ever seen it on telly since, mind. Why don't they play his films?


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