Manx in early records

Manx was primarily a spoken language during the period of the records considered. Certain Manx words (primarly those associated with names) do appear however, and these have apparently been phonetically transcribed. The definitions of some such words are given below. These were taken from Kelly's 1810 English-Manx dictionary.


Commonly used Manx words in personal names


mac translates to son

ine presumablably relates to the Manx word inney which translates to daughter


Both of these words commonly appear in names as recoreded in 16th century documents. For example John mac Cannell or Jony ine Quayle. It is likely that the gradual incorporation of mac into surnames explains why so many Manx surnames now begin with a C, K or Q.


Commonly used Manx words in place names


Many place names recorded in early documents derive from the Manx and may describe geographical features in that language. Some examples of component words found in many placenames are given below.


balley variously translates to farm, village or estate. It is a common place name prefix.

beg translates to small.

cronk translates to hill or mount.

glion translates to glen.

lhargy translates to ditch, den or hollow place.