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Coill Logair
ginideach: Choill Logair
(freisin: coillidh, coillte, coille)
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  • English

    (the) wood of —?

    This anglicised place-name is poorly attested and its precursor is unclear. That said, the generic element is most likely coill “wood” as suggested by O’Donovan (12) (see also BPP p.64), as no ecclesiastical remains are recorded in this townland (see archaeology.ie), nor is there any saint or cleric named *Logar, *Ogar, or similar, from whom the final element may derive (see BALLINAKILL (#52751), par. Ardamine). Linguistically, forms in Kul- and Cul- such as ‘Cullugars’ (4) also support derivation from coill.

    The identity of the qualifying element is uncertain. There is no unambiguous reflex of a final vowel as found in O’Donovan’s suggested ‘Ugaire’ (12), which renders this suggestion problematic, although not impossible (see AUGHFAD (#54456), par. Coolstuff).

    Alternatively, derivation from Lughar (OIr. Lugar; see CGH p.680) could be suggested, if we assume that this place-name may have initially been anglicised during the earliest part of the Anglo-Norman period when a reflex of the original internal guttural fricative /ɣ/ (represented by -g- in Old and Middle Irish) was still articulated in Irish (cf. McManus, 1994, p.351; cf. also FETHARD, par. (#2548); KILLIANE, par. (#2569)). No early evidence survives to confirm or refute this hypothesis. Given the uncertainty, it is plausible that the qualifying element in Killugger might even represent a rare example of an Old Norse (borrowed) personal name in a Wexford place-name. There was Norse settlement in nearby Wexford Town and also in Rosslare (see Colfer, 2002 pp.19–22), and it is not impossible that a Heggr or a Hrollaugr might have been the ultimate eponym.

    Speculation notwithstanding, as the etymology of this place-name remains unclear, it is necessary to suggest the partial phonetic approximation Coill Logair as the Irish form of the name. This is consistent with the evidence as it stands, presuming that the final -s in historical examples such as ‘Killogers’ is the English plural marker.

    [Excerpt from Logainmneacha na hÉireann IV: Townland Names of County Wexford, 2016]

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