Irish/Scottish Gaelic: Gobh-an-Abhainn


Senior Member
Hello everyone,

From the documentary Scotch: A Golden Dream.

The documentary is in English, but in the picture below is what I can see at the beginning.

Is "Gobh-an-Abhainn" Scottish Gaelic? When I make a Google search for the whole phrase, I get nothing.

Is "Gobh-an-Abhainn" a geographical name? Is "Gobh-an-Abhainn" clear to English speakers?

Thank you.

  • "Gobh-an-Abhainn" would be meaningless to anyone unfamiliar with Gaelic. Unfortunately we don't seem to have a Celtic languages forum, but I gather that "abhainn" means "river."

    Are you sure it isn't "Gaobh"?
    No, it wouldn't mean anything to most people. I guessed that the last word was "river" (related to the river name Avon), and I checked and it is, but that's all.
    It appears to be Taobh-an-Abhainn, which I think means beside the river in Gaelic, but whether it is Scots or Irish I could not say.

    Is "Gobh-an-Abhainn" clear to English speakers?
    No. Very few British English speakers have any knowledge of the other languages spoken in Britain. I am moderately familiar with Welsh, having lived in Wales for many years, but all I know of Gaelic comes from the names of places I have met with during walking holidays.
    It's almost certainly a Scottish place-name meaning "bend of the river".

    Gobh is pronounced Gove, like the former Brexit minister. It means "crooked". :rolleyes:
    Abhainn is pronounced Avon, and means "river" like many others around Britain.

    Revised since reading Uncle Jack's #4. I was reading the image as Gobh, not Taobh. Taobh-An-Abhainn, Bruichladdich, ISLE OF ISLAY, PA49 7UN. It means Beside the river.
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    The slash in my post was between "name" and "address of a distillery". It appears to be the former:)
    The Cask Whisperer Limited is an entity registered with the Companies House, Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, United Kingdom. The company number is #SC517009. The business office address is Taobh-An-Abhainn, Bruichladdich, Isle of Islay, PA49 7UN, SCOTLAND.
    The OP's picture suggests the nameplate identifies the building and allows the mail to be delivered to the right address.
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    It is pronounced /t̪ʰɯːv ən a.vɪnʲ/. /ɯ/ is like a /u/ with spread lips.

    Abhainn is related to afon (Welsh for river) and to the Irish abhainn (which is pronounced /aunʲ/).[There might be Irish dialects that still have the historical /v/, but in most dialects at least it is vocalised].

    Beside the river in Irish would be: taobh na habhann (with the genitive; /te:v nə haun/), but this placename given by the OP has "an abhainn" in the nominative - maybe that is the way it is done in Scottish Gaelic.
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