Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Names of Trees in Breton Place Names

British friends of ours live in a lieu-dit called Le Chêne which they rather amusingly call 'the dog'. It is, of course, the '(white) oak'. Breton has a variety of equivalent forms: dervennderv, derf, dero or (Old Breton) dar/diri. These appear in: Kerderven, 'oak village'; Coat-Dero, 'oak wood';  and Dirinon, '(Saint) Non's oaks'. The Gaulish cassano appears in Quessoy.
ST. NON'S FOUNTAIN AT DIRINON
The 'sessile' oak (Quercus sessiflora) is tann and gives us Coat-Tan, Le Tanouët,Danouët, Danot and Kerdanen. If I hadn't been doing this research I wouldn't have heard of this tree: it is, in fact, the national tree of Wales and Cornwall. It prefers rocky (petraea), upland soils and is differentiated by its stalkless ('sessile') acorns.
SESSILE OAK
In this blog we have already looked at 'ash' trees (see F is for Fresnaye) and yews (see I is for Iff).
ASH
YEW

Here are a few more :

Breton words for tree in Brittany Place Names. Table.
BRETON NAMES FOR TREES IN BRITTANY PLACE NAMES


CHESTNUT
HAZEL
BEECH

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