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Caulhame, County Derry

Origin

‘Cold-Home’     

Background

Munn does not hesitate to suggest several derivations for this name, including: call-theidhm (the narrow pass); coill theidhm (the wood of the plague, or death);  cael-cheim (the narrow pass);   coill-chéim (the wood of the pass). These derivations are all extremely fanciful, but the correct derivation of the name was discussed by Ó Ceallaigh:

‘Then there is the extraordinary puzzle of a place-name like ‘Calhame.’ What does it mean, and why so frequent? In the counties of Donegal, Derry and Antrim and Tyrone it occurs eleven times as an official townland name…Pól Breathnach thought it was Lowland Scotch; so did Eoin Mac Néill – cauldhame.’ 

This, essentially, can be interpreted as ‘cold home’, and refers to a settlement on wet or boggy ground, and this is discussed in detail by McKay.  The name Caulhame / Calhame appears in a number of occasions in Cos. Antrim and Derry, and is also present in Co. Donegal. 

References

Niall Comer

Additional Information

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference
Caulhame, i.e. ""cold holm""1827J O'D (OSNB) 93 B50
~Coll-cheim ""hazel pass, or roadway between hills""1925Munn's Notes 135
cauld hame (Sc)1999Cel. Ulst. Tds 11
Barony
Coleraine
Parish
Desertoghill
Parish in 1851
Desertoghill
Townland
None
Place name ID
1912
Place name type
T