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Moneynick, County Antrim


Ir. Muine Chnoic ‘the thicket of the hill’


Many of the earlier spellings show evidence of the common confusion of the letters m, n and u in English documents of the period.  The final -ie/y of a number of the earlier forms does not appear to be significant as these forms are all related; it is likely that this termination is the product of a scribal whim, copied from one scribe to the other.


It seems safe therefore to accept thatthe final element of the place-name consists of one syllable rather than two and that the name of the townland is likely to go back to Irish Muine Chnoic ‘the thicket of the hill’, as suggested in .  It is clear that in this case muine cannot carry the alternative significance of ‘hill’ (see Moneyglass) since the elements of the place-name would then be tautologous.  On the same grounds, the Scottish Gaelic element monadh ‘hilly-ground’ can be ruled out.


There is now no natural woodland in the townland, but the Down Survey Parish Map of c.1657 describes the townland as ‘pasture and wood’ (DS (Par. Map)).  There are several hills in the townland, the most conspicuous being Morris Hill (357 feet) in the south-east corner.  Joyce's interpretation of the place-name i.e. Móin-a-chnuic ‘bog of the knock or hill’, is also worthy of consideration, even though his statement that, ‘there is just one small hill with a bog all round it’ is not accurate (Joyce iii 511).  In fact, there is an area of moorland (formerly bog), bordering a small hill in the east of the townland, and another small area of boggy land in the south-east corner, bordering on Morris Hill.  However, neither of these features seems significant enough to have given name to the townland, and Muine Chnoic ‘the thicket of the hill’, would appear to be the more likely interpretation. 


In northern Irish, n in the combinations cn, gn, mn, tn came to be sounded as [r], possibly during the course of the 17th century (O'Rahilly 1932, 22).  The pronunciation of the n of chnoic as [n] in this place-name clearly reflects the earlier pronunciation, before n in the above positions came to be rendered [r] in the Irish dialect of the area.   


(info. from McKay, P. (1995): Place-Names of Northern Ireland vol. 4 p. 114)

Additional Information

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference
Ballyvonaugkie1605Inq. Ant. (DK) 45
Ballivonanykie1606CPR Jas I 93b
Ballivonanykie, or Ballimonankie1606Lodge RR Jas I i 252
Ballymounckie, Ballymonukie1637Lodge RR Chas I i 407
Ballimonick1657cHib. Reg. Toome
Ballimonick1657cDS (Reg.) Duneane
Ballymoninke1657cDS (Par. Map) Duneane
Ballymonick1661BSD 133
Ballymonucky1661BSD 135b
Mumkie1661Inq. Ult. (Antrim) $5 Car.II
Ballymonky, Mumicke1663Lodge RR Chas II i 106
Murnick1669HMR Ant. 149
Ballimonick1672cHib. Del. Antrim
Ballemonmucky or Ballymonikie1684Lodge RR Chas II ii 292
Ballymonmucky1684Comm. Grace
Mununicky1712Reg. Deeds 10-133-3227
Munynick1763Belfast News Letter
Moneynick1780Lendrick Map
Moneynick1785Duff's Lough Neagh
Moneynick1828OSNB A 40
~Muine an Chnuic ""brake of the hill""1828J O'D (OSNB) A 40
~Móin-a''-chnuic ""bog of the knock or hill""1913Joyce iii 511
~Muine Chnoic1989GÉ 139
~Muine Chnoic ""thicket of the hill""1999Dict. Ulst. PN 109
Toome Upper
Parish in 1851
Place name ID
Place name type