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Bryantang, County Antrim


Ir. Bruighean Teanga ‘fairy-fort of the tongue’


This name is obscure and the historical forms give little indication of its origin. The first element Bryan may be an anglicisation of bréan ‘foul, putrid, rotten’ (Ó Dónaill) which appears in initial position in the townland name Bréandroim ‘fetid ridge’, Bryandrum in Co. Armagh.

However, the remains of a ring-fort within the townland (OSNI) support Joyce’s form bruighean ‘a fairy fort’. The second element tang might be an anglicisation of teanga ‘tongue’ as is seen in Tang, Co. Westmeath which derives from An Teanga ‘the tongue’. This word is often applied to long pieces of land or water. According to Joyce (1875: 427), the latter part of Bryantang is derived from a tongue of land at the meeting of two streams which is where a reported fairy-fort once stood. Joyce also reports a river Tang in the vicinity, no trace of which now exists.


Additional Information

Historical name form

Old FormRef. DateReference

"a remarkable ancient fort  stood not long since near the junction of the streams, but it is now obliterated"

1875Joyce ii 427

"the fairy-fort of the tongue" [bruighean + teanga]

1875Joyce ii 427

Bryantang Braes

1875Joyce ii 427
Bryantang1669HMR Ant. 49
Braintang1780Lendrick Map
Meaning Uncertain1832cJ O'D (OSNB) A 15
Belfast Lower
Parish in 1851
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