[NB The brief explanation given below has been drafted on the assumption that the reader is already familiar with the basic building-blocks used in Celtic topographical place-names (Chapter 1 of the Home menu), with the structure of compound place-names (Chapter 2) and with the structure of Celtic river-names (Chapter 19)]
This tribal name is listed by Ptolemy.
The tribal centre of the Caereni may have had a name such as Caberenion, the tribe then being called the Cabereni, at least by the Romans. The element Caber means ‘steep high hill’ (cf. Cibra at Bearsden). In this case the b meaning ‘high’ will have been dropped. The dropping of internal letters is a common change in Romano-British place-names (see Alphabetical List/Changes in names over time, 9). The information provided by Ptolemy appears to indicate that the Caereni lived in Sutherland, in the north of Scotland, or at least in the northern part of that county, the Smertae living to the south of them and the Cornavi to the east.
[This page was last modified on 24 March 2021]