[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 apparently known only from the Geography of Ptolemy.
The tribal name Damnoni seems quite clearly to be based on a topographical place-name of the form Damnonion. The ending of the name will be onion, which indicates that the first n in the name is the hill-letter n. The name Damnonion thus comprises the inversion-type element Dam, meaning ‘summit of hill’, qualified by the hill-letter n. The hill-top in question was thus first settled by an n-people and was then taken over by the Damnoni, who used the hill-letter m. That hill-top will be somewhere in central Scotland if the name Damnonion developed locally, but it will be in southwest England if the writer is correct in suggesting elsewhere on this website that the Damnoni were Dumnoni who migrated north when their land in the southwest of England was taken over by r-people (see ‘Ptolemy’s Celtic tribes: Part 1’, 5), as seen in the place-name Omirededertis (Ravenna’s Omiretedertis at Ham Hill).
[This page was last modified on 16 May 2021]