[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 tribe is mentioned in the Geography of Ptolemy.
This tribal-name is based on a topographical place-name, but the tribal-name has itself been altered. Normally the latest element in the topographical place-name would include the hill-letter used by the tribe concerned, but this tribe lived in Easter Ross and it is clear from the names Smerdion (discussed in more detail in the entry for the Smertae) and Varar (originally Barar, where the second r is the river-letter r) that the tribe used the hill-letter m and the corresponding river-letter r. The tribal name will thus originally have been Mugi and this name has undergone the l/m interchange to give the form Lugi. But regardless of the hill-letter used an element mug/lug is an inversion-type topographical element meaning ‘hill steep’, so we can be confident that the tribal centre was adjacent a steep hill. The name of the tribal centre will originally have been Mugion and the tribe the Mugi.
[This page was last modified on 24 March 2021]