I’m fond of strange and amusing place names (see, for instance, this post), and there’s a magnificent crop of them at Dull Flag and Tongue of Gangsta: The Laugh-out-loud Place-names of Shetland and Orkney, a Strange Maps post by Frank Jacobs (see here):
These two maps, both produced by Steve Goldman, show the place names in both groups of islands that he considers strange. “I’ve loved place names on Orkney and Shetland since I was a kid. They are by turns surreal, beautiful, nonsensical, rude, and bizarre… There seems to be no consistency to them at all”, says Goldman. “I’ve done some online research to try to find their derivation, but there seems to be little out there”.
Indeed, apart from Mr. Goldman’s suggestion to recycle some toponyms as band names (Whirly would be a good indie band, Brethren could be a bearded folk quartet, and Twisting Nevi a dance act, etc), there seems to be little sense to be made from Orkney/Shetland place names, except to enjoy them as mellifluous bizarrery per se.
Go thither and enjoy the mellifluous bizarrery!