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Tony Grist

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The Great And Little Ormes [Jul. 26th, 2007|10:01 am]
Tony Grist
Llandudno lies between two rocky headlands- the Great Orme and the Litlle Orme. Here's the great Orme.



And here's the Little Orme.



And here's The Little Orme again, shot from the Great Orme. Yes I climbed to the top and it's very steep and my legs are killing me. 



Looks like a great serpent sliding out to sea, doesn't it? I've got it into my head that the word "orme" is related to the old English "wurm" meaning serpent or dragon- but I can't find any  conformation.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: shewhomust
2007-07-26 09:49 am (UTC)
"Orm" is a dragon name in LeGuin - ah, here we are, it's Scandinavian...
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-07-26 10:02 am (UTC)
Thank you. Le Guin, of course! I knew I'd stumbled across it somewhere.

So did the Vikings settle on the North Wales coast? They went most everywhere else, so why not? But it's odd to find these Scandanavian names in this very Celtic part of the world.
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[User Picture]From: saare_snowqueen
2007-07-26 10:26 am (UTC)
I found this in Wikipedia.

Both the Great and Little Ormes have been etymologised to the Old Norse word for sea serpent (transliterated to urm (or orm) and pronounced as /ǫrɱ/ in the IPA). (The modern day word, Orme, is pronounced as [ɔːɱ] in English). Marauding Vikings are thus said to have believed that the Ormes (and the wider Creuddyn Peninsula) resembled a sea serpent - with the Great Orme being the serpent's head - as their boats came in. But it is very difficult to substantiate this belief because the Vikings left us no written texts, because it seems unlikely that the Vikings ever colonised the area (there are no other Norse names in Gwynedd), and because etymology is a notoriously imprecise tool.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-07-26 10:32 am (UTC)
Thanks. That's really interesting.

It seems like it's an insoluble puzzle how these two Welsh headlands wound up with what seem to be Viking names.

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[User Picture]From: saare_snowqueen
2007-07-26 04:11 pm (UTC)
Not really, The Vikings were intrepid travellers. They went anywhere they thought they might find something to steal. Its just that most of the time they went home again. I would not have been difficult for them to get to the outside of the British Isles. After all they got to America before Columbus, perhaps making a stop in Wales whilst on the way. Their boats were very manouverable and very sea worthy. Our local Viking club commissioned the building of a replica. It is so beautiful and WORKS!!!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-07-26 05:03 pm (UTC)
It's just that all the other place names on the coast are Welsh. I don't doubt that the Vikings could have got there if they'd have wanted to, only there's no evidence to suggest they actually did.

Would the local Welsh have accepted a couple of Scandanavian placenames from people who were only passing by? That's the real puzzle.
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[User Picture]From: mummm
2007-07-26 01:52 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry that your legs are sore but that sure is a wonderful photo!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-07-26 04:44 pm (UTC)
I climbed even higher- but that remains the best "aerial" shot of the town.
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[User Picture]From: pondhopper
2007-07-26 02:53 pm (UTC)
Yes, "orme" is sea serpent...I see others have found the same resources I did.

What lovely views you had. Is the blue balcony railing your hotel? Nothing like a good climb to make you realize which muscles aren´t used enough.

:)
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-07-26 04:46 pm (UTC)
The blue railing belongs to the pier. We weren't there long enough to need a hotel.
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[User Picture]From: sovay
2007-07-26 05:00 pm (UTC)
Looks like a great serpent sliding out to sea, doesn't it?

Have you read Geraldine McCaughrean's The Stones Are Hatching? Headlands like sleeping dragons are an important part of the narrative.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-07-26 05:05 pm (UTC)
I haven't, but what a great idea!
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[User Picture]From: richenda
2007-07-26 09:33 pm (UTC)
Well, I'll be .....
I've always known that the Orme was a sea serpent, but I'd never msde the connection with worm!
LLandudno was built by the Mostyn family as a holiday resort, but I've never done any research into the chronology of naming the Orme.
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[User Picture]From: besideserato
2007-07-27 12:42 am (UTC)
As always excellent pictures. What kind of camera do you have?
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-07-27 08:53 am (UTC)
Nothing very special- a Nikon Coolpix 4600.
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[User Picture]From: besideserato
2007-07-27 07:42 pm (UTC)
Wow, you really make the little camera work! I was thinking it was some very intricate model!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2007-07-27 07:54 pm (UTC)
I'm not technically-minded and I don't like complication.

I've been working with this camera for two or three years now and I know what it can do and what it can't.
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[User Picture]From: besideserato
2007-07-27 08:37 pm (UTC)
I prefer the fast point-and-shoot, too. I have a very nice Pentax that takes real film, but I use it only for sit down shots. When I'm traveling or in the field, I need a camera that can react along with the action, you know?
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