Loch Earn - Lough Erne

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Two fresh-water lakes in the British Isles share homophonic names with an origin in Celtic languages. It is important to distinguish their spellings. (Both are pronounced 'loch [with the characteristic Scots consonant of 'och'] earn', IPA: /lɒχ ˈɜrn)/.

  • Loch Earn is in Scotland, in Perthshire. It runs west to east, from Lochearnhead to St Fillans, and is the source of the River Earn, which is a tributary of the River Tay, which it joins near Abernethy.
Etymological note: Loch Earn is the transliteration of the Scots Gaelic Loch Eire/Loch Éireann, which appears to mean 'the loch of Ireland'.
  • Lough Erne is in Fermanagh, in Northern Ireland. It is a system of broadened sections of the River Erne, which runs from near Cavan, in the Republic of Ireland, to the Atlantic at Ballyshannon (Republic), having passed through Northern Ireland near Enniskillen.
Etymological note: Lough Erne is a transliteration of the Erse (Irish Gaelic} Loch Éirn. Erne appears to be derived from the name of a local goddess,m perhaps the one who gave her name to Eire.
The everyday verb 'to earn' (~ 'to get money for working') has no connection to the Scottish place-name Earn.
The rather rarer (because obsolescent) noun 'an erne' is the Old English form of a common Germanic name for 'an eagle'.