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The Herald - Glasgow (UK)
Author: Rennie McOwan
Date: Nov 8, 1999
Start Page: 24
Abstract (Document Summary)

Most of the place names have a Norse root and indeed, there is a Northlands Festival held there in the autumn when links with Scandinavia are celebrated. The writer Neil Gunn said he could trace a glen in southern Caithness where the names on one side were Norse and on the other mainly Gaelic.

Caithness is generally taken to mean the Province of the Cat and is pronounced Caith-nis. Local people tend to pronounce Thurso, the largest town, as Thursa and it has a long pedigree and a famous salmon river. It is up to the visitor whether he or she wants to visit the Atomic Energy Authority's Dounreay plant. A modern development of using the seas which have so helped form the Caithness character is the growth of surfing, making use of the great beaches and the creaming rollers. National and European championships have been held and Thurso's fame in this field grows.

I have to declare an interest in liking Caithness so much. I had a Caithness mother who informed me that once a northbound traveller had crossed the Ord, a piece of high and wild coastal land on the east coast and the true boundary between Sutherland and Caithness, people were more intelligent and better-looking.

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