Sunday, February 7, 2016
A skerry is a small rocky island, usually defined to be too small for habitation; it may simply be a rocky reef. A skerry can also be called a low sea stack.
The term skerry is derived from the Old Norse sker, which means a rock in the sea. The Old Norse term sker was brought into the English language via the Scots language word spelled skerrie or skerry. It is a cognate of the Scandinavian languages' words for skerry – Icelandic, Faroese: sker, Danish: skær, Swedish: skär, Norwegian: skjær / skjer, found also in German: Schäre, Finnish "kari", Estonian: skäär, Latvian: šēra and Russian: шхеры (shkhery). In Scottish Gaelic, it appears as sgeir, e.g. Sula Sgeir, in Irish as sceir, and in Manx as skeyr. The word is also probably related to the Italian word scoglio, sharing the same meaning.