SNGO: l’Êpile

photo source: wikimedia

l’Êpile, pronounced [l ɛ:pɪl(:)] 🔊, lit. “The Pin”, is the Sarkese name for one of the four rocks, together with l’Grant Otlét, lit. “the Greater Little Altar”, l’Ptit Otlét, lit. “the Lesser Little Altar”, and l’Błȧn Otlét, lit. “the White Little Altar”, which form the iconic geomorphological group known as lz’Otlê, the extended border between the sub-bays of l’Pǒṙ du Můlin and la Saňŷ, within la Bê dê Bančê, the North-East sector bay. L’Êpile is the closest rock of the group to the headland of la Puènte du Můlin, and together with its twin, l’Błȧn Otlét, is separated from the two proper “altars”.

origin: Gallo-Romance / nature: coastal rock / first known mention: 1900s / Anglo-French name: none in use
For the relevant SNGO interactive map location link, click here.

l’Êpile “, literally meaning “the Pin”, is a simple name consisting of the feminine noun “êpile“, “pin”, and the definite article “la” which when in contact with a vowel contracts to “l”. The pronunciation is regular.

On the origin

Even though a member of the group of four solitary rocks known as lz’Otlê, lit. “Little Altars” in Old Norman, l’Êpile is the only one of the four which does not bear the word otlét, “little altar”, in its name. This is clearly due to its pointy shape, which is different from the other three “altars” which have more or else flattened tops.

Moreover, it should also be noted, that despite formally being one of the “Little Altars”, in the narrower meaning of the name “lz’Otlê”, especially when refered to as a fishing mark, l’Êpile with its twin, l’Błȧn Otlét, are always excluded, and if necesarry (to be used as a mark), mentioned specifically.

To learn more on the origin of the name and the other rocks, see the SNGO entry “lz’Otlê“.


Citation: NEUDÖRFL, Martin. l’Êpile. In: SNGO: Sark Norman Gazetteer Online [on-line].

Relevant SNDO Entries:

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