AskDefine | Define hoy

Dictionary Definition

hoy n : a flatbottom boat for carrying heavy loads (especially on canals) [syn: barge, flatboat, lighter]

User Contributed Dictionary


Etymology 1

heu, or hui.


  1. A small coaster vessel, usually sloop-rigged, used in conveying passengers and goods, or as a tender to larger vessels in port.

Etymology 2

hui, compare ahoy.


  1. Ho!, halloe!, stop!.

Etymology 3


  1. To throw.






Extensive Definition

Hoy (from Old Norse Háey meaning high island) is one of the Orkney Islands in Scotland. With an area of 55 square miles, it is the second largest of the Orkney Islands after the Mainland. It is connected by a causeway called The Ayre to South Walls, to the south. Unusually, the two islands are treated as one entity by the UK census.
The dramatic coastline of Hoy is what usually greets visitors travelling to the Orkney Islands by ferry from the Scottish mainland. It has extremes of many kinds: some of the highest cliffs in the UK at St John's Head; the impressive and famous sea stack, the Old Man of Hoy; some of the most northerly surviving natural woodland in the British Isles; the remote possibility that Arctic Char survive in Heldale Water and the most northerly Martello Towers, which were built to defend the area during the Napoleonic War, but were never used in combat.
The highest point in Orkney, Ward Hill, is found on Hoy.
The main naval base for Scapa Flow in both the First and Second World Wars was situated at Lyness in the south-east of the island. Some rather incongruous art deco structures nearby date from this period.
An unusual rock-cut tomb, the Dwarfie Stane, lies in a valley at the west of the island. It is unique in northern Europe, bearing similarity to Neolithic or Bronze Age tombs around the Mediterranean.
The northern part of the island is an RSPB reserve due to its importance for birdlife, particularly Great skuas and red-throated divers.
In Norse mythology, Hoy is the location of the never-ending battle between Hedin and Högni.
Orkney Ferries serve the island with two routes. One links Lyness on Hoy and Longhope on South Walls with the island of Flotta and Houton on the Orkney Mainland. The other links Moaness in north Hoy to the island of Graemsay and Stromness on Orkney Mainland.


External links

hoy in German: Hoy (Orkney)
hoy in Spanish: Hoy (Escocia)
hoy in French: Hoy (Écosse)
hoy in Dutch: Hoy
hoy in Norwegian: Hoy
hoy in Norwegian Nynorsk: Hoy
hoy in Polish: Hoy
hoy in Swedish: Hoy
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