I once accompanied my Grandmother on a visit to see sick relative in a village by sound name ‘Coto(n) maillie’ with a ‘k’ phonetic sound to give ‘Coto Maillie’ in the parish of St Johns or St John. I have now being informed that this ‘sounding by name village’ is now called ‘Cotton Baillie’ after years of folk’s pronunciation of ‘Coto Maillie’!
I have seen an early 1970’s document with regard to the isle, referring to the village as ‘Cotton Bailey’- if this is correct, why did my grandmother and other folks not say Cotton Bailey?
From a linguistic prospective, I believe that the ‘cotton field’ or ‘cotton fields’ in the that area was referred to using the French word ‘coton’ with a silent ‘n’ – my interpretation of this name, is the’ Cotton of Baillie’ – now Baillie was one of the British (from Bristol) slave-owners in the isle, I know he had estates in Bacolet and Chemin area, as well as in Carriacou, and maybe further isles afield. Now did he used his Northern pronunciation of the word ‘cotton’ to make it sound like the french ‘koto(n)’ with a silent ‘n’. Although the French word for ‘cotton’ is ‘coton’, where the ‘n’ maybe a silent one – so were the then enslaved folks still using the French sounding name ‘coto(n)? or slaveowner Baillie's northern pronunciation? or did the enslaved folks just continued using the French word 'coton' - after all it was all coton or cotton to them?
So, why did my Grandmother and others referred to the village as ‘Coto maillie’ and not ‘Coto Baillie’, as a child I never heard any different pronunciation of the village. So my line of argument is that, if a large population of folks are saying the village by sound name ‘Coto Maillie’, then I am sure folks should not be dismissive of this mass village name pronunciation. Although the phonetic sound of ‘baillie’ is totally different from ‘maillie’?
Thus, I think the village was originally ‘Coto(n)Baillie’, the cotton of Baillie and maybe, they could have been another slaveowner named ‘Maillie’ and then we get the ‘cotton of Maillie’ or ‘coto maillie?
So why have they changed the name of the village using the English version, of ‘Cotton Baillie’ – it just does not have that authentic colonial sound to it anymore! And who wrote the article in 1970’s referring to the village as ‘Cotton Bailey’!
Oh, some good ‘historical’ folk or folks of Coto(n) Baillie or Coto (n) Maillie – your bailing out pronunciation assistance of the village naming will be much appreciated – also, is there still any cotton in the village?