A lough is a body of water and is either:
It can also be used as a surname, with various pronunciations: law, loch, low, lowe, loth, loff.
Lough is an Hiberno-English form of the Old Irish word loch, which means lake, or bay. The form loch is also used in Irish English and Scottish English. Lough is also used for some bodies of water in the far north of England.
Except when individually named, loughs are often referred to as lakes, fjords, estuaries, and sea inlets. Thus lake district and estuary bed may be used in preference to lough district and lough bed. (This practice is not followed to anything like the same degree in English use of loch.)
Almost all lakes in Ireland
are named as loughs
in their anglicised form. Lough Neagh
in Northern Ireland
is the largest lake in the British Isles
. The three on the River Shannon
are Lough Allen
, Lough Ree
, and Lough Derg
. Upper and Lower Lough Erne
are two consecutive lakes in Fermanagh
, an area often referred to as Ireland's lake district
Sea loughs include Lough Swilly and Lough Foyle.
In the north of England
survives in the name of some bodies of water and other place names. Many of these are in the vicinity of Hadrian's Wall
, and also in the Lake District
is itself an Irish surname, as well as being a compound in various other surnames, mostly derived fron specific Loughs, such as Loughan