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originally Ebudae, Haebudes, of uncertain origin. Apparently a scribal error turned -u- into -ri-. The Norse name, Suðregar, "Southern Islands," is relative to the Orkneys. Related: Hebridean.
islands in Scotland, off the northwestern coast of the Scottish mainland. They constitute the Western Isles council area. Lewis, the northern part of the island of Lewis and Harris, lies in the historic county of Ross-shire in the historic region of Ross and Cromarty, while the remainder of the Outer Hebrides belong to the historic county of Inverness-shire. Stretching 130 miles (210 km) from Lewis in the north to the island of Barra Head in the south, the Outer Hebrides lie in a crescent about 40 miles (65 km) from the Scottish mainland-as their name suggests, farther away from the Scottish mainland than are the islands of the Inner Hebrides. The Outer Hebrides are separated from the Inner Hebrides by the Minch and Little Minch channels in the north and by the Sea of the Hebrides in the south