The article discusses the origin of the place-name Preila. Preila is a settlement located in the Curonian Spit. To this day, there is no obvious and definitely proven interpretation of this name’s origin. The reason for this is a failure to detect linguistic motivation of the origin of the onym in the kursenieku language. The settlement itself was set about as late as the 19th century, while most linguists tend to look for ancient (Curonian of Prussian) origin of its name. Both phonetic and morphologic structure of the name seems to support this approach, but there was a shortage of proof that motivating lexeme with the theme Preil- could survive through to the 19th century in the language or onomastics of kursenieku language.The article employs several analysis methods, in particular: comparative, internal reconstruction, cartographic, geolinguistic. As some proof surfaced of presence of the onym in cartography prior to establishment of the settlement, the author makes assumption that it was an undocumented Curonian person’s name that gave birth to a place-name, which could initially be just a name of a steading or a micro-toponym.