This is a glossary of Scots words which are used in place-names. Each entry gives the meaning of the word, alongside linguistic notes (discussed below) and modern and historical examples of the word in actual place-names in Scotland.
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|Modern Form||Older Scots Form||Etymology||PoS||Definition||Modern Examples||Historical Evidence||SND Link||DOST Link||Notes|
|tron||trone||OF trone||n||the public steelyard or weighing-machine in a burgh, set up in or near the market-place for the weighing of various types of heavy or coarse goods; the district around the tron||Trongate (Glasgow); Tron Kirk (Edinburgh); St George's-Tron Church (Glasgow); Tron (Edinburgh); Tron Knowe (North Lanarkshire)||Tronum de Edinburgh 1446; Troyne Gait 1545; Troingait 1553; Tron kirk 1689; Tron-knowe 1880||tron n||tron(e n||See also SNDS1 trouan n|
|links||linkis||OE hlincas||n||the sandy undulating open ground covered with turf, bent grass or gorse along the sea shore on a flat part of the coast, often including sand-dunes (which is often common ground belonging to the nearest town)||Links of Dunnet (Caithness); Linksfield (Aberdeen, Morayshire); Innes Links (Morayshire); Monifieth Links (Angus); Whitelinks (Aberdeenshire); Links Wood (Fife); Leith Links (Edinburgh); Links of Montrose (Angus)||le lynkis de Leith 1453; le linkis de Dirltoun 1512; the eist and west linxis of Dunbar 1598-99; Leith linx 1673; Bruntsfield links 1684||links n.pl.; S2 links n.pl.||linkis, lynkis n. plu; ADDS linkis n. plu||See also SNDS1 links market|
|fauld||fald||OE falod||n||an enclosure for animals; an enclosed piece of ground used for cultivation, a small field; the part of the outfield which was manured by folding cattle upon it||Lochfauld (Dunbartonshire) Whitefauld (Stirlingshire); Edgefauld Road (Glasgow); Langfaulds (Dunbartonshire); Clayfaulds (Stirlingshire); Muiryfaulds (Angus); Linen Faulds (West Lothian); Scabbit Fauld (Aberdeenshire); Whitefaulds (Ayrshire); Bowriefauld (Angus)||Kochilfaulde 1407; Morefaulde 1407; the faldis of Cabrastone 1595-96; Firth Faldis 1611||fauld n2; S2 fauld n2; fold n; S1 fold n||fald, fauld n1||See also SNDS barnfauld n and DOST stand fa(u)ld n, shepe-fald n, fald-dyke n, fold-dyke n, nowt-fald n|
|cairter||carter, karter||ME cartare||n||a carter||Carterhaugh (Angus, Selkirkshire); Carter Bar (Roxburghshire); Carterhope Burn (Peeblesshire); Carter Fell (Roxburghshire)||Carterford c1250; Cartergate c1250; Cartarehauch 1489-90; Carteryards 1657||cairter n||cartar(e, carter n1; karter, kairter, n||See also SND S1 cadger n|
|hope (2), hoob||hope||ON hóp||n||a small bay or haven||St Margaret's Hope (Fife, Orkney); The Houb (Shetland); Chalmers Hope (Orkney); St Andrews Hope (Fife); Houb of Scatsta (Shetland); Pan Hope (Orkney)||Lovnan houp 17thC; St Margaret’s Hope a1688; Kirk-hope a1688; North-hope 1700; Pan Houp 1795||hope n2; hoob n||hope, houp n5||See also SND ob n|
|burn||burn||OE burna||n||a brook or stream; water (from a fountain or well)||Blackburn (West Lothian); Springburn (Glasgow); Netherburn (South Lanarkshire); Burn of Cruan (Orkney); Den Burn (Aberdeenshire); Burnbank (North Lanarkshire); Millburn (Inverness); Burn of Whilk (Caithness); Dryburn (Morayshire); Burnside (Fife); Burnfoot (Wigtownshire)||Merburne c1170; Triernburn c1200; Bradestrothirburne c1220; Kyrkeburne 1229; le Burnhedis 1505; Burneside 1548||burn n; S1 burn n; S2 burn n||burn n||See also SND brin n1|
|bourtree||bourtre||ME burtre||n||the elder tree||Bourtreebush (Angus); Bourtrees (Ayrshire); Bourtreehill North, Bourtreehill South (Ayrshire); Bourtree Bush Park (West Lothian); Bourtreebuss (Fife)||Burtrees c1320; Bourtriehill 1590; Bourtrees 1662; Bourtrie-mailing 1663||bourtree n; S2 bourtree n||bourtré, bowtré n||see also SND bour n|
|temple-land||tempillland||OE templ, OF temple + OE land||n||land given or belonging to the Knights Templar and as such not subject to teinds||Templeland (Angus, Fife); Templeland Road (Edinburgh, Glasgow); Templeland Cottage (South Lanarkshire); Templeland Farm (Aberdeenshire)||Tempylland 1376-77; Tempilland 1446; tempilland of Dalgernow 1454-55; tempilland of Henderstoun 1611; temple land of St. Johns 1694||temple n1||tempil(l)land n||See also DOSTtempil(l, temple n1|
|wast, west||west, wast||OE west||a||situated in, or belonging to, the west; westerly||West Craigs (West Lothian); West Barns (East Lothian); West Inch (Aberdeenshire); Westraw (South Lanarkshire); West Grange (Stirling); West Haven (Aberdeenshire); Westhill (Inverness)||Westfulhope 1165-1214; Westlillisclive 1214-49; Westfeld 1294; Wasthall 1544||wast adj; S2 wast adj||west, wast adj||See also DOST west side n and DOST west end n|
|heid||hede, hevid||OE hēafod||n||the head; the top or principal extremity; the summit or upper part of a hill or rising ground; the upper end of a town, street or passage, the end next to the main street; the head of a river or valley; a headland, cape or promontory; a jetty or pier at the entrance to a harbour’||Hillhead (Glasgow); Kinnaird Head (Aberdeenshire); Townhead (Glasgow); Causewayhead (Stirling); Peterhead (Aberdeenshire); Pathhead (Midlothian); St Abb's Head (Berwickshire); Knowehead (Angus); Cleuchheads (Dumfriesshire); Deanhead (Fife); Greenhead (Roxburghshire); Hazelhead (Aberdeen)||Akin-hede 1260; Hertishede a1300; the hevid of Dedryg 1431; Sancte Albis Hede 1461; Petyrheid 1544; Kynardis heid 1570||heid n; S1 heid n; S2 heid n||hede, heid n1; ADDS hede n1; hevid, heved n; ADDS hevid n1' hade, haed n; haid n||See also DOST toun heid n|
|toun||toun||OE tūn||n||a farm (and farm buildings); a hamlet inhabited by estate tenants; a villlage, a burgh, a town; (in Shetland) the enclosed arable ground of a farm||Anderston (Glasgow); Edgerston (Roxburghshire); Mertoun (Berwickshire); Ferryton (Ross and Cromarty); Beckton (Dumfriesshire); Smithton (Inverness); Westerton (Glasgow); Templeton (Angus); Synton (Selkirkshire)||Hadyton 1098; Sprostona 1119-24; Clerchetun c1141; Kyrchetune c1145; Hadingtoun a1150; Langtune c1150||toun n; S1 toun n; S2 toun n||toun, town(e, ton(e n||See also DOST toun end n and toun heid n|
|toll||tol||OE toll||n||a tax or duty; a checkpoint on a turnpike road where tolls were collected, a toll-bar; (a collection point for) tolls on imported or exported goods, or the privelege of selling goods in a market||Eglington Toll (Glasgow); Cameron Toll (Edinburgh); Barnhill Tollhouse (Perth); Tollcross (Edinburgh, Glasgow); Toll Bar Cott (Kirkcudbright); Clushford Toll (Fife); Bonnybridge Toll (Stirlingshire)||tolbotha de Suthbervyc 1283-98; le Tolcorse 1458; Towcross 1662; Cairntows 1773||toll n1||tol(l n||See also DOST tolbuth(e, towbuth(e n and SND tolbooth n|
|taft||toft||ON topt, OE toft||n||a homestead (and the attached land), the site of a house or buildings||Taft (Orkney); Easter Tofts (South Lanarkshire); Upper Tofts (Roxburghshire); Tofthill Plantation (Fife); Edgerston Tofts (Roxburghshire); Greentoft (Orkney); Lower Toft (Roxburghshire)||Eghetofft 1214-49; Braytoftis 1248-9; Godemannistoft c.1235; Toftes 1296; Tofts 1622||taft n||toft n1||See also DOST Tofting, Thoftyn, n|
|holm (2)||holm||ON holmr||n||an islet, a small (grassy) island (in a loch or off a larger island) often used for pasturage||Holm of Grimbister (Orkney); Holm of Rendall (Orkney); Holm of Califf (Shetland); Holms of Vatsland (Shetland); Holm of Cruester (Shetland)||Holm a1688; Holms of Spurness 1832; Holm of Huip 1832; Holm of Houss 1887||holm n; S1 holm n||holm n; ADDS holm n||See also DOST ting holm n|
|temple||tempil||OE templ, OF temple||n||property or lands in the possession of the order of the Knights Templar or later the Hospitalers||Templandmuir (Ayrshire); Temple (Midlothian); Templehall (Angus, Berwickshire, Fife); Temple of Boclair (Dunbartonshire); Temple Park (Midlothian)||Templeacre c1190; Tempilhalle 1368-69; Tempilhil 1446; Tempil Liston 1464||temple n1||tempil(l, temple n1||See also DOST tempil(l)land n|
|raw||raw||OE rāw||n||a row of houses, of a uniform design and with common gables; cottages for miners or farm-servants; a street comprising such a line of houses||Langraw (Fife, Roxburghshire); Angelrow (Berwickshire); Fisherrow (Midlothian); Dykeraw (Roxburghshire); Rottenrow (Glasgow); Potterrow (Edinburgh); Westraw (South Lanarkshire)||Mukeraw c1248; Bagraw 14thC; Kirkraw 1364; Curquhewraw 1375||raw n1; S2 raw n1||raw, rau(e n; row n3||See also DOST Rat(t)o(u)n raw and DOST Routton raw|
|quoy||quy||ON kví||n||a piece of land (originally part of the common pasture) which had been enclosed and cultivated as part of a farm’||Quoy Sinclair (Orkney); Quoys of Reiss (Caithness); Mossquoy (Orkney); Quoy Park (Orkney); Quoyhenry (Orkney)||Sanct Margarettis quoy 1591; quoygrahame 1634; St Katharein's quoyes 1706; Castle quoy 1766||quoy n; S1 quoy n||quoy n2; quy, qui n2||See also DOST quyland n and quoyland n|
|muir||mure||OE mōr||n||barren open country, uncultivated heathery land considered part of an estate; a tract or expanse of heath; a peat moor; a tract of unenclosed common land held by a town or village; a market green||Muirhouse (Edinburgh); Nethermuir (Ayrshire); Muircroft (Argyllshire); Lammermuir (Berwickshire); Muiredge (Fife); Haughmuir (Angus); Clynelish Muir (Sutherland); Skaithmuir (Berwickshire); Muirhead (Fife)||Morthuweit a1153; Inter Lambremor et Tay 1153; De mora de Edenham 1160; Pilemor c1170||muir n, S2 muir n||mure, muir, mor(e, moir n||See also DOST mur(e)-, muirland n|
|meedow||medow||OE mǣdwe||n||a meadow, (marshy) grassland which is mown for use as hay||Meadowfield (Edinburgh); Greenmeadow (Shetland); Meadowgreens (Stirlingshire); Broadmeadows (Selkirkshire); Meadowbank (Edinburgh); Fostermeadow (Dumfriesshire); Meadowhead (Fife); The Meadows (Edinburgh)||Gretrigesmedue c1170; Meduflat a1200; Brademedue 1200-02; Hollemedu a1250; medowschott of Restalrig 1579; The Medowburne 1632||meedow n||medow n||See also DOST medow-skift n and medow-ward n|
|loch||loch||Gael loch||n||an expanse of standing water, a lake or pond; a narrow or land-locked arm of the sea||Hogganfield Loch (Glasgow) Lochfauld (Dunbartonshire); Loch of Brockan (Orkney); Corby Loch (Aberdeen); Loch of Aithsness (Shetland); Loch Mill (West Lothian); Lochend (Argyllshire, Inverness-shire); Loch of Mey (Caithness); Duddingston Loch (Edinburgh); Lochshot (West Lothian)||Blaklouch a1325; louch medow 1439; Louchside 1451; Burro Lowch 1561-62; North Loch 1569||loch n; S2 loch n||loch, louche n||See also DOST locheid n|
|law||law||OE hlāw||n||a round or conical hill, often in isolation; an artificial mound or hillock, a grave-mound or barrow; a mound of earth and shingle on the bank of a river on to which salmon nets are drawn to be emptied||Softlaw (Roxburghshire); Black Law (Ayrshire); Lawhead (Fife); Harelaw (Berwickshire); Box Law (Ayrshire); Lawmuir (Dunbartonshire); Sauchie Law (Selkirkshire); Meikle Law (Midlothian)||Raperlau c1150; Wythelawe 1147-52; Grenlaw a1159; Harlauhill c1170; Welpelaw 1222; Qwitlau 1327||law n2||law n2; ADDS law n2||See also DOST law n3, which may be related|
|kirkton||kirktoun||ON kirkja, OE kirke + OE tūn||n||a town or village situated by a church, the hamlet in which the parish church of a rural parish is located; a farm adjacent to a church||Kirkton of Bourtie (Aberdeenshire); Kirkton (Fife, Midlothian, Roxburghshire); Kirktonbridge Cottages (Aberdeenshire); Kirkton of Cults (Fife); Kirkton of Tough (Aberdeenshire); Kirkton Muir (Kincardineshire); Nether Kirkton (Aberdeenshire); Kirktonhill (Dumfriesshire)||Kyrchetune c1145; Kirketun 1206; Kirketun super Stryvelin 1319; kyrktoune 1403||kirk n1; S2 kirk n1||kirk-, kyrktoun n||See also DOST kirk-clachan n|
|spital||spittal||ME spitel||n||a hospice or shelter for travellers (in mountainous country); a house or place of refuge for the sick or destitute; land whose revenue supported a hospital; the hospital itself||Spital (Dunbartonshire); The Spittal Haugh (Aberdeenshire); Spittalburn (Angus); Spittal of Glenmuick (Aberdeenshire); Spittalrig (East Lothian); Spital Shore (Ross and Cromarty); Spittal (East Lothian); Port of Spittal (Wigtownshire)||Spetelcrag 1208-14; Spyttalhillis 1310; Spittaltoun 1565-6; Spittellis Hospitell 1641; Spittall Haugh 1721||spital n||spit(t)al(l, spit(t)ell n||See also DOST hospitale n|
|ha||hall||OE heall, hall||n||a large and spacious building, the residence of a magnate; a farm-house (occupied by the farmer himself rather than the cottars)||Sandyha (Orkney); Temple Hall (Berwickshire); Gallowha (Orkney); Clatterha (Angus); Thornyhaw (Fife); Redhall (Dumfriesshire, Midlothian); Cradlehall (Inverness); Hallyards (Midlothian)||Blachall 1329; Halton 1345-50; Tempilishalle 1367; Haw off Lythquow 1489||ha n; S1 ha n; S2 ha n||hall, haw n; ADDS hall n||See also DOST hal(l)is n and halis, hailis n1|
|side||side, syde||OE sīde||n||a side, a slope or hillside; the edge of a forest; a bank or shore of a river or sea, the lands adjacent to a waterway; an area lying adjacent to or at the side of a particular building, place or route; a seashore||Kelvinside (Glasgow); Morningside (Edinburgh); Mosside of Kirkbuddo (Angus); Braeside of Cults (Fife); Myreside (Angus); Thickside (Roxburghshire); Bemersyde (Berwickshire); Gateside (Angus); Breckonside (Dumfriesshire)||Cirnside c1098; Galtunesside a1153; Birchinsyde 12thC; Fausydde a1199; Bemersyd c1220; Grenesid c1220||side n; S2 side n||sid(e n||See also DOST gat(e-syd(e n, water-side n and bra-side n|
Glossary compiled by Dr Alison Grant of Scottish Language Dictionaries and the Scottish Place-Name Society.
The glossary provides the Modern Scots form of each place-name element, and then traces the word back through the Older Scots form to its etymological root. Illustration of the development of each element is found in the historical forms, and modern usage is illustrated by the current place-name examples provided. The glossary also provides references to the two major Scots dictionaries, the Scottish National Dictionary (SND) and the Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (DOST) together with any relevant supplementary material (the first SND supplement is marked S1, and the second S2, and the additions to DOST are marked ADDS). These dictionaries can be accessed online at www.dsl.ac.uk. Further supplementary material has been added from two 1940s Ph. D. theses, The Non-Celtic Place-Names of the Scottish Border Counties by May Williamson and The Place Name of Midlothian by Norman Dixon, both of which are available for consultation in the ‘resources’ section of the Scottish Place-Name Society website. The glossary contains Scots words derived from Old English, Old Norse, Middle Dutch, Anglo-Norman French and Latin, together with more recent loan-words from Gaelic and Insular Norn. For example, the whilst ‘glen’ is primarily a Gaelic place-name element, occurring in names such as Glen Affric and Glenmore, the word was also borrowed into Scots, where it was used to form names such as Glenhead and Glens of Foudland. Similarly, although names in ‘geo’ are often from Old Norse gjá, including Ramnageo and Papilgeo, the word was also borrowed into Scots from Norn, and used to coin names such as Millburn Geo and Geo of Dykesend.Counties (where given) are pre-1975 local government reorganisation.
PoS = Part of Speech (noun, adjective, etc.)