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|
|hine, haven||hane, havin||OE hæfen||n||a haven, a (natural) harbour||East Hain (Fife); Buckhine (Fife); Longhaven (Aberdeenshire); Broad Haven (Caithness); Sandhaven (Aberdeenshire); North Haven (Aberdeenshire); West Haven (Aberdeenshire)||le Bellehauen 1369; the hayne of Wigtoun 1517; the hewin of Sterling 1598-99; Bucky-hine a1779||hine n||havin, hevin, heavin n1; ADDS hane, hayne;||Compare SND hive n and hythe n, and DOST (, hyve n|
|loanin, loaning||loning||ME lonyng||n||An enclosed track for animals through cultivated or park land; a grassy strip serving as a milking place: a common road or green of this sort||Greenloaning (Perthshire); Loaningfoot (Kirkcudbrightshire); Loaninghill (West Lothain); Loaningside (Stirlingshire); Loaninghead (Kirkcudbrightshire)||le lonyngdyke 1348; The lonyng of the land of Greneforde 1402; Lie grene lonyng 1565; westirloaning 1641||loanin n; S2 loanin n||loning n||Compare SND loan n1 and DOST lone n1|
|loan||lone||OE lane||n||a grassy strip leading to a pasture or open ground, beginning at or near a farm, village or burgh as a green where the cattle were milked; a cattle-track through arable land which links to common grazing; the part of a farm ground which leads to or adjoins the house; a street or roadway, a lane||Dobbie’s Loan (Glasgow); The Tinks’ Loan (St Andrews); Langloan (North Lanarkshire); Byresloan (Fife); Loan Knowes (Wigtownshire); Blackloanhead (Banffshire); Loanhead (Angus, Fife, Midlothian); Fairloans (Roxburghshire); Loanfoot (Fife); Loanburn (Kirkcudbrightshire)||the lone of Alanhauch 1535-36; Brochtoun lon heid 1587; Dalry lone 1591; Carcart lone heid 1664||loan n1; S2 loan n1||lone n1||Compare SND loanin n and DOST loning n|
|teuchit, teewheet||tuchet||ME tuchet||n||the lapwing||Teuchat Knowe (Fife); Teuchatcroft (Angus); Teuchathead (Fife); Teuchatmuir (Perthshire)||Tyhwitemore c1320; Tuquhyt Myre 1475; Tauchieflattes 1666; Tuewheet Law 1810||teuchit n; teewheet n||tuchet, tuquheit n||Compare SND teeock n|
|stoddert, strother||srother||OE *strōðer, ME strother||n||a marshy place||Stockstrother (Roxburghshire); Bellstruther (Berwickshire); Yellowstruther (Midlothian); Williestrother Loch (Roxburghshire); Westruther (Berwickshire); Strutherhill (South Lanarkshire)||Harastrodar a1159; Kyrnestroder c1160; Strotherflat 13thC; Westsrother c1300||stoddert n||strother n||Dodgy?|
|ruid, rood||rud, ruid||OE rōd||n||a cross, a religious symbol, a chapel or church of the Holy Rood; a plot or unit of land; a piece of ground apportioned from the land belonging to a burgh to anyone wishing to set up house thereon and to cultivate the remainder||Holyrood (Edinburgh); Roodlands (East Lothian); Shortroods (Renfrewshire); Roodyards (Angus); Roodland (Ayrshire)||de Huntrodes apud Eccles 13thC; Rauphysrohd c1350; Stokrude 1413; Borrow Roods 1764||ruid n||rud(e, ruid n1; reed n||See also DOST (rede), reid n6; DOST Burrow rudis n and DOSTBorow ruidis n|
|syke||sike||OE sīc, ON sík||n||a small stream; a ditch or channel containing a stream or rivulet; a marshy hollow (through which a stream flows), a cleft in the ground||Sikeside (North Lanarkshire); Colliesyke (West Lothian); Sauchy Sike (Dumfriesshire); Threepsikes (Fife); Adie's Syke (Midlothian); Liggat Syke (West Lothian); Whitesykes (Midlothian); Allery Sike (Dumfriesshire)||Blindsyke a1398; modirsyke 1457; Foulsyik 1571; Murroksyke 1579; Fouladge syke 1665; the syke called Coallyears boignesyke 1683||syke n; S2 syke n||sike, syk(e n||See also DOST (siket) syketh, sichet, sychet n|
|smiddie||smiddy||OE smiþþe, ON smiðja||n||a smithy, the workshop of a smith, a blacksmith’s shop, a forge||Smiddyhill (Aberdeenshire); Smiddyboyne (Banffshire); Buchanan Smithy (Stirlingshire); Smiddiecroft (Aberdeenshire); Smithy Hill (Wigtownshire); Smithyhillock (Aberdeenshire)||Smythyhill 1379; Smethy Barr 1426; Smethycrofft 1456; Smedebar 1540-41||smiddie n; S2 smiddie n||smithy n||See also DOST (Smiddy-land,) Smid(d)ieland, n|
|bleck, black||blak, blake||OE blæc||a||black; (of a hill) covered with heather; (of a house) built of drystone and earth||Black Law (Ayrshire, Dumfriesshire, Fife); The Black Isle (Ross and Cromarty); Blackchester (Berwickshire); Black Bothy (Abderdeenshire); Blackbraes (Stirlingshire); Blackwood (Dumfriesshire); Blackhall (Edinburgh); Blakedean (Roxburghshire); Blackcastle (Midlothian); Blackbyres (Ayrshire); Black Grain (Selkirkshire); The Black Bridge (Inverness)||Blakepol c1190; Blachedene c1200; Blachope 1218; Blakhall c1330||S2 bleck adj; black adj; S1 black adj, S2 black adj; black-house n; S1 black-house n; S2 black-house n||blak, blac(k a; blake, blaik a||See also DOST bla, blae, a|
|brae||bra, bray||ON brá, ME bra||n||the steep or sloping bank of a river or lake or seashore, a steep slope rising from water; a bank or stretch of ground rising with a fairly steep slope, the face of a hill; a road which has a steep gradient; an upland, mountainous district||Braes of Enzie (Morayshire); Stephen's Brae (Inverness); Ethie Brae (Perthshire); Pan Braes (West Lothian); Braehead (Renfrewshire); Links Brae (West Lothian); Brae of Yetts (Dunbartonshire); Willowbrae (Edinburgh); Braeside (Stirling)||le Bra de Bochquhopill 1451; bra of Cammys 1528; Hammildone bray 1556; bra of Mar 1587; South Bray 1592||brae, bray(e), brea n1; S1 brae n1; S2 brae n2||bra, bray, brae n||See also DOST bra-hede n|
|heuch, heugh||heuch||OE hōh||n||a crag or precipice, a cliff or steep bank (overhanging a river or the sea); a glen or ravine with steep overhanging sides; (the shaft of) a pit or mine; (the steep face of) a quarry||Millheugh (South Lanarkshire); Underheugh (Renfrewshire); Redheugh (Ayrshire, Roxburghshire); Ravensheugh Sands (East Lothian); Slateheugh (Midlothian); Earnsheugh (Aberdeenshire); Slack Heugh (Kirkcudbrightshire); Fastheugh (Selkirkshire); Clachan Heughs (Wigtownshire); Coalheugh Well (Ross and Cromarty); Redheughs (Midlothian); Heugh Farm (East Lothian); Port Mona Heughs (Wigtownshire)||Redhuche 1388; Reidhewis 1390-1406; Reidheuchis 1528; Carisheughe 1590||heuch n||heuch, hewch n; huyche||See also DOST col(e-heuch n|
|cot||cot, cote||OE cot||n||a small house, a humble dwelling, a cottage; a sheep-house||Saltcoats (Ayrshire, East Lothian); Cotts of Innes (Morayshire); Cauldcoats (Midlothian); Gatehousecote (Roxburghshire); Lochcote (West Lothian); Banks Cott (Kirkcudbrightshire); Butchercoat (Berwickshire); Coates (Midlothian)||Grenhilcotis c1320; Saltcotis 1368; Lochcot(t)is 1471; Coitcroft 1576||cot n; S2 cot n||cot, cott n3; cote, coit n2||See also DOST cotland n and cote-, coit-, coatland, n; and DOST cot-toun n|
|cuningar||cuningar, cunnigar||OF conninière, ME conynger||n||a rabbit warren||Kinningars Park (West Lothian); Cunningar Wood (Aberdeenshire); The Cuningar (West Lothian); Cunningar (Midlothian)||Cunyngare 1491; Cunneger hill 1496; Cunnynger hillis1514; Cunnyngayrland 1543||cuningar n||cuningar, cunningair n; (cunigar), cunnigare n; conyngar(e n; *cuneinyaird n; kunynʒare n||see also DOST cunnygarth n|
|field||feld, field||OE feld||n||a field||Eastfield (Glasgow); Linksfield (Aberdeen); Bruntsfield (Edinburgh); Priestfield (Angus); Field of Noss (Caithness); Bellfield Park (Inverness); Hogganfield (Glasgow); Smithfield (Aberdeen)||Wytefeld c1200; Lyllochefylde 1293; Westfeld 1294; Prestfeld 1327; Hwytfyld 1333||field n; S1 field n||feld(e, feild n; ADDS feld(e n||see also DOST feld(e) land, feild land n|
|garth||garth||ON garðr||n||an enclosure, yard, a small patch of enclosed cultivated ground, enclosed pasture (and the house attached to it); a shallow part or stretch of a river which may be used as a ford||Applegarth (Dumfriesshire); Garthdee (Aberdeenshire); Fairgirth (Wigtownshire); Auldgirth (Dumfriesshire); Martin Girth (Kirkcudbrightshire); Inchgarth (Aberdeenshire)||Apilgarth 1361; Le fischegarth de Esk 1492; Apilgirth 1505; Algarth 1531||garth n; S1 garth n; S2 garth n||garth n||See also DOST fisch-garth n|
|gallow, galla||gallow||OE galga||n||a gallows, a place of execution||Gallowgate (Glasgow); Gallatown (Fife); Gallowhill (Aberdeenshire, Ross and Cromarty, Perthshire, West Dunbartonshire, Wigtownshire); Gallowfauld (Angus); Galalaw (Roxburghshire); Gallowdykes (Edinburgh); Gallowhills (Aberdeenshire); Gallows Knowe (West Lothian)||Galuraw c1250; Galowhille 1315; Galugat 1317; Gallowmore 1488||gallows n||gallo(w, galow- n; gallow(i)s, gallous n||See also DOST gallowgate n and gallowhill n|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
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.)