Gaelic Place Names

Here’s a selection of gaelic derived place names – from Ainmean-Àite na h-Alba (AÀA) ~ Gaelic Place-Names of Scotland the national advisory partnership for Gaelic place-names in Scotland.

Reproduced here with thanks to Ainmean-Àite na h-Alba and Bòrd na Gàidhlig.

For more on these names consult www.gaelicplacenames.org

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Comments (4)

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  1. Eman says:

    Tapadh leibh – tha e math na mapaichean seo fhaicinn.

  2. SleepingDog says:

    I had a quick look at the linked website to find out the sources, which include scholarly collections of oral traditions. Given the timescales and social movements, how stable and definitive would place names tend to be over time? If, for example, Christian authorities were to proscribe the names of old gods and uncoopted heroes, might there be different names used by a community, one in the presence of officials (and given to nosy researchers), another amongst trusted individuals.

    Apparently, there is a distinctive variation in surviving place names across Anglo-Saxon England that suggests some such process of renaming or other.

    From the examples given, many of these names would have no significance beyond a locale.

    It is not uncommon today that a place is commonly referred to by a nickname by locals, while its formal name could appear on official records.

    According to the Wikipedia page on toponymy, there are various ways that a place-name may be derived (sometimes by misinterpreting an old name in a new context).

  3. Wul says:

    Just shows how powerful your own language can be. Where would you rather be from? “The Pools of the Sons of God” or “Polmadie” ?

    In corrupting the place names into simple phonetic English, they have been stripped of all meaning and sense of place.

  4. Squigglypen says:

    Fascinating. I was born down the road from Auchenshuggle ( the rye field) and when we went to play up in the big field at Auchenshuggle we called it the poppy field. Don’t know why we called it that ..I looked for poppies but saw none. Interesting that it evolved into ‘the poppy field.’ The trams used to stop at the terminus at Auchenshuggle and turn round to come back to Glasgow…so as they shuggled and swayed their way along I assumed as a child that was why we got Auchenshuggle…..I suppose the evolution of our place names is more complex/amusing/historical than we imagine…and yep I would like think I came from the pools of the sons of god..

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