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Wednesday, March 18th, 2009, 03:25 AM
Names in Scots - Places in Scotland

This section of the website is intended to provide a guide to Scots forms of personal and place names. There are few areas where the process of smothering Scots is more apparent than in its names for people and places. Around the year 1800 – though the process varied from place to place – it was apparent that the Anglicised upper classes in Scotland were attempting to change place (and personal) names into English equivalents. One parish minister in Aberdeen, for example, writing in the 1790s, noted “…We cannot give a better example…of the advances…which we are daily making towards English. We almost never hear now of the Braidgate and the Castle Gate. They are become universally the Broadstreet and the Castle Street…” and also that over the past fifty years all new ways had been named streets and lanes rather than gates or wynds by the council. In another instance, in the burgh of St Andrews, the provost (mayor) of the town embarked on a sustained campaign to change Scots names to English equivalents during the mid-19th century. A good example of this is Baxter Wynd which was changed to Baker Lane, though, more recently, St Andrews has acknowledged these Anglicised changes. It is now generally admitted that if one loses personal and place names the identity of a language becomes impaired. This has now become so acute that many people who otherwise speak and write consistent Scots will habitually use the English forms of personal and place names, without even realising there are Scots equivalents. It is also common practice for writers of personal and place name guides to either ignore the Scots forms (not being aware of them), or, worse, relegate Scots to the status of ‘pet’ forms of English, while at the same time being careful to detail, say, Gaelic forms (as separate from Irish). Even when the existence of Scots forms is pointed out there is often a reluctance to acknowledge them. A proposal to include Scots signs in the new Scottish parliament, alongside English and Gaelic, was rejected in 1999. Under the provisions of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, ratified by the UK government in 2001, Scots is accorded stage III status. The charter specifically cites the use of names in Scots forms as being essential to the maintenance of the identity of the language. But, for the time being, the Scots language remains largely invisible at the heart of Scottish government.

A good, modern source for Scottish place names in their Scots forms is Billy Kay’s ‘The Scots Map and Guide/Cairte in the Scots Leid’ published by MMA Maps, Glasgow, in 1993 (ISBN 0-9522629-4-0) which came complete with a guide and gazetteer in Scots, German, French and English, and provided tourist information on the map itself. The map is currently out of print.

Scottish Place Names in Scots
The following place names indicate both local pronunciation and/or distinct forms of names which have evolved within Scots-speaking Scotland. By no means is this list exhaustive. These can be found in both the Scottish National Dictionary and Billy Kay’s Map in Scots. In each case the form accepted in English comes first and is then followed by the Scots form.

Aberchirder - Fogieloan
Aberdeen - Aiberdeen
Aboyne - Abyne
Alford - Aaford
Anstruther - Ainster or Enster
Auchtermuchty - Muchtie
Banff - Bamff
Berwick - Berrick
Bridge of Allan - Brig Allan
Broughty Ferry - Brochty
Burghead - Brochheid
Caithness - Caitnes
Campbeltown - Cammeltoun
Coatbridge - Coatbrig
Coldstream - Castrim
Cowdenbeath - Coudenbaith
Cumbernauld - Cummernaud
Dingwall - Dingwal
Dornoch - Dornach
Dumbarton - Dumbartoun or Dumbertan
Dunfermline - Dumfaurlin
Dunkeld - Dunkell
Edinburgh - Embra or Edinburrae
Elgin - Ailgin
Falkirk - The Fawkirk
Falkland - Fauklan
Forfar - Farfar
Fort William - The Fort
Fraserburgh - The Broch
Galashiels - Gallae
Galloway - Gallowa
Glasgow - Glesca
Haddington - Haidintoun
Hawick - Haaick
Helmsdale - Helmsdal
Holyrood - Halyruid
Inverkeithing - Innerkeithin
Inverary - Inverera
Inverness - Innerness
Inverurie - Innerurie
Jedburgh - Jethart
Kelso - Kelsae
Kilmarnock - Kilmaurnock
Kilsyth - Kilseyth
Kingussie - Kineussie
Kirkcaldy - Kirkcaudy
Kirkcudbright - Kirkoubrie
Kirkwall – Kirkwal
Lanark - Lanrik
Lerwick - Lerrick
Lesmahagow - Lismahagie
Linlithgow - Lithcae
Livingston - Leivinstoun
Lossiemouth - Lossie
Old Deer - Auld Deer
Perth - Pairth
Peterhead - Peterheid
Saint Andrews - Saunt Aundraes
Saint Boswells - Bosells
South Isles - Sooth Isles
Stirling - Stirlin
Stonehaven - Steinhyve
Stornoway - Stornowa
Stranraer - Stranrawer
Thurso - Thursa
Troon - The Truin
Western Isles - Waster Isles
Wick - Weik
Wigtown - Wigtoun
Wishaw - Wishae


Wednesday, March 18th, 2009, 03:25 AM
Names in Scots - countries abroad

As with personal and place names, the use of names in Scots for countries has been smothered in modern times because officialdom in Scotland has preferred the English forms. A particular trait of Scots country names is that many end in –ae or –y rather than the convention in English which often ends names with Latin –a or –ia (meaning ‘land’ or ‘place’). So, for example, English ‘Africa’ and ‘Russia’ are ‘Africae’ and ‘Roushy’ in the Scots equivalents. In this trait Scots owes something to both Dutch and French influence. Also, in forming adjectives and language names, Scots mirrors somewhat the rule in Dutch which adds an –s. For example, to describe something as Scottish, in Scots, we add an –s to Scot, giving us ‘Scots’. We can say that a Scotsman speaks Scots (in English we say a Scottish man speaks Scottish). The equivalent in Dutch is ‘Schots’. Scots uses both –s and –ish endings for adjectives and language names (see below). Country names in Scots can be found in a number of places including the Scottish National Dictionary and also within the many Scots language newspaper articles written in 19th and early 20th century newspapers in Scotland. See, for example, ‘The Language of the People: Scots Prose from the Victorian Revival’ edited by William Donaldson (Aberdeen University Press, 1989).

In the following list, names of countries are given first in English followed by the Scots form with its adjective and language names in brackets: where these are the same only one word appears.

Africa – Africae (African)
Albania - Albainy (Albainian)
America - Americae (American or Yankie)
Andorra - Andorry
Antarctica - Sooth Pole
Arctic - North Pole
Arctic Circle - Girth o the North Pole
Armenia - Armeiny
The Atlantic Ocean - The Muckle Dub
Australia - Austrailie
Austria - Austrik
Balearics - Baliaries
The Baltic Sea - Easter Seas
Basque Country - Neveron (Bescayan)
Bay of Biscay - Bey o Bescay
Belgium - Belgium
Bellarussia - Beyellaroushy (Beyellaroushian)
Bosnia - Bosny
Brittany - Bertany
Bulgaria - Bulgairy (Bulgars)
Canada - Canadae (Canadian)
Catalonia - Catalony (Catalan)
China - China (Chinee)
Corsica - Corsicae
Croatia - Croaitie (leid - Serbo-Crotes; adjective – Croaitian)
Czech Republic - Czechland (Czech)
Denmark - Denmark (Dens)
England - Ingland (Inglis or Soothron)
Estonia - Eistland (Eistlands)
Europe - Europe
Faroe Isles - Faerae Isles (Faeraes)
Finland - Finland (Finns)
France - Fraunce (Frainch)
Frisia - Freishland (Freish)
Galicia - Galeisy - (Galeisan)
Georgia - Georgy
Germany - Germany (German)
Greece - Greece (Greek)
Iceland - Iceland (Icelandic)
India - Indie (Indian)
Ireland - Irland (Earse)
Italy - Italy (Italians)
Jamaica - Jamaicae (Jamaican)
Japan - Japan (Japanee)
Lappland - Lappland (Lapps)
Latvia - Lettland (Letts)
Lithuania - Leifland (Leiflands)
Litchtenstein - Litchenstien
Luxembourg - Lusinburg
Macedonia - Macedony
Mediterranean Sea - Meditterane Sea
Netherlands - Netherlands (Dutch)
North Sea - North Sea
Northern Ireland - Norlan Irland
Norway - Norrowa (leid - Norn; adjective - Norse)
Norwegian Sea - Norse Sea
Poland - Poland (leid – Polles; adjective - Polish)
Portugal - Portingal (Portingals)
Romania - Roumainy (Roumains)
Russia - Roushy (Roushian)
Sardinia - Sardinny
Scandinavia - Scandinaivy (Scandinaivian)
Scotland - Scotland (Scots)
Serbia - Serby (leid – Serbo-Crotes; adjective – Serbian)
Sicilly - Sicilly
Slovakia - Slovaky (Slovak)
Slovenia - Sloveiny (Slovein)
South Africa - Sooth Africae
South America - Sooth Americae
Spain - Spainy (Spenish)
Sweden - Swaiden (Swaidish)
Switzerland - Swisserland (Swisser)
Turkey - Turkey (Turkish)
Hungary - Ungairy (Ungairian)
Wales - Wales (Welsh)
West Indies - Wast Indies
World - Warld

Some European Towns in Scots: The usual form in English (with country in brackets) is followed by the Scots form.

Antwerp (Netherlands) - Handwarp
Bergen (Norway) - Birran
Boulogne (France) - Bullen
Bordeaux (France) - Bourdeuse
Bristol (England) - Bristow
Calais (France) - Calice
Campveer (Netherlands) - Camfeir
Canterbury (England) - Caunterberry
Cardiff (Wales) - Caurdiff
Copenhagen (Denmark) - Colpenhaven
Courtrai (Belgium) - Cortrik
Cologne (Germany) - Cullen
Falsterbo (Denmark) - Valsterboom
Frankfurt (Germany) - Frankfuird
Gdansk (Poland) - Danskin
Gothenburg (Sweden) - Gottenberry
Greenwich (England) – Grenidge
Hamburg (Germany) - Hambra
Helsignor (Denmark) - Elsenure
Kaliningrad (Russia) - Queensbrig
La Rochelle (France) - The Rotchell
Lisbon (Portugal) - Leisborn
Leuven (Belgium) - Lovan
Lübeck (Germany) - Luipkie
Liège (Belgium) - Luke
London (England) - Lunnon
Maastricht (Netherlands) - Maestricht
Norwich (England) - Norridge
Oslo (Norway) - Uplso
Osnabrück (Germany) - Ozenbrig
Paris (France) - Pairis
Poitiers (France) - Poyters
Rotterdam (Netherlands) - Roterdame
Salisbury (England) - Salesberry
Stettin (Poland) - Statin
Strasbourg (France) - Straesberry
Touraine (France) - Turing
Trondheim (Norway) - Druntin
Utrecht (Netherlands) - Utrik
Venice (Italy) - Veinice
Yarmouth (England) - Yearmuith


Wednesday, March 18th, 2009, 03:26 AM
Names in Scots - Personal

As one might expect, Scots speakers have traditionally had their own forms of first and family names, just like every language community. For example, though the name David was often written the same as in England, it was pronounced with a different sound on the ‘a’, while –d endings were commonly pronounced by Scots with a ‘t’ sound, hence the forms ‘Dauvit’ or ‘Edwart’(in this second instance the ‘d’ was even elided to give the form ‘Ewart’). In other instances we can clearly see a closer relationship between Scots and continental forms. Hendrie, for example, clearly owes something to Scandinavian Hen(d)rik and appears ‘half way’ between English Henry (taken from French) and Dutch and Scandinavian. Also, it is a common feature of Scots that it retains harder sounds where English has softened as in Katren (English ‘Catherine’) or Kirsten (English ‘Christine’). Because the Scots language was demoted in status after the Union with England (1707) the distinct forms of Scots names came to be regarded as ‘incorrect’ by the Anglicised elite. English forms came increasingly to be preferred. So much so that today the authors of name books will erroneously assume Scots as ‘pet’ forms of English rather than distinct forms which
developed independently. In addition, officialdom in Scotland does not support the use of Scots names in a formal capacity but rather prefers the forms adopted from England.

The following is a list of more common traditional first names found in Scots-speaking Scotland. Like English, these are derived from a variety of sources including Celtic, Germanic, Greek and Latin. In each case the accepted English form is given first followed (where appropriate) by the pet form in English in brackets, and is then followed by the Scots form with its pet form also in brackets.

Adam - Aidom (Aidie)
Alison - Ellison (Ellie, Elsie)
Archibald (Archy) - Airchibald (Airchie)
Arthur (Art) - Airthur (Attie)
Alexander (Alex) - Alexander (Alec, Eck, Sandie)
Andrew (Andy) - Andra (Andy, Dand)
Angus - Innes
Anne (Anny) - Ann (Annie)
Antony (Tony) – Antony (Nantie)
Alan (Al) - Aulan (Allie)
Barbara (Babbs) - Barbray (Babbie)
Catherine (Cate) – Katren (Katie)
Charles (Charley) - Chairles (Chairlie)
Christine (Chrissy) - Kirsten (Kirstie)
David (Dave) - Dauvit (Davie)
Douglas (Doug) - Dooglas (Doogie)
Edward (Eddy, Ned) - Edwart (Eddie)
Elizabeth (Lizzy) - Leezabeth (Leezie)
Francis (Frank) - Frauncis (Frankie)
Gavin (Gav) - Gawin
George (Georgy) - George (Dod, Geordie)
Henry (Harry) - Hendrie (Hairrie, Henders)
Henrietta - Hendretta (Hennie)
Hugh (Hughey) – Hugh (Hughoc, Hughie, Shug)
Isabel (Bell) - Isabel (Bella, Isa, Tib)
James (Jim) - Jeames (Jamie, Jimmie)
Jane - Jean (Jeanie, Jessie)
Janet – Jenet (Jessie)
Jason – Jeson
Joan – Jean (Jeanie, Jessie)
John (Jack, Johnny) - John (Jock, Johnnie)
Joseph (Joe) - Joseph (Josey)
Julia - Jowlia
Kenneth (Ken) - Kenneth (Kennie)
Laura - Lowra
Laurence (Larry) - Lowrence (Lowrie)
Margaret (Maggy) - Magret (Meg, Peggie)
Marion - Merran
Martin (Marty) - Mairten
Magnus - Manus (Mansie)
Mathew (Mat) - Mattha (Mat)
Malcolm - Maucom (Maikie)
Mary (May) - Mary (Mamie, Mey)
Michael (Mike) - Mitchel
Marion - Merran
Olivia (Liv) - Oleevia (Leevie)
Patrick (Pat) - Paitrik (Pate)
Peter (Pete) - Paitrik (Pate)
Rebecca – Beckie
Richard (Dick, Richy) - Richart (Richie)
Robbin - Rabbin
Robert (Rob) - Robert (Rab)
Samuel (Sam) - Saumal (Saummie)
Susan (Suzy) - Shoosan (Shoosie)
Steven (Steve) - Steen (Steenie)
Thomas (Tom) - Tamas (Tam)
William (Bill, Will) - Weelum (Beel, Wullie)
Victoria (Vicky) - Victoary (Vicky)


Friday, April 17th, 2009, 06:18 AM
Both my first name and last name are Scottish, but according to this website:


It claims that my last name is of Gaelic origin? Could that be true? Because so far, I have seen a considerable amount of English carrying the same last name as I.

Friday, April 17th, 2009, 06:30 AM
My dad is scottish-british and his last name is Lee. I could not find it anywhere on this list. Does that mean I'm asian?:D