Sunday, March 01, 2020

The Place Names of Scotland & England

Gaelic was once the main language of Scotland. One of its major legacies in Scotland can be seen on  the country's maps, in the Gaelic place-names which can be found across the whole of Scotland.

The Map of Common Gaelic Placenames is an interactive map which explains the meanings behind some of Scotland's many Gaelic place-names. On the map locations with Gaelic place-names have been shown with small markers. If you hover over these markers you can view the place-name and an English translation. The interactive map itself uses Ordnance Survey maps of Scotland from the 1920s-1940s.

Packs of wolves once hunted in the forests of Berwickshire. The wolves have long since departed from but they have left their mark in the county in the name of a small stream, which is called Wolfcleugh Burn (a cleugh is a narrow gorge or chasm with high rocky sides).

The University of Glasgow's Berwickshire Place-Name Resource allows you to explore and learn more about the names of villages, towns and other locations in the Scottish Borders county of Berwickshire. You can search for place-names in the county using a number of different methods. You can search for place-names alphabetically. Alternatively you can search using a string (for example entering '*hall' to find all place-names ending ....hall). You can also search using the element glossary which allows you to search by different common elements found in Berwickshire place-names.

South of the Border you can refer to the Key to English Place Names to discover the meaning of place-names. The Key to English Place Names is a fascinating Google Map from the University of Nottingham that reveals the meanings behind English place-names.

Just enter a town or city name into the search box and its location will be displayed on the map. The name's meaning and a break-down of the different parts of the name and the language(s) of those elements are displayed in the map marker's information window.

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