Supriya Ghosh

Scottish toponymy

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Scottish toponymy derives from the languages of Scotland. The toponymy varies in each region, reflecting the linguistic history of each part of the country.

Goidelic roots accounts for most place-names in eastern Scotland, with a few Anglic names in Fife and Angus and with a small number Pictish elements assimilated into the total toponymy.

Nearly every place-name in the Northern Isles derives from Scandinavian toponymy.

In the Western Isles, there are also many names of Norse origin; this is also true of the coasts of the mainland. In the highlands, the names are primarily in Scottish Gaelic, with emphasis on natural features; elements such as Glen- (valley) and Inver- (confluence, mouth) are common.

In lowland Scotland, names are of more diverse origin. Many are Gaelic, but many are also from the Brythonic branch of Celtic languages (such as Lanark). There are also a substantial number of place names, particularly in the east lowlands, derived from the northern dialect of Old English (see Northumbrian language) and later Scots.

Places in Scotland where the Gaelic and English placenames appear to differ

This is a list of names which are not cognate, i.e. from the same root, or from same origins. Some names which appear unrelated in fact are, e.g. Falkirk/An Eaglais Bhreac, which both mean the same thing.


Scottish toponymy Wikipedia

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