A list of notable names that don’t (yet) have a place elsewhere on this site.
Sleu na Man, KCB NX 54 54
This name, which is fairly certain to be Gaelic sliabh na mBan ‘hill/moor of the women’ is only found on this map (thanks to Michael Klevenhaus and Alan James for suggesting the etymology). It is notable for adding another slaibh-name to the list collected by Simon Taylor in Sliabh in Scottish Place-names: its meaning and chronology (JNSN 1, 2007, pp. 99-136).
This name is marked on the current OS, around the site of Glaik on the OS 1st ed. By the 2nd ed., Glaik had moved to its current position. Although the name here is not marked on the 1st or 2nd ed., there are two Keekafars in Ayrshire recorded on the 1st ed. in Maybole (NS 287 146) and Kirkoswald (NS 256 062). The Name Book entries are as follows:
Maybole: “A small cothouse one storey high slated and in good repair. John Rankin Esqr. Proprietor. Probably so called from the extensive view which this place commands.” OS1/3/46/54
Kirkoswald: “A small heathy-pasture hill, [it] takes its name from the distant [view] which may be had of the surrounding country from its [summit] [property of] the Marquis of Ailsa” OS1/3/40/50
Like the two Ayrshire examples, this place looks to have commanding views – in this case west down to the sea. I can’t find a record earlier than the OS app on my phone, so it’s hard to know when the name was coined. It’s also difficult to say whether this was an independent coinage or a name transferred (appropriately) from Ayrshire. Someone in the area might know the answer.
Viewy Knowe is another place with an impressive viewshed. Although described by the Name Book (see below) as a ‘small’ hill, it stands at 652 feet and commands a 360 degree view. Although completely transparent, VIEWY isn’t record as a toponymic or lexical element as far as I’m aware. The OED entry for VIEWY only has the following senses:
1a) Of a person: inclined to adopt speculative or unsubstantiated views; having a tendency to be impractical, polemical, or opinionated.
1b) Of a theory, piece of writing, etc.: characterized by speculative or unsubstantiated views; polemical or opinionated.
2) Originally slang. Pleasant or attractive in appearance; showy.
Name Book entry: “Is a small round hill on the farm of Kerr the Surface of which is covered with heathy pasture, & on its Summit, stands a Trigl. [Trigonometrical] Station.” OS1/10/4/61
GOWK is Scots ‘cuckoo’. It occurs fairly frequently in place-names. However, cuckoos don’t build their own nests and the to build a gowk’s nest is “to make something wonderful but absurd, to produce a ‘mare’s nest'”.
There is no wood here on the OS 1st ed. Perhaps the name was some comment on the suitability of this site for a plantation. Whatever the case, the wood is going strong today.
Jubilee Wood and Abdication Wood, Tynron DMF NX 760 962
This is listed as Beebinks on the OS six-inch 1st ed. However, three of the four entries in the Various modes of Spelling the same Names column are Beebinklees, which is the name given on the six-inch 2nd ed. Scots BEE-BINK is ‘a bee-hive’. BINK was a new word to me; I was more familiar with BYKE, well known from Tam o’ Shanter:
As bees bizz out wi’ angry fyke, When plundering herds assail their byke
Name Book entry: “A dwelling house offices and farm, property of Sir Wm Jardine. In the district around this is in a short way named Beebinks. Beebinks’ Leas seems to be the correct mode.” OS1/10/36/40
UNHAINEDis Scots ‘unenclosed’. The DSL’s only citation is from a poem by Forbes MacGreggor, published in 1991:
“He sees the unhained Hieland glen He brookt or he was glaikt by men.”
Older Scots HAIN is ‘to fence in, enclose; to protect in this way’. The definition from 1700- is more specific: ‘to enclose or protect a field or wood by a hedge or fence ; to preserve grassland from cattle for hay or winter pasture. Gen. found as ppl.adj. hain(e)d, of a grass crop: kept for hay, allowed to lie without being pastured; of a plantation: preserved from cutting’.
Unhained usefully fills a lexical gap and I’m surprised it isn’t used more often. It appears four times on this map. In each case it’s written in pencil so it is hard to know if it’s a later addition or from an early draft which has not been inked onto the plan, as is often the case on the Queensbury Estate Plans. Whatever the case, this map provides us with a record of unhained that’s much earlier than 1991 and used in a different context.
Fairy Knowes, Durisdeer DMF
One of the attractions of studying estate plans is finding names that aren’t recorded on the OS. It’s fairly common to see traces of pencil sketches and notes that have subsequently been inked in on these plans. For whatever reason, some of the names that are pencilled in weren’t upgraded to ‘official status’. This example, at NS 864 109, is significant for adding another Fairy Knowe to the list of such sites in D&G; there are just six recorded in the region on the OS 2nd ed. six-inch maps.
These faint pencil entries are easy to miss when looking at estate plans. I’ve found a fair few but plenty will have slipped through the net. I’m sure there will be others too faint to have been picked up when the plans were scanned.
North & South Teux Holm, Dryfesdale DMF; Tukestone Braes, Kirkconnel DMF
Scots TOUK is ‘an embankment or jetty built to prevent erosion of soil on the bank of a river, side of a ditch, etc.’ The only occurrence of this word in D&G on the OS 2nd ed. six-inch maps is The Tooks in Kirkmahoe (NX 953 828), which the Name Book describes as ‘a deep pool in the River Nith.’
North Teux Holm and South Teux Holm, which sit by the old and new courses of the Annan, are well-sited for touks. Tukestone Braes sits by the Nith.
Makins Burn, Kirkconnel DMF
Scots MAUKIN ‘hare’ is surpringingly rare in place-names. There are only two occurrences of this element in D&G on the OS 2nd ed. six-inch maps: Maukinhowe (with Maukinhowe Burn) in Balmaclellan and Maukins Mire in Half Morton. This map adds a third.
Poldivan Lake, Closeburn DMF
LAKE is notable for being used as a stream-name in southern Scotland. As these are relatively minor watercourses (though some run for several miles) many aren’t recorded earlier than the 1st ed. six-inch OS maps. The estate maps digitized by DAMP have been a great resource for finding both early records and otherwise unrecorded LAKE names. This record of Poldivan Lake from 1764 is the earliest I’ve found so far.
Eel place-names are infrequent. This is only the third in D&G. It joins Eel Spring Strand, Balmaclellan and Blue Eel Pool, Tundergarth. It’s the only one spelled with three <e>s.
Old Wife’s Syke, Eskdalemuir DMF
This name joins the three D&G Auld Wife’s X place-names on the 1st and 2nd ed. six-inch OS maps: Auld Wife’s Kirn, Kirkpatrick-Juxta; Auld Wife’s Stank, Minnigaff; and Auld Wife’s Grave, Inch. The only other name of this type is Auld Wife’s Lift in Baldernock, STR. Neither of the burns recorded here – Old Wife’s Skye and Blanches Well – are marked on the 1st or 2nd ed. six-inch OS maps.
The Lairds Cave, Eskdalemuir DMF
The Lairds Cave (NY 242 996) is marked on the map above too. The OS doesn’t mention a cave at all. The closest name is Johnston Linns, which the Name Book describes as ‘A number of small waterfalls’. It would be worth a visit.
RODDIN(G) is Scots ‘a narrow track or path, specif. one trodden out by sheep; any private unmetalled track or rough road’. There are no place-names which use this element in D&G on the 1st and 2nd ed. six-inch OS maps. There are only 12 names featuring RODDIN(G) on the 2nd ed., almost all of which are in Ayrshire.
Two Cow Gangs (Kirkconnel & Durisdeer, DMF) and a Lambgang (Penpont, DMF)
GANG is Scots ‘a pasture; the right of pasturing. Specif.: the pasture on a farm allotted to cows; a certain stretch of ground on a hill-side over which a flock of sheep grazes’. None of these names is recorded on the OS.
The first Cow Gang covers either side of Needle Street in Kirkconnel. The second, like Fairy Knowes above, is a pencil entry. The OS 1st ed. six-inch map shows a field here (NS 840 000).
Lambang (which sits next to Lamb Park) is a field on the farm of Auchenbainzie, Penpont. The name made it onto the 1st ed. six-inch OS as Lambgang Plantation (NX 835 968).
The same map also records Paddock pipes Tunnel, which has been scored out and replaced with Barony Tunnel. Paddock, more familiar as PUDDOCK, is Scots ‘frog’. Puddock pipes is ‘the marsh horse-tail, a grass of the genus Equisetum‘ or, according to the entry in Mactaggart’s Gallovidian Encylopedia, ‘a moss herb’.
Soft Sleechy Sands, Kirkcudbright KCB
SLEECHY is ‘slimy, muddy’. The DSL includes this and other forms under the headwork SLEEK but acknowledges the various forms and meanings ‘may have diverse origins’. OED lists SLEECHY under SLEECH, itself ‘apparently a later form of SLITCH’. The OED’s earliest record for SLEECHY is 1792; the earliest record in DSL is 1795. Both citations are from the Old Statistical Accounts of Scotland. This map provides another early record for the word.
Gold Well, Terregles KCB
This wee burn is unnamed on the 1st and 2nd ed. six-inch OS maps, though the spring is marked on the current OS. It joins Gold Wells, Dalry and Gold Cleugh, Glencairn as the third gold place-name in D&G. (Goldielea, Troqueer, Goldie Park, Dumfries, and Goldthorpe Knowe, Kells are derived from personal names.)
This is a photo from the 1810 Atlas and Admeasurement of an Estate, Situated in the Parish of Terregles in the Stewartry of Kikcudbright, the Property of Marmaduke Constable Maxwell which I got to see in person as it’s not online. I will eventually get round to posting a list of the names on its maps.
Little London, Lochrutton KCB
A New Dictionary of English Field-Names notes that Little London is a not uncommon name, often referring to ‘land on which rough dwellings had been erected’. It can also refer to ‘land beside a main road’ or to distant fields, neither of which is applicable here. It notes too that the name is ‘also associated with drovers’ camps’. There are no Little Londons recorded on the 1st or 2nd ed. six-inch OS maps.
Moss Glairn, Lochrutton KCB
This otherwise unrecorded name appears to be Gaelic name of the type discussed by Thomas Clancy in Gatherings about Moss. MOSS is a Scots word meaning ‘marsh bog; a bog from which peats are dug, a moorland on an estate which is allocated to the tenants for cutting fuel’. However, there are several place-names in southern Scotland – Moss Raploch, Moss Nae, Moss Feather etc. – where Moss represents a Gaelic borrowing of either Old English mos or Old Norse mosi.
The second element of Moss Glairn looks like it could be Gaelic gleadhran ‘wood sorrel; yellow rattle; cockscomb’. (Alan James has suggested that cockscomb here could be Pedicularis palustris.) If not named from a flower, Thomas Clancy suggests a possible derivation from gleadhar ‘noise, rattle’.
Another possibility is that Moss Glairn is a Scots name in inverted element order (see Drumcushat Park below). Moss is fine, but what would Glairn be? Bobby Clark suggests a derivation from GLAUR ‘soft, sticky mud; ooze, slime’. Alan James suggests glairn could be ‘an analogical adjectival form’ of GLAUR. ‘Slimy bog’ would be something of a tautology, but tautologous names are not uncommon. However, I think the balance is probably in favour of this being a Gaelic name
The moss is unnamed on the 1st ed. six-inch OS map but by the 2nd ed. the area has been planted with trees and called Moss Wood. This plan also provides a name for the burn which has its source in the moss and which is unnamed on both the 1st and 2nd ed. OS six-inch maps: Lawston’s Burn (named from the farm of Lawston which it passes).
Watercraw Thorn, Durisdeer DMF
Scots WATER-CRAW is the dipper, Cinclus aquaticus. This plan is the only place this tree is named and, as far as I’m aware, the only use of water-craw in a (Scottish) place-name.
Hangman Tree, Durisdeer DMF
Another named tree. There are only 9 Scottish place-names which feature the element hangman on the OS 2nd ed. six-inch maps, including Hangman Hill in Kirkbean. References to gallows and hangings are fairly common in tree-names. There are plenty of examples here: Trees with Names in Dumfries and Galloway.
Surfaceman’s Cottage, Kirkconnel DMF
A surfaceman, according to the OED, is either a miner who works at the surface or, as is almost certainly the case here: “Originally and chiefly Scottish. A worker responsible for keeping the railway in good repair”. The railway passes the cottage. This is the only surfaceman place-name I am aware of, though others might be preserved in house-names.
Valleyfield & Lochhill Onsteads, Tongland KCB
ONSTEAD is Scots ‘the houses and buildings forming a farm-stead; a cluster of farm-workers’ houses or the like’. For whatever reason it almost never appears in place-names. The only occurrence on the OS 1st ed. six-inch maps (there are none on the 2nd) is Hill Onstead in Crailing, Roxburghshire.
Lirick is a reduced form of LAVEROCK. The DSL entry notes that a laverrock cairn is “a heap of stones frequented by larks; hence any insignificant place”, though I don’t think that’s necessarily significant here. Incidentally, the DSL entry includes the forms “lairi(c)k, -ock, laerock, ler(r)i(c)k, -uck; larrik, lari(c)k; laerag, lairag, layrag” but not lirick.
Drumchushat Park, Kirkconnel DMF
Another Scots bird place-name. CUSHAT is ‘ring-dove or woodpigeon’. Drum is borrowed into Scots from Gaelic druim ‘ridge; back’. Drumcushat is interesting for being in Gaelic element order rather than the order expected in Scots: *Cushatdrum. There are three possibilities behind this. 1 Drumcushat is a Gaelic name where the second element has been reanalysed as Scots cushat. 2 This is a Gaelic name using a word borrowed from Scots. Names of this type are found in Wigtownshire – Balyett is an example (Gaelic baile ‘farm’ + Scots yett ‘gate’). 3 Drumcushat is an ‘inverted’ Scots name. Names with inverted element order are not infrequent where the generic element is a borrowing from Gaelic. A potential analogy is Knockmowdie in Kells, though this might also be a case where a Gaelic element has been reanalysed as Scots. Whatever the case, we only know about Drumcushat because it is preserved in this field name.