Miscellaneous Map Finds

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).

Gallovidiae pars media quae Deam et Cream fluvios interjacet, [vulgo], The Middle part of Galloway, which lyeth betweene the rivers Dee and Cree / auct. Timoth. Pont., 1654
Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland

Cuddle Cosy, Crossmichael KCB NX 766 644

This is only the second Cuddle Cosy I am aware of. The other is a field in Borgue. Just down the road is Doddle Denty (NX 765 641).

Kirkcudbrightshire Sheet XLIII.NW Date revised: 1894, Date Published: 1895
Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland

Keekafar, Leswalt WIG NW 997 595

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, Canonbie DMF NY 322 799

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

Dumfriesshire, Sheet LIII Survey date: 1857,  Publication date: 1862
Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland

Looky Knowe, Penpont NS 794 002

Like VIEWY, this use of LOOKY is transparent but idiosyncratic. The OED records LOOKY as a verb “Chiefly in imperative. Used to draw or direct attention; ‘see’, ‘observe’, ‘take note’.”

Name Book entry: “A small rocky knoll on the southern should of Woodend Hill from which an extensive view of the surrounding country is obtained”. OS1/10/42/129

Dumfriesshire, Sheet XXI Survey date: 1856,  Publication date: 1861
Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland

Gowk Nest Wood, Inch WIG NX 166 652

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.

Wigtownshire Sheet XII.NE Date revised: 1893, Date Published: 1896
Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland

Jubilee Wood and Abdication Wood, Tynron DMF NX 760 962

These adjacent woods are marked on the 1st and 2nd ed. OS six-inch maps but are unnamed on both (the grid reference is for the mid point between the woods). Abdication Wood is surely a reference to the abdication of Edward VIII in 1936. I’d hazard a guess that Jubilee Wood was named for the Silver Jubilee of George V in 1935, though Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in 1887 and her Diamond Jubilee in 1897 (both of which occurred after the publication of the OS 2nd ed.) are also options. The 1977 Silver Jubilee of Elizabeth II strikes me as too late for a pairing with Abdication Wood.

Dumfriesshire, Sheet XXI Survey date: 1856,  Publication date: 1861 [Jubille Wood is on the left; Abdication Wood is on the right.]
Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland

Beebinklees, Lochmaben DMF NY 093 852

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

Dumfriesshire, Sheet XLII Survey date: 1857,  Publication date: 1861
Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland

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