~ Scottish Place Names ~
THERE"S a history to most place names - a reason for the
calling of that place, as it were - and sometimes the reason is obvious: 'Eyemouth" (mouth of the
river Eye); St Andrews (town of St. Andrew).
Sometimes, the name does not explain much
as to the derivation. There's a wee town, on the
south bank of the river
Forth, near Falkirk, called Bo'ness. Bo'ness is a contraction of "Borrowstouness",
which is often taken to mean 'the burgh town on the Ness' (Ness- headland), but "Borrowstoun" itself is a
corruption of an earlier name "Burwardstoun". This could be from 'the toun of Burward', where
"Burward was a person, or from the dialect where 'Bur" is a fir cone, 'Ward' is a division
of a county or prescribed area, and 'Toun' is of course 'Town" - we get "town in the fir-cone area"
which is possible when you consider that in these days much of Scotland was heavily wooded.
So, this will give you a flavour of what's to follow; if there's a place
you've heard of and want to know about, e-mail us to ask. Do put in as much information as you have - where it is,
differing spellings if there are such, etc., and we will find what we can for you. We'll also acknowledge your
query in any articles we do on the place.
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