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Following on Neil's request about the meaning of the prefix
appears in many of the pace-names of Scotland, I have asked around
been given the information below:
Auchnacloich = stone
Auchleeks = flagstone
Auchnafree = field
of the dee forest
Auchnaguie = field
of the wind
Auchessan = field
of the little waterfall
Auchgobbal = field
of the fork
Aucharn = cairn
so, from the above, we can conclude that 'auch' means a field i.e.
we come to:
Auchtermuchty = upland
area of the burn* which
might have included 'muc'
is Gaelic for 'pig'
Auchtertool = upland
+ burn name (Teil)
Auchtermoonzie = upland
+ burn name (Moonzie)
Auchterstruthers = upland
between the burns
was once Uchteruthirstruthire
is uachdar eadar strutha - which
the Gaelic for 'upland between the burns'
burn = small
brook or stream
It would appear that the 'confusion' between the 'field' translation and
the 'upland' translation
arises from the similarity in Gaelic between achadh for 'field'
and auchdar for 'upland'.
I hope this has confused everyone as much as it has confused me and made
me eternally grateful
that the English gave us the English language which allows us to converse
with our fellow-men (and
women) almost anywhere in the World.
Incidentally, the Sinclairs* never spoke Gaelic as
their mother tongue. True many of them 'acquired'
Gaelic just as they would have acquired any other language to facilitate
their daily business.
* this would not apply to the Sinclairs of Argyll.