[Up] [Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Och Aye!!

Following on Neil's request about the meaning of the prefix "Auch" which
appears in many of the pace-names of Scotland, I have asked around and
been given the information below:

                Auchnacloich            =               stone field
                Auchleeks               =               flagstone field
                Auchnafree              =               field of the dee forest
                Auchnaguie              =               field of the wind
                Auchessan               =               field of the little waterfall
                Auchgobbal              =               field of the fork
                Aucharn         =               cairn field

so, from the above, we can conclude that 'auch' means a field i.e. until
we come to:

                Auchtermuchty           =               upland area of the burn* which
                                                        name might have included 'muc'
which is Gaelic for 'pig'
                Auchtertool             =               upland + burn name (Teil)
                Auchtermoonzie          =               upland + burn name (Moonzie)
                Auchterstruthers        =               upland between the burns

                                                        Struthers was once Uchteruthirstruthire
                                                        which is uachdar eadar strutha - which
                                                        is 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.

Niven Sinclair