Thursday, 30 January 2014
Some Place Names of Strathearn
School of Scottish Studies
University of Edinburgh
I recently came across a copy of a letter given to me some time ago by Anthony Murray of Dollerie by Crieff . It was sent to him away back in 1991 by Ian Fraser of the School of Scottish Studies at The University of Edinburgh . Mr Fraser had looked at various place names in the Strathearn area as a follow up to a talk given by him to an unnamed organisation in the town . I replicate below the details of his research which were contained in the communication .
“ Dollerie has fairly consistent spellings in Dol and Dul , so I assume that it contained dail (O.W. dul, dol ) ‘water meadow ‘ , ‘haugh ‘ as the main element . The form Dowlarich however , which you quote as being in the 1500s may not be such a misleading form after all . This is clearly dubh-larich ‘ black foundation ‘, from larach ‘ foundation of a house ‘ , ‘footing ‘ .This would support WJ Watson’s supposition that “ Dollerie “ near Crieff may be from doilleir ‘ dark ‘ , opposed to Soilzarie , near Blacklunans , from soilleir ‘bright’ .” Otherwise dol and dul have an early Celtic -ar extension , giving Dollar in various places , but I don’t think it applies in this case . Anyway , it’s certainly a fascinating name .
Of the others in your list , I explained most of them at the time , but Altina is allt an ath ‘ burn of the ford ‘ , Croftnappock is croit na poice ‘croft of the bag(s) or sacks ‘ ; Croftweit is simply ‘ wet croft ‘from baite ‘ drowned ‘ , and Leadenflower is leathed nan fluir ‘ hill slope of the flowers ‘ .
Currachran contains the Gaelic currach –‘ flat plain ‘ as in the Curragh of Kildare , plus the diminutive – an . Quarrelhaugh is simply ‘ quarrel’ , the Scots form of ‘ quarry ‘ . Some commentators have suggested the meaning to be ‘ crossbow –bolt ‘ but unless there was definite evidence of archery practice here , I don’t go for that . “