Gaelic at the University of Edinburgh

Gaelic place names in Edinburgh

Although some say Gaelic was never spoken in Edinburgh, place name evidence shows there are names of Gaelic origin throughout Edinburgh and to the south and east of the city.

Below are some examples of Gaelic place names in Edinburgh. 


Salisbury Crags 

In 1128, Salisbury Crags were mentioned in a charter as Craginmarf, which is surely derived from the Gaelic Creag nam Marbh meaning crag of the dead. 


This is on record in 1507 as Drumsleuch, derived from Druim Seileach, meaning willow ridge. 


In 1283, Balerno was recorded as Balernauch, which is most likely derived from Am Baile Airneach, meaning the sloe tree farm. 


This is most likely derived from Creag an t-Sionnaich, meaning crag of the fox. 


Recorded as Cragmilor in 1124, Craigmillar is most likely derived from Creag Maol Àirde meaning bare height crag. Today, it is often referred to as Creag a’ Mhuilleir meaning crag of the miller.


This is derived from Inbhir Lìte, meaning the confluence of the river Leith. 

Torduff and Torphin Hill

The names of these hills near Currie are derived from the Gaelic An Tòrr Dubh and An Tòrr Fionn, meaning the black and white hill, respectively.