The beautiful names of Scottish cities, towns and places can often be hilariously mispronounced by tourists, yet some of the more difficult place names in Scotland can be butchered even by natives at times. So, we thought we’d set the record straight on how to properly pronounce some of these places.
Okay, Ecclefechan is one of our favourite names, also known as Eaglais Fheichein in Scottish Gaelic. The village is located in Dumfries and Galloway in the south of Scotland. It’s actually understandable why Scottish people might mispronounce the place name, ad The name Ecclefechan was recorded as Egilfeichane in the 16th century and is of Brittonic origin. The first part of the word is eglẹ:s, meaning “a church”, while the second part is similar to Welsh fechan, meaning “little”.
How to pronounce it: Eck-el-feck-han.
Achadh an t-Seagail in Scottish Gaelic, Auchenshuggle is a quaint area in the South of Glasgow, located near Tollcross. The place name means “the rye field”, and was popularized when tramway number 9 was introduced to the area in 1922.
How to pronounce it: Aw-ken-shuggle.
Findochty is known as Finichty in Scots, and Am Fionn Ochdamh in Scottish Gaelic. As a small village in Moray, boasting beautiful views of of the Moray Firth. The village also has cute painted cottages, a white Church of Scotland church, as well as a picturesque harbour. What is more, there is, of course, a pub, a small supermarket, a pharmacy and a post office.
How to pronounce it: Fin-eck-tay.
Gairbheach in Scottish Gaelic, Garioch has the most random pronunciation on the most difficult place names in Scotland, and it’s not why one might first think it is. Located in Aberdeenshire, the committee area has a population of over 46 thousand. The meaning behind the place name is “place of roughness” in the original language, and is interestingly pronounced as gee-ree.
How to pronounce it: Gee-ree.
Kirkcudbright is known as Kirkcoubrie in Scots, while it is Cille Chùithbeirt in Scottish Gaelic, meaning “Church of St Cuthbert”. Named after a Northumbrian saint, Kirkcudbright is a town located in Dumfries and Galloway near River Dee and the Irish Sea.
How to pronounce it: Kirk-coo-bray.
Anstruther is a fishing village in Fife, known as Ainster or Enster in Scots, and Ànsruthair in Scottish Gaelic, meaning either “driving current” or “burn”. The village is home to the Scottish Fisheries Museum, a golf course and is close to one of Scotland’s most popular puffin locations, Isle of May. You can take a wee tour to see the beautiful birds operated by May Princess doing wildlife-watching adventures. Oh, and you’ll probably see some seals, too!
How to pronounce it: Ainster.