William Sinclair Manson

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Scotland and its history / Writings · 24 April 2022

Scotland and its History. Part 2.

Edinburgh has a fascinating history dating back thousands of years, with evidence of a settlement in the Cramond area from around 8500 BC.

The city’s name comes from ‘Eidyn’, the name for the region in Cumbric – the Brittonic language spoken in the Northern England and Lowland Scotland in the Middle Ages.

At this time a stronghold on Castle Rock was called Din Eidyn, literally meaning ‘the hillfort of Eidyn’. As the Scots language evolved, the Din was replaced by ‘burh’, creating Edinburgh.

And there are plenty more clues to the Capital’s complex past in the names of the areas that make up the city, all of which come from a multitude of languages, backgrounds and people.

Here are 12 of them.

3. Stockbridge.

The name Stockbridge comes from the Scots ‘stock brig’ which in turn comes from from the Anglic ‘stocc brycg’, meaning a timber bridge. It only became part of Edinburgh after a bridge spanning the Water of Leith connected it with the city. The current stone Stock Bridge was built in 1801.

Photo: Crauford Tait

4. Gogar

Historians are split on the etymology of Gogar, a name that is mentioned in documents dating back as far as 1233. Some believe it comes from ‘gowk’, the Scots word for the cuckoo, while others think it’s more likely to come from ‘coch’, the Brythonic term for red that leant its name to nearby Redheugh (which means ‘red ravine’).

Photo: Unknown

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