Scottish Place Names
- Atlanta, Georgia, USA

For comparability with other large cities around the world, Greater Atlanta has been defined as the entire urban area including and surrounding Atlanta, Smyrna, Marietta, Decatur, Forest Park, College Park and smaller incorporated cities in the central metropolitan area. This is a vast and rapidly growing metropolis, taking in Acworth, Holly Springs, Cumming and Buford in the north, Lawrenceville, Loganville and Conyers in the east, Stockbridge, Lovejoy and Fayetteville in the south and Peachtree City and Douglasville in the west.

Of the names of the 919 communities, neighbourhoods, districts and suburban estates in Greater Atlanta that have been identified to date, 164 (17.9%) are based, in whole or in part, on place names that can be found in Scotland, on Scottish family names, or on Scottish words. Of course, many of the names are used in other parts of the British Isles as well but at least 65 (7.1%) of these appear to be exclusively Scottish.

Neighbourhoods, subdivisions, districts and suburbs with names that occur only in Scotland and not elsewhere in the British Isles, and/or are definitely, or most probably, of Scottish origin are:

Some of the following districts, neighbourhoods, subdivisions and suburbs are also likely to have a direct or indirect Scottish connection but these names tend to be used in other parts of the British Isles as well:

A third category of local names comprises places that definitely exist in Scotland, but there is nothing obviously "Scottish" about them. In these instances, the likelihood that the Greater Atlanta counterpart was named for Scotland is greatly reduced because these names are far more commonly associated with other parts of the British Isles. Most of the names of these localities have an 'international' flavour and several may simply have been borrowed from other American cities and towns.

A final category of neighbourhood and suburban names comprises places that can be found in Scotland, but which, in Atlanta's case, definitely or most probably have no connection with Scotland.

Forest Glen, Heather Lynn, Mableton and Pirkle Woods also have a Scottish ring about them but no connection with Scotland has as yet been found. According to the House of Names Heraldic website, Mable is a Scottish family name from Kirkcudbrightshire (now part of Dumfries & Galloway); Black (1996), however, does not mention the name. Similarly, Pirkle is said to be a Scottish family name from West Lothian, but this cannot be verified through other sources.


© Ian Kendall
Melbourne, Australia, June 2005
Revised August 2007

If you wish to contact Ian about his research, his e-mail address is

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