Scottish Place Names
- Nashville, Tennessee, USA

Nashville Skyline - graphic via Wikimedia

For comparability with other cities around the world, Greater Nashville has been defined as the entire urban area including and surrounding the City of Nashville. In addition to most of Davidson County, this area includes small sections of Cheatham County (the Ashland City-Gravelotte and Pegram-Kingston Springs areas) and the suburban sections of Williamson County (Fairview-Brentwood-Franklin-Nolensville area), Rutherford County (La Vergne-Smyrna area), Wilson County (Mount Juliet area) and Sumner County (Millersville-Hendersonville-Gallatin area).

Of the names of the 913 communities and neighbourhoods in Greater Nashville that have been identified to date, at least 62 (6.8%) appear to be based in whole or in part, on Scottish family names, or Scottish words, or on place names that are found only in Scotland and not elsewhere in the British Isles. There is the possibility that up to 21 further names could also have a Scottish connection, taking the total to around 83 names (9.1% of the total) but these names are also associated with other parts of the British Isles.

Communities, neighbourhoods, districts and outlying 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:

As in other cities around the world, not all of the above place names are necessarily based directly on their namesakes in Scotland. The connection with Scotland may be more indirect in some instances, for example, honouring individuals whose ancestry may have been Scottish. Examples where this may be the case would be gratefully received from readers in Nashville, for incorporation in future updates of this web page.

Some of the following neighbourhoods and suburbs could also prove, on further investigation, to have a link with Scotland. However, these names are also associated with other parts of the British Isles, or are based on family names that are not exclusively Scottish.

There is a long list of many other Nashville neighbourhoods and suburbs with names that can also be found in Scotland, but in their case the likelihood of a Scottish connection is greatly diminished because such names occur far more frequently in other parts of the British Isles, especially England. Examples include Bellevue, Green Hill, Greystone, Hermitage, Huntington, Sandhill and Trinity, to mention only a handful. Most of these names are of a general or descriptive character and none of them looks or sounds particularly Scottish.

It is interesting to note that of the names of the six counties over which Greater Nashville extends, two (Davidson and Williamson) are Scottish family names, another two (Rutherford and Wilson) have a high probability of also being Scottish and the remaining two (Cheatham and Sumner) are most probably English. This fact alone suggests that Scottish or Scots-Irish (i.e. Ulster Scots) influences were once very strong in the Nashville area.


© Ian Kendall
Melbourne, Australia, April 2005
Revised October 2011

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

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