Scottish Place Names
- Port-of-Spain, Trinidad & Tobago


For comparability with other cities around the world, Port-of-Spain has been defined as the entire urban area extending from Chaguaramas in the west to Arima in the east and from the Northern Range in the north to the rapidly developing borough of Chaguanas in the south. This area takes in virtually the whole of the north-western corner of the island of Trinidad and includes, in addition to the core centres of Port-of-Spain and Chaguanas, the local municipalities of Diego Martin, San Juan-Laventille, Tunapuna/Piarco and Arima (the last three being known collectively as the East/West Corridor). Of the names of the 127 suburbs and neighbourhoods that have been identified to date in the Port-of-Spain/Diego Martin/East-West Corridor/Chaguanas conurbation, 15 (11.8%) can be found in Scotland or are based on Scottish family names. Of course, some of these names are used in other parts of the British Isles as well, but at least 9 of them (7.1%) appear to be uniquely related to Scotland.

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:

Some of the following localities may also have a direct or indirect Scottish connection but these names are used in other parts of the British Isles as well. There is nothing obviously "Scottish" about any of these names, however, which suggests that the vast majority are probably either English or purely descriptive in nature.

Compared with other cities and towns in the West Indies, the number of Scottish place names is relatively low. This is partly attributable to the comparatively high use of Amerindian, Spanish and French names. However, in relation to names associated only with the British Isles, the number of Scottish names appears to be relatively high.

Of the main roads in the metropolitan area, Munroe Road in Chaguanas seems to be the only one which has a Scottish name. It is nevertheless interesting to note that several streets in downtown Port-of-Spain have Scottish names (Abercromby, Duncan, Fraser, Gordon, Knox and St Clair) while one of the main parks is called Adam Smith Square. Close inspection of street names in the suburbs reveals a series of consecutive streets running off La Horquette Valley Road in Goodwood Park, all of which have Scottish, or Scottish-sounding names (from south to north these are: Highland, Kilbracken, Strathhaven, Strathmore, Gairloch, Loradale and Glenamon, with Glencoe close by). A second tight cluster of Scottish street names can be found in Caroni: Arbuckle, Buchanan, Gilbert, Grant, Kay, McKenzie and Walker, all of which are Scottish family names.

Information on the origin of place names in Trinidad is difficult to obtain. The author of this article would appreciate hearing from readers who have access to local resources on the subject.


© Ian Kendall
Melbourne, Australia, July 2011

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

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