Scottish Place Names
- Washington, DC, USA
For comparability with other large cities around the world, Greater Washington DC has been defined as the entire urban area including and surrounding the District of Columbia. This area takes in the whole of Arlington, Alexandria and Fairfax Counties in Virginia, much of Montgomery and Prince George's Counties in Maryland, and small sections of Charles, Prince William and Loudon Counties in Virginia, for example St Charles, Occoquan and Leesburg.
Of the names of the 1,979 communities and neighbourhoods that have been identified to date in Greater Washington DC, 342 (17.3%) are based wholly 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. Nevertheless, 149 (7.5%) of these appear to be exclusive to Scotland, with a fair proportion being variations on a single name, for example the numerous communities with Highland, Largo or McLean as part of their name.
Although it is too early to draw definite conclusions, it appears that Greater Washington DC may have one of the highest urban concentrations of Scottish place names in the USA, similar to the incidence of Scottish place names in many Canadian and Australian cities. This would suggest that the Scots played a visible role in the development of America's capital city. Furthermore, the Scottish-related statistics for Greater Washington DC are quite similar to those for its immediate metropolitan neighbour, the Baltimore-Annapolis complex, which suggests that Scottish and/or Scots-Irish influences were broadly felt throughout urban Maryland.
Suburbs, communities, neighbourhoods and districts 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:
- Acredale (Scottish Borders).
- Alexandria (West Dunbartonshire) and New Alexandria by association; Alexandria is also the second largest city in Egypt, founded by Alexander the Great. Alexandria was the birthplace of Tobias Smollett (1721-1771) described as "the first Scottish novelist". The monument to the writer seen on the right is in Alexandria, West Dunbartonshire.
- Anderson Heights - Anderson is the Lowland form of MacAndrew, a sept of the Clan Chattan. The name has travelled from Scotland to other parts of the British Isles, for example the village of Anderson in Dorset, England and Andersonstown, a suburb of Belfast, Northern Ireland.
- Annandale (Dumfries & Galloway) and Annandale Acres, Annandale Terrace and Annandale Woods by association.
- Argyle Club Estates, Argyle Forest and Argyle Park - all presumably based on an alternative spelling of the Scottish county of Argyll, the Gaelic meaning of which is "coastland of the Gaels", according to the Penguin Dictionary of British Place Names (2003).
- Ashburn (Highland) and Ashburn Junction by association.
- Avenel and Avenel Garden - there is a forest called Avenel Plantation in the Scottish Borders. There appear to be two localities, both in Maryland, with the name Avenel.
- Ayrlawn - presumably based on Ayr or Ayrshire.
- Ballantrae Farms and Ballantrae Lane - there is a Ballantrae in South Ayrshire. The Master of Ballantrae is the title of one of Robert Louis Stevenson's novels.
- Ballantree - presumably an altered form of Ballantrae.
- Balmacara (Highland).
- Bannockburn (Stirling) and Bannockburn Estates and Bannockburn Heights by association. The town of Bannockburn has special significance in the history of Scotland as it was the scene of the battle in 1314 which secured Scotland's independence from England. The illustration on the right is of Bruce at the Bannockburn Heritage Centre.
- Blair Portal - there are over 200 places in Scotland with Blair as an element in the name including Blair itself in Aberdeenshire, East Ayrshire, Fife, North Ayrshire, South Ayrshire, South Lanarkshire and Stirling. Blair is derived from the Gaelic blÓr (a plain or woodland clearing). It is also a common Scottish family name.
- Bowie, Bowie Mill Estates and Bowie Mill Park - there is a Bowiebank in Aberdeenshire, Bowie's Plantation in the Scottish Borders and Kilbowie in the Greater Glasgow area. Bowie is a Scottish clan name, the Maryland community being named for Governor Bowie.
- Braewood - there is no place in Scotland by this name, but the element 'brae' (meaning a hillside) suggests a made-up combination of typically Scots and English place name elements.
- Brandermill - there is a place called Brander in the Scottish Borders; also the Pass of Brander between Lochawe and Inverawe in Argyll & Bute.
- Cameron (Fife, North Lanarkshire and West Dunbartonshire) and Cameron Heights, Cameron Valley and Cameron Villa Farm by association. Cameron is an ancient Scottish family name, the Gaelic origin of which meant 'crooked (or wry) nose'.
- Campbell Corner - The Campbells were once the most powerful of all the Highland clans. The origin of the name is Gaelic - Caimbeul - meaning 'wry- or crooked-mouth'.
- Carriage Hill (Renfrewshire, spelt Carriagehill - a suburb of Paisley).
- Carsondale - there is a Carsons Hill and Carsons Stone, both in Dumfries & Galloway.
- Clearfield (Aberdeenshire) and Clearfield Estates by association.
- Coral Hills - there is a Coralhill in Aberdeenshire; also Coral Beaches in Highland and Coral Cottage in Moray.
- Culmore (Dumfries & Galloway and Stirling). The name means 'big ridge' in Gaelic.
- Drumsheugh - although there is no known Scottish town or village by this name, Drumsheugh has a definite connection with Scotland. For instance, there is a street in the West End of central Edinburgh called Drumsheugh Gardens. Drum is a Gaelic word (druim) meaning a ridge. There are many places in eastern and southern Scotland and in the far north of England with Heugh as part of the name. The meaning of 'heugh' is usually (but not invariably) a precipice, crag or cliff, especially one overhanging a river or the sea, or a ravine with steep overhanging sides.
- Ducat Town - there is a Ducat Water in Aberdeenshire.
- Dumfries (Dumfries & Galloway). Scotland's national poet, Robert Burns, died in Dumfries in 1796 and there is a memorial there to him (and his dog, Luath).
- Dunlops Hill - there is a Dunlop in East Ayrshire.
- Edmonston (South Lanarkshire).
- Elgin Corner (Elgin in Moray). Elgin means 'little Ireland' in Gaelic, a reminder of the days when Pictish Scotland was gradually being colonised by Celts from Ireland.
- Evergreen (Moray).
- Farrs Corner - there is a town called Farr in Highland; also Farr Bay, Farr House and Farr Point, all in Highland.
- Garfield Estates and Garfield Heights (Garfield in East Ayrshire). The names of these two communities most probably commemorate President James Abram Garfield, the 20th US President.
- Glendale (Highland) and Glendale Heights, Glen Dale Estates, Glenn Dale and Glenn Dale Estates by association. A remarkably large number of American cities have communities/suburbs called Glendale, a name simply meaning 'valley'. The unusual feature of this name is that it is a tautology - 'valley' features twice, first in Gaelic (gleann) then in Norse (dalr). Other effectively 'bilingual' place names can be found throughout Britain in those parts where Germanic invaders settled alongside the native Celts. For example Cheetwood in Lancashire and Brill in Buckinghamshire, where the Saxon words 'wood' and 'hill' were added to their Welsh equivalents ('coed' and 'bre'), possibly after these Welsh words had lost their meaning to the Saxons.
- Glengarry (Aberdeenshire and Highland). The "Glengarry" bonnet is an oblong woollen cap, popular amongst pipe bands (see illustration).
- Glenview (Argyll & Bute).
- Glenwood (Aberdeenshire) and Glenwood Park by association; there appear to be two localities in Greater Washington with the name of Glenwood and another two called Glenwood Park.
- Gordons Corner (Gordon in the Scottish Borders as well as many other places throughout Scotland with Gordon as part of the name, e.g. Gordonstoun, Gordonstown and Gordonsburgh). Gordon is also the name of a place on the Isle of Man, probably having been taken there by Scottish settlers. The Gordon tartan most frequently seen is the regimental tartan of the Gordon Highlanders.
- Goshen (East Lothian) and Goshen Hunt Estates and Goshen Hunt Hills by association though the name of this community was taken, more probably, directly from the Bible, as it no doubt was in Scotland itself.
- Greenwood (Scottish Borders, Moray and South Lanarkshire) and Greenwood Forest and Greenwood Manor by association.
- Hendry Estates (Hendry's Holes in the Orkney Islands and Hendry's Corse, a wood in West Lothian).
- Hermitage Hill (Scottish Borders) and Hermitage Park by association.
- Highland Gardens, Highland Park, Highland Stone, Highland View, Highland View Park and Highlands (possibly all named for the Highlands of Scotland) - there are two places called Highland Park and two called Highlands in Greater Washington.
- Highview (Dumfries & Galloway) and Highview Park by association.
- Hume (Scottish Borders, also Humehall, Hume Castle, Hume Craigs, Hume Mill and Hume Orchard all in the Scottish Borders, and Humesett and Humeston in Ayrshire).
- Inverness Forest, Inverness Knolls and Inverness Woods - all based on Inverness, the "Capital" of the Highlands of Scotland.
- Kenmore (Argyll & Bute, Highland, Perth & Kinross and Western Isles). Kenmore means 'big head' in Gaelic, but in the sense of 'top' or 'end' when applied to geographic features. Kenmore in Perth & Kinross (pictured here) is at the end of Loch Tay.
- Kiels Gardens - there is a Kiel Crofts in Argyll & Bute and a Kielhope Law in the Scottish Borders.
- Kilmarock - probably a corruption of Kilmarnock in East Ayrshire.
- Kirkwood (Dumfries & Galloway, East Ayrshire and North Lanarkshire) and Kirkwood Village by association.
- Knox Hill (Aberdeenshire; also John Knox, one of the founders of the Church of Scotland).
- Largo, Largo Center West, Largo Knolls, Largo Park and Largo Woods - there is a Largo Bay, House and Law and also a Largoward, all in Fife.
- Lewis Park and Lewisdale - possibly recalling the Island of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, though Lewis is also a common Welsh surname.
- Livingston Heights and Livingston Oaks (based on Livingston, West Lothian).
- Logan Circle (Logan in Dumfries & Galloway and East Ayrshire).
- Lyon Park, Lyon Village and Fort Lyon - there is a river Lyon in Perth & Kinross but Lyon is also the name of the second largest city in France.
- McAuley Park - probably an alternative spelling of MacAulay, a Scottish clan descended from two sources: Aula or Olave, the Norse King of the Isles and Aulay, a brother of the Earl of Lennox, from whom the Dunbarton MacAulays are descended.
- McDonald Knolls - MacDonald is one of the best-known Scottish surnames, though there are Irish McDonalds as well. There are numerous branches of the MacDonald clan such as MacDonald of Sleat, MacDonald of Clanranald, MacDonnell of Glengarry and MacDonnell of Keppoch.
- McKenny Hills - possibly a variant of MacKenna, McKinna, MacKinney or MacKinnie, all of which are Scottish surnames. In the early days spelling was not always accurate (a 'problem' that was often compounded by US immigration officials!).
- McLean (a Scottish family name - that's their tartan on the right; there is a McLean Museum in Greenock, Inverclyde) and Cedars of McLean, Hampton of McLean, McLean Common, McLean Gardens, McLean Hunt, McLean Knolls, McLean Manor, McLean Province, McLean Station, McLean Woods, Oaks at McLean and West McLean by association.
- McPherson Square - although there are no places called McPherson in Scotland, the McPhersons are an ancient Scottish clan descended from a 12th century cleric of the Celtic Church (which did not enforce celibacy). The name means 'son of the parson' in Gaelic.
- Montrose (Angus). One of the reasons for the popularity of the name Montrose throughout the English-speaking world may have to do with Sir Walter Scott's novel The Legend of Montrose, published in 1819.
- Morningside (Dumfries & Galloway, City of Edinburgh, North Lanarkshire and Perth & Kinross) and Upper Morningside by association.
- Muirkirk (East Ayrshire) and Muirkirk West by association.
- Presley Manor - there is a Presley in Moray though one wonders whether this Greater Washington neighbourhood honours the rock-n-roll singer, Elvis Presley.
- Reids Grove - Reid is a Scottish family name, the Reids being a sept of Clan Robertson.
- Reston (Scottish Borders).
- Rockville (Argyll & Bute and East Lothian).
- Rosslyn (Midlothian). Rosslyn was the village made famous in Sir Walter Scott's Lay of the Last Minstrel. Rosslyn Chapel (seen here) was built in the 15th century.
- Scotchtown Hills - presumably so named because of a concentration of Scots (or Scots-Irish) settlers in this part of Maryland.
- Scotland (there are actually two places called Scotland in Maryland but the second community lies well beyond the suburban area).
- Scott Circle and Scotts Run - there are numerous places both in Scotland and England with Scott as an element in the name. Scotland's most famous Scott is of course the nineteenth century novelist and poet Sir Walter Scott.
- Silver Rock (Highland).
- Skyline (Skyline Loch in Highland) and Skyline Hills by association.
- Sterling (possibly a corrupted spelling of Stirling in Aberdeenshire and Stirling) and Sterling Park by association. However, there is a Sterling Farm in Cambridgeshire, England, which makes one wonder whether some of the numerous Sterling's throughout the USA are really a corruption of Stirling, Scotland.
- Stewartown - there is a Stewarton in Argyll & Bute, Borders, East Ayrshire and Dumfries & Galloway plus numerous other place names throughout Scotland and parts of England and Northern Ireland that are based on the Scottish surname of Stewart.
- Tantallon (Tantallon Castle in East Lothian).
- The Point (Orkney Islands).
- Village of Drummond (Drummond in Highland and Stirling).
- Walker Hill (Aberdeenshire and Dumfries & Galloway, both spelt Walkerhill).
- Waverly Hills (possibly an Americanised spelling of Waverley, the railway station in Edinburgh and the title of Sir Walter Scott's first novel, or Waverley Abbey in England).
- West Gate of Lomond (the world famous Loch Lomond in Argyll & Bute; also Lomond Hills in Fife and Lomondville in Perth & Kinross).
- Williamsboro Terrace - there is a Williamsburgh (pronounced Williamsboro) in Paisley, Renfrewshire though this may be quite coincidental.
- Woodhaven (Fife).
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, based on the name of an early Scottish settler. Examples where this may be the case would be gratefully received from readers in Washington DC, for incorporation in future updates of this web page.
Some of the following suburbs and neighbourhoods are also likely to have a Scottish connection, but these names are found in other parts of the British Isles as well:
- Ardmore (Aberdeenshire, Argyll & Bute and Highland) also in England and Ireland. Ardmore means 'great height' in Gaelic. The picture above shows Ardmore Point in Argyll & Bute.
- Bald Hill Manor (there is a Bald Hill in the Scottish Borders and Perth & Kinross) also two places in England called Bald Hill.
- Ballard (Argyll & Bute) also County Offaly in Ireland.
- Bell (Bell Bay in North Ayrshire, Bell Craig in the Scottish Borders and in Dumfries & Galloway, Bell Hill in Borders, Bell Rock in Fife and South Ayrshire, Bell Sike in Borders, Bell Stane in North Ayrshire, and Bell Wood in Aberdeenshire) and Bell Glen, Bells Mill, Bells Mill Village and Bellview by association. Place names starting with this Scottish family name are also found all over England.
- Cardinal Forest - there is a Cardinal Steps in Fife, as well as a Cardinal's Green in Cambridgeshire, England.
- Claremont (Fife, and Claremont Park in Edinburgh) though places with Claremont as part of the name can be found in England as well. County Clare in Ireland could be another possible source for the name.
- Clover (Moray) also in Dorset, England.
- Cooktown - Cook is a Scottish as well as an English name. The Scottish Cooks are a sept of the Stewart clan; their ancestral lands were on the Isle of Bute.
- Deer Park (Dumfries & Galloway and Highland) and Deer Park Heights by association. There are also three places in England called Deer Park and one in Ireland spelt Deerpark. The name is also found in several other American cities.
- Edgemoor (Dumfries & Galloway) also in Derbyshire, England.
- Fair Haven (North Ayrshire, spelt Fairhaven) also Fairhaven in East Riding of Yorkshire, England.
- Georgetown (Dumfries & Galloway, Moray and Renfrewshire) and Georgetown Place, Georgetown South, Georgetown Village and Old Georgetown Estates by association. Georgetown is also found, less commonly, in Wales. There appear to be two communities in Greater Washington called Georgetown Village and two called Old Georgetown Estates.
- Glen (Dumfries & Galloway, East Ayrshire, North Ayrshire, Orkney Islands and Shetland Islands) also two places in Ireland. Glen simply means 'valley' in Gaelic - such as Glen Croe in Argyll, pictured here.
- Glen Cove, Glen Hills and Glen Haven (by association with Glen above); there appear to be two communities in Greater Washington with the name of Glen Hills, one in Maryland and the other in Virginia.
- Hall (East Renfrewshire) also in Devon, England.
- Hayfield (Argyll & Bute, Dumfries & Galloway, Fife and Highland) also in Derbyshire, England.
- Henderson Corner (Henderson's Rock in Argyll & Bute) also Henderson's House in Durham, England. Henderson is a Lowland family name. The MacKendricks are another branch of the Henderson clan, having anglicised their name as Henderson.
- Hunting Hill (Highland) also in Lancashire, England.
- Huntington (Scottish Borders and East Lothian) and Huntington South by association; also found all over England. There appear to be three communities in Greater Washington called Huntington, two in Maryland and the third in Virginia.
- Kennedy Woods - the surname Kennedy could be either Scottish or Irish. The Greater Washington DC neighbourhood may well honour President J.F. Kennedy whose ancestry was Irish.
- Little River Hills (there is a Little River in Highland) also in Somerset, England.
- Lynwood (Borders, spelt Lynnwood) there is also a Lynnwood just over the border in Cumbria.
- Meadows (Aberdeenshire and Angus) also two places in central England.
- Millwood (South Lanarkshire) and Millwood Towne by association; Millwood is also found in Cumbria, England.
- Mount Vernon (City of Glasgow) and Mount Vernon Square and North Mount Vernon by association. Mount Vernon is also found in Lancashire, England.
- Mountain View (Scottish Borders) also in Cumbria, England.
- Rutherford (Scottish Borders) also in Durham, northern England. The 19th President of the United States was Rutherford Birchard Hayes (1877-1881) after whom this neighbourhood might possibly have been named.
- Sandy Hill Acres (Sandy Hill in Aberdeenshire, Scottish Borders and Orkney Islands; also in Fife, spelt Sandyhill) but found in England as well, sometimes spelt Sandyhill.
- Shaw - although Shaw cannot be found as a place name in Scotland, Shaw is a Scottish clan name - with its own tartan. Shaw does exist as a place name in northern English, however. The name, both in Lowland Scotland and in Northern England, is derived from an Old English word 'sceaga' meaning a small wood.
- Smithfield (Angus, Scottish Borders, Fife and South Ayrshire) also in Cumbria, England. Smithfield is a suburb of two Irish cities as well (Belfast and Dublin).
- Springhill Lake and North Springhill Lake - there are places called Springhill in Aberdeenshire, Scottish Borders, the City of Glasgow, East Ayrshire, East Renfrewshire, North Lanarkshire and South Lanarkshire, as well as an equal number of places in England.
- Templeton Manor (Templeton is found in Aberdeenshire, Angus and South Ayrshire) also in two English counties and in Wales.
- The Glen (Aberdeenshire, Borders, East Lothian, North Ayrshire and Western Isles) also three places in northern England.
- Walker Mill Hall, Walker Mill Towne and Walkers Choice - there are several places in Scotland based on the Scottish surname of Walker. The list includes Walkerburn (Scottish Borders), Walkerdales (Moray), Walkerdyke (South Lanarkshire), Walkerhill (Aberdeenshire and Dumfries & Galloway), Walkersknowe (Scottish Borders), Walkerstrough (Moray) and Walkerton (Fife). Johnnie Walker Red Label Scotch Whisky is probably the best known reference the world over to Walker as a Scottish surname. But Walker is even more commonly found in England, including the town of Walker itself in the Tyneside area of northern England.
- Westpark (South Ayrshire and South Lanarkshire) also two places in south-west England.
- Whitefield Towne (there is a Whitefield in Aberdeenshire, Scottish Borders, Dumfries & Galloway, Fife, Highland, Moray and Perth & Kinross). Whitefield is also fairly commonly found in parts of England, particularly the south-west.
- Whitehouse (Aberdeenshire, Angus, Argyll & Bute, Scottish Borders, Moray and Perth & Kinross) also found in three English counties and is found in Ireland and the Isle of Man as well.
- Whiteley (Aberdeenshire and Moray) also in Hampshire, England.
- Woodland Park (Clackmannanshire) also in Wiltshire, England.
A third category of suburban names comprises places that definitely exist in Scotland, but the likelihood that the Washington DC counterpart was named for Scotland is greatly reduced because these names are found far more commonly in other parts of the British Isles. Many of the names of these neighbourhoods may also have been borrowed from other American cities and towns.
- Adams Morgan - Morgan is a Scottish family name, associated with Clan MacKay. However, it is also a very common Welsh family name (Morganstown is a suburb of Cardiff in the former Welsh county of Glamorgan) and the name has been taken to England as well, probably by the Welsh Morgans, e.g., Morgan's Hill in Wiltshire.
- Ashley Manor - there are a few places in Scotland called Ashley (in the City of Edinburgh, Highland and Perth & Kinross) but this name is far more popularly used throughout England.
- Ashton (Highland and Inverclyde) and Ashton Heights, Ashton Manor, Ashton Pond and Ashton River Estates by association; Ashton is a very popular place name in England and is also found in Wales.
- Avon Forest (Avon is the name of several rivers in Scotland) also the name of several rivers in England, the two best known being the river that flows through Bristol and the river on which Shakespeare's Stratford-upon-Avon is situated. Avon is a Celtic word simply meaning 'river' - modern Irish 'abhainn' and modern Welsh 'afon', both pronounced more or less the same (a-vonn) despite their respective spellings.
- Avondale (Shetland Islands) and Avondale Grove and Avondale Terrace by association; Avondale is also found in England and Ireland.
- Barry Farms (there is a Barry in Angus) but Barry is also found in Ireland and Wales.
- Beacon Hill (Dumfries & Galloway) but far more commonly found in England and is also found in Wales.
- Beaufort Park (there is a Beaufort Castle in Highland) though Beaufort is also found in Ireland and Wales as well as in France, from where it probably originated.
- Beechwood Hills (there is a Beechwood in Scottish Borders, Dumfries & Galloway and Highland) but Beechwood is more common in England and is also found in Ireland and Wales.
- Belford Towers (there is a Belford in the Scottish Borders) and two places called Belford in northern England.
- Bellevue (Dumfries & Galloway, Highland, Orkney Islands and Perth & Kinross) and Bellevue Forest by association; Bellevue is also found in England, Ireland and Wales.
- Belmont (Scottish Borders, Shetland Islands and South Ayrshire) and Belmont Park by association. Belmont is also found all over England and in Ireland and Wales as well.
- Belvedere (West Lothian) also in London and Norfolk as well as the famous Belvedere Palace in Vienna, Austria.
- Berry (Shetland Islands) also in England and Wales.
- Blackrock Mill - Blackrock/Black Rock is also found in England, Ireland and Wales.
- Bolton (East Lothian) but far more common throughout England.
- Broadwater Estates (there is a Broadwater in Aberdeenshire) but Broadwater is very commonly found throughout England.
- Bryans Road (there is a Bryanton in Angus, Bryans in Midlothian and Bryan's Heights in East Ayrshire) also four places in England with the element Bryan.
- Burtonsville (there is a Burton in South Ayrshire) but Burton is more commonly found throughout both England and Wales.
- Chapel Hill (Aberdeenshire, Scottish Borders, Dumfries & Galloway, Perth & Kinross and South Lanarkshire) also in England and Wales; there appear to be two neighbourhoods in Greater Washington called Chapel Hill, one in Maryland and the other in Virginia.
- Chesterfield (Scottish Borders) also two places in England.
- Churchill (City of Edinburgh) and Churchill Square by association but found more commonly in England and is also found in Wales.
- Clarks Crossing, Clarksbrook Estates, Clarksburg and Clarksburg Heights (there is a Clark Fell in Dumfries & Galloway and other references to Clark in Scotland) but Clark is also found as a place name element throughout England.
- Clifton (Scottish Borders, Orkney Islands and Stirling) and Cliftonbrook by association, but far more common throughout England.
- Dale City (Dale in Orkney Islands and Shetland Islands) though Dale is also the name of three places in England and one in Wales. Dale derives from an old Norse (Viking) word meaning 'valley'. It could refer, of course, to a personal name in the case of Washington DC - David dale (1739-1806) who is pictured here, was a Scottish manufacturer and philanthropist who founded the cotton mills of New Lanark (now a World Heritage Site).
- Fenwick (Scottish Borders and East Ayrshire) and Fenwick Park by association; but Fenwick is more common in the north of England.
- Foxhall (City of Edinburgh) and Foxhall Crescent and Village by association. Foxhall is also found in Ireland and Wales. It appears that there are four places in Greater Washington called Foxhall!
- Glebe Manors and Glebewood Village - there is a Glebe in Highland, Orkney Islands and Shetland Islands, but Glebe is found just as commonly in both England and Ireland. Glebe is an old English word for land put aside for church use.
- Gray Estates - there is a Dunhead of Gray and Mains of Gray in Dundee City, as well as numerous other references to Gray as part of place names in Scotland and England.
- Harwood Estates - there is a Harwood in Scottish Borders and West Lothian; also Harwood Burn in the Scottish Borders and East Ayrshire, Harwood Moss, Harwood-on-Teviot, Harwood Rig and Harwoodmill in the Scottish Borders, and Harwood Water in West Lothian. Places with Harwood as an element in the name are even more numerous throughout England, especially in the north.
- Hawthorne (Scottish Borders, spelt Hawthorn) but Hawthorn is found far more frequently in England and is also found in Wales.
- Higgins Estates - there is a Higgins' Neuk in Falkirk; also a Higginsfield and Higginshaw in central England.
- Hillside (Aberdeenshire, Angus, City of Edinburgh, Dumfries & Galloway, Fife, Inverclyde, Moray, Orkney Islands, Perth & Kinross, Shetland Islands and South Lanarkshire) but just as commonly found in England, sometimes spelt Hill Side, and is also found in Wales.
- Hilltop Estates - there is a Hilltop in Dumfries & Galloway, but Hilltop is far more common throughout England and is often spelt Hill Top.
- Hillwood (City of Edinburgh) and Hillwood Manor by association; Hillwood is also found in England.
- Holmehurst, Holmehurst South and Holmehurst West - there is a Holme in Highland, but this name is very commonly found throughout England.
- Holmes Run Acres, Holmes Run Crossing, Holmes Run Heights, Holmes Run Park and Holmes Run Wood West - there is a Holmes in East Ayrshire and South Ayrshire, but this name is found more frequently in England.
- Hunter and Hunter Estates - Hunter occurs in many place names throughout Scotland. The list includes Aberdeenshire (Hunter's Hill and Lodge), Angus (Hunter's Path and Hunters Hill), Argyll & Bute (Hunter's Quay), Scottish Borders (Hunter Hill and Huntershall), Dumfries & Galloway (Hunter House, Hunter's Gate, Hunterheck), East Ayrshire (Hunter's Meadow, Hunterston), North Ayrshire (Hunterston, Hunterston House, Hunterston Sands), Perth & Kinross (Hunterhall) and South Lanarkshire (Hunterlees). Hunter is found even more commonly throughout England but the surname Hunter is found frequently enough in Scotland for there to be a clan tartan.
- Jericho Park - there is a Jericho in Aberdeenshire and Angus as well as several places in England but the origin of the name of this Greater Washington community is far more likely to be Biblical, as it is in Britain itself.
- Kings Park (City of Glasgow and Stirling) also in Bournemouth, England and Carmarthenshire, Wales.
- Kingston Manor (Kingston in Angus, City of Glasgow, East Lothian, Moray and Renfrewshire) also all over southern England and is found in Wales as well.
- Kingswood (Perth & Kinross) but found throughout England and is also found in Ireland and Wales.
- Langley Park (Angus) also three places in England. Langley on its own is a common English name.
- Longfield (Shetland Islands) also three places in England.
- Longwood (Dumfries & Galloway) but more common in England and also found in Ireland.
- Marlow Heights and Marlow Overlook - there is a Marlow in the Orkney Islands as well as two places in southern England.
- Masonville - there is a Mason Lodge in Aberdeenshire and Masonhill in South Ayrshire; also five places in northern and central England with Mason as an element in the name.
- Middleton Farm and Middleton Valley - there is a Middleton in Aberdeenshire, Angus, Argyll & Bute, Dundee City, East Renfrewshire, Highland, Midlothian, Moray, Perth & Kinross, North Ayrshire, Renfrewshire, Stirling and West Dunbartonshire; Middleton is even more commonly found throughout England and is also found in Wales.
- Milestone (Perth & Kinross) also in England and Ireland. This is no doubt a purely descriptive place name.
- Mitchellville - there is a Mitchell Hall in East Lothian, a Mitchell Hill in Dumfries & Galloway and the Scottish Borders, Mitchellhill in Aberdeenshire and Mitchellslacks in Dumfries & Galloway. Whilst place names based on the surname Mitchell are even more numerous throughout England, including Mitchell itself in Cornwall, there is a Mitchell clan tartan in Scotland.
- Mount Pleasant (Aberdeenshire, Argyll & Bute, Borders, Dumfries & Galloway, East Ayrshire, Fife, Highland, Moray and Orkney Islands) also all over England, Ireland and Wales as well as Australia and Canada it would seem; there appear to be two Greater Washington communities called Mount Pleasant.
- Newton Village (Newton is found in Aberdeenshire, Angus, Argyll & Bute, Scottish Borders, Dumfries & Galloway, Fife, Highland, Inverclyde, North Ayrshire, Midlothian, Moray, Orkney Islands, Perth & Kinross, Shetland Islands, Stirling, South Lanarkshire, West Lothian and Western Isles. There are also many other places such as Newton Mearns in East Renfrewshire, Newton of Ardtoe in Highland, Newton of Balcormo in Fife, etc.) Newton is just as commonly found throughout England and, to a lesser extent, Wales. There are in fact very few counties in the whole of Britain which do not have at least one Newton. Surprisingly, the name is not used in Ireland.
- Newington (City of Edinburgh, Dumfries & Galloway and Fife) also five places in southern and central England including the south London suburb.
- Newport Hills and Newport Town - there is a Newport in Highland, as well as various places in England, Ireland and Wales. Newport is the name of Wales' third largest city and is also the name of one of the best known towns on the Isle of Wight in southern England.
- Norwood (Dumfries & Galloway) and Norwood Estates by association, although much more likely to have been named for the suburb in south London, other places in England, or borrowed from another place in America.
- Oakwood (Scottish Borders, Moray and Perth & Kinross) also six places in England; and Oakwood Knolls by association. It would appear that there are two communities called Oakwood, both in Virginia; also two called Oakwood Knolls, both in Maryland.
- Palmer, Palmer Park and Palmers Corner - there is a Palmer Mount in South Ayrshire, as well as a Palmer Hill in Cumbria and Palmer Moor in Derbyshire.
- Parkside (Aberdeenshire, Angus, North Lanarkshire and Perth & Kinross) also common in England and Wales.
- Portabello - probably a corrupted spelling of Portobello (City of Edinburgh, Dumfries & Galloway and East Lothian). Portobello, near Edinburgh, was the birthplace of Sir Harry Lauder, pictured here. Portobello is also found in England and Wales. In Greater Washington's case, the name may come directly, but in a corrupted form, from Portobelo in Panama.
- Redland (Orkney Islands) also found in south-west England and in Wales.
- Rose Hill Estates and Rose Hill Farm (Rose Hill in Highland) though Rose Hill is far more common throughout England and is also found in Wales.
- Silver Hill (Dumfries & Galloway and Highland) and Silver Hill Heights, but Silver Hill is also found in five English counties.
- Southview (Shetland Islands, spelt South View) though far more commonly found in England.
- Springfield (Argyll & Bute, Dumfries & Galloway, Fife, Highland and Perth & Kinross) also in England and Wales; and Springfield Forest, Springfield Station and West Springfield by association - there appear to be three communities called Springfield, two in Maryland and one in Virginia.
- Springwood (Scottish Borders) also in Staffordshire, England and in several other English counties where Springwood is part of the name.
- Stratton Commons and Stratton Woods (Stratton in Highland) though Stratton is also the name of three places in the south-west of England.
- Temple Hills and Temple Hills Park - there are places called Temple in Aberdeenshire, City of Glasgow, Midlothian and Renfrewshire as well as many English counties.
- Virginia Forest, Virginia Heights, Virginia Highlands and Virginia Hills - there is a Virginia in the Orkney Islands but Virginia is also found in Ireland and on the Isle of Man. Since these neighbourhoods are all in the State of Virginia, it is very unlikely that their names have anything to do with Scotland.
- Wakefield (Aberdeenshire and Scottish Borders) and Wakefield Forest by association but far more likely to be named for the large town of Wakefield in West Yorkshire.
- Warren Woods - there is a Warren in Angus as well as in three English counties and in Pembrokeshire, Wales.
- Wellington (Aberdeenshire; also Wellington House in Midlothian) and Wellington Heights by association. Wellington is found more commonly in England than in Scotland. The name of the Greater Washington community is just as likely to honour the Duke of Wellington of Battle of Waterloo fame.
- West End (City of Edinburgh and South Lanarkshire) but far more common throughout England and is also found in Wales.
- Westwood (Dumfries & Galloway, Highland, Perth & Kinross, Stirling and South Lanarkshire) but Westwood is also commonly found throughout England and is a favourite name for suburban neighbourhoods in other American and Canadian cities. There appear to be two places in Greater Washington called Westwood, one in Maryland and the other in Virginia.
- Whitfield Woods (Whitfield is a suburb of Dundee). Whitfield is also found in two English counties.
- Wilton Woods - there is a Wilton, Wilton Burn, Wiltonburn Hill and Wilton Dean in Scottish Borders, but Wilton occurs far more frequently in English place names.
- Woodland (South Ayrshire) and Woodland Acres and Woodland Hills by association; Woodland is also found in five English counties.
- Woodlane (Stirling) also two places in central England.
- Woodside (Aberdeen City, Dumfries & Galloway, Fife, Moray, North Ayrshire and Perth & Kinross) and North Woodside, Woodside Forest and Woodside Knolls by association; Woodside is also found all over England.
Other place names in Greater Washington DC that have a "Scottish ring" about them, but that have not yet been traced to places that actually exist in Scotland include:Carderock, Carderock Springs, Douglass, Douglass Park, Dunn Loring, Dunn Loring Woods, Glenallen, Glencarlyn, Glen Ora and Glenora Hills.
Carderock sounds not only southern Scottish but also distinctly Cornish or even Welsh but places with this name are not found in either Cornwall or Wales. Douglass seems Scottish but the name of this community probably commemorates Frederick Douglass, the famous nineteenth-century African American who lectured within the States and abroad on the evils of slavery. Many of the place names in Greater Washington DC may similarly commemorate other well-known national and local personalities. Examples of these would be welcomed for inclusion in future updates of this web page. For instance, does Knox Hill commemorate President James Knox Polk? Similarly, Kennedy Woods may honour President J.F. Kennedy.
- Scarlett, James D. (1975). The Tartans of the Scottish Clans. (Collins, Glasgow and London).
- Black, George F. (1996). The Surnames of Scotland (Birlinn Ltd, Edinburgh).
- Geordie Shaw, Genealogist, Clan Shaw Society, Felton, PA
- James L. Wallace, Clan Wallace Society, USA
- Wahington D.C. City Map (Rand McNally, 2001).
- Mapquest.com and Maps.yahoo.com.
- Websites, place name gazetteers and published Ordnance Survey maps of British and Irish cities, towns, villages and counties.
© Ian Kendall
Melbourne, Australia, August 2004
Revised November 2004
If you wish to contact Ian about his research, his e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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