Blog Archives

Seeing and not seeing saints in the landscape

Thomas Owen Clancy writes: Happy Feast of St Brigit of Kildare! St Brigit, who according to tradition died in the early 6th century, and for whom we have written Lives and other texts dating back to the 7th century, was

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Food for thought

It is well known that body parts often form place-names and place-name elements. When this happens, it is usually because the observer (namer) sees a likeness between a landscape feature and, say, a person’s shoulder, nose or foot. Less known, however,

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PhD studentship on Berwickshire place-names

A funded PhD studentship on Berwickshire place-names has just been advertised at This is a great opportunity to undertake doctoral research at the University of Glasgow under the supervision of Prof. Carole Hough and Dr Simon Taylor. The studentship is

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Cognitive Toponymy project extended!

We are delighted to say that the Royal Society of Edinburgh has agreed to extend the Cognitive Toponymy project until June 2016! We intend to use the time to reflect on the project, look at what we have learned, and

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Philosophy, Psychology and Neuroscience Seminar on Monday 13th October at 4:00pm

There will be a Philosophy, Psychology and Neuroscience seminar on Monday 13th October at 4:00pm in the Seminar Room, 58 Hillhead Street SPEAKER: Frank Durgin & Alisa Mandrigin , Swarthmore College, USA & University of Warwick, UK (invited by Lucy

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Imaginative – and less so …

Why do people choose the place-names they do? Well, human beings are incredibly imaginative creatures. Let us take places in a landscape as an example. Landscapes come in different forms, colors and shapes. Some of these forms are very easy

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World concepts – what do they say about us?

World concepts – what do they say about us? How do we see the world? Well, the quick answer is: That depends entirely on which perspective we see the world from. In our daily lives we normally see the world

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Advancing Onomastic Research

PhD School at the Faculty of Humanities at University of Copenhagen  Advancing Onomastic Research held its inaugural PhD School at the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Copenhagen (2nd-6th June 2014). The aim of the course was to provide

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What is cognitive toponymy?

The term ‘cognitive toponymy’ emerged from an international symposium held in Glasgow in April 2013. The day’s papers had highlighted different ways in which perceptions of the environment are reflected in place-names, and in which the place-names themselves may in

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