Science Sunday Survey

Many thanks to everyone who contributed to our Science Sunday Survey (part of the Glasgow Science Festival on 15 June), by telling us how they would name the places in the photographs. The actual place-names are as follows: 

1) Grey Mare’s Tail, a 60-metre waterfall near Moffat in southern Scotland.

1. Grey Mare's Tail by Seth m PAINT

2) Tongue Burn in Kinross-shire. Many places are named from body parts, and here the shape of a tongue can clearly be seen.

2. Tongue Burn by Simon Taylor PAINT

3) The Sleeping Warrior, part of the north Arran hill range, is named from a resemblance to a resting human figure.

3. The Sleeping Warrior by Michael Hambly PAINT

4) The Inneans, a range of hills in eastern Scotland named from Gaelic innean ‘anvil’. The photograph is of Middle Innean, showing the anvil shape which gave rise to the name.

4. The Inneans by Simon Taylor PAINT

5) Cauldron Linn in Kinross-shire. As in a number of place-names in Scotland and other parts of the world, the pool below the waterfall is conceptualised as a cauldron of boiling water.

5. Cauldron Linn by Simon Taylor PAINT

6) Shepherd’s Hat, an island in the Sound of Mull, is named from the shape of a traditional shepherd’s hat, as seen in the illustration below, which was taken from Walter Scott’s “The Antiquary” (drawing by J. B. MacDonald; etching by T. J. Dagleish).

6a. Shepherd's Hat by Mark MacQueen PAINT

6b. Shepherd's Hat (Antiquary)

7) The Paps of Jura are named collectively from their rounded shape. As with many other hills, they are likened to breasts, known in Scots as paps.

7. Paps of Jura by mike donnelly PAINT

8) The Cobbler, one of Scotland’s most famous mountains, is thought to resemble a cobbler sitting over his work. An alternative name for the mountain is Ben Arthur.

8. The Cobbler by Andrew Ross PAINT

9) Fiaclan Dearg on Skye has a Gaelic name meaning ‘red teeth’, in allusion both to the shape of the rock and to the colour of the red sandstone.


10) Foinaven, described by the hill-name expert Pete Drummond as “a long raw bone of whitish quartzite rock sticking out of the green and brown peat moors of the north-west”, has a Gaelic name that may mean either “wart mountain” (from its protuberances) or “white mountain”. Which seems more plausible to you? Please tweet us with your opinion on this or any of the other photographs.

10. Foinaven by Adrian Fagg PAINT



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