Scottish Hill Names

The Gaelic language has the most influence on Scottish hill names, although the Viking's Norse language also puts it's mark on the islands and coastal mountains.
The hill colours, shape, function, and associated legends translate on to the map of Scotland through their names. The subtlety of, for example, "sgurr" as distinct from "beinn", "meall", "carn", "stob", "aonachs", "mullachs", "binneins", in descriptions of mountains is peculiar to Scotland, where there are 70 variations covering different aspects of the hills.
The names are a legacy of the past language and culture of generations of Scots passed down mainly by word of mouth.
Some examples of well-known mountain name meanings;

Ben Nevis - venomous mountain
Ben Macdui - mountain of the black pig
Braeriach - brindled slope
Cairntoul - peak of the barn roof
CairnGorm - blue mountain
Aonach Beag - small ridged mountain
Carn Mor Dearg - big red cairn
Aonach Mor - big ridged mountain
Ben Lawers - noisy mountain
Beinn a Bhuird - board topped mountain
Carn Eige - notched mountain
Beinn Mheadhoin - middle mountain
Mam Sodhail - round shaped barn
Stob Choire Claurigh - stub-topped hill above a noisy corrie
Ben More - big mountain
Ben Avon - hill of the river
Stob Binnien - anvil mountain
 
Beinn Bhrotain - hill of the mastiff
Lochnagar - noisy loch
Derry Cairngorm - wooded blue hill
Aonach Dubh - dark ridge
Gearr Aonach - short ridge
Castail Abhail - castle of the fork
Meall Chean Dearg - bald red head
Meall Garbh - rough hill
Stac Pollaidh - rocky outcrop at the pool
Stob Gabhar - goat peak
Ben Venue - small mountain
An Teallach - the forge
Suilven - the pillar
Slioch - the spear
Quinag - milking pail
Ben Cruachan - conical hill
Baosbheinn - wizards peak
Beinn Alligin - jewelled mountain


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