Alwhat

Place-name: Alwhat
Suggested Meaning: rock of the cat
Gaelic al ‘rock’
Gaelic cat ‘cat’
Location: OS Map Six-inch Scotland 1888-1913
Forms: Alwhat, Allwhat (OS Name Book Kirkcudbrightshire 1844-51); Alwhat, Allwhat, Alquhat (OS Name Book Ayrshire(1855-57) Note the burn that runs off the hill on thr Kirkcudbrightshire side is known as Allwhat Burn.
Alhang_Alwhat_00

Alwhat (left) and Alhang (right)        photo Robert Guthrie

In his notes on the place-names elements ail-, al- Sir Herbert Maxwell offers the derivation of Alwhat as ail chat (haat) ‘cliff of the wild cat’.  The form Alquhat supports this derivation, i.e,  quhat = chat

An alternative offering of Gaelic al ‘a rock’ and fada‘ long’ is given in the Ordnance Survey Name Book 1848-51 Kirkcudbrightshire Volume 5.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

References

  1. [1] Sir Herbert Maxwell, Herbert Eustace, Sir, bart., ‘Scottish land-names; their origin and meaning’ (1894)
  2. [2] Edward Dwelly ‘Illustrated Gaelic-English Dictionary’ (1902-1912)

Maps

Ordnance Survey Namebooks