|Suggested Meaning:||steep place of the wild cat|
|1st element:||1. Gaelic al, ail ‘rock, stone’|
2. Gaelic aill ‘rough, steep’
|2nd element:||Gaelic cat, chat ‘wild cat’|
|Blaeu Coila (1654):||No entry|
|OS Name (1855-57):||Alwhat Hill|
|Location:||OS Map Six-inch Scotland 1892-1960|
|Other Early Forms:|
|Alquhat, Alwhat, Allwhat (OS Name Books)|
Alwhat, Alwhat Hill
The Ordnance Survey Name Book Ayrshire (1855-57) entry for Alwhat Hill reads –
A high ridge of sheep pasture land, on which is a portion of the boundary between Ayrshire and Galloway
Various modes of spelling: Alwhat, Allwhat, Alquhat Hill
Alwhat (without hill) is also given as various mode of spelling and indeed it is this form the name appears on OS maps.
1st element|Gaelic aill ‘rough, steep’; Gaelic ail, al ‘rock, stone’
See also New Cumnock Place-Name ‘ail-,al-,aill-‘ 
Sir Herbert Maxwell in “Scottish Land-Names”  identified Alwhat and Alhang as examples of hill names perhaps containing Scottish Gaelic ail ‘cliff’. However, neither of these hills have cliff like features. In his later work “The Place-Names of Galloway” Maxwell drops the reference to cliff and simply refers to them both as hills .
Of course much of Alwhat rests in Galloway, over the county boundary into Kirkcudbrightshire. The Ordnance Survey Name Book Kirkcudbrightshire (1848-51) Vol. 5 entry for Alwhat reads –
Situation] 1 3/8 Miles W.N.W. [West North West] of Lorg. A considerable hill on the farms of Upper Holm and Montray. its surface is rough pasture, and on its summit is a Trigl.[Trigonometrical] Station called by Trigl.[Trigonometrical] Party “Allwhat”. This hill forms part of a range or group of hills.-
[Note] Allwhat, from the Gaelic Al, a rock & fada, long. Aill, in the Irish signifies a high mountain, a great steep, &c.
The footnote suggests Alwhat is Gaelic al fada ‘long rock’ but also makes reference to Irish aill ‘a great steep’.
The reference to Aill fits well with Dwelly entries for Gaelic aill ‘rough, steep’ and Gaelic ail, al ‘rock, stone’ ; all of which could be applied to describe similar aspects of both Alwhat and Alhang.
2nd element|Gaelic chat ‘cat’
Sir Herbert Maxwell in ‘The Place-Names of Galloway’ considers Alwhat as aill chat ‘the wild cat’s hill’ .
The OS Name Book Ayrshire (1855-57) entry for Alwhat Burn reads –
A small stream which rises between Alquhat and Lagower Hills, flowing in a northerly direction falls into Afton Water
Various Spelling Modes: Alquhat Burn
Alwhat Burn takes its name from the hill and is a trubitary of the Afton Water.
| New Cumnock Place-Names | ail-,al-, aill-|
| Sir Herbert Maxwell | Scottish land-names; their origin and meaning (1894)|
| Sir Herbert Maxwell | The Place-Names of Galloway (1930/ (Reprint 2001))|
| Edward Dwelly Illustrated Gaelic-English Dictionary (1902-1912)|
|Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland|
|Map1: OS Map Six-inch Scotland 1892-1960|