Suggested Meaning:rock of the cat
 Gaelic al ‘rock’
 Gaelic cat ‘cat’
Blaeu Coila (1654):No entry
OS Names (1855-57):Alwhat, Allwhat, Alquhat
Location:OS Map Six-inch Scotland 1892-1960
Other Early Forms:
Alwhat, Allwhat (OS Name Book Kirkcudbrightshire 1844-51); Note the burn that runs off the hill on the Kirkcudbrightshire side is known as Allwhat Burn.
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.


[1] Edward Dwelly Illustrated Gaelic-English Dictionary (1902-1912)

By Permission of National Library of Scotland
OS Map Six-inch Scotland 1892-1960

Ordnance Survey Name Books
Ayrshire OS Name Book (1857-59) Vol. 49| Alhang
Kirkcudbrightshire OS Name Book (1848-51) Vol. 4| Alhang
Kirkcudbrightshire OS Name Book (1848-51) Vol. 5| Alhang