Suggested Meaning:rock of the cat
 1st element:Gaelic al ‘rock’
 2nd element: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.
Photo 1 | 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)

Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland
OS Map Six-inch Scotland 1892-1960

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