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Best town nickname

THE BLUE TOON: It's not because of the wind-nippit nebs or the viewing habits of the populace of Scotland's Piscopolis that Peterhead acquired its moniker. Moggans were long blue footless worsted stockings Peterhead fishermen wore over their boots. The fishermen were known as the Blue Mogganners, so Peterhead is the Blue Toon.

THE FAIR CITY: Perth, like Dublin ("where the girls are so pretty"), is the Fair City, so called because it was thought to be quite a nice place. The sobriquet has been in use since at least the 18th century and was popularised in Scott's The Fair Maid of Perth, 1828, where it is used 32 times, though it probably wasn't in use in the 14th century, when the novel is set.

QUEEN OF THE SOUTH: David Dunbar, Dumfries poet and teacher of penmanship and drawing, stood for parliament in 1857. In one of his addresses he nominated his home town "Queen of the South". It wasn't until 1919 that the name was adopted by the local football team. Beyond the borrowing of the name there seems to be no connection with biblical references to the Queen of the South (Queen of Sheba).

THE HONEST TOUN Musselburgh's coat of arms includes three mussels, three anchors and the motto Honestas. In 1332 Randolph, Earl of Moray, Regent of Scotland, died there (not from dodgy shellfish) after being cared for by its citizens. When Musselburgers declined a reward for their loyalty, the new regent said they were honest men.

THE SHAKY TOON: "Did the earth move for you?" If not, why not head for Comrie, the Shaky Toon, situated on the seismically sensitive Highland Boundary Fault. The first tremor was recorded in 1597; there were 70 in 1789 and around 7,300 in the 1830s. But it's quite safe: more shoogle than quake.

 
 
 

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