Edinburgh's Gaelic Place Names Explained: 13 Sites in the capital rooted in Scots Gaelic

The Gaelic language forms a major part of Scotland’s heritage and so it has found its place in locations like Edinburgh, even if its origins are rooted in the Scottish Highlands and Islands.

Well over a decade ago, the Scottish Census revealed that Edinburgh had 5,935 people who were skilled in Gaelic. The capital city is internationally renowned as a cultural hub with a fascinating history (and even a UNESCO World Heritage site) so it’s unsurprising that the heritage language found its place there.

Gaelic is often associated with the Scottish Highlands and Islands where it evolved by way of the Irish. The Celtic tongue has overlapped with the Scots language (Scotland's other native tongue) over the years but lowlanders – such as Robert Burns – were known to favour the latter.

The Highland clearances of the 19th century saw thousands of Gaelic speakers migrate to Scotland’s central belt in search of new opportunities. This displacement also explains why even USA place names feature traces of Scottish Gaelic.

To explore this heritage more, here are thirteen place names connected to Scottish Gaelic in Edinburgh according to Gaelic Place-Names of Scotland.