Knowing that Milngavie isn’t “miln-gavvy” or Sauchiehall isn’t “saw-che-hall” may seem normal for locals, but for visitors of Scotland these place names are - understandably - hard to pronounce on a first try.
From Auchtermuchty in Fife to Auchenshuggle in Glasgow, Scottish place names feature a striking difference between how they’re spelt and how they’re spoken.
Why? It all comes down to our Gaelic heritage.
Place names reflect Gaelic’s dominance in Scotland up until the 12th century, before these names were later adapted to the English-speaking world e.g., “Glaschu” which became Glasgow.
Rest assured, it’s not only tourists who get mixed up and it’s okay to get things wrong because we all do.
Therefore, to help everyone out, here’s 15 Scottish place names that people always say wrong, and how to pronounce them correctly.
Ecclefechan is a village located in Dumfries and Galloway famed for its Ecclefechan tarts; a traditional Scottish recipe. Its name is pronounced "Eck - el - fech - han" with the "fech" pronounced the same way as "loch".
Photo: Sanneberg (Getty Images) / Andy Farrington (Wikimedia Commons)
Located near Glencoe, known well for its awe-inspiring scenery yet sorrowful past, "Baall - ah - hoolish" is a picturesque village found up in the highlands.
Photo: Alan Reid via Wikimedia Commons
3. Wemyss Bay
You could say "We-myss-pronounce" the name of this bay often (ba dum tsss) as the accurate pronunciation is actually "weems bay".
Photo: dave souza via Wikimedia Commons
Completely unlike the spelling of its name, this town located in the Northwestern edge of Greater Glasgow is pronounced "mill - guy".
Photo: Rosser1954 via Wikimedia Commons