The names of these large Scottish settlements shine a light on their past.
There is no strict legal definition of what constitutes a town in Scotland, with different local authorities using different metrics to define them over the years.
It’s certainly not the case the towns are always smaller than cities – a total of 12 towns are home to more people than Scotland’s smallest city of Stirling.
Meanwhile, the Highland settlement of Dingwall is classed as a town, even though it has a population smaller than the village of Bishopton (whose suffix would suggest it was a town).
Here’s how Scotland’s largest 13 towns got their names – and the people, topography and etymology behind them.
There are a number of theories about how the town of Paisley - the largest in Scotland - got its name, which has gone to on lend its moniker to the famous Paisley pattern. Some believe that it comes from the Brittonic word 'pasgill', meaning 'pasture'. Others think that it takes its name from a major church that stood there, called 'basaleg' in Cumbric. Another theory is that it comes from the old English name 'Pæssa' and word 'leah', literally meaning 'Pæssa's Wood'. They refer to the fact that the area used to be referred to as Pasilege or Paslie. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
2. East Kilbride
Both East and West Kilbride take their names from an Irish saint named St Bride, whose order of monks arrived in Scotland in the 6th century. The 'Kil' part of the name comes from the followers of St Bride, known as the Culdees, or 'companions of God'. Photo: Google Maps
Named in 1962, the new town of Livingston takes its name from an older settlement that used to exist on the site, Livingston Village. The first mention of it was in the early 12th century when it was known as Villa Levingi, meaning Leving's town. The Levings were a family who controlled the area for over 200 years, with KIng David I effectively signing over the land to 'Thurstan son of Leving' in 1128. Photo: Google Maps
Originally known as Cadzow, the town of Hamilton was named after James, Lord Hamilton, who was married to King James II's daughter Princess Mary. His family was given the land on which the town now sits after switching allegiance from the English to Robert the Bruce following the Battle of Bannockburn, allowing him to use Bothwell Castle. Photo: Google Maps