The A to Z of Whisky Place-Names

The A to Z of Whisky Place-Names

Landscape, Language & Invention

Jacob King

• An invaluable guide for anyone wondering about the place-name on the label of a bottle of Scotch

• Provides information on the meaning of the name, the language it is from, or if it is even real

• An essential aide-mémoire for those with an interest in all aspects of whisky


Print edition: £16.99
216 x 138
176 pages
inc. 16 page colour section

Have you ever wondered about the place-names that appear on Scotch whisky bottles? What language the names come from, what they mean or if they are even real places?  If you feel baffled about where to start looking for such information, then this reliable and informative book is for you. Within its pages, you will be able to find out about the derivation and identity of any of these place-names.

This book discusses each place-name that is concerned in some way with Scotch whisky, either as the name of the whisky itself, or as the name of the distillery. For each of these names the author provides an informative discussion of the origin, history and development of the name from a linguistic and historical perspective. He also offers an early spelling of the name, the original meaning (where known) and the correct pronunciation. Where applicable he has added curious information, such as a proverb or extract of poetry that mentions the place-name. No special linguistic or local knowledge is assumed.

Additionally, there is an introduction for the educated non-specialist dealing with the various languages of Scotland: Gaelic, Scots, English, Norse and Pictish. At the end is a full list of sources used, and an appendix identifying some ‘lost’ distilleries. Peppered throughout the book are information boxes about particular pertinent topics, such as Inver- and Aber- names and tautological names.

As a professional place-name researcher, the author has ensured that the material in this book derives from primary sources (many of which are unpublished) and has been rigorously researched, allowing the reader to distinguish between genuine and spurious names.

Interest in Scotch whisky, the Highlands, Gaelic, Scots and place-names has never been higher, and there is an increasing demand for reliable works on these subjects. This is an informative and entertaining book that sets the standard for whisky place-names.


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