The History of Leith

March 31, 2013

The origin of the name “Edinburgh”

The origin of the name “Edinburgh” has proved
the subject of much discussion. The prenomen
is a very common one in Scotland, and is always
descriptive of the same kind of site-—a slope.
Near Lochearnhead is the shoulder of a hill called
2&/z«-a-chip, ” the slope of the repulse,” having
reference to some encounter with the Romans j and
.E^z’«-ample is said to mean “the slope of the
retreat.” There are upwards of twenty places
having the same descriptive prefix ; and besides the
instances just noted, the following examples may
also be cited :—Edincoillie, a ” slope in the wood,”
in Morayshire ; Edinmore and Edinbeg, in Bute;
Edindonach, in Argyllshire; and Edinglassie, in
Aberdeenshire. Nearly every historian of Edinburgh
has had a theory on the subject. Arnot
suggests that the name is derived from Dunedin,
“the face of a hill;” but this would rather signify
the fort of Edin; and that name it bears in
the register of the Priory of St. Andrews, in 1107.
Others are fond of asserting that the name was
given to the town or castle by Edwin, a Saxon
prince of the seventh century, who ” repaired
it •” consequently it must have had some name
before his time, and the present form may be a
species of corruption of it, like that of Dryburgh,
from Darrach-bruach, ” the bank of the grove
of oaks.”

source-Old and New Edinburgh

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