Latin or Scots?

New street signs have been put up in my home village. Some of them formalise the affectionate names given to little lanes - many named after local characters. Others refer to local landmarks. Most of them are in Scots.

So this is the hill (brae) leading up to the minister's house (manse). Apparently a very Scottish street name, but 'manse' comes from the Latin word 'mansa', or dwelling. There are two manses at the very top of the hill. The new one, dating from the 1990s, and the old one, built in the early 1800s and now owned by Glen Grant distillery.

But in my childhood this hill was called 'the dominie's brae'. 'Dominie' comes from the Latin 'dominus' - teacher - and the schoolmaster's house stood at the top of the long straight stretch. I don't know why the schoolmaster predominated over the minister, but the name was used by children and old people alike.

I am now conflicted. Manse Brae has a good, solid, Scots ring. But I know it's really The Dominie's Brae.


  1. Ah, I wondered fairly recently about the origins of the word "manse" when an English colleauge of mine questioned my using it. Thank you for supplying the answer! :-)

  2. Great shot of the street neames with the blackberries! I find the berries add a very nice touch :o)

  3. This goes off topic from your Latin words but I can´t resist. In Finland manse is short for Manchester. One city with large textile industry was dubbed as Manchester of Finland and later on that shortened to manse in discussions. Now I know it actually means minister´s house. Conflicting.

  4. I've been browsing all your pictures and you certainly take some good ones! I have only been to Scotland once, and that was completely by accident when my plane from London to Prestwick to Toronto broke down on the tarmac at prestwick and we had to stay the night in Glasgow Railway hotel!
    Even though I'm Englas, I do a lot of Scottish Country Dancing and have a legion of Scottish friends, so I'm finding your blog posts fascinating.
    I'd love to visit Scotland for a little longer than overnight in the future!

  5. your first pic could be a beautiful greeting card. Love it!

  6. Tough one. In my town some of the shops have changed names over time but my parents still call them by their old names. And the roads where I grew up always had local names, based on the people who lived nearby. Huber's Hill, Weber's Hill, Robertson's Curve, etc. Even though those people don't live there any more, the names of the roads won't ever change for me.

  7. Love the berries over the sign...lovely shot.


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