Naming the new

a ’cur ainmean air an fheadhainn ùra

As part of the project, a selection of animal and plant species have been chosen which now occur in Scotland but do not yet have established, Gaelic names. In consultation with a panel of advisors, a table of alternative names will be compiled for each species using the scientific, Irish and English translations of the name as well as options which reflect the place of the animal in Scotland's ecology - and how they interact with human activity in the environment. A process of further consultation with stakeholders and Gaelic language groups will result in the final choice of one name for each species.

The database of names will be presented to institutions and reference collections to be incorporated into their archives. 

Draft Names And Derivations

Gender of name is denoted by (b) feminine and (f) masculine. In Gaelic, this has an important influence on the spelling of the word depending on context. Derivation is from English (Eng.), Irish (Ir.), Scientific name (Lat.), Scots Gaelic (Gael.), a form across many languages (many), or from an ecological or ethnological characteristic (eco.)

Scottish Crossbill             

Cam-ghob Albannach (b)        From Eng. (inc. Cam-ghob, the Gael. for  Common Crossbill)                                            Cam-ghob na h-Alba                As above but the sense of "the Crossbill of Scotland"

Parrot Crossbill                 

Cam-ghob Piorraide (b)          From Eng. (using Gael. for Parrot and Crossbill)

Mandarin Duck 

Lach-Mhandrach (b)                From Ir. reflecting Eng. and many. "Duck" and "Mandarin"

Lach-dhìleas                             From eco. "faithfull duck"

Lach-orains                               From eco. "orange duck"

Lach-curraic                             (Lat.) hooded/cowled       



Three-cornered Leek

Creamh Thrì-cheàrnach (f)      From Lat. and Eng. with Gael. "creamh" for garlic

Creamhan Thrì-cheàrnach       As above, but Gael. "creamhan" for garlic or leek

Iberian Three-banded Slug

Seilcheag Trì-bannan Ibèireach (b)  From Eng. with Gael. "bannan" for bands

Seilcheag Trì-stiallan Ibèireach        From Eng. with Gael "stiallan" for stripes  

Seilcheag  Spàinnteach                    From Lat and alternate Eng. name "Spanish Slug"

Seilcheag  Taigh-glainne                  From  eco. and alternate Eng. name "Glasshouse Slug"



White-letter Hairstreak

An Stiallach Geal (f)             From Eng. "The white stripe/streak". An Stiallach in use with other hairstreak butterflies  Adharcan Stiallaich Gil        From Lat.  using Gael "adharcan", any small, horned creature

Bearded Tit

Cuilcear staiseach (f)                From eco. "reedling" and "moustache"

Cailleachag fheusagach (b)     From Eng. and Ir. using Gael. "cailleachag" for "titmouse"

Clagan nan cuilc (f)                  From eco. "little bell of the reeds"

Earball fada nan cuilc (f)          From Lat. "long tail of the reeds"


  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • YouTube