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Naming the new

a ’cur ainmean air an fheadhainn ùra

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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 were 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 resulted 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. 

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. 


surf scoter

lach-dhubh tuinne      (b)     black (wild) duck of the wave (lach-dhubh is the name for common scoter)


Scottish crossbill   

cam-ghob Albannach (b)      Scottish bent-bill


parrot crossbill                 

cam-ghob làidir (b)                strong/stout bent-bill


mandarin duck 

lach Shìonach(b)                    Chinese duck


three-cornered leek

creamh trì-cheàrnach (f)      three-cornered leek (creamh is the generic name for garlic, wild leek and wild onion)

​Iberian three-banded slug

seilcheag thrì-stiallach Ibeirianach (b)       three-streaked Iberian slug


white-letter hairstreak

ròin-stiallach geal     (f)         white hair-streak

​bearded tit

cuilcear staiseach (f)              moustached reed-worker/reedling       

common rosefinch

deargan drise    (f)                  little red creature of the briar


Montagu’s harrier                     

clamhan Mhontagu  (f)        but will mention clamhan cluaine - meadow kite- in the text as one we considered.


Mediterranean gull          

faoileag Mheadhan-thìreach (b)      Mediterranean gull        



beachadair   (f)                       bee worker (beach means bees and wasps)



Cetti's warbler   

ceileiriche Cetti  (f)  but will mention ceileiriche falachaidh - hidden warbler- in the text as one we considered .



crìonag lasrach    (b)        flaming, wee, little thing


cattle egret              

corra-bhàn chruidh  (b)   pale/white crane of cattle


ring-necked parakeet  

paracait choilearach  (b)    collared parakeet


red-necked wallaby

uallabaidh ruadh-mhuinealach  (f) 


parti-coloured bat

ialtag dhà-dhathach  (b)    two-coloured bat


muntjac deer

fiadh-comhartaich  (f)       barking deer


whiskered bat

ialtag chiabhagach    (b)   


azure damselfly  

cruinneag liath (b)          grey, neat young girl 


emperor dragonfly

tarbh-nathrach ìmpireil (f)     


small skipper butterfly

sùrdagan beag     (f)               little leaping/skipping creature  


buff footman moth

leòmann gille-coise odhar    (f)     


tree bumblebee

seillean-mòr craoibhe         (f)  


American signal crayfish

giomach-uisge Ameireaganach (f)    American (fresh)water-lobster



harlequin ladybird

daolag-bhreac Àisianach           (b)   Asian ladybird/speckled beatle  


green sea fingers

corragan-mara uaine    (b)    


leathery sea squirt

spùtachan-mara leatharach (f)     leathery, little, squirting creature of the sea


Atlantic bluefin tuna

tiùna gorm-iteach Atlantaigeach (f)  


Chinese mitten crab

Crùbag mhiotagach Shìonach  (b)


European sea bass

basan-mara Eòrpach         (f)   


American ragweed

lus-luideig Ameireaganach  (f)           


bee orchid

mogairlean-seillein    (f)           


early pampas-grass

feur-pampais an earraich (f)      spring pampas-grass


Clutha male-fern

mearlag Chluaidh  (b)           


Scottish male-fern

mearlag Albannach (b)         


Japanese skeleton shrimp

carran-cnàimhnich Iapanach (f) 


snow algae

lìrean-sneachda   (f)      


scarlet berry truffle

balg-losgainn caora (f)   red, berry truffle/toad mushroom



fork-palped harvestman

fogharaiche iadhairean-gòbhlach      (f)     fork-feelered harvestman


St Kilda wren

dreathan-donn Hiortach     (f)      


Spanish bluebell  

bròg na cuthaig Spàinnteach (b) 

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