20 place names in Scotland people always pronounce wrong – how many did you know?

If you’ve visited Scotland, ordered a Scotch or looked at our wonderful country on a map you’ll know that it has some strange and wonderful place names.

Though it may come easy to people who have grown up near them, others might not find it so simple to read some of these names aloud.

From Milngavie to Ecclefechan, these Scottish place names are pronounced very differently from how they look when you see them written down.

And it’s not just visiting tourists who get it wrong, we’ve all fallen victim at some point.

So, to make it easier for us all – here’s a handy guide on how to pronounce some of the most difficult Scottish place names and to start you off it’s not Edinboro but Edinburra and Glass-go not Glasscow.

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Sean Murphy Daily Record - Tourism Writer for Scotland Now

Sean is the Tourism and Food and Drink content writer for the Daily Record – with a focus on Scotland Now.

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Let’s just get this belter out of the way, when visiting Glasgow this place is pronounced Mull-guy – not Mill-in-gavie.


Another cracker – this small village located in Dumfries and Galloway is famous for its tarts. It’s pronounced Eck-el-feck-han .

The name is said to come from the Gaelic ‘ Eaglais Fheichein ‘ which is believed to mean ‘Little Church’.


Many people know this Ayrshire town due to its famous castle and it may be tempting to pronounce it ‘Cul-zeen’ but it is in fact pronounced Kull-ane .


This little Fife village will be familiar to Outlander fans as it doubles as the fictional town of Cranesmuir in the hit show, however, to sound like a local – and to get to actually where you want to go – it’s pronounced ‘Coo-riss’.

Wemyss Bay

This wee village on the southwest coast is hugely popular but if you’re visiting or are meeting someone from there it is pronounced ‘Weems Bay’ not ‘Wee-miss Bay’.


This popular country park and house near Hamilton is pronounced Chat-le-row .


Another picturesque town in Fife, the name for this town comes for the Gaelic word meaning ‘upland of the wild boar’ and is pronounced Aw-ch(as in loch)-ter-muck-tay .


This famous town in the Borders isn’t pronounced Haw-wick but instead Hoy-k .


This harbour town in Dumfries and Galloway is one that many people trip up over, ignore the ‘bright’ and pronounce it Kirk-coo-bray .


Don’t make the mistake of adding too many syllables here, it’s Stray-ven not Strath-hay-ven.


The wonderful west coast island is known for its incredible peated whiskies (and not so peated whiskies) but many fall down when pronouncing it ‘Iss-lay’ it is in fact pronounced ‘aye-luh’ .


Ae – pronounced eh – is a village in Dumfries and Galloway that just so happens to have the shortest place name in the UK.


Best known for the whisky Glen Garioch, this place is pronounced ‘Gee-ree’ not ‘Gay-ree-ok’


Another Fife village that has a hard to pronounce name, hint it’s pronounced Kin-uck-ar .


Located close to Falkland in Fife, it’s pronounced Froo-kay not Froochee.


This unbelievably Scottish name is pronounced Och(as in loch)-en-shoogle .

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This pretty little village near Glencoe is pronounced Baall-a-hoolish .


This famous Stirling village is pronounced ‘drimin’ not ‘dry-men’.


This fishing village in Moray is another pitfall for those not in the know – it’s pronounced Fin-eck-tay .


Found in the East Neuk of Fife, this little fishing village is one of the best place to get fish and chips in Scotland. To pronounce it like a local you would say Ainster .

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