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English nameTroon
Gaelic nameAn Truthail
Genitive formna Truthail

Location and type of place name

LocationSouth Ayrshire
Local authoritySouth Ayrshire ~ Siorrachd Àir a Deas
Parish post 1891
County post 1891
Topographical feature typeSettlement ~ Tuineachadh
Post townTROON
Postcode areaKA10
OS sheet number326
OS grid referenceNS325308
Type of namePlace ~ Àite


Element meaningB trwyn or G sròn ~ nose, nose-shaped headland
Element type

External Resources

OS maps

Further Information

Language notes 
Sources“An Truthail” (an t-Sruthail?) in Arran: Robertson MS405, 108v
In Arran Gaelic Troon is an Truthail, which is most likely for an t-Sruthail, ‘the current’, either an independent form, with reference to the current at the point, or a Gaelic rendering of Troon by folk-etymology. Watson 1926, 516
Additional infoThe name Troon is likely P-Celtic in origin (i.e. Pictish), cognate with Welsh trwyn, ‘nose, cape’, indeed it is the likely identification for the name Bretrwyn which appears in the Book of Taliesin, an Old Welsh poem. Coming into the Gaelic era, it is possible that the form An t-Sròn, ‘the nose’ was used for the name Troon, since the words sròn and trwyn are cognate, it could have been easily adapted from one language to another. Against this however is the fact that the element sròn usually appears as something like Strone (compare Strontian etc). Old forms include le Trone in 1371 and le Trune in 1464), so it it far from certain if An t-Sròn was the form. It is more likely that an adaption of the sound of the P-Celtic name was used, rather than a translation, perhaps *An Trùn or the like, which is reflected in medieval manuscript sources.

The form An Truthail is derived from Arran Gaelic, a form used in Gaelic within living memory or certainly within the last century. This form is probably based on a form An t-Sruthail, ‘a current’, by folk etymology with hearing the existing Gaelic name *An Trùn and trying to make sense of it. We decided to use this form as it was the most recent form used and also the best attested; the other forms mentioned above have not been well in evidence. We are aware An t-Sròn is used for Troon in some cases, but cannot trace this usage back any further than Johnston’s Place-names of Scotland, 1932 2nd edition a notoriously unreliable publication that unfortunately has been quite influential on place-name studies since it was published.
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