An article from

'The Topographical, Statistical, and Historical Gazetteer of Scotland'

Published by A.Fullarton and Co. - 1848

Kil or Kill

(Place name adjunct as in Kilmarnock)

KIL, or Kill, an adjunct of very frequent occurrence in Scottish topography. Some antiquaries derive it from the Saxon King; others, from the Latin cella; others, from the Gaelic cill—pronounced keel—which means 'a circle,' and in which some etymologists have found the radix of the Latin coelum. According to the latter, all places in this country having the prefix cill or kill, originally derived their names from the proximity of a Druidical circle. It is, however, an historical fact, that when names of places begin with this adjunct, it is generally found that the place was originally the cell or hermitage of a saint, whose name usually forms the second half of the appellation; and the presumption is that the word was borrowed by the Gaels from the old Monkish Latin, cella. In the Highland districts, Kil often implies 'a Burial-place,' probably from there having been originally a cell or chapel, or station of an early Christian missionary, in the neighbourhood.




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