Glasgow's weirdest sounding place names guaranteed to leave visitors totally baffled

Ever overheard a newbie to Glasgow, from the rest of the UK - or closer to home (Edinburgh, we're looking at you) - ask for directions to Saucey-hall Street or Miln-gavvy? Such moments are a joy to witness.

Many of the place names in Glasgow and its surrounds go back hundreds of years - if not longer - with each having their own unique origin story.

Some of them go back to the times of the Celts and the Vikings, while others are adaptations from ancient Scots, old English and Gaelic.

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The result is that a lot of the English spellings for these place names cannot be phonetically pronounced and this can lead to lots of confusion for the casual traveller.

Other names, meanwhile - and we're happy to admit this ourselves - are just downright weird and unusual. Even Limmy's character Dee Dee agrees.

Here's our list of 11 Greater Glasgow place names that always leave ootsiders totally baffled:


The sensei of mental Glasgow place names, Crossmyloof [Cross-ma-loof] does often beg the question, 'just whose loof is it we are crossing?'. While that remains unclear, the southside district appears on many road signs and train destination boards in the city and its pronunciation is regularly butchered by visitors.


The residents of Château au Lait, or Castlemilk, if you prefer, have no issue with the name of their barrio, but outsiders just don't get the connection between medieval fortifications and the stuff that makes yer Rice Crispies snap, crackle and pop. Pour souls.


Historically a town in its own right, the upmarket suburb of Milngavie [Mull-gai] is one of those place names that leaves the majority of ootsiders positively flummoxed. Ask a taxi driver to take you to "Miln-gavvy" and they're likely to hike up your fare.

Sauchiehall Street

The interlopers - especially those ones from the east coast - should know by now, we don't do 'sauce' in Glasgow. It's all about the vinegar. Worth them bearing that in mind the next time they try and say Sauchiehall [Saw-kee-hawl] Street. Saucy-hall Street? Gie's peace.


Another Glasgow place name that seems to have been coined so us locals could poke fun at ootsiders struggling to pronounce it. Ruchazie [rukh-HAY-zee] is fabulous because it keeps us all very amused.

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Visitors to Glasgow, especially those familiar with the Oor Wullie annuals, are often surprised to learn that Auchenshuggle is actually a real place. You'll have a hard time finding the 'last tram', mind you.


Allegedly one of they places that folk only know from seeing on the front of buses, Yoker may indeed put you in mind of "a mad egg yoke". Most outsiders only became aware of its existence thanks to the comedian Brian Limond, AKA Limmy, and therefore think it must be made up. It's not.

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One of Glasgow's most ancient place names, Carnwadric wouldn't sound out of place in the Lord of the Rings, but that's about the only resemblance with Middle Earth.


It may sound to the outsider as if someone's having a mild stroke while asking directions for Springburn, but that's not the case. Springboig is an area in its own right - and it's goddamm lovely.


When it comes to names, Strathbungo is very much a case of 'business on top, party in the back'. To anyone unlucky enough not to have a G postcode it might sound like it should be one of the four houses at Hogwarts, but they know nothing.

Article first published on February 2, 2022.