Published 28th October 2022

Inspired by Scotland

As part of a regular series on the meaning of place names in the Territory, this latest edition focuses on Scottish inspired Antarctic place names.

Antarctic Place-names map
Credit: British Antarctic Survey

This month, the UK Antarctic Place-names Committee presented at the UK Antarctic Science Conference in Edinburgh, highlighting the Committee’s work and how scientists can get involved in the application process. Did you know that there are over 20 names associated with Scotland across Antarctica? There are also over 40 Scots named, commemorating engineers, physicists, geographers, glaciologists, chemists and many more.

South Shetland Islands and South Orkney Islands were first sighted by William Smith in 1819 and by Powell in 1821 respectively and were so named as the islands lie in about the same latitude as the Scottish Isles in the Northern Hemisphere.

Finally, Edinburgh Hill is named for the Scottish capital. Dundee Island and the Firth of Tay were first sighted by Ross in 1842 and named for the home port of the expedition. Inverleith Harbour is named after the ‘mouth of the river Leith’ in Gaelic.

For information about British Antarctic Territory place-names and guidelines on how to submit new proposals, visit the Committee website.


With thanks to the British Antarctic Survey for the image and text.