Originally published in the Scotsman on 16 April 2016
For obvious reasons Culloden (Cullodyn in 1238) was a very well-known name in Gaelic, mentioned many times in prose and poem after the battle there on the 16th of April 1746. The first element cùil means ‘nook or corner’; this word is related to − but quite distinct from − cùl ‘back part’. The second element is most likely lodan ‘little pool’, thus meaning ‘small pool nook’. The modern Gaelic form, however, has changed by folk etymology to Cùil Lodair, which would mean ‘lad nook’. Another common modern spelling − with the same pronunciation − is Cùil Fhodair which means ‘fodder nook’.
The actual battle itself was fought at Drumossie ~ Druim Athaisidh. Druim means a ‘ridge’. Various meanings have been given for athaisidh, including ‘poor, disused meadow’, but this is not certain.
For further research see out database: Culloden