As unoriginal place names go, Loch Lochy (in Lochaber) has to be at the top of the list. I imagine whoever named it was at the end of a long day of loch naming and said to himself, “fuck it, I’m off to the pub.”
The loch is one of the estimated 31,460 freshwater lochs in Scotland. However, given that it’s 16km long and is the third deepest loch in Scotland (based on mean depth), you’ve got to figure that people were going to notice.
Loch Lochy is located 16km southwest of the far more famous Loch Ness and like its more famous cousin, also has a somewhat famous resident. Folk stories talk of Loch Lochy’s supernatural ‘River Horse,’ that would occasionally overturn boats and entice mares from their pastures.
However, the loch’s major claim to fame is that it was the site of the Battle of the Shirts (also what I call laundry day). Fought in July 1544, between Clan Donald and Clan Fraser, it was a particularly bloody battle with all but 13 of the 800 participants dead at the end of it.
For more have a look at the following books:
- Lochs & Glens of Scotland
- Lonely Planet Scotland’s Highlands & Islands (Travel Guide)
- Scotland of Old: Clans Map of Scotland (Collins Pictorial Maps)
Do you know of any place names less originally named than Loch Lochy? Let us know in the comments below: