Leonie Dunlop


I have recently handed in my thesis titled ‘Breaking old and new ground: a comparative study of coastal and inland naming in Berwickshire’. This thesis investigates methodologies for approaching toponymic research and perceptions of landscape which can be understood through place-names. In this work, I have investigated the interaction of the researcher with source material, traditional methods, new methods including walking practice, and two case studies which focus on the naming of relief features and colour names.

Dunlop, L.M. (2015) ‘From Hell to Highwater: approaches to coastal and inland naming’. Scottish Place-Name Society News, 38 (Spring) pp.9-10.

Dunlop, L. M., and Hough, C. (2014) Colour terms in the names of coastal and inland features: a study of four Berwickshire parishes. In: Anderson, W., Biggam, C. P., Hough, C. and Kay, C. (eds.) Colour Studies. A Broad Spectrum. John Benjamins: Amsterdam, pp.307-322.

Dunlop, L.M. (2014) Review: Angus Martin, Kintyre Places and Place-Names. The Grimsay Press: Kilkerran, 2013. 383 pp. £19.95 paperback. ISBN 9781845301347. In: The Innes Review 65 (1), pp.76–78.

  • AHRC-funded PhD as part of the Scottish Toponymy in Transition project.
  • Lynne Grundy Trust Fund Award, June 2012, £350, to present at Trends in Toponymy 5, Berne, July 2012.


Selected Achievements:

First prize, Alastair Buchan Prize 2015 jointly with two poems, written in Scots and English. 

Selected to participate in ‘Speaking My Language’ Mandarin programme, October 2012 - A three week AHRC-funded intensive language programme at the Confucius Institute, Edinburgh followed by a three week course in Beijing, China.

Founded the Onomastics Reading Group and received financial assistance from Centre for Scottish and Celtic Studies towards the running of the group.

Selected to participate in International Society of Anglo-Saxonists postgraduate pre-conference workshop and conference, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 2011. Bursary from ISAS for attendance and travel.

Selected Conference Papers:

Losing and Finding: place-names and the imagined landscape. Presented at EcoCultures, Glasgow, October 2015.

From Hell to Highwater: approaches to coastal and inland naming. Presented at Scottish Place-Name Society conference, Dunbar, November 2014.

Size matters?: new perspectives on place-name categorisation using topographic source material. Co-authored with Amy Todman. Presented at International Congress of Onomastic Sciences, Glasgow, October 2014.

Charters and Cartographic Records: the interactions of toponymic source material. Presented at Teachers of Old English in Britain & Ireland conference, Belfast, November 2013.

How hilly is it? Prototypicality in toponymic categorisation of landscape features. Co-authored with Amy Todman. Presented at Trends in Toponymy 6, October 2013.

Maps and Written Records: a theoretical approach to source material. Presented at Trends in Toponymy 6, October 2013.


Engagement Activities:

Assisted at the Cognitive Toponymy exhibit at Explorathon: European Researchers’ Night, Glasgow Science Festival, September 2015.

Led a place-name walk in Coldingham, Berwickshire as a day trip for International Society of Anglo-Saxonists conference, Glasgow 2015.

Assisted at the Scottish Toponymy in Transition exhibit at Big Tent Festival, June, 2012. 

Assisted at the Scottish Toponymy in Transition exhibit at The Great British Story Event, June 2012.


Secretary of Scottish Place-Name Society.

Member of Society for Name Studies in Britain and Ireland, International Society of Anglo-Saxonists, Scottish Society of Northern Studies, and Philological Society.