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Dr Jacob King

Researcher (data)


PhD, Department of Celtic and Scottish Studies, University of Edinburgh, 2003-2008: ‘Analytical Tools for Toponymy: Their Applications to Scottish Hydronymy’.


Dr Jacob King works for Ainmean-Àite na h-Alba, a national advisory partnership to research and establish the correct and appropriate Gaelic forms of place-names for maps, signage and general use. His current role is to undertake the academic research to fulfil these aims; he is also partially responsible for developing and maintaining the online database.

He is a committee member of the Scottish Place-name Society and on the panel of reviewers for The Journal of Scottish Name Studies as well as the author of a number of articles. As part of his work, he recently collaborated on Gaelic in the Landscape: Place-names in Islay and Jura which was compiled using information gathered from local informants and published by Scottish Natural Heritage.

Research interests

Scottish hydronymy, including Inver- and Aber- names; the place-names of Jura; methodological approaches to place-name databases; and the place-name work of Charles M. Robertson, a Gaelic scholar of the previous century, who left many unpublished notebooks.



`The Work and Legacy of Gaelic Scholar Charles M. Robertson (1864-1927)’, Proceedings of Rannsachadh na Gàidhlig 2012 (forthcoming 2012).

`The Gazetteer of Gaelic Place-names', Proceedings of Rannsachadh na Gàidhlig 2010 (forthcoming).

`Place-names in the Poetry  of Duncan Ban MacIntyre’ (forthcoming 2012).

Gaelic in the Landscape: Place-names in Islay and Jura (Scottish Natural Heritage 2011).

`Aberkarf', The Journal of Scottish Name Studies 4, 2010.

`Haberberui: An Aberration?', The Journal of Scottish Name Studies 3, 2009.

`Varia: Endrick and Lunan', The Journal of Scottish Name Studies 1, 2007.

`Review of Placenames of the Isle of Man', The Journal of Scottish Name Studies 1, 2007.

'Lochy-names and Adomnan's Nigra Dea', Nomina 2005.


Papers Given

August 2012: ‘Gaelic in the Landscape: Place-Names of Islay and Jura’.

August 2012:  ‘ “Are you an ordinary mortal? No, Sir, you are a genius", the Work and Legacy of Gaelic Scholar Charles M. Robertson (1864-1927)’, Rannsachadh na Gàidhlig, Glasgow.

August 2012: 'Ainmean-Àite na h-Alba Database Software Presentation', Fiontar Workshop, Dublin.

July 2012: `Place-names in the Poetry of Duncan Ban MacIntyre', World(s) of Duncan Ban MacIntyre Conference, Edinburgh.

November 2011: `Place-names Wanted - Dead or Alive: A Toponymic Flyting Conducted in the Pages of the Oban Times, c.1900', SPNS conference, Dingwall.

October 2011: `The Structure of Scottish Hydronymy', Traditional Cosmology Society Seminar, Edinburgh.

April 2011: `Database Presentation', DigDag Project Seminar, Denmark.

November 2010: `The New AÀA/Gaelic Place-Names Database', SPNS conference, Bridge of Allan.

August 2010: `Presentation of the National Gazetteer of Gaelic Place-names', Highland Council, Inverness.

June 2010: `The Place-name Debate', National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh. As a panel member, part of Trends in Toponymy, ICOS conference.

November 2009: `A lost Aber-name in Speyside', Second International Conference on the Early Medieval Toponymy of Ireland and Scotland, Belfast.

November 2009: `Aberkarf', SPNS conference, Glasgow and Belfast.

November 2007: `The BLITON (Brittonic Language in Northern Britain) Project', SPNS conference.

December 2004: `Onomastic Evidence for Hydrolatry in Scotland', Traditional Cosmology Society Seminar, Edinburgh.

November 2003: `River Names of the Ochil Hills', SPNS Conference, Dundee.

November 2003: `Adomnan's Black Goddess: The Origin of Lochy and Lochty- names in Scotland’, SNSBI Conference, Nottingham.

February 2003: `Adomnan's Black Goddess: The Origin of Lochy and Lochty- names in Scotland, Postgraduate Seminar, Edinburgh.