Perdius DFL S NT091867 2 50m
Pardusin 1128 David I Chrs. no. 33 [= Dunf. Reg. no. 1]
Pardusin 1150 David I Chrs. no. 172 [= Dunf. Reg. no. 2]
Pardusin 1154 x 1159 RRS i no. 118 [oc.; = Dunf. Reg. no. 35]
Pardusin 1163 Dunf. Reg. no. 237
Pardusin c.1166 RRS ii no. 30 [= Dunf. Reg. no. 50]
Pardusin 1227 Dunf. Reg. no. 74
Pardusin 1277 Dunf. Reg. no. 81
Parcy 1451 Dunf. Reg. no. 434 [= RMS ii no. 429]
terras de P<er>dew 1526 Dunf. Reg. no. 514 [Rented to James Murray the lands of ‘P<er>dew alias Bru<m>hill’]
Dominus de Perdeu 1532 Dunf. Reg. Ct. Bk. 45
Dominus de Perdovis 1533 Dunf. Reg. Ct. Bk. 84
Dominus de Perdowis 1534 Dunf. Reg. Ct. Bk. 110
Dominus de Perdows 1535 Dunf. Reg. Ct. Bk. 125
Perdewis c.1573 Dunf. Reg. p. 476
Pardowis c.1573 Dunf. Reg. p. 476
Perdew 1646 Retours (Fife) no. 702 [Charles Monteith, ‘the lands of Perdew alias Brumhill’]
Purdues 1771 x 1834 Dunf. Reg. Ct. Bk. map II 128
Perdieus Mount 1856 OS 6 inch 1st edn.
? G pardus + - in
? ‘Place of the garden’. This unusual name is best explained as containing a G word connected with OIr pardus, MIr parthas ‘paradise, (herb) garden’ + the common locational suffix -in. Pardus itself is a loan-word from medieval Latin paradisus (see Watson 1926, 79). According to DIL this word is not attested in place-names in Ireland. In modern Sc G it appears as parrthas (see Watson 1926, 257).
Watson, however, sees this place-name as containing the p-Celtic element par ‘parcel of land’ (1926, 373). He does not express an opinion on the second element, although he does compare it with Persey PER, Parthesin.129 There would seem, however, to be no such element as par with this meaning in Welsh.
It was among the lands with which Malcolm III and Margaret endowed their church at Dunfermline. Two of these lands, Pitbauchlie DFL and Pitliver DFL, have explicit religious connections which almost certainly pre-date the late eleventh century (see s.n. below). If my suggested etymology of Perdius is correct, it, too, may well share these early religious associations. See Taylor 1994 for further discussion.
The name survives in the street name Perdieus Mount (Dunfermline Street Plan 1993, 11th edition, but OS Pathf. Perdius Mount, situated some 400 m to the south-west), which is also the name of the adjacent artificial mound (NT091867), classed as a motte by Stell (1985, 18). Chalmers (1844, i p. 160) preserves a fanciful piece of place-name lore connected with this feature, describing it as a “mound planted with trees, above 16 feet in height and 306 feet in circumference, which according to tradition was formed by persons carrying to it sacks full of sand from the sea-shore, or other distant places, most probably as popish penance for their sins, and as is said, aggravated by perjury. It has been named ... the Penitent Mount, and from the latter perhaps, or at least from its having some connection with religion, Perdieus (par Dieu, by God).”
OS Pathf. ‘Perdius Mount’ appears erroneously to refer to the playing fields c.400m south-west of the motte, which is not shown.
For the suggestion that this motte might have been the dùn from which Dunfermline takes its name; see under Dunfermline above.
The alternative Sc name for this place, Broomhill, which appears as early as 1526 (Dunf. Reg. no. 514), has not survived. Watson’s statement ‘Pardew, now Broomfield (sic) near Dunfermline’ must therefore be emended (1926, 373). Some minor names associated with the lands of P<er>dew alias Bru<m>hill are mentioned in this 1526 charter. These are ‘ly stan aikir (the stone acre), schort aikir (short acre) et le buyt aikir (the boot or butt acre)’130 lying on both sides of the burn commonly called ‘ly lyn’ (the Lyne Burn).131 The same list of minor names appears again in the 1646 Retours entry cited above, as parts of the lands of Perdius: Stanieaiker, Schortaiker and Butaiker.
This place-name appeared in printed volume 1