Moss Morran

Moss Morran ~ ABO/ATL VW NT175900 1 384 145m

Mosse Morvin 1642 Gordon MS Fife
Mosse Morum 1654 Blaeu (Pont) West Fife
Moss Morvin 1654 Blaeu (Gordon) Fife
Moss Marion 1836 RHP14341
Marion Moss 1837 Aberdour Map/1837
Moss Marron 1854 RHP1271
Moss Marian 1853 x 1856 OS Name Book 132, 3–4 [variant spelling, factor of the Earl of Moray]
Moss Marron 1853 x 1856 OS Name Book 132, 3–4 [variant spelling, ‘the country people’]
Moss Morran 1856 OS 6 inch 1st edn.

Sc moss + ?

The word-order and stress of this name (which is on the second syllable) are not Scots, and suggest rather a G original whose generic, probably mòine, has been replaced by an equivalent Scots generic, moss. While the language of the generic has been changed from G to Sc, the word-order of the name remains the same. We see a similar process in the change from Monlochty to Boglochty, where bog must be Sc, not G.

The second element itself may derive from G mòr-mhòine ‘big moss’. If this is the case, and if moss has indeed been substituted for an earlier mòine, as suggested above, then the unstressed mhòine in mòr-mhòine must have become so reduced that it was no longer recognised as such even by G speakers when G was still widely spoken in this part of Fife.

This large expanse of bog, over 1 km square, has its western end at the NGR given. It lies at about 140m. Other indicators of the ‘Moss’ include Mossbank Poultry Farm ABO (NT172890), as well as Moss-side BEA.

The variant forms Marion, Marian must be connected with Marions Cairn, shown on OS 6 inch (1856) at NT175904, where the parish boundary meets the Great North Road (A 909) in the midst of the moss.

It has given its name to the Mossmorran ethylene plant built on part of Moss Morran in the 1980s.


This place-name appeared in printed volume 1