Balhousie LAR S NO425063 1 374 135m WEF

Bawsy 1528 ER xv 661 [in barony of Lundin (Lundy)]
Bowsey 1540 RMS iii no. 2147 [part of barony of Lundin]
Bowsay 1554 RMS iv no. 977 [in barony of Lundin]
Bowse 1545 x 1555 N. Berwick Cart. p.xxiii [‘the gwd wyiff of Bowse and John Trayll for the teind chaiwis (teind sheaves)’]
to the guidwife of Bowsie c.1560 s Assumption 167 [teind sheaves, formerly North Berwick Priory]
Boseymylne 1573 Assumption 145 [rental of North Berwick Priory]
Bowsie 1600 Retours (Fife) no. 84 [part of the barony of Lundin (Lundy)]
Bowsie 1607 RMS vi no. 1972 [in barony of Lundin (Lundy)]
Bowsie 1623 Retours (Fife) no. 1561 [part of the barony of Lundin]
Bousi< > 1684 Adair/East Fife [the last letter is illegible, presumably e]
Boussie 1699 Retours (Fife) no. 1426 [part of the barony of Lundin]
Bouzie 1753 Roy sheet 18, 1
Busie 1775 Ainslie/Fife
John Wallace of Bousie 1817 Cunningham 1907, 9 [plaque in Largo kirk]
Balhousie 1827 Ainslie/East Fife
Balhousie 1828 SGF
Bowsie 1829 RHP320 [‘approach to Bowsie House’]
Balhousie 1855 OS 6 inch 1st edn

? G baile + ? G fo-ghlais + ? – in

Perhaps ‘farm of the small burn or farm of the place of the small burns’. See Balhouffie CBE (PNF 3) for a discussion of this etymology, and for similar names elsewhere. A problematical name, Balhousie LAR is even more problematic in that unreduced or unsyncopated forms do not occur until the early nineteenth century, raising the question as to whether it is a Bal-name at all. It might in fact be a hypercorrection of a quite different name, perhaps one containing Sc bowhouse. Balhouffie CBE, now pronounced /:b¬fI/, first appears in a syncopated form on Blaeu (Pont) East Fife, printed in 1654 but collected by Timothy Pont in the 1590s. This is not too far removed in time from the first record of Balhousie LAR (1528), so it is conceivable that a genuine Bal-name underlies it. Another argument in favour of this being a Bal-name is the fact that it forms part of a swathe of Bal-names which runs from Balcormo LAR to Balbaird NBN (see LAR Introduction, Bal-names, for a discussion of this cluster). However, a counter-argument could be brought that this very density of Bal-names has led to a re-interpretation of a non-Bal-name within this cluster.

    OS Name Book (20, 9) gives Balhousie as the only form collected from local informants, as well as from an ‘Estate Plan’.


    /ˈbuzɪ/,[153] although /bəlˈhuzɪ/ etc. is also heard.

This place-name appeared in printed volume 2