Aberdour ABO PS NT194855 1 394 25m

ecclesia de Abirdoure 1179 Inchcolm Chrs. no. 2
in feodo meo de Aberdouer 1189 x 1199 Spalding Misc. v p. 243 [Robert of London’s feudal holding]
(Serlo chaplain of) Abirdou<er> 1214 x 1214 x 1226 Dunf. Reg. no. 168
baroniam de Aberdouer 1325 RRS v no. 263 [Robert I grants the barony of Aberdour to Thomas Randolph earl of Moray, forfeited by the late Richard Siward]
in baronia de Abirdouir’ 1325 x 1329 Dunf. Reg. no. 357 [lands of Cullaloe]
terra de Abbirdowir 1342 Morton Reg. ii no. 64
terram Dabbirdowre 1342 Morton Reg. ii no. 64 [also: terras Dabbirdowr’; presumably the initial d is a contraction of Latin de ‘of’]
Abirdowyr 1351 Morton Reg. ii no. 71 [= RRS vi no. 242]
ecclesia sancti Fulani de Aberdouer 1390 Morton Reg. ii, 174
Abirdoure 1441 RMS ii no. 268
hospitalis Sancte Marthe de Abirdour 1474 Morton Reg. ii no. 231 [rubric; see ABO Introduction]
Abirdoure 1474 Morton Reg. ii no. 231 [libertatum et priuilegiorum ... monasterii nostri vel ecclesie parochialis <de> Abirdoure (‘of the liberties and privileges of our (the earl of Morton’s) monastery (St Martha’s) or of the parish church of Aberdour’)]
occidentalem villam de Abirdour 1501 RMS ii no. 2574 [see ABO Introduction]
Newtoun de Abbirdour 1506 Dunf. Reg. no. 496 [4 merks from the lands of Newton of Aberdour; for more details see *Newton ABO below]
Maines of Abirdour 1574 Inchcolm Chrs. p. 219
Abirdour 1575 Yester Writs no. 786
Abyrdowr 1642 Gordon MS Fife
Abyrdour 1654 Blaeu (Pont) West Fife
Abyrdour 1654 Blaeu (Gordon) Fife
Aberdour 1753 Roy sheet 17, 5
Aberdower 1775 Ainslie/Fife

Pictish * aber + en Dour

‘(Place at the) mouth of the Dour Burn’. The Dour Burn, referring to the burn that flows into the Forth at Aberdour harbour, contains a Celtic word for water. Since it is combined with a Pictish generic (*aber) not borrowed into G, it is most likely to be Pictish (*duvr or similar), rather than G dobhar (OIr dobur, where the b is pronounced v). However, early forms such as Aberdouer (1189 × 1199) suggest that the second element had become Gaelicised. This Gaelicisation is clearly seen in the early twelfth-century Gaelic Notes in the Book of Deer, which renders the same name, that of Aberdour parish ABD, as Abbordoboir. It is discussed by Jackson (1972, 38) and Taylor (forthcoming).

The Mains of Aberdour is first mentioned in the 1377 Rental of the lands of (Easter) Aberdour as Latin terre dominice, that is lands held directly by the laird or feudal superior (Morton Reg. i p. lxv; see also ABO Introduction above). The name is preserved locally only in The Mains Brae, the steep hill up which the road from Aberdour to Burntisland climbs immediately east of Easter Aberdour.

/ˈabər dəur/, whereas the burn is pronounced /dur/ (and always referred to as The Dour Burn). The old pronunciation, still occasionally heard, is /ˈebər dur/

This place-name appeared in printed volume 1