Bow Burn 1855 OS 6 inch 1st edn
Sc bow or en Bow + Sc burn
Immediately to the south of the upper reaches of the Bow Burn rise Baw Hills NBH, at the south-east end of Lochmill Loch, out of which the Bow Burn runs; while 200 m to the north of the burn stands Whinnybank NBH, which was earlier called Glenbow (OS 6 inch 1855). It is likely that the burn, the hills and the settlement all share the same specific element.
If Glenbow (1856) is an old name for the settlement formed in the Gaelic-speaking period, it is G gleann (+ an) + G bò, perhaps Gleann (nam) Bò originally, ‘Glen of the Cattle’, and Baw Hills and Bow Burn are named subsequently, borrowing the bow element from Glenbow. An alternative explanation may lie in Sc bow ‘stock or herd of cattle’. In that case the settlement name Glenbow would be a name coined in the Scots-speaking period, but modelled on the usual pattern of Gaelic place-names: generic followed by specific element. Whichever of these explanations is correct, the three names discussed here all suggest the use of the area for the grazing of cattle.
The NGR given above is for the point around the Bow Burn becomes the Pitcairlie Burn.
This place-name appeared in printed volume 4