Humbie ABO S NT196862 1 80m

Humbies 1517 Fife Ct. Bk. 399
Humbie 1574 Inchcolm Chrs. p. 219
terrarum lie Midilthird et Norththrid alias lie Eister & Wester Humbies 1630 RMS viii no. 1690 [lands of the *Middle Third and *North Third alias the Easter and Wester Humbies]
(William Orrok in) Humbie 1636 RMS ix no. 612
Humbly 1654 Blaeu (Pont) West Fife
Humby 1654 Blaeu (Gordon) Fife
Humby c.1750 RHP1022
Humbie 1753 Roy sheet 17, 5
Humbie 1775 Ainslie/Fife

ON hund(r) + ON bý(r)

?’Farm of dogs’. It is one of five Humbies in southern Scotland, with ELO, MLO WLO and RNF each having one. The earliest occurrence of the name is Hundeby c.1250 in ELO, and c.1290 in WLO. It probably contains the gen. pl. of ON hund(r) ‘dog, hound’. This is certainly the derivation favoured by Fellows-Jensen (1991, 51), where she adds that they can probably be seen as places where hunting-dogs were kept. Thus a later Scots parallel might be Dogton KGL, near the medieval royal hunting forest of Carden ADN, KGH. Compare also Hunmanby, Yorkshire East Riding, Hunsonby, Cumberland, and Womanby (Hundemanby 1280), Glamorganshire, Wales, all of which contain the ON for ‘dog-keeper’ (Ekwall 1960, s.n., for the English examples; Richards 1983, 57 for the Welsh one).

A further possibility is that it may contain the Scandinavian personal name Hundi. Ekwall 1960, under Hanby and Humby, derives these two places unequivocally from this personal name; as does Nicolaisen 1967, 225–6, and 2001, 147. This is, however, unlikely, given the frequency of the place-name, and the infrequency of the personal name in independent record.

Humbie ABO is one of a handful of ON place-names containing ‘farm’ scattered through central Scotland, with at least four others in Fife. For more on these, see Introduction, this volume.


This place-name appeared in printed volume 1