Auchterderran ADN PS NT214960 1 80m

ecclesia de Hurkyndorath’ c.1053 x 1093 St A. Lib. 117
ecclesiam de Hurkenedorath c.1053 x 1093 St A. Lib. 117 [with its ancient cains of bread and cheese; see ADN Introduction]
(half vill of) Urechehem 1152 x 1159 St A. Lib. 43
ecclesiam de Wrchane 1165 x 1169 St A. Lib. 175 [cum villa ecclesiastica (‘with the kirkton’)]
(half vill of) Urchan 1165 x 1169 SRO Calendar of Charters vol. i no. 7
villa de Hurhynderach 1243 x 1254 St A. Lib. 16
(church of) Hurwharderich 1240 x 1250 St A. Lib. 33 [cum capella (‘with chapel’)]
(church of) Vtyrderet 1240 x 1250 Dunf. Reg. no. 313 [cum capella]
(church of) Hurkedr’ 1240 x 1250 Arb. Lib. i p. 236 [cum capella]
villa de Hurhyndemuch 1248 St A. Lib. 104
(cain of) Hurwarderech 1279 x 1297 St A. Lib. 16 [part of the barony of Kirkness]
(cain of) Hurwarderec 1279 x 1297 St A. Lib. 177 [part of the barony of Kirkness]
(rector of the church of) Ochtirdere 1400 St A. Lib. 10
(parish church of) Ochtirderay 1476 RMS ii no. 1233 [See ADN Introduction]
Auchterderay 1515 Fife Ct. Bk. 10 [Maister Robert Boiswell persoune of Auchterderran]
(rector of) Ochterderay 1576 RMS iv no. 2582
(parish of) Auchtarderay 1586 RMS v no. 1060
(parish of) Auchterderay 1586 RMS v no. 1060
(parish of) Auchterderay 1619 RMS viii no. 136
(parish of) Auchterdirrane 1623 RMS ix no. 1302
(parish of) Auchterdera 1637 RMS ix no. 712
Ochter daran 1642 Gordon MS Fife
Achterderans 1654 Blaeu (Pont) West Fife
Ochter-Daran K<irk> 1654 Blaeu (Gordon) Fife
(parish of) Auchterderren 1657 RMS x no. 627
Achterderan Kirk 1753 Roy sheet 17, 5
Auchterderan 1775 Ainslie/Fife

G ? + ? G deòradh

The generic was originally *urchan or similar, and could be used without the specific (see e.g. St A. Lib. 175). It may be the same word as is found in the specific of *Pitnaurcha DFL, although this is unlikely. It may also occur in two places called Urchany, one in Kilmorack parish INV, the other in Nairn parish NAI. I do not know what it means. Could it contain G c?n ‘rent, due’, a word mentioned in the very earliest reference to the church of Auchterderran?

Alternatively we might look to the word Urchind, used in a twelfth-century Irish manuscript of the land or territory of the Cruithne (referring either to the people of that name in northern Ireland who subsequently became known as the Dál nAraide, or to the Picts) (Hogan 1910, 680). Though this still does not tell us the meaning of the word, it at least indicates that it has territorial significance.

Yet another possibility is that the generic was originally airchinn. This word is used in Gaelic law-texts to refer to the narrow sides of a rectangular field or piece of cultivated land and has a specified legal measurement of ‘three forrachs and the spear-cast of a youth.’ (Kelly 1997, 372).

However, during the thirteenth century the original Urchan- etc. became assimilated either to G uachdar ‘upland’, or to Auchter-, the Sc name-element deriving from uachdar (see e.g. St A. Lib. 33 and Dunf. Reg. no. 313). The assimilation would have been helped by the fact that the element uachdar/Auchter- occurs frequently in Fife place-names, thrice in parish-names alone (Auchtertool, Auchtermuchty and Auchtermoonzie, now Moonzie), the first of which abuts Auchterderran on the south-west.

The earliest forms of the specific element strongly suggest an underlying G deòradh ‘dewar’. The original OIr word (deorad) meant ‘foreigner, stranger’, but in time it acquired the meaning of a person charged with the safe-keeping of a saintly relic, and with the various religious, legal and even military duties which went with this charge (see the more detailed discussion of this term under Pitbauchlie DFL and KGL Introduction). Various early forms of this word are dereth’ (1304 × 1313 Dunf. Reg. no. 339) and (Latinised) deret<us> (1189 × 1195 RRS ii no. 358). Also, *Nevethyendereth SSL, which probably contains this same element, shares some remarkably similar early forms.[51]

/ˌɔxtərˈdɛrən/ or /ˈɔxtər ˈdɛrən/

This place-name appeared in printed volume 1