Pickletillum # KDT DSX S NT286925 2

Pichltillhim 1654 Blaeu (Pont) West Fife
Pickletillum 1924 Campbell 1924, 157 [‘Pickletillum in Pathhead’]

Blaeu (Pont) shows Pichltillhim as a comparatively large settlement, very much where Pathhead would be expected to be (roughly north-west of Ravenscraig (Reumsheuch)), and it is just possible that when Pont drew his maps in the 1590s *Pickletillum was some kind of by-name for Pathhead. The name occurs also in the following jingle ‘Pickletillum in Pathhead, Ilka bailie burns anither,’ recorded by Campbell, who gives the following explanation: when nail-making was the staple trade of Pathhead, the bailies were generally chosen from the branch of industry, and in selling their nails to one another they gave a “pickle-till-them” [i.e. ‘a little extra’, literally ‘a little to them’], sometimes burning their hands in the operation’ (1924, 157).

The name in fact derives from a variant of Sc pichtel, cognate with English dialect pightel ‘small parcel of land’. Cowell’s (English) Law Dictionary (1708) gives it as picle alias pightell and pictellum, ‘a small parcel of land inclosed with a hedge, which the common people of England do in some places call a pingle’, quoted by Alexander, who states that Picktillum (sic) is a relatively frequent farm name in north-eastern Scotland (1952, 100–1). The form with –um (sometimes weakened later to –em) derives from a Latinised form of this word.

The name occurs also in north-east Fife (Pickletillem LEU PNF 4), where a similar piece of place-name lore involving nailors and quantities of nails is recorded in the OS Name Books. However, since nail-making was so closely associated with Pathhead, it is much more likely that the nailor story originated here rather than in Pickletillem LEU.

/ˈpɪkəl ˈtɪləm/ or /ˌpɪkəlˈtɪləm/, by analogy with Pickletillem LEU (PNF 4).

This place-name appeared in printed volume 1