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Thursday, 25 February 2010

Why is Scotland called Scotland?

You may have asked yourself various questions about the Scots and Scottish culture before - such as what is a haggis? Why do Scotsmen wear kilts? And what's with all the bagpipe music? - but have you ever asked yourself why Scotland is called Scotland in the first place?

Well, if you have (or, at least, if you're wondering now) then my Scottish Miscellany is for you, since it answers this question (and the others mentioned above) in detail.

As far as I'm concerned, one of the most engaging legends surrounding the origin of the name of the country and its people concerns this rather striking young lady.

This is Scota, legendary mother of the Scottish people, as realised by artist Clint Langley* in the 2000AD comic strip Slaine.

According to the ancient Irish chronicles (yes, you read that right - Irish!) Princess Scota was the daughter of an Egyptian pharaoh and was killed fighting the Formorian sea-devils during her husband's invasion of Ireland. She was buried in Slieve Mish, Kerry, in a place that is still known today as Scota's Glenn.

But as to why she ended up giving her name to another country entirely, you'll just have to wait until the Fall to find out, when Scottish Miscellany is published...

* Who just happened to paint the cover for my first ever novel, The Dead and the Damned.

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