English Place-name Society

Survey of English Place-Names

A county-by-county guide to the linguistic origins of England’s place-names – a project of the English Place-Name Society, founded 1923.

Gilshaughlin Ho & Gill

Early-attested site in the Parish of Cliburn

Historical Forms

  • Shawglynge (sic) 1523 SheriffAcct9d
  • Guillshafling 1611 PR(CR)
  • Gillshaflinge 1626 PR
  • Gil(l)shaf(f)lin 1702,1740 PR 1704 Terr
  • Gylsaufhling 1675 PR
  • Gilsaughling 1680,1683,1686 PR
  • Gilshaughlin 1777 M 1777 NB


This appears to be an inversion compound of ON  gil 'ravine' (the deep valley of Gilshaughlin Gill) and probably a pers.n. Collingwood (CW (OS) xv, 299) thought this would be an Ir name of the same form as the saint's name in Ir  Dunshaughlin (Domnach Sechnaill in Hogan 354), but Ekwall (ScandsCelts 38) can find no parallel to the OIr palatalised s - appearing in early English as sh -, though it does so later. We may, however, have as the second el. a ME or e.ModE  byname Shauchling or Shaffling 'infirm in gait', related to the Scots  dial. shauchle and NCy dial. shaffle , both meaning 'to walk with a shuffle, to stumble' (cf. NED), Scots , Nb dial. shackling 'mean, paltry, a puny weakling', and NCy dial. shaffling 'a bungler, idler, an insignificant creature' (EDD s.v.), all thought to be connected with ME  schaylande 'shuffling'. The spellings with -f - are due to an e.ModE  change of -gh - to -f - (cf. Phonol. §19).