One of the more endearing things about Britain is the tradition of naming houses. Some names are self-explanatory: “The Old Rectory” or “Sea View”. Some are meant to be funny, for example “Dunroamin”. “Mo dhachaidh” – My home – is a popular one (albeit grammatically incorrect, since “dhachaidh” in Gaelic is only used to mean “homewards” and not actually “home”). Houses near the sea may be called “Ceòl na mara,” the music of the sea. Some houses have made-up monikers that combine the family’s first names: things like “Craigann” or “ElMarCa”.
Houses are often given the names of beloved places, often Scottish (“Ben Edra” or “Glen Lyon”) but sometimes places further afield. When we first arrived in Aberdeen in 1992, I was startled and pleased to be greeted by this house. Can you see the name over the door?
I’m sure there’s a reason why someone named this house after my home state, and it cheers me to think that someone loved Oregon so much they named a house after it. There are other far-flung namesakes around. On the Isle of Jura, of all places, one of the cottages is named “Frisco”. Perhaps a sailor came home to the inner Hebrides, having had a great time in San Francisco. And not far from where we live is a house called “Mount Isa,” presumably named after the town in Australia.
I’d love to hear of house names that you like, and the stories behind them.