Posted 31 July 2018
I’ll admit it – I had to look ‘Hielan’ up. And then I felt a little bit stupid. ‘High or elevated land, applied in Scot., specif. in pl. with the, to the mountainous district of Scotland lying north and west of a line drawn approximately from Dumbarton to Ballater and thence to Nairn’. It seems fairly obvious in hindsight, that of course this is simply a descriptive historical word for a particular part of the Highlands – but then again, in my travels I also found: heeland, hilan, heelon, hielin and highlan. The etymology of language is rarely straight-forward.