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West Kilpatrick

Information on the name 'Old Kilpatrick'.


Whitecrook is the south-eastern part of the town and former burgh of Clydebank. The origin of its name is not easy to pin down precisely. 'Whitecrook' suggests - taking it at face value and most obvious - the meaning of a 'white (i.e. pale or wan), crooked (i.e. irregular, bent shaped) piece of land'. It is just possible that 'White' refers to an ancient occupier, but the fact that so many place-names and farm names begin with 'White' (also 'Green', etc.) suggests that colour is the reference.

The really problematic bit is 'crook'. Dictionaries of Scots turn up a bewildering number of possibilities. 'Crooks'/'crook' can mean 'the winding of a river/burn', or can refer to the land between such winding (e.g. Crook of Devon, Caldercruix); but 'crook' was also an old Scots word for a bowl or earthernware container; 'cruke' has been used in Scots for a circle, and 'croce' (maybe pronounced 'cross') for a cross! 'Crook' seems occasionally, in Scottish place names, to be an Anglicisation of the Gaelic 'cruach' meaning 'rocky summit'. As against this last interpretation, it makes 'Whitecrook' an uncommon hybrid word (half English/Scots and half Gaelic in this case), and anyway, where is the rocky white summit?!

Perhaps the least obscure origin is, in this case, the most likely - i.e. 'pale/wan/white-looking and crooked-shaped piece of land'.

Whitecrook Street, takes its name from its location, but is, if our above preferred definition is correct, offendingly straight.