Munro Pronunciation

Full length shot of Adventurer Nic looking across to the pinnacles of An Teallach in North West Scotland
Adventurer Nic looking across to the pinnacles of An Teallach in North West Scotland

Munro Pronunciation Troubles

Munro pronunciation troubles were rife during my Munro round in 2019. As an English woman with a fairly strong Yorkshire accent, wrapping my tongue around the pronunciation of Braigh Coire Chruinn-bhalgain, Meall Ghaordaidh, Maoile Lunndaidh, Sgurr nan Ceathreamhnan and countless others was so much harder than the actual hiking!

Screenshot of Komoot mapping app featuring 'hard to pronounce' Munro 'Braigh Coire Chruinn-bhalgain'
Screenshot of Komoot mapping app featuring ‘hard to pronounce’ Munro ‘Braigh Coire Chruinn-bhalgain’

The First Nickname

It was on Munro number 4 that my partner James and I started nicknaming the Munros. Our first Munro, Ben More on the Isle of Mull, was easy to pronounce. But we soon started to run into problems with our pronunciation. The Munro that started it off was Beinn a’Chochuill and James started calling it Ben Choc Ice all of a sudden. We laughed at first but in all seriousness, our lack of knowledge of how to pronounce it’s name in Scottish Gaelic was hampering and we were very embarrassed. With the walk complete, we looked up the actual pronunciation of the mountain in Scottish Gaelic and uncovered it sounds more like ‘Bayn a Hockhyll’ – and literally translates to the ‘hill of the shell’. We never would have guessed that from the spelling!

A Full Set

As we were educating ourselves on the proper pronunciation of the Munros, with a little help from some Gaelic speaking friends, we still found ourselves nicknaming the Munros for a bit of fun. For the reason that it would pass the time on each ascent and added some entertainment into long (and often wet) days of hill walking.

Favourites

Some of my favourite nicknames from our Munro round were –

  • Beinn Heasgarnich – Ben Hates Garlic
  • Carn An Fhidhleir – Kiddy Fiddler
  • Glas Tulaichean – Glass of Tuna Brains
  • Carn A’ Choire Bhaidheach – Can’t Acquire Body Heat
  • Beinn Mhanach – Ben Maniac
  • Meall Nan Tarmachan – My Nan’s Tamagotchi
  • Schiehallion – She’s An Alien
  • Ben Macdui – Ben Might Do A Wee
  • A’Chralaig – Achey Leg

You can find the full list of nicknames in the pinned highlights on my Instagram feed here. Most noteworthy, they’re split into 7 parts and are named Munros Pt1 – 7.

Munro Bagging

Head over to my Munro Routes page if you’re interested in more information about Munro Bagging. There, you can view the list of Munro mountains. Furthermore, you can ask me a specific question on Munro Bagging by email.

Let me know your favourite Munro nickname in the comments below.

About the Author

Photo of Adventurer Nic on a Loch in the Scottish Highlands

Adventurer Nic is a Munroist and ‘compleated’ the list over a six month period in 2019. She stood atop each of the 282 Munro summits with her peak bagging partner in adventure – James Forrest. Let her know what you thought of this post by dropping her a comment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.