Ainmean-Àite na h-Alba – Gaelic Place-Names of Scotland – Database

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English name Portlethen
Gaelic name Port Leathain
Meaning port of the slope
Location Aberdeenshire
Local authority Aberdeenshire ~ Siorrachd Obar Dheathain
Parish post 1891
County post 1891 Aberdeenshire ~ Siorrachd Obar Dheathain
Topographical feature type Settlement ~ Tuineachadh
Post town ABERDEEN
Postcode area AB12
OS sheet number 406
OS grid reference NO922966
Type of name Place ~ Àite
Element meaning G port ~ harbour’ + G leathan ~ slope  
Element type
Language notes G nom. sg. port, masc. ‘harbour’ + gen. sg. fem. def. art. na + gen. pl. of G leathan, ‘slope (leading to a port)’  
Sources
terras de Proclaithin 1527 RMS iii, 559
Portlethin 1529 RMS iii, 878
terrarum de Portlathin 1557 RMS iv, 1148
baroniam de Portlethin 1608 RMS vi, 2122
Portlathin 1608 Records of the Sherriff court of Aberdeenshire ii, 136
Portlethin 1610 Records of the Sherriff court of Aberdeenshire ii, 154
baroniam de Portlethin 1625 RMS viii, 707
baroniam de Portlethin 1637 RMS ix, 725
Port-Lethin 1654 Blaeu Map Aberdeen/Banff
barony of, harbour of Porthlethin 1659 RMS x, 680
barony of Porthlethen 1667 RMS xi, 1042
Port Lethon 1747-55 Roy
Portlethon, Portlethon Shore 1820 Thomson [also Port moss, and Seat Town of
Porlethon]

 

Additional info Leathan Grange is in Portlethen, along with some building names with Leathan.
Leathan here is in the sense of a slope leading down to the port.