(m) Gaelic Gille Criosd. One of the most
popular names of the 1970’S in every English-speaking
country, though Scottish parents have perhaps been less
enthusiastic about the name than their counterparts elsewhere.
Nevertheless, it was already 40th most frequently used name in
Scotland in 1958, and it has become more popular since. The name
means ‘one who carries Christ,’ i.e., in his heart,
but it was interpreted literally in earlier times and led to the
story of St Christopher carrying the Christ child across the river.
A Scottish version of Christopher in former times was
Chrystal or Cristal—as Cristal Nixon in Scott’s Red-
gauntlet (1824)—which gave rise to surnames such as
Christal, Crvstal, Maccristal. The diminutive was Christie
or Christy, often pronounced Crystie. Kit was another
diminutive: St Kitts in the West Indies was so named
because Columbus wished to honour his patron saint.
To Scottish Christian Names