Animal Stories

Pub visitors want The Black Bitch to stay

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The Greene King pub chain has announced plans to rename a Scottish pub from The Black Bitch to The Black Hound in keeping with contemporary sensitivities. However, locals are not keen on the proposed name change.

The original name of the Linlithgow historic pub is related to the legend of a female greyhound (bitch) that was nightly delivering food to her owner, who had been left chained and starving on an island. The dog’s loyalty was immortalised later by a statue as well as by the pub’s name, which is now being perceived by some people as offensive.

‘We know that name was not originally racist or offensive. But we have to appreciate that language has changed and evolved,’ the Green King’s operations manager for Scotland, Paul Wishart, told the BBC, explaining the decision to change the name.

He underlined that the company spoke to many people, both with knowledge of the local legend and without, and many felt the name ‘carried racist and offensive connotations.’

To put it into context, you wouldn’t call a new business today The Black Bitch,’ Wishart said, adding that this name is also unacceptable for use on social media, and even prompted Facebook last year to close the pub’s page.

However, many locals are not persuaded by these arguments. A petition calling to save the historic name has already got many thousands of signatures.

Petition to stop the name of The Black Bitch Pub Linlithgow being changed as it is seemingly offensive! This is part of the Linlithgow History and one of the oldest pubs in Scotland! Bitch is a reference to the black greyhound dog which is part of our local history!reads the petition published on


Any change of the pub’s sign must go through the planning process, with the image on the sign and coat of arms to remain unchanged.

There isn’t always a need to change a pub’s name to get the desired result. In Bebington situated on the Wirral Peninsula 340 miles south of The Black Bitch is located a pub called The Brown Cow.  Informally, the popular public house is named The Shirley Bassey, a coloured singer from Wales. Go to LEAVE A REPLY and let us know what you think.

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