[ScG doire, forest; cf. deur, tear]. Monastery and village in north Aberdeenshire that has figured prominently in Scottish history. Although thought to have been founded in the 6th century by Colum Cille [St Columba] and his Scottish disciple Drostán, the site was occupied by the Cistercians in 1218–19. The Latin Book of Deer, c. 9th century, contains some added Gaelic entries, c.1130–c.1150, and so precedes that first great collection of Gaelic writing, the Book of the Dean of Lismore, by four centuries. Popular tradition asserts that Deer was named for the tear [deur] Colum Cille shed as he departed the site.
See Kenneth H. Jackson, The Gaelic Notes in the Book of Deer (Cambridge, 1972).