The county or shire treated of in this volume has, like a few others, two distinct names, Angus and Forfar. Angus is much the older, although Forfar is now much the commoner. Angus is held by some to have been the name of a Scottish prince who was granted the district by his father, while others interpret it as meaning a particular kind of hill. The designation Forfarshire is taken from the name of the county town.
Geographically Angus and the adjoining county of Mearns or Kincardine belong to one district, and it is thought that they formed originally one independent province, which, however, became part of the wider region of Pictavia. They appear at one time to have been ruled by a single maormor, but if so they must have been separated at an early date.