The name "Dundee" is made up of two parts: the common Celtic place-name element dun, meaning fort; and a second part that may derive from a Celtic element, cognate with the Gaelic dè, meaning 'fire'.
Dundee, and Scotland more generally, saw rapid population increase at end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th century, with the city's population increasing from 12,400 in 1751 to 30,500 in 1821. The phasing out of the linen export bounty between 1825 and 1832 stimulated demand for cheaper textiles, particularly for cheaper, tough fabrics.The discovery that the dry fibres of jute could be lubricated with whale oil (of which Dundee had a surfeit, following the opening of its gasworks) to allow it to be processed in mechanised mills resulted in the Dundee mills rapidly converting from linen to jute, which sold at a quarter of the price of flax. Interruption of Prussian flax imports during the Crimean War and of cotton during the American Civil War resulted in a period of inflated prosperity for Dundee and the jute industry dominated Dundee throughout the latter half of the 19th century. Unprecedented immigration, notably of Irish workers, led to accelerated urban expansion, and at the height of the industry's success, Dundee supported 62 jute mills, employing some 50,000 workers. Cox Brothers, who owned the massive Camperdown Works in Lochee, were one of the largest jute manufacturers in Europe and employed more than 5,000 workers. The rise of the textile industries brought with it an expansion of supporting industries, notably of the whaling, maritime and shipbuilding industries, and extensive development of the waterfront area started in 1815 to cope with increased demand for port capacity. At its height, 200 ships per year were built there.