The name itself gives rise to minor controversy, with two alternative spellings in common use. According to one source its name was derived from 'Inschalt'. However the name ‘Dunshalt' (sometimes spelled ‘Dunshelt') is, according to legend, a corruption of the term ‘Dane's Hold' after a who were defeated at Falkland Moor.
Some also believe the name comes from the Gaelic, "dun" meaning a fortification, with the earthworks of a still visible.
Settlements in the Howe of Fife are well documented from the 17th century and before, with Auchtermuchty and Falkland featuring on the . Also on these maps are many names familiar to today's population - Myres, Ready, Kilwhiss, Raecruik, Woodmill, Lathrisk and Shiells to name but a few.
The first mention of what is now Dunshalt is in a 1775 and subsequent 1805 maps as Dunshill. By 1828 it had become Dunshelt, appearing on all subsequent Ordnance Survey one inch maps until 1989 as Dunshelt. So only for the last 30 years has it been Dunshalt!