The bay is named for the ship, the Glasgow Castle that sheltered at anchor in the cove during a severe storm.1
The Māori iwi (tribe), Te Ātiawa o Te Waka-a-Māui, knew the cove as Little Island Bay. It was named for the two small islands in the bay, Glasgow Island and Boy Island.2
Glasgow Island is a colony for mutton birds or shearwaters. These birds, known as tītī in Māori, were an important source of food for Te Ātiawa o Te Waka-a-Māui and were harvested annually in Autumn.3
1. James R. Eyles, Place Names of Port Underwood - a post European History, (Picton: October Enterprises, 2002) 57.
2. Te Ātiawa Trust, “Glasgow Island / Oyster Bay, Marlborough, NZ”, accessed May 30, 2019, https://vimeo.com/teatiawa .
3. Marlborough District Council, Nelson City Council and Tasman District Council, “Te Tau Ihu Statutory Acknowledgements 2014”, accessed April 2, 2019, http://www.nelson.govt.nz/assets/Environment/Downloads/TeTauIhu-StatutoryAcknowledgements.pdf .