Lexie Conyngham's Blog: writing, history and gardening.

Friday, 27 September 2013

Scots words in An Abandoned Woman

This book actually started off being called 'An Unkenspeckle Woman', meaning an inconspicuous woman, but it was pointed out to me that not understanding the title was unlikely to be a selling point! Again, we have some repetition from the other books here, and some words that will be in use today or obsolete, and some words that will not be exclusively Scots.

Ain: own
Ashet: serving dish
Bejant: first year student at St. Andrew’s University (from the French, bec jaune, or yellow beak, meaning a young bird)
Carline: old woman, witch
Claik: gossip (though Buchan claik simply means Buchan speech, Buchan dialect)
Compear: to appear in any court, as accused or as witness
Corbie: crow
Couped by the heels: knocked flat
Couthless: unsophisticated
Cuddy: donkey
Doocot: dovecot
Faisible: respectable, decent
Fou’: drunk
Gallant: flirt
General Assembly: the annual meeting of representatives of the Established Church in Edinburgh, where the Moderator is elected.
Gey: very
Gowf: golf
Green garten: giving a sister the green garten = a younger sister marrying before an elder one, an embarrassing situation for the elder sister.
Grushie: healthy
Heich-headit: haughty
Heritors: body of laity, usually landowners, who see to the buildings of a parish, the church, manse and schoolhouse, and appoint the schoolmaster.
Hirple: limp
Hizzie: hussy
Ill-gashioned: mischievous or ill-disposed (a Fife expression)
Jook: duck, dodge
Ken: know
Kenspeckle: well-known, conspicuous
Kirk Session: body of laity, known as elders, who with the minister run a particular church. The Session Clerk is their head. Not unlike a vestry in an Anglican church.
Kist: chest
Lammie: lamb
Lepping-on stane: mounting block
Lug: ear
Manse: oh, everyone will know this one! It’s the minister’s house, the vicarage equivalent. It’s also the name of the house where a particular professor lived and taught at Aberdeen University, so ‘Humanity Manse’ is where Latin was taught, for example.
Mercat: market
Midden: dung heap, refuse heap
Muir: moor
Pavie: panic, chaos
Rammie: fight, particularly street fighting.
Roup: auction
Shilpit: lazy, useless, unpromising generally
Skirl: yell, scream
Steading: farm buildings usually round a yard.
Swithering: indecisive
Taigle: dally (basically entangle)
Taigle the cleek: hinder progress generally, tangle things up
Tatties: potatoes
Un-better-maist: ungentlemanly, unladylike
Uncanny: creepy, not quite right (also not careful, not clever)
Whin: gorse
Yeld: barren

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