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Far-ainmean Bhailtean Ionadail (Pàirt 4): Àird MhicShimidh

Far-ainmean Bhailtean Ionadail (Pàirt 4): Àird MhicShimidh

Posted by Calum on 17th March, 2022
We are back this year with another blog about other local nicknames. We will have a look at “Lovat’s Aird” in Inverness-shire, in the heart of the Highlands! We will have a look at each nickname and bad nickname that can be found in the works of Hugh Barron, “Some Gaelic Verse from the Aird”, “Notes on the Aird”, “Verse Story and Fragments from Various Districts” and “Verse, Fragments, Etc., From Various Districts”, especially the ones that have a connection to the “Brae of the Aird” or “The Carse” as they say.
We have proverbs about the Aird itself too:
  1. “MacShimidh Mhòr na Mormhaiche” [“Great Lovat of the Carse”].
  2. “Is mòr stà na h-àirde do MacShimidh” – [“Great is the profit of the Aird of Lovat”] The region is very fertile.
  3. “Buntata pronn is bainne leo’ – biadh bodaich na h-àird” [“Mashed tatties and mil with it – food of the old men of the Aird”].
  4. “An dà rud a gheobh na caoraich Urchadain – a’ ghaoth is a’ chuip” – [“The two things the sheep of Urquhart get – the wind and the whip”] There is the opinion that the people of Glenurqhart were, are(?) quite mean or ha beachd ann gun robh, no gu bheil(?), muinntir Ghleann Urchadain car mosach no harsh with their livestock.
  5. “Muinntir Urchadan le cead na cuideachd” [“People of Uquhart with the leave of their party”] – Said if they were to meet with other people outwith the Glen, a “rare occurence”!
  6. “Cràbhadh a’ ghlinne – malairt nam muc” [“Religion of the glen – the sale of pigs”].
  7. “Na gabh bean à Gleann Urchadain no mart à Oriathaichean” [“Don’t take a wife from Glen Urqhart or a cow from Abriachan”].
  8. “Muinntir sgìre Mhoire ’s an droll ri dorus” [“The people of the Carse of the Aird and a bar on the door”].
  1. The Frasers: We have many nicknames about Clan Fraser: There is “Frisealaich a’ mhine” [“Frasers of the Meal”] and “Frisealaich a’ pheic mine” [“The Frasers of the meal sack”] as well. I know that it is very common for people and clans to give out nicknames to each other regarding what they eat often. We have this verse as well, after people returned from Strathspey, land of the Grants: “Thèid sinn dhachaidh tiugainn dhachaidh, Thèid sinn dhachaidh Suas an Aird; Fàgaidh sinn Granndaich na lite, Is sinne Frisealaich a’ chàil.” [“We will go home, let;s go home, We will go home up to the Aird; We will leave the Grants of porridge, We are Frasers of kale.”]
  2. Farquharson – Poc Buidseachd ic Fhearchair [“Witch’s bag of Clan Farquharson”].
  3. Callum – “Ceann tairbh Chalumaich” – They were family of Callum, of the “MacGilleChaluim” family, that settled in the area.
Àird MhicShimidh
  1. Obar Itheachain:  “Bodaich bheag’ a’ bhail’ ud thall, Bodaich bheag’ Obriathaichean; Nuair a dh’òlas iad an liunn ’S mòr a bhios de bhruidhinn ann.” [“Little old men of the town of yonder, Little old men of Abriachan; When they drink their ale Great is the the talk that will be there.”]
  2. Allt Speic (Dalnamine, Belladrum) –“Old men of Allt Speic”.
  3. Milifiach: “Fithich dubha Milifiach – “Black crows of Milifiach”.
  4. Knockbain: “Piatan Cnoc bhàn – “Pets of Knockbain”.
  5. Clune: “Faoileagan a’ Chluain – “The seagulls of Clune”.
  6. Achvaich: “Tuath Achd a’ Bhàthaiche – “The peasantry of Achvaich”.
  7. Balintore: “Ruadh cearcan Bail’ an tòdhair – “The red chickens of Balintore”.
  8. Convinth: “Cabar fad’ a’ Chonmhaich” – “The longs cabers of Convinth”.
  9. Ardendrain: “Conmhair Aird an Dreathainn” – “[...] of Ardendrain”.
  10. Balconish, Taenuilt: “Gearran beaga Baile a’chonais” – “The little geldings of Balconish”.
  11. Inchberry: “Is donas innis a’ bhàiridh” – “The badness of Inchberry”.
  12. Srath Glas: “Srath-ghlais a’ chruidh chinn fhonn, Cha robh mi ‘nam aineol, Is ro-mhath b’ eòl dhomh Gleann Canach an fheòir.” [“Strathglass of the white-faces cattle, I was not lost, And very well did I know Glen Cannich of the grass”.]
  13. Culburnie: “Pioghaidean a’ Bhlàir” – “Magpies of Culburnie”.
  14. Teanacoil: Is làraichean Tigh na Coill’ – “The sites of Teanacoil”.
  15. Bruiach: Crodh seasg Bruitheach – “The barren Cattle of Bruiach”.
  16. Achnacloich, Ardendrain: Crodh laoigh Ach’ na Cloich – “The Calves of Achnacloiche”.
  17. Lòn ’ic Shim: Croitearan Lòn ’ic Shim – “The Crofters of Loch ’ic Shim”.
  18. Camuilt: Is tuath grinn Choire Chamuilt – “The pleasant peasantry of Camuilt”.
  19. Clune: “Faoileagan na Cluanach – “The Seagulls of Cluny”.
  20. Balmacaan: “Guanagan Baile MacCathan” – “The Scatterbrains of Balmacaan”.
  21. Strone: Fithich dubha na sròine – “Black Crows of Strome”.
  22. The Braes of Glen Urquhart – “The Tadpoles of the Braes”.
  23. The Srath and its people – “The blabbering of the Strath”.
Sgìrean eile
  1. “Seangan Mhallaig” – “The Ants of Mallaig”.
  2. “Màgan Mhòrar” – “The Frogs of Morar”.
  3. “Crodh bhreac Bracara” – “The Speckled Cattle of Bracara”.
  4. “Na Gròigeanan Tulach an Ear” – “The Toads of East Tulloch”.
Here is what we have of nicknames (good or bad) about the people of the Aird and the rest, do you recognise any of them above? Do you have another name for some of them? Let us know on facebooktwitter and our own website!
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