Gàidhlig / English


Posted by Calum on 23th May, 2024
The blog topic is quite different this week but it comes from many transactions of the Gaelic Society of Inverness: Stuc. This word has been used and said throughout Scotland with different meanings a wee bit different in each region and we’ll look over them in this blog.

In the Carmena Gadelica the word “Stucanach” is recorded, with the meaning “stiff-necked” and this is very similar with the word “Stùc”, “applied when one’s head inclines to the one side; sometimes to a wry-neck”. This is written in “Rare Gaelic Words TGSI XXIX, p. 45”. There is another version of the sorts in “The Gaelic Dialect of Arran,” (TGSI XXI p. 264) with “Stuaic”, meaning “a wry neck”.
There are two words similar to this where the translation is different but the meaning or connection is there if one is looking for it.

Travelling northwards the word “Stùcan” is recorded in Bernara, Lewis, in “Rare words and Phrases” (TGSI XXXVII. P. 6) meaning “a short chunk of wood of irregular shape, a stump”. On the eastern side of Scotland (as it were) the word “Stac” is recorded in Perthshire meaning “thick, set little man”, in transaction “The Peculiarities of Gaelic As Spoken In The Writer’s District” (with Rev. C. M. Robertson). We could say there is a connection between them and the other words we have, especially from the root “deformed” or “awkwardly shaped” shared with them.

On the other side of the mountains in Badenoch “Goic” is recorded with R. Barron in the Transaction on “Some Unrecorded Words And Meanings In The Gaelic Of Badenoch” (1950) meaning “wry neck”, with “goicach” meaning “wry-necked”. It is the same word we have in “Fieldwork”, the word “geoic” is from Barra, meaning “a wry neck”. Onwards northernly in Ness, Lewis, we have “goic”.

Goradaireachd” is recorded in Arnol, Lewis, where one could say “Dé a’ ghoradaireachd a th’ort?” when one extends their neck to see something or inspect, even when one is a wee bit nosy or fond of gossip... The word isn’t connected with what we have already but it was interesting enough for the topic here!

Lookin within the Irish language, in the book “Cora Cainte as Tír Chonail”, by Seán Mac Maoláin, the phrase “Cho balbh le smután maide” [As mute/dumb as a stick-post] is recorded. In Irish Gaelic “smuatán” meaning “stump, chunk of wood” in english, the same thing as “Stuacán” meaning “stook, pile” or “Sulky, stubborn person”. Mac Eachainn records “a short beak, a short log”. They have the same meaning and trouble in Ireland with many words and many different meanings!

I know I didn’t touch upon every word we have in Gaelic but if there is another word you may be aware of why not let us know on  facebooktwitter and our website.
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