Mòine / Peat-Working

Murdo MacLeod ( Murchadh MacLeòid )
Cinntire, An Ceann a Deas [Kintyre, Southend by Campbeltown]
  • [NOTES: the informant uses ‘mòr’ / ‘beag’ or ‘mhòr’ / ‘bheag’ to show the gender of the noun. They have been replaced with ‘masc.’ and ‘fem.’ respectively.]
1. Ag ullachadh na talmhainn airson mòine a bhuain
poll mònadhpeat bank.
’rùsgadhcutting the top layer of turf.
rodaigeadhcutting a straight line with a spade, marking the breadth of turf to be taken off.
fèannadhcutting underneath the turf.
ceap ()[masc.] a piece of turf usually three spades’ breadth wide by one across by one in depth.
a’ càradh nan ceaplaying the turf neatly grassy side up inside the peat bank. This arrangement actually improves the growth of grass.
2. A’ buain na mònach; na h-innealan a chleachdar; ainmean nam fàdan, etc.
teireisgeir ()[masc.] peat iron. Has three main parts: ‘iarunn’ i.e. the blade; ‘cas’ i.e. handle and ‘smeachan’ i.e. foot-rest, for the right foot (a chas dheas) to press the implement down.
an carcairethe part of the peat bank with the turf removed, i.e. the part to be cut.
am barrad (am barr fhad)the top peat, i.e. the first layer to be cut.
an corrodthe very fist peat cut. As it comes out of the face of the ‘carcaire’ [q.v.] the outside has been exposed to the elements since the last cutting the previous year. Consequently it is not so good and sometimes discarded (Tha e chòrr.)
an caoranthe last layer of peat; or the bottom layer, usually of less depth than the ones above it; generally hard and black. ‘Iarraidh an caoran-dubh a gharadh mu’n gar e fhein càch.’
mòine dhubhalways hard, good quality.
moine bhanusually soft, light and not so good. (The word used in Kintyre to describe this kind of peat is ‘phozy’.)
moine dhonngood quality, not brittle.
moine chòsach bhànlight and ‘phozy’, not good.
moine phlòiteanachlight and ‘phozy’, not good.
plòiteanfibry, brown material in peat. Pockets of it are sometimes found in quite hard peat. It used to be smoked in home-made pipes by boys. The pipes were either made of potato hollowed out with a stem of ‘cuiseag’ (docken plant) or of a section from a cabbage stem (the tough part above the ground was best) with the ‘cuiseag’ stem: piob phuntàt and piob chàil.
3. A’ tiormachadh na mònach
rùdhadhsetting the peats up on end in groups of five or six, with one peat flat over the top of the others, like a ‘crom-lech’ to ward off the rain, a kind of cap. Each group is a ‘rùdhan’. This is called ‘fittin’’ the peats in Kintyre. A lady from Shetland visiting recently used this term fittin’ – probably from ‘footing’.
cruachadhfairly big heaps of peat after drying off in the ‘rùdhan’.
cruach mhor[See cruachadh]
cruach stéidhidha very big heap of peats with the outside layer carefully built, one peat overlapping another like slates of a house, to ward off the rain. When a year’s supply is carted home, it is finished off in this manner, although some people favour the ‘side on’ method of ‘stéidheadh’, e.g.
tughadhcovering the stacks with turf for the winter. The turf is the ‘cip’ (ceap, Sing.; cip, Plural) cut off the ‘carcaire’ [q.v.] and fairly dry; used grass-side in, i.e. next the peats. Tha a’ mhòine a’ tiormachadh anns a’ chruaich. Cha bhithear a tuthadh [sic] nan cruach gu bith mhoine an ìre mhath tioram. Tha i n uairsin ‘fo laidh’ [q.v.] airson a Gheamhraidh.
fo laidhsafe under cover. This may be a Lewis expression. It rhymes with ‘tigh’ as pronounced in Lewis. The ‘l’ is single as in ‘loch’. I’m not at all sure of the spelling.
4. A’ cruachadh na mònach
5. A’ toirt na mònach dhachaigh; an cliabh, etc.
sprid (spridean)[fem.], [pl.] the end of the ‘iris’ [q.v.] fitted over the ‘sprid’. This kept the ‘iris’ from pulling out.
bachalaibh (pronounced bachaloo)a small creel.
dronnaga coarse skirt which was rolled up round the waist and arranged as a cushion below the creel. This ‘cushion’ was the ‘dronnag’. The skirt was ‘còta-dronnaig’.
cuaran ()[masc.] stockings with thick soles of cloth, or perhaps socks folded up, sewn on. Worn by the women.
osan ()[masc.] stocking with the sole cut off, leaving the top of the foot on. This top part was kept in place by means of a loop of woollen thread (many threads twisted together) which fitted over the two middle toes.
cabarwhen a new creel was being made, the stakes (of willow) were called ‘cabair’. Cabair a’ chleibh.
caol-fighewillow for weaving the sides of a creel or basket.
caol-dubh[willow] found growing wild. Sometimes used [for weaving the sides of a creel or basket] when there was no other.
ceap or ceap cleibha square frame with holes to hold the ‘cabair’ [q.v.] when making a creel.
ceap-iarainncobbler’s last.
ceap starraa cross piece of wood at the door as one came in. It was underfoot.
ceap-mullaichtopmost turf. To go one better than anyone else. Chuir thu ceap mullaich orra.
[note](Sorry for the digression and not keeping to the strict headings of the faclan.)
6. Seòrsachan mònach
7. Faclan eile

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