Measgaichte / Miscellaneous

Murdo MacLeod
[late 50s]
Lewis, Uig
Kintyre, Campbeltown
[note]“I feel that I should explain first of all that though I am in Kintyre to earn my living, I am actually a native of Uig, Lewis, so that all these words and phrases – relevant and otherwise – which I have enclosed are ‘Uig-flavoured’.”
Boats, etc.
claigeann deiridh
fora-dhruiman additional plank to the keel, in depth.
toll an tùcbung-hole.
ùrlairfirst cross-pieces laid on the keel; the ribs were fixed to these.
rangaspiece of wood nailed to the ribs from stem to stern for extra strength. The seats rested on it.
ceann-a-chraidhbrackets of wood fixing the seats to the gunwale (beul an eathair).
tobhtaicheanseats. Tobhta thoisich. Tobhta dheiridh, etc.
tobhta-chrainnseat near the bow specially strengthened for the mast. It was laid across the top of the gunwale and so was higher than the other seats.
cuairt thoisich, cuairt dheiridhcrescent shaped pieces of wood strengthening the gunwales where they came to the stem and stern parts.
fliuch-bhòrdthe first board or plank laid on the keel.
[bòrd]‘Tha bòrd mór innte.’ The boat did not steer true, i.e. lop-sided.
sòla toisich, deiridhsmall platform at stem or stern.
gèugairea very narrow cleft in a rock where a boat could be tied by slipping the rope down through this cleft and a knot tied in the rope at the back, where it came through – same idea as Paddy had when he tied a knot in his pig’s tail to stop it from going through a crack in the fence!
tiomchaillthe boards or planks of a boat, e.g. tiomchall àrd – the top plank or board, fixed to which is the gunwale.
bodhaigthe rounded part of the hull. ‘Tha bodhaig mhath aic.’ i.e. she is of generous proportions, sea-worthy.
beul, cuinnlean, claigeann, sliasaid, guallainn, druim, cliathachall parts of a boat.
liadh a’ raimhthe blade of the oar.
dòrn a’ raimhthe part gripped when rowing.
crot a’ raimhthe re-inforced part (at the fulcrum) which slips backwards and forwards between the tholepins.
bròn marathe sea hardly breaking on the skerries.
[instructions to rowers]Common instructions to rowers when there are two on the oars, one on each side: ‘Cum rithe, Iain.’ ‘Row harder, John.’ ‘Na cuir bhuat.’ ‘Not so hard.’ ‘Cum agad.’ ‘Put your oar in the water to make her go to your side.’
gu do dheireadhback-water.
cum fodhadip your oar to slow her.
[eathar]‘Tha e cur an eathair ort.’ ‘He is a stronger rower than you are.’
[ramh]‘Dh itheadh [sic] e ramh uinnsinn.’ i.e. ‘He would eat anything.’ This was quite a common saying in Uig.
[seòl]all parts of the boat were referred to in Gaelic but parts of the sail were known only in English, e.g. an tac – the tack of the sail; a’ sheet – the sheet of the sail; hailleard – the halyard.
slat-shiùilthe gaff of the sail.
ribheaganshort strings on a sail to shorten it.
[ceann]Cuir ceann a steach – shorten sail by tying one row of strings. Da cheann a steach, etc. Until finally the sail could not be shortened any further. When this happened the expression used was “Cha robh dad oirre ach an còrs [?]”.
a beiteadhtacking against the wind.
taca tack.
eathar gleusd’a boat that did not make lee-way when tacking.
[ruith]Dha ruith as a deidh – running before the wind.
gaille-pionainphosphorescence in the sea.
sionnachanphosphorescence in the sea.
teine sionnachainphosphorescence in the sea.
buill’-ogwhen a flat stone was thrown on the water, it bounced off two or three times, and sometimes skimmed along the surface. This we called ‘buillog’ [sic].
spoth-neimhwhen a stone was thrown straight up, it came down with great force, entering the water without a splash. The sharp report it made was called ‘spoth-’ or ‘sgoth-neimh’.
leogan-air-deigha stone skimming on ice. ‘Tha a theanga ’dol mar leogan air deigh!’
Old sayings, etc.
[corra-mhàg]‘A chorra-mhàg, a chorra-mhàg, Bheil e tràth diathad? Ma tha, mùin air mo bhois.’ The corra-mhàg was placed in the palm of the left hand, the right palm was closed loosely over it and the above rhyme repeated with the mouth close to a small aperture left between the top and bottom thumbs, breathing softly on the corra-mhàg at the same time. It was thought that the insect often responded but any moisture there was probably condensation from the breath!
luath is deargannanWhen a person frequented a house, perhaps rather often. ‘Tha e air luath is deargannan a dheanamh ann.’
mathair na Gaelic[?] a chatterbox (female).
[cur]A’ cur air a’ chloich – putting the stone. A’ cur air an dòrnaig – putting the stone. Tha a’ muir a’ cur orm. – I am sea-sick. A’ cur an eòrna – sowing barley. A’ cur an t-sneachd – snowing. A’ cur thairis – overflowing. A’ cur nan cleas dheth [dhith? – unclear] – gambolling. A’ cur bhuaidhe – relieving himself (call of nature). A’ cur a mach – vomiting.
a bhuinn bhànahis bare soles, e.g. Chuir an t-òl a bhuinn bhàna bhos a chinn. The drink ruined him.
làrach nam bonnCha téid e a larach nam bonn. – He will not move out of here.
[dearg]A dhearg lathair – at this very moment. A dhearg mheurlaich – you very thief. A dhearg rascail – you real rascal.
[mèirleach]A rag-mheurlaich – you petty thief.
sgratha divot. Also ‘sgrath chuileag air druim na ba’, ‘sgrath air druim an eathair de sgreaganaich [q.v.] (barnacles)’, sgrath am broinn piob, i.e. the carbonisation in the bowl of a pipe.
lon-chraoisa voracious appetite, e.g. “Uill a’ bhalaich tha ’n lon-chraois ’na do bhroinn.” The explanation I remember given was that there was a beast inside one that ate the person’s food. I was very young when told this by my mother!
[roundelay]We repeated the following roundelay: Thugainn a mach. C’àite mach? A thigh Ian Bhalla. De ’m balla? Balla mór. Dè mor? Mor am bidean. De ’m bidean? Bidean Uilleam. De an t-Uilleam? Uilleam Màn. De Màn? Màn a siorraidh. De an siorraidh? Siorraidh Leodhais. De Leodhas? Leodhas Uig? De an Uig? Uig dhromannan. De na dromannan? Dromannan chaorach. De na caoraich? Caoraich chloimheach. De a chloimh? Cloimh airson aodach. De an t-aodach? Tha aodach airson a chur mu do dhruim. Also: ‘Co sud thallud?’ ‘Mise, Starrag.’ ‘De th’agad ann a hen [sic]?’ ‘Bo mhaol, odhar, mharbh.’ ‘An toir thu rud dhomh fhin dhi?’ ‘Cha toir mi fhìn gu dearbh. Ca-ubh, ca-ubh, ca-ubh.’ And: ‘Dorra-mhèamh’ ars an cat. ‘De mheurlaich a th’ oirt?’ ‘Loisg mi mo spòg toirt na feoladh as a phrais.’
[cat]Chan ’eil a an còrr ann / ’S chaidh na cait a dhanns. / ’Se ’m fear a b’fhearr a bh’ann / Cat Dhomhnuill ’ic Dhubhagain.
a’ sgogadhe.g. Tha am biadh a sgogadh air. He can’t eat any more or he has stuffed himself. He is ‘stawed’. (Kintyre)
[copag]Seachd siùil chopaig dha! Good riddance to him! Seven sails of docken leaves to him!
Words which may be of interest
amallcross-piece between the chains for pulling plough.
astar-chas-an(pronounced asterchassan, the ‘an’ at the end is open like sgadan, herring) a path trampled down by feet, usually where this was not welcome. ‘Tha a chlann air astarchasan a dheanamh troimh ’n choirc.’
fiadhaichean‘Tha fiadhaichean ris a bhoin.’
glothansomething similar to above [i.e. fiadhaichean].
cusg(coosg) people in the village of Carishader call the artificial insemination man ‘Bodach na cusg’. I never heard the word until last summer.
deachanntether tying a horse’s forefeet together to keep it from wandering. Used by the tinkers.
longagsling made with leather and two pieces of string. Could throw stones a great distance, but not accurately.
lamhcharanwooden handle of a flail.
eathlagchopping block.
meathlagrough dried fibrous material found in sand-banks and used for scrubbing wooden surfaces. Very effective!
bainne nan gamhnach
bròg na cuthaig
sithean cachd-a-choindandelion.
sithean na muice mara
caora-bhleac an t-slèibhewild orchid. Children used to dig them out complete with roots (which they thought were like the udder of a sheep) and say: ‘Caora bhleac an t-slèibhe ag èibheach le h-uan ’s le h-odhaisg.’
clach spora hard quartz-like stone from which sparks were struck.
miodarwooden pail with no handle.
mias lodairenamelled basin.
truinnsear-staoindinner plate.
truinnsear-litsoup plate.
bonnach boisthick oatmeal bannock flattened between the palms of the hands and baked in front of the fire.
leac-arainflat stone for supporting the bread being baked.
marcach-sìnespindrift. ‘Tha a’ marcach-sìne ’dol dha’n adhar.’
peileastairstone throwing competition. Targets were set up, usually flat stones, the winner being the one who knocked down the most.
cabhadh làirsnow storm, i.e. hard-driven, dry snow.
cabhadh phloctwo sides throwing clods of earth at each other.
Phrases and Sayings
lamaiseagana man drinking a bowl of thick milk, putting it to his mouth. ‘Chuir e air a chlaigeann e agus thug e na lamaiseagan ud as.’
[òrd]‘Eadar clach is òrd.’ ‘Cha deach eadar clach is òrd nach robh mi marbh.’ ‘Òrd air bàrnaich.’ ‘Cha bhi òrd air bàrnaich agad air tuilleadh.’ ‘You will have no more say in it.’ or ‘You will have no more authority over it.’
[bùrraidhean]‘Bùrraidhean mora dh an [sic] deoch.’ Big bouts of drink.
[cruchaill]Cruchaill mhor duine. Big gaunt man.
fideacha-dìdigsmall men. ‘Dh’fhalbh na fir, ach thill na fideacha-dìdig.’ This was said by his wife to Aonghas Beag, Domhnull Càm’s son, when the recruiting officer refused him.
Lèathad Mo Lèispolite way of saying ‘mo mhàs’ or ‘tón’. An old lady who was brought up in Braenish, Uig, near the Black-Nuns’ House, often used this expression. Could it have any connection with Mo Leis, Irish saint, who may have visited Tigh nan Cailleachan Dubha. (It was the same lady who used the word ‘lamaiseagan’ [q.v.].)
Picking sides for shinty
“Buail am port.”
“Leigeam leat”… Iain, etc.until the sides were picked – turn about for choosing.
haoidhlidhgoal, hail.
Theirig ri bhusgo and tackle him.
Phrases and Sayings
[anam]M’anam i. – by my soul. This was looked on as being a very heinous expression.
ruideag a Chuain a Siarstorm petrel.
a’ maigheastear[sic] the urine in the tub. Tuba mhaighistir - tub for holding urine for dyeing tweed. It was used instead of ammonia.
ailmost(emphasis on most) bedlam. ‘Thainig an t-ailmost.’ The row started.
cabal(cab-al’) rowdy crowd.
[daga mhuirteir]Man daga ’mhuirteir, e.g. ‘Na dh ith thu gu leòr?’ ‘Dh ith. Tha mi cho teann ri daga mhuirteir.’
[gruth]‘An taobh a chaidh an gruth / Theirigeadh ’na shruth a’ meug.’ – an old saying.
[daga-phot]‘Tha an t-aran so cho cruaidh ris an daga-phot.’ (Surely this is a most peculiar expression. Can any light be thrown on it?) ‘Tha e cho cruaidh is a’ bhuthaid’ is a common expression.
stealladairwild parsley.
piob-a-stillidhhome-made squirter (for squirting water) made from the bamboo-like stem of above [i.e. stealladair] by means of a thin stick, one end of which was wrapped with rags for use as a plunger, and a section of the stem of the stealladair as the cylinder of the squirt.
riab-a-steallaga swing (usually from the rafters).
[criathar]‘na chriathar toll’ – riddled with holes.
spiollag tiombac‘bit ’baccy’.
slupranaiche.g. slupranaich air bainne gort. ‘Slocking at sour milk.’
lagbharte.g. ‘Tha na balaich air lagbhart a dhèanamh air an tigh bhochd ud.’
siola na h-easgainnthe melt or roe of the eel. ‘Chan eil duine riamh a chunnaic siola na h-easgainn,’ I once heard an old fisherman say.
‘fàile an t-saibh’the smell of the sea, quite distinct on a calm day, at low ebb-tide.
mileathart coinsharp bark of a dog.
[losaid]‘Chaidh a bho as a losaid.’ The cow’s hip was dislocated.
sùil a leiship-joint.
[ràmh]‘Tha iomragh anns an ràmh gun a bhristeadh.’ This was a gentle reminder that the oar was being abused, especially when the rower gave sudden, powerful pulls, which could easily snap the oar.
an tòcThis is a mystery somewhat akin to the King’s Evil, only in this instance, animals are the sufferers. An operation is performed on the eye of the animal (sheep or cow). The eyelid is turned outwards and by means of a darning needle and a piece of thread, some particular part surrounding the eye is manipulated so that it can be cut off. This gives immediate relief to the animal. Veterinary surgeons do not believe in it. An instance was quoted to me last summer. The man telling the story told me he had been to a village in Lochs. There was a cow, very far through, stretched out on the ground practically at its last gasp when my friend arrived. The vet had been called and had given her up as hopeless. My friend asked, “Na dh’fhiach sibh bheil an tòc oirr?” “Chan eil fhios againne dé th’ann an tòc.” “Uill bheir mise an tòc bhair na bà agus mur a dèan e feum, cha dèan e cron ’sam bith oirre co dhiubh.” He performed the operation and in ten minutes’ time the cow was on its feet and eating the grass. The amazing thing is that the people of Lochs had never heard of this most effective operation which is still regularly performed in Uig.
reithpa tide mark left round the mouth after eating, e.g. Tha reithp air gu dha chluais an deidh a bhi ag ithe na feòla.
durra-mhegCha tainig durra-mheg as a bheul.
hurs no hoCha tuirt e hurs no ho. He said nothing.
meigeadCha toir e meigead as mo lamhan. He will not survive my handling.
dreamadha wrinkle. A chraicionn air dreamadh leis an aois. Rinn e dreamadh gàire, a faint smile.
dreamaisga wild, bad-tempered, spit-fire kind of person (male or female). ’Se dreamaisg ghrannda duine th’ann. ’Se dreamaisg ghrannda th’innte.
sgian lùthaidhpocket knife.
an caisean uchdthe fat skin covering the point of the breast of a sheep. This was thumped very hard with the fist, the knife being held so that the handle protruded slightly, giving added hardness to the blow. The skin was then cut off with quite a portion of fat sticking to it, and a red hot cinder put inside, the whole being placed in the fire, where the wool was completely singed off and the ‘skin’ cooked. It was quite a succulent bite!
puntàta reamhara big raw potato was obtained and the top cut off. This was set aside. The inside of the potato was scooped out and the bits of meat (salt.) substituted. The ‘lid’ or top of the potato was then fixed on by means of a wooden skewer. The ‘stuffed’ potato was baked in an open fire.
bodachanBodachan taois – oatmeal and water mixed and made into a ball, usually for feeding sheep. Bodachan siùcair – small bodachan of oatmeal was squeezed in the left hand and the portion which exuded at the top was flattened and sprinkled with sugar. It was then somewhat shaped like a mushroom and was given to the children.
strianreins of a horse.
strian fhuasgailt‘Chaidh a’ mac stròdhail a mach air strian fhuasgailt dha fhein.’
cabhala device for catching fish in a burn. A semi-circular opening was made by means of a flat piece of wood and the ends of a piece of willow inserted in a hole at each end of the piece of wood. This held open the mouth of a bag-net which was put into the burn at a place prepared for it so that the fish could not swim past.
gaoitheana harum-scarum, light-headed chap. ‘Is e gaoithean bochd duine tha ann dheth.’
tàbha circular net with a handle used for fishing. It was lowered into the water and finely broken mussels, limpets, winkles, crab (any bait) thrown into it. When the fish gathered to eat the bait, the net was lifted. It was like a landing-net, only on a vastly larger scale.
scumar(scoo-mar) a small net on a circular piece of wire at the end of a long pole for lifting clams.
giodramansmall, slight chap of no consequence. ’Se giodraman beag duine tha ann.
clach shnagadaireachda favourite topic for nagging. The victim might say, ‘Aha! Atha! Ràinig thu chlach shnagadaireachd.’ i.e. ‘You’ve reached your favourite subject for tormenting.’
clach ghlagainan unevenly balanced stone found at the mouth of a cave, so placed that it tilted whenever it was trodden on, thus warning the occupants of the cave. (There were one or two examples in Uig.)
siobalag(shi-bal-ag) a very large button.
ciad fichead(like ciad mìle), e.g. ‘Tiud a bhodaich! Tiud a choin! / Cà’ na dh’fhàg thu t-eidhleadh? / Dh’fhàg ann an Inbhirnis. / Is ciad-fichead toll air.’ (We used to say this to one another as children.)
breacage.g. Dèan breacag arain. Make a bannock of bread.
a’ breacadhpicking at or roughening, e.g. breacadh na brathainn, i.e. roughening the grinding side of the quern stone.
breacadha speckling, e.g. Tha breacadh de shneachd air an talamh. There is a sprinkling of snow on the ground.
breacadhe.g. breacadh an teine. Known in some places as ‘Breacan Mairi Ùisdean’.
bratachcovering, e.g. Tha bratach de shneachd air a bheinn. There is a covering of snow on the ben.
gorra-bioda person standing still like a statue, e.g. Bha e ann a sid ’na ghorra-biod fad, finn, shuaineach an la air tòm. He was there the livelong day, on a knoll. ‘Bhàsaich e?’ ‘Cò?’ ‘Sean Ghorra-biod.’ We used to say this as children.
stiùira rudder. Stiùir a choilich – the tail of a cockerel. ‘An it a bh’ann a’ stiùir a choilich / Bha i ’m boineid Hyder Ali. / An it a bh’ann a stiùir a choilich / Bha i ’m boineid Thearlaich.’
ceap-chleibha wooden frame for making creels. Holes were bored for the stakes of the two sizes of creel, the cliabh briagach [q.v.] and bathchliabh [q.v.].
cabairstakes for making creels.
dronnaga pad for the back, below the creel. Dronnag also meant a person’s back. ‘Bi fios aig do dhronnaig air.’ ‘Your back will know all about it.’
dul na spaidthe handle of a spade.
[òrd]Òrd-mór. Òrd-ladhrach – claw hammer. Òrd leth lamh – mason’s hammer.
bior-chruidha square, cornered punch used by blacksmiths.
clach-liathrathbig grindstone.
liathratha frame for winding wool. It was composed of two cross pieces of wood (making four arms) revolving on a centre-pin in a three-legged stand. There were pegs in the arms (one in each – adjustable by using different holes in the arms). The hank of yarn was held open and stretched by the pegs – much better than a person’s arms.
teibheidlengths of tarry rope nailed on roofs to hold down the felt.
teifeid[See teibheid.]
riab-a-steallaga swing.
bainne-nan-gamhnachwild flower. Children sucked the nectar out of it.
sguglachprivate parts (male).
glaisean mor an uisgcorn bunting.
clacharan a fhraoichwhinchat.
caora bhleac an t-sléibhewild orchid. Children dug the wild orchids, the roots of which resembled the udder of a sheep, and said: ‘Caora-bhleac-an-t-sléibhe / ’S i ag eubhach le h-uan ’s le h-odhaisg.’
còrnroll (of tweed). ‘Na chuir thu an clò air chòrn?’ ‘Did you roll the tweed?’
snàilhaggis made when killing a sheep.
caolan gormsmall intestine.
am brailleansmall stomach.
a’ mhaodallarge stomach.
caolan-morlarge intestine.
an it-itheachgullet.
ansporagpart of a cow located near the throat. Considered a great delicacy.
sorochana rough and ready seat made with stones or peats – two or three piled on top of one another. Sorochan mónadh. Sorochan chlach.
[feàrr]‘Gu mu feàrr leat an gnothuch a dhèanamh mar so.’ May it please you to do the job this way, or, this is a better way of doing the job.
àrd-labhrachloud voiced. ‘Cha leigeadh e leas bhi cho àrd-labhrach.’
feòil réisgtmeat, salted and dried, suspended from the rafters.
falmor Hiortachfulmar petrel.
am pollasdairfulmar petrel.
ceapairea piece of bread, heaped up with butter and cheese or crowdy.
bonnach-iomanacha special bannock given to the person who found a cow after calving.
casan-ladhrachsoft white pads on the hooves of a calf. These were peeled off and roasted on a red cinder.
lanaidthe plunger of the churn.
bionaidthe stomach of a calf (usually suspended from a rafter) the contents of which made rennet.
imideallsheep-skin tied on the top of a milk-pail instead of a lid. It could not jump off or spill.
cuarananlong stockings with the soles cut off. In winter thick cloth soles were sewn on.
lanaiga footpath.
lèanaa flat field.
leòbaa flat field.
ceabaa heavy, unwieldy spade was usually so called.
ceibe[See ceaba.]
muinlean connlaichan armful of straw.
miòlairethe pin or axle of a quern. ‘Chaidh e bhair a mhiolaire [sic].’ ‘He lost his temper.’
smeachanthe step on the peat-iron, for pressing it down through the peat.
carcairethe peat bank stripped of turf.
barr-fhadthe top layer of peat.
corr-fhod[sic] the first peat cut, i.e. the outside peat, each time (sometimes discarded).
Cliabh – creel
briagan a chleibhholes left in the sides of creel.
cliabh-briagachfull sized creel. ‘Làn a chleibh bhriagaich.’
bathchliabh(bachaloo) small sized creel.
sprodan a chleibhends of the stakes projecting from the rim.
irisrope for fitting round the chest and shoulders for carrying the creel. The ends of the rope were put through the ‘briagan’ [q.v.] and over a ‘sprod’ [q.v.].
iorais[See iris.]
strùpan mùineanspout fish.
madadhdog-mussel. (‘Clabha-dao’ in Tighnabruaich.) Clabha-dubha.
eachana big bi-valve, found under the sand. It has a small teat which protrudes from the shell. It is called ‘ainean’ in Tighnabruaich and ‘aineachan’ in Kintyre.
luga, lugaicheanlug-worm.
mursaig(muir-sgian) razorfish.
conogag-na-starraigdog whelk. (Crows are very fond of them.)
leòdagsame as cluasag [q.v.] but with a smaller lug.
sgreaganaichbarnacles, on boats or rocks.
diùraideanmussel like shells found on wood that was long in the sea. The grub of this shellfish left the wood riddled with large holes bored through it; like wood worm, but on a much larger scale.
lionanaichgreen soft hair-like weed. The same name is given to a similar weed found in fresh water, e.g. in wells. ‘Tha an tobair làn lionanaich.’
liumpanaichlong trailing sea-weed, string-like, which grows in thick patches in the summer. It can be dangerous to bathers. There is none in winter.
langadarsomewhat similar [to liadhagan]. Big heavy leaves, growing on stalks.
liadhagansomewhat similar [to langadar]. Big heavy leaves, growing on stalks.
feamainn-dhubhthe most common; used to be cut for fertiliser.
feamainn-bhuileaganachthe most common; used to be cut for fertiliser.
feamainn dheargsmall seaweed, red seaweed.
feamainn chìreanachsmall curly sea-weed. This used to be boiled and given to cows. They were very fond of it and often went to the shore to eat it of their own accord. Sheep did the same. Each of the above sea-weeds is to be found at a certain level of low-water. Feamainn chìreanach is nearest high-water mark.
Edible sea-weed
mirceanthe tail of which is earbull-sàil (not eaten – too salty). Cas-dhubh – stalk. Tulch – the leaves on it. The centre part of the mircean was eaten, the rùsg thrown away. ‘Mircean Earraich, duileasg Samhraidh, tulch Foghair ’s stamh Geamhraidh.’
tulchthe stalk from which the mircean [q.v.] grows, tying it to the rock. From this stalk grow a lot of narrow thick leaves. Both stalk and leaves were eaten. ‘Mircean Earraich, duileasg Samhraidh, tulch Foghair ’s stamh Geamhraidh.’
stamhtangle. ‘Mircean Earraich, duileasg Samhraidh, tulch Foghair ’s stamh Geamhraidh.’
duileasgdulse. ‘Mircean Earraich, duileasg Samhraidh, tulch Foghair ’s stamh Geamhraidh.’
brùc(non-edible) Brùc a’ mhuil – tangle and sea-weed, washed up by rough sea; used as fertiliser.
Fishing and fish
slat-chreagaichrock-fishing rod.
slat-iollafly-fishing or trolling rod (much longer than slat-chreagaich [q.v.]).
driomallachthe line on the rod.
rèileadhthe whipping, tying the two pieces of the rod together (bun agus bàrr na slait).
rèidhleadh[See rèileadh.]
friasgcollection of mussels used for bait.
sollmussels, limpets, crabs, in fact, any shell-fish, mashed up with a stone and thrown into the sea to attract fish. Boiled cold potatoes, crushed in the hand were sometimes used when enough shell-fish could not be had.
siabstrike (the fish).
sgileadhshelling, e.g. ’sgileadh èasgan – shelling mussels.
ag iollarod fishing with flies from a boat. The tip of the rod was held under the water as the boat was rowed.
a’ borghachspearing flounders.
leóbag-cheàrrlemon sole (?). The mouth is on the opposite side from the others.
leóbag-bhrathainDover sole (?). It is very round, like a turbot – perhaps a young turbot.
bradan a chuainhalibut.
iasg-gealsalmon, sea-trout.
tonnag-langhainnyoung ling.
troillesmaller than ling, but very similar. Don’t know the English name.
geadraisggrey mullet. (Regularly frequents a bay in Bernera Uig.)
logaisI’m sorry I can’t identify this one. I remember an old fisherman making reference to it. He spoke about ‘na logaisean muigh as a chuan’ when he went there with the great lines in his youth. Whatever they were, they had a voracious appetite! This summer I heard the phrase ‘Dhitheadh e man logais.’ Perhaps they were a kind of slug – anyway, if the great lines were left too long, the whole catch was eaten.
[bràth]Corra bhalach, ’s e ri fàs, Dhitheadh [sic] e mar a mhilleadh bràth.
biastan-maolatype of shark.
tarbh-dallaigtype of shark.
stioratype of shark.
siol-ghainmheachsand eel.
siol-sgadainherring fry.
muc-chreigesomething like bream; has a small mouth as if for sucking with. It is quite tame; usually caught when rock-fishing.
sùil-òirgildee. Its scales come off in one’s hand like flakes of gold.
breac-luirigeannachvery small cod-ling.
bodach-ruadhsize bigger than above [i.e. breac-luirigeannach?]; then [?] trosg.
dallagspotted dogfish.
biast na faghlacha small innocuous-looking fish which has a deadly spine in its back. It is usually below the sand and the danger is that one might stand on it or handle it when scraping for sand eels with a sickle (corran-shiol). I remember once seeing its effect on a boy’s foot!
creàmh-rionnachhorse mackerel.
casan-ceangailrafters, tied together at the top with rope.
maide-dromalong plank laid along the ‘crutch’ formed by the ‘casan-ceangal’ [sic] [q.v.] to form a ridge.
gath-droma[See maide-droma.]
taobhanpiece of wood laid along the sides of the casan-ceangail [q.v.].
maide-starraigspar sticking up out of the end of the house. It was really a big peg round which the ‘sioman’ for the end of the house was put.
cùlaistback premises.
àlasopening in the roof for the smoke.
dorus-iatthe door on the sheltered side of a shieling, sealed up with divots – ‘ceip’. When the wind changed to the opposite direction this door was opened and the one on the other side barricaded up with the ceip. There were two doors on a shieling.
strabhlaidhhook, on a chain suspended from the roof, above the fire, for cooking purposes.
bùlaispot hook. It was made of two bars of iron, linked loosely together so that it could fit any size of pot, i.e. three-legged pot, with a lug, one opposite the other.
teinnea link in the chain. ‘Tha a phrais a’ goil ro chas. Tog teinne i.’ The teinne referred to the links in the chain of a strabhlaidh [q.v.]. A link in any other chain was just a link, in Uig.
sleadhaga spurtle.
maide-praiss spurtle.
liadhladle. ‘Bu tu mo liadh, ’s cha b’e liadh a bhrochain.’
sbàrr , sparra-ghaoith[?] cross-piece at the top of the casan-ceangail [q.v.].
cailleachan-sùichlong, icicle-like trailers of soot which hung from the rafters, and often fell to the floor (and were no respecters of persons).
fuaraichdrips from the roof.
sileadhdrips from the roof.
corracha cagaltseen in the fire (to frighten children to bed).
[corrachagan cagalt][See corracha cagalt.]

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