Measgaichte / Miscellaneous

John MacMillan
South Uist, Bornish
  • [NOTES: the document contains two typed word-lists – one dated May 1970 and the other December 1971 – and a hand-written letter dated 30th November 1970.]
  • [NOTES: the accents were added by hand (black ink). There are also some hand-written notes in the margin of the first list. They may have been added by the informant himself.]
  • [NOTES: quite a few items are listed more than once even within the same list, sometimes using different spelling.]
May, 1970. blue diary
lethbhuinnsoles for boots.
toisealfeeling important or complacent. [NOTES: note in the margin – (toiseil). (black ink)]
morghanrough sand.
eirinn fhraingwooden nail, perhaps.
not Faro
rif ireinnthe reef in a sail next the sheet.
tramascalrubbish (talk or articles).
clamhasaicharguing, serious or otherwise.
buile trotAnns a bhuile trot – [NOTES: note in the margin – ? (black ink)]
osgarrabold looking.
fo na mùganlooking in a sly manner.
[clach](Sleamhuinn a chlach a th’ann an ursuinn a Taighe Mhoir.)
[comhairle](Comhairle Glag Scain, rud nach buin dhut na buin dha.)
[sean fhacal](Sean fhacal, ged a sharaicheadh e cha do bhriagnaicheadh e.)
chul tamh[sic] As a’ chùl tamh – saying something out of the blue.
coinghigan angry look, often applied to a dog with his hair ruffled. [NOTES: note in the margin – confhadh, rage, fury (N. Uist). (black ink)]
bacaga stagger or a trip in wrestling.
molshingles on the sea shore.
ciorbstraggling end of cloth, or a corner of a shawl air a beannan (folded cornerwise).
tanntToirt tannt dha – taunt, maybe; casting up.
snodadha hint or clue.
snodhripple to the nose of a fish swimming near the surface; gut. Fishing gut.
meabainurchin or a wet untidy fellow. Tha thu air do mheabaineachadh – like somebody who has been out in the rain.
luth-luaththe shiver above the fire in the open on a hot day.
corrghulthe cooing of a bird, or even of a baby. [NOTES: note in the margin – (N. Uist). (black ink)]
inghneadh-a-staighedging in on something. [NOTES: note in the margin – Dhinn Dh’ighn (N. Uist). (black ink)]
conna-ghugaga sea shell about the size of a small hen’s egg and shaped like so.
[mèirleach]Nuair theid na mearlaich thar a cheile this [sic] an t-ionracan na chuid.
màma palm-full of grain more customary as màm sil. Also mam [sic] for a squat hill.
blaudadh bladadhmaking a grumph [sic] or a sudden bark from a dog. [NOTES: two variants of the same word?]
cromadhmeasurement of tweed usually from the tip of the middle finger to the knuckle joint.
dramalaiga simple Gaelic ditty.
pàmthe jack in a pack of cards.
bhuidhe-ri-Diaan expression used by certain families in a certain district, when wishing to emphasise (as indeed it was).
tilpTilp a nall – slip over as for a fly visit, or better tuilp.
reabsachuntidy, as an untidy beard.
baltagbeefy, as: Nach ann air a tha bhaltag.
peursaa pole. The pole erected when there was seaweed on the shore in the days when seaweed had to be air a roinn.
seursadhurging or coercing.
sparuigmiod mhor – proud or showing off.
moitthinking a lot of oneself.
gun tiochdladhunrelenting.
cridGun chrid – quite healthy. Gun chrid Mhathar (emphasis again).
straointe fosgailtewide open. Dh’fhagadh an dorus straoint [sic] fosgailte.
ceoragaichfoggy or misty.
tuilgmovement. Cha d’thug iad tuilg aiste.
duilexpectancy. Duil thairis – giving up expecting.
stallsteading on a farm.
coinneal-mhoirea Candlemas candle.
seasamh claidheamhstanding on the head.
stubachcut short.
gurbrood of chickens.
lianradhan article used for winding yarn.
tachraiswinding, like tachrais shna [sic].
oparpossibly hopper – in the mill where the grain is poured to be ground by the bra (the grinding stone).
breacadh na braroughing the [grinding] stone with a pickaxe when it gets too polished.
caoineadhweeping but also maybe caoineachadh – making it finer. (In making a bag for bagpipes after the skin was shred of the wool it was placed in alum and then dried. It was then stiff, but had to be teased and rubbed by the hands until it was like chamois, air a chaoineachadh.)
Gun ghuth gun abadh.
glaica glaic – hollow, relief.
geomhailtrouble. Leig e mi a geomhail – he relieved me.
ciorrach minfine rain.
lianaraichgrass growing out of water.
giungachhumphy [sic] backed.
cruib ach[sic] with arched back.
port a rathaiddrain on the roadside to allow water to run off.
gefoira blow. Bheir dha gefoir, spleoc e. (maybe local expressions)
beithiran electric storm, where lightning strikes.
glointeanthickly set, particularly referring to hay and corn as left by the scythe.
gnuarough and unfriendly look.
connas riarguing or teasing.
poiteadhusing the black pot.
stiùpa hanging end of clothing.
deurdsound. Cha chuala mi deùrd [sic] – I did not hear a murmur.
slaichda slap.
sgàth-fhrasa slight shower.
liadhwarrior. Mo liadh – my beau.
ceilidh ceardacha long drawn out visit.
maoladh a chluasanlike a horse showing anger by flattening the ears.
aonragaichhorse rolling over to scratch its back.
lunn-lannwithout energy. Na lunn-lann – without ambition, etc.
tuisleadha tripping. Gus a tuisleadh – expecting soon.
sìochadhgoing over on the ankle.
mnathan cràbhaidhnuns.
ceamaidealachcrooked, at least not straightforward.
rothartspring tide.
canntraighneap tides.
caothalaiduproar in enjoyable manner.
siutala caller who is also a moucher [sic] [moocher?].
siotara horse neigh.
ubh mille fithicha very small egg, either the first or last when the hen starts or stops laying.
breoclaitpoor health. [NOTES: the definition added by hand (blue ink).]
colgshowing signs of anger. De an colg a th’ort?
peinntealla snare made by horse hair on a frame to catch small birds.
comhalaichmeet someone or accompany someone.
botrachanthe stick under a horse’s tail with ropes to the saddle to keep it from slipping over the horse’s neck.
slatraichgrovelling in the mud.
ri mir an uisgein the height of the rain.
drabastaindecent in speech.
ceacharramouchering [sic].
bonn spuaichdtrifle of a coin. Cha torain bonn spuaichde air.
moineiseachsimple or single-minded. Duine moiniseach [sic].
leuradhhurt deeply.
lochradhsuch as: Lochradh le fallas – sweating heavily.
finnaltfine (applied to persons).
[buailteach]Beoltainn chaom, mhin, mhaltain bhla agus turadh an treas la / Ach ma’s uisge ’s gaoth bhios ann, ’s buailteach gur e ganntar a bhios ann. [NOTES: note in the margin – (buailteach). (blue ink)]
trilleachansmall bird with shrill voice, found on sand beaches.
mireannachthe bit in a horse’s mouth.
broidehorse collar.
dornthe drawing chain on a cart shaft.
strathaircart saddle.
cairbthe bend on the saddle for an druim [q.v.].
druimsaddle chain.
siollachanhames for the collar.
smuisealthe draw pin for the plough.
an t-amulthe long swingletree.
sinteandrawing chains for the plough. Hence: sineadh for ploughing in some places.
am bord uraidhthe board on the plough for turning the furrow or uiridh.
a chulaidh Aifrionnthe Mass vestments in R.C. Church.
a’ lochranthe Sanctuary lamp.
a chlach Aifrionnthe Altar stone.
pacarasbundle of odds and ends.
fiaragthe rope across the corner of a thatched roof.
maide-feanaigthe tips on each end of the roof of a thatched house.
ceann-marathe end of a fence ending in a loch.
mothara loud report like a very loud shot from a gun.
saodadhdirecting or driving a beast [in] a certain direction.
stadhadhstretching, especially oneself.
blara field or stretch of land as well as a battle.
neothannfeeling after over-eating.
miodalaichmaking a fuss or one like a dog does.
buiseartachapplied to an ear playing piper.
maosgaideach[See moisgeadach.]
moisgeadachundependable. Duine moisgeadach. [NOTES: note in the margin – mobhsgaideach. (black ink)]
blairiochachd(bla riochd) an untidy dirty person.
aonraganliving single, as it were.
geomhailCuir ann a geomhail – put on the spot or in trouble.
connabhaira person over keen on working.
sotalana pee hee-er.
coiniglooking angry. Coinig air – he looks angry.
dalmabeing very forward or cheeky.
toinisgunderstanding. Duine aig a bheil toinisg.
Tobar BaistidhBaptismal Font.
lighethe juice of boiled potatoes. Leighe [sic] a bhuntata.
dearnaidhin the palm. Dearna.
bacagtripping one as in wrestling. Cuir na bacaig air.
dul faraistired waiting.
beithirlightning bolt.
glointeanwhen scything corn placing the “beum” in place.
ubh mille fithicha very small egg, as the last egg for the season.
colgangry look.
peintealltrap for catching birds, made with horse hair in a frame.
comhalaichmeet a person.
inghe dol am beoingrowing toenail.
spiorachcadhswearing at.
caibheil(ca-bheil) place made in the river to hold the net when poaching.
rodhanaich na Samhnathe calm period at the end of autumn.
balthadha sudden calm.
bladadhlike a sudden bark.
fleasgacha bachelor (best man at a marriage).
ri mir an uisgeat the height of the rain.
moiniseachshy and simple.
leuradhsevere pain or deep grief.
plamachhaving a soft feeling.
duthchasnatural to one’s surroundings. Theid duthchas an aghaidh nan creig.
[stuadh]Chan ’eil stuadh na bogha bristeadh orm – in no hurry.
reapsach(repsech) A good blow of wind.
mosgandeterioration in wood; dry rot.
mapladhmessing a thing, especially something being eaten.
crios-eilidha cord to shorten the kirt [sic] [kilt?] (going round below the hips).
air a ghotsaigshortage, especially foodstuffs.
rucle na mhionnach
tutanadh[?] egging on or urging. [NOTES: it looks like the word was spelled ‘tutanach’ originally but then ‘d’ was typed over ‘c’… or the other way round!]
bao-chartainplaying cards; the two to the fives only.
troghaid(tra-heid) a stitch in the side.
clach dhilleana fixed rock in the ground, as against a loose stone.
gaoradhgaoradh (gurradh) air a cheile – arguing and fighting with one another.
Mathair na Cuaineadhthe mother of all, mostly referred to the old mother of all the dogs and puppies.
crogan sgaoiltethe opposite to safe hands.
bruigrotten seaweed, collected for manure.
ransacha snell wind. Ransach de ghaoith a tuath.
cochaira trifling amount given to somebody. (deirg or pension)
sgudailin a clean sweep. Thog e e sgudail glan.
fuigheanexcess. As na fuighean.
lachrann(lamh chrann) a thin pole, used for the handle of a suisde, as a rule.
South Uist. December, 1971.
garradh-phlocturf dyke.
drointeadhmaking sudden slight attack.
baslacha palmful of water. Cuir badlach [sic] air t-aodann.
gidseachangetting odds and ends, particularly of items of clothing.
drudhadhdrying, esp. drinking the dregs of a bottle. Drudhadh a bhotuil.
saiseala right slap.
sgloidseachan untidy woman.
casan coirbteintoes.
siamachadh(Eochdar) selecting. Tha mi siamachadh an iomaire seo airson buntata a chur ann.
roica lot of beef for eating. Tha roic agabh [sic].
beannabhfrom corner to corner. Tha an t-seal air bheannabh – shawl.
sgoilteadh iomaireploughing a rig starting from the outside.
cuir ma dhruimploughing a rig starting in the middle.
crogann sgaoilte‘handless’, apt to let things fall.
cluichd an taighea form of rounders.
goireadhgoireadh (gurradh) air a cheile – wrangling with one another.
dringeanstruggling with a job, taking too long to it.
scualaa sudden gust of wind; squall.
aonraigichrolling over. A horse scratching its back. Tha an t-each ga aonraigich fhein.
dromanachthe strap across a horse’s back to hold up the sintean [q.v.].
sinteanthe chains or ropes from the hames to the swindle-trees.
sineadhother way of saying treabhadh, hence sintean [q.v.].
trinnsetrench. Trinnse a mhuilinn – the waterway to the mill wheel.
strubhanMichaelmas cake, made with a bannock covered on each side with some form of sweet, such as treacle and flour.
ubh milifrithichthe last egg or even the first which is very small.
shircsmallest drop. Cha do dhol [sic] e shirc an diugh.
riamannwasting time like a slow coach.
piob sheinn(in Uist) the Highland bagpipes.
[lionarag]udagag, an adagag, a ghobhar athar, a lionarag ’s a’ naoisg. (In Uist the various names of the one bird – the lionarag.)
piochana wheezing in the chest.
snuaisleadha rumbling sound.
brag-a-bhailean upstart of a man.
gartannthe tick insect.
clibideach[See clibisdeach.]
clibisdeachclumsy on the feet.
scroid(scryj) an untidy woman; a large flat button.
tonna large wave.
buile-thuiga bruising on the toe knocked against a stone.
goruisga simpleton.
dagaa pistol.
spioracadhranting or slight swearing.
sgudail glanpulled off without hesitation. Thug e as e sgudail glan.
cean-dubhCean-dubh air a gheallaich – the turn after the moon has been full.
spealeatroma session, such as: Thug e spealeatrom air a phiob or Thug i spealeatrom air trod.
gorradaichnodding to sleep.
glamadhbiting a piece in a course [sic] way.
guthtairfeadan na bathchadh or the claise.
guthtea criathar without holes, usually used for holding wool in rollagan.
don gnothaichthankless. Nach ann ort a bha don-gnothaich (if you did a job that was not asked for).
scifierlike a split pin used in cart wheels to keep them on the axle.
bumalairan ignorant fellow.
strat an teinteinthrowing flat stanes [sic] along the surface of the lock [sic].
athaisused by some people for means of travel. Theid mi ann ma dheibh [sic] mi ais [sic].
tamhasga small uncouth fellow, usually cheeky.
mathair uisgea water spring.
sunnlachadhmaking room.
spointeadha sudden pull. Thug e spointeadh air a’ ropa.
sgirda diarrhoea on beasts.
buiseartachan ear piper, one who has just picked it up on his own.
tosail(toshal) complacent or independent in attitude.
ubhla-bhanthe potato flower.
burlaisghandle of a pot or pan, usually a wire one.
sleamhnaina stye on the eye.
crogaa jar; an old ewe.
crogadhin the fank pulling the ewes and other sheep out to be dipped or sheared. ’S e na feadhainn oga bhiodh a crogadh.
crodhadhgetting the cattle housed for the winter, and also getting the harvest in, hence deireadh chrodhaidh.
cuata girl friend.
ceanglaicheanthe rafters on a thatched house.
dligheadhchurch dues.
spiorachadhswearing, or using tapagan.
culchainntgossiping about others.
scaimeicheadhgetting on the somebody.
cor-oiseinthe corner pole on the roof of a thatched house.
cor thulchainthe middle pole [on the roof of a thatched house].
coparana small fank where the calves and lambs were placed to separate them from their mothers.
uisliga big untidy lump, often applied to a fat untidy woman.
ciuthacha fly member.
toisgealthe left side. Taobh thoisgeil.
glutthe part above the hip of an animal (the hollow).
baganachadhgetting tidied up.
sparuigconceit. Tha e lan sparuig. – he is full of himself.
tri-reidheach3 months old.
froiseanused for hand thrashing.
buailteanused for beating the grain, to break off the husks.
suisdethe complete thing, buailtean [q.v.] and handle.
sguidseadhswiping off the grain.
rafagachweeds in static water.
coldlooking angry. Tha cold fiobhaich air a chu.
dringanstruggling with a task.
riamannmore or less as dringan [q.v].
spreodsplinter of wood.
faireagpimple or cist.
cuir romhad bliadhna uirNew Year resolution.
faghachattempting to do a thing.
sunnlachadhmaking room, as working oneself into a crowded seat.
sgriob dramahaving an itchy upper lip meant that one would get an unexpected dram.
cruigeala rangy or bony animal (applied [to] the tall round-shouldered men).
cul-chumaigput on the spot. Bha mi ann an cuil chumhaig [sic].
cnotaga sort of bra for spilling oats (a flat stone with a hold [sic] in it where the grain was put for spilling).

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