Measgaichte / Miscellaneous

Informant Name
R[oderick] O’Henley
R[oderick] O’Henley
South Uist, Garrynamonie
A. O’Henley
  • [NOTES: some notes added (most probably by K. D. MacDonald?). See below for details.]
corraiche fiachsimilar to ‘caora bhiagan’. Brambles that grew on heather that could be eaten. [NOTES: corrected to ‘corracha fiach’.]
braonaineanbrambles found in ditches beside the road. [NOTES: note added above ‘braonainean’ – ‘braoineanan’.]
mogull eun mointichnot sure about this but thinks it could be bog cotton. [NOTES: ‘mointich’ corrected to ‘mòintich’.]
dobhrananother word for an otter.
feadaggolden plover.
driamlachapplied to an accumulation of hooks, gut used for fishing.
golan gaoithea potato with swan’s feathers sticking out from it. In connection with Halloween but not sure of exact role it played.
uisge dùbhchaidhwater that did not run. Prohibited from drinking such water.
preasa nan luchan inferior type of grass considered to be of poor weatherproof quality. Therefore it was always put at the bottom of a haystack and never at its top.
giurnlaira large meal chest lined with lead to keep the meal fresh. ‘Maragan’ would sometimes be placed among the meal which would keep them fresh for a longer period of time. [NOTES: corrected to ‘giurnalair’.]
gràmain some regions of Skye especially this was a variant word for ‘gràpa’. For example this is the word used in Bernisdale although in the next village, Flaisaidair, the word ‘gràpa’ is used. (K.C. MacKinnon, Bernisdale.)
meall chaorachlice found in sheep’s wool.
dearsachassociated was [sic] [with?] vast quantities of rain. “Bha an dìle ’s an dearsach ann.”
doireanankle berries [?]. Found on the back, shoulders of cattle.
dorghhandline for fishing.
seilesheep’s afterbirth.
boganachtall grass that grew in marshy land. Used for thatching.
sprògana lump on the body of cattle, caused by a cold in the udder, which followed calving. [NOTES: corrected to ‘sprogan’.]
tuainnaireone who makes spinning wheels.
bàl luaidha dance/ceilidh held after the completion of waulking.
biast dhubhotterboard. Used for fishing trout. Illegal.
slisneanpotato cut in two and used for seed.
buille thuigwhen you stubbed your toe against a rock. In Skye this means the bare flesh that is visible after a cut or graze.
drìnganaichsomeone who would never finish what he was doing. [NOTES: corrected to ‘drionganaich’.]
crosgagangusts of wind from a north easterly direction. Occurred at the beginning of summer.
a’ gabhail a cotachmeans that the sea will absorb all rain water. [NOTES: ‘cotach’ corrected to ‘codach’.]
sgeilpfoot rest on a dibble or peat iron.
sàil na spealwhere the iron part joins the wood.
subh fheanndagannettle juice. Nettle was boiled and the juice was drunk. [NOTES: ‘subh’ corrected to ‘sùgh’.]
sguaida squad of men.
muaraladhthis would be applied to the splinters that would fly about after a blast had been let off. “Nach e a rinn a’ muaraladh.” Similar to spruilleadh – smattering.
spriodailwhen an animal was upside down, its legs would be kicking rapidly trying to regain its balance. “Bha e a’ spriodail air an làr.”
cnoigheag (‘n’ – R sound)maggot.
coltas aognuidh air an talamhapplied to land that was barren in appearance.
toranachround, grey insects like ‘fèaslaichean’ in cattle, which ate seed. Deterred by a red powder (serecen) which was mixed with the seed. [NOTES: corrected to ‘torranach’.]
fìdeag dhubh neo gàth dubhaffected small oats. The seed would literally disintegrate into black dust. [NOTES: ‘gàth’ corrected to ‘gath’.]
gnìomhadhdressing the outside of a peatstack.
rubhainnafter lifting the peats, they were then made into bigger heaps known as ‘rubhainn’.
sgònn arana large sandwich.
sgònnan nigheanapplied to big, lazy girls. [NOTES: ‘sgònnan’ corrected to ‘sgonnan’.]
sloc sàbhaidhthis was the place where two men would cut large beams of wood. The wood would be placed across a stone wall. Then on each side there was an indentation in the ground where each made [sic] [man?] stood, so as not to move when they were sawing the wood. Ensured that it was a reasonably straight cut.
currachd raththe extra skin on the head of a new born child. A rare occurrence.
sgaoiman [sic]applied to a horse that was unwilling to pull a cart. A horse that always wanted to break loose.
dais fheoir, dais staimha large oblong accumulation of hay or dry tangles. Like a peat stack but much higher.
claignean bhòtunnwellies with the leg cut off to form shoes.
caora bheannacha sheep with three horns.
stàpalan iron locking mechanism on the outside of a barn door.
slamhuicthe marrow on the inside of a horn.
mosgana rotten bit of wood. “Tha am fiodh làn mosgan.”
sgarbh air tìrif a cormorant is ever sighted inland this is an indication of forthcoming bad weather.
ceannadacha cap or other form of headgear. [NOTES: note added above ‘ceannadach’ – ‘ceann + aodach’.]
a cuir an ire dhutlying, but not in a devious manner.
a cuir an [sic] fiachadh dhutlying, but not in a devious manner.
faolaisthe spokes in a cartwheel. [NOTES: note added above ‘faolais’ – ‘fadhleis’.]
sniginnwhite lice in someone’s head, hair. Same as dandruff.
shèil [?]shawl. [NOTES: corrected to ‘sèil’.]
clabanthe head of a dead animal or human.
saila beam of wood.
sùil bheaga wink.
glasadh an lathadawn. ‘Soilleirachadh [sic] an latha’.
cadal a’ gheòidhhalf asleep. Goose sleeps with one eye open.
aodananfalse face. [NOTES: corrected to ‘aodan’.]
donnalaichsobbing. “A’ donalaich [sic] ’sa rànaich.”
Trian iarraidh nan caorach, suidhea standing ploughman and a running shepherd is of no use to anyone. This means that a shepherd, when looking for a stray sheep, needs to stop and look about him, rather than run haphazardly here and there.
lùb cheartplain.
lùb cheàrrpurl.
dualcable pattern on a jersey. Crosses over like a pigtail.
muilachinna sleeve.
riopaira towel made of canvas and hung in the byre or the house. Used by men after coming in from a day’s work. [NOTES: note added above ‘riopair’ – ‘riobair’.]
deilbhcasting on.
breacadh an teinethis was the reddening effect the fire had on your legs.
corrana reef, jutting out to sea.
plàpadhto pamper someone. [NOTES: corrected to ‘plapadh’.]
cagailte reòtaapplied to a house which rarely or never had a fire going.
glomaradha wooden vice used for repairing horses’ equipment.
glag othaisga ewe that would not follow the rest of the flock.
Chuir e an gonadh airto cast a spell on someone.
ùgh air a bhualadhswitched egg. Given with milk and a tablespoonful of brandy to someone who had a poor appetite.
abhsaga canvas bag carried by a mason where he put his tools.
apsag[See abhsag.]
cèabhar [sic]a blast of smoke. “Sheall i sin thall, ’s ceabhar aice a cigarette.”
àrsaira mischievous person.
amaidealachapplied to a child who was a bit frivolous, harum scarum.
amaisealach[See amaidealach.]
ailleagan na cluaisthat part where the ear joins the head.
airne Móirea kidney shaped stone, brown/purple in colour, which was found on the machair. Not sure of the connection with the Virgin Mary. Maybe this was taken from statues, images of the Virgin Mary which depict the heart clearly. However this does not explain the reference to the ‘airne’. [NOTES: ‘Móire’ corrected to ‘Moire’.]
spliùcantobacco pouch.
iosgaid do choisthis is directly behind the knee at the back of the leg. Exactly where the knee is bent.
càirainngum. [NOTES: note added above ‘càirainn’ – ‘càirean’.]
gleanndanasa family relationship that has run its full term. “Nach iad sin a chum an gleanndanas.”
cuidhlainnasal passage. [NOTES: note added above ‘cuidhlain’ – ‘cuinnlain’.]
brìca pile of potatoes kept in the barn and used for eating.
crann dùbailtea double furrowed plough.
paisde a’ cnàmhanaichgirning, fretting.
call do shuimwasting your time.
gurradh air a cheilebickering at each other.
dramalaicha badly made song.
cois ceum coillichthis refers to the action of a cockerel on New Year’s day whereby he takes the hens a further step from the house.
uair a’ ghille chonnaichthis refers to ‘latha nan trì righean’ when the day began to get longer. This phrase meant that the peat boy (gille conna [sic]) could take longer to get the peats.
creamh pòsdawishbone. [NOTES: note added above ‘creamh’ – ‘cnàimh’.]
cromadh tombaca½ an ounce.
deireadh chrodhmeant that the harvest had been gathered and the potatoes lifted. [NOTES: ‘chrodh’ corrected to ‘chrò’.]
Thug e lòn fada dhithapplied to someone who had left home for foreign countries. [NOTES: ‘lòn’ corrected to ‘lon’.]
iomairt chàirteanplaying cards.
mathachto put seaweed on the ground (North Uist phrase).
mathachadhwhen someone was maintaining that he was always right, even though he might be wrong. “Tha an duine sin cho math air mathachadh.”
guisaida gusset. A tailor would split the waistband of a trouser that was too tight. Would then place an extra bit of cloth in this space thereby widening the waist. Shaped like this. [NOTES: corrected to ‘gusaid’.]
cnoiseagan (‘n’ – R sound)acne, spots, pimples.
buntàta cnoiseagachcraggy potatoes, resulting from too much fertiliser.
Dia na thoiseachGod willing.
loidhneachanropes that were tied to the bit in a horse’s mouth. Held by the ploughman at the plough’s handles. Used to steer and turn the horse in the necessary direction.
iomaillaich mairtliterally what the cow could lick. This was a term used when planting large oats. The seed had to be so thickly laid that the cows could lick it off the ground.
’Se deagh mharaiche a bha ’sa chorca bheagrain would not delay the crop’s progress.
’Se duine a bh’ann nach creichdeadh a chearc ’sa latha fliucha saying applied to a thrifty, careful person. [NOTES: note added above ‘creichdeadh’ – ‘creiceadh’.]
Cha d’fhuair thu ach muc am pòcaa bad bargain.
cnàmhana little of something. “Bha cnàmhan cogaidh anns na h-Innsean a bhliadhna sin.”
sùmachadh (‘ù’ – oo)a soum. Could graze so many cattle or sheep on this bit of land. Would keep about eight sheep.
stàull mònadha good place on moorland, suitable for starting a peat bog. [NOTES: ‘stàull’ corrected to ‘stàll’.]
Bha e na chor-shuidhesquatting.
fliuch bhòrdin a boat this was the first layer of wood after the keel.
fuidhainna blister on the inside of the leg, gained as a result of horse-riding.
uair mharbh na h-oidhchethe dead of night, between 12 and 3 in the morning.
falamhanaiche na h-oidhchesomeone who liked to wonder alone during the night.
fios na hionaiddid you get word of what you were to receive. [NOTES: note above ‘h’ in ‘hionaid’ – (th?).]
lethreisgsomeone who was not fully fit.
cathadh làirwind driven snow. Would accumulate on walls, cars, etc.
breac thalamhsoil consisting of peat and sand.
bealathacha place on the machair for grazing sheep and cattle in winter. Littered with little glens and shelter spots.
an èiscattle suffering from hunger.
gròcach airpicking on someone. [NOTES: ‘gròcach’ corrected to ‘grògach’.]
trampsaichean làir shearrachshafts needed to be bigger to accommodate the mare in this condition.
buideala large man.
garbhaganred spotted flounders.
smìgleadhreference to cattle nibbling at their fodder. “Dh’ith i smìgleadh dheth.”
brèinaina crabbit, quick tempered, angry person. To the extent that he might be unapproachable.
dùgana loch full of mud, weeds.
puighdeadha makeshift repair. [NOTES: corrected to ‘poighdeadh’.]
soudraigeadhto solder, weld.
dàth ceann caorasingeing a sheep’s head with a red hot iron prong. [NOTES: ‘dàth’ corrected to ‘dath’.]
fochannwhen the corn begins to burst through the soil.
an t-arbhar a’ bristeadh asthe stem begins to come through more clearly.
an sgarrthis describes the line between two furrows; the space between each furrow as they fall over each other. The seed would only grow here to its full potential. [NOTES: ‘sgarr’ corrected to ‘sgar’.]
gunna cnagainn (‘n’ – r sound)this was achieved by sticking the tubed part of a feather into a potato. When you pulled this out a cylinder of potato would be caught in the feather. This was then let off with the aid of a bit of wood. A toy for children.
cneapailte (-an) (‘n’ – R sound)garter.
bradachsomeone who inherited something by underhand tactics.
goilainna bit of paper which was lit to light a fire. [NOTES: note above ‘goilainn’ – ‘goilein’.]
saitheamhgentle, quiet. “Nach e a’ paisde a tha saitheamh.”
grùisgainna fire which was lit outdoors and used for heating sheep brands or for washing.
du(bh)chonadh (‘bh’ not pronounced)soil that was neither peat nor mud.
muirteoppressive heat.
meidhleagpeat that disintegrated when it was thrown from hand. “Cha robh innte ach meidhleag.” [NOTES: note above ‘meidhleag’ – ‘maidhleag’.]
a’ gearradh phuirtprocess of making drains at the roadside so as to drain excess water off the road.
[imprig]“Imprig sathurna gu tuath, imprig luan gu deas; ged nach biodh agam ach an t-uan ’s ann Diluain a dh’fhalbhainn leis.” Considered unlucky to set off on a journey on a Saturday.
spridhanother word for a bout of drinking.
na thull tamhgoing somewhere or doing something without someone else’s knowledge.
mabachslurred speech.
caora spàinneachcheviot.
caora pheallagachuntidy, straggly sheep.
ann an teabadaichwhen someone was undecided.
cnoidhainean (‘n’ – R sound)hooves.
Na bidh gun chù, ’s na beathaich cuillainin other words buy a dog that is old enough to work.
a’ cuir shiotaichean air todharprocess of stretching out sheets on the ground outside. Left for two or three days and then washed again.
briogais moisglinncorduroy trousers.
còta drògaidskirts that reached down to the ankles. Made of serge material – ‘drògaid’.
briobadhflutter, dipped headlights.
crath do churrachd airthis would be said when the potato leaves looked like promising a poor crop.
spidheaga stone wedge used by a stonemason.
spainn aoiltrowel.
ord clachaireachdmash hammer.
sgagadhcrack of any kind.
gàgana crack on the hand, fingers. Brought on by working excessively with one particular implement such as a ‘cròcan’. Could also be brought on by working with dry seaweed or tangles.
iughraga drop. “Cha robh iughrag air tonn a’ bhòtuil.” [NOTES: ‘tonn’ corrected to ‘tòn’.]
sgiathaga wooden lid for a water tub.
struidhlaga small measure similar in meaning to ‘iughrag’ above.
duine foilleachan impatient, hurried person. Always trying [to] do things at great speed. [NOTES: ‘foilleach’ corrected to ‘foileach’.]
oglamhaidhan awkward person. [NOTES: corrected to ‘òglamhaidh’.]
glògaisa glove. Larger than the ones we’re used to in modern times. More like a motorcyclist’s glove.
obair shaoghalta, mhi riatanachwork that could be done on another day. Applied to work done on a Sunday.
droch chomhlaichean envious person.
leaca na spàidethat bit of iron extending from the foot rest and wrapped round the spade’s leg. [NOTES: corrected to ‘spaide’.]
canntaireachdmouth music.
bonnach boise
coiteachadhforcing something on somebody else.
talamh leumrachsoil that is difficult to plough. Tends to bounce away from the soil board of the plough.
cròtachbent over, stooped. [NOTES: corrected to ‘crotach’.]
slaoidairesomeone who could not be trusted. [NOTES: corrected to ‘slaoideire’.]
mór a muigh is beag a staighsomeone who was generous enough in the eyes of the public but not so as regards his own household.
àt bhràghadswelling on the inside of the neck.
tùbhailttablecloth. [NOTES: corrected to ‘tubhailt’.]
cuibhriga bedspread. Also used in the sense of a tablecloth.
latha eadar ath thighinndescribes a day which could be sunny in the morning, but would be blowing a gale or raining by the afternoon.
Cha robh ann ach peata de lathasame meaning as previous saying [i.e. latha eadar ath thighinn].
eadar ath leannsomething that would not sink.
rèiteacha party held in the week prior to a wedding. Distinct from the ‘rèiteach’ where the groom asked his father in law for his daughter’s hand in marriage.
Chuir mi uighreachd airI noticed a change in him.
grinealthe sea’s bottom.
muthachsense. “De a bha air ach gin a’ mhuthaich.” [NOTES: ‘gin’ corrected to ‘cion’.]
dùisealdozing, not fully asleep.
Thug mi spèis dh’an àiteI liked the place.
a’ chro-chàilrubbish tip.
meuran de ghlainea small measure.
[taigh]“Taigh gun chù gun leanabh beag, taigh gun sunnd gun ghàire.”
[cù]“Dh’fhàg thu e na leth cheann coin is chait.” – something that had been left unfinished.
Bheirinn a’ cnàmhan as an uirapplied to a dear or well liked person.
foillairapplied to someone who could not be trusted. [NOTES: note above ‘foillair’ – ‘foilleir’.]
ugh nidea single egg left in a nest so that hens would still frequent that nest.
fàs-neada nest with no eggs in it.
sgreabscab, crust.
[sìn]“Sìn a mach a dh’iarraidh na mònadh.” – go out and get some peat. ‘Sìn’ in the sense of going out.
alaghiccup. [NOTES: corrected to ‘aileag’.]
bàrr moullainnan ear mark with an L shape out in the sheep’s ear. [NOTES: note above ‘moullainn’ – ‘mobhllainn’.]
stiupachuneven. [NOTES: note above ‘stiupach’ – ‘stiubach’.]
leibideachcareless talk.
air mo sgunndraigeadhscunnered, fed up.
teibideachdeciding whether or not to do something.
sgeamhadaichsevere coughing.
Math an aghaidh an uilcno matter the crime or offence righteousness will triumph.
taigh bainnepantry at the kitchen end of a house where pails of milk were stored. Usually the coolest room in the house.
[sitig]“Cha b’fiach e fhaighneachd as an t-sitig.” – an ill regarded fellow.
Cho sean ri ceò nam beann
sùghanaichdeceptive patches of sand which could collapse beneath you.
raceit a’ bhàislight-hearted name given to the pension.
air mo sgriosstoney broke.
turpaireachdbanging noise.
sgloungaida yellowy spit, usually produced first thing in the morning. Phlegm.
isean deireadh linndenotes the youngest member of a family.
cùpa an strainnsairliterally the stranger’s cup. Teapot instead of containing 3 cups for a family of 3 would instead contain 4 cups.
striutanthat form of cough associated with whooping cough.
an driuthachwhooping cough.
broilaina tube connected with a sheep or cow’s stomach.
deisginnanother word for ‘leaba n’uain’, the womb. [NOTES: corrected to ‘deasgainn’.]
an leabharequivalent of ‘currachda righ’ in sheep. This was the name given to the pleated intestine of cattle.
caolain dhubhasmaller intestines which were cut up and made into tripe.
a’ calcadhdescribes process where boats were made watertight with the aid of wool and tar. Wool would be stuffed into a leak and tar would be poured onto this to seal it off.
mathair uisgea large ditch which carried the water of other drains/ditches towards the sea.
A’ chiad steall a thig as a’ mharaig is teothathis was a saying used for someone who started a day’s work with great vigour but by afternoon the zest had diminished.
biorachanother word for ‘dallag’, dogfish.
gad gharradh fheinwarming yourself beside a fire.
beatadhto knock.
cadal coileachanthis was a phrase used when putting a cockerel to sleep. His head was put under one of its wings and this phrase was repeated 2 or 3 times – ‘cadal, cadal coileachan’. Have seen this being done myself.
tosgaireachdapplied to someone who was in and out of a place.
làmpa eolaina lamp lit with the aid of seal oil or any other fat.
a’ butaigeadhdeciding whether or not to do something. “Bha mi a’ butaigeadh air sgriobhadh thuige.” [NOTES: corrected to ‘buttaigeadh’.]
Gealltanas math is droch phaigheadhpromises of great rewards which do not materialise.
foradhwhen you obtained something unexpectedly. “Nach tu a fhuair a foradh.”

^ Return To Top ^