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.]
spriullagprocess whereby the toes of a deceased person were tied together.
fiteagan murainpatches of sea bent. [NOTES: note added above ‘t’ in ‘fiteagan’ – d.]
maide mairtat the end of a stall in a byre. Once the beast had entered the stall this wooden door was lowered to prevent straying out of the stall.
glàomairesomeone without sense.
pìle stamha man-made garden on which tangles were dried. Garden could be made of turfs or hogsheads supported by wooden poles.
bun-bacthe gap between the wall of a house and the thatched overlap.
lus-nan-laogha drink made of a green leaf. Boiled and given to calves for constipation. Also used to alleviate throat complaints.
miunnda purple leaf used for making soup. [NOTES: note added – (mint).]
fras nan cuiseagthe seed obtained from these rushes was used to supplement hen’s meal.
ceann-marathat part of a fence which stretches into a loch.
crois iarnaused for rope-making.
buillisga bucketful. [NOTES: corrected to ‘bùillisg’.]
smuisealan iron board on a plough. Could be adjusted according to the amount of turf required on the blade.
cunnabhalachworking at a steady pace. “Obair chunnabhalachd [sic] fad an latha.”
sorna platform with a hole in its centre. [Cf. sorrag.]
sorragthe grain was placed in this channel which stemmed from the centre of the ‘sorn’ [q.v.]. The fire was at one end of the ‘sorrag’. However there was a sufficient gap between the fire and the grain to ensure it did not burn.
bustrachadhcasting spells.
drabastachbad language.
a’ phaidhearafterbirth.
plocana block of wood with three protruding wooden or iron prongs used for levelling off lazybeds after the potatoes had been planted.
gormanachadhthe process whereby fish were taken off the hook. ‘Gormanaiche’ applied to the person who did this job.
bròg a’ chruinnthis was the socket where a ship’s mast was lodged. Found in the middle of the boat.
osan na cliabhthe hole through which the lobster entered the lobster pot.
sgiofaira pin through the axle which kept the wheel from falling off.
ciochan na mnathan sidhwild lupins, found in moorland. [NOTES: ‘ciochan’ corrected to ‘cìochan’.]
an t-suimwater which could be taken into the boat by fish or as a result of small leaks. [NOTES: note added above ‘t-suim’ – taoim.]
sileadha small seat in the back of a boat which was used by the man who baited the creels.
sgòthdthe name for the rope which could be adjusted according to the wind. Could be let in or out. [NOTES: corrected to ‘sgòd’.]
an fhuilma bit of wood found at a boat’s helm. About two feet long and used for steering.
ceannachaganL shaped bits of wood which were used as supports for the seats.
mios crochadh nan cliabha saying indicative of bad weather at the beginning of May. As a result the creels were not used and subsequently hung in rows.
stòc an acairethe bit of iron on an anchor which prevented it from falling over. [NOTES: ‘stòc’ corrected to ‘stoc’.]
sgeith-runnaga shooting star. Caused by bad weather.
dreaga falling star seen prior to someone’s death. Would fall close to a particular house.
tearr bhuidheArchangel tar. Used for healing purposes after the dehorning of animals. Could also be used in boats for sealing leaks. [NOTES: ‘tearr’ corrected to ‘teàrr’.]
taothadhto frequent. As in: “’S minig a thaothadh a’ chreag ’s na h-eoin fhein ga fàgail.”
glùinean shòpeighty one ears of corn placed underneath a rock. The person who did this was supposed to say a prayer and not to tell anyone of the whereabouts of the ears. Apparently as the ears rotted, warts were supposed to disappear. This has been proved to be true. [NOTES: ‘shòp’ corrected to ‘shop’.]
sean chramailan old man. [NOTES: ‘sean’ corrected to ‘seann’.]
teallachthe fire in a smithy.
ploc mallaidhthis was the turf which was folded over when making lazybeds.
iomaire buinnthe end of a field.
an t-sail-bhrollaicha bit of wood on which the cart rested. [NOTES: ‘sail’ corrected to ‘sàil’.]
treabhallaireanthe chains stretching between the cart and the horse.
duirntwo chains on the side of the horse. They were tied to the ‘trampsaidh’. [NOTES: corrected to ‘dùirn’.]
gigea jaunting carriage.
siullachanwooden hames. They were used for ploughing. Part of horse equipment.
ag iarraidh earnaisthe borrowing of a loan. Asked for when a person was leaving his/her house for the first time.
teinneachairtongs used by a smithy for taking iron out of a fire.
meall coinnainmushroom. [NOTES: note added above ‘coinnain’ – coinein.]
nuathallangiving an account of something.
saica basket on each side of a horse. Used for carrying peat.
staingeanreeds which are used to make creels.
snòthaida trap for catching birds.
peindeala trap made of rope for catching birds.
còbhla/còmhla bhigeinneanonce the birds had strayed into a certain area a rope was pulled which brought an old door or something similar crashing down on top of these birds.
speal-bheoila razor. [NOTES: ‘bheoil’ corrected to ‘bheòil’.]
caoran-bhiaganbrambles that can be found on heather in the autumn. Could be eaten. [NOTES: note added above ‘b’ in ‘bhiagan’ – m.]
dith-sheothaicha weed with green stem and a white head. Would bloat an animal’s stomach if eaten.
cliuraira hammer for dressing stones. [NOTES: corrected to ‘cliùrair’.]
làmhada heavier hammer which you used to hit the ‘cliurair’ [q.v.].
deiseagvelvet crab.
cròachgainnwhelk. [NOTES: note added above – cròmhcain.]
giomach cearrcrayfish. [NOTES: ‘cearr’ corrected to ‘ceàrr’.]
carran creigerock cod. Noted by having sign of the cross on the back of its neck.
nead bramaige bleoghaincow pat.
mogulla mesh net.
cròcan feannaigsea urchin.
bradan leathainnhalibut.
breithethe rope that ties the creel to the buoy.
bunnabhachuillegreat northern diver. [NOTES: corrected to ‘bunnabhuachuille’.]
cathanCanadian goose.
dobhrana white precious patch on a seal’s skin.
feadaga yellow plover.
brìdeinoystercatcher. [NOTES: corrected to ‘brìghdein’.]
branndaira sort of dam which takes fresh water out to sea. Has iron rods across it to prevent clogging by seaweed.
tarbh na sialaiga fish which could be caught in creels.
coire bliannaina glittering, scaly substance visible on seaweed at night.
iuchairlobster’s eggs.
maodhara home-made fishing fly made with hen’s feathers.
maoghar[See maodhar.]
diannaga year old ewe. [NOTES: corrected to ‘dianag’.]
loisgeanna sledge with wooden sides, pulled by horses and used for carrying stones.
deirceinna red blister on the bottom of a toe. [NOTES: corrected to ‘deircein’.]
[dìs]“Duine a tha dìs” – someone whose natural defences are weak in the face of viruses, etc. [NOTES: corrected to ‘dis’.]
uchd leuma way of jumping onto a horse. Lands flat stomached on the horse and then swings the legs over.
ceilidh ceardaicha saying for spending a rainy day indoors. [NOTES: corrected to ‘cèilidh ceàrdaich’.]
’S motha do shùil na do bhrùexpression for greed.
dubh stamhblack tangle used to alleviate indigestion.
suthaga patch for a shoe.
sùlagfork stamp. An earmark.
cailleach chòsaga beast found under stones.
meganan earmark. [NOTES: corrected to ‘meagan’.]
meallan uachdrachL shape in a sheep’s ear.
“eil dia sheo”words that used to be said on entering a house.
sgaothshoal of fish.
snathad choilearthe needle for sowing a horse’s collar.
donnagfish that was found inshore beneath rocks. Usually found after high tide.
sulafat on the back of an eel. Sometimes used for rheumatic complaints.
cròluibfuneral bier. [NOTES: note added above ‘uib’ in ‘cròluib’ – eab.]
losgadh na tuisthe burning of incense. [NOTES: ‘tuis’ corrected to ‘tùis’.]
drean dhuinntean underground ditch. [NOTES: corrected to ‘drèan dhùinte’.]
leac air sleamhnaa sharp cliff.
cùta snadhprior to balls of wool, wool was measured to the equivalent of an ounce – ‘cùta’. The strands of wool were then made into woollen balls by a process called ‘tachrais’. [NOTES: ‘snadh’ corrected to ‘snàth’.]
iallthe sides and bottom of shoes.
ròsaida resin obtained from trees and put on wool. Prevented lice and rain penetrating the skin.
mini(dh)a pin with a wooden handle. Used by cobblers prior to the advent of needles.
fraochanthe decorated part on the nose of a shoe.
liannaraidhthe green substance that gathers on the surface of peaty water. [NOTES: corrected to ‘lianaraidh’.]
blàr geala white streak in an animal’s coat.
bun-deargblood in a calf’s urine.
ceathramh-dubhblackleg. A sort of braxy in cows.
siollagequivalent of ‘dàir’ in cows. Desire for mating. “Bha siollag air an làir.” [NOTES: corrected to ‘sìolag’.]
anart sìollaidha sieve made of white cloth.
seilechag [sic]a black snail found in wet, dewy grass. A slug.
bun-dubhrefers to corn that is black at the root.
smiaradhprocess of putting Archangel tar (tearr bhuidhe [q.v.]) in [sic] the sheep’s skin. This was done instead of dipping and prevented lice from loding [sic] [lodging?] in the skin.
preasa nan luchtufted vetch. [NOTES: note added – = peasair luch?]
greim lòinrheumatism.
àd bhioraidmade with rushes with a braid / brim. Made for children and worn when they were tending cattle.
bun dubhrefers to corn that is black at the roots.
bragairea red seaweed. This was spread on the machair and left to dry. It was then heated and sent to the mainland to be used as kelp. Also used as fertiliser for hay crops. Known as ‘Bragaire Fheill Padruig’.
feamainn bhuidhe neo buidheagachloch water running into the sea had the effect of turning the seaweed to a yellow colour. Not very good as a fertiliser.
mapaida brush made with animal hair and used for tarring boats.
cailleachan-uisgesoggy potatoes.
balg uisgethis water bag preceded the birth of a calf. People could judge the time of birth once this water bag had been produced.
bocsa roighdaidha large wooden box 15" x 12" used for keeping lobsters fresh for a fortnight. This was floated inshore at a time when lobster collections did not take place so often.
iasg driomana fish that could not be caught by hook. Instead it was caught by holding a net in the air thereby catching the fish when it leapt up. It could jump about 24". A red mullet.
runnach clabacha small, brown coloured mackerel used for bait but not for household purposes.
pronnastanthis was the sulphur put in rocks to keep iron posts in place.
garradh dromaa turf wall made in moorland with the objective of preventing sheep from straying infield. Prior to the era of fences. [NOTES: ‘garradh’ corrected to ‘gàrradh’.]
hailleadthe rope by which the sail was hoisted. [NOTES: note added – from ‘halyard’.]
’ga hòiseadhlifting the sail against the mast. [NOTES: note added – from ‘hoist’.]
riofaineansmall ropes which were beside each other on the sail. In windy conditions four of these would be tied to make the sail smaller.
marag mhaduinnoatmeal, flour, onions, lard, salt and pepper. Mixed together and baked in a cake tin. Left to cool till morning, then fried and eaten with the usual breakfast.
sgùdladhmessing about in water. [NOTES: corrected to ‘sgudladh’.]
bonnach grùthainna saithe’s liver mixed with flour. Boiled in the same pot as the saithe but separated by being placed on a plate at the top of the pot.
buinnteagana red coloured plant that grew in weak soil. Could be eaten and had a sour taste.
slinndaira long flat stone used as a bridge across a ditch or river.
a bhuaill(e) àirdthe highest hill in the middle part of a village.
miomhalaichlicking something. “Bha iad miomhalach [sic] air strùthan.” [NOTES: corrected to ‘mìomhalach’.]
clìopadhan earmark where a line goes through almost all of the ear leaving it without feeling so that it folds over. [NOTES: corrected to ‘cliopadh’.]
an ubhla bhàna red and white seen on the potato leaves. Usually seen in July.
spearrachused to tie sheep’s legs when it was being sheared or slaughtered.
eiteachwhat is left after heather fires. Black dust.
gucag bhàitea cupped plant found in lochs, usually in the deepest part of the loch. [NOTES: note added – water-lily.]
cuarana leather stookie for an injured finger. Like the finger of a glove and tied behind the wrist with a leather strap.
ciutaganhome-made stockings.
corca a mhadaidh ruaidha white-leafed grass that grew in land that had been ploughed the previous year.
fòdhlacha soft grass that grew on the machair, especially in the cattle fold (cuidhe). Of poorer quality than normal grass.
annaidthe leavings of dough which are thrown away.
peam a’ bhailethis refers to the people in a village who dealt with administrative and land questions. The more intelligent in a village. [NOTES: ‘peam’ corrected to ‘pèam’.]
lòn shitigapplied to an untidy, dirty house.
daithearradark, dusky appearance.
claisainneacha deed or utterance being spread far and wide. “Bhiodh e claisainneach sin a radh.”
deargan traghadlice found on seaweed. [NOTES: ‘traghad’ corrected to ‘tràghad’.]
feodhachan deochtipsy. [NOTES: notes added – ‘Bha’ before the phrase and ‘air’ after forming a sentence ‘Bha feodhachan deoch air.’]
maodhagthe first egg laid by a hen. Notable by the absence of the egg shell.
a’ càsaigeadh chlachin road building. Process of putting rocks in the appropriate places.
saoidhainn cruaidhafter being salted the fish was dried above the fire. It was then put in sacks and eaten during the winter.
clàraganfor unsightly, protruding teeth.
cnaganbits of wood that were part of the tether on a horse. The bits of wood were on each side of the horse’s face and when the horse tugged at the tether the wood tightened on each side.
leasachadhextra seaweed being put on the land.
feaslaicheanwarble fly. Picked up from the ground and developed through the cow’s leg till it reached its back. Would be ready to be uprooted in summer. [NOTES: corrected to ‘fèaslaichean’.]
stallana horse that has not been castrated.
anabristeadhapplied to someone who was short of breath. [NOTES: notes added – ‘Thàinig’ before the word and ‘air’ after to form a sentence ‘Thàinig anabristeadh air.’]
torraauger, borer. A joiner’s tool.
giomalaidanother word for the above [i.e. auger, borer; cf. torra].
galair an dumalaisthe disease whereby the green/blue bile sachet on a liver burst with the result that the animal was poisoned.
a’ bhoilla disease affecting the head of the horse. Its symptoms were an acute form of dizziness which resulted in death. The illness had a plant or root as its origin. [NOTES: corrected to ‘a’ bhoil’.]
pliusganthe flukes of an anchor. [NOTES: corrected to ‘pliùsgan’.]
coitea skiff (small boat).
geingeichean iaruinniron rods used for splitting rocks. From eight to twelve inches in length.
siochdairea piteous person. [NOTES: corrected to ‘sìochdaire’.]
dìorsnaindraught players – the actual objects.
casan cainnabaan indication of bad weather. Took the form of rays descending from the rain clouds and going past through the sun.
breacadh a’ runnaichscaly appearance of the clouds indicating rain. Usually seen in the evening. Like a mackerel’s back.
faicheinlets near the shore where lobsters could be caught at low tide. Caught with the aid of a ‘croman’.
geallach an abaichidhseen in mid October. Distinct since it was lower than in the other seasons.
paisainnanother word for a faint. [NOTES: note added above ‘ainn’ in ‘paisainn’ – ean.]
coimheadaidhsomeone who was employed to ensure that sheep did not stray from the hills to lower ground in the village.
dealachadh nan tràitheanwhen day becomes night.
miallan ulcer on a horse’s upper lip.
geithe cruinnthe part of a plough where the handles join the bottom of the plough.
badaga duster made of feathers used to clean ovens or a griddle.
tàla carpenter’s tool for cutting away surface wood. Like an axe with an arched blade at right angles to the handle.
lòn thunnagwhere ducks swam and cleaned themselves.
èan bàn a’ sgadaingannet. [NOTES: ‘èan’ corrected to ‘èun’.]
lacha choilaireacha duck with a white ring round its neck.
sgarbh buillcormorant with a white circle on its side. [NOTES: ‘buill’ corrected to ‘buil’.]
sgarbh topanachcormorant with one single black feather sticking out of its head.
cluasan torclachHighland calves born with the distinct mark of having pierced ears. More than one hole in each ear. A genealogical feature.
an t-suil liathnear the ‘maodal mór’? Bile duct, organ for secretion? Check.
marag dhùthchathe entrail that carries excretion.
deisginnnot rennet but something that was close to the ‘maodal mór’.
mogainnthe hairs on the lower part of a horse’s foot. [NOTES: corrected to ‘mogain’.]
luidhainneanfetlock. [NOTES: note added above – luidheinean.]
maothanthe tender bit at the bottom of a horse’s foot. Could be painful if a horse was badly shod.
ballan uisgea water tub.
lùgaa bait obtained from the shore. Grey worms. [NOTES: corrected to ‘luga’.]
sgròbanthe red bit of flesh under a cockerel’s throat.
glùineaniron bands on the sides of a cart.
tinneas a’ rìghan open wound in the neck. Constantly septic and flowing. If the wound was closed, this would result in death.
cailleach chathaidha box with metal drums inside it. Used for winnowing. When you turned its handle round, the chaff was blown out through holes in the drums. [NOTES: ‘chathaidh’ corrected to ‘chàthaidh’.]
eithea file.
balg snamhnext to the fish’s backbone. [NOTES: ‘snamh’ corrected to ‘shnàmh’.]
currain nan eacha carrot-shaped weed given to horses as food. Found on the machair.
stiurr a’ ghiomaicha lobster’s antennae. [NOTES: ‘stiurr’ corrected to ‘stiùr’.]
druim sùirna bit of wood going across the kiln. The ‘ciullean’ were attached to this.
moulloatmeal and water. Given to horses for nourishment. [NOTES: corrected to ‘moll’.]
locair ghròbaidhlister plane.
feobhasrelief, healing. “Fhuair e feobhas.”
cròcan gaosaida wooden cross used for rope-making.
sùgana grass rope.
cris cabhlaicha rope made of straw. [NOTES: note added above – crios connlaich/cannlaich.]
colomadhanother word for dyeing.
githeagan tolltacha thistle found in corn crops. Note as sore a sting as with the original.
coblaa small boat used between the shore and a boat on a mooring. [NOTES: corrected to ‘còbla’.]
ruaigeanan excursion, a walk, visit, etc. “Chaidh mi air ruaig sìos am baile.”
sgarbh sgùmbainsame as previously mentioned ‘sgarbh topanach’ [q.v.]. [NOTES: ‘sgùmbain’ corrected to ‘sgumbain’.]
aileasachfussy person. Difficult to please. [NOTES: corrected to ‘àileasach’.]

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