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.]
droch fheith anns an rathada pothole in the road. [NOTES: ‘fheith’ corrected to ‘fhèith’.]
tairnainaich teasthunder brought on by summer heat.
cairaida pair of horses ploughing. [NOTES: corrected to ‘càraid’.]
cù leth choilairwhen half the dog’s collar is white. Supposed to be an indication of a good working dog.
leth-uanwhen one of a set of twins has died this is applied to the one that remains.
[amhach]Nach e an aon chloimh chiabh an amhach. Means that the parties concerned are related to each other.
plupadaichbubbling. Can also mean extreme coughing.
straigalaireanunwelcome visitors.
slaidsairsomeone who was not willing to do much work. A dodger, similar in meaning to ‘seotaire’.
bruichealachdchaffing between the toes caused by sweating.
glaice caoilea deep crevice in a mountain where sheep could get caught. Difficult to rescue.
glumaga soggy, sodden place which holds water. Used as sites for wells.
slugaida large hole which was very deep and full of water.
Uamh a’ Charnainon Eiseabhal, South Uist. Said to be one of the first places visited by Bonnie Prince Charlie on his arrival from Eriskay. This cave, which stretches from the foot to the summit of Eiseabhal, was used by the Prince to get to the relative safety behind the hills on his way to Milton and his meeting with Flora MacDonald. To this day sweet smelling flowers grow inside this cave which originated from the seeds shaken from the lining of the Prince’s jacket.
siodhraigto overexert yourself. “Thug e siodhraig as fhein ag obair.” [NOTES: note added above ‘siodhraig’ – siaraig.]
madadh de chùan angry, dangerous dog.
spuilleadhstolen. [NOTES: corrected to ‘spùilleadh’.]
ionbhaicha prematurely born lamb or calf.
fùilleach nan toimhseannot getting a proper measure from a storeman.
[àrd]Cho àrd ’sa sheòlas an ceathdubhan ’s ann ’sa chachd a thùiteas e. Applied to a conceited person. [NOTES: note added above ‘th’ in ‘ceathdubhan’ – (r).]
[teisteanas]Cha toireadh a theisteanas a thoinn bho’n bheinge. Someone who had no references. [NOTES: ‘thoinn’ corrected to ‘thòin’.]
coilleag de thodhara small roll of seaweed found on the shore.
cudhalaidcollective term for a number of people gathering together to talk. [NOTES: note added above ‘u’ in ‘cudhalaid’ – (a).]
bannan dùirncuffs.
Chomhlaich mi eI met him. [NOTES: ‘Chomhlaich’ corrected to ‘Chòmhlaich’.]
sgollabaicheana plywood overlap at the top of a dresser had these wavy designs running across it. Also applied to a similar design at the bottom of dresses.
brataga brown and black beast found in grass. Similar to a caterpillar in shape.
Bha i ’san treasan extra horse needed to pull a heavy load.
ag àthrachadhto dirty or sully something. [NOTES: note above ‘ag àthrachadh’ – a’ gànrachadh.]
Daoine gun lige, gun ghabhaildistant people without much to say for themselves.
tiorramanaichesomeone who was constantly talking. “Bha e a sior thiorramanachadh.” [NOTES: corrected to ‘tioramanaiche’ and note added below ‘thiorramanachadh’ – (from searmonachadh?).]
giuthas leabhanhard wood. Dark in colour and quite heavy. [NOTES: note added above ‘leabhan’ – (? leamhan).]
sgrobhtaicheanwhen high tide erodes the machair land this word describes the turf that falls once the sand beneath it has eroded. [NOTES: corrected to ‘sgrotaichean’.]
bristeadhsoil being broken up in preparation of making lazy beds. This is the first thing that is done.
beul tallaina beam running across from one side of a house to the other side and to which a partition could be added.
brùchd ruadhainindigestion brought on by eating fatty foods or anything that is fried. Also salted mackerel, herring.
gamhnacha cow without calf.
stubach an eichits tail.
an gaorexcrement left in an animal’s intestines once it has been slaughtered. [NOTES: corrected to ‘an gaorr’.]
goistidhgodfather. Also gossip.
rùsgadh muinneala rash, peeling on the inside of the throat.
mathair na cuainnea cow that was renowned for bearing female calves. Therefore held to be the mother of all the stock.
[fàth]Gheibhear fàth air a’ mhuir mhór. Despite the bad weather a better day will come. Can be interpreted in other senses too.
oitira good fishing location.
peile strùpachmilking pail with a lip erect for pouring. [NOTES: ‘strùpach’ corrected to ‘strupach’.]
a’ baganachadhto make preparations, e.g. “Bhaganaich mi na cruachan arbhair mu tigeadh an geamhradh.” or “Bhaganaich mi mi fhein mu’n teach mi a mach dh’an uisge.”
calman mararock dove.
siolltpropagator. [NOTES: corrected to ‘sìolt’.]
rochdanas well as lines on someone’s face this can mean strips of seaweed lying on the shore which are of no use as fertiliser.
biathadh na claisewhen ploughing fertiliser is applied when the furrow is ploughed.
eilabhagthe rings on a horse’s bit.
fichead fainnd ortwhen you have been given much advice. “Chuir mi fichead fainnd ort sin a dheanamh.” [NOTES: ‘fainnd’ corrected to ‘fàinnd’ and a note added above it – (from àithne?).]
an tighinn fodhawater that comes through the foundations of a house.
Beurla na cluaiseEnglish words picked up by ear.
àr a machwhen people have irrevocably fallen out with each other. “Tha an àr a mach aca a nis.”
dreuga sling for throwing stones. Made of string with a bit of leather in the middle to hold the stone.
fàdaireachdtrying to go somewhere or do something without someone else’s knowledge.
piseachsomeone or something without luck.
bideaga dirk.
[coma]Air son mo chuid ’sa dh’en ghràn, tha mi coma ged a thigeadh an athaidh na teine. A saying by which apathy was expressed with prevailing circumstances.
[ugh]Ugh air ionaid, ’s eun air Chàisg, ’s mur a bi sin aig an fhidheach bidh am bàs. [NOTES: note added above ‘ionaid’ – Inid.]
blaisnagaichnervous twitching of the lips and jaw. A chewing motion. [NOTES: corrected to ‘blaisneagaich’.]
luid bhocsa foolish person.
Chuir e dubh air a’ ghealto maintain a point using lies.
ceannabh a leashands places on hips.
[tigh]B’fhearr leam tigh dubh an t-sléibhe na taigh geal a’ mhachaire
sàplasdirty water left after washing clothes, dishes, etc. [NOTES: corrected to ‘saplas’.]
cinneadh leatgood luck to you.
[pàigh]Cha phaigh drobhaireachd an draibhaireachd. No profit in the enterprise. [NOTES: ‘phaigh’ corrected to ‘phàigh’ and ‘drobhaireachd’ to ‘dròbhaireachd’.]
cairteal an acairquarter of an acre. This was the size of plot used for potatoes.
[paisde]Chan e paisde gun fhiaclan a bheireadh as i (e). Reference to something that is stuck fast, e.g. a well driven nail or a stake in the ground. [NOTES: ‘paisde’ corrected to ‘pàisde’.]
fosgladh na talmhainnthe first furrow that is ploughed in a field.
cas mar theachwhen sheaves of corn were improperly constructed. This refers to a sheaf that has ears at both ends instead of being at one end.
[snog]Bha e air a chuir air a’ ghlò cho snòg. When a field had been scythed neatly and all the stubble was of even length. [NOTES: note added above ‘ghlò’ – dhlòth.]
[haystack]When making haystacks peats used to be put beneath them to keep them dry.
slòc bhuntàta2 feet 6 inches deep, 2 feet wide and 10 feet long. There was another potato pit in the stackyard where potatoes for domestic use were kept. This was shaped like a rooftop and was 4 feet in height and 2½ feet wide. Potatoes were built up in this rooftop shape. Thereafter threshed corn was used to cover the potatoes. This kept them dry. Finished off with a layer of turf.
blàth theannachadh a thoirt air luchd arbhairif a load of corn protruded too far on one side of the cart/trailer, you would be asked to do this to the other side to distribute the weight in a better fashion.
bùireadhrutting of the deer.
mastaiga wild animal. “Cha robh ann ach mastaig de chù.”
cròtaicheanbits of wood added to an oar so that they would be tighter in the rowlocks. Also used for the bows put in a young girl’s hair. [NOTES: corrected to ‘crotaichean’.]
ruadhantea that has been boiling on the stove all day.
leth ghoillwhen half the contents of a pot is boiled. [NOTES: ‘ghoill’ corrected to ‘ghoil’.]
cairidh na beiste duibhean otter’s nest, usually on an island in the middle of a loch.
mionntraigtrying to do something against the odds, e.g. going somewhere on a windy, wet day – “Tha mi a’ dol a mhionntraig sios dh’an bhaile.” “Ge be nach mionntraig cha bhuanaich.” [NOTES: corrected to ‘miontraig’.]
geidhleaga large iron pinch for moving rocks. [NOTES: a note added above ‘dh’ in ‘geidhleag’ – (m).]
[sìol]Sioll na mearleach a shean, o shean. When something is passed on in families, in this case an unworthy distinction. [NOTES: ‘sioll’ corrected to ‘sìol’.]
làmh fhadaapplied to someone who was renowned for thieving.
droch thuarbad colouring in someone’s complexion.
slignean chruidheanhorseshoes that were well worn. Used when peats were being taken home.
[falt]Gann de fhallt is paillt de fheusag.
[ceann]Tha rud nad cheann sa nach toir a chìr mhìn as. Applied to someone who was stubborn in nature.
driuchgainnchaffing between the toes. Athlete’s foot.
[ceann]Teirigidh cruachan beann mura tig rud a chuir na cheann. Saying which means that you always have to add to what you’ve got.
fuidhle chaichother people’s clothes (possessions).
guaillechan [sic]support.
tiomanadhwill, testament.
moidheacha hare.
sìneadasa present.
greithne na lathadaybreak.
gada dozen herring [sic] on a piece of string.
tràthan unusual treat in the sense of some rare food. “Fhuair mi tràth aca.”
diasa love. “Be tu an dias.”
Luthaiginn rudeigin a thoirt dhutI would like if it were possible to give you something.
balgam fala na bheulthis summed up the taste of defeat when someone had been proved wrong, i.e. in an argument.
slupaicheanholes full of water such as old peat bogs. [NOTES: corrected to ‘slubaichean’.]
oidhche nan cleasHalloween.
Fhuair e an fhuar bhuilea deadly blow.
an fhaire chlaidha guard posted at a cemetery when bodies were being stolen.
Buaill as mo dheibhaidh ethis phrase would be applied to a boorish, ignorant person. In other words should be treated like an animal. [NOTES: ‘buaill’ corrected to ‘buail’.]
Chaidh a’ chreag na faireachadhthis would be said in connection with people looking for a dog straying among sheep. When the owner of the dog heard of such a party, he kept the dog at home, hence “Chaidh a chreag na faireachadh.”
grodadh tiorramdry rot. [NOTES: ‘tiorram’ corrected to ‘tioram’.]
ciuthaa bun of hair.
bobadhhaving had a haircut – “Co bhob thu?”
sinnteaganlarge steps. [NOTES: corrected to ‘sìnteagan’.]
[bòrd-iasgaich]Ni sinn bòrd-iasgaich a màireach air son a dhol ann. We will make preparations to go somewhere tomorrow.
sorachana rock upon which you sat when shearing sheep.
òla losgaidha brown, thin ointment used to heal burns. Applied with a feather. Obtained from chemist on mainland. [NOTES: ‘òla’ corrected to ‘ola’.]
tràdhaida twisted or pulled muscle, e.g. “Chuir mi tràdhaid nam dhruim.” – ‘e’ is not pronounced in (S. Uist). [NOTES: a note added above ‘tràdhaid’ – treaghaid. It seems that Mr O’Henley’s comment about the pronunciation was added later as a response to this note.]
siachadhtwist as in a twisted ankle.
ìne dol a beoingrown toenail. [NOTES: ‘a’ corrected to ‘am’.]
clachan goinnealred stone used for building purposes.
port marghaina gravel, shingle bank at one end of a loch.
straigalaireanwandering sheep.
siochdairea poorly, sallow, pilly wally looking person.
ainnte gun chuimhnerecognising someone but not being able to place him.
[earrach]Cruathag an earraich a’ tighinn air caoraich ’s gun bhiadh san talamh. Lack of pasture, grazing.
laogh pùcaida calf reared by drinks out of a bucket. [NOTES: ‘pùcaid’ corrected to ‘pucaid’.]
do choir fheinyour own share. [NOTES: ‘choir’ corrected to ‘chòir’.]
coimhleagaidhtrying to finish something off before your opponent does so. [NOTES: corrected to ‘coimhleagadh’.]
greide na greinesunburn. [NOTES: ‘greine’ corrected to ‘grèine’.]
sgallachan a’ dearrsadh anns a’ ghreinindicative of rainy weather. In this instance the rocks were called ‘sgàthain’ glistening in the sun. [NOTES: ‘dearrsadh’ corrected to ‘deàrrsadh’ and ‘ghrein’ to ‘ghrèin’.]
smoisleachadhnot stirring. Applicable to someone in a deep sleep. [NOTES: ‘not’ in the definition put in brackets and a note added – Cha do smoislich e – he never stirred.]
Na cluinneam dor-a-bhig asaibhI don’t want to hear a peep out of you.
[biadh]Blais air a’ bhiadh ’s gheibh thu sannd air. [NOTES: ‘sannd’ corrected to ‘sannt’.]
caora bhrùcacha sheep with wool that is grey or covered in black spots. Also applied to people with dark skin. [NOTES: ‘bhrùcach’ corrected to ‘bhrucach’.]
oir na tuinnaibhwater’s edge.
lethairechasfavouritism. [NOTES: corrected to ‘lethaireachas’.]
[iasg]Deanamh feòil de aon duine is iasg dh’en fhear eile. Treating two people unequally.
[roinn]Gabhaidh roinn Mhic is Athair a dheanamh air. Everyone getting a share of what was available.
ciuthacha big, lazy person who doesn’t go out much. “Bha e na shuidhe a staigh an sud na chiuthach.”
trinnseanother word for a small bridge going across a river.
staoidhicheanstyes [sic] used to support fence posts.
aran reotabread that has been left for a few days without eating. [NOTES: ‘reota’ corrected to ‘reòta’.]
breacag nan gille cullaiga bannock baked for the boys in a village on Hogmanay.
tréathdthe party which the aforementioned boys [i.e. ‘the boys in a village on Hogmanay’; cf. breacag nan gille cullaig] had once they had visited all the houses in the village. [NOTES: note added above ‘tréathd’ – treat.]
uisge a’ tighinn na dheannanpelting down.
an còneachadha mental illness suffered by dogs which had a maddening effect on dogs. Liable to attack anyone. [NOTES: note added above ‘còneachadh’ – con(a)chadh.]
an t-sùil liathon top of the larger intestine. Of the same colour as the liver. Could be for secretion purposes?
stiamaga thin layer of skin. “Stiamag de chraiceann.”
sopag mùraina clump of sea bent. [NOTES: ‘mùrain’ corrected to ‘murain’.]
coilair mùraina collar for horses made of sea bent. Lighter than a normal collar and used for ploughing. [NOTES: ‘mùrain’ corrected to ‘murain’.]
làbrachan untidy, unkempt woman.
corca fìreanoats that grew of their own accord with no seed having been planted. Also called ‘corca coimheach’. [NOTES: ‘fìrean’ corrected to ‘fireann’.]
corca dubhblack oats. Ears were completely black.
beathach air ialadha weak animal constantly seeking shelter. [NOTES: ‘ialadh’ corrected to ‘ialaidh’.]
[craiceann]Cha ruig a’ bhrèaghad ach an craiceann. Beauty is only skin deep.
snath truisidhmaking a garment out of the wool of another garment you have taken apart. [NOTES: ‘snath’ corrected ‘snàth’.]
plodainnclumps of turf left after harrowing.
cachdlaichapplied to an obnoxious person.
cearc ionnaida hen that was killed on Shrove Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. [NOTES: note added above ‘ionnaid’ – ‘Inid’.]
Tha ceanghal sìde orrathis phrase meant there was good weather in store. Usually indicated by sheep climbing to higher ground.
ainmheachddebt. [NOTES: note added above – ainbhiachd.]
gabh alladh risto lay off someone.
clùmhadhnestling, e.g. a young chick tucked in cosily beside its mother.
cnabladhnibbling. [NOTES: ‘cnabladh’ corrected to ‘cnàbladh’.]
conbhaireanin the sense of a predator. Also in the sense of boys who looked after dogs.
dròbhach na h-oidhcheworking secretly by night.
boitain dhe’d anaila breather, to have a break. [NOTES: ‘boitain’ corrected to ‘boitean’.]
leth chas ceangailone of the legs of a couple in the roof of a house.
[dìreach]Dheannain a càm dìreach, ’s dheannain dìreach càm, ach fad a chuir air giorrad chan urrainn mi ann.
salpiodairsaltpetre. Given to cattle to alleviate bladder disorder.
clachairean saorFreemasons.
duin iaruinnan iron hauler used to pull creels and nets into a boat.
fannachadhstarving. Also means rowing slowly when fishing.
sàcaasthma. [NOTES: corrected to ‘saca’.]
[steall]’S iomadh lòn anns do chuir thu steall. Applied to some [sic] [someone?] who had led a varied life.
ceiba ([ceib]e)a useless scythe.
sgiorragan accident.
strian bheagused for a stallion (aigeach). A hand rein tied to the horse’s bit on the right side of his face. This was used in tandem with the normal rein. Used for extra control.
cula bhruidhnetalking point, i.e. regarding someone who had made a fool or embarrassment of himself. [NOTES: note added at the end of ‘cula’ – (idh).]
crathadh làimh fada bhon taighapplied to people who were content to wave to you at a distance but who would not welcome you into their household.
bògarolblack tobacco. [NOTES: note added – (from Bogie Roll).]
an t-at busachmumps.
mòraidheanfertile land in the moorland on the eastern side of the island which was divided between the villagers, who received about an acre each. This land was ploughed and used to supplement croft land. Nowadays it is used for peat bogs.
uisge iaruinnundrinkable water in a well as a result of a high concentration of iron in the water which came from the surrounding rocks.
màrachthis would be said of a cow that could never get her fill of food or water.
milleadh comharrawhen someone tried to earmark sheep that were not his own.
[sùil]Tha iad coma fhad’s a sheachnas e an t-sùil. This would be said of thieves.
an t-seannabhailethis refers to that part of the croft which is nearest the machair. The word derives from the fact that prior to modern houses being built further inland, houses must have been situated closer to the machair. In some villages, such as Daliburgh, old house ruins can still be seen in such areas.
a’ liannanot on every croft but refers to low lying, damp land situated near a river. [NOTES: corrected to ‘a’ liana’.]
fasganadhsearching hair for nits (sniginn) – “A’ fasganadh do chinn.”
eaga notch. Also used for a dimple or an indentation in the chin.
craiceann cruaidhhard skin on the bottom of your feet.
fasdto invite. “Dh’fhasdaidh e mi airson a dhol a dh’obair thuige.”
sgiofainna thin, diminutive, useless person. [NOTES: note added above ‘sgiofainn’ – sgifein.]
shiofainna small measure. “Cha d’fhuair mi shiofainn airson na rinn mi dh’an duine sin.” [NOTES: corrected to ‘siofainn’.]
fada leisapplied to someone who was a bit cranky or senseless.
fada gun seadhwhen talking of a useless person.
daoine spiochdachpeople who were unwilling to give or part with their money, possessions.
[snàth]Bha e riabh a’ cumail an t-snàth lìn ’s an t-snathad dhomh. Applied to someone who had always kept you in employment.
saighseala blow, e.g. “Nach e a fhuair a saighseal.”
crannadha cold wind.
uidhir ri Uinneabhalthis must be the name of a local hill. Will research this.
adaigha cow which needs to be taken to the bull a second time.
criodana subdued coughing noise from calves.
glaodhainpotatoes with roots growing out of them at the beginning of summer.
puidseadha game played by any number of people, although usually limited to ten. Each had a minimum to [sic] two old pennies. The object of the game was to get the pennies as close as possible to the stake in the ground – ‘spideag’. Whoever was nearest gathered all the pennies, shook them in his hand and threw them all up into the air. He kept all the coins that landed on their heads. Then the second closest person picked up the coins that were left (tails) and threw them up into the air and so on till the coins had been distributed. [NOTES: note added above ‘puidseadh’ – padhdseadh (from pitch?).]
puidseadh na sgillinthrowing the penny.
ag eabrachadhto mix, e.g. a batch of cement.
ball gaosaida ball made of hair.
ga shiorr luadhforever talking about an event in the community. Keeping it fresh, rubbing it in. [NOTES: ‘shiorr’ corrected to ‘shior’.]
fear chobhair nan ceasa person who lent you money without telling others about it.
[spioladh]Ma spiullas tu an dosgaidh, spiullaidh an dosgaidh thu. Thought it was improper to shear a dead sheep; indeed this was thought to increase the chances of this happening to you again, i.e. you would lose more of your stock.
a diochd an t-sìthmaintaining an aggravating stance against some person or something, e.g. “Bha a chlann sin a’ cumail diochd an t-sìth leis an rùda sin.” – they were always inciting the ram.
dìblidhapplied to someone who was a regular visitor or who was keen on visiting people.
smuiga mischievous grin.
sean stiollan old girlfriend. [NOTES: note added above ‘stioll’ – stiall.]
an gath muigthe topmost part of a horse’s mane.
buaille mu na sùileanblack circles round the eyes.
’S math an dàil ga ghiorradwhen someone is fatally ill but experiencing some relief, which is only delaying the inevitable outcome.
siolltaga sieve. [NOTES: corrected to ‘sìoltag’.]
toullair de chùa wandering dog. Could also be applied to humans.
ruchairta different pronunciation of ‘luchairt’ – a castle. [NOTES: corrected to ‘rùchairt’.]
lòina place of work.
calman bealltainnBeltane dove.
dearnathe ball of your palm, next to your thumb. [NOTES: corrected to ‘deàrna’.]
greim-riaghailtwhen putting a patch on any material this was the first stitch which held the patch in place.

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