Measgaichte / Miscellaneous

D. A. MacLellan
South Uist, Milton
A. O’Henley
  • [NOTES: some notes added (most probably by K. D. MacDonald?). See below for details.]
rèimthe actual wheel on a spinning wheel.
slìsagthe bit of wood which extended from the wheel to the foot peddles [sic] – ‘casachain’.
seiclethe flyer of a spinning wheel.
sgillayer of flesh, e.g. “Cha robh sgil air na beathaichean aige.”
sglòpana lump underneath a sheep’s chin. Indicative of fluke. [NOTES: ‘sglòpan’ corrected to ‘sglopan’.]
siumpaira pinch used for masonry.
geindeansmall iron plugs which would be placed in rocks which had been drilled. As they were wedged down the rock would split open.
boutaa bolt.
uinneagan togaileachold type windows which are in two halves. Either half can be lowered or raised with the aid of ropes on either side. [NOTES: note added – Sash windows.]
còmhlatraditional Gaelic word for a door.
fiarag (-an)heather ropes used for securing thatch. Would be attached so that they formed a diamond pattern.
seasglike sea bent (muran) but taller. Found by rivers and boggy, marshy land. Used for thatch.
a snaim na cloichetechnical term in bricklaying or more accurately masonry. Describes how walls were constructed. Rocks being placed in the above fashion.
sealbhaga root used for dyeing wool. Found on machair land.
baslachadha quick wash. “Thalla ’s cuir baslachadh ort fhein mun tig thu mach.”
breallachshellfish found in rivers. Like a cockle but four times larger. White shell. Characterised by a protruding tongue which would be withdrawn when touched. Could be eaten but more often used as fishing bait. Found near sandbanks in rivers.
sloc buntatalong and thin since this made it easier to turf.
torr buntatausually located in stackyards. Pile of potatoes covered by turfs. Had small vents to keep the potatoes dry.
cathadh làirwind driven snow. Not a blizzard but driven along the ground.
[cruach]“Cumail lionadh ann am meadhoin cruach arbhair.” This saying tells us that the middle of a hay or corn stack needed to be solidly filled so that it would not be so prone to dampness.
gamhrainyoung mischievous children.
trochdipping trough for sheep.
bùthachprior to the modern equivalent, a strap of leather would be tied to a calf’s forehead. Nails would be attached to the leather so that this would prevent suckling. Also prevented fighting.
bràinndeansmall grinding stones which would be kept at home for small scale grinding.
slìsbit of wood widening at its foot and used for stirring porridge. [NOTES: corrected to ‘slis’.]
crois sgeirin Frobost, South Uist. At low tide a rock formation is visible which forms the sign of the cross.
sòp as gach seidthis phrase would be applied to some who would not stay in the same job for any period of time.
bàogas in what possessed you to do such a thing. “De an [sic] bàog a bhuaill thu sin a dheanamh.” [NOTES: note added above ‘o’ in ‘bàog’ – dh.]
suthaga patch.
àrdoruslintel above a door.
eisligdeceased would be placed on a few planks covered in linen. Neighbours would come to the house to pay their respects.
taigh an onrachdainna house in which only one person lived.
Thug e an teang’ as a ghlagapplied to someone who would extract the truth.
spriullagtoes of deceased tied together with string or a strand of corn. “Spriullag ortsa.” – this would be said to a person who would be arguing or debating with you.
[coma]Tha mi coma ma ceàrr. – expression of apathy.
bonn dà thasdanif an animal was suspected of being cast under a spell this coin would be placed in a basin of water. Thereafter the water was stirred and sprinkled on the animal. This was supposed to free the animal from the spell. The coin was believed to be the alleviating agent.
sgilailin the sense of a knowledgeable person.
buaillaidhpastureland which surrounded a shieling.
sòrnach coire cailleach co lìnlocated in the neighbouring hill at Milton and elsewhere. This was a circular stone wall which had rich, fertile soil inside. Women used to look after sheep in this ring.
barpan accumulation of stones beside lochs. Examples found locally at Milton and Lochboisdale. People are supposed to be buried underneath these rocks. Associated with the distant past.
ceabala family relique [sic]. Burial plot. In South Boisdale this name is applied to an old graveyard where Protestants were buried. Traditionally called ‘cladh a’ bhrosguil’.
a’ guailainneachdliterally shouldering your way through a crowd of people. Describes forcing your way through a crowd using your shoulders.
giùighunched over. Similar to ‘croit’. “Bha giùig air.”
sgrùthainna small rick of corn prior to a corn stack. Variant on the word ‘toit’.
saibhaira channel to carry water under a road.
slinndaira large slab rock used for small bridges, door and window lintels. [NOTES: note added above ‘a’ in ‘slinndair’ – e.]
fuaranused instead of the word ‘tobar’. An elaboration.
uird sneicidhsquare headed hammer used to secure stone wedges.
crookieEnglish word describing a hook with a wooden handle used to lift rocks which sat unevenly. Would be levelled by wedges. Some masons called this the ‘cromag’.
ord snaighidha dressing hammer one end of which had the same shape as a hatchet.
gu sianaildoing something with ease.
goinneallarge, heavy rocks, black in appearance. These rocks were extremely difficult to work with.
aodainn an tairbhbullface [sic] type of stonemasonry.
torcadhchipping at rocks with pickaxes.
clach ghlasas opposed to ‘clachan goinneal [q.v.]’, these rocks were not so dark, nor were they so difficult to work with.
càbalgable of a house.
stuadhgable of a house.
sgiuthachanskewers. Nowadays replaced by facia boards.
measrachadhmilk poured into large basins so that cream could be obtained.
miosan measrachaidhbasins made of tin. The larger they were the more cream could be obtained.
farag (-adh)bathing. “Gad fharagadh fhein” – applied to someone who would go for a swim.

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