Measgaichte / Miscellaneous

D.R. Morrison ( D.R. Moireasdan )
Na Hearadh, Scalpaigh [Harris, Scalpay]
[December 1978 – in the letter accompanying the list]
  • [NOTES: the original title of the list is “Faclan Gàidhlig le mìneachadh ’na cois”.]
mial-mhàgachfrog. More frequently referred to in Harris, not so common in other places, say Isle of Skye; it [sic] mial-mhàgag.
sireapsyrup. Syrup and hot water mixed was used for cold, drinking it before retiring at night.
clach-ghludramainan unstable stone, shaky, moveable.
gludramanichmoving to and fro.
grìpfrown. Grìp air leis an fhuachd.
gribhealunpopular person, grim unlikeable character.
gribeanachunpopular youth, unliked.
slaoidslovenly person, inactive, slow in work and movement. Tha e falbh ann a shid ’na shlaoid.
isd, isdhush, hush.
lag-a-ghéileinsinews of the mouth, etc. A thanga [sic] a muigh cho fada ’s a leigeadh lagannan a ghéilean [sic]. [NOTES: originally the headword was spelled ‘lag-a’-ghéilean’ like the word in the example. Then it was corrected to ‘lag-a-ghéilein’ but the word in the example was left unchanged, possibly through an oversight.]
stol-smùraidhstool on which a person engaged at smearing sheep sat.
smuigeansmall chin. Smuigean air. (Harris)
maragan-falablack puddings. When a sheep was killed, on the point of being killed rather, when her throat was or is cut, the blood fresh the beast [sic] running into a jug or basin is kept uncongealed by a sprinkle of coarse, curing salt in the utensil for the blood to be used for the making of black puddings (maragan-fala).
maragan-faladh[See maragan-fala.]
smearsamany advancement as: Na leig smearsam leis. (Harris)
smalamastitbits, appetising attraction in the order of food. Bheil smalamas agaibh?
tioraidh-oicheinhurry-burry. Am bheil e air an aon tioraidh-oichein ud an diugh an rithisd?
sgluisvery soft mixture.
craslachundesirable old woman. When a youth is concerned in the phase of romance, someone refers to a lady or woman with the remark ‘abair craslach’, unsuitable, old female in this constitution.
peile-sgudailpail in which ‘leftovers’ are, from whence a cow eats.
sgriob-pòigin connection with romance. Thàinig sgrìob [sic] pòig orm. (I am afraid the expression isn’t used at all at all now in Harris.)
pachdpack. Sud far a bheil gun bhuaidh. (Harris) (From the English, I suppose, the two. Still current in our modern age.)
polastarachdprowling. Tha iad a polastarachd ann a shid aig a’ chladach. – as referred to a fishing boat. (Word still in use, Harris.)
monadh-mórhigh ground.
monadh-bristejagged moorland, with broken hills, with many gaps, irregularity.
catha-bristebroken bray [sic] [brae?]; irregular, broken, uneven bray [sic] [brae?].
dualana wee curl, a wee strand.
dualan-fuilta wee curl of hair.
aird-an-fhiaraisat the height of the fever, high temperature.
gaorr-na-deargaindung of a flew [sic]. Cha b’fheàrr e ri taobh Dhòmhnaill na gaorr-na-deargain. (Harris expression)
tombaca-milisfine cut tobacco.
tombaca-dubhHighland bogie roll tobacco, xxx.
cractacracked (from the English).
cathair-murraina wooden chair with a seat woven of morran grass.
daladh-nan-dallaidheanblindness of blindnesses, the extreme form of stupidity. Harris expression. Nach ann air a thàinig an dalladh, more than that, dalladh nan dallaidhean!
droch-ceannunfair deal. Tha e deanamh droch-ceann rithe. – a husband not giving his wife a fair deal. (Harris)
mial-bhagaidbanquet lice. Name given to imaginary lice, as when a youth enters a house, where a newly born baby is announced as receipt, the youth on leaving is approached by someone who will jokingly tease him by calling: Tha mhial-bhangaid ort! (Harris)
sgoultarjellyfish. Sometimes pronounced ‘sgoultair’. (I take this to be the plural, perhaps I referred to it already on previous pages as in the plural.)
olcagmischievous little brat.
put-earbailltail end buoy of a fleet of drift nets.
sgriogalan aged shabby woman, or an old maid, begin [sic] to lose interest in herself.
ceamhlag(dim.) a wee ball of yarn. Ceamlag [sic] shnàth. [NOTES: originally the headword was spelled ‘ceamlag’ like the word in the example. Then it was corrected to ‘ceamhlag’ but the word in the example was left unchanged, possibly through an oversight.]
ceamhlaa ball of yarn.
tionnsnadhsalvation. Nach ann air a thàinig an tionnsnadh. – didn’t salvation come over him. (Harris)
sill teach[sic] venereal disease.
tulgadaichgoing from side to side, rocking as a cradle.
paiseanadhstunned. Chuir e ann am paiseanadh e.
fiacail-luingethe bottom part of the stem of a boat fastened to the keel, bolted or nailed.
fiacail-airgeidfilled tooth denoting silver.
fiacail-òirfilled tooth denoting gold.
paipeir-chuileagfly paper; … de dh’fhear steigeach.
paipear-lathafill in form for weekly benefits, dated for one day, paipeirean an ‘dole’.
tiom-taiseanin a whirl and falling, as in dizziness.
làmhagantouch now and again. Bithidh mi toirt làmhagan air an dràsda ’s a rithisd.
tiachdadhseawater dried on boots or shoes, leaving a white patch of dried sea-salt. Tha mo bhrògan air tiachdadh.
criadh-leacagsmall tile.
ceòl-crìchelast post? (yes)
crioch-onarachfully fledged end.
anspeiceanhandspikes, used for carrying the dead, the coffin to a cemetery. The coffin was borne on the shoulders on the handspikes.
solus-a-chombaistcompass light, a light inside a compass aboard a ship.
cnaimh-pòsaidh… bone of a hen.
ean-athairwinged bird, able to fly. ’S e ean-athair th’ann – ‘on a wing’.
fuainpeg, pin.
rothalana person running around in circles. ’S e rothalan th’ann.
buillionloaf. Loaves are used for feeding sheep, loaves and oatcakes, or a cake made of oatmeal.
pinntmint (previously noted, earlier). Mint is the most effective plant in keeping away flies.
taimbearaltimberal [sic].
luachairrushes. Perhaps bull-rushes is [sic] of a different species?
fuail-lit-mustardmustard poultice. Used for pneumonia. Mixed with a soft paste of oatmeal and applied to the chest; quite a common effective method of treatment. It was applied hot so in this case, not fuar-lit’, I understand fuar-lit’, termed used cold not to the extremity of heat; it could have soothing effect on burns: scalding in particular.
Seasagpersonal name, Jessie, as Seasag Dhòmhnaill Mhóir.
cuilcslat chuilc – bamboo rod. (Harris)
callancontinuation. Thug e callan air. – continually referring to the one subject.
baltagfatness. Nach ann air tha bhaltag.
sparadhforcing. Na bi sparradh [sic] sean or sen air. (Harris)
senthat. (Harris)
plodraigeadhlittle effect of dryness, as when clothes are hung out to dry, in between showers. Fhuair mi plodraigeadh air.
plodagreference to a plodding baby girl. A phlodag a tha thu ann.
cuairt-gaoithemedical term for colic in a child.
ola-a-chearbainshark oil.
ola-dhubhused oil, as in a crankcase and unrefined oil, diesel oil used in fishing boats.
truiseadhrubbing or in knitting withdrawing what was already knitted from a fault.
bàrr-réisgthe top of peat soil; then the sub-soil on to the peat; the variety of growth on the top soil of peat.
criadh-ghealporcelain clay.
broilleach-gealwhite breast; a gentleman with a white shirt showing.
leabaidh-na-gréighethe resting place of deer, sheep and cattle, an roinn dhe’n talamh air a bi ’ad laighe.
leabaidh-an-laoighinternal ‘bed of a calf’, ‘abdominally’.
deanntagnettle. Nettles were boiled and given to cattle in their feeding contribution. The boiling process meant for one reason the abstraction of the sting, and for another reason moistening and softening the plant.
leabaidh-ròsachrosy-bed, alluring [sic] to a comfortable dry place to lay [sic] on.
rósaidhcattle quite often came under the name ‘rósaidh’. When called upon, they would answer to the name, and make their way home, etc.
leabaidh-ròsrose-bed, it may have originated from a gardening version.
ròsflowers of a variety. Fo channach ’s fo ròs.
coradhdeeping [sic] [dipping?]; moving the head up and down as a swan on a loch. I coradh ri faileas. (An old word if at all used now?)
iochdar-nan-tonnbottom of the waves, presumably the bottom of the sea.
braise-naduirquickness of temper.
sgòrrachjagged. Fiaclan sgòrrach.
lùbagwee stitch. Cha t’fhuair mi lùbag a chuir air an stocain an diugh.
lub-ruithebowling hitch.
lunn (pl. lunnan)joke(s) on which a boat rests.
lusagwee shrubs, or growth of minor sizes, smallest. Lusagan beaga air uachdar shuas a’ chladaich.
lusagachshrubbery, ‘preasach’.
luaireag-mharasea bird, sea teal duck.
slèiticha person on a half side in a lazy position, lying listlessly on one side.
dealbh-nan-leisga maiden nursing a child in her lap, leaning to one side, depicting a symbol of laziness (local interpretation) on St Clement’s Church Tower, sculptured, in Rodel in Harris.
guradhwaning. Tha e ann an shid a’ guradh leis fhein or e ’g guradh leis an acras.
laochagjuvenile heroine.
cuchinterj. warning a child who attempts to put dirt into his mouth.
mogan-salainna cut end of a stocking for serving as a heat conductor in applying it to a swollen mouth, inflammation, say in the case of a gum-boil, or what could be thought of as being caused by exposure to cold. The salt, as already referred to earlier back, made hot on a fry pan, put into the ‘bag’ while hot, and the salt having its own ‘beneficiaries’ [sic].
culacha person dressed unproportianately [sic] with that much of clothe [sic] as to make a person remark: Bu tu a chulach.
spùtaga little spout, diminutive of spout.
spùtagachhaving many spouting discharges.
gagaidha child’s excrement release.
sreangaga piece of string, small string, for tying a purse made of cloth, winding a string round it and knotting the string.
stiaba tape like piece of cloth. Stiab aodaich.
rèipmark. Reip [sic] na mara – the mark the sea leaves on the rocks after a high tide, especially a polluted sea.
usaidh(perhaps already noted formerly) a purse made of cloth, with a string fastening. ‘An old word’.
singealadhplanting tubers. Singealadh a bhuntàta.
dulhole in a spade. Dul na coise. Dul na spaide.
cruthshape, form. A chruth! – interj. as a surprise remark, like ‘o shiorruidh!’
ceann-finidefinishing end.
slìobairecharacter of a flattery disposition, confined to males.
leibideagcontrary to ‘sgibideag’ [q.v.] in an answerable form.
sgibideaghint; a playful practice with children.
foidseachan article thrown carelessly.
dàdsairof over ordinary size as a wave; or taking an excessive drink from a bottle of whisky. Thug e na dàdsairean od as. (Harris)
creòbhana small puny person, a male.
creòbhaga small puny person, a woman.
creubhag[See creòbhag.] ’S e creubhag uamhasach th’innte. – of little bone structure.
clachagsmall stone.
dearcberry. Dearcagan a chraoibh chaoruinn – were eaten for a contagion.
craobh chaoruinnjuniper berries [sic]. (Already referred to further back on previous pages.)
rothaglittle circle.
rùiligeanvery very small potato(es), immature sizes of potatoes. Cha eil annt’ ach rùiligein.
sgràbairscraper; associated with a person continually of [sic] collecting anything he may lay hands on.
rolaiglair. Could be a corruption from ‘rèilig’. Tha ’n rolaig aca anns a’ chladh. (Harris)
strathbhèicireachdpatrolling, walking to and fro.
teinntetwisted. Cha’n eil e teinnte. – from ‘toinneamh-te’, he is not fully mentally twisted, so to speak.
ceann-aotramgiddy, light-headed.
caithtestrong to wear. Aodach caithte. And ‘aodach caitheamh’, suitable for wearing, generally.
Mileagfemale name, Muriel. (Harris)
lireastacollection; children collectively is [sic] described as or accounted for as: lireasta mhath ann dhuibh [sic]. From ‘litter’ Eng.
leocanachhaving small stones, not pebble but small stones as in a quarry where blasting operation take [sic] place. They are more than chip sizes of crused [sic] stone, breakings from other stones. A place where a collection of them are [sic] to be found: ‘àite leocanach’ from ‘leocan’ – a small stone with sharp edges. (Referred to in back numbers of pages.)
lìreachdadhcollecting. Tha iad lireachdadh [sic] dh’an a bhàthaich – as again a ‘litter’ form or sujected [sic] [suggested?] form of collection.
deòthalgansucker, as an insect sucking from a plant, it could be adapted to anything prone to sucking. From ‘deothal’.
pàll-màllpell-mell. Thuit e ’na mhàll [sic] [phàll?] màll leis an leathad.
drinuisga slight, thin, pale, fragile male. From ‘dréin-uisge’, shadow from water.
cliuta person void of the full use of a hand with a couple of fingers missing. Cliutach – the handicap effects.
buntàta-slibeigpotatoes, tubers planted by a stick, by pressing the stick and withdrawing it to leave a hole in which the tuber is put and the soil pressed over it.
spàineag-céillespoonful of sense, small spoonful of sense.
spàinspoon. Cha [sic] eil làn na spàinne a chiall ann. (Harris)
uainichgreen as on stagnant water or cheese, taking colour of green.
uainidh[See uainich.]
sgeilèichdbroke. Rinn mi sgeilèichd.
sgeileichdan[sic] reduced an item, an article by breaking it against a stone to the condition of ‘sgeilèichdan’, to a diminutive form, or breakage. Diminutive form of the word ‘sgeilèichd’ [q.v.], may have originated from ‘sgailc’.
lionnachdadhcongestion. Bha iad a lionnachadh [sic] a stigh.
ribleachadhbeginning to disperse. When the end of a rope needs whipping it is regarded as ‘ribleachadh’.
buinichMac-na-buinich – a common enough term used…
cnòaglittle nut.
canabhasadhcanvassing. (Of a modern invention, I think, or rather a derivation closely to the English form.)
riachd-eòina crow’s sound of voice, birds unmusical produce such like sound.
rochd-barratop layer of seaweed.
siolaga small measurement of whisky. Leth-bhodach, siola, siolag. Dim. form.
suairnealaichsleepiness. Tha suairnealaich ann. – as in a very ill person.
suathagana wee rub.
crasgaga small cross. Now I am not certain, again vaguely in other words, of hearing a starfish being referred to by another name: crasgag-grunna.
blèiceinnblack lead.
dubhachdubhach (a’ choire) – the black soot on the bottom of a kettle.
tubhach[See dubhach.]
slipeana drenched person. Tha e ’na shilpean [sic]. – he is drenched in the rain.
caraichda thick crop of hair.
slip-slapas of a person soaked in the rain. Bha slip-slap aig air an làr. – his boots full of water making sound immitable [sic]: slip-slap.
leum-dàircow mating, and taken to the indication of the necessary results.
sàilligeanwater brash.
glanadh-mairtthe ‘aftermath’ of a birth, a cow after having a calf. (Perhaps I have noted this term already. It does not matter.)
sitig-àitemidden of a place. ’S e sitig-àite th’ann.
màilichwhallop(ing) or walloping as: Thug e màilich air. – he gave him a walloping.
air-a-bhualadh-a-muighsuffering outside.
beurrspark. Cha [sic] eil beurr an seo.
bìceagsmall chirp.
clach-rùistebare stone, with nothing suggested to cover it. Cha robh ri fhaicinn ach a’ chlach rùiste. – a saying I am afraid is seldom heard today.
treabhairetenement, house. In past days a person entering a new house welcomed the occupants with the remark: Beannachadh treabhaire dhuibh – a blessing remark.
clochlanaichsqueezing sound in the throat. Bha clochlanaich a bhàis ’na h-amhaich.
clochanaich[See clochlanaich.]
sgùraicheanshowers, patches of misty showers coming over the high hills; ‘sgùrr’.
sgiabadhbreak in the clouds.
cuibhleireachdcoiling ropes.
sgumaireachdbrailing herring from a net, a bag net action of lifting fish. The bag net is pushed under the fish and lifted on board or on to the shore.
sgudsaireachdsgudding [sic] [scudding?]. Bha i sgudsaireachd seachad oirnn an dràsda ’s a rithisd mar an dealanach. – sgudding [sic] [scudding?] past us now and again like lightning.
sgurabhaidhscurvy. Cha mhór nach tug e ’n sgurabhaidh orm.
sgurbhaidh[See sgurabhaidh.]
briogais-bhucachtrousers made of Buckie Tweed. The fishermen of the isles used to wear them.
bior-na-banachaiginoculation needle.
sgòdalachdan article left in a careless attitude or rather left say in a shabby [sic], through a shabby unattended outlook.
rumaisteireachd[See romaisteireachd.]
dol-a-dhàira cow taking [sic] to a calf, mating.
rola-tombacaroll of tobacco.
ceann-turcacha woven design on the end of a rope.
cnaimh-golaigeina child on the shoulders of his father, sitting with a foot on either side of his father’s neck, and the father having the hands of his son or daughter holding them above his head. Also termed ‘casa-golaigein’. In other words the father’s head between his son’s or daughter’s feet.
casa-golaigein[See cnaimh-golaigein.]
coire-strùpacha kettle with a spout.
goineagbit. Cha tug e dhomh goineag dhe na b’aige.
carabartmouth. Dh’fhosgail e’ charabart. – he opened his (big) mouth. Carabart muice.
conuisgsoul? Cha robh conuisg bheò ann. Still current. Etymology?
cèbhalfire, big fire. Bha cèbhal mór tein’ aig air. A derivation probably from ‘géibheal’, gable end of a house. It’s still in current use.
leac-griasachfire-slab of stone. A complete flat stone on which a fire was set in the middle of the floor in the old thatched houses, a thin slab of stone chosen (a more modern version from a former endeavour), that is the stone slab a one piece form of improvement.
fròinembroidery? This could be one explanation. Bha fròin ri na cùirteirean-leabadh, froineas. (I am afraid it’s seldom used if at all.)
frachdaidwreck, wreck of a boat.
tùrnairturner. Sometimes heard in the past denoting a lever or some convenient wooden lever to act in turning a capstan in a boat, etc. This is only one explanation. There may be another explanation?
congadhconked. Tha e air congadh a mach. – he has gone flat out.
siamalaichweaving like movements. Tha e siamalaich timchioll. The word originated from ‘siaman’, and ‘sniomh shiamain’.
siamalachadh[See siamalaich.]
malachdaga cursed female.
spreotagbit of stick. Cha’n e spreotag fiodh an sud. Cha d’fhuair mi spreotag.
sgialtsense. Cha’n eil sgialt aig an té ud. (Harris)
sgilfluency. Nach ann oirre tha ’n sgil-cainnte.
sguabaga wee sheaf. Sguabag fhraoich.
studarra(on) alertness. Feumaidh tu bhiodh air do studarra. (In the case of having conversation or approaching a touchy person, he may retaliate.)
blèirwool and tar between the edges of planks in a boat.
blèireamsense. Cha’n eil blèiream aige.
sgotsense. Cha’n eil sgot aige.
[note]Note: you will find, as you understand yourselves, words of various meanings and sometimes different words with the same meaning.
spochadha retort. Leig mi spochadh thuige. – an abrupt shout to frighten a person who may [be] doing something or attempting to do something he shouldn’t do.
sgleòraicheansee ‘sgùrraichean’ or ‘sglùraichean’. They may have generated [sic] from one another.
sgoilleagblow. Thug mi sgoilleag mu t-sròin dha.
dorusdoor. Pronounced in some parts of Harris as ‘daras’.
daras[See dorus.]
soideanacha big sturdy man or a creature of more than the ordinary size. Nach b’e soideanach e.
slàn-lusthe plant you were enquiring about as to its English name: enquiry on Scalpay says the English name for it is self-heal.
badan-ùrachsoil on a patch of cloth was recognised as a cure for a scalding, to ease off the effects. Again, I can only say this much until I may find further recognition.
cròiseantabent with an asthmatic complaint. Bodach beag cròiseanta.
crois-iarnaa cross like frame for producing hanks of yarn by hand.
gibeagstraws of corn.
ròp-feòirgrass twisted into rope; coir-yarn rope.
cruidhneachan old woman.
achdainn-feabhaishealing ointment.
failuntidy, unclean female. ’S e fail th’innte.
tutadh‘tuting’ [sic], an invented word, perhaps from the sound from the horn of a vehicle. When giving a noticeable hearing, or irregular breaks in composing the sound resembling a tut-tut-tut.
fud‘chicken-hearted’, void of encouragement, etc. Balaich nam fud.
tasgadh-oidhchea night banking of the fire. In the old black-house the peat fire was banked before retiring at night.
monaitch(pronounced like ‘monage’ in English) moorings, moorings of a boat. (Scalpay)
caithris-na-oidhcheawake in the night. A habit or custom perhaps peculiar, adhered to [sic] Lewis and Harris, of courtships, a couple courting courting [sic] through the night.
cathris-oidhche[sic] [See caithris-na-oidhche.]
slisneadhchipping wood.
slischip of wood.
crionaicha small withered tree.
bocsa-cutaidhthe box from which gutters gutted the herring.
cuileagartificial fly used in trout fishing.
cliabh-seilichcreel made of the fine branches of the willow tree.
cliabh-feamainncreel – denoting seaweed in the creel.
griochaireachdrock scratching as reference to an inshore or boat that will not go very far from the shore as: Tha iad ann an shid, neo tha i ann a shid, a’ griochaireachd ris a’ chladach.
ùisigeadhusing. (Harris)
oiseanachhaving corners.
oiseancorner (common use).
sùgar-dubhliquorice sweets, black. Pioban sùgar dubh – pipes of the black liquorice, gredients [sic] [ingredients?] of sweets.
fàireaga little swelling on a gland.
sgumaigeadhworking with a bag net or scummer.
sgludsaireachdpuddling [sic].
sgreògachsgraggy [sic] [scraggy?].
mìle piossmithereens. Cha [sic] e ’na mhìle pios. – perhaps one reference to describing an article, cup, etc. breaking into smithereens.
strabhstraw. Ol le strabh e. – drink it from the straw as lemonade out of a bottle, sucking the fluid up.
sop-deocaidh[See strabh.]
molachadhprentending [sic] [pretending?]. Cha [sic] eil mis’ ach a molachadh.
Sìleagdiminutive name, female name of Sìle, Jane.
fersunnanworril [sic], on cattle on or in the skin. An ointment of soothing effect was applied. (Already noted.)
Mac-a’ BhiocairMacVicar, surname.
liralready referred as litter in Harris. A dog having an unusual number of whelps is referred to as: Nach ann aige tha lir. (Perhaps you have a further meaning or different meaning?)
fangput into position where the creature can be caught; an enclosure process of getting old [sic] [hold?] of any creature. From ‘faing’, fank.
slugantaking more than what is considered. Nach ann aige tha slugan. – (‘pre-noted’) gullet. ’S anns an t-slugadh a tha e…
bana-cheannaichewoman having a shop, a female in business, grocery business, etc.
bana-bhreabadaira female weaver.
flagaisg(also) compost.
bearnan-brìdeflower, dandelion, at the point of the flower giving way to withering, the seed is left which parachute off by the wind. Children used to blow off the seed themselves and counting how many times they had to blow before the final seed was blown, which indicated what time of day it was. The flower itself does the re-seeding. The seed is disposed likewise from its down, ‘choimhiteach’ [sic].
cloimhteachvirgin feathers of a chick.
còsalachAn siol anns a’ chosalaich [sic] – the seed in the material which could be attributed to the flower, dandelion as one version.
stamhradhsummer. An stamhradh.
[caramel]Note: I’ll make enquiries as to the possibility of an answer to your query towards the plant, etc. ‘caramel’. Corra meile… it may have derived from ‘càir meala’? I am afraid it’s not of Lewis and Harris? Anyway, I’ll enquire!
duilleagan-seargtawithered leaves, the withered foliage of trees on the ground in late autumn or in winter. (Unless they are used for manure, mixed into compost?)
raineachfern. Was used to contribute in a mattress form of packing for beds in sheilings, makeshift beds; fishermen of old used it, when their periodical residence was a sheiling (Harris). (The ‘raineach’ generally, which accounts for all species.)
leabaidh-rainichfern bed. As far as I understand, fern (‘raineach’) was in this case, as above mentioned, a factor in collecting insects or fleas. The ‘raineach’ generally, which accounts for all species.
h-opag (interj.)as when lifting a child from the floor.
fraidhfry. Fraidh sgadain – a few herring on a string as here.
drabasdachdobscene talk.
[manure]Note: algae composition was used as manure for crofts, still is, and so his [sic] [is?] hen droppings, also cattle dung, seaweed of various species, tangle being popular for the growth of corn. Algae in powder form or kelp was, and is, used as a reinforcement for manure, that is algae can be used with other manure contribution or contributions, rotten fish, guano, etc. (Harris)
siolsiol, the fish spawned into life, from the embryo into the ‘baby fish’, virginal form.
guanaga light agile female.
cuaileanachadhsurround. Bha e ’g chuaileanachadh gus an t’fhuair e e ann an luib, far do rug e air na ònrachd. (Harris)
sileaganvery seldom used in Harris. As ‘juga mór sileagan’, I have heard it used. Seemingly it’s a tinkers’ term, a quotation from the tinkers when they used to visit Harris, but otherwise the descriptive term as here is alien to Harris, especially, as we say: ‘in our day and age’.
rusairrushy [sic] female, or: Ceann an ruiseir ud air nochdadh, or: ’S e ruisear innte gu bhi falbh.
buisneachmix up, an all out of place job. Rinn thu buisneach dhe. (Harris)
teàrr-an-fhiodharchangel tar. Archangel tar was the most accepted tar in connection with ointment treatment for cattle and sheep.
teàrr-a’-ghuailused for tarring boats, tarring rooftops. I do not think it was ever used as ointment for cattle or sheep even in emergency.
sùthagstrawberries, used for jam making. Raspberries was [sic] coming under the same name?
sùbhag[See sùthag.]
smeargrease. Wasn’t there (also) ‘gréis’ for grease?
langadailthe broad-leaved tangle (Harris). ‘Bragaire’, the [sic]
spealadaireanwee boats in the 20 feet keel sizes, were termed as ‘spealadairean’ when engaged in the herring fishing at Scalpay, in Harris.
darach-glasgreen oak. I have heard of a chair being made on Harris with a seat of ‘green oak’.
cnèimhearsaichnibbling. Mar chù a’ cneimhearsaich [sic] – when picking a bone. Also: Thug e cneimhearsaich [sic] mhath dha. – good response as in competition.
cnàmharsaich[See cnèimhearsaich.]
eichdearsaichplaying in fun: iad ag eichdearsaich ri chéile.
driseanprickles, as a rose-bush having prickles.
sgamhan bheòliving soul. Cha robh sgamhan bheò ann. (Harris)
sgitilsgittles [sic] [skittles?]. A corrupted form from the English. A one time playful practice by children.
ineadhwoof (Harris). ‘Snàth-cur’ or ‘inneach’ also.
crosgag-tuathalainstarfish of the lighter species.
giurrsachan unruly female character. Perhaps from ‘siùrsach’. The word ‘giurrsach’ unaccented. (Not used now.)
gaorrsach[See giurrsach.]
bualamasapproaching a person in a sort of retort, not in anger, but in a ‘howling’ sort of approach in speech.
dubhan-slabhraidhchain hook.
Abhaichnative of Avoch, Scotland. Na h-Abhaich. Eithear Abhach – an Avoch boat.
SibealagSybal [sic] [Sybil?], a female personal name, as Sibealag Dhòmhnaill Choinnich.
mèigheadhmare? A corrupted word likely. Bàgh-na-meigheadh [sic] – an original name for a bay in the island of Scalpay (Harris) or from… [sic]
miaghweights, weighing machine.
miathtadhbeginning to get softer and more easily [sic] to chew as mutton, lamb, boiled lamb.
miathtasoft as lamb mutton, easy to chew. ’S e feòil mhiathta th’innte. Have originated from ‘miath’, or vice versa.
clistrigeadhknocked about, rough handling. Fhuair e a chlistrigeadh.
shadhadhretaliating, retaliating for an injury, in speech…
làdachdfullness. Thug e as làdachd. Fhuair i làdach [sic] ud. – volley as a battleship hitting another. Ex-navy men [sic] telling how in a sea battle, was heard saying describing the scene: Fhuair i làdach [sic] ud air a teis meadhonn. (Harris) (one meaning)
soillearadhmark. Chuir e soillearadh air. – he put a mark on him (in a fight).
pliarambabbling. But there is to my way of thinking ‘blèiream’ as previously noted: Cha’n eil blèiream agad (Harris) – not the same word.
slìgsly. Duine slìgeach – a sly person.
slipa slippery sort of a character, who gets away, slips out of trouble, etc. unscathed, gets away with things as termed, locally.
seacaidjacket. Rinn mi mo sheacaid. – I have made my jacket (lit.), denoting good business.
discommon enough word for a person who likes to be beside the fire. But there is another word: ‘diseag’, which could have derived from ‘dis’, a name given to a female.
[diseag][See dis.]
stuth-casadaichcough mixture, or cough balsam.
sùth-feòla-nam-botuilperhaps an individual given name, invented, for Bovril.
easgan-dhubhjelly eel. Easgannan dubha nan loch – jelly eels of the lochs.
easgan-dubh-a-chladaichconger eel. By the shore, black in colour until the same species enters deep water it takes on eventually the white colour. I have this information?
mialan-tràghadall the variety of the smallest creature found on the sea-shore. I can only remember having this term vaguely. The reference sounds quite healthy I think?
crosgagachhaving many crosses or similar shapes like crosses.
fiuchdanach(adj) having fasteners. Bha feuchdanan [sic] dha dhùnadh. Bha aghaidh a phios aodaich bh’oirre feuchdanach [sic]. [NOTES: originally the headword was spelled ‘feuchdanach’ just like the words in the two examples. Then it was corrected to ‘fiuchdanach’ but the two examples were left unchanged, possibly through an oversight.]
fiuchdanaichgrip fastening. Bha feuchdanaich [sic] dha dhùnadh. – as garment, row of grip fasteners fastening it. [NOTES: originally the headword was spelled ‘feuchdanaich’ just like the word in the example. Then it was corrected to ‘fiuchdanaich’ but the example was left unchanged, possibly through an oversight.]
caramealvetch. Plant with bitter taste, one explanation. ‘Bitter’ rather clashes with ‘meala’? Wild peas. It’s difficult to observe its growth in this area at the moment if at all grows on Lewis or Harris? (I’ll make further enquiries.)
[‘tuisleadh-asbhuinne’]Note: as regards another word or two in connection with woman’s complaints I am making further enquiries. Someone (one informant) told me ‘tuisleadh-asbhuinne’ was an ‘Uist word’, mostly used on Uist, but I remember it being used on Harris, years back.
toradh-anabaichmiscarriage, ‘woman complaint’. Could it be used ‘miscarriage of justice’? Anyway it was used on Harris in connection with a pregnant woman’s failure to give a healthy birth to child, premature, etc. (I’ll try for more on this subject.)
bharr-na-glùineoff the knee cap, when the knee cap is out of place.
bharr-an-uiltout of joint.
glòramach‘gloring’ [sic] in speech. Reference to a person as ‘abair thusa glòramach’, like from the word ‘glory’, or ‘glòr’-am’ or ‘glòir-leam’, let me glorify.
treòramachnot physically effected [sic] [affected?] to a big extent; are you very able to go about; considering, as a welcome salute to an aged person. From the term ‘treòirimeachd’.
raillsgealachflimsy story producer. (‘Roill’ – phlegm from the mouth.)
bulagachhaving bulging sides as a boat.
ràs-gaoithestrong breeze of wind. The description more inclined to the east wind, as in this instance: Bha ràs de ghaoith-an-ear ann le turadh. Turadh na mòine – a peat drying remark. The east wind is a very effective agent in drying peats on Harris.
mòine-bhristeadhfragile peat, easily broken.
sùgh-puill-mhòinidhstagnant water in a peat bank.
mòineadh-bhànlight quality peat, of a mossy essence.
caolaga thin cow or female.
caomhana mild youth, inoffensive, etc.
caomhaga mild girl, inoffensive, etc.
fo-shàl‘submarine’ part. Tha e coimhead glé mhath fo-shàl. – a ref. to a boat, even when ashore beached away from the sea.
fo’n uisgeunder (the) water.
sgiabataichapart [sic] actions as in clouds, clouds breaking apart.
sgiabadh[See sgiabataich.]
cronan-marasea shanty.
gàradh-càil‘cail[sic]-garden’, garden in which cabbage grow [sic]. Also termed as: kitchen garden.
RuisiaRussia. ‘Ruisia’ as termed in Harris in other ‘ans [?] (an) Ruis’.
miaranaichyawning. According to pronunciation, Harris, unless a corruption.
meunanaich[See miaranaich.]
miaranyawn. According to pronunciation, Harris, unless a corruption.
mianan[See miaran.]
breac-a-sianainspeckles on the skin.
mialan-crionskin rash.
miala-crion[See mialan-crion.]
trèibhdhireachfaithfully [sic]. ’S e duine trèibhdhireach a h’ann [sic]. (Harris)
treubhdhireach[See trèibhdhireach.]
duraida word, or syllable. Cha’n eil duraid aige ach Beurla.
dreannadhtiff; glimpse, etc. Cha [sic] eil dreannadh ceòthadh a’ dol troimh’n t-simileir – cha’n eil mi faicinn dreannadh.
dreannaigback. Ealach air an dreannaig chaol – a burden on the skinny back.
dreannaggiving a droning time. Thug e dreannag air a’ phiob-chiùil.
fear-dréineacha surly person.
siblichdrawler, having a drawling movement, moving slowly pulling his legs as it were. (one meaning)
[iasgach]Note: an t-iasgach-luathaireach agus an t-iasgach fadalach was [sic] two seasonal fishing, herring fishing, in the past on the east coast of Scotland – termed in the past.
sgigirewee short person, light-weight.
sgigeanwee lump. Cha tug e dhuinn ach sgigein bheaga. – wee lumps.
clamharsaichbarking resemblance.
thachdaisdchocked [sic] [choked?]. Thachdaisd e. – he was chocked [sic] [choked?].
clìoig-clìoigimitation sound as of a gull, seagull.
[cuideachd]Cha’n ann dha mo chuideachd thu (!) – imaginary rendering of a pigeon’s cooing… in words.
gliogairea loosely dressed tall thin person.
tèina partition inside a boat, a fishing boat.
còmanswooden uprights inside a fishing boat, in the hold.
seann-mhaor-eòlach‘old knowledgeable expertee [sic]’.
clobha-ceàrdaichhandmade tongs, smithy- or smith-made tongs.
adhaireanthe iron hooks on either side of the stem of a boat, on which dug-sails are hooked.
clisnichbody. Tha bhuil air do chlisnich.
caoraich-ògayoung sheep, generally speaking.
mebandistraction, mentally or physically. Rinn e meban dhiom.
clobhta-sgùraidhrubbing (scrubbing) cloth. Metaphorically speaking: Rinn e clobta[sic]-sgùraidh dhiom. [NOTES: originally the headword was spelled ‘clobta-sgùraidh’ just like the word in the example. Then it was corrected to ‘clobhta-sgùraidh’ but the example was left unchanged, possibly through an oversight.]
òrain-mharasea songs.
sguaicplaster. Sguaic buachair – a large cow pad [sic] [pat?].
seasgachnot giving milk. Caora sheasg.
gu leòirgalore, enough.
bior-goinidhsharp penetrating dart.
tairig-fuaigheilnail for nailing the planks of a boat.
labanhardly pressed. Rinn e laban dhiom.
labanachadhpressed into distress, etc.
làthaireachdatmosphere. Bha làthaireachd mhiorbhuileach anns an eaglais.
songaidsonnet. I am not sure of this word again. Perhaps invented?
sòradhnot caring a hitch. Cha robh sòradh aic’ air na briagan.
sticeadh[See stiachdadh.]
sligh’ mharbhdeath way, depressing journey, on the way to a churchyard.
slighe-nam-marbhthe way of the dead.
calbhancontinual talk on the same subject. Thug e calbhan air an aon rud.
gosdanachof wee short hair.
goisdeanach[See gosdanach.]
goisdeanhair. Cha’n eil goisdean liath ’na cheann.
craobhanachgushy. Bha a fuil craobhanach r’a faicinn. ‘Craobhadh’ – branching.
craobhagachhaving small trees or design as wallpaper, ‘craobhagach’.
cruinn-luathcollectively fast.
iompachana converted young person. Iompachan òg. A common enough expression with young people and religious, impressions [sic].
càrnadhheaping. A’ càrnadh dha fhéin, airgead agus òr. – ‘safing [sic] [saving?] up’. Càrnain air an t-shlighe [sic] – cairns on the way. A brief note: at one time in Harris when a burial was to take place in the churchyard of Luskentyre, the burial party used to build cairns (‘càrnain’) while resting with the coffined remains, denoting ‘càrnain air an t-slighe’.
drumanachelder tree (already noted). When in winter the branches became sapless, children (as already noted) scrabbed [sic] [scrubbed?] the branches with a pocket knife and used the branch as fishing rods. It (the common elder) is a common tree, ‘easy to grow’ in places like the Isles of Scotland where the climate is damp and cold. It is noticeable on Harris growing without or within little distances of houses, or close to a house. If this signifies anything, I am not able to say at the moment. Seemingly it could? … In the ‘superstitious stories of the Isles’.
[burial on Harris]Note: at a burial on Harris. When the coffined remains are lowered into the grave, and the coffin set on the bottom (of the grave), the tasselled cords are thrown on the coffin, and the grave ready for to shovel the soil back in place or its contents, or part of its contents, placed with spade or shovel on the top of the coffin. Before this is done I have noticed someone of a funeral party likewise throwing a handful of sand or soil, or a sprinkle, on the coffin lid. It is a custom. For what reason is it done – luck, superstition… At the first funeral I ever attended I saw it done and I was wondering why.
gnachdailknacky [sic], able to do things, work, in handyman fashion.
grògachflimsy; work as stitching canvas, etc. showing untidiness.
muir-ruighinnlengthy towering waves, or high towering waves.
muir-chassteep choppy waves of a lighter sort of motion, from the deep ocean roll, say of the Atlantic.
cirean-glasgreyish crest, signifying white as of waves.
cirean-seacaidhcrest as of a hen, falling unwell, suffering from a disease which shows symptoms by the colour of her crest, of a withered pale whitish colour.
brisgeanroot of the silver weed. ’N uair a bhiodha mid [sic] a’ falbh ag itheadh nam brisgein…
[‘bogie roll’]Note: chewing ‘bogie roll’ tobacco was a habit with men folk of the isles (Harris) in past years.
[boils]Note 2: boils were brought to a point with poultices applied. When at the point of its height, so to speak, they were sometimes pierced through with an ordinary sewing needle for the collection of the pus or matter to discharge and the boil to heal.
guirmean-an-t-sléibha plant from which the colour of blue was taken. There was another form of ‘guirmean’, a chalk like form of dye which produced a bluish colour or blue colour for dying wool.
ròs-eileanan isle or islet (on which foliage grow) (frith-eilean-ròsach) covered with shrubbery of various species.
fàsleigealemptying (to a void [?]) a wound of its contents of puss (if I remember well).
leigealpenetrating a (in)fested wound.
riaslaichea person making little progress despite his efforts and having got knack of things, as we relate sometimes.
botul-tethhot water bottle, for warming the feet in bed.
iaruinn-stiùrach (pl)iron brackets holding the steer of a boat to the hull. Iarunn-stiùrach (case [sic] singular) – one iron, for a ‘steer, helm’.
spageiteaninvented word for spaghetti? I am afraid I am hazy about this word. I am afraid again I cannot give you a quotation in connection with its use. I’ll enquire!
leacradhputting a thickness of material of [sic] [on?] a flat surface with a trowel. From ‘leac’.
botul-lionnscrew top, bottle of beer, etc.
cupacup (Harris). [Cf. copan.]
copancup (Lewis). [Cf. cupa.]
cliamhadhcreeling [sic]. A’ cliamhadh na feamad.
leth-chasa middle strand of two meshes in a net broken. Cha robh leth-chas air an lion sin. – meaning it was complete without a tear or a broken strand.
totamanspinner. Riddle: titeaman, totaman, cota beag dubh, trì chasan iaruinn is ceann beag dubh. Answer: preis bheag nan trì chasan.
sgifthrob. Cha do sgif e. – he didn’t throb, he was killed instantly.
rèicglutton; feast.
sglepirea person receive [sic] helpings free as drinks, whisky. From ‘sglèip’, ‘deoch sglèip’.
rabaistealachddelving in rubbish.
sgeireachabounding in rocks as on the seabed.
sachdadhthe sea beginning to wheeze, to give a wheezing sound.
criochairean-cladaichfishermen or birds who keep close to the shore, not far from the shore boundaries.
feitheamh-na-h-uaireachattending the hours, as workmen, etc.; work-a-day hours, etc.
an fheitheamh odthat waiting. When someone waits and expecting [sic] for some unwanted act or movement to happen... ‘After term’… denoting suspense...
feadan(also) exposed place by the open sea. Anns na feadain. (Scalpay)
ceum-adhairtforward step.
ceum-na-h-ùmhlachdstep to obedience.
a’ chiad cheumthe first step, the first step to take.
pràiseachcheek. Nach ann ort a tha phràiseach! (Harris)
pléitcheek. Nach ann ort a tha pleit [sic]. – aren’t you not [sic] cheeky, daring. (Harris)
sùmhlaichgradually subsiding to an end as a boat beginning to sink under the sea. Shùmhlaich i sios.
feàrnaalder tree.
beithbirch tree. There is only one birch tree I know of growing within a distance of Scalpay. It’s on another adjacent island to Scalpay (Scotisay Island), and again as far as I gather, there isn’t one growing on Scalpay, Harris. The one that grows on Scotisay is the ‘silver birch’. If there is a special name for the ‘silver birch’ remains a question with me at the moment.
sgogadhoverdoing it as when eating. When trying to eat further through eating ‘appetisingly’ a person finds he cannot eat more, continue, thus: Tha e air sgogadh air. (Harris)
liamadhsickened. Tha e air liamadh air. – he has sickened himself.
leamhachascontinual irritation as listening to disagreeable speech.
rùm-teicheadha space or rum [sic] [room?] to flee.
buntàta-carrach‘warted potatoes’, caused by fungi or fungus.
bunanroots of decaying teeth.
bun-na-h-aithne[sic] source, bottom of the river.
bial-na-h-aibhnemouth of the river.
mòthanbog violet, plant.
farachdquestioning, asking. (Harris)
fidireadhhear. ’Na fidireadh e cail idir, thigeadh e dha innseadh dhomh.
falbh-coisetravelling on foot.
diosgail[See diosgadh.]
[màm]Note: ulcerous swelling like ‘màm’ was approached by incantations, etc.
[sgagaidhean]there was [sic] dry skin complaints – ‘sgagaidhean’.
sicinner skin of a person. When broken causes rupture, or means rupture.
sriuchdainlittle wounds, skin breaking, etc. between [sic] of children; and also dryness of sea-salt caused by seawater drying, exposed to a dry wind, etc. etc.
miaran-na-cailleachan-marbhafoxgloves. Named because of the resemblance of thimbles, which grows [sic] in line along the stalk, not as one flower but a few one beside the other. I saw them in growth in steep braes and on patches of soil on rock faces. (Harris)
luideagachhaving bits of torn clothes. Le luideagan a suathadh. Dh’fhalbh an ceot’ [?] na luideagan. Bu luideagach e co dhiu.
tuteanachadh[sic] moved about from place to place. Bha e air a thutanachadh ’s air a luidrigeadh, ’s e luideagach luideach ’s a’ pholl.
[note]Note: some of the words I have collected may be ‘obsolete’, etc. in the sense being not in current use in speech.
altraigalter (from the English).
suraganpuddles. Na shurragan [sic] beaga ’s na eabair far an robh na geigean a feitheamh ’s a mhòintich.
mòintich-an-fhraoichheather-clad moorland void of arable patches or cultivation.
muc-duinea surly, unliked [sic], boorish male.
sàcramaidsacrament. Sàcramaid a bhaistidh.
còrnbundle of tweed, rolled tweed.
[gàradh-càil]Note: ‘gàradh-càil’ already alluded to is also termed as: kitchen garden.
spianaganwhen pulling wool or material which when pulled apart shows fragmentary bits from the effect blown in the wind thus from the ‘spianagan’ due to the ‘wee pulling’. 2. (also) whirlwind effect in the wind, sudden gusts, from ‘spianadh’ – giving a strong jerk.
plubarsaichmovement of a person in the sea. Perhaps a corruption of ‘plubadaich’.
fàileadh-an-fhraoichthe smell of burning heather.
cliongacha clanging report, sound.
làn-àmfull time.
poiteanmarks on the skin, swellings. Thàinig an t-aodann aige a mach ’na phoitean gorma.
pogachadhbags, baggy. Bha a bhriogais a pogachadh a mach. – bulging. Bha poc [sic] air a chlar a chroch e. – bulging appearance.
làn-aogaisfull appearance. Ann an làn-aogais an fhir a bh’ann.
tréine-a-neairtin fullness of strength, of his strength.
dàmhaircontinuity. Ghabh e dàmhair thige co-dhiu. – intercessantly [sic] [incessantly?] on doing a job which will result in disaster. (one meaning)
sgioba-coisean old reference to peat cutters on foot, making their way to a peat bank.
briseadh-na-marawave top. Rug sinn air a phuta ann am briseadh-na-mara.
bristeadh-na-mara[See briseadh-na-mara.]
constapalconstable. Close (this word) adherence to the English rendering.
sguilgeadhbreaking apart. (old word) Dha sguileadh [sic] – grinding or peeling off. Perhaps clashing [?] together meant the production.
sgailceadh[See sguilgeadh.]
[siola-na-h-easgainn]Note: ‘siola-na-h-easgainn’ as mentioned towards a cure for rheumatics. May I again note that any species of an eel was considered appropriate, generally the conger eel when the spawning part was prepared as a plaster aid. Medicinally, herbal remedies was [sic] a recommendation in some cases.
[incantations]Note: there were various incantations – an incantation for a stye, an ulcerous wound, a blockage in the urine passage of animals and so on, depending on what nature of complaint it was.
[baking soda]Note: baking soda – a tea spoonful in warm water was used for heartburn, and still is recommended and proves beneficial, unless the patient needs medical aid in a major way, if the matter or complaint means further attempts to cure him.
snaoiseansnuff. Considered valid for catarrh, that is the taking of snuff. 2. tobacco dried a little to the point of breaking it into powder when dry; the Highland bogie roll quality, then a little quantity of it inhaled into the nose, or a bit of tobacco injected, caused the sufferer of catarrh in a little while to sneeze, etc. etc. (one way)
sùgh-a’-chutaige-ghlaisthe water in which cuddies are boiled.
[rubbing oils]Rubbing oils: lineament [sic], castor oil, melted butter, etc. were previous to the method use [sic] of ointments of today. ‘Ola-an-ròin’ was popular with generations past in various ways. Liver oils, ‘fish-oils’ as sometimes termed.
soncdirect. Chaidh e sios sonc. – when anything falls into the sea, the remark is made, in other words without a ‘slither’. Pronounced like the word ‘song’ in English but for the ‘c’ at the end which gives a ‘hard’ sound. It’s not obsolete – still in current use.
seotadhstretching. Bha e seotadh sud thugam.
gunna-spùtaidhsgurt [sic] [spurt?] gun.
sgian-imleiga knife for cutting the ‘umbilical’ cord.
corcarpurple colour, or crimson. Dath a’ chorcair.
stèrslash. Stèr am balach. (Harris)
stirigsickly, weakly person.
sirig[See stirig.]
cìll-chlos(a compound version, etc.) churchyard quietude or quietness.
ceann-a-bhàighhead of a/the bay.
ceann-goirtsore head. (Internally.) [sic] A wet bandage being soaked in cold water and then tied tight round the head, round the forehead, was a one time cure for a sore head, or a soothing method for sore head.
cloimheach-liathsoft grey down.
glas-fheurgreen grass, thinly, pale, growing in sand by the seaside. Also the green short grass on which cattle feed on the hills, etc.
lusan-garbhaa collection of strong plants of various species like nettles and thistles growing on a neglected patch of land. Tha e air a dhol fo lusan garbha.
lusan-garga[See lusan-garbha.]
meanbh-lusantermed likewise are a more delicate species.
[corn]Note: seed on corn in autumn was tested by putting a grain in your mouth between the teeth and pressing it as to its resistance. If resisting under the pressure of the tooth as [sic] hard enough by the sensitivity of the testing. Then the corn was ready for cutting.
posdaireachdpostman’s work.
croicean-nam-pollaicheananti-electrical jar like anti-conductors of electricity on telegram [sic] poles, on which wires are fastened, etc. There is a linesman’s explanation which is applicable...
ean-turuismigratory bird.
lannsraigeadhan ulcerous wound being lancerated [sic] [lanced? or lacerated?].
lannsaigeadh[See lannsraigeadh.]

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