Measgaichte / Miscellaneous

D.R. Morrison
Harris, Scalpay
  • [NOTES: the original title of the list is “Glossary”.]
Notes in connection with cures, etc.
daorachdrunkenness. Try to make the drunken person vomit by giving him cold tea. If mortal drunk, by pouring cold water on his face, getting the drunken person to put his fingers into his gullet, the two fingers, the pointer and adjacent finger, to make him vomit and get the contents, the liquid, the whisky off his stomach. Salt water, water mixed with salt, was also recommended (this was a past cure of earlier, former days).
uisge-beathawhisky. Was used also for toothache – leaving some whisky in the mouth for a while. Whisky and oatmeal was considered as tonic, as was rum and eggs mixed. Whisky was recommended for faints, weaknesses. Whisky and hot water being retiring [sic] at night was a stimulating [sic], recommended stimulant for colds, that is for counteracting colds. Whisky and hot water, so hot as the patient could accept: it was known as ‘totaidh’.
lionnbeer. For constipation and stomach disorders (drinking beer).
portairstout. For tonic, in moderation of course. Drinking it moderately, a small glassful daily, say.
gingin. For bladder troubles, for urine, discoloured urine and a patient unable to pass water normally.
[biadh]Biadh air dhroch dheasachadh – disagreeable food causing indigestion. A good dose of castor oil as was termed, laxatives used to remove the cause off the stomach, the food-cause, the ‘unwanted food’. As termed also ‘Cha do chòrd e (am biadh) ri do stamaig. Referred to also as ‘biadh na ruadhan’, or overcooked food.
bruchd-ruadhaingastric effect from overcooked food.
stopadhblockage. I have heard of an operation performed on the throat gullet [sic] of a hen by cutting through externally and removing the internal obstruction (with a razor blade) when a foreign body stuck in her gullet, and this operation seemingly being the only alternative medical aid (done locally). The wound of course was sown. If it was a success, if the wound healed, I can’t say. With human beings, if an obstruction of a minor event came forward, say, fish bones stuck in the throat, the cure, or the precautions taken, was to swallow oatcakes, coarse food chewed and swallowed, thus pressing, bringing with it the swallowed bones from their undesirable place, or phase [sic].
pionntmint. The plant leaves in a cupboard was [sic] used to keep away mice. An old time thinking person’s invention.
cnaplachknotty. Female (suffering) in particular with rheumatic effects as lumpy hands, lumps of rheumatism ailment. An inactive female is sometimes described by a person of a similar movement in the case of action to be taken and that person not approving to her as: A chnaplach a tha thu ann, in this circumstance, etc.
[note]Note: There are words with us here with perhaps sometimes a variety of meanings, or the one meaning only.
boireannach-trompregnant woman. If it happened that someone threw an object and hit a pregnant woman the results could be a birthmark being on the child when born.
slìomslime. Slìom na seilcheig – the slime left by a snail in her trail indicates her direction, her detection as the other leaving her belly-marks on the grass. I am rather hazy in informing you that the snail’s slime had the potential qualities of medicine, or curable influences – I can’t say if it was for burns. All I can say is having heard of it having some purpose towards a remedy for some subject, that is again hazy…
sùghjuice. Sùgh an fhiasgain – water in which mussels were boiled was drunk as blood-purifier.
fiasganmussel, shellfish.
biadh nan cearcmash. Epsom salts were mixed with the mash given to hens, when the hens seemed to show signs of unhealthy symptoms, as in the case of a serious outburst of trouble like fowl [sic] the hens were destroyed.
[caileach ribeach]soft food was the cause of the ‘caileach ribeach’ in the mouth of cattle. The organs, in connection with the chewing process, were inflaming to a state that it was necessary to operate on them with scissors, etc. (See other reference Glossary, the first or second number of pages I posted to you. I think it’s mentioned something to this effect?)
bracsaidhcould be eaten, the mutton; it wasn’t termed as a disease.
[prevention of flies]a mixture of urine and dipping liquid was a popular mixture for the prevention of flies, to keep the flies at a distance from the animal.
[copag]nettle stings were cured, the abbreastion [sic] [abrasion?] stings from being so irritating by rubbing the affected part by a docken leaf – ‘copag’.
bragairebroad leaves of tangle used for manure for corn growth.
[feamainn]growth of seaweed in Harris was termed: bliadhnach, dò-bhliadhnach, etc. feamainn-dhubh, ’s feamainn loibhte, etc.
feamainn-loibhterotten seaweed. Was very popular as manure for potatoes. Left to rot, and then placed in drills when planting the potatoes.
burbanachadhfestering, as a wound.
burbanaichthe act of fester [sic] in a wound, act of collection, enlargement of the wound.
cnaimh-deoghailsucking-bone, suckling-bone. The bone given to a child to suck.
lochd-cadailwink of sleep. Cha d’fhuair mi lochd cadail [sic] leis an déideadh an raoir.
cnaimh-cnagnaidhchewing bone.
salainnsalt. A handful of coarse curing salt thrown after a crew member of a fishing boat while on the way to embarkation is a token of luck.
pròsbrose. Pros [sic] air a dheanamh teth air a’ gheideil [sic] was recommended for stomach troubles. Brose on a bandage was applied to infested wounds for the abstraction of festing [sic] [festering?] matter. It was of a coarser componement [sic], dryer, for to absorb more.
shábhadh[?] shaving (Harris). ‘Shéibheadh’ (Lewis), shéibigeadh [sic]. A cut after shaving responded to a bit of newspaper applied to the cut, to prevent bleeding. Dabbing the cut until the bit of paper would finally stick.
sàlseawater. Fresh herring boiled in seawater, cooked, was believed to be more tasteful (Harris). An old recipe, also fresh herring being cooked in paper, rolled in paper, and leaving it on a stove, not so hot as to allow the paper to burn, thus when ready, of course eaten.
min choirce is burnoatmeal mixed with water as a soft drink (in former days, Harris).
scalpaichdandruff; natives of the island of Scalpay in Harris. I have heard of paraffin being used shampoo-like as a preservation item, keeping the hair retaining [sic] its health and crop.
thùrt-thàrtsaying, saying highly or loudly as in the ‘employment’ or the instance of gossip. Bha thurt[sic]-thàrt aic air (Harris). Could be from ‘thubhairt àrd’.
sgoultairshellfish. It has a stingy [sic] effect on the skin when handled, it leaves an after effect of sting. Fishermen use lubricating oil on their hands for a soothing formula when after having contact with them from their nets. As an emergency, engine oil is used by the fishermen, when any other oil isn’t available.
corca knife with a wooden handle used for slicing bacon.
sgètchadhsketching (of a modern effect, term from Eng.).
sgeth-ròina particular species of jellyfish? I have heard the term…
lùireachthere is this: Chuir mi orm lùireach de chòta. (Harris)

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