Measgaichte / Miscellaneous

D. Meek
Tiree, [Caolas? – one slip]
lamaragNotes: a mixture of liquids, soft foods or the like. Can be used of a muddy pool, caused by cartwheels.
(a) leoraQuotation: (A) leora, ’s tu thoilleadh tachairt riut. Notes: expletive. Probably from leabhair, “by the book”, i.e. the Bible. Cf. Irish dar an leabhar.
liaghanQuotation: long, stringy pieces of seaweed which foul the propellers of small boats. Float near the surface.
mac-mallachdQuotation: Chan eil ann ach am mac-mallachd. Notes: he’s an absolute rogue. Usually refers to Devil.
màirnealachQuotation: duine màirnealach. Notes: lazy, slow to do anything.
màthair-ghuirNotes: the source of inflammation in a boil or swelling.
mu réirQuotation: “Leig an cù mu réir.” Notes: “Let the dog loose.”
ranunsQuotation: (1) “Thug mi dha ranuns.” (2) “ranuns na loinne”. Notes: (1) “I gave him a telling-off.” (2) “a really good telling-off”.
rathadQuotation: Cha ghleidh an rathad e. Notes: “The road will not hold him.” Said of drunk man.
rochdNotes: an off-shore fishing bank.
roileagNotes: lair in graveyard. Local pronunciation of ‘réileag’.
roilleadhQuotation: “Bha roilleadh anabarrach air a’ chuan.” Notes: the sea was heaving terribly or extremely rough.
spaid-mhórNotes: spade used for cutting the sides of ditches. Cutting edge of spade is rounded. See diagram.
spalNotes: a piece of stone used to fill in spaces between large stones and keep them in place. Pl. spallachan.
spèicNotes: stall. Usually applied to type constructed from one upright and one hinged post.
spleogQuotation: Thuit e ’na spleog. Notes: He fell flat on his face.
splutraich[spɫut̪əɾix] Notes: splashing with food; or a mess caused by splashing, e.g. with porridge.
sporran-feannaigNotes: a dry “purse” of black seaweed, frequently found just above the shoreline on the machair.
sputaraichNotes: liquid, or any thin mixture, which has been spattered about. Can also be applied to the mixture.
airsonQuotation: Airson sud fhéin. Notes: “Never mind!” Reply to an inquisitive person.
airQuotation: burraich air tharraich. Notes: topsy-turvy.
ìmQuotation: ìm a’ chalmain chàise. Notes: old butter, supposed to have healing properties, used for treating burns (and other ailments?).
placaid[pɫɑxkədʹ] Notes: a half-bottle of whisky, shaped to fit into a back pocket.
pollagNotes: a potato-pit.
préasantQuotation: Nach i fhuair am préasant! Notes: said of woman who gets a worthless husband. Can also be used of man in similar situation.
saidhseadh[s[ɤı]sɑɣ] Quotation: Nach ann ann a tha/bha ’n saidhseadh. Notes: also pronounced [sɣsɑɣ] [sic]. “Wasn’t/Isn’t there a lot of hard work or pulling and pushing.” The word seems originally to have meant the process of removing turf from the sides of ditches.
salamandarQuotation: Thug mi dha salamandar. Notes: a heavy blow, which makes a considerable noise.
seana-ghilleQuotation: Seanaghille [sic] ’s e a’ fàs, ithidh e mar bheileas a’ bhrà. Notes: boy in early teens.
séipQuotation: Ghabh an cù séip eagallach! Nach tu a ghabh an séip! Notes: a big meal – a “tightener”. Also used in Lochinver – heard from Miss Ina MacKenzie.
sgadhagNotes: a senseless female. Applied mainly to young girls.
sgàinteagQuotation: a’ trusadh sgàinteagan. Notes: a cow’s pancake which has been dried by the sun, and which can be lifted for burning.
sgalQuotation: Ghabh e sgal mu ’n obair. Notes: He had a craze, strong liking for …
sgluidseagNotes: sandal or other light footwear. Cf. Applecross ‘slaofag’.
siorram-siùidQuotation: Tha siorram-siùid air an duine sin a tha eagalach. Notes: of an exceptionally talkative person.
slamarQuotation: Fhuair mi slamar. Notes: a great amount of something.
snodhachNotes: shoots from a sprouting potato.
stallachdachQuotation: Cha robh e stallachdach an dòigh sam bith. Notes: halting in speech; lacking in fluency.
strannachanNotes: a toy made from a serrated, circular piece of leather, through which string was threaded and then knotted. When the leather was spun, the string tightened, and by pulling it, the leather could be kept in perpetual motion.
stubagNotes: patch of very wet, soft sand on the shore.
sùirsteanNotes: delirium caused by dog distemper, causing the animal to go round in circles.
sùisdeanQuotation: Tha an cù a’ dol mun cuairt le sùisdean. Notes: a type of distemper (?) which causes a dog to go round in circles. [NOTES: slipped under ‘sùistean’.]
sgleantQuotation: “Dh’fhalbh e le sgleant.” Notes: He went with a rush.
sgoltagNotes: half a seed potato.
sgonn-earraichNotes: a stout, well-built boy.
starragQuotation: Nach ann ann a tha na starragan! Notes: big teeth, particularly bad teeth.
stàth[st̪ɑ:] Notes: a swathe of hay.
tóiseilQuotation: “Nach i tha tóiseil!” Notes: neat and prim.
treanaidhQuotation: Càit a bheil an treanaidh? Notes: a group of three – can be applied to humans, animals, or inanimate objects. First heard it applied to 3 cats!
tulpanNotes: a small round lump of anything. Can be applied, for example, to a cheese made by hanging it in gauze, or to a stumpy little woman.
udalanNotes: a ring-device (or swivel) which was put on a tether to prevent kinks from forming as the animal moved. The name Calum Udalan was also given to a person who was undependable or apt to vacillate.
bacQuotation: Tha e ’na shuidhe bac air oir aig’. Notes: He’s sitting with one leg resting on the knee of the other – not quite cross-legged.
bacaQuotation: na bacannan. Notes: a sand-bank.
bàdhunQuotation: Bac’ a’ Bhàdhuin. Notes: this particular bank is situated on the site of an old hill fort, and it seems likely that bàdhun means a fort in this case.
baighdeagQuotation: baighdeag/maighdeag. Port nam Baighdeag. Notes: cowrie shell.
bainne gormNotes: blue mould.
biadhadhQuotation: Cuir am biadhadh ’san ruca. Notes: used of dry hay which is put into the centre of a large stack in the yard.
bobhdaigQuotation: a’ bhobhdaig. Notes: boathook (from Eng.).
bodachNotes: codfish. Usually old fish. Female – spent – referred to as cailleach.
bodachQuotation: A’ bhodaich bhochd! Notes: said to an old dog.
bodach deargNotes: rock cod. Cf. bodach ruadh.
bodach ruadhNotes: rock cod. Alternatively bodach dearg.
bodachan-sàbhaidhNotes: a pivotal toy, consisting of a potato which was attached to an angular piece of wood with serrated lower edge. When placed on a fulcrum, and set in motion, the bodachan-sàbhaidh (“the little old saw-man”, lit. “of sawing”) would continue to swing backwards and forwards for an indefinite period if properly balanced. This balancing was considered to be something of an art.
bramanndQuotation: Rinn mi bramannd mór. Notes: a major error. A “humdinger”.
bratàlaithean[bɾɑˈtɑɫıən̪] Notes: a loud bang. ? < Eng battalion with intrusive r.
briomlaid[bɾımɑɫɑdʹ] Quotation: “Chaidh a h-uile nì ’na bhriomlaid.” Notes: Everything became a mess. Cf. Irish brionglóid, a dream, nightmare?
burra-bhùbNotes: stage in life of Great Northern Diver. (1) Learg. [?]
butagNotes: moveable type of rowlock.
cailleachNotes: a spent female codfish.
cailleachNotes: a “granny” on a chimney-pot. So called from shape? A cowl. Cf. Cailleach-iaruinn.
cailleach-iaruinnNotes: a cowl on a chimney-pot. But also applied to a hard-natured old woman who is always “on the gallavant”.
carghasQuotation: “Tha carghas air Fear-an-tighe ’nochd.” Notes: “The Man of the house lacks tobacco tonight.” Carghas, lack of tobacco. Developed meaning from Carghas, Lent.
casan-circeNotes: string puzzle, producing shape of hen’s feet.
cas-poiteNotes: a porpoise.
ceann-cuilgNotes: a temporary top of hay put on a haystack in a hurry – if rain comes. Also applies to corn.
ceigeanQuotation: “Chan eil ann ach ceigean.” Notes: someone who’s always trying to hedge, or get out of doing a job.
ciabalaisNotes: senseless talk.
cionQuotation: Chan e cion ’s nach robh e eòlach … Notes: He had no lack of knowledge.
cliofagNotes: a skelp or box on the ear.
cnagQuotation: a’ chnag. Notes: the bung in a boat.
cnàiseagNotes: a pimple.
cnòdhagNotes: crow.
coilleach-gòthanNotes: a potato with feathers stuck into it. This was allowed to go with the wind, and children tried to catch it.
connspaireachdNotes: awkward arguing. Cf. Applecross comhaspair.
corpQuotation: ann an corp na seachdain. Notes: in the middle of the week.
cramalachQuotation: seann chramalach de bhàta. Notes: a trashy old boat. Cf. crannghail, frame. Also used more generally.
crògQuotation: Calum na Cròige. Notes: this name was given to a person who had a reputation for telling tall stories. The derivation of Cròg is uncertain.
crumha-caitNotes: when the tips of the fingers and thumb are brought together, and placed on a soft or dusty suface, they form the imprint of a cat’s paw. This is known as crumha-cait.
cròthadhQuotation: latha a’ chròthaidh. Notes: putting in of corn.
cruachNotes: a “hut” of bales. The type of stack which is shaped like a house, not an ordinary corn stack.
cuibheall-chnòNotes: a type of toy made from a hazel nut-shell, a potato and a piece of wood. The string was wound round the needle inside the shell, and then pulled. The momentum of the potato kept it in motion afterwards when the string was pulled lightly.
cuirQuotation: a’ cur a-mach. Notes: vomiting.
curQuotation: Tha am mart a’ cur. Notes: “The cow is in labour.” In fact, “pushing” out the calf.
dall-an-àthQuotation: “A’ falbh ’nad dhall-an-àth.” Notes: “Blind man’s bluff” is the meaning of the phrase. But in the above idiom, the meaning is “going about as one in a dose/blinded”.
dallanagNotes: a small, recessed cupboard in a house wall, sometimes near the fireplace. Common in Tiree.
dararachQuotation: Thug mi dha dararach de ’n òrd. Chual’ e dararach. Notes: a heavy blow, which makes a loud noise. Often used of gunfire – a “blast” from a gun.
deurach[dʹɛ:ɾəx] Quotation: Tha deurach ’nan ghàirdeann. Notes: a tingling sensation, such as one gets on knocking one’s elbow.
diseagNotes: a small, hairy crab which moves quickly.
dramagNotes: a little tub of a boat; a broad-beamed dinghy.
duibheamanNotes: a type of seaweed. Black stringy seaweed?
dulNotes: loop of rope used to tether cattle. Also used of smaller [?] loop.
eisleQuotation: a’ dol a dheasachadh na h-eisle. Notes: eisle used in Tiree of bed where body lies in a house. Normally prepared by close relatives or friends.
failmQuotation: an fhailm. Notes: helm of a boat.
feamainn-dubhNotes: black seaweed, with swellings which burst when pressed against a rock. Burnt when dry.
fiodhanNotes: a wooden cheese-press.
flioparQuotation: Thug mi dha fliopar. Notes: “I gave him a flap with my hand.” A type of blow formed by flipping one’s fingers across, for example, a dog’s nose.
fogharQuotation: Foghar Clann a’ Ghobhainn. Notes: name given locally to the spell of good weather in November. So called from local family who were always late with the harvest, and took advantage of this spell of weather.
foirtheann[fɔɾɑhɑṉ] Quotation: Tha i air an fhoirtheann [ɔɾɑhɑṉ]. Notes: “It is slack-water.” The period between high and low water when there is no current in a strait.
forQuotation: Chan eil for aige. Notes: He hasn’t a clue.
galar-nan-gamhnaNotes: ringworm.
gàrnaichNotes: local pronunciation of gànraich elsewhere.
geòpailQuotation: Tha an t-iasg a’ geòpail. Notes: used of fish which is gasping for breath.
giofaidhearQuotation: Thug mi dha giofaidhear. Notes: “I flung it away.” A fling. (< Eng. “Give fire”?)
glamhadhQuotation: “Thug an cù glamhadh air a’ chat.” Notes: “The dog snapped at the cat.” The meaning of glamhadh is usually the snapping of a dog’s jaws, accompanied by a growl. Sometimes it implies a lunge.
glogagNotes: a colloquialism for sùil, eye.
gnùsdQuotation: Tha an cù a’ gnùsdaich. Notes: The dog is growling.
hapalQuotation: Bha hapal eagallach ann. Notes: confused gathering of people, animals, etc.

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