GreeneFisher Publications


Publishing Florida Fiction

Early 20th Century Fisherrow

A Brief Glossary of Scots Terms

Auld Hornie                         -the devil


Auld Reekie                        -Edinburgh (so called due to the large amount of factory smoke at the time)


bairns                                  -children


bannock                              -a round flatbread baked on a griddle


bawbees                             -coins of small value


besom                                 -broom


birsed                                  -bruised


boiler                                   -tea kettle


bothie                                  -primitive dwelling


brae                                     -a hillock, particularly the slope of the hill side


brattle                                  -the physical feeling produced by thunder


brother-bairns                     -cousins


buckies                                -edible mollusks of the Forth


bungfull                               -large quantity


burn                                     -a small river or stream


but and ben                         -as a single phrase refers to a house


cairn                                    -a pyramid of stones acting as a monument to the dead


callan                                   -a young man


caller                                    -fresh


carlin                                    -elderly


chapel                                  -any non-Presbyterian church, particularly used to refer to the English church


clarty                                    -filthy, dirty


clash                                    -to strike or slam


clog-foot                               -an oversized or club foot


coggie-cart                           -a wooden push-cart often made from half of a barrel


couthie                                 -agreeable, friendly


crack loofs                            -shake hands


creashie-mealie                   -a dish comprised primarily of oatmeal fried in some form of fat


creel                                     -a basket, usually wicker, for keeping fish in


cruive                                    -a fish trap placed in a river, figuratively means to confine many people in one place


dafferie                                 -to fool around


dang                                     -to strike


daunder                                -to walk slowly or aimlessly without urgency


dee                                       -die


deep-plate                            -bowl


dominie                                -a schoolmaster, sometimes used to refer to a clergyman


doomster                              -the official who pronounced sentence in Scots courts of law


door-cheek                           -door-post


door-sole                              -a door’s threshold


douce                                   -quietly


dover                                    -doze off


dreich                                   -protracted and wearisome


droll                                      -somewhat crazed


dulesome                             -sorrowful, melancholy


dulse                                    -edible seaweed


efterins                                 -leftovers or after effects


eldritch                                 -eerie, queer


fain                                       -preference


fash                                      -trouble or conflict, to fret or be or make angry


fettle                                     -physical strength or force of will


foond                                    -foundation


flourish                                 -spring


gaen aboot body                  -a vagrant


Gansay                                -Guernsey


gar                                        -to urge on


gleek                                     -to jeer at


gloaming                               -twilight time near to dusk


glower                                   -to stare at


gour                                      -mucous


greet                                     -to cry


grummie                               -surly


hackit                                    -ugly


haggis                                   -a dish consisting of sheep organs minced and mixed with suet, oatmeal and onion and boiled in a sheep's stomach


hinder                                   -the posterior of a person


hip and hoy                          -to goad with excitement


hoch                                     -the thigh


howes                                  -depression


hurdies                                 -the buttocks and / or hips


ilka                                       -every


ilka body’s body                   -a popular person


ilka-day dress                      -everyday dress


jaupled                                 -dandled about


jimp                                      -slender, thin


jouk the schuil                     -to skip school


keech                                  -defecate


keek                                     -to peek at


kick-bonnety                        -an abusive game in which a boy’s hat is snatched from his head and thrown on the ground to be kicked about


kirk                                       -church


kirstening                             -christening


knappie                                -bumpy


kyne                                     -cattle


lane                                      -lone


lick-my-doup                        -“ass-kisser”


linn                                       -waterfall


loofs                                     -the palm of the hand


lown                                     -windless, calm, still


lug                                        -ear


man muckle                         -a grown man


manse                                  -parsonage


menseless                           -lacking in manners


muckle                                 -much, many


nebbiness                            -to be contradictory or nebbish


neep                                     -short for turneep (turnip)


nullifidian                              -agnostic or atheist


orraster                                 -a person who performs odd jobs as needed


oxter                                     -the armpit


partans                                 -crabs


paunch                                 -stomach


penny-jo                               -a cheap prostitute


pewling                                 -whining or complaining


pickmaw                               -a black-headed gull


pirl                                        -to twist or to be coiled


pirlie finger                           -the little finger


pockful                                 -small bagfull


pouk                                     -to tug or pluck


reavel-raivel                         -long-winded or senseless talk, figuratively means excessive disorder


reived                                   -raided, robbed


reek                                      -smoke


rise                                       -a joke


roup                                     -auction


rummlegumption                  -commotion or disturbance, figuratively refers to upset digestion


saltire                                   -a cross in the form of an X associated with Scotland’s patron saint Andrew who was martyred on a diagonal cross


sark                                      -shirt


scarletina                             -scarlet fever


scart                                     -to scratch out with the nails or an object (such as a tool like a rake or hoe)


scauders                              -jellyfish


scauds                                 -something that floats on water, particularly suds


scotch-hoppers                    -archaic term (16th to 17th century) for hop-scotch


screiving                              -writing


seamaw                               -seagull


sepad                                   -to uphold as being the truth


settle                                    -a long wooden bench


siller                                     -money


skirled                                  -something, usually a sound, that creates discord or clamor


slip                                       -miscarriage


sneck                                   -to lock


squattled                              -in a position of squatting


steid                                     -foundation


stravaiger                             -to wander


striffin                                   -membrane


sunday braws                      -church clothes


swage                                  -digest


swither                                 -to act nervously or be nervous


tackety-boots                       -hob-nailed boots


take tent                               -to pay attention to


tane                                     -contraction of the + one


tawse                                   -a leather strap with two or more tails use for schoolhouse discipline


thirldom                               -servitude or subordination


thrapple                               -the throat


thrawn                                 -twisted, crooked


thrawnie                              -Mary’s word for “zombie”, adapted from Robert Louis Stevenson’s Thrawn Janet (1881)


thrums                                 -frayed fabric; the purring of a cat


tirry                                      -commotion, quarrelsome


toom                                    -empty


trauchle                               -to drag


trig                                       -neat or trim


trojan                                   -an overgrown person


unco body                           -a stranger or an odd person


victualler                              -a merchant


wand-chair                          -a wicker chair


watterie                               -the bathroom


wean                                   -an infant or small child, contraction of wee + one


wee folk                              -the lower class


wee schuil                          -pre-school or kindergarten


widdie-rope                        -willow branches interlaced to make a rope


wight                                  -usually found in poetry to refer to a person


winnock                              -window


winnock-bole                      -a recessed window


winze                                  -curse


wulks                                  -whelks (sea mollusks)


wynd                                  -a narrow street or lane that typically winds about


yestreen                             -yesterday + evening