David Rorie


adae: ado

ae: one

a'-gate: everywhere

aglee: amiss

ailin': sick, ill

ails ye at: is wrong with

airt: direction, quarter

an: if

apotheck: lot, concern

argy-bargy: quarrelsome argument

ace-puckle: spark from fire

attour: over

Auld Ane, A. Geordie, A. Hornie, A. Nick, A. Nickie-Ben, A. Sootie: the Devil

fair awa wi't: gone off; in the state of death; "done for"

awyte: affirmative expression

ayont: beyond


ba': ball

to get on the ba': to go on a jollification

bade: stayed, resided

baird: beard

ban: curse, abuse

bane-doctonin': bone-setting

bar: joke, good tale

bauchles: old down-at-heels shoes

bawsent: streaked white on face

bedfast: confined to bed

beelin': suppurating

beerit: buried

besom: a worthless woman

bide: to dwell; wait

bield: shelter

biggin: building

billy: fellow

binna: be not

bin: move rapidly

birr: energy

birse: bristle

to get your birse set up: to be made angry

at the bit: at the crisis

blade: a gallant

blaw: boast

blether: talk nonsense

beast or body: lower animal or man

bogie-roll: black twist tobacco

bogle: apparition

bonnet-laird: small landed proprietor

bourachie: crowd

branks: halter, bridle

brizz: press

broddit: gored

brods: boards

brookit: grimy, streaked with soot

bubbly-jock: turkey

Buchan: the author of "Buchan's Domestic Medicine"

bude: was compelled to

buller: roar

burr: prickly seed-case or head of certain plants

busk: to deck, adorn

but-an'-ben: two-roomed cottage

buttery: flattering

bye wi't: done for

byornan: extraordinary

byous: very


ca': drive, work

ca' owre: overturn

ca': call

cahoochy: indiarubber

caird: tinker, tramp

caller: fresh

cankert: ill-natured

canny: careful, cautious

carle: old man, churl

chack: nip

chaft: cheek

chappit: struck

cheeky-on: in a lop-sided manner

cheep: squeak, faint sound

chief: friendly, intimate

chiel: stripling, a term of intimacy

chimbley-cheek: hearth

clachan: hamlet

clanjamphry: mob, riff-raff

clarty: dirty

clatter: noisy talk

cloot: patch

clour: a blow

coats: coaties, petticoats

cockernony: gathering of a woman's hair into a "snood" or fillet

cod: pillow

cogie: a wooden vessel for holding drink, etc

connach: waste, destroy

conter: thwart, contradict

coup: upset

couth: pleasant, agreeable

crack: gossip

craig: throat

cnambo-clink: rough rhyme, doggerel

cramoisie: crimson

cranreuch: hoar-frost

creishy: fat, oily

crine: shrivel, grow small with age

crockanition: utter destruction

cry: to be in labour

cryin': accouchement

cuits: ankles

curn: a party, an indefinite number

cut: ken the c., know the type, style

cutty: short clay pipe


dab: dinna lat d., keep it secret

daddin': striking, hitting

dagont: mild expletive

daikerin': strolling

dandrin', dannenin': strolling

dang: drove

darg: day's work

daw: dawn

dawtie: pet, term of endearment

deave: deafen

deid: dead; death

deleerit: delirious

deuks: ducks

devaul: cease, halt

dicht: wipe

ding on: on-fall

dinna: do not

dirdum: loud noise

divert: amusement, entertainment

Dod: mild expletive

doo: pigeon

doo's cleckin': two, a pigeon's hatch

dookit: dove-cote

doon-bye: down yonder

doon-settin': settlement in life

dootna: doubt not

dour: hard, stubborn, unyielding

dree: endure

drooth: thirst

drumlie: turbid, muddy

duds: ragged clothing

dunt: blow, knock

dwam: fainting turn

dwine: waste away


Eck: abbreviation for Alexander

efterhan': afterwards

eident: industrious

eild: old age

eld: old age

eildins: of equal age

eith: easy

elba: elbuck, elbow

Elfan: land of Faerie

eldritch: unearthly, ghostly

ense: else, otherwise

ettlin': on the point of, intending

expeckin': enceinte


fair hornie: fair play

fa'n: fallen

fash: trouble

faurer: further

favour: resemble in feature

feck: majority

feckless: weak, incapable, worthless

Fegs: corruption of "Faith"

fell: (intensive) exceedingly

ferlies: wonders

figure o' fun: laughable oddity

fin': feel

fire in the ee: foreign body in eye

fire-en': fireplace, hearth

firin': firewood

firstlin's: earliest products

fish hake: triangular wooden framework on which to hang fish

flannen: flannel

flee-oot on: scold, abuse

fleechin': cajoling, flattering

fleg: frighten

fley: v. fleg

flype: turn outside in

flyte: scold

fobbin': panting

forbye: in addition

forcy: urgent

forebears: ancestors

fore-handit: paid in advance

forfaughen: exhausted

forrit: forward

even forrit: straight on

fosh, foshen: fetched

weel on fowre: nearly four o'clock

frait: superstitious belief

freen': friend, usually meaning a blood relation

a far-awa' freen': a distant relation

foonert: foundered

fykin': trouble, effort


gaed owre: went beyond all bearing

gaffer: overseer

gait: way, street

galliard: a gallant, a gay youth

gallivant: go about idly for pleasure

gang wi' the heart: agree with the inclination

gangrel: vagrant, tramp

gant: yawn

gar: to cause to

gar the heart rise: sicken

gaun-aboot: wandering

gear: wealth, property; apparatus

gey: very, considerably

gey fast: wild

gibbles: tools, articles, wares

gie him the name: name the child after him

gillie-callum: a Highland dance

gin: if

gird: hoop

girn: whimper, find fault fretfully

gerse: grass

gizzent: warped, twisted through drought

glamourie: fascination

gled: hawk

gleg: of quick perception

glist'rin': shining

gloamin': dusk

glower: stare, scowl

glumph: look sulky, moody

govy-dick, g. -ding: exclamation of surprise

gowpin': throbbing

grat: wept

gravit: muffler, cravat

green: long for

greet: shed tears

grew: shiver, rigor

grewsin': shivering

grozer-buss: gooseberry-bush

gude-mither: mother-in-law

guerdon: gift

guf: whiff, savour

gully: large knife

gunny: boisterous

haar: thick mist

hail doon: fall copiously

haill apotheck: whole concern

hairst: harvest

hame, nicht the bairn cam' h.: night the child was born

hamewan: homewards

hantle: large quantity; much

happit: wrapped up

harns: brains

heed, tak' h.: take care

heels owre gowdie: head over heels

heicher: higher

heirskep: inheritance

herry: harass, plunder

hippen: child's napkin

hirple: hobble

hist: hasten

hives: eruption on the skin from internal cause; feverish attack

hoast: cough

holin': digging out (coal)

hoolit: owlet

hooly: slowly

hornie: far h., fair exchange

horny-golloch: earwig

hotchin': swarming

howdie: midwife

howe: hollow, small glen

howk: dig. hunker-slidin', mean, deceitful

hurdies: buttocks

hurl: a lift on the road


ilk, ilka: each

ill-deedie: evilly disposed

ill-trickit: mischievous

in-bye: inside

ingans: onions

ingle: fireside

intil: into

intimmers: the intestines, "inside"

I'se: I shall


jalouse: suspect, guess, imagine

jamphle: shuffle in walking

jaw: abusive talk

jimp: slender

jocoe: jocose, happy

jorum: big drink

jouk: stoop to evade a blow

joukery-pawkery: double-dealing, trickery

jucks: ducks


kebbuck: cheese

keek, keekin'-gless: peep, looking-glass

keppit: met

Kilmamnock: nightcap

kilt: tuck up

kimmer: a "gossip"

kink-hoast: whooping-cough

kintra-side: countryside

kist: chest

kist o' whistles: organ, harmonium

knee-pan: knee-cap

knock: clock

knowe: hill, knoll


lappers: clots

lasher: heavy blow

lave: the rest, remainder

leal-he'rtit: true-hearted, loyal

lear: lore

leear: liar

lee-lane: alone

leman: illicit lover

leuch: laughed

libel: label

lichtsome: cheerful

lift: sky

lilt: cheerful tune or song

ling: heather

linn: precipice over which water falls

lippen: to trust, have faith in

little-boukit: small-sized

littlens: small children

loof: palm of hand

loot: stoop

loup: leap

lowe: flame

lowse: loose; to cease work

lugs: ears

lum hat: silk hat


makar: maker; a poet

malison: a curse

mawkin: hare

mell: mallet, large wooden hammer

merchant: country shopkeeper

midden-heid: top of dunghill

mim-mou'd: affectedly proper, prudish

miracklous: very drunk

mirk: dark, night

mischanter: mishap, accident

mischeef: severe hurt, harm

mizzle-shinn'd: having legs discoloured by constantly sitting in front of the fire

mools: the earth of a grave

moose-wabs: cobwebs

mows: a joke, jest. mudge, movement

mudge: movement

mutchkin: pint


nabal: a mean, greedy churl

narra i' the swalla: narrow-throated

neb: nose

neeps: turnips

nice: particular

nieves: fists

nirled, nirlt: shrunken, shrivelled

noos an' ance: now and then

nosey-wax: easily cheated simpleton

nott: needed

no-weel: unwell


or: ere

orra: of no account, disreputable

owre: over

oxter: armpit


paidle: wade

pains: rheumatism

palmer: to wander

pang-fu': crammed full

pawky: shrewd, sly

pearlins: thread-lace

pech: pant, breathe hard

pen-gun: pop-gun

pike: pick

plain-stanes: pavement

plantin': plantation

pooch: pocket

pree: taste

preen: to deck oneself

prink: to deck oneself

puckle: small quantity

puddens: intestines

puirtith: poverty


quate: quiet

quean: damsel


rackit: strained

raird: clamour, a noisy tongue

ravelt: confused, tangled

rax: reach

reddin' straik: blow got by one trying to stop a fight

redd-up: put in order

reid: red

reid-wud: stark mad

reist: to stop, arrest

rife: widespread

riggin': ridge of a roof

rispin': making a harsh sound

rive: tear

roup: sale

routh: abundance

rovin': wandering

row: wrap, roll

rowt: bellow

royt: wild, mischievous

rudas: bold, masculine

rug: pull, haul, drag

runt: withered old man or woman


saftness: weakness of character

sair: serve, satisfy

sair: sore, sorely

sark: shirt

Sassenach: Southron

saugh: willow

Saunt: saint

saut: salt

scart: scratch

scoug: take shelter from

screich: screigh, shriek

screich o' day: daybreak

scunner: disgust

Seelie: fairy

set: kind, manner, type

sets: suits

shakers: nervous tremors

shauchle: shuffle in walking

shilpit: weak, sickly. shool, spade

shoon: shoes

shot: distorted. sib, related to

sic: such

siccar: sure

siller: wealth

silly: physically weak

sinon: sinew

sizzon: season

skail: empty

skaith: injury, damage

skeely: skilful

skelp: smack

skirl: shriek

skirly-nackit: noisy half-clad child

sklim: climb

skreek: shriek

sleekit: sly, hypocritical

slocken: quench thirst

sma'-boukit: small-sized

smeddum: mettle, spirit

smiddy: smithy

smirr: drizzle

smoor: smother

sookers for bairns: "comforters"

soondin': auscultation

sorn: to sponge on

sotter: bubble, sputter as in cooking

sough: sigh, sound of wind

spails: splinters, chips

spate: flood

spitterin': hissing

spunk: spirit, pluck

spunkies: mischievous sprites

spunks: matches

stappit: stuck, placed. stamns, stars

staw'd: surfeited

steer: commotion

stiddy: anvil; steady

stoiter: stumble

stound: ache, throb

stour: dust

strae: straw

in the strae: in labour

stramp: tramp

stroup: spout

styme: glimpse, faint gleam

sutten-doon: chronic

swat: sweated

sweer: reluctant

swite: sweat

Symie: the Devil

syne: ago, since; then, afterwards

sype: ooze, soak through


tack: lease

taed: toad, a term of endearment

tapsalteerie: head over heels

tastin': small quantity of drink

tattles: potatoes

tel't: told

tent: care, heed

teuch: tough

thae: these, those

thee: thigh

thig: beg, entice

thocht: worry, care

thole: endure, bear

thonder: yonder

thowless: spiritless, lacking energy

thrang: busy

throw: through

tick: credit, trust

till, till't: to, to it

timmer: timber, wood

tinkler: tinker

tint: lost

tirravee: commotion

tocher: dowry

tousy: unkempt. tow, rope. tmachelt, overworked

trail: walk slowly

traivel: walk. tramp, tread. trimnile, tremble

troke: to work in a small way

trokes: odd jobs

tryst: appointment

tuilzie: fight

twa-fauld: bent double from age or exhaustion

twal: twelve

twalmont: twelve months

tyne: lose


ugsome: disgusting, horrible

unchancy: unlucky; mischievous

unco: uncommon, strange

unction, unctioneer: sell by auction, auctioneer

unmensefu': unmannerly

up-bye: up the way

uptak: intelligence


wacht: big drink

wad: wager

waddin': wedding

waesome: woeful

wag-at-the-wa': wall-clock with pendulum and weights exposed

wale: choose

wame: belly

wan: won

wan: pale, dim, gloomy

wap: a smart stroke

warlock: wizard

warsle: wrestle

wat: wetted

wat his whustle: took a drink

waur: worse

wean: young child

weel-a-wat: affirmative exclamation

weel on: intoxicated

weet: wet

weird: fate

werrucks: corns, bunions, excrescences on feet

wersh: tasteless

whiles: occasionally, sometimes

whilk: which

widdy: gallows

winnock: small window

winsome: comely

wirral: small, rickety child

wit: sense

wricht: carpenter

wrocht: worked

wud: mad; reid wud: stark mad

wyte: blame


yark: jerk, wrench

yatter: to speak incessantly and loudly

yerl: earl

yetts: gates

yird: earth

yird-fast: earth-fast

yoke: to begin, to set to with vigour

yooky: itchy

yowe: ewe