Scots - English Glossary


   
Most Jacobite Songs are written in Scots, the Germanic language, related to English, spoken in Lowland Scotland and Ulster (not Gaelic!).
Here is a list of some puzzling words with their equivalents in the (official) Queen's English and, if relevant, their Gaelic origin.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Scots

English

Gaelic

a'

all

 

a' the gither

all together

 

a'baith

both of them

 

aboon

above

 

ae'ither

another

 

aft

often

 

ain

own

 

aince

once

 

a(i)rle

earnest money

FR: arrhes

airt

art

 

amaist

almost

 

amang

among

 

an'

and, if

 

ane

one

 

anither

another

 

aumrie

garret

 

awa

away

 

aye

always

 

ayont

beyond

 

bacon

beacon, alarm fire

bag

built

 

baig'net

bayonet

 

bairn(ie)

child

 

baith

both

 

to bauk

balk, annoy, bother

 

bauk

cross-beam

weigh-bauk="scalesman"

bauld

bold

 

bawbee

half-penny

 

bedeen

between

 

beengin'

crooked

 

belted plaid

combination of kilt and plaid

breacan an fhéilidh

ben (1)

mountain

 

ben (2)

inside of

 

bestead in need (to)

to help, to back

 

beuk

book

de'il's pictur'd beuks=playing cards

bide

abide, endure

 

to big

to build

 

birst

burst

 

bla(u)d

large quantity

 

blate

shy

 

blin'

blind

 

blu(i)d

blood

 

bluidie

bloody

 

bonnie

pretty, good

 

boot

spell of work

 

bothy

cottage

 

bouk

human trunk,body

 

bow-kail

cabbage

 

brecken

bracken

 

brae

hill

 

braid

broad

 

brak(e)

break

 

brankie

spruce (French:épicéa), strong, hearty

 

braw

handsome

 

brawlie

prettily

 

breeks

tights

 

brent new

brand new

 

brews

brows

 

brig

bridge

 

brither(ly)

brother(ly)

 

brose

porridge

 

but

out of; without

 

byke

beehive, bee's nest

 

cairn

pile of stones (funeral monument)

callan(t)

stripling

Fr.:jeune homme, gringalet;

cantie

merry

 

canting

whining

 

cault

caught

 

cheery

cheerful

 

chiel

child

 

clankie

severe blow

 

clappit

clapped

 

claught

seized

 

claymore

large sword

 

clish-ma-claver

gossip, taletelling; nonsense

 

cleek

catch

 

clud

cloud

 

cog(gie)

bowl,pail

 

cokaud

cockade

 

comely

beautiful

 

corrie

hollow on the side of a mountain (French: cluse)

 

countrie

country

 

crest

badge

 

croo hoose

crofter house

 

cross

market

 

crowdie

porridge

 

crown

head

 

daur

dare

de'il

devil

 

delve

dig

 

dight

wipe

 

din

ill coloured

 

ding out

drive out

 

dink

trim, nice

 

dinna

don't, doesn't

 

dirk

short sword

 

discharge

dismiss

 

dool

grief,(Fr. douleur)

 

doon

down

 

douce, douse

gentle, decorous, grave

 

doup

bottom

 

dowl

dull

 

dowie

mournful

 

downa

cannot

 

drap

drop

 

dow

dove

 

drap

drop

 

duds

clothes

 

duniewassal

gentleman

duine-uasal

e'er

before, ere

elwand

measuring rod

 

ether

adder

 

fa'(en)

fall(en)

 

faes

foes

 

fain

eager, fond, glad

 

faim

foam

 

fairweel

farewell

 

felly

relentless; pityless

 

ferlie

wonder

 

fey

fated to death

 

fie

quick

 

fleg

scare

 

flyte

scorn

 

for to

to, in order to

 

fou

full, drunk

 

foughten

fight

 

frae

from

 

fray

brawl, fight

 

frichted

frightened

 

fu'

full

 

fur

furrow

 

gae (ga'e)

gave

gaed

good

 

gane

gone

 

gang

go

 

gang a

go to

 

gar

compell

 

gart

compelled

 

gate

manner

 

gaud

gold

 

gaun

gone

 

gie(n)

give(n)

 

gin

if

 

girdle

plate of metal for bannocks

 

gled

kite

 

glen

valley

 

glaum'd

grasped

 

gouk

cuckoo

 

goon

gown

 

gowan

mountain daisy

 

gree

prize, (de)gree

 

groat

penny

 

Gude

God

 

gudeman

master, husband

 

guid

good

 

ha'

hall

hae

have

 

haffet

haft

 

hairt

heart

 

hale

safe

 

hame, ha'

home

 

harry

rob, plunder

 

haud

hold

 

haugh

law-lying rich land by a river

 

hawkie

white-faced cow

 

hawkit

in calf

 

heat

heart

 

Heiland

Highland

 

her lane

alone

 

hersel

herd of sheep

 

hirsel

herd of sheep

 

hose

knee breeches

 

hough

hobble, shackle, fetter

 

hoose

house

 

i'

in

ilk(a)

each, every

 

jag

tear

 

jimp

jump

 

kail

kale (french:chou frisé germ:Wirsing)

 

ken

know

 

kent

could

 

to kilt

to tuck up

 

kimmer

gossip, wife

 

kin

1° family, 2° kind

 

knowe

knoll, hillock

 

lad(die)

boy

lair

den

 

laird

Lord in Scotland

 

lang

long

 

lass(ie)

girl

 

lea

meadow

 

lie

lay

 

limner

painter

 

lingel

shoemaker's thread

 

lo'e

love

 

loff

praise

 

loon

1.lawn, 2. fellow

 

lyart

grey, discolored

 

mae

more

 

main

ocean

mair

more

 

maukin

hare

 

maun

might have to

 

maurn

mourn

 

mead

meadow

 

mird

taunt; scorn

 

mirk

dark; scorn

 

mony

many

 

moullit

moult (French=muer)

 

mou'

mouth

 

muckle

much, great, a lot

 

mumpit

fed up

 

nae

not, no

nane

none

 

naur

near

 

ne'er

never

 

newfangle(d)ness

innovation

 

nought, nowte

nothing

 

o'er

over

of fye

quick

 

ore

over

 

oot

out

 

o't

of it

 

owre, ower

over

 

pen

pointed hill

 

philabeg

kilt

féile-beag

pibroch

martial bagpipe air

piob aireachd

plaid

woolen cloth

 

prig

haggle, bargain

 

pu'd

pulled

 

puir

poor

 

quaich

drinking cup

quo

quoth

 

rade

rode

 

rarely

proudly

 

reek

smoke

 

rief

plunder

 

riggin

roof-tree, roof

 

rin

run

 

rougey

rogue

 

roothless

ruthless, merciless

 

routh, rowth

plenty, a store of

 

rung

cudgel

 

sae

so

saft

soft

 

sair

sour

 

sall

shall

 

scaud

scald

FR: échauder

scorched

burnt

 

scroggy

thickly grown

 

shalt

should

 

shank

leg, walk, shaft

 

sheugh

ditch

 

shiel

cottage

 

sic

such

 

siccan

such a

 

siller

siver

 

sin

since

 

sire

father

 

skelp

scalp

 

skyrin

flaring

 

slae

sloe (french=prunelle germ=Schlehe)

 

slaw

slow

 

slogan

war cry

 

solan

solanum (French: fou de Bassan)

 

som

some

 

speire at

inquire

 

spier

inquire

 

stang

sting

 

steek

shut, touch, meddle with

 

stoun

pang, throb

 

stoure

dust

 

strait

narrow

 

strang

strong

 

stuck with

infatuated with

 

sugh

moan

 

swarf

swoon

 

swoor

sware

 

tae

to

targe

(1) examine (2)shield

 

ter

tar

 

tether

armour

 

that

who

 

the lang

along

 

their lane

alone

 

tho

though

 

thocht

thought

 

thrissle

thistle

 

thro'

through

 

tine

loose, get lost

 

tirl

quiver, vibrate

 

toom

empty

 

tory

Opponents of the Whigs. Supporters of King Charles II, then of James II (Jacobites) and opponents of the Hanoverian Kings. They became then the Conservative Party.

tairidhe (=thief, brigand)

trash

scum, rabble

 

trews

tartan trousers

 

trig

trim, neat

 

tryste

1 Trust 2 a fair, acattle-market

 

twa

two

 

tyke

dog

 

unco

uncommon(ly), foreign

 

wad

would

wadna

would not

 

wae

woe

 

warld

world

 

warse

worse

 

wat

know

 

wauk(in)

(to) awake

 

wauken

to awaken

 

wee

little

 

weel

well

 

weir

war

 

wha(se)

who(se)

 

whaur

where

 

whigamore

whig, opponent of the "tories". They became the Radical party

horsedriver, cattledriver

wi'

with

 

wilt

would

 

wit

know

 

wrack

rack; torture

 

wrang

wrong

 

wud

wild

 

yaird(ie)

garden

 

ye

you

 

yestreen

yesterday

 

yon

that (down there)

 

yont

beyond