Out & About …

… on the North York Moors, or wherever I happen to be.

A blate cat maks a gallus moose

A dreich morning at Bloworth Crossing. Lots of water around — on the ground and in the air.

Actually ‘dreich’ is quite an apt word to use on St. Andrew’s Day, the patron saint of Scotland — and also of golfers and fishermen, but that’s by the by1By Telegraph Reporters (2021). St Andrew’s Day 2021: how a fisherman became Scotland’s patron saint. [online] The Telegraph. Available at: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/11/30/st-andrews-day-2021-fisherman-became-scotlands-patron-saint/ [Accessed 30 Nov. 2021]..

The word comes to us from, of course, the Scots language, and is among a handful we have purloined into our own language. ‘Kerfuffle’2Wiktionary.org. (2011). kerfuffle – Wiktionary. [online] Available at: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/kerfuffle [Accessed 30 Nov. 2021].‌, ‘bonailie’3Scotslanguage.com. (2021). Scotslanguage.com – BONAILIE n farewell, a parting toast. [online] Available at: https://www.scotslanguage.com/articles/view/id/4430 [Accessed 30 Nov. 2021]., and ‘braw’4Collinsdictionary.com. (2021). Definition of braw. [online] Available at: https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/braw [Accessed 30 Nov. 2021]. are others.

One Scots word that ought to be taken up — English just doesn’t have anything to describe that shock when you plunge into cold water — is ‘curglaff5Wiktionary.org. (2012). curglaff – Wiktionary. [online] Available at: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/curglaff [Accessed 30 Nov. 2021].. I shiver just thinking about it.

The Scots language comprises many dialects Orcadian, Shetlandic and Doric6Scotslanguage.com. (2021). Scotslanguage.com – Dialects. [online] Available at: https://www.scotslanguage.com/pages/view/id/10 [Accessed 30 Nov. 2021].. There are others. Scottish Gaelic is a distinct language in its own right, it must be, after all it’s listed by Google Translate.

My particular favourite Gaelic phrase is “‘s math sin” which said Google translates as ‘that’s good‘. It’s pronounced ‘smashin‘ hence our English word ‘smashing’.

It’s from Scots proverbs that we see the power of the language:

A blate cat maks a gallus moose.

Meaning people always take advantage of lax standards7Scotslanguage.com. (2021). Scotslanguage.com – A blate cat maks a gallus moose. [online] Available at: https://www.scotslanguage.com/articles/view/id/4763 [Accessed 30 Nov. 2021]..



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