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Full text of "Gaelic names of beasts (Mammalia), birds, fishes, insects, reptiles, etc. in two parts: 1. Gaelic-English.- 2. English-Gaelic. Part 1. contains Gaelic names or terms for each of the above, with English meanings. Part 2. contains all the English names for which Gaelic is given in Part 1., with Gaelic, other English names, etymology, Celtic lore, prose, poetry, and proverbs referring to each, thereto attached. All now brought together for the first time"

GAELIC NAMES 



OF 



BEASTS (MAMMALIA), BIRDS, FISHES 
INSECTS, REPTILES, ETC. 




'^^^ 




GAELIC NAMES 

OF 

3EASTS (MAMMALIA), BIRDS, FISHES 
INSECTS, REPTILES, ETC. 

IN TWO PARTS 

I. GAELIC-ENGLISH.— II. ENGLISH-GAELIC 

•ART I. CONTAINS GAELIC NAMES OR TERMS FOR EACH OF THE 
ABOVE, WITH ENGLISH MEANINGS 

PART II. CONTAINS ALL THE ENGLISH NAMES FOR WHICH 

GAELIC IS GIVEN IN PART L, WITH GAELIC, OTHER ENGLISH 

NAMES, ETYMOLOGY, CELTIC LORE, PROSE, POETRY, AND 

PROVERBS REFERRING TO EACH, THERETO ATTACHED 

ALL NOW BROUGHT TOGETHER FOR THE FIRST TIME 

By ALEXANDER ROBERT FORBES 

EDINBURGH 

(FORMERLY OF SLEAT, SKYE) 



EDINBUEGH 
OLIVER AND BOYD, TWEEDDALE COURT 

NORMAN MACLEOD, GEORGE IV. BRIDGE 
1905 



QL 



THE MEMORY OF 

MY FATHER 

THE LATE IlEV. JOHN FORBES 
PARISH MINISTER OF SLEAT, SKYE 

A GENUINE CELT, AND ONE OF THE BEST GAELIC 
PREACHERS AND SCHOLARS OF HIS DAY 

" Lean gu dluth ri cliu do shinnsir." 




Y \ t' « ^ ^' 



U.m 




^^^ .0*^5 



LIST OF SUBSCRIBERS 

Aberdeen Free Library, per P. M. Fraser, Librarian. 

Aberdeen University Library, per P. J. Anderson, Librarian. 

Advocates' Library, Edinburgh. 

Agnew, Sir Stair, K.C.B., Edinburgh. 

Anderson, J. Maitland, Esq., University Librarian, St Andrews, Fife. 

Antonio, Joseph, Esq., Edinburgh. 

Anwly, Professor E., Aberystwyth, Mid Wales. 

Ardvasar Reading Room, Ardvasar, Sleat, Skye. 

Barrie, James M., Esq., M.A., LL.D., etc., London, W. 

Bartholomew, John, Esq., Advocate, Edinburgh. 

Bibby, Frank, Esq., Onich, Inverness-shire. 

Bignold, Sir Arthur, M.P., London. 

Black, Archibald, Esq., Farmer, Strachur, Argyllshire. 

Blaikie, Walter B., Esq., Edinburgh. 

Brown, P. Hume, Esq., M.A., etc., Professor of Ancient History, etc., 

Edinburgh. 
Brown, William, Esq., A.C.S., Edinburgh. 
Bruce, Alexander, Esq. , Glasgow. 
Burton, Lord, Invergarry, Inverness-shire. 
Bute, Marquis of (4 copies). 

Cairns, John, Esq., D.C.S., Edinburgh. 

Cameron, Rev. Alexander, Broadford, Skye. 

Cameron, R. , Esq., Bookseller, Edinburgh. 

Campbell, Lord Archibald, Banker, London. 

Campbell, Mrs Burnley, CoHntraive, Greenock. 

Campbell, James, Esq., Broadford, Skye. 

Campbell, Mrs M. Lamont, Tighnabruaich, Kyles of Bute, 

Carmichael, Alexander, Esq., Edinburgh. 

Carnegie, Andrew, Esq., LL.D., etc. 

Castletown, Lord, Doneraile, Ireland (2 copies). 

Cassilhs, Earl of, Culzean Castle, Maybole. 

Chisholm, Mrs, of Chisholm, Beauly, Inverness-shire (2 copies). 

Chisholm, John, Esq., Deputy Chief Constable, Edinburgh. 

Coats, James, Jun., Esq., Paisley. 

Connell, Rev. A., B.D., etc., London, W. 

Costello, Dr Thomas B., Tuam, Ireland. 

Craik, George Lillie, Esq., London, S.W. 

Cromartie, Countess of, Newport, Salop. 

Grossman, Alexander, Esq., of Cokenach, Ardlussa, Jura. 

Davidson, Miss, Chichester, Sussex. 

Deighton, Bell, & Co., Booksellers, etc., Cambridge. 

Douglas & Foulis, Booksellers, etc., Edinburgh. 

Dulaw & Co. , London. 

Dundee Albert Institute, Dundee (2 copies). 

Dunedin, Lord, Edinburgh. 



vi LIST OF SUBSCniBERS 

Edinburgh University Library, ««r James Thin, Esq. , Bookseller, Edinburgh. 
Ellice, Oiptain K. C, M.P. of Invergarry, Inverness-shire. 
Elliot, Andrew, Esq., Bookseller, etc., Edinburgh. 

Ewart, Cossar, Esq.. M.D., F.R.S., etc.. Professor of Natural History, 
Penicuik, Midlothian. 

Fergus, James A., Eso., Morningside, Edinburgh. 

Fisher, Donald, Esq., Edinburgh. 

Fletcher, Rev. J. A., Edinburgh. 

Fowler, Lady, of Braemore, Garve, Ross-shire. 

Fraser, John, Esq., Solicitor, Maritzburg, Natal. 

Eraser, Sir Thomas R., M.D., LL.D., F.R.C.P.E., Edinburgh. 

Galbraith, Dr, Edinburgh. 

Gardyne, Lieut.-Col. C. G. of Glenforsa, etc., Finavon, Forfar. 

Geikie, Sir Archibald, D.C.L., Sec, R.S., London, N.W. 

Geikie, James, Esq., LL.D., D.C.L., Professor of Geology, Edinburgh. 

Gilstrap, Major John Macrae, of Ballimore, Otter Ferry, Argyllshire. 

Glasgow Corporation Libraries, per F. T. Barrett, Librarian (4 copies). 

Grant, Sir Ludovic J., Bart., Edinburgh. 

Green, Charles E., Esq., Edinburgh. 

Gunn, Alexander, Esq., M.D., etc., Edinburgh. 

Gwynn, Edward J., Esq., F.T.C.D., Dublin. 

Harrison & Sons, Booksellers, etc, London (J copies). 

Harvie-Brown, John A., Esq., F.R.S.E., etc., Larbert, Stirlingshire. 

Healy, Rev. John, Archbishop of Tuam, Ireland. 

Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland, per James Macdonald, Esq. , 

Secy., Edinburgh. 
Hodges & Figgis, Booksellers, etc., Dublin (3 copies). 
Hyde, Douglas, Esq., County Roscommon, Ireland. 

Inverness Public Library, j[>^ S. F. Donaldson, Esq., Librarian, Inverness. 
Inverness, Ross, and Nairn Club, jper T. M. Murray, Esq., Secy., etc., Edin- 
burgh (2 copies). 
Ireland National Library, Dublin. 

Joass, Rev. J. M., LL.D., Golspie, Sutherland. 
Jones, Rev. H. T. Havard, Soham, Cambridge. 

Kerr, Thomas, Esq., Newington, Edinburgh. 

Lang, Andrew, Esq., London, W. 

Lawson, Alexander, Esq., Professor of English Literature, St Andrews, Fife. 

London Gaelic Society, per Ian Mackenzie, Secy., London (2 copies). 

Low, E. Bruce, Esq., S.S.C., Edinburgh. 

Lucy, Mrs Cameron, of Callart, Fort William. 

Main, Robert M., Esq., Edinburgh. 

Malcolm, George, Esq., Invergarry. 

Martin, Rev. D. J., Oban. 

Matheson, Angus, Esq., Edinburgh. 

Matheson, Dr John, London. 

Mathieson, J., Esq., Edinburgh. 

Maxwell, Sir Herbert of Monreith, Bart, M.P., London, S.W. 

Maxwell, Sir John Stirling, of Pollok, Pollokshaws. 

Menzies, Archibald, Esq., S.S.C., Edinburgh. 

Menzies, Duncan, Esq., Edinburgh. 

Menzies, Miss Jane (Clan Bardess), Morningside, Edinburgh. 

Meyer, Dr Kuno, Professor, The University, Liverpool (2 copies). 

Meyrick Library, Jesus College, Oxford. 

Middleton, Lord, of Applecross, York, England. 

Mitchell Library, Glasgow. 

Morison, Dr W. M., County Durham. 



LIST OF SUBSCRIBERS vii 

Morrison, Hew, Esq., LL.D., Edinburgh Free Library (2 copies). 

Munro, Robert, Esq., Advocate, Edinburgh. 

Macalister, Alexander, Esq., LL.D., etc., Torrisdale, Cambridge. 

MacAlister, Donald, Esq., M.D., M.A., F.R.C.P., St John's, Cambridge. 

Macaulay, A. N. , Esq. , Solicitor, Golspie, Sutherland. 

Macbean, L., Esq., Newspaper Publisher, Kirkcaldy, Fife. 

Macfarlan, R., Esq., Provost, etc., Dumbarton. 

Macdiarmid, John, Esq., Edinburgh. 

Macdonald, Donald, Esq., Lyndale, Skye. 

Macdonald, D., Esq., Printer, Edinburgh. 

Macdonald, Dr Keith N., Edinburgh. 

Macdonald, E., Esq., Kent, England. 

Macdonald, J. R. Moreton, Esq., Tayinloan, Argyllshire. 

MacDougall, J. Patten, Esq., of Gallanach, Edinburgh. 

MacGregor, Lieut. J., M.D., Ardgay, Ross-shire. 

MacGregor, Miss A. Murray, Perth. 

Maclnnes, Lieut.-Col. John, Glendaruel, Greenock. 

Maclntyre, Duncan, Esq., Shipowner, Edinburgh. 

Macintyre, Rev. J. Walker, Parish Minister, Spean Bridge. 

Mackay, Rev. Angus, M.A., Westerdale, Halkirk. 

Mackay, ^Eneas J. G., Esq., K.C., LL.D., etc., Edinburgh. 

Mackay, D., Esq., Edinburgh. 

Mackay, John, Esq., Edinburgh. 

Mackay, A. Y. , Esq. , Lea Park, Grangemouth. 

Mackeggie, J. A., Esq., Grovepark, Lenzie. 

Mackenzie, Sir Kenneth, Bart., Ross-shire. 

Mackenzie, J. M., Esq., J. P., Camusmore, Onich. 

Mackinlay, Mr, Edinburgh. 

Mackinnon, Donald, Esq., Professor of Celtic, etc., Morningside, Edinburgh. 

Mackintosh, Dr, Stirling. 

Mackintosh, Mrs Eraser, of Drummond, London, S.W. 

Maclachlan of Maclachlan, Strachur, Argyllshire. 

Maclagan, Robert C, Esq., Edinburgh. 

Maclean, Rev. D., Tiree. 

MacLean, R., Esq., of Gometra, Aros, Mull (2 copies). 

MacLean, Dr, Dervaig, Mull. 

MacLean, Rev. John, D.D., Glasgow. 

MacLean, Rev. Duncan, Parish Minister, Dumbreck, Govan. 

Maclean, Sir Fitzroy Donald, Bart, K.C.B. (Chief), London, W. 

Macleod, Hugh, Esq., Writer, Glasgow. 

Macleod, Rev. Walter, Edinburgh. 

Macleod, Neil, Esq. , Edinburgh. 

MacLeod, Reginald, Esq., C.B., Skye. 

MacLeod, Rev. Norman, D.D., Inverness. 

MacLeod, John M., Esq., C.A., Glasgow. 

Macmillan, John, Esq., S.S.C, Sheriff Clerk of Chancery, Edinburgh. 

Macnab, John, Esq., of Glenmavis, Bathgate. 

Macniven, Duncan, Esq., Solicitor and Bank Agent, Fort William. 

Macphail, T. , Esq. , Chester. 

Macpherson, Donald, Esq., Postmaster, Falkirk. 

Macrae, Rev. Duncan, Ardgour, Fort William. 

Macrae, Miss Kate, Edinburgh. 

Macrae, Rev. Alexander, Dartford. 

Macrae, Sir Cohn G., W.S., etc., Edinburgh. 

Macrae, Donald J., Esq., W.S., Morningside, Edinburgh. 

MacRitchie, David, Esq., F.S.A., Edinburgh. 

M' Donald, Rev. Archibald, Beauly. 

M'Dougall, Rev. James, Duror, Ballachuhsh. 

M'Innes, Colin, Esq., Farmer, Achnamara, Lochgilphead. 

M'Kay, Rev. J. Elphinstone P., Manitoba, Canada. 

M'Kay, J. G., Esq., Herts, England. 



viii LIST OF SUBSCRIBERS 

Mljcan, Rfv. John, Pitillie, Aberfeldy. 
M'Lennan, John T., Esq., Advocate, Edinburgh. 
M'Neill, I)., Esq., Edinburgh. 
M'Neill, Malcolm, Esq., C.B., Edinburgh. 

Napier, Theodore, Esq. , Edinburgh. 

Newton, Alfred, Esq., M.A., E.K.S., etc., Cambridge. 

Nutt, David, Esq., London, W.C. 

O'Hickoy, Professor, Maynooth, Ireland. 
Oldfield, J. E. R., Esq., Gollanfield, Nairn. 
Oliver, Mary Alicia, Missouri, U.S.A. 

Parker & Son, Booksellers, etc., Oxford. 

Paul, Sir James Balfour, Lyon King-of-Arms, Edinburgh. 

Plummer, Rev. Charles, Oxford. 

Ralph, W., Esq., I.S.O., Corstorphine. 

Richards, D. M., Esq., Aberdare, Wales. 

Robertson, Rev. ., Jura. 

Robinson, Professor, Mass., U.S.A. 

Robson, A. Mackay, Esq., Edinburgh. 

Rosebery, Earl of, London, W. 

Ross, Alastair, Edinburgh. 

Ross, Andrew, Esq., S.S.C., etc. (Ross Herald), Edinburgh. 

Ross, Andrew, Junior, Engineer, Edinburgh. 

Ross, John Macdonald, Esq., Ledgowan, Koss-shirc. 

Rothschild, Hon. Walter, Herts, Plngland (2 copies). 

Russell, Rev. Dr, Edinburgh (2 copies). 

Saintsbury, Professor, Edinburgh. 

Scharff, R. P., Esq., Ph.D., etc., Dublin. 

Sinclair, the Venerable William, Archdeacon of London, London, E.C. 

Sinton, P. J., Glen Nevis, Fort WiUiam. 

Speedie, Thomas, Esq., Midlothian. 

Stewart, Sir David, LL.D., Aberdeen. 

Sutherland, Duchess of, Sutherland. 

Sutherland, James, Esq., Clapham Common, London, S.W. 

Sutherland, Rev. W., Lochbroom, Ross-shire. 

Taylor, Charles, Esq., D.C.S., Edinburgh. 

Terry, C. Sandford, Esq., M.A., Professor of History, Aberdeen. 

Thin, James, Esq., Bookseller, Edinburgh. 

Tolmie, Miss F., Oban. 

Toronto Public Library, Toronto, Canada, per James Bain, Chief Librarian. 

Trinity College Library, Dublin. 

Tullibardine, Marquis of, Blair Atholl. 

Turner, Sir William, K.C.B., Edinburgh. 

Watson, A., Esq., Printer, Edinburgh. 

Watson, W. J., Esq., Rector, Royal Academy, Inverness. 

Whyte, Henry, Esq. (Fionn), Glasgow. 

Windisch, Professor Ernest, Leipzig. 

Wood, Mrs, of Raasay, Broadford, Skye. 

Wright, Joseph, Esq., D.C.L., LL.D., Litt.D., Professor of Comparative 

"Philology, Oxford. 
Writers to the Signet Library, per Douglas & Foulis, Booksellers, Edinburgh. 

Yule, Miss, Ross-shire (4 copies). 

Zimmer, Dr H. , Professor of Celtic Philology, Halensee, near Berlin. 



CONTENTS 



PAGE 

UOIMH-RADH . . . . . . xi 

INTRODUCTION xiii 



PART 1.— GAELIC-ENGLISH 

Names of Beasts (Mammalia) .... 3 

Names of Birds . . . . . .19 

Names of Fishes ...... 39 

Names of Insects and Reptiles . . . .47 

PART II.— ENGLISH-GAELIC 

Names of Beasts (Mammalia) . . . .57 

Names of Birds ...... 231 

Names of Fishes . . ... 351 

Names of Insects and Reptiles .... 394 



ix a '2 



R O I M H-R A D H 

RuiBHSE, a chairdean Gaidhealach, a thuigeas ar canain, bu 
mhiaiin learn, mar is dual, facal no dha a radh mu'n oidhirp so a 
thug mi a chum a' chanain sin a bheothachadh, a mheudachadh, 
agus a theagasg. Tha nis aireamh mhor bhliadhnachan o'n a 
thug Gaidheal is Gaidheal lamh air an obair chliuitich sin, o am 
Car aid nan Gaidheal gu ruige so fhein, am aiseirigh na Gaidhlig 
Choisinn sibhse mar Ghaidheil mor-urram agus mor-chliu anns 
gach linn o shean mar ghaisgeich threun.-i, agus mar dhaoine 
coire ; ach tha cliu eile agaibh ri chosnadh anns na laithean so, 
agus is e sin lan-eolas a bhith agaibh air maise, air milsead, agus 
air snasmhorachd na Gaidhlig, a chum i bhith na's taitniche leibh 
mar is eolaiche a chinneas sibh air a maise. Cha chreid mi gu 'n 
teid neach sam bith a leughas so as aicheadh gu 'm bheil e ro 
thaitneach eolas a bhith aige anns a' chanain sin, ma ta, air na 
beo-chreutairean a chaidh a chruthachadh romhainn air ar son, 
agus a tha 'gluasad 'nam mor-lionmhorachd air aghaidh na 
talmhainn, anns an adhar 's anns nA h-uisgeachan. Chaidh sin 
a dhearbhadh le aireamh nan leabhraichean a chaidh a sgriobhadh 
mu'n deidhinn anns a' Bheurla, agus ann an iomadh canain eile. 

Car son, ma ta, a bhiodh a' Ghaidhlig air dheireadh } Bu 
mhor am beud gu'm bitheadh, fhad 's a tha daoine ann a labhras, 
a leughas, agus a sgriobhas i, agus tha iad sin a' fas na's 
lionmhoire o latha gu latha, 

Tha nis aireamh mhath bhliadhnachan o 'n a bha feum • agus 
iarraidh air leithid na h-oibre so, agus gu firinneach is fliad' o 'n a 
bha e 'na chuis-iongantais learn fhein, gun tighinn air 'na chuis- 
naire, nach deachaidh a leithid — no na's fhearr — a sgriobhadh o 
chionn fada, agus a liuthad Gaidheal foghlnimte a tha 's a bha 'n 
ar measg. 

Tha nis faisg air deich bliadhna fichead o'n a thug mi fein 
lamh air an obair so, " a lion beagan is beagan, mar a dh' ith an 
cat an sgadan," ged nach robh 'nam bheachd idir leabhar a 
dheanamh dhetli. Ach o nach robh mi faicinn duine sam bith 
eile fa run a leithid a sgriobhadh, agus o 'n a chaidh an gnothuch 
a sparradh orm, so dhuibh a nis i. 
xi 



xii ROlMH-llADH 

Is math a ta fios again gu 'm bheil moran mliearachdan *na 
m' obair, agus moran fhacal a dliitli oirre bu ohoir a bliith iiiiite ; 
acli smuainic'h mi nach robh doigli iia's fhearr air a' ghnothach 
sin a leasachadh na leigeil ris dhuibhse air fad na bh' agamsa 
air a chruinneachadh cheana, agus iarraidh air a h-uile mac is 
nighean mathar dhibh facaii is seann nos eile a chruinneachadh 
's a chur ri' cheile, mar a tha mi an so gu durachdach a' 
deanamh. 

Cha ruig mi leas ruith-mineachaidh a dheanamh air m' obair : 
tuigidh sibh fein mar a leughas sibh i, agus mar a thuirt am bard 
og : — "Biodh sibhse 'dol a null 's a nail gus an ruig sibh grunnd 
na clais', cha 'n 'ell air, ma tha e gann, ach na th' ann a thoirt 
as." 

Tha 'n obair so agamsa criochnaichte fhad so co dhiubh ; ach 
dh' iarrainn oirbhse, 'illean 's a nigheanan oga gu h-araidh ur 
guaillean a chur ris mar a thubhairt mi ; oir tha is bithidh iomadh 
cothrom agaibhse nach robh agamsa. 

Tha 'n obair — obair a Chruthachaidh — tlaclidmhor innte fein, 
agus feumail air a h-uile doigh. Na ceadaichibh dhuibh fein a 
radh uair sam bith, "Clod am feum a th' innte," no, "cha 'n 'eil 
uin' agam gu suil a thoirt air a leithid." Tha 'm feum so innte co 
dhiubh, gu 'n toir e toileachadh mor dhuibh eolas sam bith 
fhaotainn, agus ciod e a's mo tha 'm beachd na h-uile neach na 
toileachadh fhaotainn. Cha 'n e sin a mhain, ach is ma dh' fhaoid- 
teadh gu 'm faigh sibh aite 's duals na's fhearr 'san t-saoghal so 
a chionn an t-eolas araid so a bhith agaibh. Ach tha mi 'n dochas 
gu 'n eirich sibh os cionn sin, agus gu 'n cuir sibh romhaibh ur 
canain, ur cliu, agus ur n-eolas a mheudachadh air ghaol an eolais 
fheiii, agus air sgath nan daoine o'n d' thainig sibh. 

Tha e duilich learn a radh gu 'm bheil moran Ghaidheal a' 
fa'H^ail ar duthchadh le canain bhlasmhor nam beann a' ruith gu 
siubhlach 'nam beoil, ach an ceann beagan mhiosan, air sgath 
naire neo-thlachdmhor, no o mhi-churam, nach aidich gu 'm bheil 
smid 'nan ceann dhi. Na bithibh dhiubh so, tha mi 'guidhe oirbh. 
Is fhada mu 'n cluinn sibh na Sasunnaich a' cur an seorsa canain 
aca fhein air chul ann an am no ann an aite sam bith. Agus c'ar 
son a chuireadh sibhse an fhior chanain sin a tha moran na's 
fhearr ann an di-meas air doigh sam bith ? Tha daoin' ionnsaichte, 
eadar Shasunnaich is Eilthirich, am fad 's am farsuinn, ag aideach- 
adh buadhan na Gaidhlig, agus togaidh iadsan gu taingeil an ni 
sin a tha sibhse a' leigeil air chall. Is masladh mor so. Mar a 
sheinn Mac Mhaighstir Alasdair : — 

" Mhair i fos, 's cha teid a gloir air chall, 
Dh" aindeoin go is rai-run mor nan Gall." 



INTRODUCTION 

It was hoped at one time, that a short preface to this work would 
have sufficed, but in order to show properly the trend of the 
author's intentions, it has had to be extended in the form of an 
introduction farther than might be otherwise thought necessary. 

For a long time a treatise on the various subjects hereinafter 
dealt with has been a "felt want," and the present work owes 
its existence to the efforts as after detailed to supply that want, 
as also the humble, but sincere, desire to assist by placing even a 
small stone on the ever-increasing cairn of Celtic literature. 

A.life-long love of Celtic subjects enabled material to be collected 
by me therefor from time to time, and the work might have seen 
the light several years ago, were it not that many persons were 
under the impression that the late " Nether Lochaber " intended 
writing a special work on Celtic natural history, than whom, 
indeed, no one was more capable. Alas ! he died without fulfilling 
that expectation, and the material for the present work is the 
labour of upwards of a quarter of a century, collected not only from 
an innate love of the subject, but in the hope that it might prove 
of some use in the event of such a work being undertaken by 
" Nether Lochaber " as above referred to. In the course of inquiries 
which were made as to this, and also as to whether " Nether 
Lochaber" had left any MS. bearing thereon, it was suggested 
that as I had made the collection, it should form the basis of such 
a work, and great hopes were held out as to its ultimate educational 
success. 

Though somewhat staggered at the suggestion, seeing no one 
else was likely to take the matter up, I commenced the arrange- 
ment of the material I had collected since 1873, and entered upon 
a systematic search for more, with the result, after various vicissi- 
tudes, and very great labour in the few intervals of a busy 
professional life, latterly also much hampered by sickness, of 
being now able to present to my fellow-countrymen, and others 
at home and abroad, the first work of the kind. The work is not 



xiv INTRODUCTION 

considered by any means ])erfect or complete ; indeed, it is far 
from being that, and my thinking so might justifiably be taken 
as an evidence of gross self-satisfaction or vanity, which is always 
a bar to progress. Desj)ite this, it has been thought, in order to 
give it a definite chance of becoming complete, that the best course 
was to issue it as it stood, as a basis at least for a better and more 
complete work. This falls to be supplied by my fellow-countrymen 
and women, and others who can and should fill up the many 
blanks. 

The leading difficulty in such a work as the present, has been 
that almost necessarily I have had to depend on myself mainly. 
Now that the work is in the hands of competent scholars, as well 
as those who are more or less acquainted with and interested in 
one or more of the subjects, what is wanting can be supplied, and 
what is wrong or faulty corrected. 

It may be alleged that much of what is in this work has been 
already published somewhere. This is true, so far, but, as my 
experience enables nie to say, this has been done only to a Ihnitcd 
extent, and in a manner which renders it almost totally useless, 
scattered as it was, or is, over hundreds of different works, etc., 
and no possible plagiarism has been committed by bringing the 
materials together in a readable and interesting shape, suitable 
for ready reference. Though a part of what is here given is 
sometimes, and in some respects, accepted as history, strictly speak- 
ing, it may be alleged that it has truly not much of the historical 
about it, unless the fact of its having come or been handed down 
to us in a fair sequence of tradition from ancient times renders it 
so. All, however, is derived and extracted from old cosmogonical 
tales, myths of the forces of nature, and mythological legends, 
without which the history of the Celts — and perhaps many other 
races — can neither be projierly understood nor written. The works 
I have gone over and consulted are very numerous, and the few 
lists of names found, chiefl}^ of birds, given by others, were mostly 
in my possession from various other sources in some shape or other. 
All honour and thanks, however, to previous workers in this field, 
especially the late " Nether Lochaber," and Mr A. Carmichael, 
whom I rejoice to feel is still with us. It is recognised as fair 
enough for a writer to borrow from any printed material without 
special acknowledgment, though it is an indispensable ceremony 
to do so when indebted to the MS. of another for anything that 
is printed as one's own. This I have adhered to scrupulously. 
The opportunity, however, is here taken of expressing my great 
indebtedness to my Irish brethren for the benefit I have derived 
from the many Celtic works they have published and made avail- 
able, and to the writers in the Revue Celtiqiie for the guidance 
given throughout its learned tomes to such works, which go back, 
as in the Annals of Tigernach, The Four Masters, etc., to the year 
322 B.C. or thereabouts. 



INTIIODUCTION xv 

This work does not profess to be a complete dictionary of the 
subjects treated therein, neither does it profess to be a scientific 
vocabulary, as either should include the whole "appropriate 
phraseology " of that science, which it will be seen at a glance it 
does not. 

Classical nomenclature has been sedulously avoided, as that is 
considered by many a mere jargon, which rather obstructs than 
facilitates the acquiring a familiar knowledge of such a subject, 
which I fervently hope our Celtic and Highland youth of both sexes 
will shortly do. Some perhaps may find it useful, when conquered, 
that is if time and opportunity permit. It is thought, however, 
that nothing can be more appalling, not only to the eager and 
unclassical student, but even to the casual reader, than a regular 
and formidable array of more or less unintelligible and pedantic 
phrases, diverting his or her attention from the main object of 
curiosity, interest, and instruction, and, in point of fact, interrupt- 
ing these entirely from the understanding. Where, however, a 
desire or craving exists for these " scientific " terms, reference 
can be easily made to the numerous existing works in 
English, etc. 

In confining myself, therefore, to what may be called "bare 
names," I have done so because I consider that there is almost 
always more truth in the usual acceptance of general terms than 
in the apparently more precise and hard definitions of science. 
In such a work as this, these constitute a quagmire to be shunned. 
Common sense has given to words their ordinary signification, and 
common sense is the genius of mankind, and what is generally 
accepted as the general human and popular sense of words is 
what I think should be studied. Be this as it may, my chief aim 
and intention in issuing this work, even in its present shape, is to 
try and help in giving an impetus to the love I believe my fellow 
Celts have for Nature and poetry, in as simple a way as possible, 
for the study of Nature is a science, and whatever tends to assist 
such study is in itself poetical and refining. P'merson says that 
unpoetical science is false, and what race is more poetical and 
imaginative than the Celt ? Goethe did not believe that a good 
naturalist could exist without this faculty, while Wordsworth says, 
"Nature never did betray the heart that loved her," and Nature 
and Nature's works are poetry, be it the humblest flower of the 
field, or the animal which feeds upon it. God Himself does not 
speak prose, but ever communicates with us by hints, omens, 
inferences, and dark resemblances, which may so far justify, if 
justification be requisite, the giving of many of the so-called 
superstitions throughout this work ; and still another saying is 
"he prayeth well who loveth well, both man and bird and 
beast." 

To draw the attention, therefore, of my Celtic countrymen and 
women, young and old, to the study of Nature, and thus quicken 



xvi INTRODUCTION 

and increase the above-mentiniird impetus was, and is, a main 
object of this work. 

The foregoing is not written Uy wny of apology. A subject which 
is not only so captivating a science, but also the most humanising 
of all sciences, or at least closely akin thereto, requires none ; as 
from an intimate relationship with our lower fellow-creatures we 
are supplied with many of our finest associations of tenderness, 
and thus advanced in the scale of humanity and civilisation, their 
society seems to temper man's natural injustice, and tone down 
his innate ferocity or inhumanity to his fellow-men. 

In undertaking the compilation and issuing of such a work, I 
am fully alive to the possibility of some people saying that it can 
only be characterised as misdirected philanthropy and misap|)lied 
industry. With all due deference to individual opinions, this does 
not trouble me. I have felt, like many others before me, that the 
dry bones of Celtic indifference need more awakening, and if I am 
to be of any use in assisting to do so, I must have strong convic- 
tions, and not only have, but put them into practice. In this 
" process of wakening " every true Celt at le-ist should enter 
appearance and take a hand, showing that he or she has practical 
convictions ; it is demanded from them, and though the effect of 
want of immediate success may be dej)ressing and dispiriting, 
patience must be exercised and profound faith. If the work is 
good, as I strongly consider it to be, it is bound to bear good fruit 
sooner or later ; this has been well evidenced, even indeed within 
the last fifty years. 

My department in such a work may be characterised or 
described as belonging to a species of the Celtic natural histonan, 
to whose work there is no limit, w^hose functions are to hoard or 
collect material for a more comprehensive and special work or 
works on the respective subjects, to follow^, it is hoped, some day ; 
and this rather than the seeking to assist or guide people having 
more intimate acquaintance with, and knowledge of, the various 
subjects themselves. In the very numerous works on natural 
history, even in English, that is already done ad injinitinn, but I 
take the liberty of stating that my idea of the painfully systematical 
arrangement or arrangements is, that it is not only to a great 
extent useless, but injurious in its would-be precision. These at 
least are my convictions. To deal here with the science of natural 
history would be ridiculous and out of place, if not injurious and 
presumptuous. Such research being far removed from the ordinary 
business of life precludes it being looked at even, much less engag- 
ing the notice of the average man or woman of the world, though 
from being so closely akin to our own existence, and so connected 
with our animal wants, natural history should claim and receive 
the attention at least of even the most indifferent, ignorant, or 
careless, while appealing to the most cultivated and refined. In 
support of the statement that natural history is akin to our own 



INTRODUCTION xvii 

life and wants, readers may be reminded shortly of the existence 
in the dim, distant past of what is known as " totemism/' or the 
custom by which a stock (scattered through many local tribes) 
claims descent from, and kindred with, some plant, animal, or 
other natural object, which object is sometimes worn as a badge 
or crest. This still operates among all classes. Lowland and 
Highland, in a more or less marked form, even to this day. 

Among the ancient Irish, for example, certain parties are given 
as being the direct descendants of a bird, a dog, etc., such as 
Conan, Cuchulainn, etc., and races named after animals were 
common in ancient Ireland, the Red Deer and the Wolves being 
tribes dwelling near Ossory, the descendants of the latter being 
alleged to transform themselves into wolves (Revue Celtique, Tome 
II.), Professor Rhys, from the frequency of dog names, inclining to 
believe in a dog totem in Ireland. (See the Book of Glendaloch.) 
Aryans generally are supposed to have been totemistic, and 
as the Celts are thereof, their interest therein need only be 
referred to. 

Most of the larger or more conspicuous animals were at one 
time endowed by popular consent with special qualities, good 
or evil, and specially human attributes were commonly ascribed to 
them ; but this association of ideas, so far as regards religious 
beliefs, are comparatively modern, as the principal myths, as a 
general rule, have a local colouring — thus the wild boar and the 
wolf among races of Northern Europe; and, though widely 
remote, regions are found where the goose, for instance, is mixed 
up with the folk-lore or religious myths of the Hindus, Romans, 
Greeks, and the Northern European races generally. Totemism 
among primitive races, as well as serpent-worship, being owing to 
the widespread belief as to the mythical characters of certain 
animals, the names of ox, pig, horse, dog, etc., having, it is said, 
originated from some common root among all the main stems 
which have diverged from the great Aryan stock. In the South 
Sea Islands also. New Hanover for instance, it is interesting to 
note that every one is a fish or a bird in the shape of a human 
being. 

The foregoing might be more fully treated, but I refrain from 
reasons of brevity, and now state shortly the plan of this work, 
which, on perusal, will be found to consist of two parts — Gaelic- 
English and English-Gaelic. In Part I. will be found all the Gaelic 
names or terms for beasts (mammalia), birds, fishes, insects, and 
reptiles, which I could manage to gather, with what has been 
thought to be the leading or best known and generally accepted 
English term or meaning therefor. 

These, like all the subsequent lists of names, proverbs, etc., 
have, so far as possible, been alphabetically arranged for the 
purpose of reference. It is, however, surmised that many Gaelic 
names or terms are still wanting ; these can only be supplied now 



xviii INTRODUCTION 

by others on reading this work, the names, etc., in wliitli have been 
collected from all available sources, living and dead ; it is fervently 
hoped many will take the necessary pains to add and eke thereto. 
At one time it was my intention to distinguish obsolete words from 
those in general use, but finding great divergences of opinion every- 
where, I deemed it best to give all as found generally in the various 
Gaelic and other Celtic dictionaries (even though obsolete terms are 
specified in some), books, magazines, newspapers, etc., etc., leaving 
each person to please him or herself. Words obtained from corres- 
pondents are also given as sent, unless palpably wrong, and for 
neither is it possible for me to accept responsibility beyond the 
faithful rendering. A few words are evidently Gaelicised, but not 
by me ; these are included for what they are worth. Gaelic could 
be formed for every or any term or name, scientific or otherwise, 
in any or every known work on such names, but, for obvious 
reasons, no such attempt has been made. 

In Part II. I have been much more diffuse, which I trust will 
serve to atone for the bare simplicity at any rate of Part I. I 
venture to assert that the contents, now brought together for the 
first time, will be found exceptionally interesting and instructive to 
Celt and Saxon alike, not only from their innate value, but from 
the fact of their being available in such a convenient form. It is 
also hoped that the work as a whole may furnish future text-books 
for use in all our Highland schools at anyrate. 

All the Gaelic names or terms which, as above stated, could be 
procured, will be found in their alphabetical order attached to each 
English name or term for which a Gaelic equivalent was found 
and given in Part I. 

Having made a hobby of collecting Scottish and English terms, 
etc., in various dialects for animals, etc., I have given these also, 
so far as I have gone, but seeing dialectical dictionaries are 
now available, I do not consider this part anything like 
complete. The etymology also of both in a few instances i^ 
given : as to this latter I have not ventured far. 

In the fourth section will be found what I believe will specially 
interest and instruct every reader, viz., Celtic Lore, and here the 
difficulty has been what to select, and how to conc^ense, compatible 
with clearness. 

It may be considered by some that poetry or versification 
bulks too largely, but none could be omitted, and much — very 
much — has been held back, which would have elucidated and 
adorned any such work as this. Great worldly wisdom at least, 
as will readily be admitted, is and has for ages been contained in 
both poetry and proverbs (sean-nos or naodh fhios, the knowledge 
of nine persons (i.e. generations) according to the Senchus mor, 
where also we meet with " Annfhocal and lonnrosg" for proverb — 
inn or sean-arasg), and poets, as is well known, have been, nay, 
perhaps, still are, the interpreters between man and Nature. 1 



INTRODUCTION xix 

venture to think, therefore, that Celtic readers at any rate will 
not object to a single given line of such, but that they will find 
it excellent and refreshing, enshrining as our Celtic poetry and 
proverbs unquestionably do, the wisdom, pure thoughts, beliefs, 
and inspirations of our ancestors, it being well said "it is the song 
and the sentiment that makes the deed." 

The last section, as will be seen, consists of Gaelic proverbs, 
attached and applicable to most of the individual subjects. These 
have been collected from numerous sources, primarily of course 
from Nicolson's splendid work, though in regard to this, as well 
as all the other material, it is impossible to give a list of the 
various publications or authorities consulted, even so far as these 
were kept, but the occasion is here taken to express my great 
indebtedness to the able and indefatigable writers whose works 
live for ever. 

The friends who kindly assisted me are specially thanked, and 
grateful acknowledgment is here made to all. It is hoped they 
may consider this work worthy of the trouble they took in 
contributing to it, and that not only they, but many others, 
especially teachers in Highland schools, may consider it worthy of 
a practical place in their daily life and work. 

In conclusion, I have to express regret that I have been unable 
to supply an index, but from the nature and arrangement of the 
contents I believe such will not be much missed, for where doubts 
exist as to meaning, a reference from one part to the other may clear 
up the difficulty, and though, as will be seen, repetitions may and 
do occur, viz., that several of the words are the same for different 
creatures in both Gaelic and English, these had to be given in 
every case as found in different sources, in most cases standard 
works of high authority. Here, it may be remarked, we are not 
so badly involved as the Chinese for instance, who have some 
words with forty different meanings, while we find the same 
word doing duty in French for a roe or doe and a shrimp or 
prawn. 

Finally, I would take the liberty, my dear fellow-countrymen 
and women, of reminding you of a simple but beautiful belief of 
our ancient forefathers and mothers, as found in our Ossianic 
and other ancient poems, viz., that the ghosts or spirits of their 
forefathers, etc., flew or floated on clouds and rode on winds, 
rested together in their caves, and talked of mortal men and 
women, viewing with approval or disapproval their good or bad 
deeds ; and that though Christianity has so far altered this belief, 
a substitute therefor exists in the belief and hope that those of 
our own more immediate ancestors, who have been taken, still 
view with a keen sympathy from their "place" the good deeds 
of those they have loved and left, and the carrying on of the work 
or works they themselves so ably forwarded while still with us ; 
and seeing we are thus encompassed by such a cloud of Celtic 



XX INTUODLXTION 

witnesses, does it not behove us all to carry on that ^ood work, 
and so run and win the race that is set before us ? — for win we 
must and shall — and, in the words of tlie motto of that Clan to 
which I have the honour to belong, "Gun treoraich gras sibh," 
"may grace you guide." 

ALEX. R. FORBES. 



31 KiLMAiTRs Road, 
Edinhurc.h, March 1905. 



PART I 



GAELIC-ENGLISH 



NAMES FOR BEASTS (MAMMALIA), BIRDS, FISHES, 
INSECTS, REPTILES, ETC. 

^ARRANGED ALPHABETICALLY) 



GAELIC-ENGLISH 

NAMES FOR BEASTS (MAMMALIA) 



Abacc, a beaver (Old Ir.). 
Abhac, abhach, abhag, a terrier — 

" Abh," the barking of a dog. 
Abhair, auar, a horse for cart or 

plough (aver). 
AbhruNj a three-year-old goat^ 

castrated. 
Abhus, a wild beast. 
Adh (err. for agh), a heifer, a 

young cow, a hind, a fawn, a 

two-year-old. 
Adh-alluidh, a buffalo, a wild 

cow, etc. 
Ag, a cow, a deer. 
Agadh, an ox. 
Agh, aghan, a heifer, etc. 
Agh-alluidh, a stag, etc. 
Aghan-goirridh, a fox-coloured 

heifer. 
Agh-feidh, a fawn, a hind. 
Ag-na-dara, a heifer in calf. 
Ai, aibh, a herd, a sheep, a cow. 
AiBHREANN, a castratcd buck 

goat, an aiver. 
AiBHSE, monster. 
AiDHRE (eithre, ox, bull, cow), 

flocks — " Greidh is aithre 

Mhanain," the herds and 

flocks of the Isle of Man. 

(Dean of Lismore.) 
AiDREACH, a milch cow. 



AiGEACH, aigh-each (og-each), 

a young horse, a stallion. 
AiLBH, ailbhinn, aoilbhinn, a 

flock, a herd, drove. 
Axle (err.), aileach, a stallion. 
AiLP, ailpe, an elephant. 
AiNBHiDH, ainbhith, ainbhte, 

ainbhtean, a heifer, heifers, 

etc. ; also a ferocious animal. 
Ainle, a wild cat. 
Ainmheadh, cattle. 
Ainmhidh, an animal, a beast. 
AiRC, a sow. 
Airchealtrach, a hind of three 

years, a cow, a hind. 
AiREACH-FADA, a pack-horsc. 
AiRGE, airghe, arge, cattle, herd. 
AiRGHiR, a cow calf. 
AiRNDEAL, a stag. 
AiRNEiR, cattle. 
AiRNEis, airnis, airnmheadh, a 

herd of cattle, etc. 
AiRSAER, a dog, a snapper. 
AiTHEACH, a sow, a boar, also a 

cow. 
AiTHRiNE, aithrini, aithrinne, a 

calf (also aidhrine, etc.). 
Al, all, a horse. 
Alach, a litter. 
Alaire, a brood mare. 
Alam, a herd of cattle (Old Ir. 

W. S.). 



ALBAN 



BEADAGAN 



Aluan, albe, albin, small herd of 

cattle. 
Alc, alee, an elk. 
Allabiiaiii, allaidh, allmhadadh, 

allamhadadh, a wolf. 
Allum, a hind (Ir.). 
Almha, almhine, alanih, alam- 

hme (Ir. Olum), cattle. 
Amain-fheithe, an amphibious 

animal. 
Amhach, a terrier. 
Am has, a wild beast. 
Amiilair, a monster. 
An-chu, a fox. 
Anmanda, anmide, anmann, 

animal (Old Jr.). 
Antrellach, a boar (Old Ir.). 
AoDH, a sheep (hence aodhaire, 

a shepherd). 
Aoi, a herd, a flock of sheep, a 

cow, cattle. 
AoiDEACH, a cow. 
AoN-ADHARCACii, aon-blicannach, 

the unicorn. 
AoN-CHU, a war-hound. 
Ap, apa, apag, app, an ape. 
Arachd, arrach, arracht, a 

monster. 
Arc, arcan, a sucking-pig, a 

bear, a stag, a hind, a whale. 
Arc crannach, young of sow. 
Archoicid, a staghound ; arrcho- 

gaid, hunting dog. 
Ar-chu, a chained hound, a 

mastiff, a fierce dog, a blood- 
hound. 
Arc-mhuc, a male pig. 
Arcra, a cow (dry, Ir.). 
Ar-dhamh, a plough ox. 
Arinn, a forest deer. 
Arpag, a ravenous creature. 
Arr, a stag, a hind, an elk. 
Arr-chogaidh, the hound that 

first winds or comes up with 

the deer (arradiogaidh). 
Art, arth, a bear. 
As, asain, asal, assal (fem.), asan, 

asana (pi.), an ass — as all or al. 



As-cHU, a water dog. 
As-crodh, a dry cow or cows. 
Athach, athaid, a monster, a 

fierce boar. 
Atiiarla, a quey, a heifer. 
Athoiiamhach, a cow two years 

old, calfless. 
Ath-thalmhain, a mole. 
Ath-uanach, larabless sheep. 



B 



Ba, cow, cows (bai. Old Ir.). 
Bac, a hog or pig. 
Bad-alan, a water vole. 
Badarais, badaroisean, a monster 

(lit. a clump in the path). 
Baedh, a boar. 
Baidne, an animal ; baidnein, 

small group of. 
Baighle, a fawn. 
Bailg-fhionn, white bellied 

cow. 
Bainbh, bainbhin, banbh, a 

sucking or young pig. 
Baineach, a mare. 
Baineasag, baineasg, a ferret, 

she ferret. 
Baircne, a cat, a female cat, 

a white cat. 
B air ICE AN, bai rein, baircean, 

baireacan, a ferret. 
Baisleacii, an ox. 
Balgair, balgaire, a fox, a dog, 

an otter. 
Banaiche, the outer of two 

plough horses. 
Bannach, a fox. 
Bansear, bansearrach, a filly. 
Bansgal, a whale, a leviathan, 

a monster. 
Baodhan, baoghan, a calf. 
Baodhann, an elk, a moose 

deer. 
Barcne, a cat. 
Beabhar, a beaver. 
Beadagan, a yearling ram. 



BEAN 



BRACH 



Bean, a she goat. 
Beannach-nimhe, a horned 

monster. 
Beathach^ a beast, a cow, 

animal, living creature 

(Welsh beich). 
Beathachan-feoir, lesser shrew. 
Beathadach, beathodach, a 

beaver. 
Beisd, beist, a beast. 
Beisd or biasd-na-sgrogaig, the 

unicorn (Skye). 
Beisd-dubh or donn, an otter. 
Beisd-mhaol, a seal, a sea calf. 
Beithir, a bear, any wild beast. 
Beo, beodail, beothir, live 

animals, cattle. 
Beo-chrodh, live stock ; beo- 

chrod (Ir. W. S.). 
Beo-dhuil, animal, living 

creature. 
Beothach, a beast, cow, animal, 

any living creature. 
Beutail, cattle, a cow, herds. 
Bias, biasd, blast, a beast. 
Binne-bheathach, a horned 

beast or animal. 
Biorach, bioraiche, a two-year- 
old heifer, a cow, calf, a steer, 

a year old horse or colt, 
BioRAiDH, a bullock, a steer. 
BiREiD, biride, a breeding cow. 
Biriche, a filly. 
BiTH, bitheach, animal, beast, 

living creature. 
Blad, bladair, blaideire, bleidire, 

a wolf. 
Bladnait, blatnait, a weasel. 
Blaoc, blaoch, a whale. 
Blarag, a whitefaced cow. 
Blath-mheul, or mhiol, sea 

monster. 
Bleach, bleachd, kine giving 

milk. 
Bleanach, a full-faced cow. 
Bleid or bleidh-mhiol, a whale. 
Bleodhannach, full uddered 

milking cow. 



Bleth, a whale. 

Bliadhnach, a yearling animal. 

Blianach, an animal which had 

died of starvation. 
Bliochd-laith, a milch cow. 
B LOACH, a whale. 
Bo, a COW ; rarely, a fawn. 
Bo-alluidh, a buffalo, buffalo 

cow, a furious ox. 

Bo-BEANNACH, liomcd COW. 

Bo-bhai>je, a milch cow. 

Bo-IONMHARBHTA, a COW fit for 

killing (Islay charter, 1408). 

Boc, a buck, a he goat, a roe 
buck, an entire horse. 

Boc or bod-da-bhiorain, year old 
hart. 

Boc-BHEALTuiNN, a wild or 
unmanageable entire horse, 
said to be wilder about 
midsummer. 

Boc-EARBA, a roe buck. 

Boc-GoiBHRE, a buck or he- 
goat. 

BoDACH, the lesser seal. 

BoDACHAN, year old hart. 

BoDAG, bodog, a heifer. 

BoD-AGH, a heifer fit for bearing. 

Bo-GHAMHNA, a farrow cow. 

BoiR, boirr, borr, an elephant. 

BoiRCHE, an elk, a buffalo, large 
hind. 

Bors, boiscal, boiscne, cattle 
(wild or of the woods). 

Boisceall, a hind, a deer. 

Bol, a cow. 

Bo-LACHT, milch cow. 

Bo-LAN, a full-grown cow. 

Bo-LAOiGH, a milch cow, or cow 
with calf. 

BoLLAG, a heifer, a bullock. 

BoRR-AGH, large hind. 

Boss, a fat cow (Ir.). 

Bo-URSAiNN, the best cow, taken 
by a proprietor or other (of old) 
from a newly-made widow. 

Brag, reindeer. 

Brach, a bear, a dog. 



BllAICH 



6 



CAT-FIADHAICH 



Braicii, braiche, braicheain, 

braicheamhail, a stag, a 

buffalo, a wolf, a badger. 
Braicne, a cat. 

Bhaithcheam, a stag, wild ox. 
Bramach, a colt. 
Bram-uan, a j)et lamb. 
Breac, breacli, a wolf or badger, 

a dog. 
Breac-laogii, a fawn, a spotted 

calf. 
Brech, a wolf, badger. 
Breog, a leveret. 
Breoinn, a cat. 
Breun-fhocullan, foumart, fuli- 

mart, polecat, etc. 
Brional, male seal. 
Broc, brochd, a badger, a 

brock. 
Brocaire, a fox (yelper). 
Brogaidh, a cow that putts with 

her horns. 
Bromach, a colt. 
Broth, a mole. 
Bru, a hind, a deer. 
Bruid, animal, brute. 
BuA, buabh, a cow. 
BuABHALL, buabhull, the unicorn, 

a buffalo. 
BuAL, bualan, a buffalo, any 

horned wild animal, a furious 

ox, sometimes a horse. 
BuAR, cattle, a herd of cattle. 
Bug, buicean, buicein, buichin, 

etc., a young roe or buck 

hart. 
BuLTA, a colt. 

Burraidh, a cat (bye-name). 
Bus-DUBH, a dog (bye-name). 



Caball, cabull, a mare, of old 
a horse broken to the bit. 

Cabarach, cabrach, cabrach- 
crocach, stag (see Cabrach). 

Cabhar, a goat (see Gabar). 

Cabon, a young dromedary. 



Cabrach, cabrach-crocach, or 

nan croc, cabarach, a deer, 

a stag (lit. a horned one), 

antlered deer. 
Cadhla, cadhlan, cadhlas, cadla, 

a goat, a leader. 
Caernideacht, cattle. 
Caidhean, a leader of a flock of 

goats. 
Caileach, a sow. 
Cailleasg, a horse or mare. 
Cair-fhiadh, carbh or carr- 

fhiadh, a hart, a stag. 
Caisionnach, a spotted cow. 
Caithne, a two-year-old heifer. 
Callach, a boar, a yearling calf, 

a bat. 
Camall, camhal, a camel (lit. a 

crooked horse). 
Can, cana, canna, a whelp, a 

puppy. 
Cana, canach, a porpoise, or 

little whale. 
Cana-siogach, a wolf cub. 
Caoch, caochag, caochan, a 

grampus, a mole, a blind 

beast. 
Caod, a cat. 
Caois, a farrow pig, a young 

pig- 
Caoit, caoitein, a little cat, a 

kitten. 
Caor, caora, caorach, caoir, a 

sheep. 
Caora-bheanan, a ewe. 
Caora-bheannach, many-horned 

sheep. 
Caora-cheaslach, coarse-wooled 

sheep. 
Capull (see Caball). 
Carlum, a stoat. 
Carnag, a she terrier. 
Carr, a stag. 

Cas-fhionn, a white-footed cow. 
Cat, catt, a cat. 
Catchaothaich, or cat-choth- 

aich, draothaich, a wild cat. 
Cat-fiadhaich, do. 



CAT-GRIOSAICH 



CRAITNEAG 



Cat-griosaich, a fireside cat. 
Cathmheal, cathmhial, a 

charger, a war horse. 
Ceannan, small, active animal. 
Ceann-cula or cullach, a boar 

(leader). 
Ceann-fhionn, white-faced cow. 
Ceann-fionn, an otter (hoary 

head). 
Ceasg, ceast, a sheep. 
Ceath, ceathmaid, a sheep. 
Ceathra, ceathramh, quadru- 
peds, cattle. 
Cediach, a pet lamb. 
Ceigich, goats. 
Ceirean or cirein-croin, a 

supposed monster. 
Ceis, a farrow sow or pig. 
Ceisin, a young pig. 
Cer, cear, a stag, roe, hart. 
Cette, a sheep or lamb 

(Old Ir.). 
Ceut, a sheep. 
Ci, an animal, a beast, a hind, 

a doe. 
Ci, cich or cigh-cingeach or 

ceangach, noble animal or 

stag, the leader. (Dean of 

Lismore.) 
Cich, a greyhound, a dog. 
CiDHEACH, cigheach, a fat lamb. 
CiGH, a hind, a doe. 
CioB, cioba, a sheep. 
CioBA-CLoiMH, or cloimheach, a 

woolly sheep. 
CiocAR, ciocrach, a hungry or 

ravenous animal. 
CioG, a beast, an animal. 
CioRA, a pet lamb or sheep, a 

sheep that feeds with cows, 

a cud-chewer. 
CiR, cire, cireag, do. 

CiTEN, a lamb. 
CiuBH, a dog. 
Cleathar, cleathar-fead^ fed, 

sed, a milch cow. 
Cleobag, cleobag-each, clibeag, 

cliobag, a filly, a shaggy colt. 



Cliabhach, cliamhach, a fox, a 

wolf. 
Cliuin, a wolf. 
CoBHAR (see Gobhar). 

COIBHEARAN, a dog. 

Coibhearan-dobhar, an otter. 
CoiBHEARAN-MuiRT, a rabbit. 
CoiLBHiNN, coilmhinn, a young 

pig- 
CoiLLEADH, a hog pig. 
CoiLT, a heifer. 
CoiNEAN, coineanach, coinedeach, 

a rabbit, coney. 

CoiN-FHODHAIRNE, OttcrS. 

CoiNNEAS, a ferret, dog-weasel. 
CoLAG, colam, colan, a young 

cow. 
CoLBTHACH, colblhaig, a cow calf, 

a heifer, steer, bullock, colt, 

a two- or three-year-old cow, 

a cow that has never calved, 

a cow. 
CoLBTHACH scamlach or sham- 

lach, an uncalved cow. 
CoLG-CHU, a hound. 
CoLLACH, a fat heifer, a boar, a 

yearling calf. 
CoLLAiD, a two-year-old heifer. 
CoLPA, a cow or horse, a colt. 
CoLPACH, colpindach, a heifer, a 

steer, colt. 
CoMHLACH, or comhlachdaidh, a 

sucking-pig. 
Con, a squirrel, a wolf. 
CoNADAL, stray sheep. 
CoNAiRE, hounds, a pack. 
CoNGEiLT, a monster. 
CoNOEL, a female were-wolf (Ir.). 
Cor, corr, any undersized or 

diminutive animal, an odd or 

exceptional looking creature. 
CoTH, a cat. 

CoTi, a drove of sheep (Ir.). 
CowDA, cowdach, a cow, a kittie. 
Crac-dhamh, a stag. 
Crain, a sow, a litter of pigs, 

the female of any animal. 
Craitneag, a bat. 



CRANN-CHU 



DA-BHLIADHNACH 



Crann-chu, a lapdog. 

Cre, creubh, an animal (lit. life, 

being). 
Crracha(}, a mole (Creacb, 

blind O'C). 
Creiche, selling cattle. 
Crespeis, a wbale. 
Creutahi, creutair-talmbaidb, 

creature, etc. 
Criadh-luch, a mole. 
Criuus, a pig. 
Cribus-mara, a porpoise. 
Criomhan, criomtbann, a fox. 
Cripus, a stag. 
Criun, a wolf. 
Cro, a pig, cattle. 
Crodh, cows, black cattle, 

herds. 
Crodh-caoch, crin, cruin, horn- 
less cows. 
Crodh-creic, selling stock, 

cattle. 
Crog, an aged or effete ewe, a 

sheep past bearing. 
Crogaid, a small-horned sheep. 
Cruibh, a cat. 
Cruimeachda, cruimleachta, a 

sow. 
Cu, a dog. 
CuAiN, cuaine, a litter of whelps, 

a pup. 
CuAL, herds, cattle. 
CuALLACH, cattle, stock cattle. 
Cu-ALLAiDH, allta or alluidh, a 

wolf. 
CuAN, a pack of hounds or 

wolves. 
CuANAL, sheep (flock). 
Cu-choille, a wolf. 
Cu-DONN, an otter. 
Cu-DUR, an otter. 
Cu-eunaidh, a pointer or spaniel. 
Cu-FEOLADAiR, a bull-dog (lit.), 

flesher's dog. 
Cu-FioNN or fionna, cu-fhada, 

a greyhound. 
CuGAR, cugarbhad, male cat, 

tame or wild. 



Cu-OHEARR or ghiorr, a wolf. 

Cu-ooRM, a greyhound. 

Cu-GORTAdi, a greyhound. 

Cum, cuihh, a dog or grey- 
hound. 

CuiLASG, cuileasg, a jade, a 
horse. 

CuiLEARHAR, a dog or grey- 
hound. 

CuiLEAN, a whelp, a cub, a puppy, 
a leveret, a hound. 

CuiLEAN-MAiGHiCHE, a Icveret. 

CuiNEAL, a pig. 

CuL, cul-bhoc, cull-bhoc, a 
wether goat, a buck. 

CuLA or cullach-cheann, a boar 
(leader). 

CuLLACH, a boar, a yearling calf, 
a fat heifer, male cat, a bat, 
a stallion. 

CuLLACH-cuAiN, male seal. 

CuLLDAH, a heifer (Ir.). 

Cu-LOMNA, a tied dog. 

Cu-LORGAiDH, a bcaglc, etc. 

Cu-LumGE, a beagle, bloodhound, 
gazehound, etc. 

Cu-MARA, a sea-dog or ranger, 
slow or sleuth-hound, a seal. 

CuMHLACH, cumlach, a sucking- 

CuNADH, stock cattle. 

CuoBHAR (?cu-odhar), a beaver, 

an otter. 
Cur, a horse. 
CuRA, curu, a sheep. 
Cursach, cursair, cursan, a 

courser, a horse. 
Cu-SEiLGE, a hunting dog. 
Cu-uisGE, a water-dog. 



Dabh, a cow. 

Dabhasg or damhas, dathas, a 

fallow deer, doe, or buck. 
Da-bhliadhnach, a two-year-old 
i calf or stirk, cattle. 



DADHAS 



9 



EALLACH 



Dadhas, dais, dathas (see 
Dabhasg). 

Dairt, dartaidh, a lieifer. 

Dallag, a dormouse, fetid shrew, 
a mole ; any little blind crea- 
ture. 

Dallag-an-fheoir, dallag-feoir 
or fheoir, a dormouse, mole, 
shrew.' 

Dallag-an-fhraoich, field shrew. 

Damh, an ox, buck, hart, stag, 
the male of the red deer. 

Damh-allaidh or alluidh, a wild 
ox or stag, etc. ; the pygarg. 

Damh-cabrach, an antlered 
stag. 

Damh-dearg, the stag of the 
red deer. 

Damh-feidh, a hart. 

Damh-fiadhaich, wild ox, buffalo, 
pygarg. 

Damh-nartaidh, a bullock. 

Damhra, a wild beast. 

Damh-ursainn (lit.), door-posts 
ox — the best or only ox a 
widow had — due and taken, 
of old, by proprietor or other 
at death of husband. 

Daoi, a wild beast. 

Daol, a fierce animal. 

Dartach, a two-year-old bull. 

Dart AN, cattle. 

Dartan-eallaigh, herd or drove. 

Dath-reodha, a mole. 

Dealtag, a bat. 

Dearg, a deer, red deer, moun- 
tain deer, roe (lit. a "red"). 

Deargainmheadh, red cattle. 

Deat, deata, a one-year-old 
unshorn sheep. 

Deathaid. two-year-old sheep. 

Deghel, deodhal, deoghal, a 
sucking calf. 

Deil, deileang, deile-mhuc, or 
deile-thorc, a pig, a young 
two-year-old sow or hog. 

Deilf, a dolphin. 

DiAALAG, dialtag, a bat. 



DiANAG, dionag, a two-year-old 

sheep or goat, a hoggerel. 
Di-MiLLTEACH, a Wandering, 

destructive cow or horse. 
DiNiE, a lamb (Old Irish). 
Diosc, diosg, a barren cow. 
Dobhar-chu, doborci, dubharci, 

an otter hound, an otter ; also 

beaver. 
Dobhran, doran, doran-donn, 

douran, an otter, beaver, 

dog. 
Dobhran, doran-leas-leathann, 

or leaslan, a beaver, an 

otter. 
DocoisLE, a whale. 
DoRCAN, durcan, a yearling bull 

calf. 
DoR-CHU, dur-chu, an otter (see 

Dobhar-chu). 
Draineag, a hedgehog. 
Drioman-dubh, a white-backed 

cow (Druim-fhionn). 
Drobh, a drove of cattle, etc. 
Dromadair, dromnn, a drome- 
dary. 
DuBHAG, a little black cow, etc. 

(Blackie.) 
DuBH-RADAN, a sablc. 
DuBH-REABH, a molc. 
DuiL, an animal, a being. 
DuRRAiDH, a sow or porker. 



Each, a horse. 

Each-coimhliongadh, a drome- 
dary. 

Each-mara, a sea-horse, the 
morse or great walrus. 

Each-reidh, a hackney. 

Each-sith, a fairy horse (fabu- 
lous). 

Each-uisge, the water-horse — 
a fabulous animal. 

Eallach, eallaidh,eallamh, cattle 
given as a tocher or dot. 



EALLAIDH-MEITH 



10 



FEIN-EALLACH 



Eallaidh-meith, fat cattle. 
Eallbha, ealbha, ealbh, a herd 

or drove of cattle. 
Eali'ait, a monster. 
Ealtao-leutiihaioh, a bat. 
Ealt-asal, a " pace " of asses. 
Ealt-dhamh, a "drove " of bul- 
locks. 
Ealt-ghobiiar, a "trip" of 

goats. 
Ealt-mhuc, a herd of swine. 
Eannraidh, iannraidh, a heifer 

(Suthd.). 
Ear AG, earrag, a squirrel. 
Earb, earba, earbag, erb, a roe, a 

little roe. 
Earc, ere, a cow, a heifer. 
Earc, earca-iucna or incna, white 

cows with notched red ears — 

Caledonian cattle. 
Earr, earra, earran-gheal, the 

pygarg (gazelle), lit. white- 
tail. 
Eas, a weasel, etc. 
Easag, easaic, easan, easog, a 

squirrel, little weasel, stoat, 

ermine. 
EcH, a horse (Old Celtic). 
EcHTGE, cow, cattle. 
Ed, edal, eid, eit, eitibh, eitidh, 

eithithibh, eti, cattle. 
Edeighneach, a gelded horse. 
EiBHRioNN, eibhrionnach, eibh- 

rionta, eirionnach, a young 

gelded goat. 
EiGH, a roe. 
EiLiD, eildeag (Ir. elt), a hind, a 

roe, the female of the red 

deer, the young of same. 
Eis, eis-dhamh, esamh, esemh, 

an ox. 
EisT, eitionach, a gelded 

horse. 
EiTLEAG, eitleog, a bat. 
Elta, eltlagh, a flock or herd. 
EoTH, a horse (Old Celtic). 
EoTHAN-BANAG, wcak white-ODC, 

animal. 



Erc, a cow, any animal of the 

cow kind (see Earc). 
Erca, cattle (Ir.). 
Es, is, an ox. 

Est, a horse (Old Celtic). 
Ethiar, ethier, a kind of beast (}). 
Eudail, cattle. 



Fabh, fadh, famh, a mole, or 

fabh-thalmhain, etc. 
P'abii, etc. — fhual, bhual, a vole 

or water-vole, also a mole ; 

shrew-mouse. 
Faince, fainche, fainchi, fainchu, 

a fox. 
Falain, falaine, a whale. 
Falaire, a pacer horse, a mare ; 

also a "turfcutter," from 

rajiidity of pace ; a mouldie- 

wart, or moudiewort, etc., 

from turning up e^rth. 
Falbhair, falbhan, a young calf 

(lit. a follower). 
Falcaire, a horse, also a mole. 
Famhalan, a water-vole, or earth 

mole. 
Faol, faolbhaidh, faol-ulaith, 

faol-chu, a wolf, wild dog. 
Fara-laogh, a false calf, a lusus 

naturae. 
Fast, a reindeer. 
Fath, fathbh, fath-rahugach, a 

mole. 
Feadhain, fedan, a team of 

horses. 
Fearaid, feiread, firead, a ferret. 
Fearb, ferb, a cow. 
Fearboc, a roebuck. 
Fear-chu, a greyhound, a male 

fox or dog. 
Fear-coinein, a buck rabbit. 
Feascorluch, feasgar-luch, a 

dormouse, a field mouse. 
Fedoil, cattle. 
Fein-eallach, cattle given in 

restitution. 



FEINECREASADH 



11 



GAOR 



Feinecreasadh, a ferret. 

Feis, a pig, swine. 

Feithde, feithide, feithideach, a 

beast. 
Fell, a horse (Old Celtic). 
Feocullan, focullan, foclan, a 

polecat, foumart, fulimart, 

weasel, ferret. 
Feorag, a squirrel. 
Feornachan, the small or lesser 

shrew. 
Feothan, a dormouse. 
Ferra, cow, not milking. 
Feudail, feudal, cattle, herds, a 

cow. 
Feunaidh, a cart horse. 
Fiaclach-coille, a wild boar, a 

pig- 
FiADH, a deer (lit. a " wild "). 
Fiadh-bheathach, a wild beast. 
FiADH-BHiAST, wlld bcast. 
FiADH-BHoiRioNN, a hind. 
FiADH-cHAT, wild Cat, polecat. 
FiADH-CHU, a wild dog, a 

wolf. 
FiADH-cHULLACH, mhuc, thorc, 

etc., a wild boar, etc. 
FiADH-FHioRioNN, a hart, male 

deer. 
FiADH-FioNN, a roebuck (young). 
FiADHMHUiN, fiaman, fiamoin, a 

hare, any wild animal. 
FiAL, a ferret. 
FiL, an elephant. 
FioLAGAN, a field mouse. 
FioNN, fiun, fuin, a cow, a sow. 
FioNN-cHU, a greyhound. 
FioNN-FHOLAiDH, white kiue. 
FioNNAG-FEoiR, Small or lesser 

shrew. 
FioR-AGH, two-year-old cow. 
FioR-uAN, a hog that has a 

lamb. 
FiTHAL (fith-al) a calf. 
FiTHEAN, a hog, a boar. 
FoBH-THOMAiN, a dormouse. 
Fo-CHRODH, inferior, little, mean, 

small cattle. 



FocHDALAN, ctc, a polccat, 

etc. 
FoiLEDN, foilidh, a foal, a filly. 
FoiR, a pig, a dog. 
FoL, foladh, cattle, a dowry of 

cattle. 
FoLUM, a cat. 
For, a dog. 

Fortran, stud of horses. 
FuATH, fuath-arrachd, a monster. 
FuMAiR, fumaire, a polecat or 

foumart. 
FuiNCE, a fox (see Faince, etc.). 



G 



Gabar, gabhar, gaur, a goat. 

Gabar, gobar, a horse (Old 
Celtic). 

Gabhainn, gabhuinn, gamhainn, 
gamhuinn, a yearling stirk, 
young bullock or steer, a 
cow of six months, also a 
deer. 

Gabhar-fhl\dh, or fhiadhain, a 
wild or rock goat, of old a 
horse (or gabar), a lean horse 
past work. 

Gabhla, a cow with calf. 

Gabhnach, gamhnach, a steer, 
farrow cow, a cow with a year- 
old calf, and still being 
milked. 

Gabhrach, a flock of goats. 

Gadhar, gaodhar, gaor, gaothar, 
a lurcher dog, hound, grey- 
hound, mastiff. 

Gadharan, gadhran, gaidhrin, 
gaighear, a lapdog, spaniel. 

Gadhlan, goats. 

Gaileag, a badger. 

Galla, galladh, gallag, a female 
dog, a bitch. 

Gallach, gall-luch, a rat. 

Gallan, a whale (Lewis). 

Gamal, a camel (see Camall). 

Gaor, gaothar (see Gadhar). 



GARLACH 



12 



LABHAN 



GarlacHj garluch, garbh-luch, 
gearr-luch, gearraidh, a mole, 
also a rat. 

Gasoan, gasgan-coin, a puppy 
dog. 

Gata, a pig. 

Geark, gearrag, gearr-fliladh, 
a hare, a young hare or 
leveret. 

Geahran, a gelding, little farm- 
horse, work horse, hack, tit. 

Gearran-olach, a foal. 

Gearr-gheal, a mountain hare. 

Geh^t, an untameable animal. 

Geo, a cow (Ir.). 

GiBNE, gibne-gortach or prais- 
each, a greyhound, a cub. 

GiLLE-BOIDHRE, a foX. 

Gille-martuinn, a fox. 

GiLLiN, a horse. 

GioNc, gion-chu, a dog, a raven- 
ous or greedy dog. 

Gius, giusaidh, a sow or pig. 

Gladaman, gladamair, glaoid- 
heaman, a wolf. 

Glaisneunt, a cat. 

Glaistig, a goat-devil (fabulous). 

GoBA-SAiL, a seal, a fat sea- 
lump. 

GoBHAR (see Gabhar). 

Graid, graidh, a stud of horses. 

Graideach, graidheach, graid- 
hire, grairne, a stalUon. 

Graineag, a hedgehog or urchin, 
a butter - bump (lit. the 
" Horrent one "). 

Graitneag, a winged animal, a 
bat. 

Greadan, a mule. 

Greadh, greadhair, a horse, a 
stallion. 

Greama, greamach, greamaei- 
tidh, griraa, a streaked cow. 

Grech, a hound. 

Gregh, a dog. 

Greidh, greigh, a herd, herd of 
deer, stud of horses, cattle, 
etc. 



Grid, gribh, griobh, a griffin. 
Gribeacfi, a hunting horse, a 

nag. 
(jRiuN, gruin, a hedgehog or 

porcuj>ine. 
Groisgeach, a hare - devil, a 

troll (fabulous). 
Gru, a greyhound. 
Grunnan, group of animals. 
GuAL-FHioNN, a whitc-shouldercd 

cow. 
Guarag, guarag - bleothainn, a 

cow, a milch cow. 

I 

Iach, a cat. 

I ALT, ialtag, ialtog, a bat. 

Iall, a herd, a drove. 

Ian, a weasel. 

Iar, iarag, a weasel, any little 
animal or creature of a brown- 
ish hue. 

Iara, a cat. 

lARCHULLACH,awildboar,monster. 

Iarndobh, a fawn. 

Iasg-mara, a porpoise. 

Iathlu, a cat. 

Imeachtraidh, plough bullocks. 

Inneil, innile, cattle. 

Iobhlair, iolair, a swift beagle. 

loMACH, ionnach, a colt. 

loMAiN, a drove (Ir. himana). 

loNNAiL, cattle. 

Ir, ira, ire, a squirrel. 

Is, an ox. 

IsEAN, young of small quad- 
rupeds. 

luBHRAN, a castrated goat. 



Labhallan, lamhalan, a shrew or 
vole, water shrew^ or mouse, 
supposed to be noxious ; in 
some places, a weasel. 

Labran, a young rabbit or 
hare. 



LAEB 



13 



MADA-CHUAIN 



Laeb, laob, a cow (Old Ir.). 
Laithre, a cow. 

Lamh-fhual, water vole or mole. 
Lan-damh, a full-grown stag or 

hart. 
Lannair, lannoir, a cow. 
Laogh, laoi (Ir.), a calf of a cow 

or deer. 
Laogh-alluidh, a fawn. 
Laogh-bhailceach, a fair, strong 

calf. 
Laogh-bailgionn, a white-bellied 

calf. 
Laogh-eilid, a fawn. 
Laogh-feidh, a fawn. 
Laogh-ligheach, a newly-calved 

cow. 
Laoicionn, lao'cionn, laogh- 

cionn, laoisgean, a stuffed in 

imitation of a real calf. 
Laos-bhoc, a castrated or wether 

goat. 
Lar, lair, laithre, a mare. 
Larach, a filly. 
Leas-leathainn, a beaver. 
Lee, a calf (Ir.). 
Leidire, a wolf. 
Leobhann, leomhann, a lion. 
Letii-asal, a mule. 
Leth-choinein, a strange rabbit. 
Leth-chu, a lurcher dog. 
Leumnach, leumadair, the jump- 
ing whale, grampus, dolphin. 
LiA, a hog pig. 
Lias, a lamb. 
LiBHEADAN, a Icviathan. 
LiCHEACH, ligheach, a cow. 
LioBART, liocard, liopard, a 

leopard. 
LioBHGACH, a cow with calf. 
LioNCAiSE, a spaniel. 
LoBHGACH, a cow with calf. 
LocHRAiDH, lochruidh, cattle. 
LoDHAiNN, lothainn,pack of dogs, 

leash. 
LoGUiD, a lean, starving cow. 
LoiLGEACH, luilgheach, lulgach, a 

newly-calved cow, a milch cow. 



LoiRCEAN, a stuffed imitation 

calf. 
LoiREAG, a handsome, rough, or 

shaggy cow. 
LoiREAN, a lamb, late of weaning. 
Lois, loisidh, a fox. 
LoMAiDH, a shorn sheep. 
LoN, lun, an elk, moose-deer, a 

bison or buffalo. 
LoNACH-SHLioNACH, an alligator. 
LoRCHAiRE, foal. 
LoRGAiR, loirgear, lorgan, a 

pointer dog, a slow hound. 
Loth, lothag, a filly, a foal, a 

colt. 
LoTHAiNN-ciioN, a pack of dogs 

or hounds. 
LoTHAiR, a greyhound, a dog. 
LuAN, a greyhound, a lamb. 
LuB, a roe, a wolf. 
LuBHAN, lumhan, a lamb. 
LucH, luchag, a mouse. 
Lucn-FHEOiR, a harvest mouse, 

field mouse. 
LucH-FHRANGACH, a rat. 

LuCH-GHALLDA, a molc. 

LucH-MOR, a seal. 

LucH-SHiTH, a fairy mouse or 

lesser shrew. 
Luilgheach, lulgach (see Loil- 

geach). 
LuLAGAN, a stuffed imitation calf. 
LuLPAT, lupait, a pig, hog, swine. 
Lurcaire, lurchaire, a foal, colt. 



M 

Ma, magh, or math-ghamhuinn, 
mangan, mathan, mathon, a 
bear, brown bear. 

Macrail-chapuill, a whale (Ir.). 

Mac-tire, a wolf. 

Mada, madadh, madradh, 
maduidh, a dog, any wild 
animal of the dog species, a 
wolf. 

Mada-chuain, grampus. 



MADADH-ALLAIDH 14 



MUC-AINIDHE 



Madadh-allaidh^ allt, alluidh, 

or ulaith, a wolf. 
Madadii-donn, an otter. 
Madadh-ruadii, a fox. 
Madadh-uisoe, an otter. 
Maidheach, madh-fhiadh, maigh- 

each, moigheach, common 

hare, maukin or mawkin. 
Maigiieach-oheal, white, blue, or 

mountain hare. 
Maistic, niaistidh, a mastiff. 
Maithreach, a mother cow or 

sheep. 
Mallan, mullan, a mole. 
Mang, a fawn. 
Maoiseach, maoisleach, a roe, 

doe, heifer. 
Maoileann, maolainn, maoluin, 

a mule. 
Maolag, maolan, a hornless 

animal. 
Maos, a goat. 
Marbh-chu, a wolf. 
Marbhuas, many cows. 
Marc, marcan, mearc, a horse, 

steed. 
Mart, a cow. 
Mastic, mastaidh, a mastiff 

dog. 
Mat, mata, a pig or monster. 
Meac-treabhaidh, the ox or horse 

next the plough. 
Mealtag, a bat. 
Meanbh-chrodh, meamnachair, 

meanachair, small cattle,sheep, 

or goats. 
Meann, a kid, young roe, goat. 
Meann-bhoc, a year old he-goat. 
Meann-ExVRBA, fawn. 
Meann - mhara, men - mara, a 

whale. 
Measan, meas-chu, a lap-dog, 

pug, puppy. 
Meathusradh, fatlings. 
Meidh-alach or allach, meith- 

eallach, fat cattle. 
MEiDH-EACH,meadhach,astallion. 
Meigeadan, a goat, kid. i 



Meile, melenidh, meilinich, 

sheep ; also jades, etc. 
Meinne, a kid. 
Meoinn, a cat. 
Miaduig or miaduigh, a hog, a 

sow. 
MiAL, miol, a beast. 
MiAL-BHuiDHE, mial-moighe, a 

hare. 
MiAL-BuiRN, a whale. 
MiAL-CHU, a greyhound. 
MiAL-MHARA, a whalc. 
MiAL-MHOR, a whale. 
MiAL-RON, a seal. 
MiALTAo, mialtag-leathair, miol- 

tag, a bat. 
Mi-CHU, a fox. 
Mil, an animal (Old Brit.). 
MiL-EACH, a blood horse, a war 

horse. 
MiN-EALLACH, Small Cattle, sheep 

or goats. 
MiNNEAN, minnein, a little kid, 

fawn, or male young of the roe. 
Minnseag, mins, minsich, minn- 

seach, minnseagh, a yearling 

she-goat, a goat, goats. 
Mise, miseach, a year old goat, 

a young kid. 
Modh-dhamh, a plough ox. 
Modh-searrach, a filly or colt 

of a carthorse. 
Moiltean, molt, a hogget. 
Moineas, moineis, female seal. 
Molla, sheep. 

Molt, mult, a wedder or wether. 
MoNG-STEUDACH, fine - crested 

steed. 
Morc, a sow, a hog, a boar. 
MoR-DHAMH,cattle leader (Welsh, 

modrydav). 
MoRLO, a seal. 

Moth, the male of any creature. 
Moth-chat, a tom-cat. 
Muc, a sow or pig. 
Muc-abhuinn, a bear. 
Muc-AiNiDHE, a sow with 

young. 



MUC-BHIORACH 



15 



PRASACH 



Muc-BHioRACH, the beaked 

whale, bottle -nosed dolphin, 

porpoise. 
Muc-DisGEARNACH, a fierce boar. 
Muc-FHiNN, a milk pig (brood 

sow). 
Muc-FORAis, a house-fed pig. 
Muc-GLASACH, a fatted pig. 
Muc-MHARA, a whale, sea pig, 

hog, seal, porpoise. 
MucRAiDH, a herd of swine. 
Muc-SGiDEiL, a whale. 
MucuiN (muc fhinn), a snouted 

pig or other animal. 
MuGART, a hog. 
MuiLLE, muileid, mullaid, mulag, 

a mule. 
MuLBHACH, mulcha, mullach, a 

sea calf, a porpoise, a seal. 
MuLLAN, a mole. 
MuRDACHAN or murduchan (Ir.), 

a mermaid. 

N 

Nasc, nasg, nasg-chu, a chained 

dog. 
Near, a wild boar. 
Neas, nas, ness, nios, a weasel, 

weazle, stoat, ferret. 
Neas-abhag, a ferret. 
Neas-gheal, stoat, ermine, white 

weasel. 
Neas - nam - fuar - thirean, the 

ermine or Armenian rat. 
Neimneime, non-exempt cattle 

(Br. laws). 
Ni, nith, cattle, cows, flocks, 

herds. 
NiMHE (neime), exempt cattle 

(Br. laws). 

o 

Og-chullach, a young boar, a 

grice. 
Og-mhart, a young cow, a heifer. 
Oe, oi, a sheep. 



OiGEACH, a stallion, a young horse. 
OiGH, a deer, stag. 
OiLBHiAST, a monster. 
Oileabhan, an elephant. 
OiRc, oircne, a lap-dog. 
Oirceann, a young sow or pig. 
OisG, othasg, othaisg, a sheep or 

one-year-old ewe or yowe, a 

dry ewe, from " oi seasg." 
Oluidh, a cow, also a ewe. 
Onchu, a wolf, an otter. 
Onn, a horse, entire horse,stallion. 
Onnchu, a leopard. 
Org, orca, orcab, or can, a whale, 

sea monster, pig, beagle, little 

hound, lap-dog. 
Ormchre, a boar-hound, a leopard 

(Ir.). 
Os, os-allaidh, an elk, deer, stag. 



Paindeal, a panther. 

Pait, paiteag, pata, pataire, 

patan, puta, putan, a hare, 

a leveret or young hare or 

rabbit, the young of any 

animal. 
Parn, a whale. 
Peacarach, noxious animal, 

sinner. 
Peall, a horse (see Fell). 
Peallach, a porpoise. 
Peileag, peilig, a porpoise, sea 

hog. 
Peisd, peist, piasd, piast, a 

beast. 
PisEACH, progeny. 
PisEAG, a kitten, moll kitten, 

young cat, 
PisEAN, a tom-kitten. 
Pliutach, a seal or sea-calf. 
PoiRCEAN, poircein, a little pig, 

a porpoise. 
PoNc, a goat. 

PoRC, porcan, a sow, a pig. 
PoRc-THRiATH, a stall-fcd hog. 
Prasach, a fox. 



PRASGAX 



16 



SEARG 



Prasoan, a small flock of nnimnls. 
Procach, one-year-old sta«^. 
PuRRAOiiLAiS; a term for a o.it. 
Pus, a cat. 

PuTAN, young animal. 
Puthao, a porpoise, a grampus. 



Rabaid, a rabbit. 

Rache, scent-hound. 

Radan, rodan, a rat. 

Radan Armenianach,the ermine. 

Radan-dubh, black rat, not 

Hanoverian. 
Radan-uir, a mole. 
Radan-uisge, the craber or 

water-rat. 
Radmuinn, a fox. 
Rainciie, a fox. 
Raisean, a goat. 
Raitch, raitche, ratche, rotch, 

a female dog, a bitch. 
Raoine, a young barren cow. 
Rap, rob, rop, any creature that 
digs for its food, or that draws 

its food towards it, as cows. 
Ras, raismhaol, a sea-calf, seal. 
Readh, readhag, a mad bull 

or ox. 
Reang, a hare. 
Reasuall, a whale. 
Reath, reatha, reithe, a ram. 
Reidhneach, a barren cow 

(Suthd.). 
RiRHiNN-CHRO, a barren ewe. 
Rige, a^semi-castrated ram. 
RiNCHE, a cat, kitten. 
RocHNAiDH, a whale. 
Ron, ron-mulach, or muUach, a 

seal, sea-calf. 
Rorcual, rorual, a whale 

(rorqual ?). 
Ruadh, ruadhag, a deer, hind, 

roe. 
Ruadh-bhoc, a roebuck, russet 

buck. 



Rue, ruchd, rucht, a sow, pig. 

RuDA, a ram or tup. 

Ruio, ruige, ruta, a semi-cas- 
trated ram or other male 
animal, a ridgeling. 

RusTAO, a bear. 

RuTHA, a hedgehog. 



Sabhairle, sabhan, a cur, 

mastiff. 
Sagh, saghain, saigh, saith, sam- 

han, a female dog, a bitch ; 

a horse. 
SAGH'icTmE, a she- wolf. 
Sailp:tfieach, a hind. 
Samh, a pig. 

Saoi, saoidh, a mare (Suthd.). 
Saoth-dhamh, a labouring ox. 
Sath, cattle, drove. 
Scot AN, scothan, small flock of 

sheep. 
ScuiTHE, a pig. 
Seachbha, seachbho, seachlach, 

seachlaogach, seagaid, a bar- 
ren cow or heifer. 
Sead, seada, deer. 
Seafaid, a heifer. 
Seaghach, a he-goat. 
Sealanach, starveling animal. 
Sealbh, sealbhan, a herd, drove, 

number of cattle ; a tocher or 

possession of cattle. 
Sealtaidh, a Highland pony 

(sheltie). 
Seamlach, a cow that gives or 

yields her milk without her 

calf beside her. 
Seang, a roebuck, deer (lit. a 

slim one). 
Seannachan, a young or little 

fox. 
Searbhos, searbo, searbos, serbo, 

a deer, roe, stag. 
Searg, seargan, a worthless 

animal. 



SEARR 



17 TAGHAN-TARTAIDH 



Searr, searrach, a foal, colt, filly. 
Seasaich, cattle (stand-bye). 
Seasg-bha, or bho, seasaicb, 

seasaid, seasaidh, seasgachd, 

seisgeach, seasglach, seas- 

grach, a barren cow, barren 

cattle, dry. 
Seathaid, a suckling ewe. 
Sed, set, seod, a cow (as property), 

a cow with calf; deer. 
Sed, seod-ghabhta, a cow with 

calf. 
Sed-aine, a milch cow (Ir.). 
Segh, a wild ox, buffalo, moose, 

elk. 
Segsaid, barren cattle. 
Seiche, selling cattle. 
Seilmigir, a ram. 
Senach, sinnsenach, a fox. 
Sgabag, sgarag, a cow salted 

for provision. 
Sgal, a calf. 
Sgann, sgann-sgriod, a herd or 

drove of cattle. 
Sgiathach, a white streaked 

cow. 
Sgiarnag, sgiberneag, sgiobar- 

nag, a hare. 
Sglamhach, a hungry dog or 

mastiff. 
Sgonn-chu, a vicious or surly 

dog. 
Sgor, a stud of horses. 
Sgrog, sgrogag, an old cow or 

ewe. 
Sgruit, a lean, hard cow. 
SiANACH, a monster. 
Sidheach, sigheach, siogach, 

sithoch, a wolf. 
SiDiN, a deer, venison (Ir.). 
Sigean, diminutive animal. 
SioLACH, siolaidh, a stallion. 
SioLTACH, siomlach, a cow that 

yields her milk without her 

calf beside her. 
SioME, sioma, a whale. 
SioNN, sionnach, a fox. 
SiOTA, a shot lamb. 



Siread, a ferret. 
SiTHioNN, a deer (venison). 
Slabhraidh, slaibhre, cattle, 

herds. 
Slonnudh, cattle, flocks. 
SoDAiR, sodarnach, a clumsy 

quadruped, a trotting horse. 
SoGH-CHU, a greyhound. 
SoicH, soigh, a bitch. 
SoiNNEACH, a racehorse. 
SoMAR, wild sheep, chamois. 
SoRDAN, an animal. 
Speil, cattle, a herd, a drove, 

particularly of swine. 
Speil or speile-cheann, a pig 

leader. 
Splionach, an ill-thriven animal. 
Spreidh, cattle, sheep ; a mar- 
riage portion of cattle. 
Sread, sreath, a herd, troop, 

flock. 
Srianach, strianach, a badger. 
Stal, stalan, stallan, a stallion. 
Stangach, a beast with upright 

horns. 
Steud, steud-each, ahorse, steed, 

war-horse. 
Stiallair, stiallaire, stiall-chu, 

a badger. 
Stuaidh, a flock or herd of 

animals. 
SuAicEiN, a pet calf or lamb. 
SuiG, a pig. 
Sum A, a pack-horse (O. C). 



Ta-beisd, or beist, tabh-bheisd, 
tapbheisd, a large seal. 

Tabhuan, taifean, a sea-calf or 
lamb, a seal. 

Tachan, taghan, taoghan, the 
marten, pine marten, pole- 
cat, foumart, badger. 

Tadhgan, a fox. 

Taghan- tart AiDH or tutaidh, 
the (foul) foumart. 

B 



TAIFEAN 



18 



URSAN 



Taifean, a sen]. 

Tain, tan, cattle, cows, drove, 

flock or herd of cattle. 
Taintk, cattle taken as booty or 

spoil. 
Tairbhean, a bull-calf (Ir. tair- 

bin, toirbin). 
Tallan, a hind. 
Tamhaidh, a cow that stands, 

gentle. 
Tarbh, a bull (tarb, Old Ir.). 
Tarbh-boidhue, a bull demon 

(fabulous). 
Tarbh-coill, a monster (fabu- 
lous). 
Tarbh-tana, a parish, district, or 

herd bull. 
Tarbh-uisge, the water-bull 

(fabulous). 
Tarlaideach, a working-horse. 
Tast, a reindeer. 
Tearc, a cow. 
Teinecreasadh, a ferret. 
Tigear, tiogair, a tiger. 
Tirich, the horse that walks on 

or next the unploughed land. 
Tlachd or tlath-mhuc, a fat hog. 
Tlas, tlus, cattle. 
Tochra, a small pig. 
ToLAiR, a hound, fox-hound. 
Tor, a bull. 
ToRADHAiR, torathair, torrthair, 

a monster. 
ToRC, a hog, brawn. 
ToRCHOS, a calf. 
ToRCHOS-BREiGE, a moon calf 

(fabulous). 
ToRc-NiMHE, a fierce or wild 

boar. 
Treud, a drove, flock, herd of 

animals. 
Triath, a hog, sow, boar. 
Troid-each, a war-horse. 



Truitean, tuitean, a badger. 

Truth, a vile beast ; a shrew. 

Tuaiohe, a bull (farm). 

Tulachan, tulagan, tulchan, an 
imitation calf presented to a 
cow to cause her to yield her 
milk. 

TuNGARLAGH, EH old COW. 



u 



Uagh or uamh-bheisd, a 

monster (generally fabulous). 
Uaghan, uan," uanan, etc., a 

lamb. 
Udlaiche, ullaiche, utlaiche, a 

stag, old j hart ; an ass in its 

fourth year. 
Uilbh, a wolf (Suthd.). 
Uile-bhe!SD, a beast monster. 
UiLP, uilpean, uulp, a fox. 
UiRCEANN, uircein, a pig, young 

P'g^ piglings grice. 

UiRCEANN-GARAiDH, uirccau-sona, 
a hedgehog. 

UiREACH, a mole. 

UiR-FHAMH, uir-reathabh, reath- 
abh or reothadh, a mole. 

UiRiDH, a monster. 

Ulaith-faol, a wolf. 

Ulmhach, a wolf. 

Uraisg, uruisg, a sprite, semi- 
animal, sa^d to haunt water- 
falls (fabulous) ; a bear. 

Urbheisd, a monster. 

Urc, a sow, a whale. 

Urchallach, urchullach, a heifer 
of a year and a half old. 

Urrag, an urchin, a hedgehog. 

Urs', ursa, a bear. ") ,, 
TT u 1 f trom 

Ursag, a she-bear. > i . • 

Ursan, male bear. ) 



GAELIC-ENGLISH 
NAMES OF BIRDS 



A, Ai, a swan. 

Aaid, a magpie. 

Aar, an eagle. 

Abhal, a ptarmigan (Sobieski). 

AcuiL, aguil (Ir.), an eagle. 

Adharcag, adharcan, adharcan- 
luaehrach, adhaircean, a lap- 
wing, etc. 

Agaid, a magpie (lit. pert one). 

AiGNE, a swift. 

AiLEAG, ailleag, aimhleag, ain- 
leag, amhlag, a swallow, storm 
petrel. 

AiLMHiN, a brood. 

AiNLEAG-MHARA, a sea-swallow, 
black martin, petrel, also 

AiNLEAG-MHOR-DHUBH. 

AiNLEAG-MHONAiDH, the Alpine 

swift. 
AiNNEAMHAG, a phcenix (fabu- 
lous). 
. AiRMHiD, airmid, a swan. 

AisiLEAG, asaileag, assilag, storm 
petrel, storm finch, alamonti. 
AiTEiL, widgeon or wigeon. 
Al, alach, the young of birds, 
brood. 
i Ala, alunn, a swan. 
* Albanach, the coulterneb. 

Alc, alca, the great auk (ex- 
tinct) ; also the kingfisher. 

19 



Alchaochan, the owl. 

Almhin, a brood. 

Altain, a flock. 

Amac, amach, amhach, a vulture ; 

any ravenous bird. 
Amadan-mointich, the dotterel, 

snipe, ringed plover. 
Amhas, amhasag, amhasan, amh- 

san, amhsainn, ansa, asan, 

gannet, or solan goose. 
Antar (an t-'ar — Old Etrusc), 

the eagle. 
Aoi, a swan. 

AoiLEANN, a sea maw, gull. 
Arcus, a hawk (aracos, Etr. 

Celt.). 
Armhaidh, armhuidh, a buzzard. 
Arspag, the larger species of 

seagull. 
Ateal, the teal. 
AuR-coiLLE, capercailzie, or cock 

of the wood, etc. 

B 

Badb, badh or bodh, a vulture, 

royston, or scald crow ; any 

ravenous bird. 
Baidne, baidnein, group of 

birds. 
Bain-speireag, spiorag, spireag, 

a sparrow-hawk (female). 



BALAIKE-BODHAIN 



20 



BKICRAN 



Balaiue-bodiiain, ballaire or 
ballaire-bothuin or boar, the 
common cormorant, larger 
species of white - breasted 
cormorant. 

Ballan-oir, ball-oir, a wren ; 
goldspot. 

Baois, the sparrow. 

Baothaik, a snipe. 

Bardal^ a drake, a mallard. 

Beach, beathag, a bird, in some 
places. 

Bealbhan, beilbhean - ruadh, 
beileaman-ruadh, a kind of 
hawk, a buzzard or put- 
tock. 

Beicein-glas_, the spotted fly- 
catcher. 

Beul-bhinn, the nightingale. 

BiADHTACH, biatach, a raven, 
corbie or corby, glutton (Skye 
and Uist). 

Bidein, a chirper, a young bird 
or fowl. 

Bigean, bigean-beag, bigein, 
bigeun, any little bird, wren, 
rock pipit, meadow pipit ; 
the wee, little bird. 

Bigean-baintighearna, the moun- 
tain linnet or twite (Uist). 

Bigean or bigein-bride, oyster 
catcher. 

Bigean-mor, the black shore- 
lark ; big-little bird. 

Bigean-sneachda, the little snow- 
bunting. 

BiORRA, biorra - cruidein, or 



n - lasgair, 
kingfisher, 
the fisher, 

common 



cruitein, biorra • 

bior-an-uisge, a 

halcyon ; spit of 

long bill. 
Bleidir, bleidire, 

buzzard, sorner. 
BLEiDm,-RiABHACH the honcy- 

buzzard. 
BLEiDm-TONAcn or molach, the 

rough-legged buzzard, large - 

hipped or bunchy sorner. 



BoAO, bodhag, bothag, a sea- 
lark, sandy laverock, ringed 
plover, sandpiper. 

BocAN-LoiN, boc-sac or saic, a 
snipe. 

BoDACM-oiDciiE, the tawny owl. 

BoD-CHEARC, a hawk. 

BoDDA, a redshank. 

BoD-FHJ, redshank (Ir.). 

Bonn, a ravenous bird. 

BoGACHAN, bog-an-lochan, the 
dipper; also wheatear. 

BooANACH, a young puffin, or any 
young bird. 

BoG-AN-LoiN, a snipe, sand-piper. 

BoiDHEAG, a goldfinch. 

BoiGEAR, a puffin. 

BoNNAN, bonnamain, a bittern. 

BoNNAN-BuiDHE or liona, a heron, 
crane. 

Braighfjvl, broigheal, a cor- 
morant, the sea raven. 

Bran, bran-eun, bran-fhitheach, 
bran-orgain, a raven, rook, 
royston crow. 

Breacan-glas or sgiobalt, the 
spotted fly-catcher. 

Breac-an-t-sil, breacan-buidhe, 
bricein - buidhe, the white, 
grey, or pied wagtail, yellow 
speckled little bird, or 
chaffinch. 

Breacan or bricein-baintigh- 
earna, grey or pied wagtail, 
spotted lady. 

Breacan or bricean-beatha or 
beithe, the chaffinch, linnet ; 
little speckled bird of the 
birch. 

Breacan-buidhe, the yellow wag- 
tail. 

Breac-mhac, breac-mhuc, breac- 
mhuch, a magpie. 

Breid-air-toin, the hen harrier, 
ring-tail hawk, hobey. 

Bricean, bricein, a linnet, chaf- 
finch, green lint-white, shilfa, 
twite. 



BRICEAN 



21 



CAILLEACH-BHAN 



Bricean or bricein-buidhe, the 
yellow (or Ray's) wagtail, 

Bricean-caorainn, the mountain 
finch. 

Brid, bridean, bridein^ brid-eun^ 

a small bird ; oyster-eater^ 

sea-piet, St Bridget's bird 

(see Gille-bride). 

j Brod-gheadh, a brood goose, a 

' dam (E. McD.). 

Broidileag, broinn-dearg or 
deargan, broinileag, bru- 
dearg, bru-dhearg, bru-dear- 
gan, bruin-dear gan J etc., the 
robin, robin - redbreast, rud- 
dock. 

Brollach-bothain, the black- 
throated diver. 

Bru-gheal, a wheatear. 

Bruilin, a swallow (Ir.). 

Bualainde, a sea-lark, wagtail. 

BuATHAM, a bittern. 

Bubaire, the common bittern. 

BucHTHUiNN, buchuinn, the 
melodious duck. 

BuDAGoc, budagoch, budagochd, 
butagochd, a snipe ; also a 
woodcock in some places. 

Budhaigir, bugaire, buigire, a 
puffin. 

Buicein-baintighearna, a wag- 
tail. 

Buideir, buidseir, the butcher- 
bird, shrike. 

Buidheag, buidhean, a gold- 
finch, linnet ; any small, 
yellow bird. 

Buidheag or buidhean-bhuachair, 
a yellow hammer, or ammer, 
yellow-yite, yeldrin, yorlin, 
etc. 

BuiDHEAG-BHEALLAIDH or bheal- 

luidh, a yellow bunting, yellow- 
hammer, or ammer, yeldring, 
etc. 

BuiDHEAN-coiLLE, a goldfinch, 
bullfinch. 

BuiLG-EUN, a puffin. 



BuiNNEAN-LEANA or liona, a 

bittern. 
BuiREiN, buiriche, bittern, the 

lowing-bird. 
Bun, bunna, bunnan, bun- 

bhuachaill, the northern diver; 

also the bittern or heron. 
BuNABHUACHAiLLE, the great auk 

(MacDonald), also cormorant. 
BuTHAiD, butiiaigear, buthrai- 

gear, a coulterneb, puffin 

(Barra, Harris, St Kilda, 

etc.). 



Caban, cabon, a capon. 

Cabar, cabhar, cubhar, a hawk ; 
any old bird. 

Cabar-coille, capar or capuU- 
coille, caprioc, capur, the 
capercailzie, mountain-cock, 
great cock of the wood, wood 
grouse, etc. 

Cabhachan, cuckoo-titterer. 

Cabhag, cabhog, cadhag, cathag, 
a jackdaw, jay. 

Cabhag-dhearg-chasach, etc., a 
chough or red-legged crow. 

Cab-nan-cuileag, the flycatcher. 

Cadhag, the magpie. 

Cadhan, the wild goose, barnacle 
or bernicle goose or duck. 

Cat, the cuckoo's bird, tit or 
titmouse. 

Catdhean, a turtle dove. 

Caidhlean, water rail (Caidhlin, 
Ir.). 

Caifean, caifein, caifein-coille, 
chifF-chaff, chatterer, wood- 
chatterer. 

Cailleach, cailleachag-cheann- 
dubh or duibh, a titmouse, 
colehood, coletit, colemouse, 
blackcap ; little old-wife 
blackhead. 

Cailleach-bhan, the snowy owl. 



CAlLLEACH 



22 CEARC-INNSEANACH 



Cailleach bheapf an earbaill, 
long-tailed titmouse ; little 
old-wife of the tail. 
Cailleach, cailleachan - oidhche, 

an owl. 
Cailleach-cheann-ohorm, the 

blue titmouse. 
Cailleach-dhubh, the shag cor- 
morant. 
Cailleach-oidhche, bhan or 
gheal, the barn owl or com- 
mon owl. 
Cailleach-oidhche mhor, the 

eagle owl, tawny owl. 
Caileag, callag, caltag, carlag, 
casgan-long, the black guille- 
mot. 
Cairneach, coirneach, the king- 
fisher, halcyon, osprey. 
Caislin-clach, the stone-chat- 
terer, wheatear (err.). 
Calaman, caiman, caluman, a 

dove, a pigeon. 
Calaman or calman-cathaich or 
cathaiche or cathaidh, the 
hoopoe or moulting dove. 
Calaman-coille, the ring-dove. 
Calaman-fiadhaich, the rock- 
dove. 
Calaman-gorm, the stock-dove. 
Calaman-mara, sea-dove. 
Calaman-nan-creag or mara, the 

rock-dove. 
Calaman-tuchan, the turtle- 
dove. 
Calcach, colcach,colcair, colgach, 
colgaire, coltaircheannach, col- 
trachan, comhdachan, conntra- 
chan, conntraigheachan, the 
coulterneb, puffin, eider 
duck. 
Caltag, the auk. 
Cam'aich, the wryneck. 
Cama-lubach, the common sand- 
piper. 
Cam-ghlas, the redshank, red- 
start, red-pole, purple sand- 
piper. 



Cam-ghob, the common crossbill, 

wrybill. 
Cam-mhuin or mhuineal, the 

wryneck. 
Canairi, the canary (corrupt). 
Canranach-dearg, the waxwing, 
Caochan, a bird. (Dean of Lis- 

more.) 
CAoi,caolag, caolag-riabhach, the 

cuckoo. 
Capais (Capys, Old Etrusc. Celt.), 

the falcon. 
Cas-cre'fodh, heron. 
Cathal, caothail, the long-tailed 

duck ; wailer. 
Cat HAN, the barnacle or bernicle 
goose, black-billed wild goose. 
Cath-eun-leadain, the barnacle 

goose ; war bird. 
Ceann-dearg or deargan, the 

red-start, red pole. 
Ceann-dubh, ceann-dubhag, the 
marsh titmouse, black red- 
start, the black-cap. 
Ceann-dubhan, the black-headed 

gull. 
Ceann-dubh fraoich, the reed- 
bunting. 
Cearc, cere, a hen. 
Cearc-cheannan, the coot. 
Cearc-choille, a partridge, per- 

trick (improper). 
Cearc-chruthach, a partridge ; 

horse-shoe hen. 
Cearc-cireach or cireanacb, a 

crested hen. 

Cearc-fhrangach, a turkey hen. 

Cearc-fhraoich, a moorhen, 

female of red grouse; Attagen. 

Cearc-ghlobach, a hen with 

down-covered head. 
Cearc-ghreannach, a rough- 
feathered hen (a Russian 
hen). 
Cearc-gur, a sitting or brooding 

hen. 
Cearc-innseanach, an Indian or 
Guinea hen. 



CEARC-OTRACH 



23 



COILEACH-RUADH 



Cearc-otrach, common or barn- 
door hen. 
Cearc-pheucaig^ pea-hen. 
Cearc-thomain, a partridge, per- 

trick. 
Cearc-thopach, a topped or 

tufted hen. 
Cearc-shealbhag, a hen or fowl 
paid of old to the falconer of 
the lord of the soil. 
Cearc-uisge, the gallinule or 
water-hen, moorhen, dab- 
chick, coot. 
Cearra-ghob, an avocet. 
Cearrsach, the corncraik. 
Cearsach, the thrush. 
Ceath, the jackdaw. 
Ceiliriche, the blue-throated 

warbler. 
Ceirseach, the woodlark. 
Ceis, a swan. (Dean of Lis- 

more.) 
Ceolan, ceolan-cuilc, the warbler, 

reed warbler. 
Ciabhag-choille, the woodlark. 
CiARSACH, the thrush. 
Ciochan, ciochan-fada, the long- 
tailed titmouse. 
CioLAG, ciolachaire, ciolog, the 

hedge-sparrow. 
Circean-caorainn, the mountain 

finch. 
CiuTHRACH, the red-head. 
Clabhais feach or fiach, the red- 
shank. 
Clacharan, clochlainn, cloichea- 
ran, cloichrean,etc., the stone- 
chat or chatter-quay, whin- 
chat, wheatear ; little mason. 
Clamhan, the buzzard, moor 

buzzard, kite, glead, gled. 
Clamhan-fionn, the hen-harrier 

(Montagu's harrier). 
Clam HAN-GEAR R or gearra-clam- 

han, the broad buzzard. 
Clamhan-gobhlach, a kite, etc., 

the salmon-tailed gled. 
Clam HAN-LOIN, the marsh harrier. 



Clamhan-luch, clamhan-nan- 
cearc, the hen-harrier, mouse- 
hawk. 
Clamhan-riabhach, the honey 

buzzard. 
Clamhan-ruadh, the kestrel. 
Cleabhar-caoch, the corncraik. 
Clisgein, the swift. 
Cluimhealta, a royston crow ; a 

flock of birds. 
Cnag, a chnag, a chnagag- 
choille, crag, the pine gros- 
beak, woodpecker, little wood- 
rapper. 
Cnaimh-bhristeach, the ossifrage 

or osprey. 
Cnaimheach, cnaimh-fhitlieach 
or fhich, craimheach, creum- 
hach, the rook, raven, crow, 
jackdaw. 
Cnaimh-gheadh, a fowl between 

a goose and duck. 
Coc-bhran, the jackdaw. 
Coi, the cuckoo. 
Coigreach, the peregrine hawk 

or falcon. 
Coileach, a cock. 
CoiLEACH-cATHA, a game-cock. 
CoiLEACH-con.LE, a wood-cock, 

capercailzie. 
CoiLEACH-DUBH, a black-cock. 
CoiLEACH-FEADHA, the pheasant 

(Ir.). 
Coileach-fheucaig or pheucaig, 

a peacock. 
CoiLEACH-FRANGACH or turcach, a 

turkey-cock. 
CoiLEACH-FRAoicH, hcathcockj a 
moorcock, red game, grouse. 
CoiLEACH-iNNSEANACH, an Indian 

guinea fowl (cock). 
CoiLEACH-oG, a cockerel. 

CoiLEACH-OIDHCHE, an Owl. 

CoiLEACH-oTRAiCH or an dunain, 
the common orbarn-door cock. 

CoiLEACH-PULAiDH, turkey-cock. 

CoiLEACH-RUADH, a grousc, rcd- 
cock. 



COILEACH-SPODHTA 24 



COSGACH 



CoiLEACH-spoDHTA, a capon. 
CoiLEAcii-TOMAiN, a cock-par- 
tridge. 

CoiLEACn-TUIlCACH-FIADHAICH, the 

bustard or curlew. 
CoiNFiiuADAcH, the vulture ; dog- 
chaser. 
CoisDEAROAN, the xedshank. 
CoLAR, a dove. 
CoLc, colach, colcach-borag, the 

eider duck, little auk, puffin. 
CoLCA, colcair, the great auk 

(extinct). 
CoLGAN, a dove. 
Coll AIR E-BOAiN, bothain, or 

buthain, the cormorant, shag. 
CoLM, colman, colum, columan, 

a dove, a pigeon (see Cala- 

man). 
CoLMAN-CATHAicH or cathaidh, 

the whaup, whoop, hoop, 

hoopoe or moulting dove. 
CoLMAN-coiLLE, wood-pigcon, the 

ring-dove, cushat-dove. 

COLMAN-CREIGE, the FOck-doVC. 

CoLMAN-GOBHLACH, the fantailed- 

pigeon. 
CoLMAN-TiGHE, the domestic 

pigeon (rock variety). 
CoLTAiR, coltair-cheannach, col- 

trachan, comhdachan, the 

puffin. 
CoLTRAiCHE, the razorbill. 
CoMHACHAG, cumliachag, an owl, 

owlet, howlet ; the lamenter 

or mourner. 

COMHACHAG-ADIIARCAICHE, the 

long-eared or horned owl. 
CoMHACHAG-BHAN or ghcal, the 
barn owl. 

COMHACHAG-BHEAG, the little 

owl. 

CoMHACHAG-CHLUASACH,the short- 

eared owl. 
CoMHACHAG-DHONN or ruadh, the 

tawny owl. 
CoMHACHAG-MnoR, the caglc owl ; 

also tawny or snowy owl. 



CoMHACHAO-sNEACHDAiDH or bhan 

or gheal, the white or snowy 

owl. 
" CoNAN,"conan-crion, the wren. 
" CoNAN "-C01LLE, the wood wren, 

"G)nan of the woods." 
" CoNAN "-CONUISG, the willow- 
wren ; "Conan of the whins." 
CoNASAO, conasan, conasgag, 

conasgan, the whinchat. 
CoRCAN or corran-coille, the bull- 
finch. 
CoRCAN or corran-ghlas, the 

green bullfinch. 
CoRN-EUN, the royston or hooded- 

crow. 
CoRR, corra, curr (Welsh, Garan), 

the heron, crane, stork (lit. 

"pointed, sharp"). 
CoRRACHAN, the jackdaw, kae 

(lona and Mull); cliff dweller. 
CoRR-BHAN or bhaiu or bhub, 

the stork, white heron, white 

stork, the bittern. 
CoRR-CHAGAiLTE, the Salamander 

or fire-bird (fabulous). 
CoRR-CHAocH, woodcock (Ir.). 
CoRR-GHLAs, the heron, hern, 

stork, crane. 
CoRR-GHRiAN or ghrian, the 

common bittern ; also swan, 

turtle-dove. 
CoRR-GHRiBHEACH, ghriobhach, 

riabhach, riathach, sgriacli, 

chrithich, the heron. 
CoRR-L\SG, the crane, stork. 
CoRR-MHONA or mhonaidh, crane, 

the heron. 
I CoRR-NA h-easgunn, the crane, 
I bittern. 

I CoRROG (Ir.), the crow. 
CoRR-scREACHAG or sgriachaig, 

the owl, screech owl. 
CoRR-THON-DuiBH oranton-dubh, 

the crane. 
Cos-DUBH, the black-legged wild 

goose. 
CosGACH^ cosgoch, the redshank. 



COSGARRACH 



^5 



CURR 



CosGARRACH^ the kite (lit. a 

conqueror). 
Cra or cradh-gheadh^ cra-gheal, 

shell drake or duck ; large 

wild duck. 
Cra-fhaoileag^ black-headed 

seagull. 
Craigeach, the black guillemot 

(Eigg). 

Crairdeach, the crow. 

Crann or crion-fhaoileagj the 
little gull. 

Crann or crion-lach or lacha, the 
teal, wild duck, red-breasted 
merganser, diver, little duck. 

Crann-dubhan, the black-headed 
gull. 

Cranntach, the curlew, lap- 
wing. 

Craobh-bhigein, the pipit. 

Creabaire, creabhar, creathar, 
creobhar, creothar, criodhar, 
the woodcock. 

Creadh, creath, the swan. 

Creagag, the grey plover, rock 
goose, shell-drake. 

Creodhar-glas, heron. 

Crianag, crionag-ghiubhais, the 
willow wren. 

Criochran, the stonechat ; stean- 
chel hawk. (Dean of Lis- 
more.) 

Crionag, crionan, crionag-ceann- 
bhuidhe, the wren, mite bird, 
yellow-headed mite. 

Crionag-bhuidhe, the golden- 
crested wren. 

Crithane (Ir.), crith-eun, the 
curlew. 

Crithein, the common sand- 
piper. 

Crithneachan, the wheatear. 

Croman, the kite. 

Croman-beag, the jacksnipe. 

Croman-coillteach, the wood- 
cock. 

Croman-gobhlach, the kite, gled ; 
swallow-tailed kite. 



Croman-lachduinn, lachaidh, 

lochaidh or luch, the kestrel, 

gled ; also small water-fowl. 
Croman-loin, snipe ; also marsh 

harrier or bog hunchback, 

woodcock. 
Crom-nan-cearc, hen-harrier, 

hen-hunchback. 
Crom-nan-duilleag, the wood- 
cock. 
Crom-reoch or riabhach, the 

buzzard kite. 
Cronan, guillemot (Ir.). 
Crossan, a puffin or guillemot. 
Crotach, crotach-mara or mhara, 

cruiteach-mhara, cruiteach, 

crutach, the curlew. 
Crotag, the plover. 
Crufechta, crow (Ir.). 
Cruidein, cruitean, cruitein, the 

kingfisher, halcyon. 
Cruimheach, a crow. 
CuAG, the pine grosbeak. 
CuAG, cubhag, cuach, cuachag, 

cumhag, cuthag, the cuckoo 

or gowk ; also the snipe. 
CuAHtsGEAN, the roller. 
Cubaire, the blackcock. 
CuBHALAG, the woodcock. 
CuBHAR, cuibh, a flock of birds ; 

a hawk. 
CuiBH, a bird ; a cock. 
Cuilceag, cuilcean, the reed 

warbler. 
Cuillionag, cuireag, the mavis, 

thrush ; holly-bird. 
CuLLACH-coiLicH, a capon. 
Culladh-ceach, a woodcock (Ir.). 
Cumhag-bhogadh-toine, the 

water- wagtail . 
Curachd-shide, the blue-bonnet, 

silk-cap. 
CuRACAG, curcag, currachdag, 

currucag, the lapwing, pees- 

weep, peeweet, sandpiper, 

teuchet, cappie. 
CuRLiuN, the curlew. 
CuRR, curra, the heron, etc. 



CURUACHAG 



26 



EALA-BHEAG- 



CuRRACHAo, the tufted duck. ' 

CURRAO-BHAIN-TIOIIEARNA, the 

great titmouse (lit. lady's 
nightcap). 

CuTAG, the coot, plover. 

CuTHAo, the water-wagtail. 

CuTHAQ-DHEARO or dhcarg- 
chasach, the chough or red- 
legged crow (Skye) — (see 
Cabhag, etc.). 



Danar, the peregrine. 
Daorgan, the lapwing, peeweet 

(an t-adharcan). 
Darag-thalmhain, a kind of 

bird.? 
Darcan, dearcan, a teal, coot, 

sparrow-hawk. 

Dart AN, the teal. 

Deargan, the kestrel, hawk, 

falcon, red-necked phalarope, 

steanchel, redstart, bullfinch. 

Deargan- AIT INN, a Lewis bird 

(lit. juniper darter). 
Deargan-allt or alltaidh, the 

kestrel ; also redstart. 
Deargan-coille, a bullfinch. 
Deargan-fraoich, a goldfinch, 

bullfinch. 
Deargan-giubhais, the common 

crossbill. 
Deargan-seilich, the common 

redpole or redshank. 
Deargan-sneachda, redwing, 
redling, snow-bunting, snow- 
redling, pine redbird. 
Deoch-bhiugh or bhuidhe, the 

greenshank. 
Dhubh-fhaoileann, the large 

gull. 
DioDAiG, the linnet. 
DiRiD, the peeweet or lapwing. 
Doireagan, do. (Badenoch). 
Donnag, donnan, donn-eun, 

hedge-sparrow. 
Drannd-eun, humming-bird. 



DRATHAiN,drathain-donn, dread- 
han, drean, dreathain, drea- 
than, dreathan-donn, dreath- 
lan, dreollan, drethein, a 
wren. 

Dratiiain, ceann-bhuidhe, the 
golden-crested wren. 

Dreaun, the corncrake. 

Dreimne, a cock (Ir.). 

Drilleachan or drilleachan- 
traghaid, the oyster-eater. 

Druid, druid-bhreac, druideag, 
druidean, the starling, little 
starling ; stare. 

Druid-dhubh or mhonaidh, the 
ring ouzle or mountain black- 
bird. 

Dubhan, a blackbird. (Dean of 
Lismore.) 

Dubh-cheannach, the black- 
headed gull. 

DuBH-CHRAiGE, the ring ouzle. 

DuBH-EUN, the crow, the diver. 

Dubh-eunach or suaineach, the 
razorbill. 

Dubh-fhaoilean, black-headed 
gull. 

DuBH-LACH, the coot. 

DuBH-sHNAMHAicHE, the divcr, 
didapper. 

DuBH-sNAGAN, the watcr-rail. 

DuiBH-EUN, a blackbird. 

Duis, a crow. 

DuRADAN, a dove, pigeon, ring- 
dove, wood-pigeon. 



Eachta ? (trim one ?). (Dean of 

Lismore.) 
Eala, ealadh, the swan, hoopoe, 

whistling swan. 
Eala-bhan, the white swan. 
Eala-bheag, the little swan. 

(Bewick.) 

E ALA-BHEAG-AN-SGADAIN, the black 

guillemot. 



EALA-FHIADHAICH 



27 



FACHACH 



Eala-fhiadhaich, the wild swan. 

Eala-ghlas, grey swan (cygnet). 

Eal-eun, a monstrous bird. 

Ealt, ealtain, a covey of birds 
(ealteun). 

EaNj en, eun, eunlaith, a bird, 
a fowl, etc. 

Eanag, a plover. 

Earfhiach, glede. (Dean of 
Lismore.) 

Earragheal, earrgheal, the 
whitetail. 

Earr-dhearg, the redstart, red- 
shank, redpole, redtail. 

Earrghainmhich, the common 
sandpiper. 

Easag, a pheasant. 

Eathaidh, birds. 

EiDHioN, ivy dove. 

EiGiR, the small gull ; kittiwake. 

EiR, eren, erun, eireag, a young 
hen ; pullet of first year. 

Ela, elac, a swan (Old Ir.). 

Erreach, erreag, erreg-lannair- 
ich, falcon ; perhaps a sea eagle. 

EosAG, a nightingale. 

EucAG, the pea-hen. 

EuN-AiLLE, the guillemot. 

EuN-AN-AR, a bird of prey. 

EuN-AN sneachd, the ptarmigan. 

EuN-AN-SGADAiN or cun-dubh-an- 
sgadain, the guillemot, murre, 
marrot, scout, razorbill. 

EuN-AN sneachdaidh, the snow- 
bunting ; snowfleck, redwing. 

EuN-ARAG, orag, rag, the snipe. 

EUN-BALLACH-A-GHART Orbollach- 

a-ghort, the common bunting. 

EuN-BAN-AN-SGADAiN, the gannet 
or solan goose. 

EuN-BAN-AN-sNEACHDA, the ptar- 
migan. 

EuN-BEALTAiNN, the whimbrcl. 

EuN-BHucHAiL or buchail, the 
waller duck. 

EuN-BocHuiNN, buchainn, buch- 
uinn, sandlark, ocean bird ; 
melodious bird. 



EuN-BRuicH (eanaraich), boiled 

fowl, etc. 
EuN-BRUiDHNE, a parrot (lit. a 

speaking bird). 
EuN-BUCHTHUiNN, the long-tailed 

melodious duck ; a singing 

bird (see Eun-bochuinn). 
EuN-ciRCE, a hen, chicken, 

pullet. 
EuN-DUBH, the blackbird. 
EuN-DUBH-A-CHRUBAiN, the black 

guillemot. 
EuN-FioNN or an t'eun fionn, a 

male hen-harrier, kite, os- 

prey. 
EuN-FOGHLADH, the hom owl. 
EuN-FoiRTHiR, a bird of passage. 
EuN-FRAoiCH, a grouse. 
EuN-GHABHRAG, ghobhrag, gho- 

rag, ghurag, eunrag, a snipe. 
EuN-GLAS-AN-sGADAiN, the great 

northern diver ; " Holy Car- 
rara." 
EuN-GUR-LE-GUG, the storm 

petrel. 
EuN-LiA or liath, the black 

grouse. 
EuN-MOR-AN-FHASAicH, the peli- 
can. 
EuN-oTRACH, the barn-door fowl. 
EuN-RAP, the corncraik. 
EuN-RUADH, a grouse. 
EuN-sNAiMHiDH or snamhta, the 

coot. 
EuN-sNAMH, any aquatic bird. 
EuN-uASAL, a rare or foreign 

bird. 
EuN-uisGE, a water bird or fowl. 



Fabhcun, facon, faolchon, a 
falcon. 

Fachach, faobach, the puffin, 
coulterneb, tomnoddy, shear- 
water, or young of same or 
other sea birds, fatlings. 



FADCHASACH 



28 



FLEIGIRE 



Fadchasach, the black-winged 

stilt. 
Fad-monaidh, the little grebe, 

dabchick. 
Faideao, faithirleag, the green 

plover. 
FAiNLEACf, fainleog, fainnal (Old 

Ir.), fanln<2^, the swallow; storm 

petrel. 
Faireao, fairleag, the lapwing, 

kittiwake, swallow. 
Fairig, a dead bird. 
Fairsleag, the large gull. 
Faithirleag, the plover. 
Falc, the razorbill, guillemot. 
Falcag, the common auk. 
Fallag, fallaig, the sand martin. 
Falmair, falmaire, the grey 

petrel. 
Famhladh, famhlagan, famh- 

laich, the swallow tribe ; swift, 

restless ones. 
Famhlag, the sand swallow, sea 

swallow. 
Famhlag-mhara, the sea swallow, 

storm petrel. 
Fang, a vulture ; raven. 
Fanlag, the petrel. 
Faoghaideach, faoghalach, fao- 

lach, a carnivorous bird. 
Faoileag-bheag, the little or 

lesser gull, didapper, diver. 
Faoileag druimmeach, black 

headed gull. 
Faoileag, faoighleann, faoil- 

eann, the seagull, seamaw, 

maw. 
Faoileag garbhanach, black 

headed gull. 
Faoileag-mhor, the glaucus or 

great gull. 
Faolach, a bird of prey. 
Faosg, a snipe. 
Faran, the turtle-dove. 
FarmachaNj the sandlark. 
Farspach, farspag, fairs preig 

(Argyll), the great black- 
beaked or headed gull. 



Faso ADAIR, fasgadan, faisgeadair, 

a species of gull ; a squeezer, 

presser, forcer, scizer of prey 

from other gulls ; common 

skua, Arctic gull. 
Feabhlan, feadhlan (Ir.), the 

seagull. 
Feadag, feadag-bhuidhe, the 

plover ; green or golden 

plover. 
Feadag-ghlas, the grey plover. 
Feadag-riasgach, the lapwing. 
Feadhan, the wild goose leader. 
Feannag, fionnag, feannag-ghlas, 

the royston, or hooded crow, 

hoodie, rook, carrion crow, 

scald crow. 
Feannag-fireach, the forest 

crow. 
Fearan, fearan-breac, the 

ring-dove, wood pigeon, 

queest. 
Fearan-breac or eidheann, the 

turtle-dove. 
Feiueag, the green plover. 
Feithid, a bird of prey. 
Ferain, the eagle, "true bird" 

(Ir.). 
Fiach, fidheach, fitheach, the 

raven, corby, feeder. 
Fiachdab or dubh, the raven (Ir.). 
Fiach-garbh, the vulture. 
Fiach-mara or fairge, the cor- 
morant, diver. 
Fideag, a small bird. 
Filbin, the lapwing, woodcock. 
Fileab-a-chleite, the magpie. 
FiLi, redshank (Ir.). 
FiNNEAN, finneun, the buzzard. 
FioLAiR, an eagle. 
FioN-EUN, a small bird. 
FioNN, the hen-harrier. 
Fionnag, the crow. 
Fionnag, a vulture (Ir.). 
FiREiN, fior-eun, fireun, an eagle, 

'^true bird." 
Fleigire, the cormorant ; flecked 

one. 



FOILEARM 



29 



GEALBHAN 



FoiLEARM, folaiream, foluirm, the 
seagull. 

FosG, fosgag, the lark ; little 
lark. 

Frangach, a magpie. 

Fraoch-chearCj the heather heii^ 
grouse. 

FraoicheaNj the heather chat- 
terer, whinchat. 

Fridean-fionNj fridein, wren, 
mite ; pale bird. 

FuDAGAG, the woodcock. 

FuiDsiDH, a craven fighting-cock 
(Fugie). 

FuiNCE, the crow. 

FuisEAG, fuiseog, the lark (Ir.). 

FuisLEACH, plover. 

FuLAMAiR, fulmair, fulmaire, the 
fulmar or grey petrel (see 
Falmair). 

FuR-BHUACHAiLLE, the great nor- 
thern diver, black-throated 
diver. 

G 

Gabha or gobha-uisge, etc., the 
kingfisher. 
rABHAGAN, gobhacan, gobhagan, 
gocan, the titling, titlark, rock 
pipit ; the small bird that fol- 
lows the cuckoo. 
^ABHAR, the hawk ; any old 
bird. 

rABHAR-ADHAiR, gabhar-oidhchc, 
the snipe, nightjar, goat- 
sucker. 

rABHLACHAN, gabhlan-gaoithc 
(Ir.), the swallow. 

Gabhrag-bheag, the jacksnipe. 

Gaill or gall-eun, a strange or 
foreign bird. 

Gaill-chearc, a duck (foreign). 

Gair-fhitheach, the raven, 
vulture. 

Gairg, gairgeann, gairgear, gair- 
geire, gairgire, the cormorant, 
diver. 



Gairm-fhitheach, the crow. 
Gaistean-cloich, the tomtit. 
Gall, the cock ; a swan. 
Gallan or gallun-strathaire, the 

sparrow (Old Ir.). 
Gallan-curra, the diver (Ir.). 
Ganra, ganradh, gandal, the 

gander. 
Gaob, the rain-goose. 
Gaod, the swan ; geese. 
Garan, gar-eun, the crane. 
Garrach, garrach-ghlas, garrag, 

a young rook, crow, carrion 

crow or unfledged bird. 
GARRA-GART,garraidh-guirt, gort, 

gartan, the land-rail, corn- 

craik, quail. 
Gart-eun, the quail — " Wet my 

feet." 
GEABHRAGor geabhrog, geabhroc 

or gealbhroc, the tern, the sea 

swallow. 
Geadh, ge, gedh, a goose. 
Geadh-bhlar, the white-breasted 

goose. 
Geadh-dubh, the solan goose. 
Geadh-gaob ? the rain goose. 
Geadh-ghlas, the grey hag. 
Geadh-got or got-gheadh, the 

brent goose. 
Geala-bigein, the common 

bunting. 
Gealag, gealachag, gealan-coille, 

the white-throat. 
Gealag-bheinne, the common 

ptarmigan . 
Gealag-bhuachair, the bunting 

or buntliug. 
Gealag-dubh-cheannach or loin, 

the black-headed or reed 

bunting. 
Gealan, gealan-lin, gealbhan, 

gealbhan-lin, the linnet, lint- 
white. 
Gealbhan, gealbhonn, geal- 

bhonn-glas, the sparrow, 

house sparrow; sometimes a 

swallow\ 



GEALBHAN-CUILINN 30 



GOBHLAN-DUBH 



Gealbhan-cuilinn, the bullfinchv 

Gealbiian-oaraidh, ^ealbhan- 

nam-preas, gealbhan-nan- 

craobh, the hedge or tree 

sparrow. 

Gealbhan-sgiobail, bunting — 

barn sparrow. 
Gearcach, a nestling. 
Gearcuio, a brood. 
Gearra, gearradh-breac, the 
ringed guillemot, redshank, 
diver. 
Gearra, gearradh-goirt or gort, 
the quail ; bird of " short 
famine." 
Gearra-chlamhan, the common 

buzzard. 
Gearradh-dubh-nan-allt, water 

rail. 
Gearradh - GHLAs, the black 

guillemot. 
Gearra-ghob (see Cearra-ghob). 
Gearran-ard, the hobby. 
Gearbhal, gearrbhall, gearr- 
bhuil, the great auk, gare- 
fowl, rare fowl ; or " the squat 
spotted one " (Icelandic, geyr- 
fugl). 
Gearrcach, the turtle-dove. 
Gearr-sheobhag, the ger-falcon. 
Geasadach, geasdach, the pea- 
cock. (Dean of Lismore.) 
Geilt, geilt ? (Dean of Lismore.) 
Geine, geis, geiss, the swan. 
Geocair, geochd, the wry- 
neck. 
GiBEAGAN, gibodan, the ruff. 
GiLLE-BRiDE, bridcin, brideun, 
sed-piet, the pied oyster-eater, 
St Bridget's servant (see 
Brideun). 
GiLLE-FEADAG, the duuliu (in 

winter). 
GiLM, the buzzard. 
GioDHRAN, giugran, giuran, the 

barnacle goose. 
GiuRNAG, giurnan, the barnacle 
duck. 



Glac or gleac-nan-cuileag, the 

spotted fly-catcher. 
Glaisean, glaiseun, the sparrow, 
rock pipit, finch, sedge- 
warbler, green linnet; "grey 
bird." 
Glaisean-coille, the wood-spar- 
row, jackdaw. 
Glaisean-daraich, the grey or 

green finch. 
Glaisean-gobach, the hawfinch. 
Glaisean-seilich, the pied water- 
wagtail. 
Glasag, glasog (Ir.), the wag- 
tail. 
Glasan, grey phalarope. 
Glas-eun, the falcon, kite. 
Glas-fhaoileag, the herring gull. 
Glas-gheadh, the wild grey 

goose. 
Glas-lacha, the wigeon. 
Glas-sheobhag, the goshawk. 
Gleorag, the lark. 
Gluasag, the water-wagtail. 
Gobach, the hawfinch; nuthatch. 
Gobachan, gobaidin, a shore 

bird. 
Gob-a-choltair, coulterneb. 
Gobadaliri, gobhar-da-liri, the 

sandpiper or shore-lark. 
Gobair, the stone-chat, chatterer. 
Goban, the young seagull or 

fowl. 
Gob-cabharrta, the redshank. 
Gob-cathainn or spaineach, the 

spoonbill. 
Gob-cearr, the avocet, 
Gobhachan, gobhachan - allt, 
gobhachan uisge, the little 
grebe, dipper. 
Gobha-dubh, gobha-dubh-iian- 
allt, gobha uisge, the water 
ouzle, dipper ; blacksmith. 
Gobharrta, gobhlan - bharta, 

gob-labharta, the redshank. 
Gobhlachan, the swallow. 
GoBHLAN-DUBH, the great or 
black martin. 



GOBHLAN-GAINMHICH 31 



lOLAIRIN 



GoBHLAN-GAiNMHicH, gaincacha, 
gaineimh, the sand martin. 

GOBHLAN-GAOITHE, the SWalloW. 

GoBHLAN-MARA, the Tcdshank, 

fork-tailed petrel. 
GoBHLAN-MONAiDH, the Alpine 

swift. 
GoBHLAN-MOR, the swift. 
GoBHLAN-NAN-cREAG, the Alpine 

swift. 

GOBHLAN-SIUBHLACH, the SWift. 

GoBHLAN-TAiGHEj the martin or 

small swallow. 
GoBHLAN-uisGE, the little grebe, 

dab chick. 
GoB-LEATHANN, the shovellcr 

duck. 
GoB-sGOLTAN, the nuthatch. 
GocAN, the attendant bird on the 

cuckoo ; titlark. 
GocAN-coNuisG, the whinchat. 
GocHCAN, gochdan, the whin- 

chat. 
GoG-GHEADH, goch-gheadh, the 

young or small goose, gosling. 
GoiLLiR, goillire, the petrel. 
GoiNEAD, solan goose (Ir.). 
GoLA-BHiGEiN, the common bunt- 
^ ing. 
GoLBHiNEAR, guilbliinear, the 

curlew. 
GoRMAG, the hobby falcon. 
Gos-SHEABHAG, the goshawk. 
GoT-GHEADH, brent goose. 
Grailbeag, the woodcock. 
Grailleag, graillig, the dunlin 

(winter). 
Graineag, the bittern ; wild 

duck. 
Gramasgar, a flock of birds. 
Grib-cholum, feather-footed 

dove. 
Griobh, the osprey. (Dean of 

Lismore.) 
Grionnan, a group of birds. 
Gru, the crane. 
GuAisiN, gosling (Ir.). 
GuALACH or gualachan, bunting. 



GuGA, goug, the solan goose, 
gannet, or young of same. 

GuGARLACH, a useless bird. 

GuiLBiNNEACH, the whimbrcl. 

GuiLBNEACH, guilbcann, guilbinn, 
guilneach, the curlew (lit. the 
"beaked one"). 

GuiRAN, guirnean, guirenan, 
guireneun, the brent goose. 

Guis, the crane. 

GuLMAG, the sea-lark. 

GuR, a brood of birds, poults, 
pullities. 

GuRADNAN, the wren. 

GuRAGAG, guragan, the ring- 
dove, wood pigeon. 

GuRAicEACH, an unfeathered or 
unfledged bird. 

GuR-LE-GUG, the stormy petrel, 
" hatch-with-a-song." 



Ial, iall, a flock of birds. 
Ian, iar, a bird, a fowl, etc. 
Ianrag, the snipe. 
Iasgair-cairneach, the osprey, 

kingfisher; ostrich. 
Iasgair-diomhain, the common 

gull. 
loLAiR, iolrach, the eagle. 
Iolair-bhan, the white-tailed 

eagle. 
loLAiR-BHREAc, the Spotted eagle. 
Iolair-bhuidhe, the golden eagle; 

the erne. 

loLAIR-CHLADAICH, the whitC- 

tailed eagle. 
loLAiR-DHUBH, the black eagle, 

ring-tailed eagle, golden 

eagle. 
loLAiR-FHioNN, the gicr eagle, 

ossifrage, sea eagle. 
IoLAiR-GHREUGACH,thegier eagle. 
loLAiR-iASGAicH or Jasgair, the 

fishing or fisher eagle ; osprey. 
loLAiRiN, an eaglet. 



lOLAIH-MHAOL 



LEARG 



loLAiR-MUAOL, tlic bald eagle. 
loLAiR-MHARA, the sea eagle j 
erne, osprey. 

lOLAIR-MHONAIDH, goldcil Caglc. 
loLAIR - RIABIIACH, tllC SCa Ol' 

white-tailed eagle. 

loLAIR-SUIL-NA-GREINE, eme. 

loLAiR-THiMCHioLLACH, the gier 
eagle. 

loLAiR-uisGE, the osprey or fish- 
ing eagle. 

IsEAG, the lark. 

IsEAN, chicken; young of any bird. 



Lach, lacha, a duck ; wild duck, 

grebe. 
Lachadair, lachaire, the diver. 
Lach-an-sgumain, the tufted or 

crested duck. 
Lachar, the vulture; a large 

bird of prey. 
Lach-bhinn, the long-tailed 

melodious duck, "Coal an' 

can'le licht." 
Lach-bhlar, the coot, the bald 

coot. 
Lach-bhreac, the golden-eye. 
Lach-ceann-molach, the tufted 

duck. 
Lach-chinn-uaine, the mallard, 

wild duck, golden-eye. 
Lach-cholasa, the eider duck. 
Lach-crann, the teal. 
Lach-dhearg-cheannach, the 

pochard. 
Lach-dhubh, the velvet scoter. 
Lach-dhuinn, the pochard. 
Lach-eigir, little or dwarf 

duck. 
Lach-fhiacailleach, the toothed 

duck or goosander. 
Lach-ghlas, the wigeon, gadwall 

duck. 
Lach-heisgehi, the velvet scoter. 
Lach-lachduinn, the pochard. 



j Lach-lochanach or lochlan- 
I nach, the eider duck, dunter 

goose. 
j Lach-mhara, the sea duck. 
I Lach-mhasach, the pochard or 

dun bird. 
Lach-mhor, the eider duck; St 
I Cuthbert's duck. 
Lach-riabhach, riach or ruadh, 

the wild duck (male). 
Lach-sgumanach, the tufted or 

crested duck. 
Lach-shith, the teal or elfin 

duck. 
Lach-stiurach, the rudder 

duck, pintail, or long-tailed 

duck. 
Lach-stuach or stuadh, the wave 

duck. 
Ladhran, ladhran-traghaid, the 

sandpiper or tripper, sand- 
snipe. 
Lainnir, lannair, lannaire, the 

blue peregrine falcon or hawk; 

gleamer hawk. 
Lainnir-sheilge, the hunt 

gleamer hawk. 
Laireag, the lark. 
Lair fligh, lairigidh, the pine 

grosbeak, woodpecker, knag ; 

a bird like a parrot. 
Lamhaidh, the razorbill, guille- 
mot. 
Lamhraig, lamhraigh, the Allen 

hawk. 
Lampar, a small or unfledged 

bird. 
Langach, langaid, langaidh, lan- 

gidh, the common guillemot. 
Lapairin, laparan, a grebe. 
Lasair-choille, the goldfinch, 

goldspink ; the green wood- 
pecker. 
Leadan, the barnacle or bernicle 

goose. 
Lean-ghobhrag, leon-dhrag, the 

snipe. 
Learg, the rain goose cormorant. 



LEARGA 



33 



ODHARA 



Learga^ black-throated diver. 

Learga-mhor-chaol, the red- 
throated diver. 

Learthag, the lark. 

Leasg, the rain goose. 

LETH-GHUiLBNEACH,thewhimbre]. 

LiA or liath-chearc, the heath- 
hen ; female grouse. 

LiATH-TROisG or truisg, liathruisg, 
the fieldfare, feltifare. 

LOCHD-FHITHEACH, the CrOW. 

LoiLisEAG, the reed or sedge 
warbler. 

LoiREAG, the petrel. 

LoN, lonag, lonan, lon-dubh, the 
blackbird, ouzel, merle, song- 
thrush ; nightingale (Dean of 
Lismore), also wild swan. 

LoN cheilearach or mhonaidh, 
the ring-ouzle. 

LoN-uisGE, the common dipper ; 
water-craw. 

LuAiREAG, luaireagan, luaiseagan, 
the storm petrel. 

LuATHARAN, luatharan ghlas, the 
sea or sandlark, the common 
sandpiper. 

LucH- or lucha-faiige, the 
storm petrel ; Mother Carey's 
chicken (lit. sea mouse). 

Lu-EUN, lus-eun, the mountain 
finch. 

LuMHAiR, lumhaire, the diver. 

LuRGANACH, black-wingcd stilt. 



M 

Mac-fraoir, the gannet ; solan 

goose. 
Macha, the royston crow. 
Manadh, meanadh, an owl (lit. 

the omen). 
Maor-chladaich, the redshank. 
Meagadan, meannan-adhair, 

meantan, the snipe. 
Meanglan, the creeper (lit. a 

branch). 
Meirneal, merlin hawk ; falcon. 



Mere, merg, the blackbird. 

MiAL-BHRAN, the cormorant. 

MiNiDH, an owl. 

Mini-ghob, the avocet. 

MioNDAN, mionntan, the long- 
tailed titmouse, wren, tomtit ; 
small bird. 

Mnatethrach, the scall crow 
(R. C). 

Mol, a flock of birds. 

MoLCHA, mucha, mulcan, mulcha, 
mulchan-muUach, an owl 
(horned). 

MoNA or muna-bhuachaill, the 
Allan or Allen hawk ; cor- 
morant, diver. 

MoR-BHRAN or muir-bhran, the 
cormorant. 

MuiR-BHUACHAiLL, the northern 
diver ; red-throated diver (lit. 
sea-herd). 

Muir-eun, guillemo'", "sea bird"; 
also quail. 

Mum-GHEADH,muireadh,the wild 
or bean goose. 

MuiR-MHAiGHSTiR, the large white 
gull or Glaucus. 

MuLLARD, a drake, mallard. 

MuRLACH, the kingfisher ; hal- 
cyon. 

N 

Naoisg, naosg, naosga, naos- 
gamh, the snipe. 

NATHAm-NIMH-SGIATHACH, COCka- 

trice (fabulous). 
Neabhan, neamhan, the royston 

crow, raven (flock of). 
'NuLLACH, the germander goose 

(lit. the howler or roarer). 



Obag, the hobby falcon. 

Odhara, odharag, odhra, odh- 
rag, orag, the young cor- 
morant. 



ODHRA-SGAIUNKACH 34 



RRABHAG 



Odhra-soairneacii, a speckled 
bird ; young dun bird, young 
scrat or cormorant (lit. a 
speckled screamer or cheeper). 

Onto, the lapwing. 

OiRLiGH, the eagle. 

OisTRic, the ostrich. 

Olcadan, an owl. 

Oranaiche, the blue-throated 
warbler. 

Or RAG, a goose. 



Paideal, padghal, paidgheal, the 
peacock. 

Pairteag, paitrisg, parraist, 
patraisg, patrisg, the part- 
ridge. 

Parr, parra, parrachan, the jay ; 
woodpecker. 

Parr, para-riabhach, the honey 
buzzard. 

Parr, para-nan-cearc, the kite ; 
gled. 

Parracait, parrocait, the parrot, 
parroquet. 

Paslaghadh, the didapper ; 
diver. 

Peabh, peubh-chearc, the pea- 
hen. 

Peabh, peubh-choileach, the 
peacock. 

Peabh, peubh-eun, the pea-fowl. 

Peacag, pecoc, peucag, peuca- 
gach, peuchdag, the pea-hen. 

Peacarach, a bird of prey. 

Pealarach, the stormy petrel. 

Pear SLAG, peatraid, peirleog, 
peirsteag, peirsteog, peurdag, 
pearlag, peurlag, peirleog, the 
partridge. 

Peata, peata-odhar, the cor- 
morant. 

Peatag, the plover. (Dean of 
Lismore.) 

Peata-odhar, the cormorant. 
(Dean of Lismore.) 



Peata-ruadh, tlie puffin. 

Peru or pcubli-shaileach, the 
pea-hen or fowl. 

Peirsteag-dhearg-chasach, the 
red-legged partridge. 

Peitearach, the petrel. 

Peitireach, the stormy petrel. 

Pelag, pelicein, peiliocan, the 
pelican. 

PiAGHAiD-THRuisG, the partridge. 

Pibhinn, the lapwing, peeweet; 
Dixhuit. 

PiGn)H, the robin redbreast. 

PiOGHAii), piaid, pighaid, etc., 
the magpie, piet. 

Pioghaid-ghlas, the grey shrike. 

PioRAn)E, piorraid, the parrot. 

PoLLAHiEAN, pollaran, dunlin ; 
bird of the mud pits. 

Preachan, preachanach, prea- 
chan-chearc, the crow, raven, 
kite, saddle-back crow, vul- 
ture, vulturina ; any raven- 
ous bird. 

Preachan-ceannan (ceann- 

fhionn), the osprey. 

Preachan-ceirteach, the kite. 

Preachan-cnaimheach, cnp.imh- 
fhitheach or lithgheach, the 
raven. 

Preachan-craosach, the vulture. 

Preachan-gearr, the buzzard. 

Preachan-ingneach, the vul- 
ture. 

Preachan-nan-cearc, the ringtail 
kite. 

PuNAN, the bittern. 
Put, putan, young moorfowl or 
grouse. 

PuTHAiG, the marsh harrier. 



Rag, a drake, a mallard. 
Railleach, the redshank. 
Reabhag, reafog, reallog, the 
linnet, titling. 



REABHAG-MHONAIDH 35 



SEIGHENE 



Reabhag-mhonaidh or fhraoich, 
the mountain linnet^ meadow 
pipit ; heather lintie. 

Reamhag, reubhag, riabhag, the 
lark, field sparrow ; " brindled 
one." 

Rear, rearg, reargag, reargagan, 
reasg, the blackbird. 

Reir or rer-chearc, the grouse ; 
heather-hen. 

Reirceire, the plover. 

RiABHAG, the sparrow. 

RiABHAG-CHOiLLE, the wood-lark. 

RiABHAG-MHONAiDH, the tit-lark. 

RiABHAN, oyster catcher or eater. 

RiDGiLEANACH, righguilcanach, 
righ-uilleanach, the redshank, 
deer's-horn king ; said to 
perch on deer's horns to give 
warning. 

RiGH-NATHAiR, cockatrice (fabu- 
lous). 

RioGLACHAN, the wild duck. 

RoBAN-RoiD, the robin. 

RocAs, rocis, rocuis, rocus, the 
rook, crow. 

ROCAS-DHEARG-CHASACH, the 

chough (Skye). 
RoiD or ruid-ghuilbneach, the 

bar-tailed godwit ; stunted 

curlew. 
RoiD-GuiLBNEACH, the stuntcd 

curlew. 
RoisGEAN, ruisgean, an unfledged 

bird. 
Ros-AN-cEOL, the nightingale (lit. 

rose-music). 
RuADHAN-AiLLE, the sparrow- 

hawk. 
RuADH-BHiAST, the moorfowl, 

grouse ; " redbreast." 
RuiDEAG, the kittiwake. 



Sadharcan, saoragan, saorgan, 
saotharcan, the lapwing, pee- 
weet ; grey plover. 



Scallachan, sgallachan, an un- 
fledged bird. 

ScRA[B, the Manx puffin ; shear- 
water. 

ScRAicHEAG, sgraichcag-ghlas, 
sgrath-dheargan, the redwing. 

ScRAiLLiG, the dunlin. 

ScREACHAG, sgriachag, scriachag- 
choille, oidhche, reilig or 
reilge, the jay, jay-piet, night- 
jar, screech-owl. 

ScREACHAN-cRiosACH or iongnach, 
the vulture, fang. 

ScRic, the thrush or mavis. 

ScRiLLEAG, the sanderling, sand- 
piper. 

Seabha, seabhach, seabhag, seo- 
bhag, seog, seothag, seothig, 
the hawk, falcon. 

Seabhag-dhearg-chasach, the 
red-footed falcon. 

Seabhag-fiieasgair, the hawk 
owl. 

Seabhag-gallda, peregrine. 

Seabhag-gearr, gearr-sheabhag, 
ger or Greenland falcon. 

Seabhag-gorm, mor-gorm, the 
peregrine falcon. 

Seabhag-gorm-an-fhraoich, the 
merlin hawk. 

Seabhag-Lochlannach, Iceland 
falcon. 

Seabhag-nan uiseag, the hobby 
falcon . 

Seabhag-na seilge, sealgair, the 
peregrine falcon. 

Seabhag-riabhach, the goshawk. 

Seagair, seigire, the kittiwake 
gull ; small gull. 

Seagh-mor, a vulture. 

Seanan, the kite. 

Sean-eun, the owl (lit. the old 
bird) ; the eagle 

Searpan, a swan. 

Searrach-ruadh, the buzzard. 

Seig, a vulture. 

Seigh, a hawk. 

Seighene (eun), a young hawk. 



SEINIOLACH 



36 



SPIDEAG-MHUIRR 



Seiniolach, the nightingale. 

Seoo, the little falcon ; merlin. 

Seumas-ruadh, the puflin (Harra), 
bougir or coulterneb. 

SoAiREAO, the small gull, kitti- 
wake ; lesser black-backed 
gull. 

SoAoioH, sgaothj a flock or rout 
of birds. 

SoARBn, sgarbh-buill, the cor- 
morant, shag, scarf, scart. 

Sgarbh-a bhothain or abhuthain, 
the cormorant. 

Sgarbh-an sguniain or an uchd 
ghil, the shag, green cor- 
morant ; crested scart. 

Sgeigeir, sgeigire, the gander, 
" mocker." 

Sgliurach, a young seagull. 

Sgoltan, the nuthatch. 

Sgrab, sgrabail, sgrabaire, sgra- 
pire, scrapire, the razorbill, 
shearwater ; Greenland dove. 

Sgraicheag, sgraicheagghlas, 
sgrath-dheargan, the red- 
wing. 

Sgrailleag, the common sand- 
piper. 

Sgriachan-craosach, criosach or 
ingneach, vulture. 

Sgriob, the shearwater gull. 

Sgugairneach, a useless or worth- 
less bird. 

Sguilbneach, the curlew. 

SiocAN, socan, the fieldfare. 

SioLTA, the teal ; small wild 
duck. 

SioLTA, sioltaich, sioltaiche, 
sioltainn, the red-breasted 
goosander, a cock or any 
male ; the teal. 

Sioltaiche-breac or sioltan-ban 
or breac, the smew. 

SioNNACH, the crow. (Dean of 
Lismore.) 

SioNNACHLA, the wcathcr gav, 
seagull. 

SiTEiRNiN, the bittern. 



Smaol, smaolach; smeol, smeol- 
ach, smeor, smeorach, smeor- 
ach-l)huidhe,the mavis,thrush, 
thristle-cock, throstle ; also 
linnet, ouzle. 

Smeorach-an t-sneachda, the 
redwing. 

Smeorach-mor or ghlas, the 
missel thrush. 

SMM.EAcn, smileag, smiol, smio- 
lach, smoltach, the nightin- 
gale. 

SMOGAniNEACH, spogaimeach, a 
cock. 

Smud, smudan, the ring-dove, 
rock-dove, stock-dove, wo(k1 
pigeon, timraer-doo. 

Smulag, smutag, the cole tit- 
mouse, blackcap, '^ snorter." 

Snag, a woodpecker, creeper. 

Snagaire - DARAiCH, snagau, 
snagan-mor, the great-spotted 
woodpecker. 

Snagan-allt, snagaire-nan-allt, 
snagan-dubh, the water rail. 

Snag-breac, the magpie. 

Snaigear, the creeper. 

Snathag, the meadow pipit, 
heather lintie. 

Sneacao, the common ptarmigan. 

Snoileun, the grey or blue tit- 
mouse ; bluecap. 

Socan, a fieldfare. 

Soma, a flock of swans. 

Sorachag, the jackdaw, jay. 

Sorn, the eagle (Norwegian 
"Orn"). 

SpAGAm-TuiNN, spagaire-tuinne, 
the little grebe. 

Spag-ri-toin, the dabchick or 
grebe. 

Spearag, speireag, speir-sheog, 
spiorag, spireag, the sparrow 
hawk, merlin. 

Spideag, the nightingale, robin 
redbreast ; any delicately 
formed creature. 

Spideag-mhuire, the robin. 



SPORAG 



37 TUNNAG-FHIORIONN 



Sporag, the house-sparrow. 

Spuillire-buidhe, the marsh 
harrier, " yellow spoiler." 

Sruall, the ruall. (Dean of 
Lismore.) 

Sruth, struth, the ostrich. 

Stairleag, the seamaw, black- 
headed gull (Badenoch). 

Stalag, stale, the falcon ; star- 
ling, stare. 

Stannaire, the buzzard. 

Star RAG, the hooded-crow 
(Harris). 

Steardan, stearnal, stearnan, 
steirneal, steirneal-mhic- 

Dhughai], the lesser tern, 
sea swallow ; also bittern. 

Steardan-dubii, the black tern. 

Stein, a flock (stuaidhean). 

Streapach, the creeper, bark- 
speeler. 

Struth, struth-chamhull, the 
ostrich. 

Stuaidh, a flock of bh-ds. 

SuiL-MHALAiR, suil-mhala-rigli, 
suil-mha-righ, the cockatrice, 
basilisk (fabulous). 

SuiL-NA-GREiNE, the caglc. 

Sulaiche, sulair, sulaire, the 
gannet, solan goose ; any 
voracious bird (" Mac- 

Fraoir," the watchful-eyed). 



Tabhs, the gannet (" Caraid nan 

Gaidheal"). 
Tarmach, tarmachan, tarmonach, 

tar-monadh, the ptarmigan, 

termagant. 
Tarmachan-beinne, the mountain 

ptarmigan . 
Tarmachan-traghad, the dunlin, 

shore ptarmigan. 
Tarroch, the kittiwake. 
Tearc-eun, the phoenix (lit. rare 

bird). 



Teathra, the raven, royston 

crow. 
Todhan, a bird of prey. 
ToGHMALL, slow-bird. 
ToN-DHEARG, the rcdstart. 
Trag, the snipe (Ross-shire). 
Traghna, traineach, traon, 

traona, treanaire, trenna, 

treubhna, treunn, treunn-ri- 

treunn, trian-ri-trian, etc., the 

corncraik, land rail. 
Traigh-gheadh, the tame or shore 

goose. 
Trasdan, the common cross- 
bill. 
Trilleachan-glas, the sander- 

ling. 
Trilleach - AN - traghaid, trig- 

leachan, trileachan, trilleach- 

an-traghaid or traighich, the 

sandpiper. 
Trilleachan-traighe, the ringed 

plover, pied oyster-eater ; sea- 

piet. 
Trodan, the starling. 
Trodhan, troghan, the raven ; 

a bird of prey, bittern, 

vulture. 
Troichilean, the willow wren ; 

trifler, little one, dwarf. 
Truid, truideag, truidean, the 

starling. 
Truidleag, the mavis. 
Tuilleag, tuliac, the common 

skua gull. 
TuiNN, ducklings. 
Tulciiabhcan, an owl. 
TuMACHAN, tumair, tumaire, the 

dipper, diver, merganser. 
TuNNAG, a duck, drake. 
Tunnag-dhearg-cheannach, the 

pochard, dun bird. 
TuNNAG-DUBH or dhubh, the 

common scoter. 

TUNNAG-FHIACAILLEACH, the gOOS- 

ander, toothed duck, wild 
duck, mallard. 
TuNNAG-FHioRioNN, a drake. 



TUNNAG-GHLEUST 



38 



ULTAG 



TUNNAO-OHLEUST, the VClvct 

scoter ; cunning or knowing 

duck. 
TuNNAG-uiABHAcn, the speckled 

or female wild duck. 
TuRCACH, turcaire, the turkey ; 

Brazil or Brazil fowl. 
TuRTUR, the turtle-dove. 

u 

Udacao, udagag, udacag-crom- 
nan-duilleag, udarag, the 
woodcock. 

UisEAG, the lark, laverock, sky- 
lark. 

UisEAG-A chAth, the chaffinch. 

UiSEAG-CABACH, cHabhaigh or 
topach, the tufted lark. 

UisEAG-cHoiLLE, the woodlark. 

UisEAG-DUBH, the black shore- 
lark. 



UisEAG-MHARA or bhrcac-na- 

mara, the sea coot or oyster 

eater. 
Uiseag-Mhoire, the crested 

lark ; Mary's lark. 
Uiseag-na-traiohe, the sea-pie. 
UisEAG-oiDHCHE, the scdge 

warbler. 
UiSEAO-RiASOACH, the mountain 

plover. 
UisEAG-sNEACHDA, the fieldfare. 
UisEAG-THAPAiDH, the (juick or 

clever bird ; lark. 
Ulacan, ulchabhachan, the 

screech owl. 
Ullaid, an owl. 
Ullaid-adharcach, ullchabha- 

gan, the horned owl. 
Ullaid-sgriach, the screech 

owl. 
Ultag, utac, utlag, uttag, the 

whinchat. 



I 



GAELIC-ENGLISH 
NAMES OF FISHES 



Adag, the haddock. 
Aesc, a fish (Ir.). 
AicHEAN, the cockle. 
AiLLiUBHAR, ailliubhus, the 

salmon. 
Ala, the trout ; " speckled one." 
Allabus, the salmon ; great 

salmon. 
As-CHU, an eel (conger). 

B 

Bainteag, a small clam. 
Bairneach, bairneag, bearnach, 

barnuigh (Arran), the limpet, 

cunner, barnacle. 
Bairneag-cathan or coidhean, 

the barnacle or bernicle 

limpet, whence a goose is 

supposed to come. 
Ballach, ballach-muir, a rock 

fish. 
Balloch, shellfish. 
Balloisgteach, the lobster. 
Banag, sea trout ; a grilse, young 

salmon. 
Bean-iasg, a female or spawning 

fish. 
Bearach, beerach, the dogfish, 

pricked or prickled. 
Beidheidh or beididh, the lam- 
prey. 



Beilgeag, a small trout. 

Beithir, a huge skate. 

Beothachan, beothaichean, jelly- 
fish, medusae. 

BiAGAisH, the dogfish. 

Biathainn-traghaid, lob or lug- 
worm. 

Bior or biorag-lodain or lodainn, 
the bandstickle, banstickle, 
handstickle. 

BioRACH, the dogfish, spined. 

Bioran-deamhnuidh, the min- 
now. 

BioRASG, bait, shellfish. 

BioR-BHUASACH, bhuafau or 
bhusan, the water-serpent ; 
conger eel. 

BioR-iASG, a prickly fish, sword- 
fish. 

Bladmall, blad-mhial or mhiol, 
bledmall, bledmhial or mhiol, 
a sea monster. 

Blaghan, blaoghan, blocan, the 
whiting, whiting-pollack, or 
pollack. 

Blalaoghan, the wrasse. 

Blaosgan, shellfish. 

Boc-GLAs, a large dogfish ; shark. 

BoDACH, bodach-ruadh, the cod- 
fish, codling, rock-cod. 

BoD-DUBH-MHUSGAiN, the black- 
skinned spoutfish or gaper; 
hosefish. 



BOIREAL 



40 



CARNAG 



BoiREAL^ the sea-borer or teredo. 
BoNNAN, the sole (little). 
Bradan, the sulnuHi. 
Braoan-bacacii, or pacach, the 

sturgeon. 
Bradan-hratiiainn, the turbot. 
Bradan-leathan, the halibut, 

turbot. 
Bradan-sligcach, sturgeon, also 

mullet. 
Bralloch, shellfish. 
Breac, breachd, the trout. 
Breac-beachdaidh, beadaidh, 

beididh, loach. 
Breac-ceannpac, the turbot. 
Breac-feusach, the barbel. 
Breac-gheal, the salmon trout. 
Breac-mhara, the mackerel, 

roaeh. 
Breallach, brollach, the small 

hosefish ; also razor-fish or 

large cockle. 
Brennig, the limpet. 
Briantach, briantadh, the 

bream. 
Bric-dhearg, ruddock. 
Bricean, bricein, a small trout, 

parr, pricker, sprat. 
Brionain, bruinnean or bruiii- 

nean-beo, sea animalculae ; 

jelly-fish, medusae, phosphor- 
escence. 
Brod-iasg, the needlefish, sword- 
fish. 
Brog, fishes' roe (E. McD., Gair- 

loch. Loch Broom, etc.). 
Broinnfhionn, salmon (white 

belly). 
Bronag, hronnag, the gudgeon, 

gobie. 
Bronn-dhearg, ruddock (E. D.). 
Brudanog, the young salmon 

(bradan og). 
Buachaill-an-sgadain, the large 

ray or skate, northern chi- 

maera ; chimaera monstrosa. 
Bualadair, bualtan, bualtar, 

buailtear, the thresher. 



BuARAcii-HHAoiBii Of na baoibh 
orbaoidhe, the lamprey, magic- 
eel. 

Buidiileis, buillis, black or rock 
goby. 

BuiLGEAN, bulgan, the puffin or 
puffing fish. 

BuiNNE or buinnean-beo, jelly- 
fish, medusa*. 

BuLLACH, the conger eel, connor ; 
also limpet. 

BuRAGHLAs (borraghlas), the 
large dogfish. 
I BuRBAiGH, the whistle fish, 
bourbee. 

BuRDAG, the minnow, shrimp. 

BuTHAiD, puffin fish (E. M.). 



Cadalan-traghad, shore sleeper, 
semi-dormant fish found on the 
shore. 

Caileag, the lythe. 

Caimeach, small trout. 

Cairbean, cairbhean, cairbein, 
eearban, the basking shark, 
blue shark, brigde, brigdie, 
nautilus, pricker, sailfish, san- 
fish. 

CAmBEiL, a large eel. 

Caiteag, caoiteag, the whiting. 

Camusfhliuch, the lythe. 

Cana, canach, canadh, the stur- 
geon, porpoise, porpus, gram- 
pus. 

Candaraig, foul salmon. 

Caochag, spiral shellfish. 

Car, fish, fish fry. 

Carabhanach, carbhanach, car- 

mhanach-uisge, the carp, 

bream, lumpfish. 

; Caran, carran, c.irran-c reige, the 

' sea-eel, conger-eel ; shrimp, 

prawn, stickleback. 

Carbh, the carp. 
! Carnag, the small fish found 
I under stones on ebb shore ; eel. 



CARRACHAN 



41 



CULLACH 



Carrachan, carran^ the small 
angler or devil-fish, frog-fish, 
"shoemaker/' "cobbler." 

Carragan, a rock fish. 

Carranachatch, the carp. 

Cas-bhairneach, the limpet 
(cuunea). 

Cathan, the barnacle. 

Cat-mhara, the catfish, sea-cat, 
sea-devil, wolf-fish. 

Cealt, the kelt. 

Ceannan-siolag, sand eel. 

Ceann-barr or barrach, the jack 
fish, pike. 

Ceann-dubh, dubhach or dubhag, 
fresh water salmon. 

Ceann-snaotii nan-iasg, salmon. 

Ceann-troman, the gurnard. 

Cearbhanach, the mullet. 

Ceideanach, ceiteanach, coalfish 
(young). 

Ceitleag, the catfish. 

Cilean, cilig, a large cod. 

CioLACH, fish fry. 

Cirein-croin, sea-serpent (fabu- 
lous fish-monster). 

Clab, clabaran, clab or clar- 
cioch, cich or ciocharain, the 
frog- fish, angler. 

Clab-dubha or claba-dudaidh, 
cockles, clams. 

Cliamach, cliomach, the lobster. 

Cliath, shoal of fish. 

Cloidheag, cloimheag, cloitheag, 
a small fish found under sea- 
weed, etc. ; the prawn, shrimp, 
small lamprey. 

Cnamh-rionnach, cnaimh orcrea- 
rionnach, the horse mackerel, 
bone mackerel. 

Cnodan, crodan, crudan, crunan, 
etc., gurnard, gurnet (knowd). 

Cnomhag, cnomhagag, cnom- 
hagan, cnocag, cnogag, the 
large whelk or wilk, peri- 
winkle, buckie. 

CoDAG, cudag, the haddock. 

Cogarn, periwinkle (large). 



CoiDHEAN, the barnacle. 

CoiLLEAG, colliog, the cockle. 

CoiLLE-BioNAN, sca animalculsE. 

CoLAGAN, colgan, the salmon, 
salmon trout. 

CoLAMAiDH, colemie, the coal- 
fish. 

CoLAMoiR, the hake, haket. 

CoNACHAG, the dog-whelk or 
wilk. 

CoNAN-MARA, the sca-urchiu or 
hog, sea egg. 

CoRACHSHUiL, corashuil, a sole. 

Cor RAN, corran-greusaiche, the 
small catfish, angler, etc. 

Craigean, sea-serpent (fabulous). 

Craimh-iasg, the cramp-fish, 
torpedo. 

Creach, creachag, creachag- 
seisreach, creachan, the scal- 
lopshell-fish, cockle ; large- 
ribbed shellfish. 

Creadhal, creathail, the lam- 
prey. 

Creagag, creagag-uisge, crei- 
geag, the perch, conger, a 
rock-fish, wrasse. 

Crea'rionnach, horse or bone 
mackerel. 

Creathaill, the lamprey. . 

Crogan or cragan-feannaig, etc., 
the sea-urchin, echini ; large 
periwinkle. 

Crois-na-tragha (crosda crad- 
had), crosgag, the starfish. 

Crotan, croitean, crottan, the 
gurnardjgurnet; hump-backed 
one. 

Crubag, cruban, the crab. 

CuACH, the cockle. 

CuAN-MARA, sea-urchin. 

CuDAiG, cudaige, cudainn, cudan, 
the cuddie, cuddy, young of 
coal-fish, saithe, lythe, cod, 
etc. 

CuDAL, cuiteal, cuttle-fish. 

CuiDEAG, cuiteag, the whiting. 

CuLLACH, conger eel. 



CUMAN 



42 



GAILEAG 



CuMAN, the angler. 
Cu-MARA, dogfish. 



Dairbeao, doirb, doirbeag, a 
minnow ; anj small fish. 

Dallao, dallag-na-h-urlaich, 
duUag, a purblind dogfish, 
kingfish, small shark, leech ; 
large dogfish. 

Da-mogullach, da-mhoguUach, 
bivalve shellfish. 

Daoch, daochag, the periwinkle, 
buckie. 

Deal, deala, dealan, deal-tholl, 
the leech, lamper, eel, lamprey. 

Deargad-thraghad, shore or 
sea-flea. 

Deargan, the bream. 

Deilean, the gunnel fish. 

DoNNAG, the small brown eel- 
like fish got under stones on 
seashore ; young ling, cockle, 
gaper, shellfish, hosefish. 

DuBH-BHREAC, the smclt or spir- 
ling ; black trout. 

DuBHLocHAN, duilcachan, trout. 



Eachan, the clam. 

Eagan, the salmon. 

Earc, the salmon, a trout (lit. 

speckled). 
Eas, eascann, eas-chu, easmunn, 

etc., an eel. 
Easan, easann, the launce eel. 
Easg or easgunn bheag, the grig. 
Easg or easgunn-bhreac, the 

lamprey. 
Easg or easgunn-mhara, the 

conger eel. 
Easq-shuileach, the conger eel. 
Easgunn-bhreac, the lamprey. 
EcNE, eigne, the salmon. 
Eise, esse, a fish. 



EisiR, eisire, an oyster; (pi.) 

eisirein, eisiridh. 
Eisirean, the scallop or clam. 
EiTHRE, the salmon. 
Eo, eog, the salmon. 



Fadhbhao, faobhag, the common 

cuttle-fish. 
Falamair, falmair, the herring- 
hake. 
Faoch, faochag, fach, fachag, 

the periwinkle, buckie. 
Faoch-mor, the loon or roaring 

buckie. 
Faol-iasg, the wolf-fish. 
Fara-bhradan, a spent salmon. 
Fara-bhreac, a spent trout. 
Farasg, dead drift fish. 
Feannag, fionnag, a whiting, 

white trout, young salmon. 
Fear-iasg, male fish. 
Feartuinn or fearthuinn, the 

salmon (fear tuinn). 
Feilteag, codfish. 
Feusgan, feasgand, fiasgan, the 

mussel. 
FioGACH, dogfish. 
Fir or fior-iasc or iasg, the 

salmon (lit. " true fish "). 
Fleogan, fleuk, fluke, the 

flounder ; flat fish. 
FoRRACH, the perch (used as a 

land measure). 
Freangach, pin-fish. 
Frith-iasg, fish-fry ; bait. 



Gabhar, gabhar-mor, craw or 

crayfish, lobster. 
Gabharag, the gurnard. 
Gabhlachan, a young trout. 
Gadluinn, gad-luinne, a salmon 

after spawning. 
Gaileao, the cockle. 



GAIL-IASG 



43 



lASG-DRIOMAN 



Gail-iasg^ the pike. 

GairideaNj gairidin, the peri- 
winkle. 

Garbag^ garbhag, the rough 
flounder, plaice. 

Garbhag, a sprat, small herring ; 
garvie. 

Garbhan, sea-urchin. 

Garbhanach, the silver haddock ; 
sea bream (Arran). 

Garran (or carran) gainmhich, 
small fish ; angler. 

Garrochan, a kind of shellfish ?, 
the angler. 

Geadag, a large trout. 

Geadas, gead-iasg, the pike, 
luce. 

Geala-bhricein, the sea-trout. 

Gealag, gealog, the white trout ; 
salmon trout, grilse ; also an 
eel. 

Geasan, saithe. 

Geilmhin, geilmin, the pilchard. 

Gibbearnach, cuttle-fish. 

Gibneach, sea-urchin. 

GiDHREAN, giodhran, giodhrnan, 
giodhrsian, giuran, the bar- 
nacle. 

GiLLE-FioNN, gille-fionn-brinn or 
truim, gille-fiunnd, gilleacha 
or giollacha-fionn (pL), etc., 
the large periwinkle ; white 
buckie, whelk, wilk. 

GiLLE-RUADH, the salmou parr. 

Gill'og, a salmon. 

GioBAN, the sand eel. 

GioLCAM-DAOBHRAM, animalculae. 

GioMACH, gliomach, the lobster. 

GioMACH-cuAiN or giomacli- 
spainteach, the craw or cray- 
fish. 

GioRADAN, giorradan, the peri- 
winkle, sea-snail ; also lam- 
prey. 

GiREAD, the pike. 

Glaisean, the coal-fish in its 
second and third year ; grey 
fish. 



Glasag, the female salmon, grey 
fish. 

Glas-bhreac, the salmon trout ; 
salmon. 

Glas-iasg, grey fish, viz., cod, 
ling, haddock, etc. 

Gnamhan, gnomhan, the peri- 
winkle ; sea snail. 

GoBAG, goibean, goibin, the dog- 
fish, sea dog, sand eel, little 
gab. 

GoBHACHAN, gobhlachan, the 
shad, parr, young trout, min- 
now, samlet, stickleback ; also 
mackerel. 

GoBHAR, the shad. 

GoiRN, goirnead, the gurnard, 
gurnet. 

GoN-iASG, cramp-fish, torpedo. 

Grealnach, grealsach, salmon 
or other kind of fish. 

Greasaich, grealsach, greu- 
sach, greusaiche, griasaich, 
the sea devil, angler, bull- 
head, miller's thumb, shoe- 
maker. 

Gubarnach, the devil-fish, the 
angler. 

Gubarnach-meurach, the octo- 
pus. 

GuDA, gudda, guisdean, the 
gudgeon. 



Iach, iag, the salmon. 

Iasg, fish. 

Iasg-a-chlaidheamh, the sword- 
fish. 

Iasg-air-chladh, a spawning fish. 

Iasgan, the mussel, shellfish ; 
little fish. 

Iasg-an-donais, the devil-fish. 

Iasg-deilgneach, the stickleback. 

Iasg-drioman, driumanach, the 
surmullet, red mallet, marked 
salmon. 



IASG-DRUIMi:iN 



44 



MORGAN 



Iaso-druimein, a salmon. 
Iasg-duuii, salmon on return 

from the sea. 
Iaso-ek.iii (err.), seigir, a small 

or dwarf fish. 
Iasg-sligeach, shellfish. 
lucHAiRNEAG, iucharu^, iuchra^, 

the female fish, spawner. 



Laimh-inneach, the octopus. 

Langa, the ling. 

Lang AN, shotten fish. 

Langar-ileach, the lamprey. 

Lapadan, a species of sea fish ? 

Leabag, leobag, liabajr, liadh- 
bhog, libeag, etc., a flounder, 
Loch Lomond flounder, flat, 
fluke. 

Leabag-brathainne, the turbot. 

Leabag-chearr, the sole. 

Leabag-mor, the plaice. 

Lear, learg, or learg-mhadaidh, 
the dogfish, sea dog or 
fox. 

Leathag, leitheach, leitheag, 
etc., a plaice, flounder. 

Leathag-dearg, the flounder, 
fluke. 

Leathag-mara, the turbot, tal- 
bot. 

LiATHAG, salmon trout, young 
salmon fish ; grilse. 

LiATHGAD-MARA, the limpet. 

LiUDH, liudhag, liuthag, the 
lythe, pollack. 

LoBAcii, lubach, lupach, the lob- 
worm, sandworm. 

LoisDiN, small kind of fish.^ 

Lon-chraois, the angler, etc. 

Long, loenge, the ling. 

LuGAs, lugais, the sandworm, 
lobworm. 

Lunasg, luin-iasg, the sword- 
fish. 

Lungach, the sandworm. 



M 

Mac-lamhaich, mac-lathaich, the 
catfish, angler, sea devil, 
fishing frog; wolf-fish (lit. 
'' son-of-the-mud "). 

•MAC-MURiGnEAcn, the scallop. 

Macrail, macreil, the mackerel. 

MadadiI; maideog, the mussel. 

MadhaR; maghar, maodhar, 
spawn, young fishes ; a kind 
of bait or lure. 

Maideog, the mussel (Harris), 
concha Veneris. 

Maighdeag, maighdeag-th rag- 
had, maighdealag, the scallop, 
shellfish, cowries. 

Maighre, the salmon, sahnon 
trout. 

Maighreadh, shoal of salmon. 

\lAiGHREULAN,maireulan, salmon 
trout. 

Maireun, small salmon. 

Mairneach, a full salmon. 

Maora, maorach, niaorach-ban, 
shellfish. 

Manach, the angel fish, monk 
fish, hooded skate. 

Mangach, the whiting. 

Meanbh-bheoth, bheothach or 
meanbh-bhith, animalcula; 
(minute life). 

Meas, fish, salaion. 

Mersghira, the angler, etc. 
(Caithness). 

MiAL, miol-gaileach, the barbel. 

Mial, miol-mara, a sea fish- 
monster. 

MiAL-ioGNACH, spagach, a crab. 

.Mial-mor-a-chuain, sea serpent. 

MiN-iASG, mion-iasg, minnows ; 
small fish. 

MoGHNA, mugna, salmon. 

MoiREAG, moireagan, moirneag, 
moireal, muragan, small shell- 
fish found in logs at sea, borer, 
teredo. 

Morgan, dogfish. 



MOR-MADAIDH 



45 



SAOIDHEAN-DUBH 



MoR-MADAiDn, the pike. 

MuASGAN, shellfish^ said to open 
like a boot (Arran). 

Muc-CREiGE, the wrasse. 

Muc-LocHA or lochaidh, the 
perch. 

Muc-RUADH, the wrasse, old 
wife. 

MuiLLEiD, the mullet. 

MuiRSGiAN, the spoutfish, razor- 
fish. 

MuiRTEACHD or tiugliaclid, 
medusae or sea blubber (sea 
thickening)^, jelly-fish. 

MuRAG, murex or purple-fish. 

MuRCAN, the lumpfish. 

MuRGAN, murlach, murloch, mur- 
laoch, the dogfish, kingfish. 

MuRSAiG, the razor-fish. 

MusGAN, the hosefish, gaper, 
mussel, razor-fish (large). 

N 

Naid, the lamprey. 

Nasag, an empty shell. 

Nathair-thraghad, a small sand- 
fish or eel ; shore or sea 
serpent. 

Neaghan (fr.), the cockle. 

o 

OCHD-BHALLACH, the OCtopUS. 

OisiR, oisire, oistein, oyster. 

Orair, perch. 

Org, salmon. 

Orc-iasg, cramp-fish, torpedo. 



Pacach-cearr, turbot, halibut, 
flounder. 

Paiteag, periwinkle, small shell- 
fish. 

Partan, parrstan, portan, portan- 
tuathal or tuaitheal, crab, 
par tan-crab. 

Pillsear, pilchard. 



PiocACH, piccach, coal-fish in its 
third and fourth years (ainie, 
liver of same). 

Pleaich (Ir.), the angler, etc. 

Pluicean, the chub. 

PoLLAG, pollog-seirce, pollan, 
guiniad, gwyniad, powan, 
vendace (Lochmaben). 

Priogga-breac, the sturgeon. 

Pronn, pollard fish. 

Pullag, pollack, lythe. 

R 

Rac-mhara or mhaighreadh, 
salmon. 

Reult-iasg, starfish. 

RiGH-NAN-iASG, salmon (king of 
fish). 

RioNNACH, rineach, reannach, 
mackerel. 

RioNNACH-UAiNE, bluc (real) 
mackerel. 

Roc, a skate or thornback. 

RocHAiD, rochnaid, rochnaidh, 
rochuaid, rochuaidh, lam- 
prey. 

RorsTEACH, roach, braise, bream. 

UuADHAG, ruathag, crab. 

RuASHUAL, rua'shuil, the lam- 
prey. 

Ruth, rutha, skate or thorn- 
back. 



Sachasan, sanndag, sand-eel, 
lesser launce. 

Samhnachan, samhnag,samhnan, 
river trout (large). 

SAoiDHEAN,saidh, saidhean, saod- 
han, suian, suitheon, etc., coal- 
fish in its second and third 
year, sillock, saithe, seth, 
sethe. 

Saoidhean-dubh, coal-fish in its 
fourth year (in some places 
err. named lythe). 



SARDAIL 



46 



UISIR 



SardaiLj sairdeal; sardan, sprat^ 

sardine. 
ScARRAG, sgarraf^, skate^ ray. 
ScRioBAG, sgriobag, cockle. 
Seirdean, seirdiii, pilchard ; also 

sardine. 
Sgadan, herring. 
Sgadan, mhorlannach, pilchard. 
Sqadan-blia, bleac, bleachd, pale 

or shotten herring. 
Sgauan-garbh, large herring or 

" Alewife." 
Sgadan-gearr, sprats. 
Sgadan-goile, gut-pock herring. 
Sgat, sgait, sgata, skate. 
Sgeith-an-roin, small jelly-fish, 

etc. 
Sgeith-na-muice-mara, large 

jelly-fish. 
Sgiddair, sgiodair, medusae. 
Sgildaimhne, minnow. 
Sgiollag, a minnow or small 

fish, sand-eel. 
Sgith, sgite, maiden-ray. 
Sgorag, limpet (roasted). 
Sgorrach, perch. 
Shude (Ir.), bream. 
SiNE-BHOG, soft crab. 
Siolag, siolagag, siolagaig, siol- 

ghobach, sand-eel. 
SioN, sion-giomach, craw or cray- 
fish. 
Slige-chreachainn, scallop shell. 
Slige-neamhnuinn, pearl fish, 

oyster mother of pearl. 
Sliog, sliogan, scallop. 
Smalag, coal-fish in its second 

year, smelt. 
Snathad-mhara, the needle-fish. 
SoLASTAR, starfish. 
SoLL, sonn, fish bait. 
SoRNAN, thornback, small skate 

or ray. 
Sparnag, spairneag, a shell. 
Spong, sponge. 
Sprodh, sproth, a sprat. 



Srabao, sruban, srubag, srubaire, 
the cockle. 

Sronachaidh, the sea stickle- 
back. 

Stangarra, stickleback, stinger. 

Stealladair, spout-fish, razor- 
fish. 

Steinloch, coal-fish, full-grown ; 
stenlock. 

Stfom-eisg, stiomaire, ribbon- 
fish. 

Stirean, stiornach, stirrin, 
sturgeon. 

SuiL-AN-ToiN, cuttle-fish. 

SuiL-cHARUH, silver haddock. 

SuLT, fat herring. 



Talag, talog, roach. 

Tar, tar-dearg, targach, tarragan, 

tarragheal, char, "red-bellied 

one." 
Tarbh-shiolag, weever or viper 

fish ; male of sand-eel ? 
Tarpan, torpan, crab. 
Toinneamh, salmon. 
TosG, torsg, tusk. 
Traill, traille, traill-manach, 

tusk, torsk. 
Trosg, cod. 
TuARASGAR, turasgar, turasgair, 

shellfish. 
TuLAG, guiniad, gwyniad ; 

pollock, whiting. 
TuRBAiD, turbuit, turbot. 
TuRCAN or turcar-mara, sea-snail, 

periwinkle. 

U 

UcAs, ugs, ugsa, usca, full-grown 
coal-fish, stenlock. 

UiLE-BHEisD, lamprey. 

UiLE-BHEisD a chuain, sea ser- 
pent. 

UisiR, uisire, oyster. 



GAELIC-ENGLISH 

NAMES OF INSECTS AND REPTILES 



AiL-cuACH, lizard. 
AiLSEAG, caterpillar. 
AiNBHEACH, drone bee. 
AiNLE, four-legged insect, said to 

have winged tail, living in 

trees, etc., green fly. 
AiRC, aire-luachrach, lizard, 

bee. 
AiTHiD, viper, snake, serpent, 

asp. 
AiTHiDHEAN, any venomous 

creature. 
AiTHiR, aithir-nimh, serpent. 
Alt, alp, alpluach (Ir.), lizard. 
Ama or Ana-bhiorach, centipede, 

small venomous insect. 
Amadan-de or leithe, butterfly, 

flutterfly ; God's fool, grey 

fool. 
Am-fear-nimh, serpent, the 

poisonous one. 
Anaman-de, butterfly. 
Aoilfegg (Ir.), aoilseag, cater- 
pillar. 
Arach, a dragon. 
Arc, bee, wasp, lizard. 
Arcan, arcan-luachrach, lizard, 

adder. 
Arc-luachair, eft, newt, lizard. 
Ard-fhear-nimh, ard-fhear-gion- 

ach, asp. 

47 



Arpag, snake, adder. 
Art-luachra, a newt, etc. 
Asc, asg. asp, aspic, asp, adder. 
Athair-nei or nimh, serpent (lit. 
father of poison). 

B 

Bai-bheisd or bhiast, toad. 

Baoit, baoiteag, boiteag, w^orm, 
maggot, bait. 

Baoth-smuain, maggot. 

Beach, beathag, beathmhan, bee, 
wasp, fly. 

Beachan-chapull, horse-fly or 
wasp, hornet. 

Beach-each, horse-fly or wasp. 

Beach-mhor, hornet. 

Bealbhan ruadh, a frog. 

Beatha, serpent. 

Beathmhan, bee. 

Beisd-da-liunn, the tapeworm. 

Beisd-nimh, the scorpion. 

Beisteag, dung-beetle (lit. little 
beast). 

Beithir, serpent, snake, viper, 
adder. 

Biathainne, biathairne, earth- 
worm, beetle. 

BlOR-BHUAFAN, toad. 

Bior-bhuasach or bhuasan, water 

serpent. 
Blarag, large bee. 



BOB 



48 



COLLAG 



Bou, worm, caterpillar, de- 
structive to bushes, etc. 

BoFULAN, a toad. 

Bogus, bu^, timber moth. 

BoiLo-BHiAsT, belly-worm. 

BoiREAL, borer worm. 

BoLB, builb, caterpillar. 

BoTUS, belly- worm. 

Bran-dubhan, spider ; spider's 
web. 

Bratao, furry, hairy or grass 
caterpillar, worm. 

Breabair or breabaire-smogach, 
spider. 

Breac-nathair, brecnata (Ir.), 
locust. 

Bride, ringworm. 

Brideacii, grub (E. McD.). 

Brobiiadan, grasshopper. 

Brutag, palmer worm. 

BuAF, buaf-bheisd, toad. 

BuAFA, serpent. 

BuAFAiR, buafaire, adder, viper. 

BuAFAN, snake. 

BuAF-ATHAiR, or nathair, adder. 

Buaf-bheisd, toad, adder. 

BuALAGAN-TiMCHioLL, rlngworm. 

Buail-a-chnag or chrag, balm 
cricket. 

Bunnan, black beetle, crawler. 

BuRRAis, burras, burris, burruis, 
caterpillai-, worm. 



Cadlag, slug. 

Caideag, earth worm. 

Cailleach-chosach, cheslip. 

milliped. 

Cainneag, mote, small moth, 
mite. 

Caiteas, catus ; caddice, caddis 
or caddis-worm. 

Can, canda, canna, moth. 

Capull-lin, lint-beetle. 

Car-chuileag, humming or sing- 
ing fly. 

Carnabhan, beetle. 



Carnan, carraig, cearnan, cock- 
roach. 

Car RAN, field bug. 

Cartan, flesh worm. 

Ca'-speac H, the hornet. 

Ceandail, lice. 

CEANN-pnoLLAGorphollan,ceann- 
simid, tadpole. 

Ceardubh AN, ceard-dubhan, cear- 
duman (dung), ceard-fhiollan, 
cearnablian, cearnan, cear- 
radan, cearrallan, cearnallan, 
cearraman, cearran, cearran- 
cre (clay or earth), cearr- 
fhiollan, gearr-daolan, gearr- 
daolag, gearr-dubhan, etc., 
sacred beetle. 

Cearnabhan, hornet. 

Cearran-cre, clay or earth 
beetle. 

Cearr-daolan, or daolag, cearda- 
man, dung-beetle ; the wrong 
or left-sided one. 

Chuibhle-mhor, moth (Arran). 

Ciarag, beetle, bug, chafer. 

CiARAN, brown or dusky bee. 

CiRCBHEACH, the homct (Ir.), 

Cleabhar, cleithir, the gadfly. 

Cleod, the horse-fly. 

Cloidhe, cloidheag, the gadfly, 
cleg. 

Cnadan, a frog. 

Cnapan, cnapain, a louse. 

Cnamhag, cnoimheag, cnuimh, 
cruimh, etc., a worm, maggot, 
also insect, moth, etc. 

Cnuimh-chail, kail-worm, cater- 
pillar. 

Cnuimh-goile, maw-worm. 

Cnuimh-lobhta, the palmer 
worm, canker-worm, crump. 

Cnuimh-shioda, the silk-worm. 

CocHLA, a snail. 

Coineachan, a bee (foggy). 

Coinnspeach, conasbeach, conn- 
sj)each, the hornet, wasp. 

CoLLAG, collag-lin or lion, the 
earwig. 



CONACHUILEAG 



49 DEARGANN-TRAGHAID 



CoNACHuiLEAG, a fly ; murrain of 
flies. 

CoNASRACHj a flea. 

CoNuiBHE, connuibh, conuich, 
conuichej the hornet. 

CoRj a spider. 

CoRR or corra-chagailt, the fire 
worm^ salamander^ glow- 
worm (imaginary) ; unusual 
brightness in fire portending 
frost. 

CoRR or corra-chosach or chosag, 
the cheslip, slater ; any small 
insect found in chinks or 
crevices, etc. 

CoRR or corra-ghabhan, corra- 
ghobhlach, an earwig. 

CoRRA-CHAOGHAL, the grass- 
hopper. 

CoRR-MiL or miol, gnat, hornet, 
horse-fly (?). 



K| Craigean, a frog, toad 



Cram AG, a snail. 
Cranag, a frog. 
Creabaire, the gadfly. 
Creadhal, the horse-fly. 
Creithleag, gadfly, cleg, cattle 

insect, breeze or brize-fly. 
Criodhar, a leech. 
Crion-mhial, crin-mhiol, the 

wood louse, wall louse. 
Croitheamh, cruitheamh (Ir.), 

an insect. 
Cruimh-gheala, a glow-worm. 
Cu, a moth, clothes-dog or 

gnawer. 
CuAiRT or a chuairt-dhurrag, 

ringworm. 
Cu-cNAMHA, a louse. 
Cu-FHiND, finda or fionn, a 

moth. 
CuiDEAG, a spider. 
CuiL, cuileag, a fly, insect. 
CuiL-DUBH, a beetle. 
CuiL-LiN, an earwig (Arran). 
CuiL-SHNioMHAiN or shionnaclian, 

the glow-worm. 
CuiL-THEALLAicH,a beetle, cricket. 



D 



Dadmunn, a mite ; very small 

insect. 
Dairbeag, doirbean, the tadpole. 
Dairbh, a worm. 
Dallag, a leech. 
Dallan-de, a butterfly. 
Damhan, dabhan, dubhan, 

droman, alluidh or eallaich, a 

spider. 
Dannsair-dubh-an-uisge, the 

water spider. 
Daoil, a leech. 
Daol, daolag, a beetle, chafer, 

worm, bug, caterpillar, leech. 
Daol-bhreac, the ladybird, 

beetle, ladycow, 
Daol-bhuidhe, yellow worm or 

caterpillar. 
Daol-caoch, a stag-beetle 

(blind). 
Darb, dirb, a worm, reptile. 
Dar-daoil, a venomous beetle. 
Dathag, worm in human body. 
Deadhman, deadhmann, a moth. 
Deagha, deagaid, a chafer, bug. 
Deal, deala, dealan, deala-eich, 

deala-tholl, deil, etc., a leech, 

horse-leech. 
Dealan, dealbhan-de, a butterfly. 
Dealb, deilb, the water beetle. 
Dealgan-gabhar, a lizard. 
Deal-mhara, a sea leech, skate 

worm. 
Deangan, an ant. 
Dearbadan, dearbadan-de, a 

butterfly. 
Dearc, dearc-bhallach, derc, 

a lizard, speckled serpent or 

dart. 
Dearc-luachair or luachrach, a 

lizard, asp, ask, esk, stellion, 

newt. 
Deargann, deargant, deargad, 

dearnad, etc., a flea. 
Deargann-traghaid, a seashore 

flea. 



D 



DEARRAIS 



50 



GEARH-DAOL 



Deauiiais, a winged serpent (the 

perverse one). 
DiAN, diane, a worm (Manx). 
DiUHCHAM.iN, a mite. 
DiBHKACH; an ant. 
DiBHuuAiNEACH, dioruanacli, a 

mite. 
DiHB, doirb, a worm. 
DocH-LUACHAiii, a lizard, newt. 
DoiNTE, a small black insect? 
Doll, a chafer (Old Ir.). 
Dragon, draig, a dragon. 
DiiAic, a serpent. 
DuEALLAN or drcollan-tcas- 

bhuidh, a grasshopper. 
Dreangad, dreangcuid, a flea 

(Ir.). 
Dreugan, a dragon. 
Dric, dragon, a winged serpent. 
Droch, a moth, cloth or wood 

worm. 
Druthan, a snail. 
DuBHCHAN, duchdin (Ir.), a 

reptile. 
DuiLL-CHuiL or dhaol, a beetle, 

black beetle. 
DuiLL-MHiAL or mhiol, the cater- 
pillar. 
DuRADAN, a moth. 
Durrag, a worm, grub, maggot, 

caddis. 
Durrag-chomhlaich, the door or 

house worm. 
Durrag-feola, the flesh worm. 
Durrasan, the grasshopper. 



Each-leigh, the horse leech 

(Southend). 
Earc, a bee (also honey). 
Earc-luachra or luachrach, a 

lizard ; ant, emmet. 
Eir, eirbheach, (Ir.) eircbheach, 

a wasp, hornet. 
EscuNG (Ir.), fen-snake. 
EuNAN-DE, a butterfly. 



Fairche, farachan, farrachan, 
death-watch beetle or insect. 

Fal-cuil, the breeze-fly (Ir.). 

Fealan, fiolan, fiolar, fiolun, the 
flesh-worm, earwig. 

Feileacan, foileacan, a butterfly, 
may-bug. 

Feoil-chnoidheag, chnuiinheag, 
a flesh-worm. 

Feursann, the cattlehide 
worm. 

FiDEAG, a worm, tetter, ring- 
worm. 

FiNEAG, fionag, fionnag, a mite, 
small insect. 

FiNNEiN-FioNN, fionnan-fcoir, the 
grasshopper ; balm-cricket. 

Fiolan-fionn, a parasite insect. 

Fo I LEAS AN, an asp. 

Fo-loscainn or losgunn, a tad- 
pole. 

Forchar-gobhlach, the earwig. 

Fri, fride, frideag, a worm, etc. 

Fuil-eacan or easan, an asp. 



G 



Gabha or gobha-dubh, gobh- 

achan, the balm-cricket. 
Gabhar-bhreac, the buck or 

bucky snail (striated). 
Gabhlachan, gobhlach, gobh- 

lachan, gobhlag, an earwig. 
Gadmuinn, an insect, nit. 
Gaillseach, gaillseag, an earwig. 
Galla-tholl, the bot worm. 
Gaod, a leech. 
Garturan, the dog-louse. 
Gasbadan, gasbaid, gasbuidean, 

a wasp, hornet. 
Gath-dubh, the midge. 
Geal, gealadh, geal-tholl, etc., 

a leech, bot. 
Gearr-daol, daolag, daolan or 

dubhan, the sacred beetle. 



GEARR-GHUIN 



51 



MOIL 



Gearr-ghuin, a leech. 

Geonaidh, gonaidh, a leech. 

Geur-lann, the sheep-louse. 

GiLLE-CRAiGEAN, a frog, toad. 

GiLLE-NEAMHAG^ the Water adder. 

GiuBAN, giubhan^ guiban^ a fly. 

GiURNAN^a beetle^ horned beetle, 
butterfly. 

Gleithire, the gad-bee, gadfly. 

Glothag, frog spawn. 

GoBLACHAN, goblilachan, the 
crane-fly, daddy-longlegs. 

GoiMH, guin, a leech, a worm. 

GoNAiDH, a leech. 

Greollan, griathran, grillus, 
griuUus, grollan, gruUan, a 
cricket. 

GuiLLEAG, guileag, a leech. 

GuiLLEAG, guileag-chapuil, gui- 
leag-nam-each, the horse- 
leech. 



I 

loL-BHEisD, ilphiasd, a serpent, 

snake, adder, reptile. 
loL-CHOSACH, a centipede. 



Ladrun, a drone bee (Latin). 

Laghairt, a lizard. 

Lamprag, lamprog, the glow- 
worm. 

Leamhan, night butterfly, moth. 

Leo G HAN, a moth. 

Leoman, leomann, leon, a moth, 
leech, night butterfly, weevil. 

Leoman-fiodha, a wood bug. 

Leumach, leumachan, frog 
(leaper). 

Leum ADAIR, the skipjack. 

Leumadair-feoir, the grass- 
hopper. 

Leumadair-uaine, green grass- 
hopper. 

Leus-chnuimh, the glow-worm. 



LiuBH or luibh-bhiast, the cater- 
pillar (herb-beast). 

LiuGAiR, liugaire, a newt 
(lurker). 

LocusD, locust, the locust. 

LoisGioNN, the locust. 

LoN-cRAois, the may-fly, water- 
spider, water-beetle. 

LosGANN, losgunn, losgunn- 
buidhe, or dubh, or nimhe, 
a frog, toad, puddock (" cor- 
ruption," "leprosy"). 

Lus-CHUACH, the caterpillar 
(herb-curl). 

Lus-MiDi, a scorpion. 

M 

Mag, magach, magag, magan, 
maig, maigean, a toad, frog. 

Martlan, the maw-worm, belly- 
worm, 

Meach, a bee. 

Meanbh-bhiastag, an insect, 
vermin, etc. 

Meanbh-chnuimh, mite, cheese- 
mite. 

Meanbh-chuileag, a midge, gnat. 

Meas-chnuimh, canker worm 
(tree or fruit). 

MiAL, miol, louse (anciently any 
animal). 

MiAL-BALLA, a Wall louse or 
insect. 

MiAL-CHAORACH, a cadc, the 
sheep-louse, tick. 

MiAL-CHosACH, a centipcdc. 

MiAL-CHRioN, a moth. 

MiAL-coiLLE, the wood or tree 
louse. 

MiAL-FioDHA, the wood or tree 
bug, etc. 

MiAL-MHAG, mhagan, a toad 
(meal-maig, Badenoch). 

MiAL-MHONAiDH, the Matcr-lousc 
or flea. 

MiALTAG, mioltag, a fly, gnat. 

Moil, a black woi'm ? 



MOIRB 



STIOMAG 



MoiHD, moirbh, an ant, pismire. 
MoiREAL, the borer, teredo. 
MuDAG, tlie niaw-worm. 
MuiLEAG, a little frog ; froggy. 
MuiLE-MHAo, mul-mhag or mha- 
gan, a frog, large toad. 



N 

Natiiair, nathair-ninih, Na'r, 
athair-nei (Badenoch), poison- 
ous viper, venomous adder, 
ask, esk, etc. 

Nathair-gun-phuinnsein, a 

snake. 

NATHAni-SGiATHACH, a dragon 
(winged serj)ent). 

Nathair-uisge, tlie hydrus. 

NiGHEAN-iMHiR (inimliir), a ser- 
pent; "Ivor, Edward, or 
Uidhir's daughter." 



Og-losgann, or losgunn, a frog 
young frog. 



Partan, a crab-louse. 

Peist, piast (Ir.), worm, serpent 

(lit. a beast). 
Plaigh-shlat, the blind or slow 

worm. 
Poll-cheannan, a tadpole. 
Proimbeallan, lu'oimsheillean, a 

drone bee ; beetle. 



R 

Reud, reudan, raodan, a moth, 
timber-insect, wood louse, 
weevil. 

RiBHiNN, righinn, a serpent (a 
name). 

RiGH-NATHAiR, a cockatricc, basi- 
lisk, large serpent. 



Saith, a swarm of bees. 

Sar, sarag, a sheep-louse. 

ScANN, sgann, a swarm of 
bees. 

Sealan, a sheep-louse. 

Seamann, a small snail. 

Seananach, a wasp. 

Seangan, an ant, emmet, pismire. 

SEiLCHEAG,seilidh,seimhidh,etc., 
a snail, slug. 

Seileann, seileunn, a cade, ked, 
sheep-louse, or tick. 

Seillean, a bee, heath, honey, 
humble, or field. 

Seillean-achaidh, a field bee. 

Seillean-diomhain, or lunndach, 
drone or idle bee. 

Seillean-mor, bumble or humble- 
bee. 

Seillean-nimii, a hornet. 

Seillean-seimhid, a snail. 

Seireacan, seiteicean, etc., the 
si Ik- worm. 

Sgairp, a scorpion. 

Sgliatair, a slater, cheslip. 

SiGmEUN, sitiren, the silk-worm. 

SiMiD, a beetle. 

SioD-cHNuiMH, the silk-worm. 

Sligeanach, a tortoise or turtle. 

Smag, smagach, smaigean, a 
frog, toad. 

Smeach, smeachan, a bee (Ir.). 

Smugaid-na-cubhaige, iphis fly. 

Snaigeach, snaigean, a reptile. 

Snasan, a louse (O'C). 

Sneadh, sneamh, a nit. 

Sneauhan, an ant, emmet, pis- 
mire. 

Son AS AN, a frog (Skye). 

SoR, a louse. 

Speach, a wasp, and venomous 
little creature. 

Spiontag, maggot, kind of.'' 

Srannachan or srannan, a 
grasshopper. 

Stiomag, the caddis worm. 



SUIL-BHALAIR 



53 



UIR-CHUIL' 



SuiL-BiiALAiR, mhalair or mhala- 
righ, a cockatrice, basilisk. 

SuMAiRE, a leech, serpent, rep- 
tile. 



Tabh or tamh-ard, a flying beetle. 

Tabhul, a horse-fly, breeze or 
brize-fly. 

Tairbheann, a parasite insect, 
cattle insect. 

Tarbh-nathrach, the dragon- 
fly ; moth (Arran). 

TARMACH,tarmachan-de, a butter- 
fly (white). 

Teann-shuil, an insect. 

Teighiollas, a salamander. 

Teine, teinidh-de or deal an, a 
salamander, also butterfly. 

I'eine-ciiiarag, a cricket. 

Teine-de, the ringworm. 

Tentide, a dragon (Ir.). 



TioPAL, the water-spider. 
Toirmeachan-de, a butterfly 

(Arran). 
ToiRTis, a tortoise or turtle. 
ToLLAG, the crab-louse. 
ToRAiN, torair, toranach, grubs, 

insects, worms in corn or 

other grain. 
ToRC or tuirc-neimh or nimh, a 

reptile. 
Treadhan, a louse. 



u 



Uamhag, a sheep-louse, tick. 

Ubh-mhial, a nit. 

UiLLiCHD, a frog. 

UiRCHiR, a cricket ; fen-cricket, 

chir-worm. 
Uir-chuil', urcuil, the cricket, 

grasshopper (earth-fly) ; also 

salamander. 



PART II 



ENGLISH-GAELIC 

NAMES FOR BEASTS, (MAMMALIA), BIRDS, FISHES, 
INSECTS, AND REPTILES, 

ALONG WITH 

1. OTHER NAMES ; 2. ETYMOLOGY ; 3. LORE, Etc. ; 
4. PROVERBS, Etc. 



a 



ENGLISH-GAELIC 
NAMES FOR BEASTS (MAMMALIA) 

A 

ANIMAL (see also Beast). 

Gaelic. — Ainbhith (ferocious), ainmhidh, amain-fheihe, an 
amphibious animal, anmanda (Old Ir.), anmann, anmide, arpag 
(ravenous) ; Baidne, baidnein (small group of), beathach, beich 
(Welsh), bitheach, beo, beo-dhuil, beothach, binne-bheathach 
(any horned), bith, blianach (starved), bruid, bual, bualan (any 
wild) ; Ceannan (small active), ceathramh, cethra (quadrupeds), 
ci, ci-cingeach (brave or brave thing), ciocar (ferocious), ciog, cor, 
corr (undersized, diminutive, odd), ere, cretoir (Shaw), creubh, 
creutair, creutair-talmhaidh ; Dallag (any blind), daol, dearg, duil ; 
Eothan-banag (weak white one. Triads) ; Feithde, feithideach ; 
Geilt (untam cable), greigh (flock of), grunnan (group of) ; larag 
(little brown), isean (young) ; Mil (Old Brit, or Celt, miol) ; 
moth (male) ; Peacarach (noxious one, sinner), piscach (progeny 
of, also human), putan (young) ; Sealanach (starveling), sigean 
(diminutive), sordan (a kind of animal), splionach (starveling, 
worn-out) ; Treud (flock or herd of). 

English. — Almark (fence-breaker), aneling (bearing only one 
at a time) ; Bangyal (collection of) ; Capel-thwaite (hobgoblin) ; 
Dotchell (small), drochle (small, stumpy) ; Heeder (any male), 
hacket, haiked, halkit, haukit, haulket, haulkit, hawked, hawket, 
hawkit (white-faced) ; Jabart, jabb (big, lean), jack, jam (ugly) ; 
Keel (large, untowardly), kemmin, kieb (small), knot (strong, 
thick-set) ; Laighe-braid (thick-legged, short-bodied) ; Morkin 
(abortive) ; Pack (flock of, " Chesh."), ploud (square, flat) ; Rainle 
(big-boned, scraggy), rascal (useless, lean, " Palsgrave "), ronyon 
(mangy, Fr.), rother (horned, "Warw.", rump (raw-boned); Scrab, 
scrail, scrallion (sickly, lean) ; Tanker (big, lean), tarle (small), 
telch (tame), trap (old, worn-out, " North ") ; Vrack (worthless). 



58 ANFMAT. 

Kh/mo/o^i/. — From Laliii anitiia, lilt* ; ;iiul the words hcalhuch, etc., 
all mean life, from hith, hcatlui or heo, and all intimately eonnected 
with hi, to be. In Welsh, the word is htjd, and has, strange to say, 
the meaning of irorld, which explains the Oaelic idiom " Duine air 
bith," Latin vita, Gteek /?to9. The term Binnc-bhcathach as used 
refers to the horns, and reminds us of the Bible expression 
" Binnean an Teampuil." It is in fact another form of hcinn, 
mountains. In Welsh it appears as peann, a head or anything 
coming to a point, headlands, for instance, ;; taking the place in 
Welsh of our c — comp. clnnn and Wtlsh p/anti. In that case it is 
argued that bcinii, peann, and ceann are but one word. In Welsh 
we have also the word " erthyl," signifying an animal born before 
its lime, which is thought to be cognate with "earail," progressive, 
advanced, etc. Among many corrupt spelling of Gaelic names are 
" Achnabeochan," Achadh nam beothaichean, the field of the 
beasts, and "Blarintow," Blar an damh, the field or plain of 
the ox. Among the old Egyptians the word anima meant the 
wind, which is supposed to be just the breath or life of an animal. 
Among animals, one speaks of Ealt, ealta, as a covey of birds, a 
drove of cattle, a trip of goats, a rout of wolves, a pace of asses, 
a sounder of swine. 

Lore, etc. — An ancient Celtic belief existed that human spirits 
entered into animals such as the wolf, seal, etc., the latter especially, 
as can be gathered from many existing tales, being represented 
as human beings under an enchanter's spell — " Mac no clann righ 
fo gheasan " (a king's son or children under spells). See the tale 
" Eachsais Ulair," etc., etc. Attributes also pertained to animals, 
such as to the horse, generosity ; the lamb, gentleness, quietness ; 
the lion, kingliness or royalty ; the pig, sordidness ; and the wolf, 
tyranny. 

All animals are good foretellers of a change in the weather, 
rain, etc. ; see Rev. Norman Macleod's interesting article, entitled 
" Comharraidhean air caochlaidean na side." Animals are said 
to listen to everything that is said — notably the cat — and watch 
the expression of the speaker's face, by which they even read his 
thoughts. It was apparently necessary to attribute the power of 
" human spirits " being in animals to account for the human form 
of thinking, thus perverting our observation by attributing to 
them such human form of thinking. A dog's consciousness there- 
fore is one of smell rather than sight, a world of the former alone 
is his world. Still, as Martin Tupper has it, "all things testify 
with one sad voice that man is a cruel master." In "Finn's 
Pastimes " Ossian tells of his father's love for beasts and his 
delight in nature generally. 

AH animals have their leader, that of a flock or a herd being 
called "Ceannard" or "Ceanniuil," more properly " Snaodaire." 
This (according to Skene) accounts for the Celts and Highlanders 



ANIMAL 59 

being essentially monarchical, in certain respects imitating the 
lower animals (all they had to imitate) by following their chief. 
The terms for leaders of different animals will be found 
under their respective headings. These leaders are the first to 
rise and the last to lie down, and even when asleep, so permeated 
are they with the sense of their responsibility, they seem to be 
awake. A male is not necessarily the leader, among cattle at 
any rate this position is often assmned by a cow (</. v.). But 
whether male or female the leader is the least despotic animal 
in the herd, the most contemptible being invariably the most 
despotic, literally a bully, among men termed spleadhaii^e. Cowper, 
the poet, was most partial to all animals. He had as pets at one 
time five rabbits, three hares, two guinea pigs, a magpie, a jay, a 
starling, a squirrel, two goldfinches, two canary birds, two dogs, 
and one cat. From the largest sized mammal down to the wee 
worm or almost invisible maggot, all animals were endowed, at 
one time, with some charm or virtue to cure disease, as also some 
bane. Animals in their wild state have of course their lodgings 
or lairs known by certain names, a few are as follow : — a Badger, 
^' earth"; Deer, "lodge," "bed"; Fox, "kennel"; Hare, 
"forme," in the East "small"; Marten, "tree"; Otter, 
"watch"; Rabbit, "sit," "earth," "burrow"; Wolf, "train"; 
Hart, "keeping." The track of a hare is called "smeuse." 
Each place has its special quota of mammalia, etc., but details 
are tedious to read ; it may be mentioned, however, that there are 
just thirteen different species in the island of Lewis. Some different 
terms for a collection of animals are Bears, a sleugh of; Foxes, 
a skulk of; Lions, a pride of; Monkeys, a troop of; Oxen, a drove 
of; Swine, a herd of; Whales, a school of; Wolves, a pack of. 

The endurance of the lives of animals is set forth in the 
following saying : — 

Tri aois coin aois eich ; 

Tri aois eich aois duine ; 

Tri aois duine aois feidh ; 

Tri aois feidh aois firein ; 

Tri aois firein aois chraoibh dharaich. 

Three ages of a dog the age of a horse ; 

Three ages of a horse the age of a man ; 

Three ages of a man the age of a deer ; 

Three ages of a deer the age of an eagle ; 

Three ages of an eagle the age of an oak tree (2800 yrs.). 

The similarity between men and animals was used in various 
senses, generally unfavourable to the former, as in the following 
scathing comparison of a certain individual by Alasdair mac 



60 ANINTXr, 

mhai^lislir Al.isii.iir, in suppurL (^ironic-.illy), of llie hlac-k 
Campbell : — 

" Aodann graineig, tarr-aodaiin tuirc, 
Com a chnaimh-fliithich 's nadur na muic ; 
Beul mhic (? mhuc) lathaich 's faileadh a bhruic, 
Spagan clarach^ sailteau nan cusp." 

It may be translated : — 

The face of a hedgeliog, white face of a boar^ 
Shape of a raven, and nature of the pig ; 
The mouth of the devil-fish, smell of the badger. 
Clumsy and club-footed with chilblained feet (soles). 

He also added other verses still more biting, describing them or 
him as "Crane-footed, lobster-chested (Casancurra, uchd a 
ghiomaich)," etc. 

The beliefs and superstitions relative to animals will be given 
under their respective headings ; suffice to refer to one or two here, 
such as — An animal seen (the first time for the year) lying down, 
betokens sickness, etc., rising up, recovery, etc. If this seen in a 
dream at any time, it has much the same signification. An animal 
lying on its back and unable to rise unaided, is said to be 
"amealled," or "awart," or "aiwal." 

Sayings and proverbs as to animals are fairly numerous. The 
following are a few : — 

A bheisd a's mo ag ithe' na beisd a's lugha, 's a bheisd a's 
lugha 'deanamh mar dh'fhaodas i. 

The bigger beast eating the lesser one, and the lesser one 
doing as it may. A grahpic expression of a great physical 
and moral truth. 
Diuthaidh nam beathaichean firionn. 

The refuse of male creatures. Said of a very con- 
temptible man. 
Feumaidh gach beo a bheathachadh. 

Every living thing must have a living. 
Is mor am beothach nach tiochd a muigh. 

It's a big beast that there isn't room for outside. Ironically 
said of " big " people. 
Leanaidh blianach ris na srabhan. 

Lean flesh cleaves to straw. Said of worthless people 
who adhere to one another. 
Ma mharbhas tu beothach Di-h-aoine, bidh ruith na h-Aoin' 
ort 'm feasda. 

If you kill a beast (or animal) on a Friday, Friday's run 
(of ill luck) will be on you for ever. 



ANIMAL 61 

Mionach a bheathaich is maoile air adhaircean a bheathaich is 
bioraicbe. 

The entrails of the blunter (hornless) beast on the horns 
of the sharper one (horned). 
Mir am bial na beisde. 

A bite for the monster beast's mouth. What the traveller 
threw out from his sled to save himself from wolves. 
Na'm biodh an t-earbull na bu righne, bhiodh an sgiallachd 
na b'fhaide. 

Had the tail been tougher the tale would have been 
longer. (See Nicolson's note hereto). This may be akin 
to " Ma bhriseas bun-fionn," etc.,, under Pig. 
Paidhidh am feaman am fiarach. 

The tail will pay the grazing, i.e., each animal will pay 
for its feeding with the manure it leaves. 
Seachd mial mhor mhara sath Cirein Croin. 

Seven whales, or great sea animals, a Ciren crone's feed. 
It is not known what this monster animal was, though 
it may well have been one of these " Giant fish-de- 
stroyers," so ably, inter alia, described by Dr Carmichael 
Mcintosh, which waged war in sea and on land against 
all and sundry as well as against each other, viz., the 
gigantic Deinosaurs, some of which, notably the Atlanto- 
saurus, reached to one hundred feet in length with a 
height of thirty feet, and proportionately awful of aspect. 

The word " Beadagan " has been used to convey the idea of a 
contemptible, insignificant animal, though it bears the translaticn 
" puppy " here, in an extract from Rob Donn, viz. : — 

" A bheadagain duibh 
Prab-shuil air chrith 
Mach a mo thigh." 

You black, blear-eyed puppy, get out of my house. This 
appears applicable to a human animal. 

A saying expressive of utter uselessness is " Is splionach thu 
(or e) gu talarah." You are (or he is) a worn-out creature down to 
the ground, or "bho d'gnos gu d' dhroll," from your snout to your 
hinder end. 

At one time in Ireland a grade of farmer existed who was taken 
bound, inter alia, to keep one hundred of each kind of domestic 
animal. This farmer was styled " Brughaidh cedach," brughaiche 
ceudach, centurion brughaidh or farmer. Brug, brugh, a village, 
homestead, farm, hence burg, burgher. 

St Ciaran, according to Silva Gadelica, was devotedly attached 
to animals, and tamed several wild ones, notably a boar, fox, 
brock, wolf, and doe, all which did his will, the first even pulling 
wattles and thatch for the Saint with his teeth, to help in the 



62 ANIMAL— ASS 

construction of a cell, but the fox got into disgrace, having stolen 
the Saint's brogues. Another name for some kind of animal is 
" Sordan," and is to be found in a poem attributed to St 
Columbcille. 

In the Annals of the Four Masters, a wonderful (at least to the 
artless Irish of 1472) animal is referred to as being sent to an 
Irish chief or king by the King of England, which is worth 
transcribing. " She resembled a mare and was of a yellow colour, 
with the hoof of a cow, a long neck, a very large head, a large 
tail which was ugly and scant of hair ; she had a saddle of her 
own (the hump), she used to kneel when passing under any 
doorway, however high, and also to let her rider mount. Wheat 
and salt were her usual food, and she used to draw the largest 
sled burden by her tail," i.e., after her. 

'Tis hardly necessary to add that this was a camel or dromedary, 
mark the gender given. 

APE. — Ab (Welsh), apa, apag. 

Jack (male), Jack-an-apes ; Puggy ; Scaby, spider-catcher ; 
Yap (north). 

This is given merely as there is reference to it in the Gaelic 
Bible. This remark applies to one or two others throughout this 
Work. 

ASS. — As, asal, assal, asal-stalliach (zebra), (she) asan, 
pi. asana, asal-fliiorionn, jack-ass; Ealt-asal (a "pace" of); 
Udlaiche, ullaiehe, utlaiche. (Welsh and Corn.) asyn ; (Bret.) 
azen ; (Manx) essyl. 

Assene (old pi.) ; Bo-hacky, bronkus, buncus, bussock, buzzack, 
buzzock ; Canoodle, cud, cudyuch, cuddie, cuddy ; Darlaston 
throstle, Dick, Dickie, Dick-ass (male), dobbin ; Feldhasser (wild), 
A. S. ; Jackass, jarsent, jasnack, jazzen, jazzup (Line), Jeremiah, 
Jerusalem, jessop, jessops, joggeny, jogenny, jubbin ; Mangytow 
(Devon) ; Martin, moke ; Ned, Neddy (male), nirrup (Dorset) ; 
Nooty, nutton (1. Wight) ; Rantipike, rantispike (Dorset) ; Shonto 
(I. Wight) ; Yarsent, yawney-box (Derb.). 

The ass was not known in the Highlands till of late years, 
tlK)ugh Ossian is said to describe him in his wild state as " having 
feet like the whirlwind " ; it is not and never has been numerous 
or much of a favourite in the North, though well able to compete 
with the Highland j.ony as regards standing a rigorous climate. 
Lightfoot, in 1792, says it was very rare in Scotland even, none 
being in the North. The utility of the ass in the North has thus 
never been properly recognised, and this shaggy-co.ited, sad-eyed, 
long-eared j)hilosopher, with the chronic aspect of one who has 
seen better days and become chastened by misfortune, is the very 



ASS— BADGER 63 

animal for the poor crofter. Highland dancing can hardly be 
associated with the ass, except in the opinion of those who think 
everyone an ass who does dance, nevertheless it is averred that 
he had something to do with the invention of the Highland Fling 
(heel and fling), while endeavouring to rid himself of an obnoxious 
rider. Of course, religious Celts are familiar with all the 
Scripture references to the ass, especially to the now discredited 
tale of Balaam's, not to mention Issachar's, braying under a double 
burden, typifying, it is said, the unioji of certain churches. The 
only further religious reference remarkable is that it is said to be 
" blessed," and to have a cross on its back ever since our Saviour 
rode on one into Jerusalem. Though the ass was and still is 
famous in the East, whence the Celts are said to have migrated 
some two or three thousand years ago, the lapse of time has, it is 
supposed, served to obliterate mutual memories. 

Sibbald describes the ass as follows, " Asinus domesticus 
ingenio stolidus, corpore deformis, incessu tardus, animo timidus, 
capite grande, longis et latis auribus, corpore macileno est ; 
exiguo eoque vili vivit pabulo, foliis, cardui, stamine et similibus." 
Not too complimentary certainly. 

The braying of an ass is said to portend rain. Asses' milk 
is said to be a sovereign remedy for whooping-cough, also laying 
the patient where the breath of the animal can be inhaled. This 
latter cure is common to other animals, such as the cow and the 
sheep. 

In the North it is alleged that a belief existed that all white 
hats were made from the skin of donkeys, and that the animals 
were stolen for this purpose. 

Ghoideadh e'n crois o asail. 

He would steal the cross off an ass. Said of a very mean 
and greedy fellow. 
Is fhearr deagh chainnt na h-asail no droch fhacal faidh. 

The good speech of the ass is better than the bad word 
of a prophet (Balaam). 

These are the only Gaelic sayings in which the ass is mentioned 
— so far, at least, as we can find. 



B 

BADGER. — Breac, breach, brech, broc, brochd ; Gaileag ; 
Srianach, stiallair, stiallaire, stiall-chu, strianach ; Taghan, tuitean. 

Badgerd, badget, bageard (More), bason, baud, baunsey, 
bauson, bauston, baustone, bawsin, bawson, bawsond, bawsone, 
bawstone, biter, boreson, bosen, bouson, broc, brock, brofie, 
burran ; Caniculus ; Dasse (Caxton) ; Gray, gre, grey, gripper, 



64 BADGER 

guisard ; Melos ; Pate (North) ; Sow-brock (Fife), sweetmart 
(Yorksh.) ; Taxus. 

The name " bawsond," etc., given from white strij)e on its face, 
the other names mostly explain themselves. The word " boreson " 
has been given as derived from boar or bear, but this is thought 
to be a mistake, as the badger belongs to the weasel family. 

Though the badger is mentioned in the Scriptures in Exodus, 
Leviticus, and Ezekiel (in the 4th chapter of Leviticus, indeed, it 
occurs no less than seven times), it is now considered that the 
animal there meant was more akin to the seal tribe, though 
certainly badgers are still in Palestine. Badgers have been well 
known always in Scotland, and especially in the wilder parts of 
the Highlands, though iJghtfoot gives place to a statement in 
his Flora Scotica that they were not known in the islands (Hebrides) 
in 1790. In a list of "Vermin" destroyed at Glengarry from 
Whitsunday 1837 to Whitsunday 1840, sixty-seven badgers appear, 
or rather were made to disappear. '1 he badger was the only 
animal absent from a certain great historical feast made by 
Cormack, son of Tadg, at which there was one hundred of every 
kind of four-footed animals. The badgers, as the tale of old says, 
were eventually secured by aid of a Druid, Odran, who said they 
were human beings transformed by magic. 

A badger's den is called in Gaelic '^ garaidh," and the place to 
which they resort " broclac h," oftener " braclach," which is also a 
proper name. Broc-lann is also another term for the den. Baiting 
a badger used to be a well-known cruel pastime, but he never 
yielded (true Celt that he is) -without due retribution. His grasp 
and bite is noted, and in exemplification thereof the following 
German tale may be quoted. German, hunting badger in Scotland 
for the first time, pursues it to its garaidh, and impetuously inserts 
his hand ; his friend, feeling his return past due, seeks him out and 
asks, "Hast thou then the badger got? " the reply being, "No, 
but rae the badger has ! " " Beat the badger " was an old Fife 
game played among boys, supposed to be the same as "Bannet 
fire," both being relics of the ancient ordeal of " running the 
gauntlet." 

The badger is a quiet and inoffensive animal and by no means 
destructive, though it digs out and devours young rabbits. Its fossil 
remains are found in this country along with the extinct cave-bear, 
hyena, and tiger. It is concluded, from ancient remains found 
fossilised, among other places, in Redscraig, Suffolk, I^ngland, to 
be " the oldest known species of mammal now living on the face 
of the earth," though the hedgehog competes with it for priority, 
at least in Great Britain. Its den or garaidh, broc-lann or luidh, 
like that of many other wild animals, smells strongly, and a person 
of dirty habits has hence been called a "brock." In J. F. 
Campbell's Sgeulachdan, or Highland Tales, the saying " Broc agus 



BADGER— BAT 65 

olc/' a brock and evil^ occurs. Badger and badness it has also 
been rendered, while in " Beannachadh luinge Chlann Raonuill/' we 
find "Ballagan a bhruic ghruamich/' which has been translated 
^^the head of the surly badger/' ballag signifying the skull, an 
eggshell, etc. Campsie Fells are said to afford cover to two 
different kinds of badger, one like a sow, the other like a dog. 
The Irish once considered the flesh of the badger a very great 
delicacy, and badger's ham was, so late as the beginning of the 
eighteenth century, said to be " the delight of many an epicure." 
In Ireland it was termed "bacon" or "saill." 

In Adamnan's Life of St Cohimha, the name of a Pictish Magus 
is given as Broichan, rendered Brocan, from Broc, a badger. The 
head of the badger used to be worn specially by the Clan Maclvor 
as an additional embellishment to their cuaram, buskins, or High- 
land shoe (D. Story), Nowadays a badger sporan is often worn. 
The grease of a badger is about the best balsam or cure for 
wounds known. 

The following saying brings us back to the days of bows and 
arrows. " An dorlach gun fhuasgladh a suanach a bhruic " 
(Ranald Mac Donald), the quiver unloosed out of the badger's 
skin. 

A' cur bruic a ladhran — al. a'cuir bhroc. 

Kicking badgers out of his heels, i.e., in a great rage. 
Am barail bh'aig a bhroc air a ladhran, barail bochd. 

The opinion (or estimate) the badger had of its claws — a 
poor one. 
Cha 'n f hulling am broc 'n a shloc ach e fhein. 

The badger in his hole no company can thole. 
Cho gnu ri broc. 

As grippy as a badger. 
Is e'm broc a's luaithe dh'fhairicheas fhaileadh fhein. 

'Tis the badger that is quickest to feel his own smell. 

BAT. — An ialtag ; Callach, craitneag, cullach ; Dealtag, 
diallag, dialtag ; Ealtag-leuthraigh, eitleog ; Graitneag ; lalt, 
ialtag, ialtog ; Mealtag, mialtag, mialtag-leathair, mioltag. 

Athern-bird (Somerset) ; Backe, backie, bak, bakie-bird, 
bakke, barnmouse, bastat, bathymouse, batmouse, bawkie-bird, 
bit-bat, black-bear-away, brere-mus ; Chipper ; Flickermouse 
(Jonson), flinder, flindermouse, fliner, flintermouse, flitmouse, 
flittermouse, flitty, flittymouse ; Glaik (Loth.) ; Haddabat, hat- 
bat ; Leathern-mouse or wings ; Oagar-triunse (Shet.) ; Raamis, 
raamouse, raamse, raird, ramsh, rami shed, rare, rattlemouse, raw- 
mil, rawmouse, rawmp, raymouse (Glouc), rearie, rearmouse, ree- 
raw, reerd, reerie, reelrall, reelymouse, reermouse, reremouse ; 
Vlittei^. 



66 HAT— BEAU 

The etymology of bakke is " a flying beast, a winged mammal, 
a leather flapper " ; the name rear or reremouse is from the Anglo- 
Saxon "hreran," to agitate; the term "chipper" from its cry of 
"chip cliip." (See Leviticus xi. 9.) From the frequency with 
which the word "bird" was connected with the bat, as in the 
case of " Athern-bird," one of its oldest names, it is evident that 
the bat was included among the bird family till science assigned 
it its present place among mammalia ; it is the worst walker of 
any four-legged animal. It is thought as unlucky to kill a bat 
as to kill a magpie. It was believed that " bit-bats " were 
generated from eggs sat upon by toads, while hatching. A bat 
can absorb and digest in one night, it is said, three times the 
weight of its own body. 

A saying is " He is bitten by a barnmouse," i.e., he is tipsy. 
This it is thought might more appropriately read " barmouse." 
Thainig ialtag a steach, bidh frasan a mach air ball. 

A bat has come in, showers will be out directly, or, it 
is going to rain. 

BEAGLE (see Dog). 

BEAR. — Arc, art, arth ; Beithir, brach ; Ma, magh or math- 
ghamhuinn, mangan, mathan, mathon, muc-abhuinn ; Rustag ; 
IJrs, ursa, ursan (male), ursag (female), uraisg, uruisg. 

The word " math-ghamhuinn " is composed of " math " or 
"mag," a hand, and "gamhuinn," a calf or stirk, literally the 
paw-calf or calf with hands, or paws. 

The Mahons, McMahons, and Mathesons (Latin Fitz Ursula), 
all derive their name from the bear. Mahoun was the name of 
a certain famous Irish giant. 

The brown bear, which neolithic man hunted, was known 
in Scotland till about the end of the eleventh century, whence, 
according to Lightfoot, the Caledonian bear, as it was styled, 
was exported to Rome "on account of its superior fierceness." 
Strange to say no reference to the bear is to be found in Ossian's 
(or the Ossianic) Poems. The names Artur, Arthur mean bear 
man, or bear male, from Art, Arth. Ceann-mathon was one of 
the seven signs or names of stars engraved on the shield of the 
chief of Artha. Ossian — Temora. It is stated that Malcolm III. 
permitted a " Gordon " to carry three bear heads in his banner 
for alleged prowess in destroying one that made great ravages in 
the country. One other clan at least had this previous to the 
Gordons. 

Chuireadh e orrais air math-ghamhuinn. 
It would sicken a bear. Real bad. 

"A bear in vigour" was an expression used by the Celts of 
old to convey the idea of a vigorous hero — Art an neart. The 



BEAST 67 

word "mathghamhain," generally Anglicised "Mahon" in old 
English documents, is now said to be commonly rendered 
" Matthew." The common name " Brown " is just " Bruin." 

BEAST (see also Animal). 

Abhus (wild), ainmhidh ; Beathach, beisd, beithir, beothach, 
bias, biasd, biast, bitheach, blianach (died from want), bruid ; 
Caochag (blind) ; Damhra, daoi (wild) ; Ethiar or eithier, a kind 
of beast (?) ; Feithide, fiadh-bheathach (wild) ; Mial, miol ; Peisd, 
peist, piasd, piast ; Truth ; Uagh or uamh-bheisd, uile-bheisd. 

On-beast, behst, Diere, Beece (Ir.), the word mial or miol is 
found as " claon-mila," Hill-slope (haunting) beasts. 

The etymology of the word " biasd " has been thought worth 
controversy, and, inter alia, has by one writer, the Rev. J. McKay, 
Canada, been connected, rightly or wrongly, with the word 
"paisd," a child. It is thought that this is rather far fetched ; it 
is, however, given here for what it is worth. In Perthshire, Mr 
McKay says, the expression "graine pheisdean," a lot of children, 
is not unknown, as the expression "cha robh 'san eaglais an diugh 
ach graine pheisdean," there was only a few children in the church 
to-day, has been heard said. It is assumed, from our acquaintance 
with Perthshire Gaelic speakers, that the word " pheisdean " is 
only a corrupt pronunciation of "phaisdean," and, by a smaller 
sound of the letter " a," is easily arrived at. This we think tells 
against the spelling, as some desire, of the word "biasd" as 
"peisd." We may add that the Greek word for child is 
" pais." 

In the Book of the Dean of Lismore we find reference made 
to "Aidhre an Lamacha," the beast of Lamacha, thought to be 
an animal famous or noted in the country for its ugliness. It is 
of course known that " aidhre " also signifies an anim.al of the 
cow kind. 

In the book of St Albans, " Art of Venerie," we find it stated 
that the beasts of sports were divided into three classes, Venerie, 
Chase, and Rascal ; in the first class were included hare, hart, wolf, 
wild boar ; in the second fallow deer, fox, marten, and roe ; and 
third badger (gre or grey), wild cat, otter, etc. Rascal means 
vermin, and here we take leave to state that the classification is 
open to amendment. In another place we are told that the tail 
of every beast has distinctive title, such as "single" for deer and 
wolf; "wreath" for boar; "scut or scud" for hares and rabbits ; 
" brush, drag " for fox, etc. 

Am fear a bhios air dheireadh beiridh am biasd air. He who 
is last the beast will catch him. The beast here is thought to be 
His Satanic Majesty, and the saying equivalent to " Deil tak 
the hin'most." 



68 BEAST— BOAR 

Am fear bhitheas trocairc.ich ri anam cha bhi e mi-throcair- 
each ri 'bhriiid (ri beothach or ri 'bheothach). 

He wlio is merciful to his soul will not be unmerciful to 
a beast (his beast or brute) — Carmichael. 
Is mor am beothach nach tiochd a muigli. 

It's a big beast that there isn't room for outside. This 
applies to ** big " people. 
Mionach a bheathaich a's maoile air adhaircean a bheathaich 
a's bioraiche. 

The entrails of the blunter (hornless) beast on the horns 
of the sharper one. 

BEAVER.— (Old Ir.) Abacc ; Beabhar, beathadach, beathod- 
ach ; cuobhar, cu-odhar ; Dobhar-chu, dobhran-donn, doborci, 
dobhran leas-leathann ; dubhaci leas-leathann. 

Beuer, bever, broadtail ; Castor ; Gleb. The British beaver 
is erroneously called the water rat or vole, it feeds on plants, shoots, 
bark of trees, etc. 

BITCH (see Dog). 

BLOODHOUND (see Dog). 

BOAR (see also Pig).— (Old Ir.) Antrellach ; Callach, collach, 
cuUach ; Fiaclach-coille, fiadh-chuUach, fithean (muc-firionn) ; 
Muc, muc-cullach (Ir-)^ muc-diosarnach, muc-disgearnach- 
dearg ; (wild) Near ; Og-chullach ; Tore, torc-nimh, triath. 

Baru ; Cingular ; (castrated) Giller, gilt ; Harkie, (three yrs.) 
hoggaster, hoglin ; Libbert-sow; Purrs (Man, Shet.); (wild) Sang- 
leir, sanglere, singlare, singlere ; Wilrone. The etymology of 
"tore" is just an t-orc, the pig, "Near," an fliear, the one, akin to 
triath, a chief. 

From the days of Diarmad, the reputed ancestor of the 
Campbells, the boar has had a somewhat prominent place given 
to it in song and tale, that family and the MacKinnons, etc., even 
boast or display as their crest the head and tusks of this unsightly 
hound-ripper. One slain by Malcolm MacGregor, eighth chief of 
Clan Alpine, in defence of David I. of Scotland, is said to be the 
origin of that clan's crest and motto. 

The death of Diarmad, it has often been told, was caused by 
his foot being })ierced by the spines or bristles of the wild boar he 
slew in Ben Gulban, some allege in Sligo, Ireland, others elsewhere 
in Scotland, but the real reason was his having hunted and slain such 
an animal at all. The boar was the soui, or at least contained the 
soul, of Diarmad's own foster-brother, unjustly slain by Diarmad's 
father, transformed into a boar of the wildest kind by the power 



BOAR 69 

of Angus, at Brugh on the Boyne, a god who was Diarmad's 
special protector or guiding spirit, and he laid geasan, or spells, 
on Diarmad that he was never to hunt a boar — -a very sensible 
precaution as it turned out. These geasan, however, had been laid 
upon Diarmad in his infancy, and the fact was unknown to him. 
Fionn knew, and, in his jealousy, persuaded him to his death. 
Though told to Diarmad at the time, he scorned to draw back 
and bravely or rashly rushed on his fate. Ben Laoghal, in 
Sutherland (among other places in Scotland), is said to be the 
exact spot where the above took place, the animal being circum- 
stantially described as being "like a boat lying on the shore, 
long and broad and black ! " For this, or " Mac o' Duine's 
boar hunt," see the Book of the Dean of Lismore (English), pages 
^1 et seq. 

In ancient Gaelic poems we find the skin of the wild boar the 
appropriate costume for a hero, and in a rhapsody by Deirdri 
(Irish version), this line occurs, " Ardan, subduer of the luxurious 
boar." 

In Ossian. Cath Loduinn, Duan 1., inler alia, evidence of the 
special distinction or honour of which the boar's head was a sign 
is given, as it is there said "Thoir ceann an tuirc do cheann nan 
daoine " — The boar's head give to the chief of men. This is 
supposed by Dr Clerk to mean devoting the youth to the hunting 
of boars as his special vocation. 

The Irish, and other Celtic warriors in ancient times, were 
accustomed to wear on their armour the skin of the boar, or other 
wild beasts which they had slain. In 1005 the then King of 
Uladh or Ulidia, Dubhtuinne, was surnamed " In Tore," The 
Boar. Ulysses is described as having " A boar's white teeth in 
order spread, grinning horrid o'er his head." 

A boar's head garnished was, and still is, served on special 
banqueting occasions in other places than Celtic halls as the 
"chief" of dishes, and it will be observed that one of the names 
for the boar is "chief." 

The wild boar originally abounded in the black wood of 
Rannoch. At a place near Oban, called Strontoiller (in English), 
a stone stands which is supposed to have been erected in the 
"dim distant past" to commemorate Diarmad's death from the 
boar, as above referred to. The most ancient and original forms 
of ancient art were found in the incised figures of animals, of 
which the ^boar stone at Essich, near Inverness, is said to be the 
most interesting illustration to be found in Scotland, though 
not perhaps Celtic in its origin, being supposed to have been 
formed before the Celtic art was elevated to the high standard 
of the Columban period. 

In the Isle of Man, under the name "Purrs," boars were at 
one time subject to a special or particular tithe. The boar in 
common with other animals gives its name to many places, such 



70 BOAU— BULL 

as the Bridge of Turk, the boar's bridge near the Trossachs or 
Trusadh, etc. 

In support of the Ben Gulban story we have the following 
from Seau Dana. 

"Mae o Duibhne air Guilbeinn, 's an tore le chraos fo chop 
mar bhuinne Laoire." 

'J'he son of Duine on (the hill of) Gulban, and the boar 
with his mouth foaming (or frothing) as the torrent 
of Lora. 
Singular to say Lora is in Argyllshire and Gulban said to be 
in Ireland. 

Proverbs specially referring to the boar are mixed up with 
those attached to the pig (</. v.) : — 

A nadur fein a' tighinn 's a chullach. 

His own nature asserting itself in the (young) boar. 
Ma bhriseas bun-feann, bidh fios aig do mheall (cheann) co 
dhorchaich an toll. 

If the tail (skin end of the boar) break 
Your head (lump) shall know 
What has darkened the hole ! 

The foregoing saying has been attributed to two huntsmen 
(Celts) both in Scotland and Canada, and one account will be 
found in Hogg's Tales. 

Cneamh-na-muice-fia', wild boar's garlic is said, but it is 
believed erroneously, to be called Hart's-tongue. 

A familiar saying is that March (old style) should come in 
like a boar's head, i.e., rough and wild. 

BUCK (see Deer). 

BUFFALO. — Adh or agh^lluidh ; Bo-alluidh, boirche, braich, 
braiche, braicheam, braich eamhail, buabhall, buabhull, bual, bualan ; 
Damh-alluidh, damh-fiadhaich ; Lon, lun ; Segh. 

Other names — Bowgle, Elk, Moose. 

BULL, BULLOCK (see also at Cow). — Aithre; Bioraidh, 
bollag ; Colbthach firionn (three-year-old) ; Dairt (yearling), damh- 
nartaidh ; Ealt-dhamh (drove) ; Imeachtraigh, (Ir.) Laoi ; Maolan 
(hornless) ; Readh, readhag (mad) ; Tarbh, tarbh-tana, tor, 
tuaighe (herd). 

Beefing (fed), bewgle (Hants.), bol (Weber), bole (A. S.), boo, 
bu ; Gale (castrated) (West), grogie ; Moylie (hornless) ; Scanterer 
(a wandering), slot (young) (North) ; Tike (small) (Coles) ; Urus ; 
Wesend, Willy (I. of Wight). 

The bull is admittedly ancient, the zebu-bull is even held 



BULL 71 

sacred by the Hindoos, as also a white bul], which, being indulged, 
become nuisances to all the neighbourhood. The ancient Egyptians 
and Assyrians paid divine honours to the bull, raising him even to 
the skies as "Taurus" among the heavenly signs. The bull is the 
" coat-of-arms " of Joseph. In the North bulls are famed in 
fable, etc., a fairy bull is called "stiallaire" or "stiallaire ban," 
the great one or the great white (striped) one ; it always lived in a 
loch. The most famous cattle raid, as Professor MacKinnon 
relates, is of Irish legend and called the " Tain bo chuailgne." 
It originated in a dispute between Queen Meave and her then 
spouse regarding the value of their respective goods and chattels. 
The property of each was found to be exactly equal, with the 
exception of a handsome bull, which belonged to the husband, the 
animal disdaining to belong to or be owned by a female. The 
queen heard that there was a still handsomer bull in Ulster, and 
the steps taken to obtain possession of the Donn chuailgne, as this 
animal was called, the subject of the romance. See Fingal, Duan I., 
page 577, as to a white bull; also see page 110 of Literature of 
the Celts, by Magnus Maclean for a vivid description of the fight 
between the two rivaKbulls in Queen Meave's country — Fionn- 
bheannach and Donn-chuailgne. 

To dream of a bull is the sign of " Cobhair a teachd " (coming 
help, especially to MacLeods). 

The word "colpach," as applied to bullock, is used in the 
following lines (Ross Salm LI., 9). 

" 'N sin bheirear colpaich dhuitse suas. 
Air t-altair naoimh gach toisg." 
Then bullocks shall be offered up to Thee on Thy holy altar, 
each proper season. 

Cha'n 'eil adharc cho cruaidh 's tha 'langan ard. 

His horn is not so hard as his roar is loud. 
Is tu fein a thoisich an toiseach mar 'thuirt an t-amadan ris an 
tarbh. 

You began it yourself, as the fool said to the bull. 
Thuit an tarbh-coill' orra. 

The forest-bull fell on them. This perhaps should have 
been under " monster." 

Reference is here made to Campbell's Tales, Vol. III., for a tale 
of the conversation in Gaelic between two bulls representing 
Scotland and England ; and a stone near Loch Lomond called 
Clach nan tarbh, records the victory of the Scottish over the 
English bull. 

A Celtic saying is, " Theid baile, gun fir-fearanin na tarbh bun 
OS ceann." 

A town without a landlord or a bull goes topsy turvy. 

In the Isle of Man the water-bull or " theroo-ushta " is a spectre 



72 CALF 

of a bull with a human face, which may be seen roaming along the 
margins of the curragh or currach at midniglit, but which plunges 
into the swamp and disappears on the approach of any person. 



CALF (see also at Cow). — Aidhrine, aidhrinne, airghir, aithirne, 
aithirni, aithrinne ; Baodhan, baoghan, beisd-mhaol (sea, see 
seal), biorach, bioraiche ; Callach, colbthach, colbthaig, collach, 
culhich (Ir.) ; Deghel, deoghal (suck), dorcan (one-year-old bull); 
Falbhair, falbhan (follower), fara-laogh Tfalse), fithal ; Gabhnach, 
gamhnach ; Laogh, laogh-bhailceach (fair), laogh-bailgionn (white- 
bellied), laoicionn, lao'cionn, (Ir.) lee-loircean, lulagan (imitation) ; 
Sgal, suaicein ; Torchos, torchos-breige (apparition), tulachan^ 
tulagan, tulchan (substitute). 

Bad (first year), beefer (fed), bob (young), bulchin (bull), busk, 
buss, bussa ; Castling (premature), cauf, caulf, cauve, cawf, cawve, 
cealf (A. S.), coaf, cofe ; Essex lion ; Kaw, kip (overgrown), kufF, 
kussie ; Moakie, mockie (Clydesd.) ; moggy, muthy, muthy-calf, 
cauf, cawf, and cofe (young) ; Quaking cheat ; Staggering - bob 
(un weaned) ; Tour kin (with another's skin on) ; Veal ; Weill, 
wennel (weaned). 

The etymology of the term "baodhan" or "baoghan" is "the 
happy, foolish, silly or jolly one." The word " laogh " is said to 
be from leigh, lick (a suckling), the word "aithrinne" is derived 
from the meaning quick or sharp against the points, i.e., the teats 
aithe ri sine (^Rev. Celt.'). 

It is hardly necessary to remind our readers that the calf was 
thought by the Israelites an appropriate form for an image to 
worship, perhaps this was on account of its simplicity. It is 
thought, perhaps on that account, lucky to see a calf for the first 
time in the year with its face towards one, even its side portends 
good. 

One of Cuchullin's charioteers was called Loeg, i.e., laogh, calf, 
while in an article by Stokes, we find the expression " Core (coire ?) 
cobthaig " rendered " a calfs caldron." Of course the calf is 
referred to frequently in pastoral poetry; in the famous song 
" Crodh Chailein," given hereafter, we find — 

" Gun tugadh crodh Chailein 'm bainn 'air an fhraoich 
Gun chuman, gun bhuarach, gun laoi 'cionn, gun laogh." 

The Norse word for calf has been given, as ably told by Professor 
MacKinnon, almost invariably as " Kalfr," to a small island near a 
larger one, the little island being, so to speak, the calf of the big 
one. Thus Manar-Kalfr is the calf of Man, there is also the calf 
of Eda. Kalfr is pronounced as in English with the / silent, and 



CALF 73 

appears in Gaelic as Calbh, the sound of the / being fully retained. 
Thus the Gaelic-speaking people call the Calf of Man An Calbh 
Mannanach. An Calbh, the Calf (of Mull) is the name of the 
island that stretches across and almost landlocks the bay of 
Tobermory. On the north of lona this name has been transferred 
from a little island to the farm on the adjacent shore, the island 
becoming eileari Chalbha, the island of Calf. Finisgaid (Fionn 
uisgeag, the white little water or streamlet) is fed by several 
smaller streams called " calves/' of which the following lines are 
a description : — 

'Nuair a bhios aon laogh aig Finisgaig theid gille Cur, 
'Nuair a bhios da laogh aig Finisgaig theid each'us gille Cur.' 
'Nuair a bhios tri laoigh aig Finisgaig cha teid Feachd no Fine 
Cur. 

When Finisgaig has one calf a lad can ford the Coor, 

When Finisgaig has two calves a lad on horseback can ford the 

Coor, 
But when Finisgaig has three calves neither Host nor Clan can 

ford the Coor. 

(The little river being then a raging torrent.) 

In the north end of Colonsay is Meall-a-Chuilbh, the mass or 
lump of the calf; in this case the island in the vicinity was no 
doubt once Calbh, though it goes now by a different name. 

Other names of places have been derived from " calf" even from 
their being kept or enclosed in any place, as Cotan, Cotachan, etc., 
which in Lewis and Harris, according to Mr A. Carmichael, are 
terms for the enclosure of calves, whether this is a corruption of 
the English word "cot" or a form of coimhdeachan, a safe or 
secure place, a shelter, we are not told. 

The term " calf," as is fairly well known, is frequently used by 
Celts as a terra of endearment. Gillies jrives : — 

Mo laogh fein thu laogh mo laoigh 
Leanabh mo leinibh ghil chaoimh. 

My own calf you, calf of my calves, 
Ciiiild of my gentle (or loving) fair child. 

This comes from Laoidh Osgair ; Fionn says of Oscar, a-dying — 

Mo laogh fhein thu 'laoigh mo laoigh 
A leinibh mo leinibh ghil chaoimh 
Mo chridhe 'leumraich mar Ion, 
Gu la bhrath cha'n eirich Osgar. 

My own calf, thou calf of my calf. 
Thou child of ray fair tender child. 
My heart is bounding like an elk. 
Not till the last day, rises Osgar. 



74 CALF 

The term " Corkyfyre " was in Skye applied to a calf supposed 
to be off a domestic cow by a wild or water-bull from the sea or 
loch. Also applied to an extra wild or spirited calf generally. In 
Ireland and parts of Argyllshire it is, or used to be, a practice 
when a calf was born, to crush an eg^ in the hand and thrust it, 
shell and all, down the animal's throat. A calf sometimes was 
dragged, immediately or shortly after being born, round the yard 
or place by the heels, for luck. Baoghan an cois gach bo, a calf 
(silly one) following each cow. " Buthach " means an instrument 
to prevent calves from sucking (J. M., Uist). Lia, Hag or lias, 
means a calf s hut, also lamb's. 

The term "crodhan " or " croan," is one not much known, and 
may be explained as a piece of wood fixed in or tied to the mouth 
of a calf, like a bit, and round the back of the head, to prevent it 
sucking its mother when following. Another instrument used for 
the same purpose was and is called " biorach," being a nose-ring 
of leather with short spikes set in. A calf, therefore, fed from 
milk in pail is called a "sarrowing" calf, i.e., a serving calf. A 
pudding made of a calfs entrails is called " creachan." 

Cameron, in his Gaelic names for Plants, gives " Lus nan laogh," 
the calf or fawn's plant for oxpine, elsewhere orpine, golden 
saxifrael, or luck bean ; it is said, when infused, to be a remedy 
for headache. 

The following are a few Gaelic proverbs referring to the calf : — 

Biodh e reamhar no caol's mairg nach beathaicheadh laogh dha 
fhein. 

Be it fat or lean, pity the man that won't rear a calf for 
himself. (See Nicolson.) 
Cead na caillich do'n laogh mhear. 

The old wife's leave to the frisky calf — its own way, when 
she could hold it no longer. 
Cuiridh aon trath air ais laogh. 

One meal if it lack, calf will go back. 
Fad a choise do'n laogh. 

The length of his foot to the calf. 
Feuch an laogh blar buidhe dhomh 's na feuch a chuid domh. 
Show me the white-faced yellow calf, and not what he is 
fed on. 
Foghnaidh feur nach d'fhas do'n laogh nach d'rugadh. 

Grass that hasn't grown will suit the unborn calf. 
Gheabhar laogh breac ballach 'an tigh gach araich la Fheill- 
Padruig earraich. 

A spotted calf will be found in every cowherd's house on 
St Patrick's day in spring. 
Is fhearr aon laogh na da chraicionn. 
One calf is better than two skins. 



CALF— CAT 75 

Is ioma ni thig air an laogh nach do shaoil a mhathair. 

Many things befall the calf that his dam never thought of. 
This applies to more than calves. 
Is mairg a dh'araicheadh a laogh gu moilleach 's an galar 
guineach 'n a dheigh. 

Pity him who would pamper his calf and sharp disease 
following. Specially applicable to children that are 
spoiled. 
Is minig 'bha craicionn an laoigh air an fheill roimh chraicionn 
a mhathair. 

The calf's skin often goes to market before its mother's. 
Is minig a bha droch laogh aig deagh mhart. 

Many a good cow hath an evil calf. 
Is minig a Ijha laogh math aig boin sgairdich. 
A skittering cow has often had a good calf. 
Is minig a thainig air laogh mear galar nach do shaoil a 
mhathan. 

iA merry calf has often taken a disease which his dam never 
dreamed of (see before). 
Is sleamhain an laogh a dh' imlicheas a mhathair. 
Smooth is the calf that his mother licks. 
La Fheill Phadruig bidh laogh boirionn anns gach airidh bho. 
On St Patrick's day (17th March), there will be a female 
calf in every cow-fold (see before). 
Laogh air bial-thaobh maoiseig. 

A calf before a heifer. Said of procrastinators. 
Laogh-buabhall an doruis. 

The calf of the door-stall. Likely to be first attended to. 
Ma cheannaicheas tu feoil, ceannaich feoil laoigh. 

If (or when) you buy flesh, buy veal. Not the very best 
advice. 
Oidhche Shamhna (31st Oct., or according to Whitley Stokes, 
1st Nov.), theirear gamhna ris na laoigh. 

On Hallowe'en the calf is called a stirk. 
Righneas na laoigh fhirinn. 
The toughness of the bull calf. 

CAMEL. — Camal, camall, camhal, camoll ; Gamal ; Onn, 

This is said to be the only animal that cannot swim, and yet the 
name " Eas or ess-gamhuin," a water-stirk, has been found for it. In 
Rev. Celt., Ir. vers, of Fierabras, we read of " Greis camaill," 
camel's grease, as a certain specific. 

CAT. — Barcne, braicne (black and white), breoinn, burraidh 
(bye-name) ; Caod, caoit, caoitean (little), cat, cat-draothaich, cat- 
fiadhaich (wild), cat-griosaich (fireside), catt, coth, cruibh, cullach 
(male) ; Fiaman (wild), folum ; Glasneunt ; lach, iara, iathlu ; 



76 CAT 

Meoinn, moth-chat (torn) ; Piseag, pisean, purraghlais, pus ; 
Rincne. 

Badrons, hadrins, bardie, b-ithroiis, baiidrans, baudrons, 
bawdrons ; Venga, voaler ; Wawler (Shet. etc.), wuU-cat (wild). 

Other names are also: Axencat (that lies in ashes); Hirder 
(wild), boar or bore (toni) ; Calimanco (tortoiseshell), Norf., carl-cat 
rtom), chat, chet ; Evans (fern.) ; Foodin ; Genet, ginnet, gib 
(castr.), grimalkin ; Kisek, kisert, kit, kitteling, kitone, kitty, 
kitty-kyloe (Wore); Lally-wow ; Margery, mocha (black and 
brown), mouser; Skew; Three-thrummer (purring), tib (fem.), 
(Yorksh.) ; Wheen (fem.). 

The etymology of this word is of doubtful origin, the word 
" puss " being derived from the sound made by cat sjntting. 

In Scottish Mijths, R. C. Maclagan says that cat just signifies cat, 
also in its modern aspirated form "cath," a tribe, a battalion, 
according to O'Reilly, 3000 men. Connected with it is the Latin 
caterva, a hoop, and most probably Ceatharn, a troop, in Scottish 
Gaelic, and ceathar?iach, a trooj)er, a stout, robust man, a soldier, a 
cateran, a " kern " as Sir Walter Scott has it. A cat-headed 
battalion is referred to on page 77 (English) of the Book of the 
Dean of Lismore. One of the Irish kings was called Cairbar cinn 
ckait, or Carbar of the cat's head, from wearing the skin on his 
casque or helmet. In the yellow book ot Lecan, as in Revue 
Celtique, Tome IX., warriors with cats' heads upon them are 
mentioned, one being a Gaelic champion "of the men of the 
Gael" in particular. Lady Gregory gives an account of cat- 
headed men, which Fionn fought and destroyed. An ancient 
Irish poem, "Talc son of Trone," i.e., Talc mac Troon or Treun, 
Talc the son of the firm or mighty, is called the cat-headed chief 
from the same reason, having had the armour of his head entirely 
covered with the skin of a wild cat, which made the knight 
appear as if he had a cat's head. Among northern nations the 
cat was sacred to the Goddess Frea. It was worshipped by 
Egyptians and buried with honours. In the East great honour 
or regard is still paid to cats, in Turkey special houses are built 
for them, etc. They were first domesticated in Egypt, a temple 
being dedicated to the goddess of cats, Bubastes Pasht, represented 
with a cat's head ; cats are alleged by their non-lovers to be 
revengeful, treacherous, cunning, and generally dangerous. All 
cats are not really cats sometimes, but witches or demons, known 
in Gaelic at least as cat skitk, being as large as a collie dog — or 
terrier, black with white spot on breast — crotach agus murlach — 
bowbacked and brindled or rough. One way or another an 
entirely black cat is said to be strong as to witchcraft. 

The real wild cat was once very numerous in the Highlands, 
it is said by some to be now very scarce, and by others to be 



CAT 77 

totally extinct, but be this as it may, a record exists of "wild 
cats " destroyed at Glengarry from Whitsunday 1837 to Whitsunday 
1840 of no less than 198, while — and this shows a distinction — 
78 house cats, run wild, were destroyed in same period. In 1896 
Dr Hamilton, in his work on Wild Cats, says that the wild-cats' 
tree of descent is — 

1st. The Pleistocene cats — Felis catus inagna and Felis cata 
minuta of Schmerling — the cats of prehistoric period. 

2nd. The wild cat — Felis sylvestris, before introduction of 
domestic cat in 500 b.c. 

3rd. The wild cat, after introduction of domestic cat, 500 B.C. 

to 1200 A.D. 

4th. The wild cat — Felis catus (of Linnaeus), fifteenth to 

eighteenth century. 
5th. The wild cat of our day, Felis catus f ems, mixed. This is 

altogether too perfect. 

There are, or were, no less than two saints Cattan, while 
Sutherland in Gaelic is Cataobh (Cat taobh), the side of the cat 
country ; Caithness is just the ness or promontory of the cats or 
those who took their name therefrom — the Catti. Many places 
named after the cat exist, such as Teachait (teach a chait), 
Cathouse, the before-mentioned Cataobh (which is the dat. pi. of 
cat), Beinn-a-chait, near Applecross, etc. It was in Sutherland- 
shire, as may be surmised, that the " Cat " men dwelt, but the 
Clan Cattan are not from the word " cat," but from Gille-cattan 
mor. The Cat crest is modern, though the motto in Gaelic is 
given as "Cat caonnagach meanmach le dream-chraos cruadail 
maoidheadh ; na bean domh gun lamhuinn." This condemns 
itself by its sheer elaborateness. Our dear old friend, "Nether 
Locbaber," was strong on cats, his recipe for cream-stealers is by 
having the left ear cut off, the following rhyme being given by 
him when narrating the above : — 

A mhic a bhodachain lachduinn 
A bun Lochabar nan craobh 
Cleas a chait a dh' ol an t-uachdar 
Theid a chluas 'thoirt dhiot mu'n mhaoil. 

Son of the whey faced carle 

From Nether Lochaber of trees 

Like the cat that stole the cream 

Your ear will be cut off close to your bare cheek. 

Such a " milk-stealer " in Scottish is "screenge." 
That cats wore gloves seems to be an almost established fact, 
even in the Highlands, from the above motto, and also from what 
Cameron in his Gaelic names for plants, etc., calls Navel-wort or 



78 CAT 

Wall penny-wort, viz., " Lamhan cat-leacain," the hill-cat's glove ; 
elsewhere Cameron calls it leacan or loan (? Ion) cat. The herb 
wild melilot is called " Cruban cait." Small headed cats are 
said to be the best hunters. The smallness of the wild cat's head 
in comparison with its body is notable, also the fact that the real 
wild-cat's tail is thicker at the " small " or point than at the rump 
is worth mentioning. 

Cats had their value of old, though perhaps this is nowadays 
unknown or more honoured in the breach than in the observance ; 
for instance, an old law actually existed among our Welsh cousins 
fixing the price of a cat, which was "as much corn as would cover 
her (note the sex) if hanging by her tail and touching the ground," 
this was exacted from the slayer. The natural life of a cat is 
said to be ten years. 

Superstitions as to cats are, as is pretty generally known, 
somewhat numerous. For instance, a male cat coming into a 
house and being friendly to any one, is deemed a lucky omen. 
To meet a cat as the first animal for the year is lucky, but only 
to Mackintoshes (and members generally of the great Clan 
Cattan, it is said), for others it is untoward or rosadach, especially 
if the cat be black ; a good antidote is to throw a nail or other 
piece of iron at it. If met first thing (outside) in the morning 
nothing will go well that day, and the party need not prosecute 
any projected journey, etc. It is unlucky for a cat to die inside 
a dwelling-house, and to shoot one is equally so — this fate game- 
keepers seem to escape. If a cat is cast over a fever patient it 
will effect a cure, but it should not be left alone with the patient 
or with an infant, as it is apt to lie on the mouth and suck the 
breath. By a cat's motions storms are foretold, washing her face 
always before rain, but she must make her paw go over her 
ears, and her back must be to the fire ; cold weather may also be 
looked for. To make a cat stay at home oil or grease her paws, 
probably the effect will be that she will spend all her time at 
home licking them. 

A cat should always be taken, according to one — the humane — 
version, when a family removes from one house to another. It is 
thought unlucky not to do so, and said to be a preventative against 
disease. Pussy should be "thrown" into the new house first, 
this is supposed to bear the burden of any disease, etc., left 
therein. Another — the inhuman — version is, in Ireland however, 
that it is best to leave poor pussy behind when flitting, though she 
may be taken to the new house in a few days. In Ireland a saying 
is, on entering a house, " God save all here except the cat." A cat 
sneezing indicates rain, and to dream of being bitten by one 
means the plotting of enemies. If a cat goes into a pot it is a 
presage of fish coming — or being brought into the house. These 
beliefs are common all over the North and West Highlands, and 
the Folk-lore Journals have secured several lately, one of which 



CAT 79 

is, if a cat is seen scratching on ground it is a sign of death, for it 
is looking for a corpse ! If a cat leaps over a corpse, the first 
living person it leaps over thereafter is rendered blind ; it also 
portends additional misfortune if it leaps over the house first, then 
the head of the house will die shortly thereafter. Though, as 
above shown, means are sometimes adopted to keep cats at home, 
some are so lazy and fond of the fireside as never to leave it or 
hunt, such cats in the North or Highlands are called "Cat- 
griosaich" or fireside cat, its equivalent in the South is called 
"Axen-cat." The first term is often applied to lazy men who 
are too fond of the fireside. 

An ancient Celtic mode of invocation, or seeking for 
* information " by cats, called Taghgairm, was by the cruel 
practice of putting a live cat on a spit and roasting it alive until 
other cats appeared, and through one of their number answered 
the questions, to relieve it. For a full description of this horrible 
Pagan practice or rite see " Caraid nan Gaidheal," second series ; 
an account is also to be found in James Grant's Adventures of 
Rob Roy. 

In an Irish tale a famous cat is referred to and styled " Cat 
firionn Brighid Ni Mhathghamhna," the male cat of the bear 
daughter St Bridget : — 

Is cat Bhrighid Ni Mhath' uin 
A d' ith am bagun. 

It was St Bridget's cat, the daughter 
of the bear, that eat the bacon. 

St Bridget it is who was styled "the daughter of a bear," not 
the cat. 

As will be presumed poetry has been composed in pussy's 
honour and sometimes otherwise ; the following is " A Highland 
welcome to a cat," or " Failte Chait " : — 

Mile failte dhuit a chait A thousand welcomes to you, O cat, 

Bho na thachair dhuit 'bhi m' achd Seeing you've happened in my way, 

Cuim 'nach leigteadh moran leat Why not give thee thine own way 

'S a liuthad bean a thug ro ghradh Thou animal so much loved by 
dhuit. women. 

An tu an cat-fiadhaich bhiodh aig Art thou the wild-cat Fionn had wont 

Fionn To hunt the game from glen to glen 

Ri fiadhaich bho gleann gu gleann Or did the fair-haired Oscar own thee 

An tu bh' aig Oscar an fhuilt f hinn You left there heroes hurt and slain ? 
Dh'fhag thu laoich fo dhochar ann ? 

An tu bh' aig Lughaidh MacLoin Did you belong to Looaidh MacLoin, 

Ciod is fath nach cumhain an t-sleagh Why did he spare the spear 
No 'ntu chuir an t-suil mu 'n tor Or was it thou cast the eye o'er the 

No 'n tu bhuin ri Brian nam bladh ? hill 

Or was it you who dealt with Brian 
the famed ? 



80 



CAT 



An tu chaidh fo'n Icirg a null 
An la sin a shcalg nam heann 
No 'n tu chuir an t-suil fa 'n toll 
No *n tu chrom gu cunntas thall 



An tu chuidh gu Communach ciuin 
Gu bruth-soluis nam ban saor? 
Le maisealachd do dha shul 
Dh' fhag thu triuir dhiubh an trom 
ghaol. 

Mo thruaighe thusa Dhonnachaidh 
Cha do thachair dhuit bhi ffirchaidh 
Ma bhcirear ort a nochd ionnsuidh, 
lonnsaichear dhuit air a chroich 
dannsa! 

Dona sin, a chait na cluaise 
Tachdar thusa'n geall a chaise 
locaidh do mhuineal a srauais as 
'S i 'n uair so deireadh do lath'sa. 



A chait chruaidh bu mhath do chliu 
Bu luthrahor thu bho'n am so'n de 
Miad nam builean fhuair do chroit 
Thug iad dhiot an gruth 's an ce. 



Dh' aithn' eas nach bu dileas duit 
Lamhan Catriona gu trie 
Miad nan urchair a chaidh thart' 
Dhuits' a chait, cha chunradh glic ! 



B'fhearr dhuit 'bhi marbhadh luchag 
An t-sealg an bu dual do phiseig 
'Dol do'n bheinn a' mharbhadh uiseag 
Air feadh chuiseag agus dhriseag. 



Was it you went over the plain 

Yon day to hunt in the hilLs ? 

Or was it you who looked 'neath the 

hole 
Or lent yourself to tale-telling 

yonder ? 

Or was it you who went to the peace- 
ful Comnmnion 
The free woman's dwelling of light? 
By the attraction of your two eyes 
You left three of them there in love. 

Pity you Duncan, 

You did not happen to be in hiding. 
If an attack be mtide on you to-night 
You will learn to dance on the 
gallows ! 

That's bad, O cat of the ears. 
You will be choked, you cheese- 
lover, 
A broken neck shall repay you. 
Your last day has now come ! 

You hardy cat your fame is great 
Active you've been since yesterday. 
By all the strokes showered on your 

back 
They took from you the curds and 

cream. 

You knew that Catherine's hands 

were not 
Always faithful unto you. 
By all the shots that o'er you passed, 
A wise arrangement for thee, O cat ! 

You'd better had been killing mice. 
The hereditary game for kittens. 
Going to the hill to slaughter larks 
Amon;? the rushes and brambles. 



Another humorous poem in Gaelic, which consists of seven 
double verses and a chorus, is called "Oran nan cat." It was 
composed by one Niall ruadh mor or Niall mor ruadh, Neil 
Mac Vicar of Valley, North Uist, on the fate of a set of bagpipes, 
the skin bag of which had been devoured by some hungry horde 
of them. The piper is made to deplore the tragic fate of what 
he calls his emit ch'mil whose "chords" were so rudely torn 
asunder, while the cats, sadder and wiser, are made to express 
their respective opinions on and reminiscences of their destructive 
conviviality. A Celtic legendary tale of the fifteenth century, 
entitled " Merlin," sets forth " Khig Arthur's fight with the 
great cat." It is in prose. 



CAT 81 

Proverbial sayings, etc., are as follow : — 

A mliic a chait d'am bu dual am bainne ol. 

Son of the cat, born to drink milk. 
Am fear a bhios na thamh cuiridh e 'n cat air an teine. 

A man who is idle will put the cat on the fire. 
An uair a bhios ni aig a chat, ni e cronan. 

When the cat has something he (or she) purrs. 
Bean mhic agus mathair cheile, mar a bheith cat agus luch 
le cheile. 

A daughter-in-law and her mother-in-law, like a cat and 
a mouse, all claw and paw — or vice vend. (Douglas 
Hyde's Irish Proverbs.) (See after.) 
Be 'n cat ga thoirt an aghaidh a chuilge. 

That were stroking the cat against the fur. 
Be 'n fheoil ga toirt a ingnibh a chait e. 

That were to take flesh out of the claws of the cat. 
Be sin an diar ga iarraidh air a chat 's e fhein 's an dian 
mhiamhail. 

That were asking a drop of (or from) the cat and the cat 
mewing clamorously. 
Brogan air a chat ! ; na 'm bitheadh na h-osain air rachadh e 
a cnaimh na h-amhaich. 

The cat with shoes on ! ; had he the hose on he would break 
his neck (with conceit). Said of a conceited person who 
has little to be conceited about. 
Cait a chinn bhig, 's bean a chinn mhoir. 

The small-headed cat, the big-headed woman. The best. 
Ce an cat marbh a chas ann mo shlighe thu. 

What dead cat turned you in my way. It was deemed 
unlucky to come across a dead cat, or indeed any animal 
dead, on one's way or journey. 
Cha chat mi fhein nach aithnich blathach. 

I am not a cat that doesn't know buttermilk. 
Cha chinn barrag air cuid cait ; or, 
Cha bhi ce air cugainn cait. 

The cat's milk makes no cream. 
Cha dean cait maith ach a dh'aindeoin. 

Cats never do good but out of evil intention (or in spite 
of themselves). 
Cha dean cat miotagach sealg. 

Cats with mittens won't catch mice (or cannot hunt). 
Cha loisg seana chat e fhein. 

An old cat won't burn himself. 
Cha mhath bhi 'g innseadh nam briagan, mar d' uirt a chat 's 
a mhadadh 'ga shlugadh. 

It's not good to be telling lies, as the cat said when the 
wolf ate him. 



82 CAT 

Clia 'n 'ril dv mlwith air luiglik'Hch a chait aeh a thoirt da fhein. 
The cat's leavings are lit only for himself. Applicable to 
those who offer their leavings of aiiv thing good 
they had. 
Cha 'n iirrainnear a thoirt de 'n chat aeh an eraicionn. 

Ikit the skin can be taken off the eat. 
Cha shoirbh triubhas a chur air cat. 

It is not easy to put trews on a cat. 
Cha tig piseach air duine 'bheir cat (piseag) thar uillt. 

Good fortune will not come to a man that carries a cat 
(kitten) over a burn. 
Cha toirear o'n chat aeh a chraicionn. 

You can t ik( nothinu iVoiu the cat but its skin (see above). 
Cho disgeir ri cat. 

As nimble as a cat. 
Cho lag ri cat. 

As weak as a cat. 
Cho mear ri piseig. 

As lively as a kitten. 
Ciod a dheanadh mac a chait aeh luch a ghlacadh, neo a 
mharbhadh. 

What would the son of a cat do but catch or kill a mouse ? 
Ciod e bheireadh cat aeh piseag ? 

What would a cat bring forth but kittens ? 
Co dha a b' fhearr a b' aithne an cat a thoirt as a mhuighe, na 
do 'n fhear a chuir ann e. 

Who knows best to take the cat out of the churn but he 
that put her (it) in. 
Cog air a chat, is togaidh e 'fhrioghan air. 

Combat the cat and it will bristle up. 
Coig caogad cat. 

Five nine days = forty-five for a cat. The time of going 
with 3^oung. Caogad usually signifies fifty. (Here, as 
above, see Nicolson.) 
Coltach ri cat 'Ic Aoidh, fhathasd 's an fheoil ; or Tha e mar 
bha, etc. 

Like Mackay's cat, still in the flesh. 
Coltach ris a chat a' glanadh eudainn. 

Like the cat cleaning its face. This said to mean scheming 
or planning. 
Falach a chait air a shalachar. 

The cat's hiding of its dirt. Trying to hush up an offence 
after it has been exposed. 
Faodaidh cat sealltuinn air righ. 

A cat may look on a king. 
Faodaidh luach sgillinn de chait sealltuinn 'am bathais an righ. 
A halfpenny (pennyworth of) cat may look on (the forehead 
or face of) a king. 



CAT 8S 

Faodaidh e 'bhi giir duine math thii, ach cha 'n 'eil gnuis 
deagh dhuin' agad^ mu 'n dubhairt Niall nam beann ris a chat. 

You may be a good man, but you haven't the face of one, 
as Neil of the mountain said to the cat. 
Fhuair thu tilgeil a chait anns san t' sabhal. 

You've got the cast (or throw) of the cat in the barn (out). 
Gach cat a reir a gne, or gach cat an deigh a chineal. 

Every cat after its kind. 
Ge be 'chi no 'chhiinneas tu, cum an cat mu 'n cuairt. 

Whatever you se.e or hear, keep the cat turning. This refers to 
the horrid pagan practice before referred to of "Taghairm." 
(See also Nicolson's Proverbs and Armstrong, siih voce?) 
Is ann air a shon fhein a ni an cat cronan. 

It's for itself the cat croons (purrs), or. 
Is ann air a mhaith fhein a ni an cat creolain. 

It's for its own good the cat purrs. This has been alleged 
as selfishness, and an addition is, 'S is fior an sgeul so a 
thaobh Mhic an Toisich, but it has to be explained that 
it was not that clan generally who are referred to. 
Is ann glas tha h-uile cat is d'oidhche. 
Every cat is grey at night — almost. 
Is blath fuil nan cat'nan craicionn fhein. 
Cats' blood is warm in their own skin. 
Is de'n cat a h-earball. 

The tail is a part of the cat, or the tail is a proper appendage 
of the cat, meaning that a man may resemble the people 
he comes from. 
Is e beatha 'chait sonas na luinge. 

The cat's life is the prosperity of the ship. A strong belief 
exists that if a cat be killed on board ship or drowned 
therefrom — or even ill-treated — that disaster to the 
ship or crew is sure to follow. 
Is e miann a chait a chniadachadh. 

The cat's desire is to be caressed. 
Is fheairrd e 'n cat a chuir ann (an cal). 

It would be the better of the cat being put in. Poor broth 
or soup. 
Is fearr feoil cait na 'bhi gun fheoil idir. 

Cat's flesh is better than none. So it was thought during 
the Franco-German war. 
Is mairg a dh' iarradh rud air a chat 's e fein a miabhail. 

It would be a pity to ask something from the cat and it 
mewing (see before). 
Is math a bhiodh na cait, gus an d'thugadh na luchain na 
cluasan diubh. 

The cats would do well till the mice would take their ears 
off. (See Nicolson.) 



84 CAT 

Is olo a bin slaodadh cait air earhall. 

It's ill to {lra«r a cat by the tail. 
Is troin an cat ri sior «^hiulaii. 

The cat is heavy if carried consbuitly. As children try to do. 
Ithidh na cait fuigheal nan caolan. 

The cats will eat the refuse of small guts. 
Latha Fheill-Bhriglide bAine, bheir na cait an connadh 
dhachaidh. 

On fair St Bride's (or St Bridget's) day, the cats will bring 
home the brushwood. (See note by Nicolson.) 
Lethsgeul aran gu glacadh cait. 

The excuse of bread (or food) to catch a cat. See Is fearr 
feoil cait, etc. 
Mar chat gu luch tha bean mic gu 'raathair-cheile. 

Like cat to mouse, the son's wife is to her mother-in-law. 
Miann a chait 's an traigh *s cha toir e fhein aisd' e. 

The cat's desire is on the shore, and she won't (or can't) 
go for it. Fish. (Not always.) 
Na cuir a chat dh'iarraidh blonag. 

Send not the cat for suet. 
Na'm biodh cugainn aig a chat 's trie a rachadh e ga fheuchaftin. 

If the cat had standing milk, often would he go to try it. 
'Nuair a dh'fhagas na cait am baile, bidh na luchan a' damhsa 
(rince). 

When the cats leave the place the mice dance. 

Seachd bliadhna saoghal a chait. 
Sin gu h-eibhinn agus ait ; 
Seach sin cadal agus tur-chadal. 

Seven years lives the cat 

Joyfully and cheerfully. 

All the rest is sleep, sound sleep. 

Siubhal a chait a chaidh do'n eas dhuit. 

The way of the cat that went to the waterfall to you. 
Suil a chait air sioman. 

A cat's gaze at a straw rope ; not worth the trouble. 
Tha 'n cat 's an luath, thig frasan fuar. 

The cat's in the ashes, it's going to rain, (lit.) cold showers 
will come. The coincidence is frequently noted. 
Tha sin sgriobht' 'am bathais a chait. 

That's written on (or in) the cat's forehead. The self- 
evident. 
Thachair an cat riut air barr na stairsich. 

You met the cat on the threshold. Unlucky. 
Tigh gun chat, tigh gun ghean gun ghaire. 

A house without a cat, a house without cheerfulness or 
laughter. 



CATTLE 85 



Tri aois cait, aois coin. 

Three ages of a cat the age of a dog. 



CATTLE. — Aidhre, ailbh, ailbhinn, ammheadh, airge, airiieir, 
airneisj airnis (herd), alban^ albe, albin (small herd)^ almha^ arge 
(herd), alaiiaine, aoi, aoilbhinn ; Baidne, beo, beodail (live), beothir, 
beutail (live), bleach (kine), bolacht, bois, bois-cal, buaibh, bualachd 
(drove), buar ; Caernideacht, ceathra, ceathraidh, ceathramh, cethra, 
cro, crodh, crodh-creic creiche no seiche (selling), cuallach, cunadh 
(stock) ; Dartan, dartan-eallaigh (herd or drove), dearginleadh 
(red), drobh ; Ealbha, eallach, eallaidh, eallaidh-meith (fat), eallamh, 
ed, edal, eid, eit, eitibh, eitidh, eithithibh, eltlagh, elta (flock or 
herd), erca (Ir.), eti, eudail ; Fedoil, fein-eallach, feudal, feudail, 
fionn-fholaidh (white kine), fo-chrodh (infr., little, mean, small), 
fol, foladh (a dowry of cattle) ; Gesca, small herds (Henebry), 
greidh, greigh ; lall, indili (^liev. Celt.), inneil, innile, inilt, ionnail ; 
Lochraidh, lochruidh ; Meanbh-chrodh, meathusradh (fatlings), 
meidh-alach or allach, meitheallach (fat), min-eallach, mor-dhamh 
(leader), Welsh raodryadav ; Neimneime (non-exempt, Brehon 
laws), ni, nimhe (exempt, Brehon laws), nith ; Sath (drove), 
sealbh, sealbhan, seasaich, seasgachd (herd of barren), seasglaich, 
segsaid, sgann, sgann-sgriod (drove), slabhraidh, slaibhre, slonnudh, 
speil, spreidh, sread, sreath, stuaidh ; Tain, tainte, tan, tlas, 
tlus, trend. 

Drove, druve ; Elves (yomig) ; Fee (Germ, vich) ; Huff, 
hiimlag, hummell, hummell-doddy, hummie (hornless) ; Kine, 
kinsch, koorin (Shet.), ky, kye, kyloe (drove) ; Neat, nolt, nout, 
now, nowie, nowt, nowte ; OUee, outlers (unhoused) ; Tavie 
(tamhaidh, tame). 

The word "eudail" said to be from root " ed," profit or gain. 
The English word "neat" is from Teut. "nut," and Aryan "nud," 
meaning useful, usefulness. In the book of the Dean of Lismore 
occurs " Greidh is aidhre Mhananain," the herds and flocks of the 
Isle of Man. Caledonian cattle are peculiar to the North, the 
breed is still preserved in Chillingham Park and a few other 
places. For descriptions, see Cadzow Castle, also Lesley, and Laijs 
of the Deer Forest by the Sobieski Stuarts, Vol. II. 

These cattle, described by Boethus (see Bellenden's translation 
in Vol. I. of Chron. Scot.), are said to have been once plentiful in 
the Highlands of Scotland, while, as given in the Chronicles of 
Eri, Boeotia is just bo iath, the land of cattle. Sir Jacob Wilson 
writes that when the Romans invaded Britain, the stock in that 
country, which, on Caesar's authority, was abundant, consisted of 
the small Celtic cattle, the descendants of the has longifrons, which 
retired with their Celtic owners before the invaders to the western 



66 CATTLE 

fastnesses of the island, where they remain to this day. A 
specimen of the sh(»rt-horncd Celtic ox — now said to be extinct — 
was miearthed near Kirkintilloch from a Uonian camp the other 
day. Doubts therefore exist whether the Chillingham cattle, 
before referred to, are not merely the descendants of the larger 
cattle imported by the Saxons, and not the direct descendants of 
the aboriginal British urm. The Chillingham cattle are invariably 
white in colour with black muzzle, the horns fine and nobly 
proportioned, white with black tips, ears reddish brown, eye 
fringed with long eyelashes, bodies symmetrically formed with 
straight level backs, their fine shoulders enabling them to trot 
like match horses with amazing rapidity. The average weight of 
a bull is 560 lbs., a steer 570, and a cow 420. 

In Silva Gadelica we read of certain cattle which fought so 
desperately for three days that their horns fell off, these were 
called adharca luchna, luchna's horns. It is also said, their horns 
fell off from grief. In the Ossianic poems there is not a single 
allusion to cattle or the pastoral state. 

In regard to cattle and horses, etc., the term colpachadh is 
used in the Highlands ; sometimes it is thought erroneously 
spelled coilpeachadh, which means the process by a tenant, or 
others, of placing a superfluity or overstocking of one kind of 
stock, and an understocking of another kind against each other. 
This may vary in different places, but one list, referring to the West 
Highlands, may be given. 

As one example of the system — Bo le h-al varies, in one case a 
cow is said (for souming purposes) to consist of only the cow and 
her calf, to which she is entitled for a year and a day. In another 
district it means the cow and her three immediate descendants, 
viz., the calf, one-year-old stirk, and a two-year-old quey ; in a 
third, five animals, viz., the latter and her three-year-old heifer. 
At four years the first calf is not included in the sowm, but classed 
with the cows. Coilpeachadh, or equalising, is also as follows : — A 
cow = 8 calves, 4 one-year-old stirks, 2 two-year-old queys, 1 three- 
year-old heifer, and 1 stirk, 8 sheep, 12 hoggs, 16 lambs, or 16 
geese. If two cows are without calves, 1 one-year-old stirk, etc., 
goes with them, if four, 2 one-year-old queys are equivalent. Two 
cows or heifers are called in Ireland Oircne and are equal to six 
sheep in grazing. Another name for a sum or soum of cows or 
cattle is Ball. A cattle-grazing right, Carmichael says, is Coir- 
sgoraidh, which is just scoring-right; while a cattle-market is 
"an tlas." Airncis is also a term for cattle, as airneis-posta stood 
for a marriage-portion or gift, Erca luchna, luchnas Kine, frequently 
referred to throughout ancient Celtic tales. Land manured by 
cattle is called "toghar," while a common for cattle is "caoimi- 
neach " (co iomaineach) ; a familiar legal term is davoch (Dabhoch), 
which just means a farm or portion of land pasturing about 320 
cattle (see Cow). 



CATTLE 87 

Another example is that one horse is = each or any of the 
following, viz., 2 cows, 8 calves, 4 stirks, 8 two-year-old queys, 
13 one-year-old queys or one-year-old stirks, 8 sheep, 12 hoggs, 
16 lambs, 16 geese. Other equivalents are fixed, such as two 
sheep = 3 one-year-old hoggs, one sheep to 1 two-year-old hogg, 
etc. 

Four years is the recognised age at which a horse or cow is 
mature, till which time they were never worked nor allowed to 
breed, if under proper control, giving as a very good reason that 
the animal lasted longer and bred better when so treated. The 
first day of winter (old style) was held at the date on which 
animals had their names changed, thus the foal becoming a 
filly, loth or lothag, the calf a stirk, gamhainn, and the lamb a 
ewe, othaisg. Martin mentions the word " calpach " as a duty 
payable by tenants to landlords. 

It was considered exceedingly unlucky to count or attempt to 
count a herd of cattle, especially when driving them to a shelling. 
Counting on Friday anywhere is peculiarly unlucky. Old Irish 
Gaelic terms for a cattleshed are Airge, and the place where 
cattle are pounded Air-les lias lios or les-bo, another term is 
Babhan. In Scottish Gaelic equivalents are ar-thigh (stock- 
house) and ar-lios (stock enclosure). The word airneis, now 
generally used for furniture, harness, etc., also means cattle. Other 
terms for penfold are " eachdarra or eachdarran " and " fang," 
"angar" is also a term for a cattle stall, " sain-slabhraidh " 
means special cattle, sain, healthy, etc. The word Airnis is 
used for cattle in the Irish Gaelic psalm civ., v. 14. Places 
where cattle taken to in summer are called Gearraidhean (Lewis), 
the stone-built huts bothan, and the timber-roofed airidhean. A 
wooden collar for cattle is "dail" while the withy or twig 
rope thereto attached is " dailgheach," used while grazing in a 
circumscribed space, such hard feeding being named "fosradh." 
In ancient Ireland a homestead was constituted as a "rath" by 
having a dweUing-house, an ox stall, a hog sty, a sheep-pen, and 
a calf-house (Book of Rights). 

Of course, as will be well known, many places derive their 
names from cattle, e.g., Tanera (tain rath), which means the isle 
enclosure or circle of the cattle or herd. Immeran, a place 
supposed to be Immeraine or immer-thain, perhaps iomair 
thain, the moving cattle, a drove ; or it may mean iomaire 
thain, the cattle ridge. In Lewis and Harris an enclosure 
for cattle is called both hua'ile and cuithe. Cattle are fond of 
seaware, and the Isle of Lingay used to be famous for the ex- 
cellence of the beef of the cattle there owing to their being 
fed largely on seaware. The flesh when salted was exported 
in their own hides. In a poem attributed to St Columbcille 
the following quatrain occurs, showing a custom, which is now 
extinct so far as known, referring to some sanatory or antidotal 



86 CAIThE 

herb given to kiiu* af'ti'i' their n'nioval from the siihihk r jj.i^tiirit 
in the mountains :- 

Deantar lus do na buaibh 
lar an teachd doibh as an t-sliabh 
Cread e bheir air fear na ni-bo 
Gun lus do bhuan da fein. 

Let the herb be made (or given) to the cattle 
On coming from the hill 
What hinders the man of cows 
To gather the herb for himself? 

The "leader" among cattle is termed ccannahha, ceannabhoin, 
boinneacheann, ceann-ni or nith. The word ni is used by Gillies 
as follows : — 

'Nuair thig an droch earrach 

'S nuair a chaillear an ni 's a ghleann. 

When the bad (inclement) spring comes 
And the cattle will be lost in the glen. 

Another term for herd or flock is used in : — 

Thigeadh tu dhachaidh air toiseach an t-sealbhain. 
Thou would'st come home at the head of the flock. 

The word "tain" used generally for cattle or herds, also means 
spoils, mental endowments, so much did cattle represent all that 
was good. Prime cattle are " cleite " or " cleithe," and " dul, dula " 
in the sense of property ; while a term in old Celtic writings for 
the choicest or best is " forggu-dine." A prayer said to be by 
a Lewisman runs somewhat as follows, " Blioch'd 'us dair air an 
Ni, 's meadar blathaich anns gach aite 's an tachair sin." Milk 
and rutting to the cattle, and a measure of buttermilk in every 
place where that happens. 

For the famous song of "Crodh Chailein," or Colin's cattle, see 
under article Deer. 

Cattle " lifting," as is well known, was in great favour in both 
the Highlands and the Lowlands of Scotland in the days of yore, 
being looked on, at least in the Highlands, as a creditable and 
gentlemanly practice. "Scaumer" was a term given in the 
Lowlands to one of these "lifting" gentry. Seumas-an-Tuim, 
alias James Grant of Carron, who went out on an occasion to lift 
a spreach, spreadh, or creach, was the subject of the well-known 
song composed about the end of the sixteenth or beginning of the 
seventeenth century, " Mnathan a ghlinne so," or Bodach nam 
briogais. 



\ 



CATTLE 8^ 



"Lifting," " Creach " or " Preit," was also common to 
Ireland, and it appears that a preliminary ceremony thereto was 
in vogue, viz., something called a " migratory overthrow " or an 
gheal mhaidhin, partaking, it is thought, of an invocation to some 
"powers" for a "bright defeat or overthrow of the owners of 
the spoil to be Mifted'." This was of course preliminary to the 
actual driving off of the cattle. The Irish word or term for a 
"lifting" or "spoiling" is Comkgahkail, lit. taking together or all 
at once. The name " Machany " in Perth is just magh an ni, the 
plain of the cattle. 

As may be surmised, superstitions, etc., as to cattle are or were 
numerous. A place in Strath Lachlan, Argyllshire, contains a 
large stone called " Cailleach-bheithir " or the Serpent-hag, which 
was personified and said to have a large property in cattle. When 
any cattle in the neighbourhood went amissing she was said to 
have seized them, and consequently no farther search was made. 
They were said to have been taken to Treud'ail a chaillich. A 
house for cattle, it may be noted, is Tredoil in Irish, Treudail, i.e., 
tred or treud fail or foil, a cow or flock stye. In Lewis we have 
Neid-a-lan and Nead-alt, from " nawt " Norse for " cattle." 

Cameron, in his Gaelic names for plants, etc., says the cowslip 
is an aversion to cattle, and that they refuse to eat it. It is 
thought to give them the cramp or colic, and cattle, when seized 
by this or some similar disorder, from having incautiously eaten 
any such noxious herb, are said to have been shot by the arrows 
of the daoine sith, peace men, fairies, when various supposed 
remedies, too numerous to detail, are resorted to — these are, or 
were, weird and mysterious in the extreme. Tein eigin or " need- 
fire " was had resort to, and carried round the sick cattle, " deasiul." 
For cattle diseases, murrain, etc., see Cow. 

Sayings and proverbs, which may be quoted in connection 
with cattle are few, as they will be found elsewhere. 

A favourite toast among drovers, etc., used to be and probably 
still is, Pris air an fheudail, a price (i.e., a good one), on the cattle, 
as given in full under : — 

Am bronnach geamhraidh 's an seang earrach. 

Squabby in winter and skinny in spring. Young cattle. 
Cha 'n e faighinn na feudalach a's miosa ach a' cumail 'an 
deaghaidh a faotainn. 

The getting of the cattle is not so hard, as the keephig after 

getting. 

Crodh druim-fhionn, crodh guaill-fhionn, air do bhuaile mar 

chomhla', te eile ga'n cuallach 's do bhean a fuaigheal 'na seomar. 

White-backed and speckled-shouldered cattle in your fold 

together, another tending them while your wife sits in 

her chamber sewing. A good wish. 



00 CAITLE 

Dorcha, doirionta, dubh, 'chiad tri laithean dc'ii ^lieamhnidh, 
ge be bheir geill do'n spreidh, cha tu^ainn ^u saiuhradh, or 

Dorach, doireanta, dubh, 'clicud tri la de'n gheamthra, ge be 
bheire geil dhe'n cliroi, cha tugainn 's e gii sainhthra. 

Dark, sullen, and black, the three Hrst days of winter; who- 
ever depends on the cattle, I would not till summer; or 
Dark, lurid, and stormy, the first three days of winter; 
whoever would despair of the cattle, I would not till 
summer, i.e., wait and see. (See Nicolson.) 
Do theann-shath spreidh ort. 

Full store of cattle to thee. A very best wish. 
Far nach hi ni, caillidh an righ a choir. 

Where no cattle are, the king will lose his due. It takes 
something substantial to keep a king. 

The following, as applicable to "feudal," is more of a toast 
than otherwise. 

Fas air a phuntat', bas air an sgadan, pris air an fheudail, 's feill 
air na caileagan. 

Growth to the potatoes, death to the herring, a price 
(good) on stock, and a market for the lassies. 

Far am faighear an crodh cha'n fhaighear am modh. 

Manners are not where cattle are. This has been construed 
as meaning that where cattle are got with a woman as a 
tocher or dowry she waxes impudent and unmannerly. 
(See art. Cow.) 
Fear a chuir a chrodh air aireachas. 

A man who sent his cattle to hill pasture. An inland saying. 
Fear an ime mhoir 's e 's binne gloir. 

The man of great wealth (cattle), lit. much butter, has the 
sweetest voice. Wooing. 
Gabhadh iad air mo chrodh 's a chladach ; an uair a bhios 
mo bhreacan air mo ghualainn, bidh mo bhuaile chruidh ann. 

Let them pelt my cattle on the beach ; when my plaid is 
over my shoulder, it's my cattle-fold. Independence. 
Is fada adhaircean air crodh caillte or adhaircean ffida, etc. 

Long are the horns, or long horns, on lost cattle. 
Is math an tom air am bi an sealbh. 

It's a good hillock on which cattle are. 
Ma gheibhear an crodh 's a bhaile, cha'n fhaighear an uaisle 
leis a* mnaoi. 

If cattle are found (got) in the fold, civility will not be 
found in the wife. See " Far am faighear an crodh," etc. 
Ma thig crodh chaich, thig crodh Mhuirich, ma thig aon te, 
thig iad uile. 

If other people's cows or cattle come, Murach's will. If one 
come, all will. 



CATTLE— cow 91 

Cattle and cows for the word " erodh " seem interchangeable, 
but the above are selections of the first rendering. (See art. Cow.) 

The following is a herd's rhyme : — 

Bata beithe, beiridh an crodh ; bata calltainn, call air a chrodh ; 
bata daraichj dair air a chrodh, etc. The alliterative clink is 
wanting in the English translation of — A birchen stick, the cattle 
will calve ; a hazel stick, the cattle are lost ; an oaken stick, the 
cattle in heat. 

Mac bantraich aig am bheil moran buar. 

The son of a widow who has plenty of cattle. A desirable 
" parti." 
Toradh na feudalach gun am faicinn. 

The fruit of the cattle, without seeing them, or that have not 
been seen. 

COLT. — Biorach, bioraiche, bramach, bromach, bulta ; Cleobag, 
cleobag-each (shaggy), colbthach, colpa, colpindach ; lomach, 
ionnach ; Loth, lurchaire ; Modh-searrach ; Searr, searrach. 

Clip (Aberd.). 

CONEY (see Rabbit). 

COW. — Adli, err. for agh (a two-year-old), ag, ag ndara (Ir.) (a 
bulled cow), agh-alluidh (wild), ai, aidreach (milch), airghir, aith- 
each, aithre, aithrinne (quey), aoideach, arcra (dry, Ir.), atharla 
(young), ath-ghamh-nach (two-year-old and calfless) ; Ba (prop, pi., 
Ir. bath or bu), bailg-fhionn (a white-bellied), beathach, beothach, 
beutail, bireid, biride (breeding), blarag (a white-faced), bleanach, 
bleodhannach (fuU-uddered, milking), bliochd-laith (milch), bo, bo- 
alluidh (wild), bo-beannach (horned), bo-derba (a milch cow), bo- 
ghamhna (farrow), bois, boiscne (wild, or of the woods), bol, bo-lan 
(full-grown), bo-laogh (milch), bo-slabhraidh (dower kine), boss 
(fat, Ir.), bo-ursann (door-post, proprietors'), brogaidh (that putts 
with horns), byuch (Welsh) ; Caisionnach (spotted), cait-chinn, 
cas-fhionn (white-footed), ceann-fhionn (white-faced or headed), 
ciar-dubh, cleathar, cleathar-fed or sed (milch), colam (young), colb- 
thach, colbthach seamlach or shamlach (uncalved), colpa, colpach, 
colpindach, cowda, crodh, crodh-caoch (hornless), crodh-crin, crud, 
crurd (Old Ir.) ; Dabh, damh (prop, ox), dartaig (yearling), di- 
millteach (destructive), diosc, diosg (barren), driomain-dubh, druim- 
fhionn (white-backed), dubhag (blackie) ; Earc, earca, ere, earc 
or erc-iucna (Caledonian), echtge ; Fearb, fedoil, ferb, ferra 
(not milking), feudail, fionn, fiun, fuin ; Gabhla (breeding), 
gabhnach, gamhnach (farrow), geo (Ir.), greama (streaked), gream- 
aeitidh, grioma, gual-fhionn (white-shouldered), guarag, guarag- 
bleothainn (milch), guarthog-blithion (Ir.) ; Laeb (Old Ir.), laithre, 
lannair, lannoir, laob (Old Ir.), laogh-ligheach (newly calved), 



ji cow 

licheach, li«rheach, liobhgach (newly calved), loguid (lean, starv- 
ing), loilgheach, liiilgheacli, lulgach (newly calved), loircag (hand- 
some, rough) ; Maithreach (mathaireach) (cow giving milk), maohig 
(hornless), marbhuas (Old G. for "many"), mart; Ni ; Oluidh ; 
Ileidhneach (barren) (Sutherland) ; Seamlach, seasg-bho, seasg- 
lach (barren), sed, sed aine (milch, Ir.), sed-ghabhta, sedsegsaid, 
seisgeach (barren), seod, seod-ghabhta, set, set-gabhla (three-year- 
old heifer or full-grown, Jr.), sgabag (salted for provisions), sgarag, 
sgiathach, sgrog, sgrogag, sgruit (lean, hard), sioltach (breeding), 
siomlach ; Tamhaidh (gentle), tearc, tungarlagh (old). 

Assue, azew (drained of her milk — Sorn and Dorset) ; Bar- 
roughed (fettered), buarach (?),breaady, bummick (dun),bunter,bye- 
mir ; Caa, cah, caw, colley, colly (hornless), coo, coost, corkyfyre, 
cowde, cowdy, cowlin, cowyll, crockey, crocky (small), crummet, 
crummie, crummock (crooked horned), cuUyat (little); Drape, 
dhrape, dreap, dreeap, drip, drop (barren), duddy (polled) ; Etterlin 
(two-year-old, with a calf) ; Farrow (barren), ferry (not with calf, 
but milking), filtagh (two-year-old, calfless), furch (white-backed), 
free-martin (incapable of breeding. Loth.) ; Gast-cow (calfless), 
geld, gild (barren), guess (barren) ; Hawkey, hawkie (white- 
faced), horde (in calf — Devon), huskins (calling term) ; leld 
(barren), ion (one-year-old — Aberd.) ; Ka, kah, kahe, kaw, keaw, kee, 
keo, keow, key, keye, kie, kowe, ku, kuhe, kuhes, kuie, ky, kye 
(pi.) ; Lea, ley (barren, but milking) ; Mart, meneld (spotted), 
milk, moiley, mulley (hornless — Suffolk), moily, moilya ; Newber 
or newbare (lately calved), newted, newted-whye (one calf) ; 
Ourbach, ourback (three-year-old without calf — Stirl.) ; Que 
(Line), quey, quee (North), quoy, quy, quriach (young female); 
Hhind-mart, rimpin (lean — Roxb,), raoine (young, barren), ro, 
roving (calving — Yorksh.) ; Scoulie-horned (horns pointing down), 
shamloch (two-year-old without calf — W. Loth.), sheld (dappled or 
brindled), springer (springing cow in calf), sterk, stirk (one-year- 
old), stot (three-year-old), stripper (giving milk) ; Taggie, taigie, 
tavie (tame, ready to stand), teagie, tidy, tydie (in calf and 
milking), yell (dry). 

The Gaelic word bo is claimed as being one of the three most 
ancient words in the Celtic language, the other two being, cu, 
which has so many different significations, and tor or torr, a top, 
a hill, etc. 

Various etymologies are advanced as to the foregoing, some of 
which are that the word cow is from the old Aryan word Gu, to 
bellow, to low, Gau, an ox, or Ind.-Eur. Goks, whence Latin bos, 
Ang.-Sax., Cu. In Scottish Celtic Revieiv we are told that cow and 
bo belong to same root, bo, from which v has disappeared, leaving 
only a trace of its existence in the long vowel, is connected with 
Latin bos, f)ovis, Gr. /Sovs = /SoFos, Skr. gaus (stem gav) ; 



cow 93 

Ch. Slav, gov-edo (ox) ; Old High Ger. Kiio ; Ger. Kuh ; A. S. 
cu ; Scot, coo ; Eng. cow. The word " laithre " comes from 
"laith/' milk. Elsewhere we find it thus stated "Sanscrit, gu, 
Zend, gao, Persian, gaic, Armenian, Kov, Scandinavian, Ku." Again 
we read that the Sanscrit word is "gava" or "gaw," and the 
Persian " Gaw " and " Koh," being simplified into the childish term 
"moo," all in imitation of the animal's sound; while "bo baide " 
stands for a pet cow ; the name " Bosphorus " is also said to con- 
tain the word "bos" or "bo." One searcher advances the theory 
as follows : " The letters b and c as is known are continually in 
exchange in languages — comp. for instance cos, foot, and Greek 
fiovs. Hence, ho and the Sanscrit Go, cow or bull, must be the 
same word ; so also the English ' cow.' If ho is an imitation of 
the cow's sound, it may be considered the more primitive form." 
The Irish Gaelic aoi, a flock or herd of cows, forms aoire, a 
shepherd, a cowherd ; the word " tidy or tydie," according to 
Jamieson, is from the Teutonic word tydigh, in season, mature, 
ripe. A herd, in Irish, is called Bocale, while Buas-ce is given as 
" the land of cattle or cows," while " Buasach " means one who 
has many cows ; another term is Cailehhearh, while the word 
" bualaidh," a cow stall, is just bo and laidh ; the word " sed " 
originally meant a standard of cows (or cattle) by which prices, 
etc., were determined, i.e., one milch cow ; sed bo ceathra, a sed 
also made up of small cattle ; sed bo dile, of different kinds of 
live stock ; sed marbh dile, of movable chattels inanimate ; and 
sed bo slabhra, of every class of well-bred cattle and thorough- 
bred horses. (" Crith-gabhlach " tract.) " Gesca dina buaib " is 
given by Whitley Stokes in the Revue Celtique, and is there said to 
mean "branches of the cows," i.e., the best or youngest of the 
herd. Gesca we think may be a misprint for "geuga," i.e., " geuga 
de na buaibh." The word " agh," we learn from the Revue Celtique, 
signifies also " cath," battle. The word " Fearb " is vouched for 
by O'Clery, who says "as ainm do Bhoin iar bfhior," the name for 
cow most truly. Whitley Stokes gives us in his version of the 
second battle of Moytura a saying of a poet, Corpre MacEtain, as 
follows . . . "Cen gert (cen coim cen geilt) ferbba (Gen. of bo), 
fora n-assa athirni (loeg)." Without a cow's milk whereon a calf 
grows ... let that be Bres' condition. Aithrine, a calf or 
heifer said to be "agh r'inne," newly born heifer. An Irish 
Gaelic saying when cows run in the fields from heat is, " Ta na 
ba aig imthreacht le fibin — or a'ruatharbhach. Teashhach, or our 
own term air theas, is another expression for this. Two terms for 
cows are as follow : " Forra-coo," one milking for nine or ten 
months and not with calf, and " Fitty-forra-coo," one milking for 
fifteen months the same. When a cow is near calving she is said 
to be " coming forward to her note," i.e., the note of the time kept. 
A Kerry cow, five years old, is in May. 

No animal bulks more largely or has held a more prominent 



94 COW 

position and value in the annals of historj^, tradition, or myth, than 
the bos comviums or common cow. Amonpj the Eastern nations, 
the cradle of our Celtic race, it was and still is held in the utmost 
veneration, nay sacred ; and when money, or other consideration 
for value or loss, real or estimated, came into demand, tlie cow 
was the means adopted in almost every instance. Latterly a 
Highlander's, or more correctly speaking a Celt's, whole wealth 
consisted of cows or cattle, being what he most valued or prided 
himself upon, the glory and joy of life it is said being "a fine fold 
of cows." With cows his rents were paid, when such came to be 
exacted, with cows his daughters were portioned and his sons 
established in life. The Romans even called their term for money 
pccmiia, from pecus, flock or herd of cows, etc. As it is impossible 
to give here more than the briefest sketch of "cow-history" in 
general (as it is our object throughout to confine ourselves to the 
Celtic side of the subject), as found among the Celtic race which 
inhabited so great a portion of the world, especially Great Britain 
and Ireland, which latter country claims to have got her stock of 
cows originally from three sacred ones which rose up from the 
sea, a white, a red, and a black, bo-finn, bo-ruadh's bo-dhubh. 
An etymology, which to us seems somewhat far-fetched, is that given 
for the word fearb or ferb, being fer or feur beo — grass alive, i.e., 
that which lives or is alive on grass, while a word for milk is " fir " 
(? fior), i.e., true, pure, white ; the following remarks are submitted 
as collected from authentic Celtic sources. In Ireland (as Skene 
tells us in Celtic Scotland) ranks were distinguished from their 
respective possession of cattle. The Bo-aire class had six grades ; 
the lowest aire, the Og-aire, or young lord's property, was reckoned 
by seven cows with their bull, seven pigs with a boar, seven sheep, 
and a horse for work and riding. The land required for these seven 
cows was called a cowland, and the lord left one cow at the end of 
the year in payment for it. A cow's grass is cleitinn, while the ferns 
used for littering is "easradh." The next grade was the Aithech 
or Athreha, he had ten cows, ten pigs, and ten sheep. The next 
was the Bo-aire fcbksa (superior Bo-aire) who had land of the value 
of forty-two cows, and possessed twelve. The next, the Brughfcr 
(village lord) had land of the value of three times seven cumals or 
cumhals equal to sixty-three cows and possessed twenty, two bulls, 
six bullocks, twenty hoggs, twenty sheep, four house-fed hogs, 
two sows, and a riding horse. A still higher grade was termed the 
Ferfothla (fear fojlath, man under chief, or lieutenant); while the 
highest was the Aire-coi.sri?ig {coisrigte, consecrated or sacred). 

In Ireland, cows were used as fees for burial of different grades 
of Aireach or nobles, as follows : Ocaireach, three cows or their 
equivalent ; Bo-aireach, five ; Aireach-deasa, ten ; Aireach-ard, fifteen ; 
Aireach-treisin, twenty ; Air each- foirghil, thirty ; and Righ (a king), 
forty-two or their equivalents. Cumal or cumhal was the term for 
the price of three cows ; and was thus fixed and named in the old 



cow 95 

Brehon law, though originally it meant a female slave, then the 
value of one in cows. In the Chronicoii Scotorum of Duald Firbis, 
the satisfaction for a certain " Patrick's " honour was, inter alia, 
thirty times seven cumhals or six hundred and thirty cows, this 
was in the year 893. This cumal or cumhal was called rf«Z»/i, hence 
dahhach, a farm or portion of land that kept sixty cows (see Cattle). 
Certain pledges given by chief to his tenant, when they came to 
stand in that relationship to each other, the latter being called 
fuidhir or fo f hear, were called as follows : First pledge, twenty 
cows or Flath ceud gialna ; second pledge, ten cows or Foirgialna ; 
third pledge, five cows or Cuitrigh. A measure of land is still 
called a quoy or cow. In Chronicle of Picis and Scots, it is recorded 
that seven cumhals or twenty-one cow^s, or their value, was exacted, 
inter alia, by the Abbot of Armagh from Maelseachlann, the King 
of Ireland, for sacrilege, he having carried off, for a time, the shrine 
of St Patrick. The word cumhal means also " subjection," slavery 
(see Campbell's West Highland Tales, Vol III., page 332). A 
dabhach or dabhoch of land, was said to pasture three hundred and 
twenty cows or head of cattle. In the Senchus mor we find five 
seds equal to two cows, while a pinguin is one-third of a screpal or 
sgrebeal, i.e., a tribute. 

Cows were used as a ransom as follows : A villain or commoner, 
sixteen cows ; an earl's son or thane, one hundred ; an earl, one 
hundred and forty ; a king (of old), one thousand. In Ireland, 
three thousand six hundred cows were exacted for the slaughter of 
the King of Munster in the year 1168. For a detailed account of, 
inter alia, the number of cows, etc., for fines paid in compensation 
for slaughter, cro or fuilrath, fold or blood-profit, etc., of indivi- 
duals, from a king downwards, see Skene's Celtic Scotland, Vol. III. 
A fine called geall-chcann or chinn (head-pledge) was exacted for 
manslaughter ; and a payment was also exacted by a chief, or 
rather given voluntarily, called colpach, from colpa, a cow. Another 
fine was ten cows for neglecting to provide for the maintenance of 
every mad woman, while five sufficed for a fool-man, but only if 
the latter is a minstrel, and has land ; otherwise, a cumhal of eight 
cows was imposed as fine for neglecting to maintain a man after 
attaining eighty-eight years, if he has land, if not, then ten seds. 
" Cumal," originally also meaning " eric," a fine or ransom. Cows 
were used also to liquidate superiors' marriage rights from heirs, 
which, however, were small, as an earl's son, we learn, was only 
twelve cows, and a thane's one, or their value, this in the days of 
old, as may be concluded, was less than now, especially if valued 
in Scottish coinage. In Ireland there was also a law fixing a 
bride's tocher in cows, this was called slabhruidh fuithir fosadh 
(phosadh ?), but this applies, it is thought, more to an allotment of 
land, as fuithir means here Jo thir, good land. Another term w^here 
cows formed an important part in the bride's portion or tocher 
was tinnscra, portion, dower, or bride-price. In notes to genea- 



90 COW 

lo«rits, etc., ol" Hy. l"'iachracli, we (iiid a ^ift of cows or cattle by 
husband to wife was often called '^coibhche" or " tinnscra," but 
this was more by way of a present than as fixed estate, though 
said to represent the term " dower " or " dowry " in English ; 
there are four names for this gift: (1) "slabhra," a present in live 
cattle and horse bridles ; (2) " coibhche," clothes and warriors ; 
(3) "tochra," sheep and swine; and (4) "tinnscra," gold, silver, 
copper, and brass. Another exaction, called latterly mercala vmlifrisy 
was said to exist, where the cow was the means which preceded 
the value in marks or mercata. The best cow (or other animal) in 
possession of a man at his decease, which (it was held) ought and 
should be given to his landlord, was called " herezelda," and 
"harrial" means the payment thereof, or " heriot." This word 
" heriot," gives us the proper name " Heriot." The Church even 
at one time claimed a custom or tax of a cow on certain occasions. 
At a burial of one of the Lords of the Isles, in lona, nine hundred 
cows were consumed. A place called Bornish, part of the erstwhile 
Clan Ranald estate or property, was held on the tenure of " as 
long as a black cow gives white milk." 

The Clan MacFarlane's gathering cry or " cruinneac/tadh" is 
" Thogail nam bo,' and the verses therewith connected run some- 
what as follows : — 

Thogail nam bo, thogail nam bo, thogail nam bo, theid sinn 

Thogail nam bo, ri uisge 's ri ceo 

Ri monadh Ghlinn-cro theid sinn 

Thogail nan creach, bhuala' nan speach 

Thogail nan creach theid sinn 

Thogail nam bo, ri uisge 's ri ceo 

Ri monadh Ghlinn-cro theid sinn 

Thogail nan creach (three times), theid sinn 

Thogail nan creach, bhuala nan speach 

Thogail nan creach, theid sinn. 

To harry the cows, to harry the cows, to harry the cows go we. 
To harry the cows, in mist and in rain, 
To the hills of Glencroe go we. 
Spoil we will lift, blows will inflict 
To lift then the spoils go we, etc., etc. 

This famous tune was resuscitated by Mr Robert Macfarlan, 
})rovost of Dumbarton, and published some years ago. Earca- 
rainn is given by O'Conn, as cows given in exchange for songs, 
probably a bard's fee. 

Another famous song, certainly older than the foregoing, 
frequently sung by dairymaids, is Tain bo Chuailgne, the cattle 
or cow spoil of Cuilinn or Cuilgne ; the song is written on cow 
skin, hence called Cuilmenn. Another modern song of some 
notoriety, referring to cows or cattle, was composed by one John 



cow 97 

Macrae — a name which has not missed its mark in literature — 
alias MacCurchi (Mac' Urchaidh, Mac Mhurachaidh), a famous 
Kintail bard, after a great loss of cattle ; this song is said to be 
little short of anything composed in Gaelic, which is indeed praise. 
The famous poem " Crodh Chailein/' or Colin's cows, will be found, 
with a translation, as said under the article Deer. Apropos of the 
Macfarlane's gathering song, a relic of "lifting" times remains 
in the toast still occasionally given at appropriate meetings of 
"Geumnaich bha," the lowing of cows. 

Where cows played so prominent a part in the Celtic world as 
has been shortly above shown, it would be unlikely that they 
would escape the superstition of the day ; the very cow-fetter or 
buarach had to be lonnaid chaorainn 's gaosaid stallain, Rowan-tree 
withe and stallion's hair. It should be carefully looked after 
and preserved from any other getting at it. 

A Lowland word or term for a cow with her hind legs tied 
is "barroughed" or "borroughed," evidently derived from the 
Gaelic word " Buarach," a cow-fetter, i.e., bo arach, a cow spancel. 
A cow with her fore feet tied is said to be " spenshelled " or 
" spancelled." Buarach (bo-arach), is also a cow owner or breeder, 
bo arach buan-blechta, a cow owner of constant milk ; " bo-thain " 
means a drove of cows, while " buagailteach " means cow-feeding. 
The word buachar, cow's dung, is bo ghaorr, which was used as 
fuel when dried, and termed buacharan or bacharan ; other terms 
are, for a cow that is prone to forsake her pasture to steal into 
a cornfield, aidhmhilteach ; a tie or collar round the neck is arach 
or braighdean ; the cow house bathaich, bathaiche, or ba' iche 
{i.e., ba theach), while the cleansing of a cow after calving is 
ba' ain or badhar ; a cow-stall is buaigheal, also bualaidh ; while 
we find "buaghair" and "cailbhearr" mean herd or herder. A 
cow's dewlap is "sbrogaill." A cow's shed or milking yard is 
also termed "lias agus macha," the latter term is still used in 
Kilkenny. A shealing is also said to be "arrairigh" and "airidh," 
the produce; another name for shealing is "ruighe," while in 
Irish we have " Bo-both " for cow-house ; we also find " inis " 
given as a milking yard. Before proceeding further on this 
part of the subject, we may give "some good points" of a 
cow, viz. : — 

I bhi leathann os a cionn 

Goirid bho 'n da shuil gu 'beul 

Fionnadh fada dubh 's e dluth 

'S nach b' airde fo'n ghlun na mo reis 

An aiseann fada domhainn crom 

'S i truiste 'na com air an fheill 

Togail innte suas gu barr 

'S i aigeannach na 'naduir fein 

Adharc fhada ghorm no dhearg 

Cluas mhor 'us earball da reir 



98 COW 

Spt'ir (lliire.'icli 's i molach «^arhh ; 
Bliiodh e scarbli imir hiodhmaid reidh. 

Broad she must be on the back 

Short likewise from eyes to mouth 

Long her hair both black and close 

And scarce a span beneath the knee 

Her rib both deep and shapely bent 

Of tidy form on market day 

A gentle swelling to the top 

And spirited must her nature be 

A long horn either red or blue 

Her ear large and tail also 

A straight down hough both rougli and strong ; 

It would bitter l)e if we did not agree. 

One or two estimates of cows — or of books — may ])e adduced 
in the case of the Book of Ballimote, which we are told was sold 
by the M'Donaghs to Hugh dubh O'Donnel, prince of Tir Conell, 
in 1522 for one hundred and forty milch cows, while sixty milch 
cows was the price paid for transcribing one copy of the Lilium 
Medicince, 1303 (see Library of Scot. Antiquaries). Another we 
find from O'Reilly's Supplement to his Irish Dictionary, where it 
is said that seven seds (milch cows), is the Dire (fine for insult), of 
an Aire-desa. Here seven seds are equal to four (ordinary) cows, 
or one great cow and six heifers ; six heifers being equal to 
three cows. 

To return to the superstitions in connection with cows, fairy 
cows, crodh shith, were said to exist, and notably to have been found 
on the shores of Loscantire, Uisibost, Harris, which were believed 
to live under the sea on meillich, which is supposed to be a soft 
blubber kind of seaweed. A fairy cow is of a dun colour (odhar), 
and hummel or hornless. In Skye, however, they are said to be 
speckled or red, crodh hreac ruadh, and, what is not unlikely, able 
to cross the sea. These fairy cows are select in their eating, as 
there are only about ten spots or places in Skye where they will 
graze ; Achaidh na h-Armaid, Portree is one, and Scorribreac 
another. Bernera in Uist is also said to be favoured, lliough 
the fairy cow has been said to be of the colours above stated, 
they are elsewhere reported to be of various colours, viz., black, 
brindled, brown, red, white-faced, etc., etc., which, in fact, seems 
to mean all cows' colours, and according to this rhyme — 

Sisgein, brisgein, meangan, meodhran, 
Bo-dhubh, bo-dhonn, bo-chrom riabhach, 
Sliochd na h-aona bha maoile ruaidhe, 
Nach d'fhag buaile riamh na h-aonar, 
Bo chionnan fhionn, e bhlarag ! 



And 



COW 99 

Bog-reed, wild skerret, branches and fingers (or twigs) 
Black cow, brown cow, crooked horned, brindled. 
Progeny of the one red hornless cow 
That never left the fold alone. 
White-headed cow, O white face ! 

Bo na braighe meanbh-bhric 

Blarag (brown-star), donnag (brownie or brown one), 

Ciarag (dusky), riabhag (brindled), 

Odhrag (dun), gris-fliionn (black and white). 

Agus an t-adhan (no distinctive colour). 

The fairy cows have calves with short ears, as if the upper part 
were cut off with a knife, and slit in the top — corc-chlucisach, 
knife-eared — and said to be the offspring of a water bull. 
Carmichael calls this Torc-chluasach, and says the word tore applied 
to the cattle whose ears are notched. The word tore he explains 
as a notch or mark (like the king's broad arrow) made in ground 
to distinguish allotments. A term for a shaggy-headed cow 
(though seldom used), is " Pab-cheannach." A cow's tail should 
be bushy, and the hair thereof is called "ron," from which the 
term "ruinnseach " ; the Scottish term "runt," may also be derived 
herefrom. In an Oran sith, or fairy song, the inference can be 
drawn that Mull cows are supposed to have a peculiar (gentle) low, 
according to the following lines — 

Leasbagan beag odhar thu 
Beiridh bo an nuallan 
Nuallan na bo muiligh thu. 

In Cormac's glossary under the word " Fir," find (fionn, or 
white), we are told "this then was the appearance of the cows 
of Echaid Echel from Alban, which Curui captured," viz., white 
cows with red ears, bo-find oi-derg. Another name for cow, or kind 
of, was echtge, supposed to be derived from a place of that name 
near Clare, Ireland. History (or tradition), tells of a famous 
cow called Glas Gaihhnann, which was possessed by one Maclneilig 
and stolen by a famous pirate named Balar, who had a basilisk eye. 
(See Cockatrice.) It may not be out of place here to refer to 
the fairy or magical discovery of the cow pox, breac-a-chruidh, 
which worked such wonders, after being learnt from the dairy- 
maids of Scotland, and, it is said, also from the dairymen of 
England, who were free from the curse of small-pox during its 
ravages. If the cows thus cured small-pox, they themselves were 
not exempt from troubles of various kinds, real and imaginary ; 
in Irish records numerous entries relate to such, the Irish Gaelic 
word for " murrain," for instance, is given as Maelgarbh, which we 
take to mean mialgarbh, coarse louse or insect or beast, some 
such being the cause not the result, according to our Irish friends* 



100 cow 

forefathers. In other places the word is translated " worm." 
The disease was also called Bo-hath, cow-death. 

As is generally known, a cow will yield her milk more freely 
on being sung to while being milked, and in the Irish version 
of the tale of Deirdri it is stated " on a time this very maid 
was quite alone on the plains of Eman, playing on a musical 
instrument . . . every cow or other animal that heard it used to 
milk two-thirds more than usual," the deala, sine or hallan, cow's 
teat and udder, becoming relaxed. 

William Mackenzie, Esq., of the Crofter's Commission, gives 
an account of how to make a cow allow the calf of another 
cow to suck her, viz., a resort to an amulet or charm called 
Orra-.sheamlachaich, or shcahnachas, a peace or pacifying hymn or 
incantation. In cases where a cow has lost her calf by death, 
its skin, sewn or fastened on the other calf, is frequently and 
successfully resorted to. Apropos of songs to cows, a song called 
" Crodh laoigh nam hodach" or the old men's milch-cows, is a 
favourite song among women and girls going to shelling — now, 
alas, almost a thing of the past. The word bodach here more 
properly means "gude-man" or "men" of the place whence the 
cattle are taken. Much lore attaches to the milk and care thereof, 
from the very first after a calf is born, i.e., in regard to the first 
or " beastings," or Beastlings or Beeslings. Milk, in one case, it 
is said, as told, inter alia, in Folk-lore for March 1902 — that it 
should be given to a dog to drink, but not to a cat. In Ireland 
again, as told in D. Nutt's Peasant Lore, a portion should be given 
to a cat in order to take away bad luck. If partaken of by human 
beings, which it frequently is, it requires to be boiled first. A 
name for cowls' milk is Tomliladh, and when thickened or in curds, 
Tomhlachd, or bainne binntichte. Calving cows, where possible, 
should be allow ed full scope to eat seaweed, of which all cattle are 
fond. This makes the milk more plentiful, tasty, and less heavy 
at calving. Though this liberty to cows is urged, it is necessary 
to add that cows are not always discriminating in what they eat, 
and the effect is sometimes disastrous, for example, in the year 
1224, cows in Ireland were poisoned by eating of grass after some 
fearful shower had fallen, which not only poisoned their milk 
but bred a murrain among them, causing widespread death and 
disaster, for all who drunk their milk or ate the poisoned flesh 
sickened and died, or at least contracted noxious diseases. See 
Annals of the Four Masters. The names or words for " murrain " are 
numerous, Airneach, Boar, bodhar, Caoimin, conach, while loss in 
spring is Ascall, and loss generally " Earchall " or "euchall," " Builg," 
being a distemper in hot weather ; " Dubh-ghalar" or "duthail," 
w^as a distemper of looseness of bowels, and if not checked, very 
fatal. Another disease was " Earnach," this also called " Sgirtean " 
or " Sgiorr," black spawl in the south. In the Annals of Tigernach, 
circa 985-6, a great murrain is recorded as having then began 



cow 101 

" Mael-garb " — Tosacli mboair moir. The swollen throat is also a 
disease prevalent among cattle and is called " clupaid " ; another 
disease, the nature of which we have not been able to discover, 
was called "Scaraach/' see Annals of Ulster and O'Davoren's 
glossary. An old Gaelic word for milk is Ceo, also Melg, akin to 
the modern Mealag, milt of a fish ; bainne lorn, skimmed milk ; 
baiune goiri, sour milk; "eadradh" is time of folding or milking. 
" Deasgainn " or "deas-gann" means "rennet," but see separate 
list. Clotted milk was called hainne clabar, and bainne reamhar, lit. 
fat milk ; gcal lacht in Irish means, unskimmed or " white " milk. 
In Sussex, England, the first milk is called poad or pourd (? poured) 
milk, in our language, Bainne-nos or nuis. In no case should milk 
ever be given from a first churning. This has been seen strictly 
enforced in Skye. For healing purposes generally, milk has 
various powers, applied externally or internally, for one thing, to 
this day it is esteemed a sovereign antidote against poison, and, in 
the Chronicon Scotorum, we are told that, on the occasion of a 
certain engagement between the British (or Britains — not English — 
as they are called), and the Irish, the latter were rapidly losing 
their men by being shot with poisoned arrows. Whereupon a 
famous Druid (Pictish), named Trosdane, directed the Irish to fill 
a hole with the milk of one hundred and fifty white-faced cows, 
wherein, by his directions and advice, the wounded Irish bathed 
and were cured. It is not stated whether the milk of white-faced 
cows is better than that of others, the selection probably was 
made from the Druid's love of mystery, or perhaps because he 
noticed that there were more of that kind of cows available at the 
time. Something similar occurred in the case of a famous Irish 
warrior, named Cathan, who was immersed in a bath of cows' 
marrow and cured of his wounds. The place where the bath 
was prepared received the name of "Smiramoir," smior amar, 
or the marrow bath ; it is to be found in County Lowth under 
the modern corrupt name of Smarmore. 

A gentle ceremony practised in Aran (Ireland), is worth 
noting. When one gets a drink of milk in a house, the recipient 
expresses him or herself as follows : — Slan a mhaithreach, hail or 
health to the mothering cow ; or Cumhdach De air a mhaithreach, 
the power of God, etc. ; or go saoghluighidh Dia a mhaithreach^ may 
God save, etc. ; or Slan maiihreachin a bhainne agus bean a roinnte, 
hail or health to the motherie of milk and the good wife who 
dispensed it, or an bhean ta os a chionn, the good wife over it, or 
who manages it. In Kerry Slan a bho is often said in the same 
way before drinking milk. Tha i tormach no a fas tormach, she is 
increasing, is an expression used in reference to the appearance 
presented by the udder of a cow before calving, either from being 
rounded and protruding like a hillock, or from toradh, increase. 
The last milk is the richest, and called "strippings." Milking- 
time of old was called Etrud, and Eadarthrath, eadarshruth, and 



152 cow 

etsruth, while an old disused milking-place or yard is Ath-huaUe, 
also one in use, 7nac/ia, and (Ir.) Inis or Indis (W. S.), and a 
cowfold hann or hanurach. It may be interesting to give here a 
libt of the Gaelic terms for milk, and some of its adjuncts : — 
Ais, aisnig, as, ass, milk or any milk preparation. 
Annlan, innlean, innlinn, dairy j)roduce, more especially the 
portion taken with one's food, or rather with each meal. 
A saying of the famous Uist bard is : — 

Is math an t-aran, ach 's fliearrd e'n t-annlan. 
'G ol cabhraich gun annlan a chuir odhar thu. 

The bread is good, but it would be better for "kitchen." 
'Twas drinking sowens without "kitchen" made youi 
face grey. 

Ath-bhliochd, second milk. 

Bainne, milk. 

Bainne, binntichte, milk curdled by rennet 

Bainne, blath, warm, fresh or new milk. 

Bainne, breun, soured milk (A. C). 

Bainne, briste, curdled (lit. broken) milk. 

Bainne, buaile, fold milk. 

Bainne, buidhe, yellow or biestings milk. 

Bainne, clabar, clotted milk. 

Bainne, cnaraha, fresh and buttermilk, frothed with or by the 

"loinid." 
Bainne, goirt, sour milk, etc. (Ir. gert), applied to buttermilk in 

Argyllshire. 
Bainne, leamlacht, new milk (Ir. id). 
Bainne, lorn, skimmed milk. 
Bainne, milis, sweet milk. 
Bainne, muighe, churn milk, buttermilk, 
Bainne, nos, nois, or nuis (or nos-bhainne) biestings or first 

milk after calving. 
Bainne, pingichte, curdled milk — Riagachadh, curdling. 
Bainne, plamach, curdled milk (plamaich, to prepare), also milk 

thickened by sultry weather. 
Bainne reamhar, unskimmed (lit. fat) milk. 
Bainne, ur, fresh or new milk. 
Ballan, the udder. 

Ballan, binntich or binnteachaidh, cheese-press. 
Banachag, banarach, a milk-maid. 
Barr, cream. 
Binid, rennet or run net. 

Bladhach or blathach, buttermilk (lit. blossom milk). 
Blaoc, milk (Ir. id). 
Bleachd (boleachd or mlecht), bleacht, bleadh, blicht, blighe, 

bliochd, milk (sometimes skimmed). 
Bleaghan, curds or thickened milk. 



cow 103 

Cabag, a cheese (Scot. Kebbuck). Proverb or Saying " Gearr cul 

cabag, 's na gearr d' ordag " — (Cut the rind of a Kebbuck, 

but do not cut your thumb). 
Caise, cheese. 

Caiteag, a butter pot or dish. 
Ce, ceath, cream. 
Ceo, second milk. 
Ceud-bhainne, first milk (Cet or ceth-blegon or blegun, 

Ir. W. S.). 
Cilorn, ciolarn, ciolurn, a milk pitcher, with handle out of its 

side, also called a hand-can or hand-mother. 
Coidhean, coidi (Ir.), a vessel to hold cream similar to but 

much broader at the bottom and narrower at the mouth 

than the "cuinneag." Before tin pails came into use the 

cuinneag, or stoup, was used for carrying home milk from 

the buaile, as also water from the well. 
Cranachan, a churn ; also said to be beaten milk — a Hallowe'en 

treat — into which a ring, etc., is put. 
Criomairt, second milk or cream. 
Cuinneag-bhleothainn, a milk-pail. 
Cuman, a hand milk-dish. 
Curasan, curusan, a milk-pail. 
Deadblegon (Ir. W. S.), last milking. 
Deala, teat. 

Deasgainn, deasgann, or deasgainean, rennet or run net. 
Deigheanach (Ir. deidenach), deigh-bhleoghainn or bleothainn, 

last milking. 
Deil'-Bhainne, a milk dish or cup (Ir. dela, a cup). 
Deinib, deirbh, a churn. 
Drolmad-bhainne, a milk-pitcher. 
Drochta-bhainne, milk-tub, etc. 
Faisgean, a cheese vat (lit. a squeezer or presser). 
Faisgre, a cheese — O'Clery — wooden cup, bicker or quaich. 
Finn, finne, milk (lit. white). 
Fiodhach (fiodh chuach), and 
Fiodhan, a cheese vat or wooden press. 
Fion, fionn, milk (lit. white). 
Fior, fir, milk (i.e., true, pure, white"). 
Geal-lacht, unskimmed milk (Ir. id). 

Geart, gert, milk — " Gun gert fearba," without milk of cows. 
Geat, curds. 
Gogan, a hand milk-dish, much the same as " cuman." " Laogh- 

gogan," hand-reared calf — also a lout of a lad. 
Gruitin, salt, old or sour butter (Ir. goirsten). 
Gruth, gruitheam, curds. In the song " Posadh piuthar Iain 

Bhain " we find these lines : — 

Bha im ann 'us bha gruitheam ann 
Bha caise laidir ridhinn ann. 



104 COW 

lar-bhleothainn (Ir. i.irmhhle^on or bleo^un, W. S.), after-milk 

blegu, milking (? b-logu), leigeadh, milking (i.e., letting). 
Im, butter ; im ur, fresh butter. A famous lampooner ealled 
Aonghus nan Aoirean speaks of "Im iar a ghlanadh le 
Spain, 's caise 'n deis a naire thoirt as," Butter cleaned 
(scraped) with or by a spoon and cheese with its shame 
taken out of it — being so bad. 
Imideal, imlid, Inadal, inutile, skin lid of a "cuman" when 
making hasty churning, or carrying milk a distance. 
Applied also to a " boganach," softie, of a fellow. 
Lac, lachd, lacht, laith, laithe, sweet mifk. 
Lamban, curds. 

Leamhnachd, leamlacht, sweet milk. 
Leasach, rennet or runnet. 
Leastar, milk-dish. 

Lestar-lulaic, biestings-milk basin (Ir.). 
Leum, luim, milk (Ir. Loim). 
Loinid, a churn-stafF, or wooden instrument for frothing or 

whipping cream. 
Lulaic, milk of a newly calved cow. 
Maistir, a churn. 
Maistreadh, churning. 

Meadar, measair, milk-dish, measure. In an old Irish Testament 
or Will of 1388 we find " inascr (measair) ligata given as a 
bowl hooped or bound with silver, while Whitley Stokes, in 
Revue Celtique, gives "Lestar or Lestur" as a milk dish or 
vessel, though also meaning any vessel. 
Measgan, a dish to hold butter. 
Meilg, melg, milk — akin to mealag, " milt." 
Meog, meug, whey (Ir. medg, medgusc, whey water). (In 

Shetland blaand.) 
Minid, rennet or runnet (see binid). 
Miodair, miosair, a milk-dish measure (see meadar). 
Miosgan, a dish to hold butter (see measgan). 
Muidhe, muighe, a churn. 
Mulach, mulachag, mulchan, a cheese. " Mulach air gad " a 

cheese on a withy. 
Obhan, odhan, omhan, othan, froth of milk (half-churned), or 

whey. 
Paiteag, butter, a small lump of. 
Ron, a milk-whipper or frother, a wooden instrument with a 

rim of hair round it. 
Seisreach, seisreadh, milk allowance for six people, a gallon. 
Sile, milk (lit. drop or flow). 
Sine, sinne, sithne, teat, sometimes udder — pi. sinean and 

sinneachan. 
Slagan, slaman, slamban, curds or milk curdled by rennet. 
Sramh, sreabh, a jet of milk running from udder. 



cow 105 

Tath, an unpressed cheese made of sour milk curds (P. O'C. in 
Rev. Celt.) — lit. what is cemented or stuck together. 

Tiagh, thickened milk — sometimes this stands for milk-dish. 

Tomhlachd, thickened milk, or curds. 

Tomhladh, milk. 

Toradh, a milking, taking or supply. 

Uachdar, uachtar (Ir.), cream (lit. surface or top) ; uachtar ar 
leamlacht, cream on new milk (Ir.). 

Ugh, uth, udder. 

In reference to the word Bainne-clabar, a writer in the Ulster 
Journal of Archceology describes it, under the term "Bonny- 
clabber," as being a pure English word, the word " Bonny " being 
an intensitive prefix, such as occurs in " Bonfire," etc. ! This 
was subsequently contradicted by another writer in same Journal, 
who gave the proper derivation of the word, and, inter alia, described 
it as a thick white curd called caran, floating on whey; caran 
literally signifies crown or top of the head, here it is made to 
stand for the portion of the milk which rises above the whey. 
The word clabar is an unfortunately used term, as its original 
meaning is mud, filth, etc. " Lappered " milk seems to be derived 
from this word, and is the same almost. On 25lh August milk 
used to be poured on hills as an oblation to the god " Mourie," 
i.e., St Maelrubha or Marooah, etc. The word "ce" for cream 
was said to enter into the composition of "Dailche," Dalkeith, 
but that has been contradicted by the late Dr Maclauchlan. 

The keeping of cows, as may be concluded, was a serious matter 
to our forefathers and mothers, as it is indeed still to ourselves, and 
their welfare was a matter of moment. So illness among them 
gave rise to many superstitious practices and charms, more or less 
efficacious. The cure of a certain cow-disease called "ploc," is 
referred to by Lady Wilde in her Ancient Cures, etc., of Ireland, 
whether it has anything to do with the following cannot be said. 
Among the many which are known to have existed, and, for 
aught yet known, may still exist, one termed am Poc duhh is 
recommended, if not in use in Skye ; the proceeding goes under 
different titles, eolas a pkoc, etc., and is somewhat as follows. 
This and other descriptions of so-called superstitious practices, it 
has to be observed, are not easy to certify as they are generally 
learned at least second hand, and then only partially it is thought, 
though the writer has had the opportunity of being an eye-witness 
of one at least. As to the above cure, therefore, the party about 
to effect it proceeds, with due deliberation, at an early hour to the 
house of the owner of the sick cow, and procures from him or her 
a substantial stapag, or a big bonnach, i.e., meal and cream mixed, 
or a farl of oatcake and bowl of cream, on receipt of this he strides 
" sunways " three times round the animal, which must be in the 
open with its head to the east, and as is frequently the case with 



106 COW 

a sick animal, lying down. Tlien, in such case, getting astride of 
the prostrate beast, the "man of faith," or du'm colach, he may be 
any man, so long as he can allege strong " faith " productive of 
" works," bumps up and down solemnly and sedately a certain 
number of times, taking a bite or a sup at intervals, repeating this 
very simple saying — 

Greim agus glug, greim agus glug. 
Ma bhios tu beo 's math 's mar a bi 
Leigear dhuit — Greim agus glug. 

The late Rev. Mr Campbell, Tiree, corroborated the above as being 
practised there. His version is somewhat similar, viz., " Greim is 
glug, mis' air do mhuin," etc. The rhyme Mr Campbell specifies 
has to be repeated nine times, taking a bite and a sup at intervals. 
Mr Camj)bell had it from a bard, John Maclean, Tiree. For the 
benefit of the uninitiated, we give the English of the foregoing, 
as follows : — 

A bite and a gulp, a bite and a gulp, 

'Tis well if you live, we'll allow you, if not. 

A charm was also in use against colic (tairbhean), a surfeit 
from over eating, but which w^as attributed to a male or female 
worm incubating in the skin and causing the swelling and pain. 

The following words were repeated, along with some other 
ceremonial observance it is thought : — 

A mharbhadh fiolan fionn, 
A mharbhadh fiolan donn, 
A mharbhadh beisd do leann, 
A mharbhadh an tairbhein. 

Fealan is supposed also to mean a rush or eruption on the skin 
of either an animal or person. 

In Ireland a cure for this, or similar unknown " trouble," and 
which is attributed to the animal being shot by a fairy or elfin 
arrow, or, as expressed in Irish Gaelic, ta si caile, she is wasted or 
diseased, is told in " Peasant Lore from Gaelic Ireland." After the 
" cure " a notch is made in the animal's ear to draw ])lood, and this, if 
often repeated, tells against its sale as it shows it has been ill more 
than once — see as to "murrain." In Scotland, as is well known, 
cuts or notches are made in the ears of cows and sheep as "marks" 
for identification, comharradh-cluaise. On St John's Eve milch cows 
in Ireland are driven close past a small fire, lit near the byre, as 
a protection against witchcraft, etc. ; and all animals dedicated to 
St Martin must be killed on St Martin's Eve ; they should never 
be sold, and are sometimes given away. The killing of the " mart- 
geamhraidh " should take place invariably during the increase of{ 
the moon, so as to ensure the preservation of the flesh. One 



cow 107 

reason for this killing of animals on St Martin's Eve is the belief 
that some blood must be shed on that day. When a cow was 
killed in an old Celtic family of fairly high degree, certain per- 
quisites were claimed and received as follows : head, tongue, and 
feet to the Smith (the killer or feller) ; neck to the Butcher ; two 
small ribs that go with the hind quarters to the Tailor ; kidneys 
to the Physician; marybones (marrow) to the dony-lader (duine 
laidir), the strong man, or strongest in the house ; udder to the 
Harper; liver to the Carpenter; a piece to the gearran-keeper, 
(stablem.an) ; next bone from the knee to the shoulder to the 
Horse boy (war-horse) ; choice piece of the beef to the Shot (game 
provider); heart to the Cow-herd; next choice piece to the icije 
of the house; the third choice piece to the Niwse ; tallow for 
candles ; hide for wine and whisky ; black puddings for the 
Ploughman; big puddings for the Weaver; kylantony (caolan 
toine) to the porter ; dowleagh (dubh-leac), a broad long piece or 
slab lying upon the entrails and dark, to the Calf Keeper ; sweet- 
bread to her that is with child ; rump to him that cuts the beef 
(the Master); tripes to the Kater (caterer, or thief, or "lifter"); 
the great big pudding to the Water-drawer or carrier. 

The above mentioned "Physician" was also called "Astro- 
nomer," and in Gaelic " Sndh, sridhan, or sruan, which means a 
man of letters or ecclesiastic, being one of the " Household." 

The moniplies of a cow is "broilein," some also say the king's 
hood ; the dewlap, caisean, cliobain, or cliobein ; caisean-uchd again 
was, or is, a strip torn from the breast of cow killed at Christmas, 
singed, and smelled by all in house as a preventive against 
evil spirits. St Martin is a patron Saint of cows and cattle, and 
the term " Free- Martin " refers to that celibate, a free-martin is 
said to be the female of twin calves which never breeds. Charms 
for all purposes in connection with cows are — or were— numerous. 
W. Mackenzie, hder alia, gives the following, which is supposed to 
be efficacious in the case of farrow cows — 



Eolas na daire rinn Moire 's a Mac 
'S thubhairt Criosd fhein gu'm bu ro cheart ; 
Air a cheud Luan 'chuir a chruidh gu luath a dhair 
Gun fharlaogh 'n a dheigh, ach laoigh bhreaca bhoirionn 
uile gu leir. 

The charm (knowledge) for the rutting (bulling) made by 

Mary and her Son ; 
Jesus Himself said it was right 

On the first Monday (at the beginning of the moon) 
To send the cattle (cows) quickly to the bull. 
And that no extra-uterine conception should follow. 
But spotted female calves (altogether). 



108 COW 

'I'his word " farluogh," givtii elsewhere as tharlaogh, past, 
without or off calf, means an extra-uterine conception better 
known in the Islands than on the Mainland. 

Another incantation, invocation, or charm, is, or was, used when 
a cow calved, viz. : — 



" Mart a sid air breith," arsa Peadar, 
"Tha mi 'faicinn gum beil," arsa Pal, 
Le ( " Mar thuiteas an duilleach o'n chraoibh 
clieilc. \ Gu 'n tuiteadh an sile gu lar." 



Both 



{ 



" A cow newly calved," said St Peter, 
" I observe that," said St Paul, 
" As the leaves fall from the tree 
May her milk (drop) freely flow." 



The foregoing may appear somewhat irreverent to the 
modern reader, but the time in which it was the custom to use 
such familiarities in all good and devout faith must be taken into 
consideration. 

Referring to what has been said as to the first, biestings, etc., 
milk, bainne nois, or nos or nuis, that is said to be the three first 
milkings. Milk is liable to be affected by evil disposed persons 
and by witchcraft, charms, etc., and requires an antidote or casg, 
cosg, or cungaidh-leigheis, as milk is said to be "blinked" or 
" eyed," i.e., " luidh an droch shuil air," when it does not produce 
butter. A charm-cure for milk thus affected, or held up, is to 
boil three rows of pins and needles, unsullied, in milk for half 
an hour; this must be comparatively modern. Milk is also 
preserved against witchcraft by the herb ragfoot, " caoibhreachan " 
being kept under some dish in the dairy. Drinking the milk of 
one-coloured cow, Whitley Stokes says, was supposed to have 
prolific properties. In Ireland the first milk got from a cow at 
milking is called "fore-milk." A common practice with dairy- 
maids when milking is to squirt the first few drops on the ground, 
this, in Ireland, is said to be done as an offering to the fairies, and 
not attributed to any utilitarian or sanitary purpose. A rich kind 
of cheese is made from biestings milk, as told in Lebor na h- 
Uidhri ; when this milk is kept it should be put into a special 
dish, pan, or measure, of old called " Lestar lulaic," biestings basin 
(Ir.). All milk sold or given away should have a grain or two of 
salt put into it, for luck (?). Further reference is made to Mr 
MacKenzie's book on Celtic charms, etc., against witchcraft. One 
of many modes followed for curing the rash (Ruaidhe) in cows or 
cattle was to take a stone from a march burn, or burn bounding 



cow 109 

properties (Allt-criche), and rub the swollen teat with it, repeating 
at same time the following lines : — 

A Chriosda leigheis am mart, 

Leigheis fhein i 'Mhoire; 

'S tu rug am Mac ; 

Gu 'm a slan an t-ugh, 

'S gu 'm a crion an t-at 

'S a ruaidhe mhor atar (at-mhor) iotar (iot-mhor) ; 

Eag (Fag) an t-aite so 's tair as. 

O Christ heal the cow, 

Heal thou her, Mary, 

'Tis thou dids't bear the Son ; 

Healthy may the udder be 

And small be the swelling. 

And the swollen dry thirsty rash 

Expire (or leave) the place and get away. 

Other cures for which similar charms were resorted to are 
numerous and, inter alia, reference may be made to that interest- 
ing work, Outei' Isles, by A. Goodrich Freer. It is very 
notable the great familiarity with which the Old Celts addressed 
the Deity, and the vast importance they attached to their stock. 
Even when leaving the cows out to graze on the hillside, the 
guardianship of the Deity, etc., was invoked, one saying being, 
as Carmichael gives it — 

" Buachailleachd Dhia 's Choluim-chill' oirbh." 
God and Calum-kill's herding be on you. 

St Columba was regarded as the patron saint of cattle, though he 
would not allow one on the island of lona for this reason. Far am 
bi bo, bidh bean, 's far am bi bean bidh buaireadh ; where a cow 
is will a woman be, and where a woman is will be mischief, trouble, 
or temptation. A spoon made of the horn lost by a living cow 
is thought to heal many diseases when eaten out of, when the 
cow dies the efficacy ceases. The cow being a blessed animal 
should never be struck by the hand, but by a stick, when 
necessary. When a cow dies it should be described as "lost" 
by the "cailbhearb" or cowherd. Referring to what has been 
said as to the estimate put upon cows, an account of a certain 
famous tribute thereof must be shortly given, viz., the Borumha, 
a term which has different meanings ; in its primary signification 
it means a prey, a tribute of cows, and is referred to in the 
Chronicon Scotorum of Duald Firbis under the years 458, 965, 
and 966. This tribute, or rather impost of tax, was eventually 
repealed, or, with the magnanimity of the imposers remitted or 



110 cow 

forgiven, as we read of malluidh iia horumha. Thus the province 
of Leinster was relieved of it by the intercession of St Moling of 
Luachair, albeit in a somewhat ecjuivocal manner. The particular 
fine remitted shows that although primarily meaning a tax of 
cows, other animals, probably valued at so many cows, entered 
into the composition, as it consisted, iiiter a/ia, of three score 
hundred or six thousand of the fattest cows, the same of the 
fattest hogs, and the same of the largest sheep every second 
year during the reign of forty monarchs of Ireland after Tuathal, 
who first imposed it. In Si/va Gadclica we are told that the 
borumha was levied first under said King Tuathal in 106, till 
remitted as above in 596. "Thrice fifty times an hundred cows" 
was another way of stating part thereof. In the Uevue Celtique 
we read that the Boroma was a tribute imposed in the second 
century on Leinster by a king of Ireland as a ransom for the 
death of his two daughters. It is there described as being "Thrice 
five thousand cows, swine, mantles, chains of silver, wethers and 
caldrons of brass ; a caldron of brass to hold twelve swine and 
twelve cows, thirty white red-eared cows and calves ; ties and 
tethers and milk-pails (J) of bronze." The etymology of the word 
Boroma or borumha, is thought to be primarily derived from "bo" 
morrigain (bo ro mhor.^). In the Annals of Tigernach, circa 683- 
694 A.D., a record is found of the death of one Finachta who 
forgave this tribute. Moling of Luachair singing. ..." Rombe 
le firu Neme, undilgud na boraime. May he be with the men 
of Heaven, for forgiving the tribute " ; the amount thereof is 
here specified by one Adhomnan, who sings — 

Finachta Mac Dunchada 
Romaith mor don naem, 
Tri coecait cet bo-slabraidh. 
Is gach bo cona laegh. 

Finachta son of Dunchad 

Remitted much to the Saint, 

A hundred and fifty hundreds of dower-kin e. 

And every cow with her calf. 

{Rev. Celt., Tome xvii.). 

Borumha is also a name for persons and places. We have the 
famous Irish chief (whose descendant has lately made good his 
title), in the person of Brian Borumha or Boroimhe, and the 
modern Pass of Borumna is Beal' or Bealach Borumha. There it 
also even an Irish book or tract (historical), called the Borumha. 

Names of places derived from cows are so numerous as to be 
out of place here to detail beyond merely referring to one or two, 
Between Applecross and Kishorn a famous pass is called Bealach- 
nam-bo, but one has only to glance over the Ordnance Survey 
maps to find many more ; we have also Beal-atha-na-bo-uidhre, 



cow 111 

the ford-mouth of the dun cow. In Ireland, County Clare, we find 
Abhain da loilgheach, the river of the two milch cows, for instance, 
while in County Mayo there is Cathair na mart, the stone fort, 
castle or seat of the beefes, or beeves, or cows. In Irish Gaelic 
we find " cathair " and " lis " both translated " fort." Beannan-bo, 
the cow's hillock, is a mountain in Leitrim, and is said to be full 
of gold. An Irish term for a horned cow is bo beannach (also 
Scottish), beann here signifying horn, as being pointed ; a certain 
poet who thought his jioem worth twenty cows, even with golden 
horns, said Fiche bo-beann n-oir. Professor Blackie, in 1882, 
said the Jersey cows were the "ladies of the cow creation," 
whereupon Mary MacKellar composed some verses supposed to 
express the feelings of a Highland cow the Professor had formerly 
expressed admiration for, and which was in a huff over being 
forsaken. (See Celtic Magazine, Vol. X., pages 557-8.) 

Cow botany may now shortly be referred to. Cameron in his 
Gaelic names for plants, etc., says the cow-berry, red whortleberry, 
or cranberry is in Gaelic Bo-dhearc' ; and that the field-gentian 
is a good cure for a disease which attacks cows, called Cruhain, 
thought to be induced through poverty of pasture, etc., the Gaelic 
name is Liis-a-chruhaiu , the crouching plant or the plant of the 
or for the Cruban, supposed colic or cramp ; in the English-Gaelic 
part of Armstrong, the Gaelic equivalent for gentian given there 
is lus-a-chubhain, which, however, may be a misprint. The bog- 
violet, lus-a-bhainne, or milk-wort, because it acts on cows' milk 
like rennet and, strained speedily, gives consistency thereto and to 
cream, cows feeding thereon give richer milk. In Irish the term 
is lusan baine. The cowslip is, in Gaelic, bainne-bo-bliiddhe, the 
yellow cow's milk, bainne bleachd, bleacht or bliochd, the milch 
cow's milk, or buidheachan bo-bleachd bleacht or blioch, the 
milch cow's daisies or '^^ yellows." Common sorrel is Savihadh-bo, 
cow sorrel, more properly Sabhadh, etc. Bo-coinneal or choinneal 
again is the Gaelic, lit. cows' candle, for a plant called "Sauce 
alone " or mullein. The common sow-thistle or milk-thistle is 
Cluaran criddh, cow's thistle, while meacan-a-chruidh is cow- 
parsnip. Honeysuckle is " bainne-gamhnach," farrow-cow milk. 
In old marriage contracts of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, 
the term " tidy or tydie " is used for or applied to a pregnant 
cow giving milk. This is in use in Ayrshire and Clydesdale yet. 

Proverbial sayings, riddles, etc., wise and otherwise, are rife 
and naturally numerous in reference to cows ; the following, apart 
from the proverbs proper given at end hereof, are a few. 

Oidhche shamhna theirear gamhna ris na laoigh. 

On Hallowe'en calves are called stirks. A cow with one- 
year-old calf, and still milking, is also termed a gamhnach, 
used in this sense by Gillies, " B'fhearr leam fhein na bo 
laoigh is gamhnach." 



112 COW 

Theirear tribhliadhnaicli ri aighcan la Bride. 

On St Bridget's day (2nd or 13th Feb.), heifers are called i 
three-year-olds. ! 

The following is said of a man who makes a miraculous escape, 
Dh' ol e bainne na bo ba a dh' ith am mothan, he drunk the milk s] 
of the guileless cow that ate the viothan. The mothan is an herb || 
still practically unknown to science under that name, but which 
is said to exist and work wonders ; it is found only in a certain 
place at a special time, both unknown. Bog violet .'* 

When a cow gets into a morass, the proverbial saying is, Is 
e fear na bo fein theid 's an flieithe an toiseach. It is the owner 
of the cow who will go into the morass first. 

If a cow is turned from its resting-place and a person lies 
there, after making a circle, deas-iuil, thrice, no evil can befall him 
or her. A saying confined, it is said, to cows, is " thug i sgianadh 
or sgeanadh as a deigh. She took fright at her, or shied. 

As an inducement to a reluctant suitor, his mother is supposed 
to say, "Gheibh thu 'bho bhionmhuin deth chuid Chairistiona, 
is am focal mine deth cora (comhradh). You'll get the sleek 
cow of the property of Christina, and the smoothest word of her 
speech. Note, the cow comes first. 

Cows becoming restive without any apparent cause, forebode 
terrible evil to either master or mistress. 

Apropos of the mother's saying given above, the following 
question was put to his father by a young man about to marry, 
and in doubts whether he should take an old or elderly woman 
who had a tocher, or a young lass who had none. 

Comhairle iarrain oirbh an ceo 
Co i 'm feoil is fhearr a dhuine, 
Sean bho *s i Ian saill 
No atharl' og am feoil thana } 

Fhreagair athair mar so 
Cha chuir scan bho laogh mu chro ; 

Si 'n atharl' og feoil is fhearr. 

Advice I seek from thee in mist (doubt) 
Which is the better flesh. Oh man. 
An old cow that is full of fat. 
Or a young quey that is thin and lean } 

To which the father replied : — 

An old cow gives no calves to thy fold ; 

The young quey is the better flesh. 



cow 113 

Riddles, dark sayings, and proverbs are numerous. A few of 
the first two are : — 

Theid i mach dubh 's thig 1 stigh geal. Mart dhubh ri la 
sneachdaeh. 

What goes out black and comes in white ? A black cow on 

a snowy day. 

In Vol. III. of Campbell's Tales, among Fionn's questions to 

Graidhne is, de's fearr de bhiadh } Bleachd ; thig iomadh 

atharrachadh as, niotar im a's caise dheth, 's beathaichidh e leanabh 

beag a's sean duine. 

What is the best of food ? Milk ; many a change comes 
out of it ; butter and cheese are made of it, and it will 
nourish a little child and an old man. 
A bhun an aird, 's a bharr a mhain, 's e fas mar sin. 

The root above, it's point (or top) below, and growing thus. 
A cow's tail. 
Ceathrar air chrith, 's ceathrar nan ruith ; dithis a' deanamh 
an rathad, 's a h-aon a' glaodhaich. 

Four shaking, four running, two finding (or making) the 
way, and one roaring. A cow's udder or teats, feet, eyes, 
and mouth. 
Miodaran beag 's a choill' ud thall 's a bheul foidhe 's cha doirt 
e deur. 

A little vessel or receptacle in that (or yon) wood beyond, 
with its mouth downwards, and it won't lose or spill a 
drop. A cow's udder. Eng. or Scotch, A little bit 
cogie in yonder wood, its mouth below, but spills not 
a drop. 
Tha'n dod air a bho mhaol, cha'n ith i fodar no fraoch. 

The hornless cow has ta'en the dumps, she'll eat neither 
straw nor heather. Said to a child remaining in the 
dumps after being promised "something nice." 

There is a Highland game called "Am mart bradach," the 
thievish cow, a description of which will be found well described 
by " Fionn " in the Gaidheal. 

One of Coinneach Odhar's sayings or prophecies is : — 

Thig bo mhaol odhar a' steach an t-Aite-mor agus leigeas i 
geum aiste 'chuireas na se h-uinneagan dheth an Tigh Dhige. 
A dun, hornless cow will appear in the Minch (Great Place), 
and give forth a roar (bellow), which will knock the 
six windows off Gairloch House. This supposed to be a 
steamboat. The Minch, off Gairloch Point, and Tigh 
Dhige, Gairloch House, so called from the dig or ditch 
round it. 

The Proverbs, proverbial sayings, etc., connected with cows 

H 



114 COW 

are, as may !)e concluded, numerous among the Celts ; the 
following is a fair, though not complete, collection. 

Bha aig seana bhodach fior seana mhairt 
'S cha robh bheag sam bith aige dhi idir 

Ach ghlac e am fiodhall 's chluich e dhi port, 
Dean fidir 'shean bho, dean fidir. 

There was an old man who had an old cow. 

And he had nothing to give her. 
But he took out his fiddle and played her a tune. 

Consider old cow, consider. 

The above, under the name of "the tune the old cow died 
of," is well known in both Scotland and Ireland. An additional 
line before the last is sometimes given, viz. : — 

Cha ne so an am airson fas air an fheoir. 

This is no time (of the year) for the grass to grow. 

It need hardly be added, the old cow died. 

A bho a's mio^a a th'anns a' bhuaile 's i 's cruaidhe geum — 
no a bho a's caoile 's a bhuaile 's i 's airde geum. 

The worst cow in the fold lows the loudest, or the 
leanest, etc. 
Adhaircean fada air a chrodh tha 'n Eirinn, no th'anns a cheo. 
Long horns on the cows that are in Ireland, or that are in 
the mist. 
Adharc bo 's ton capuill — seachain. 

A cow's horn and a horse's hinder parts — shun. 
Adharc na ba maoile 's duilich a toirt dith. 

It's hard to take the horn off the hornless cow. 

An I (? Aoi) mo chridhe, I mo ghraidh, 
An aite gu manach bithidh geum ba, 
Ach mu 'n tig an saoghal gu crich, 
Bithidh I mar a bha. 

In I (loua) of my heart, I of my love, 

Instead of the voices of monks, will be the lowing of cows. 
But ere the world comes to an end, 
I will be as of yore. St Columba's Prophecy. 
This is now almost literally verified. 

Aithneachadh bo badhail, no faillt' a chruidh. 

The wandering cow's welcome (recognition), or the kine's 
salute. A cow knows her own stall, which makes good 
sense, but the word badhail is Irish, buabhail is the 
Gaelic for stall. 
An te is urranta dhe 'n chrodh, is i gheibh a bhuaidh. 

The ablest, or most dauntless, of the cows, 'tis she will 
achieve the victory. Among cows, as among animals of 
all kinds, a leader, 2)ro tern., always exists. 



I 



cow 115 

An t-eolas a rinn Calum-cille dh'aona bho na cailich. 

The charm given by St Colum to the old woman's only 
cow. Plenty milk if well tended. 
An uair a theid crodh chaich an diosg 's ann a ni Breunag 
caise. 

When other people's cows are dry 'tis then " Breunag " (the 
spiteful woman^ or the slattern) makes cheese. Said to 
be "sheer cussedness." This savours of envy of one 
who may have more foresight than her neighbours. 
Aon a bhristeas an garadh 's a dha dheug a leumas. 

One (cow) breaks the dyke, and a dozen leap it. Applicable 
to more than cows. 
Aon mhart muilleir. 

A miller's one cow. Likely to be well kept. 
Aon rud cho fuar 's a th' ann, adharc mairt. 

One of the coldest things, a cow's horn. If not she's unwell. 
As a ceann a bhleighear am bo. 

From the head the cow is milked. As the cow is fed so she 
yields. 
Bas fodair, bas bo. 

A straw's death, a cow's death. Prolonged. 
Be sin ainmeachadh ba air buachaille 's a toirt uaithe 'feasg-ar. 
That were to name a cow on a herd, and to take it 
from him at evening. It was and still is usual to allot 
one of the cows to the cow-herd for his own supply of 
milk. 
Be sin " Ho " ! fada bho 'n chrodh. 

That were " Ho " ! (or a call) far from the cows. That is, 
out of place, or before the time. 
B' fhada bho cheile crodh-laoidh an da sheanair. 

Far apart were the milch-cows of their two grandfathers. 
Marrying out of one's sphere. 
Bidh adharcan fad' air a chrodh tha fada uainn. 

Far off cows have long horns. 
Bidh fear na h-aona bho uair gun bhainne. 

The man of one cow will sometimes be without milk, or, 
Bidh fear an aona mhart air uairibh gann, etc. 

The man of one cow will at times be scarce of milk. 
Bleoghain a bho, ach na spion an t-uth aisde. 

Milk the cow, but do not tear the udder out of her. Good 
advice to a beginner. 
Bleoghainear na ba buidhe's olair an cuid bainne nuair thileas 
na ba baine gun reic thun a bhaile. 

The yellow cows will be milked, and their milk drunk, while 
the white cows come back (from the fair) to the town 
and no bid for them, or unsold. Yellow cows are better 
than white. This is applied to plain worthy girls matching 
better than handsome showy ones. 



116 COW 

Bo a baile, cha fhrea^air an duine bochd. 

A cow from the farm won't suit the poor man. An Ayrshire 
cow would be more difficult to keep than a hardy 
Highland one. 
Bo a bhuabhaill-thulchainn. 

The cow of the end-stall, or, 
Am mart a bhios 's a bhuabhaill-thulchainn, is toigh 
leath' e. 

The cow in the end-stall likes it. Tulchann originally meant 
gable, end, stem. (See Nicolson.) 
Bo aonaich. 

A cow fattened for market — one of three things not to be 
judged by appearance. 
Bo I'aghaidh laoigh. 

The cow before the calf. Said to one inclined to be forward, 
and is tantamount to "your mother was born before you." 
Bo mhaol 'am buaile choimhich. 

A hornless cow in a strange fold. Defenceless. 
Bo mhaol odhar 's bo odhar mhaol. 

A polled dun cow, and a dun polled cow ; or, a cow that is 

doddled (hornless) and dun ; and a cow that is dun and 

doddled (Nether Lochaber). Six of one and half a dozen 

of the other. 

Bo mhaol odhar ann an dorus an t-sabhail, laogh 'na gobhail, 

's i gun dhol a dhair. 

A polled dun cow, in the door of the barn, her calf between 
her legs, yet she never was a mother. A lock and key. 
Bo 'n a h-aon atha gruthain. 

A big cow, all liver — or the cow of the one (recurring) liver. 
(See Nicolson.) 
Caillear bo an droch mhuthaich seachd bliadhna roimh 'n 
mhithich. 
The cow of the bad herdsman is lost seven years too soon. 
Caillear bo buachaille. 

A herdsman cow may be lost. 
Caithidh bo ri bleothann. 

Cows wear with milking. 
Cha b'ann air . . . bainne chruidh mhialaich a's t-Earrach, a 
chaidh d'arach 
It was not on . . . milk of lousy spring cows you were reared. 
Cha bhi bainn' aig bo fir. 

A man's cow won't yield milk. 
Cha 'n 'eil ach moran eadar a bho 's a' mheanbh-chuileag. 

The cow is only a good deal bigger than the midge. 
Cha 'n fhac thu bo de d'chrodh lliein an diugh. 

You saw no cow of your own to-day. Said of one out of humour. 
Cha 'n fhaodar a bho a reic 's a bainne ol. 
You can't sell the cow and drink her milk. 



cow 117 

Cha 'n i 'bho is airde geum a's mo bainne. 

The loudest lowing cow is not the best milker. 
Cha sgeith bo fiar (feur). 

A cow won't vomit grass. Wise creatures won't quarrel with 
their meat. 
Cha shaothair bo-laoigh do shaothair, no deagh ghamhnach. 
Your labour is not that of a calving cow, nor of a good farrow 
cow. 
Cha tig an crodh uile cho math do 'n bhuaile. 

All the cows do not come equally well to the fold. 
Cha toir a bho do 'n laogh ach na th' aice. 

The cow can give her calf only what she has. 
Chi sinn de 'n taobh a thig a mhaodal as a' mhart. 

We'll see on which side the paunch comes out of the cow. 
A joke. (See Nicolson.) 
Cho ceolar (no cho Ian ciuil) ris a mhart a dh' ith am piobaire. 

As musical (or as full of music) as the cow that ate the piper. 
Ciuin ris a bho is garbh ris an each. 

Gentle to the cow^ and harsh to the horse. At one time 
supposed to be the proper treatment. 
Cho fad 's a bhios bainne geal aig boin dhuibh. 

As long as a black cow gives white milk. This is said to 
have been the term of a lease in Uist. 
Ciod a dh' iarradh tu air bo ach gnosd ? 

What would you expect from a cow but a groan ? This 
means the subdued noise a cow utters as her ordinary 
expression of feeling. 
Co dhiubh 's ann air srath no 'n gleann, 's ann as a ceann a 
bhlighear a bho. 

Whether on strath or in glen, 'tis from her head the cow's 
milk comes. As she is fed (see before). 
Coltach ri earball an t-seana mhairt, daonnan air dheireadh. 

Like the old cow's tail, always last. Said of a dilatory person. 
Cuid a ghobha — an ceann. 

The smith's share — the head. His perquisite for killing a cow. 
Diombuil buaile, bo gun laogh. 

A fold's reproach, a yeld cow. 
Eadar a bhaobh 's a bhuarach. 

Between the fool and the cow-spaniel or fetter. Referring 
to the superstition that a blow from the "buarach" 
renders childless. 
Far am bi bo, bidh bean, etc. 

Where a cow is, a woman will be, etc. St Columba. 
Feumaidh fear na h-aona bha car dh' a h-earball, no a 
sgathachan, mu dhorn. 

Sgathachan is an old word for tail. The man of one cow 
must twist her tail round his fist. He must look well after 
her. This is a Uist saying, though applicable elsewhere. 



118 COW 

Fear nam bo na h'cai ball. 

The cow's owner at her tail. Attention to one's own business. 
Ged nach beirteadh bo an Eirinn. 

Should never a cow be calved in Ireland. A dire misfortune. 
Geum ba air a h-eolas. 

A cow's low on known ground. 
Is airde 'n geum na 'm bleoghann. 

The low is greater than the milking. 
Is deacair bo a chur air laogh 's moran gaoil an gamhuinn 
aice. 

'Tis difficult to get a cow to suffer a calf (to suck her), lit. 
to jmt her on a calf, and she fonder of her stirk. Animal 
law of primogeniture ! or, 
Is duilich bo a chur air laogh 'us a gaol air gamhainn. 

A cow won't take to a calf, when her darling is a stirk. 
Is duine coir fear da bho, is duine ro-choir fear a tri, 's cha 'n 
fhaigh fear a coig no sia coir no ceart le fear nan naoi. 

The two-cow man is a worthy man, ver}' worthy is the man 
of three, and the man of five or six can do nothing 
against the man of nine. 
Is e'ni bualadh cluigeineach a ni an crodh trotanach. 

The bad threshing makes the brisk cows. The word 
cluigeineach literally means belled, and infers that the 
threshing was done as gently as the tongue strikes the 
bell, leaving ears of corn on the straw. 
Is f hada 'chluinnear geum bo air Lon mor Lasan-tuilich. 

Far is heard a cow's low on the great meadow of LassintuUich. 
Is f hearr a bhi gun bho na 'bhi gun mhac. 

Better have no cow than no son. 
Is f hearr aon sine bheo na da bhoin mharbh. 

One living teat is better than two dead cows. 
Is fhearr aon sine ba na bolla dhe'n mhin bhan. 

Better one teat of a cow than a boll of the white (Lowland) 
meal. (See Nicolson.) Or, 
Na da lamhaig. 

Than two axes or hatchets, the weapon by which the cow 
was killed, or. 
No ceathramh coirce. 
A quarter of grain. 
Is fhearr bo na ba. 

A cow is better than kine. That is, a good cow. 
Is i 'bho fhein a's luaithe a mhothaicheas d' a laogh. 

The cow is the first to notice her own calf. 
Is ioma bo f hada reamhar nach deachaidh riamh air theadhair. 
Many a long fat cow was never tethered. Applied to women 
who never married. 
Is ionann bean 'us bo.. 

A cow and a woman are the same. As regards offspring. 



cow 119 

Is mairg a chitheadh adhaircean fad 'air a chrodh ghuineideach. 

Pity the one who would see long horns on the butting cow. 
Is mairg do'n sguaban-stothaidh bo mhaol odhar Mhic-Ghill- 
Eoinidh. 

Pity the one whose resource is MacGillony's hornless dun 
cow. That is^ the wild mountain doe. (See Nicolson.) 
Is math cuid ceaird dhi. 

The tinker's share of her is good. That is, the horns. 
Is math nach' eil adhaircean fad' air na ba luineanach. 

It's well that the frisky (tossing, butting) cows haven't long 
horns. 
Is minig a bha droch laogh aig deadh mhart. 

Many a good cow has had a bad calf. 
Is minig a bha laogh mhath aig boin sgairdich. 

A skittering cow has often had a good calf. 
Is minig a bha uth mhor aig boin chaol-chasach. 

A slender-legged cow has often had a large udder, or. 
Is minig a bha boinne mhath aig boin chaol-chasach. 

A slender-legged cow has often a good drop. 
Is minig a bha rath air aona bho na cailich. 

The old woman's only cow has often been lucky. The luck 
of attention to her and consequent good results. 
Is olc a bho-laogh a chreag. 

The rock is a bad milch cow. 
Is taibhseach iad adharca nam bo tar lear. 

Showy (or visionary, from "taibhs"), are the horns of the 
cows beyond sea (the ocean, main, etc.). 
Is toigh le bo mhaol, bo mhaol eile. 

A hornless cow likes another hornless cow. Like to like. 
Is trom geum bo air a h-aineol. 

Heavy is a cow's low in a strange fold. 
Lamh an ceann bo maoile. 

Holding a hornless cow by the head. A difficult feat. 
Laoigh bhailgionn boirionn air gach fireach, piseach crodh 
na h-airidh. 

Speckled (different-coloured), female calves on every hill, the 
progeny of the cattle of the shealing. A good wish. 
Marbh thusa bo 'us marbhaidh mise tairbhean. 

You kill a cow and I'll kill a (cow) parasite. This is 
obscure — tairbhean is a noxious cattle-insect. Supposed 
brag. 
Mar an crodh a' dol do'n bhuaile, cuid romham 's cuid am dheigh. 
Like the cows going to the fold, some before me and some 
behind. 
Mar mhart caol a'tigh'n gu baile, tha cabhanach (camhanach) 
na maidne Earraich. 

Like a lean cow coming to a farm is the dawn of a spring 
morning. Slow and weak, but likely to improve. 



120 COW 

Ma thi^ crodh chaich, thig crodh Mhuirich, no Mhurachaidh, 
ma thig aoii te, thig iad uile. 

If the cows of the others come home, Murdoch's will, if one 
comes, they'll all come. 
Measar am bo air a bainne. 

The cow is valued for (or on) her milk. 
Measar nam ba a reir am bliochdmhorachd. 

Cows are estimated according to their milkiness (i.e., yield of 
milk), Bretha Nemed. Ir. meastar na ba ar a mbliocht- 
mhaire. 
Miami ba braon. 

A cow's desire, a shower. 
A fuller version of this saying is : — 

Miann ba braon ; miann caorach teas ; miann gobhair gaoth, ann 
an aonaig chais ; miann cait an luath, 'nuair is cruaidh an fhras. 

A cow's desire, a shower ; a sheep's desire, heat ; a goat's 
desire, wind on a steep slope ; a cat's desire, the ashes 
(fireside), when the shower is heaviest. 
Millidh bo buaile. 

One cow will spoil a fold. 
Na toir bo bho garadair. 

Do not take a cow from a gardener. It will likely be 
difficult to keep. 
Na toir bo a Paibeall. 

Do not take a cow from Paible (N. Uist), Breed, etc., 
questionable. 
Nighean an droch mhart, 's ogha 'mhairt mhaith. 

The daughter of the bad cow, and the grandchild of the 
good one. Good ancestry ranks first. 
Oran na ba maoile " tha mi ullamh dhiot." 

The song of the hornless cow, " I am done with you." 
Rud air nach coir dhuit taire dheanamh, bo pheallach. 

One thing you should not despise, a shaggy cow. 
Rug bo laogh dha. 

A cow has borne him a calf. Worth commenting on. 
Seachain mo chluais 's cha bhuail m' adharc. 

Avoid my ear, and my horn will not hit. 
Seachd bliadhna 'an cuimhne na ba. 

Seven years will the cow keep in mind — her byre. 
Taghlaidh bo a h-ath-bhuaile mur h-olc an innis. 

A cow will re-visit her fold, if the pasture be not bad. 
Theagamh gu'n tig do bho gu m' bhuaile-sa fhathast. 

Perhaps your cow may come to my fold yet. 
Theid mart dhe'n fhear cheilidheach. 
The gadabout man will lose a cow. 
Thoir leat a bho do'n chaisteal, 's theid i dhachaidh do'n 
bhathaich. 

Take the cow to the castle and she'll go home to the byre. 
Natural. 



COW— DEER 121 

Thug mi mo chrodh-laoigh do'n airidh, 
Agam an diugh, *s bhuam am maireach. 

I took my milch cows to the fold. 
With me to-day, from me to-morrow. 

This refers to the " lifting " times. 

Tri la sgathaidh na bo riabhaich. 

Three damaging days for the brindled cow. April 
borrowing days. 
Uilleadh na ba a mach 's a steach, mm* leighis sin an Gaidheal 
cha'n 'eil a leigheas ann. 

The oil of the cow, without and within, if that won't heal 
the Gael, there's no cure for him, or, 
Uraireachd na ba, etc. 

The fat of the cow, etc. Milk, cream, butter. Neat-foot oil. 

CREATURE (see Animal and Beast, etc.). 

^ CUB (see Dog). 

t 

^K DEER. — Abhach (the merry folk — Suthd.), ag, ag or agh- 
^Heillaidh (a wild stag, a deer, a fawn, in Irish, haige), agh (err. 
^^pidh), agh-feidh (fawn, hind), airchealtrach (hind), airndeall, arr, 
(hind, stag), arinn (forest) ; Baighle (fawn), binneach, bo (rarely), 
boc, boc-earba (roebuck), boc-da-bhiorain, bod-da-bhiorain (year- 
old hart), bodachan (year-old), boirche, borr-agh (large hind), 
boisceall (also hind), braich, braiche, braicheam, braicheamhail, 
braichean, braithcheann, breac-laogh (spotted fawn), bru (fawn), 
buicean, buicein (young buck), buichiu (young roe) ; Cabarach, 
cabrach, cabrach-crocach, cair-fhiadh, car, carbh-fhiadh, carr, carr- 
fhiadh, cear, cer (hart or roe), cigh (hind), ci-cingeach (leader), 
crac-dhamh, cul-bhoc (buck) ; Daman-n' alluid (Ir.), damh, damh- 
allaidh, damh-dearg, damh-feidh, dabhas, dabhasg, dadhas, dais, 
damhasg (fallow), dathas, dearg (red) ; Earb, earba, earbag (doe), 
eigh (roe), eildeag, eihd (hind), erb (roe) ; Fear-boc (roebuck), 
fiadh (lit. wild), fiadh-fionn (young), fiadh-og (fawn) ; Gamhuinn- 
ruadh (yearling), greidh, greigh (herd of) ; larn-dobha (fawn) ; 
(Arm.) Karo ; Laighe (fawn — Jr.), lan-damh (full-grown hart, 
" Royal "), laogh-allaidh, laogh-eilid, laogh-feidh (fawn), lub 
(roe) ; Mang (fawn), maoiseach, maoisleach, meann, meann-earba, 
minnean, minnein (fawn) ; Oigh, os ; Procach (one-year-old — 
Suthd.) ; Ruadh, ruadhag ; Sailetheach (lit. the heeled one, swift), 
sead, seada, seang, searbhos, searbo, searbos, sed, serbo, sidin 



122 DEER 

(Ir.), sithioiui (lit. venison); Tallin (hind): rdlaichc, ullaiclie, 
utlaiche (old hart). 

Beste (Ritson), brocket, broket (two years); Hack; Calf, (first 
year) ; Deire (A. S.) ; Foowne (fawn), fora (A. S.) ; Great Stag 
(fifth year) ; Hart (sixth and seventh year), havering (gelded 
buck — Durham) ; Knibbler (young) ; Leish-deer (roe, or female) ; 
Pricker, pricket (with first horns), pygarg ; Rascal (young), 
resigne ("full grown), rha-deor (Old Eng.); Soare (fourth year — 
Harrison), sorell (young buck — Palsgrave), sownder, spade, spaire 
(three year hart), spittard, spittare (two-year-old hart — Harrison), 
spylard (ten-year-old hart), stag, stagon (fourth year), stanbucca, 
stonebuck, subulon, (young hart — Topsell) ; Venison ; Wild-doer 
(A. S.) ; Yell (dry hind). 

The most general term for deer, Jiadk, just means " wild," and 
the terms for fallow deer, dabhas, dabhasg, and damhasg mean 
just danih sheasg or damh seasg. The English word " Roe " is 
just a corruption of the Gaelic word "ruadh," while the word 
" hart " means " horned," from " heru," the word " sownder " appears 
in Scott's Anliquarij, "of fawns, sownders, bucks, and does." 

"Binnich nan allt" is a term applied to roedeer, while 
" Fiadh-fhal or lann " is a deer park or enclosure ; the paunch or 
intestines being " Gairbh," while we find " Brag " given as a herd 
of deer. The word "allaidh " as sometimes used for a " wild" or a 
deer is properly an adjective, "os-allaidh" a deer, meaning a wild 
ox or animal also. 

The deer pertains, so far as this work is concerned, essentially 
to the Celt. It is difficult to say when the Celt did not hunt 
and slay the deer, and weave song and tale around his own and 
his dogs' exploits in connection therewith. The animal itself has 
by no means been left in the background, and volumes might be — 
nay, have been — written and printed on the various details of each. 
Our mythical and fairy lore, our topography, etc., is replete with 
accounts of this noble "wild." Fairy women sometimes assumed 
the shape of deer. The island of Jura is said to be " Dyr-ey," or 
Deer Island, though subsequent research reveals the statement 
that it was named from two brothers named Dih and Rah, meaning 
without grace or prosperity ; these brothers were said to have been 
Danes, but, if so, the words are Gaelic dith and rath. Both the 
red and fallow deer have now taken kindly to the hills and valleys 
of New Zealand, and have antlers from forty to forty-six inches 
in length from tip to base, with a breadth of span up to forty- 
one inches. A bone is said to exist in the heart of a deer. The 
word " braicheam," signifying a stag, also a buffalo or wild ox, is 
found in the Dinnsenchus of Rennes as follows : " Chunncas 
braicheam 's bru agus baigliu (or baiglin) eatorra, sochraide 
rodech (robh teachd) a mag (magh), agus brech gam marbhadh " ; 
I beheld a stag and a doe, and between them a fawn (J) a 



DEER 123 

multitude saw (was on ?) the plain, and a wolf killing them (the 
deer ?) ; also Fer selgca oss ocus elta (fear sealg os agus eilide), a 
hunter of stags and does. A word "congna" is also given for a 
deer's horn or antler. "Sed-greigh" is a term used also for deer, 
i.e., "a herd of red cattle/' while in connection therewith we find 
the words ^'seghainn, seguin (sed guin)/' a slayer of red cattle 
(deer), a deerslayer. 

In 1744 £20 Scots was laid on by the Skye lairds as a fine for 
killing a deer "without permission from the heritors." In the 
island of Arran a fine of ,£20 stg. was at one time imposed on 
the slayer of a deer. Glengarry's seal, at one time, was a large 
circular shield, with a large deer covering it. In the tale of 
"Dearg" reference is made to Oisein's mother having been 
enchanted, wooed and won under form of a deer, and in regard 
to this the late Rev. John Forbes of Sleat, Skye, mentions in some 
of his notes in connection with his, as yet, unpublished translation 
of Ossian's poems, that he, in 1858, interviewed at Kirivig (?) 
Callanais, Isle of Lewis, one Murdoch McKay, aged 96, who 
recited to him the tale of Ossian being born of a doe ; in addition 
to numerous pieces introducing Fionn, Oscar, Caoilte, Diarmad, 
etc. He (McKay) also said, the belief in his day was that the 
Lochlannaich built Dun Carloway. The following is a verse 
recited, inter alia, by this old man : " Ossian an deigh nam Feinn, 
's fhada mo (illegible) an deigh chaich 'm aghaidh anns an aird 
an iar 's uillinicean fodha sgiath an sas." He had the story of 
Fionn coming to St Patrick's house and his starvation there. N.B. 
The notes, being in pencil, are mostly illegible after the lapse of 
forty years. 

Oisein's song to his mother, Graidhne, as a deer or hind under 
spell (Ossen is said to mean "little fawn"), is as follows : — 

'' Cha chluinn mo leannan mo ghuth 
Ma's tu mo mhathair gur fiadh thu 
Ma's tu mo mhathair gur fiadh thu 
Faiceal ort o ghniomh nan con," etc. 

My love will not hear my voice. 
If thou art my mother, a deer thou 
If thou art my mother, a deer thou 
Be on guard from deeds of dogs. 

In the " Gesto " collection of Highland music, etc., the 
following version of the above is given : — 

Ma's tu mo mhathair, 's gur fiadh If thou art my mother, a deer thou, 
thu I'll sing me o ho rann o ho ; 

Bheir mi o ho rann o ho. Be early up before the sun rise, 
Eirich moch mu'n eirich grian I'll sing me o ho rann o ho, 

Bheir mi, etc.. Eh ho ree, ree, eev ak, o ho 

Eho i ri, ri ibhag, o ho Ohee, oho, ho ro, 

Ohi, oho, ho ro I'll sing me o ho rann, o ho. 

Bheir mi o ho rann, o ho. 



124 DEER 

Siubhail sliabh luu'n cirich teas Travel hill ere heat arise, 

Bheir mi, etc., I'll sin^ me, etc., 

'N aire dhuit bho ghniomh nan con Be on i^uard from deeds of dogs, 

Bheir mi, etc. riTsing me, etc. 

Ma theid thu air beanntaibh arda If to mountains high you go 

*N aire dhuit bho Chlann-nan-cearda, Be on guard from tinker race, 

Clann-nan-cearda 's an cuid chon The tinker race witli all their dogs. 

Da chu dheug air lodhain aca. Twelve dogs have they upon leash, 

'S a chu fliein air lainih gach fear. And every man a dog in hand. 

Ma theid thu a'n gleannaibh iosal If to the lowly glens thou goest, 

'Nairedhuit|bhoChlann-na-fritheadh, Be on guard from Forest sons, 

Clann-na-fritheadh 's an cuid chon The sons of Forest with all their dogs. 

Da chu dheug, etc. (as before). Twelve dogs, etc. 

'Nuair theid thu a'n gleanntaibh When to the deepest glens thou goest 

domhain Be on guard from the Smith-sons, 

'N aire dhuit bho Chlann-a-Ghobhainn, The Smith-sons and all their dogs ; 
Clann-a-Ghobhainn 's an cuid chon Twelve dogs, etc. 

Da chu dheug, etc. (as before). 

It is said that there are fourteen versions of the above known. 

The subject of deer-hunting is of too vast proportions to do 
more than touch on. A pass in Glen-Lochay bears the name 
"Comhsheilg" or '^Hunt-together/' it being the place where, 
after the "Timchioll" or circle, a mode of deer-hunting was 
carried out, the deer were driven to bay, while the "hiding" 
hillocks were called loUaircean or lollaraicean. Another place 
was called " Pollbuiridh," which simply means " rutting " place 
or hollow. Harold, Earl of Caithness and Count of Orkney, was 
said to be so passionately fond of hunting the deer, and of all 
rural sports, that he was called " Morair na sithionn," lord of the 
hunt or venison. 

As may be concluded, songs in regard to deer and deer-hunting 
are numerous, and we only mention Duncan Ban Maclntyre's 
poems as among the first. The following are a few selections. 
The first being far-famed and familiar as a milking-song, it is 
called "Crodh Chailein" or "Colin's cows." Among many notices 
and descriptions of this song, it has been described as a " wonderful 
strain of pastoral melancholy, redolent of the heathery brae and 
breezy moorland, breathing a sweet tender spirit of the past, 
and instilling upon the mind a pleasing enchantment." Its sweet 
melody has been heard in many a shealing, and has lulled to sleep 
many a fretful Highland child. The melody is said to belong to 
Lochaber, and the well-known " Lochaber no more" is just an 
elaboration of this air, to which Shaw composed several hymns. 
A modern and able Celtic scholar and critic, M. Macfarlane, says 
this song must be very old, and that there are stories told to 
account for its origin, which are all alike untrue as they cannot 
be all true, and that there are variants both of the words and the 
music. This is not singular. It may be worth noting here that 
the song gave its name to an erstwhile distinguished literary club 
in Edinburgh. This club met at a tavern in the Anchor Close, 



DEER 125 

kept by one Daniel Douglas, who knew Gaelic, and whose favourite 
song was " Crodh Chailein." He was called upon to sing at the 
close of every jovial evening. Robert Burns, when in Edinburgh, 
was a regular frequenter of this club, and he refers to it in more 
than one of his songs. Daniel Douglas, who is thus said to have 
made "Crodh Chailein" classic, died on 1st January 1788. The 
following version, in Gaelic and English, is selected as the most 
complete available ; the English translation is by Mrs Grant of 
Laggan. The versions are not strictly similar, so they are given 
separately : — 

Bha crodh aig Mac Chailein, 
Bheireadh bainne dhomh fhein 
Eadar Bealltuinn 'us Samhuinn 
Gun ghamhuinn, gun laogh. 
Crodh ciar, crodh ballach, 
Crodh Alasdair mhaoil, 
Crodh lionadh nan gogan, 
'S crodh thogail nan laogh. 

Crodh Chailein mo chridhe 
Crodh Chailein mo ghaol 
Gu'n tugadh crodh Chailein 
Dhomh bainn' air an fhraoch. 
Crodh Chailein mo chridhe 
Crodh Chailein mo ghaoil 
Crodh ciar dubh, breac ballach. 
Air dhath na circ' fhraoich. 

Gu'n tugadh crodh Chailein, dhomh bainne gu leoir. 
Air mullach a mhonaidh, gu'n duine 'n ar coir. 
Crodh Chailein mo chridhe, crodh Chailein mo ghaoil 
Crodh lionadh nan gogan, crodh thogail nan laogh. 

Gu'n tugadh crodh Chailein dhomh bainn' air an raon 
Gun chuman, gun bhuarach, gun luaircean, gun laogh, 
Crodh Chailein mo chridhe, crodh Chailein mo ghaoil, 
Gu h-eutrom 'nan eadradh, a' beadradh ri'n laoigh. 

Gu bheil sac air mo chridhe, 's trie snidh air mo ghruaidh, 
Agus smuairnean air m'aigne 'chum an cadal so bhuam, 
Crodh Chailein mo chridhe, crodh Chailein mo ghaoil, 
Crodh ciar dubh, breac ballach, air dhath na circ' fhraoich. 

Cha chaidil, cha chaidil, cha chaidil mi uair 
Cha chaidil mi idir gus an till na bheil 'uam 
Crodh Chailein mo chridhe, crodh Chailein mo ghaoil 
Crodh lionadh nan gogan, crodh thogail nan laogh. 



12G DEER 

(jed dh'itheadh na fithich 'mach cridhe nan laogh 
Gu'n tugadh crodh Chailcin dhonih bainn' air an fin'aoch 
Gun chinnan, gun bliuarach, gun laoisgean, gun laogh, 
Gun ni air an donihainn, ach monadh fo fliraoicb. 

Crodli guaillean breac ballacb, crodh Chailein mo ghaoil 

Gu h-uallacli 's an fliraoch, 's crodh Iain ri'n taobh 

Fo'n dlu bliarrach uaine, 's fliiurain an raoin, 

Gu'n tugadh crodh Chailein dhomh 'm bainn' air an fliraoch. 

Crodh Chailein mo chridhe 
Crodh Iain mo ghaoil 
Gu h-eutrom 's an ead'radh 
A' beadradh ri 'n laoigh. 

My Colin, lov'd Colin, my Colin, my dear, 
Who wont the wild mountains to trace without fear, 
Oh ! where are thy flocks that so swiftly rebound 
And fly o'er the heath, without touching the ground ? 

So dappled, so varied, so beauteous their hue ; 

So agile, so graceful, so charming to view 

O'er all the wide forest, there's nought can compare 

With the light bounding flocks of my Colin, my dear. 

My Colin, dear Colin, my Colin, my love. 

Oh ! where are thy flocks that so loftily move. 

With branches so stately their proud heads are crowned. 

With their motions so rapid the woods all resound. 

Where the birch trees hang weeping o'er fountains so clear. 

At noonday they're sleeping round Colin, my dear. 

Oh, Colin, sweet Colin, my Colin, my joy. 

Must those flocks and those herds all thy moments employ ? 

To yon waterfall's dashing I tune my sad strain. 
And gather these violets for Colin in vain ; 
At sunset he said he would meet with me here. 
Then where can he linger, my Colin, my dear ? 

Oh Colin, my darling, my pleasure, my pride. 

While the flocks of rich shepherds are grazing so wide, 

Regardless I view them, unheeded the swains 

Whose herds scatter'd round me adorn the green plains. 

Their offers I hear, and their plenty I see. 

But what are their wealth and their offers to me ? 

While the light bounding roes, and the wild mountain deer, 

Are the cattle of Colin, my hunter, my dear. 



DEER 127 

Professor MacKinnon says that the foregoing is "traditionally 
connected with a creagh from Glenlyon, some two hundred years 
ago." It is frequently referred to as a fonn sith or fairy song. 
Anciently the hunter was admired as a person of manly courage, 
who, in the pursuit of a livelihood, exerted the virtues of patience 
and fortitude, and followed Nature into her most sublime retire- 
ments. Herdsmen were then accounted the sons of "little men," 
sordid, inferior beings, who preferred ease and safety to noble 
daring and boundless variety, and were considered to be as 
much below the hunter as the cattle they tended were inferior in 
grace and agility to the deer which the others pursued. Interest, 
however, reversed such opinions ; in process of time the maidens 
boasted of the numerous herds of their lovers, and viewed the 
huntsman as a poor wandering adventurer, who crawled with 
" glunachain " on his bare knees for an existence. 

About the transition time this song seems to have been com- 
posed ; the enamoured nymph, willing to think Colin as rich as 
others, talks (or rather sings) in an obscure and figurative manner 
of the " Cattle of Colin " (crodh Chailein), and pursues the metaphor 
through many playful allusions to the deer, roes, fawns, etc., and 
their manner of sporting and feeding, in a style too minute for 
perfect translation. 

Ten verses of an amusing dialogue between a hunter and a 
deer were composed by another Lochaber worthy, Donald 
Cameron, Lochaber, many years ago. The tenor shows that the 
Highlander and the deer looked upon each other with a suspicious 
eye in the past as in the present day. One verse of each will 
suffice : — 

An Sealgair, loq. 
Na'm faighnin a so slaodadh, gu cul na craoibhe caorainn, 
Gu'ra biodh mo ghunna craosach 'g a taomadh na do chorp. 

Am fiadh, ioq. 
Gu'm b'fhearr dhuit cur 'na cliathadh, 'bhi 'g iomain cruidh na 'g 

am biathadh, 
Na staoic de m' shithinn bhlionaich, 's nach fhiach i 'cur a'n phoit. 

Hunter, loq. 
If hence I could but scramble to the back of that rowan tree, 
The contents of my deadly gun I'd empty into your body. 

Deer, loq. 
'Tw^ere better for you to harrow and sow, or drive and feed the 

cows. 
Than a steak of my tasteless venison, in the pot 'tis not worth 

while to boil. 

In a certain other poem a deer is made to say to the hunter, 
" Glac an cuib (caib) 'us an crann, is cuir gu teann ri aran, tha do 
chrodh amis a ghleann 's ro mhath an t-annlann bainne." Seize 



128 



DEER 



tlie spade and plough, and sow steadily for bread, your cows are 
in the glen, milk is good " kitchen." 

A famous deer-stalker and poet was also Uilleam gobha, alias 
Uilleam Ridhe-naomh (William Gow or Smith), of Abernethy, 
Strathspey. He composed "The Stalker's Dream," and other 
poems in Gaelic and English. 

The following verses in praise of deer are from a Lochaber 
song by James Munro, entitled "Am Fiadh." 



O cait am facas a falbh air faiche, 
A' siubhal leacann no 'g astar sleibh. 
Le bhian dearg nuiiseach, le sheang- 

cruth bras-inhear. 
B'u bhoidhiche pearsa, na mac an 

fheidh ? 



A chuinnean fiata 's a ghaoith 's e 

dian ruith, 
Feadh thoman riabhach nan cian 

bheann ceo, 
Le ard-uchd aluinn, le chabar craeach 
'S le eangaibh sar-chlis an am na toir. 



Gur binn 'am chluasaibh an langan 

uaibhreach 
'A thig 'on raa'-ghreigh o'n chruachan 

ard 
Gur grinn air fuaran an eilid 

chuannda. 
'S a laogh mu 'n cuairt di ri luaineas 

bhath. 

An cluas gu claisteachd, an suit gu 

faicinn. 
An cinn 's an casan co-ghrad gu leir, 
Bi 'n obair uasal a bhi ga 'n cuartach 
'S a caitheamh luaidhe le buaidh nan 

deigh. 



Oh where have you seen o*er meadows 

so green, 
Hillsides a-roaming, or speeding o'er 

braes, 
With red hide so sleek, slim, active 

and bright. 
Of statelier shape than the son of the 

deer ? 

With nostrils distended, mad racing: 

up wind 
O'er grey mountain peaks enshrouded 

in mist. 
Their high breasts so lovely and tree- 

antlered heads 
Showing nimblest of footsteps in the 

chase that they dread. 

Oh sweet to my ears is the bellowing 

chanson 
That comes from the red troop on 

mountains so high, 
The hind at the fountain so shapely 

and handsome. 
Her foolish fawn restless, but frisking 

near by. 

With ear true for hearing, with eye 

keen for seeing. 
Her head and her feet both so neat 

and so trim ; 
The manliest labour is their very 

surrounding. 
Then powder and lead puts an end to 

the scene. 

R. Mac Donald again gives a verse as follows, which shows the 
ardent love hunters have and had for their "cattle." 

Fhad 's a bhithinn beo na maireann 
Deo dhe 'n anam ann am chorp 
Dh' fhanainn am fochar an fheidh 
Sin an spreidh an robh mo thoirt. 

So long as I lived or survived, 

A breath of the soul (life) in my body 

I'd remain in the neighbourhood of the deer. 

These were the cattle I esteemed. 



DEER 129 

The land of these "cattle" has been described lately in a spirited 
" Recitative " by William Allan, Sunderland, in a contribution to 
the Celtic Magazine, as follows : — 

The Highlands, the Highlands, the Highlands ; 
The Bays, the Sounds, and the Islands, 
The land of the purple heather. 

And Deer and Roe, and Kite and Crow, 
And Grouse and Hare, and Blackcock rare. 
And Erne and Fox, and Bats and Brocks, 
And Whaups and Owls, and Barnyard Fowls, 
And Shaggy Kine, and Sheep and Swine, 

Browsing or flying together. 
Live still in our Grand Scottish Highlands, 
The Land of the Heather and Islands ! 

Our selection of " Deer " poetry would not be complete without 
reference to that powerful piece entitled " Cabarfeidh," with which 
all our readers are doubtless more or less acquainted. As is also 
known, " Cabarfeidh " is the war-cry and charge of that gallant clan, 
the MacKenzies. The head, etc., is their cognizance. We are not 
aware that any translation of Cabarfeidh has ever been published. 

In the Folk-lore of the Highlands, deer are called *' fairy 
cattle," and were supposed to be milked on the mountain tops by 
the fairies. A famous fairy, or rather witch, known as " Cailleach 
Beinn-a-bhric," or Beinne-bric, is reputed to have been in the 
habit of doing so, and certain verses are extant which she sung 
to them on such occasions. It is said she even had a " buarach " 
or "cow-fetter" in use when so employed, singing, as above 
mentioned, to her "cattle," as all good dairymaids do. Her 
song began "M'aghan fhin thu, nach teid do'n bhuailidh," 
My own heifer you that goes not to the fold, etc. The words 
segh and agh-allaidh are commonly in use as names for wild deer. 
Cailleach-mor-nam-fiadh, great-hag of the deer, used to live among 
the mountains of Jura, where many places are still named after 
her. The fairies had no other cattle. 

Long before the introduction of Christianity, the Irish say, 
there was an Irish "monarch" called "Eochaidh Fiadhmuine," 
so named from his passion for deer hunting, also another, named 
" Nia' Sedamin," because it was during his reign that the cows 
and the does (sed or segh and haighe or aighe) were milked 
alike ; seada is the Irish form of the word for a hind or doe. The 
banner of the McCarthys, who are said to be descended from a 
King Eunda, who reigned in Ireland in the fifth century, is a stag, 
that monarch having had a certain exciting chase of one ; while 
the name of a certain famous Irish Prince was Lughaidhe or 
Laighe, a fawn (lugh aighe). (See Fingal, Duan IV., 241, and 
Temora I., 376, as to custom of burning horns of deer.) Deer of 

I 



130 DEER 

renown, even recorded, are numerous, and famed both in song 
and tale. The famous white sta^r of Ben Alder is one, it lies 
buried with Mac Gille Naomh's hound beneath the waters of 
Loch Bhrotainn. In the Monadh Hath the deer are said to excel 
all others, but were not so fortunate as those of the Reay forest 
which was once enchanted by the "Cailleach mhor Chlibric," 
the great hag or witch of Clibric, who rendered the deer all 
bullet proof. The beautiful species of deer or antelope, referred 
to as the Pygarg in Deut. xiv. 5, is supposed to mean chamois. 
Sir R. Gordon refers to deer in Ben Arkel, Sutherland, with 
forked tails, three inches long. A stag's leap, " sinleag feidh," 
Nether Lochaber tells us, was used as an old Highland linear 
measure equal to thirty English feet. Deer will pasture with 
goats, but dislike sheep, as Duncan Ban Maclntyre so often tells us. 
The deer, it will be remembered, was the emblem or coat-of-arms 
of one of the Twelve Tribes, viz., Naphtali. The word "ruadh" 
for deer, it may be added, is and was in frequent use, as 

*S minig a ghluais iad maraon do (gu) seilg 
'S do (gu) ruadhaibh na fasaich. 

Often did they proceed to the hunt 

And towards the hinds of the forest. Temora. 

The skin of the female deer is finer than that of the male, 
and used to be formed into furs as well as tunics for women of 
high and low degree ; it is called hiche. The hindquarters or 
haunch of a deer, it may be mentioned, is called breclie, the root 
of the word " breeches." 

The word or term "Binneach" as applied to a roedecr is 
found in the place named "Cnoc-nam-binneachain " at Leumre 
(leum reidh), Auchendaur (Ach' an dair), so named from rutting 
season fights there. For full and interesting accounts of deer 
and deer-hunting reference is made to Vol. II. of The Lays of 
the Deer Forest, by Iain agus Tearlach na h-Albainn (Sobieski 
Stuarts), 2 vols., 1848 ; where, inter vudta alia, it is pointed out as 
a very desirable correction that the young, etc., of the deer kind 
are frequently misnamed, and are as follows. Fawn, young of 
fallow-deer ; Kid, young of roe ; Calves, young of hind ; the cry of 
the roebuck is called "Bell," and of the stag "Bray or bellow." 
The male of the red-deer is stag, of the fallow and roedeer 
buck, the female red-deer is hind, the fallow and roedeer doe. 
The following list is useful and interesting : — 

MALES. RED-DEER. FALLOW-DEER. ROE-DEER. 

1 year . . Calf. Fawn. Kid. 

2 years . . Brocket Pricket. Gerle. 

3 ,, . . Spayad. Sourel. Hemule, or Herause. 

4 ,, . . Stag. Soure. Roebuck of the first head. 

5 „ . . Great Stag. Buck of the first head. Roebuck. 

6 ,. . . Hart Buck. 



DEER 131 

See also glossary of terms for deer and their pertinents, etc., 
which unfortunately, like most of the other terms, are only in 
English. 

Cameron, in his Gaelic names for plants, etc., says that " Penny- 
cress" in Gaelic is praiseach-feidh, deer's pot-herb (kail). Ir. 
Praiseach-fiadh, a deer's pot-herb ; mountain sorrel, Sealbhag- 
nam-fiadh, the deer's sorrel ; common asparagus, Creamh-mac- 
fiadh, the deer's son's leek or garlic ; heathrush, stoolbent, Bru 
or bruth-chorcan, deer's oats, also bru-chorcur, bru-chorachd. 

Deer proverbs are numerous, among which are 

An latha 'marbhas tu fiadh 's an latha 'n D — 1 gin ! 

The day you kill a deer, and the day the D — 1 a one. Good 
wishes. 
An rud a chuir an earb air an loch. 

What (or that which) made the roe take (to) the loch. 
Necessity. Deer, however, swim readily. 
Bu dual do laogh au fheidh ruith a bhi aige. 

It is natural for the calf of the deer to be swift of foot. 
Catachaidh am biadh fiadh na beinne. (See " Talaidhidh," 
etc.) 

Food (or the want of it) will tame the mountain deer. 
Cha deic luathas na h-earba gun na coin a chuir rithe. 

The swiftness of the roe is known without the loosing of the 
hounds. 
Cha ghabh fiadh gointe gaoth. 

A wounded deer won't take the wind. She takes to the 
nearest water instead of, as usual, running against the wind. 
Cha teich an earba gus am faie. 

The roe won't fly till she sees. A tip to the deer-stalker. 
Cha trom leis an fhiadh a chabar. 

The deer does not feel his horns heavy. 
Cho ard ceann ri fiadh na fireach. 

As high a head as the mountain deer. Said of a haughty- 
looking person. 
Cho sunndach ris an fheidh. 

As hearty as the stag. 
Chuireadh iad na feidh a fasaich. 

They would send the deer out of a wilderness. Said of very 
noisy people. 
Far nach bi na feidh, cha reidh an toirt as. 

From the place where the deer are not, they're not easy to 
be got. 
Fiadh e fireach, aon de na tri mheirle as nach do ghabh duine 
naire riamh. 

A deer from the mountain (or forest), one of three thefts 
no man ever was (or need be) ashamed of. The true 
principle of community of living. 



132 DEER— DOG 

Ge be fear a's luaithe lamh is Icis am fiadh. 

He that is of tlie quickest hand will get the deer. 
Geir feidh a inuigh 's a stigh, mar leighis sin thu cha 'n 'eil 
do leighis ami. 

The fat of stags (applied) externally and internally, if that 
cure you not, your cure is not to be. 
Is ard ceann an flieidh 's a' chreachann. 

High is the stag's head on the mountain crags. 
Is fhearr aon fliiadh 's a Mhona' Hath na dha dheug an Gaig. 
One deer from the Monaleea is better than twelve from 
Gaig. 
Is leoir luathas na h-earba gun na coin a chuir rithe. 

The roe is swift enough without setting the dogs at her. (See 
" Cha deic," etc.) 
Is luaithe 'mang na 'mathair. 

The fawn is swifter than its mother. 
Is mairg do 'n sguaban-stothaidh bo-mhaol odhar Mhic-Ghill- 
Eoinidh. 

Pity him whose resource is MacGillony's hornless dun cow. 
The wild mountain doe. (See Nicolson.) 
Mar eilid ag iarraidh a h-annsachd. 

Asa hind seeking her love. Sean Dana. 
Mar is sine 'm boc is ann is cruaidhe 'n adharc. 

The older the buck, the harder his horn. 
Na feann am fiadh gus am faigh thu e. 

Don't skin the deer till you get it. Never anticipate need- 
lessly or rashly. 
Tachraidh d'fhiadh fhein riut. 

Your own deer will come in your way. Bide your chance. 
Talaidhidh am luadh fiadh na beinne. (See " Catachaidh," etc.) 

Food will entice the mountain deer. 
Tha fuil feidh ort, 's cha tu fhein a mharbh e. 

There is deer blood on you and you did not kill it yourself. 
A reflection on a man's prowess. 
Tri aois duine aois feidh, tri aois feidh aois craoibh dharaich, 
or, tri aois feidh aois firein, etc. 

Three ages of man, age of deer, three ages of deer, age of 
oak tree or eagle, etc. 

DOG. — Abhac, abhach, abhag (terrier), airsear or arsair (bark- 
ing or snapping), alach (litter), amhach, arrchogaid (hunting hound), 
archoicid (staghound, Ir.), aonchu, archu (fierce), aschu (water) ; 
Balgair, brach, brech (wild), bus-dubh (bye-name) ; Can, cana, 
canna (puppy), ci, cich (greyhound), ci-cingeach (leader), ciocrach 
(greedy), ciubh, coibhearan, colg-chu, conaire (pack), crann-chu 
(lap-dog), cu (cuan, a pack of hounds), cu dubh Eadailteach (a 
sleuth-hound), cu-eunaich or eunaidh (spaniel, pointer), cu-feoladair 
(bulldog, mastin), cu-fionn or fionna, cu-gortach (greyhound), cu- 



DOG 133 

fhada (a greyhound), cu-ghorm (greyhound), cuib, cuibh, cuilean 
(whelp, freq. "dog"), cuilebhar, cu-lomna (tied), cu-lorgaidh 
(beagle), cu-luirge (beagle, bloodhound, gazehound), cu-mara (slow 
hound, raviger), cu-seilge (hunting), cu-uisge (water retriever) ; 
Fear-ehu (male), fiadh-chu (wild), fionn-chu, foir, for ; Gadhar, 
gadhar bior-shuileach (gazehound), gadharan, gaidhrin (spaniel), 
gaighear, galla (bitch), gaodhar, gaor, gaothar, garrag (a " ruffled " 
dog, after fighting), gasgan (pup), gasgan-coin (bold), gibne, gibne- 
gortach, gibne-praiseach, gioric, grech, gregh, gru (greyhound) ; 
lobhlair, iolair (beagle); Leth-chu (lurcher, mongrel), lioncaise 
(spaniel), lodhainn, lothainn, lothainn-choin (pack), lorgair, lorgan 
(slowhound), lothair, luan ; Mada, madadh (madra, madradh, Ir.), 
maduidh, maistidh, maistic (mastiff), measan, measchu (lapdog), 
mial-chu (greyhound) ; Nasc, nasg, nasg-chu (chained) ; Oirc, 
oircne, ore (lap-dog), ormchre (boarhound) ; Rache (scent-hound), 
ratche, rotch (bitch) ; Sabhairle, sabhairlean, sabhan (mastiff), 
sagh, saghain, saigh, saith, samhan (bitch-pup), sglamhach (greedy, 
voracious), sgonn-chu, sogh, sogh-chu, soich, soide-glaisse (grey- 
hound, Ir. Rev. Celt.), soigh (bitch) ; Tolair (foxhound). 

The following is by no means a complete list of English names 
for dogs, but given to show some of the varieties • — 

Bandog (chained), band-dog (Shakesp.), batch, beagle, beamer, 
bicche, bick, bitch, bloodhound, boarhound, braache, brach, 
brache, brachell, brath, brathey, brattch, byche ; Caball, cap 
(shepherd's), champer (hound), collie (shepherd's), cruchie 
(shepherd's), cub, cur ; Dash-hound ; Errye (cur) ; Feck (pointer, 
foxhound), etc. ; Gazehound, glenwherry coley (Ir.), gowler, greu, 
grew, grewan, grewand, grewant, grew-hund, grewin, grey, grey- 
hound, grewnd, grewnt, grig, groond, groun (cur), gro-und, gru, 
gruan, gruant, gruap, grue, grue-hound, gru-und ; Haanyal, haniel, 
hanniel, hanvel, hanziel (greedy), harehound, harrier, hiskie, 
hokner, honde, hound, hund, hundas (hounds), hunn, hwonde ; 
Kenet, kennet, keout (North) ; Long-dog (greyhound), lovel, 
(Outram), lurcher, lym, lyme (bloodhound) ; Maskis, mastiche, 
mastiff, mastig (North), mastis, messan, messane, messen, messet, 
messin, messit, messon, messoun, mongrel, moon-bayer, mooner, 
muggletony (mongrel); Orri (cur), otter-hound, ouf-dog ; Penny- 
dog (good follower), pitcher (fierce, Yorksh.), pug, pug-dog, pup, 
puppy ; Rache, ratch, rax, rot-hund (A. S.) ; Shough, sleuth, 
sleuth-bratch, sleuth-hound, slot-hound, slough-dog, slug-hound, 
spangel, spaniel, spanycart, spanzelle, splayer (castrated), stoordie ; 
Tarier (Palsgrave), teaser (hound), terrier, tike, tyk, tyke, tout- 
tyke (mongrel), trundle-tail (Shakesp.) ; Waupe (turnspit), wolf-dog. 

The etymology of the various names or terms for the canine 
creation is too extensive a subject to be gone into minutely here, 
but a few are given. Various etymologies exist, many of which 



134 doc; 

still appear uncerUin, a fanciful derivation being frequently given ; 
the word "beagle," for instance, is said to be from "biogail," 
lively, active, frisky, or from "beag," little. Spaniel is literally 
Spanish dog, cub conies from Old Irish or Celtic, cuh, a dog. The 
Gaelic " cu " is thus explained by a Canadian Celt, " the Latin, of 
which the word lias lost its final n, is from canix, so called from its 
yelping, Gaelic caoine, to cry, hut caoine has other forms, viz., 
cain, to scold, can, to say or siii<^ ; in the North caoine is sounded 
as if ceoin or cone. I should think coineati, a rabbit, and coji, 
a wolf, are but other forms of the same word." The word cu 
has the signification of king, champion (like tore and eo), and 
curaidh means champion. Mial-chu, greyhound, is from mial, an 
animal which bites or seizes its prey, and this the greyhound does, 
having no power of scent for hunting. Archu, etc., means lit. 
slaughter-dog, bloodhound, watch-dog. Old Irish archoicid. 
This archu had three functions, viz. (Irish), lorgairecht agus 
gabhaltaige agus dingbail, i.e., lorgaireachd (tracing), gabhaltachd 
(seizing), and diongmhaltas (general efficiency). The Arr-chogaidh 
or Arra-diogaidh, is the first hound that "winds" or comes up 
with the deer. The word hund or hun-da is said to be of Teutonic 
type, from hun, hwan, kwan, a dog, hence cu, etc. The word pup 
or puppy is of Celtic origin, being lit. puck-dog, from Old Celtic 
puca, an elf, sprite, hobgoblin, or bocan, a spectre, apparition, 
shapeless one, Welsh Bug. Another derivation is from pu, to 
beget, or the young of any animal. Abh, whence abhag, etc., a 
terrier, signifies barking. Terrier is said to mean a burrow or 
burrowing dog, the French " terrier," signifying the hole, etc., of a 
coney or fox. The word "oirc," etc., has also the meaning 
"lap-dog." The word "gadhar" of old signified "beagle," and 
" gadhar tafaind " (tabhain ?), hunting-hound, the old form is 
" gadar," and it is thought it may be derived from Old Norman 
"gagar," a dog, which latter form Kuno Meyer maintains is the 
correct form. "Ciocar"or "ciocrach " is just ci or cu acrach, a 
Imngry dog. " Coin dubha Ghriogarach," bloodhounds used of old 
for tracking deer. 

The opinions held of dogs, and the characteristics attributed 
to them by people, from the earliest period till now, vary con- 
siderably. A much-lauded writer, R. L. Stevenson, says that " he 
deserves not a name for virtue, but for vanity, greedy of notice, 
intolerant of ridicule, suspicious, jealous, and devoid of truth." 
The love for a dog is said to be an acquired taste. A non-lover 
of dogs has been characterised as having a mean place or flaw 
somewhere in his soul ; though he may, from some reason or other, 
get to like one particular dog, he has no eye for dogs in general, 
and therefore no true dog lover who should have a real instructive 
fancy for all dogs, and because they are dogs, and who implicitly 
believes that the genus canis has but few faults and a more than 
human virtue, viz., faithfulness. Great is the dog — to some 



DOG 135 

people. Most dogs bark, yelp and howl ad nauseam, but there 
are at least three varieties that never bark, viz., the Austrab'an 
dog, the Egyptian shepherd-dog, and the " lion-headed " dog of 
Thibet. The Skye terrier holds first place easily in respect of 
intelligence. Lightfoot, in his Flora Scotica, pays it a special 
tribute, describing the class as "particularly good and much 
encouraged in most parts for the destruction of foxes in the 
Hebrides, in which they were in 1790." As to the terrier, the late 
" Nether Lochaber " has a happy reference to this graphic descrip- 
tion of one of the class, viz., " A fiery ettercep, a fractious chiel, as 
het as ginger and as stieve as steel." The term "cur" originates 
from a rule once existing, preventing common people's dogs from 
joining in a hunt with the hounds of chiefs, noblemen, or gentle- 
men, unless the dogs' tails were shortened, i.e., made court or 
curt, hence curtail dog, curtle dog, and finally "cur." Biting and 
hydrophobia has a good deal to do with the dislike of some 
people to dogs. Our knowledge of hydrophobia is advanced from 
the time when the ancient Celt held it in even more dread than 
we do ; they dreaded the bite of any dog, sane or mad. In the 
case of another dog being bitten, water was put on the bitten 
dog's teeth, and used to wash the wound. Some say, on the 
teeth of the mad dog, which must be nonsense. The cure, 
whichever way carried out, was called loc-shlaint (health-restorer), 
certainly a pretty general name. A dog's rabies is said to be 
rendered sterile and innocuous by sapphires. Rabies was also 
said to be cured by placing a " blessed " cloven stick on the tail 
of the infected animal, which stick bore the somewhat singular 
term of "Seangan," thin one, or ant. A term for a mangled 
carcass is derived from this animal's habit of gnawing and tearing, 
viz., " conablach " (cu ablach — dog refuse) ; a kennel again is 
"conbhair." Lazy dogs are not unknown, and though "South- 
country " lore, it may be given here, as bad Highland or Celtic 
dogs are not known, or at least, recorded. "Hall's" dog was so 
lazy as to lean against a wall to bark ; another, still lazier, was 
called "Larriman's" dog, while still another's weakness is handed 
down to posterity under the name of " Lumley's " dog " as laid him 
down to bark, or leaned his sen agean a door or a wall when he 
went to bark ! " 

A parallel to the foregoing, though ending more creditably, 
was the historical " black dog " possessed by MacPhee of Colonsay, 
which seldom quitted the fireside, and when it did, only lounged 
about the door. Various versions of this animal's history are 
given, and though fairly well known, we venture to give one, to the 
effect that all efforts were made to induce this dog to follow the 
chase, but in vain. MacPhee was said to be so disgusted at 
this, holding, as he most probably did, the same hatred to a 
worthless hound as Fionn himself, that he often spoke of destroying 
him (the black dog). The cook, however, round whose heart the 



136 DOG 

dog apparently had twined his affections, always stayed his hand 
by saying, "Coma leibhse, cha d'thainig latha 'choin duibh 
fhathasd," never you mind, the black dog's day has not yet come, 
which was, to curtail the tale, the saving of his master from a 
supernatural being, which the faithful animal did at the expense 
of his own life. The saying became proverbial, when any 
apparently lazy or g.)od-for-notliing person, etc., is scorned by the 
more able or active. In reference to the above, " Fionn " tells us 
in the Highlajid News that there are several versions of " Comhrag 
a choin duibh," one in Stewart's Collection, 1804, and several in 
Leabhar na Feinne ; we also find one in the Scottish Celtic Review. 
Biorach-mac-buidheag was the name of the one worst dog that ever 
was among the Feinne. 

Ancient Celts were much attached to their dogs, into whose 
accounts mythology doubtless entered largely. Some have 
supposed that the dog was even an object of worship ; certainly 
animals and things far inferior were so worshipped, though Moses 
in his code of laws makes the dog an unclean animal. The dog 
can be and has been traced back to the Neolithic age, its bones being 
found as among the earliest of all animals. Mr Curry informed 
Dr MacLauchlan, the able editor of the book of the Dean of 
Lismore, that the " Concheannaich " or Dog-Iieads were an ancient 
race who inhabited Magh O'Coin-chinn, now Moygonihy, in Kerry, 
Ireland. On page 77 of the Dean's book will be found a reference 
to a dog-headed battalion. The dog appears as the emblem 
or coat-of-arms of Anubis, while, according to the said Dr 
MacLauchlan, the greyhound or Mial-chu was the family name 
given to King Bruidhi, and others of his race, being descriptive of 
their ability and swiftness in pursuit of their enemies. The rate 
of speed of a greyhound has been estimated at 2534: metres per 
second. In the old Ossianic poem " Manos," the names of five 
dogs are given which were celebrated among the Fingalians for 
their courage and speed, viz., Seangshlios, Busdubh, Mollach, 
Form, and Treun, the lines in which these are mentioned being as 
follows : — 

Latha dhuinn a'n Gleann-a-cheo 
Deichnear — na bha beo dhe'n Fheinn — 
Bha caogad chu a'n laimh gach fir, 
Seangshlios, Busdubh, Mollach, Form a's Treun, 
Be sud ainm mo chuilean con ; 
Bu luath, laidir iad ri gaoith, 
Bu ro mhath an siubhal air leirg, 
'S air cholg feirg cha robh iad faoin 

A-hunting one day in the Glen-of-mist — 
Of the Fingalian host were then alive 
Alas but ten ! — the last of all the race. 
Of brawny deer-hounds each of us led five. 



DOG 137 

Fifty good dogs in all, and mine were named 
Smooth-skin, Black-face, Mollach (hairy), 
Form (mighty rushing), and Treun (strong), 
Fierce, with their bristles up, my gallant dogs ! 
That in their speed outstripped the howling storm. 

But, to Celts, Fingal's dog Bran must take first place, and we 
have no hesitation in laying before our readers a few descriptive 
facts, culled from various sources, in regard to that famous hound. 
In the book of the Dean of Lismore, Bran is said to mean *' raven," 
but used as an adjective signifying " black." Bran is also said to 
mean an avalanche, a landslip, a mountain stream. One or two 
descriptions of Bran are as follows : — 

Spogan buidh ta air Bran 
Tarr-gheal uaine dhath san leirg 
Suil mar airneig, spuirean comhlach, 
'S da chluais bhiorach chrodha dhearg. 

Or, 

Casaibh buidh bha aig Bran 

Da shlios dhuthaidh a's tarr gheal 

Druim uaine mu 'n iadhadh an t'ealg. 

Or, 

Druim uaine mu 'n iadhadh an t'suidhe, 
Druim uaine air an suidheadh seal, 
Druim uaine air cuilean na seilge, 
Druim uaine air dhreach na seilge ; 
Da chluais chorrach chro-dhearg. 
Da chluais chomhanta cho dearg. 

A general translation of the above may be given as 

Yellow paws that are on Bran, 

Belly whitish-grey, heath coloured. 

Eye like sloe, crooked claws. 

And two sharp-pointed ears, keenly active. 

Or, 

Yellow paws Bran did have. 
Two dark sides and belly white. 
And grey back of noble shape. 

Or, 

A grey back of shape of seat (so broad) 

A grey back, a lasting seat, 

A grey back on the hunting pup, 

A grey back of hunting colour ; 

Two sharp ears, keenly active. 

Two ears alike, so red. 



138 DOG 

All Irish description of Bran is as follows : — 
Cosa buidhe a bha air Bran 
Da thaobh dublia agus earr gcal 

Druim uaine (ruaithne *) air datli na seilge (os cionn na leirge) 
Da chluas cruinn, gorm-dearga. 

Yellow feet that were on Bran, 
Two sides black and belly white, 
Greyish-black of hunting colour (above her loins), 
Two ears red, round, small, and bright. 

Or, 
Yellow legs had Bran, both her sides black, and her belly white, 
A speckled back over her loins, and two crimson ears, very red. 

It will be noted that Bran is here made female ; as in Scottish 
Gaelic the male sex is most generally attributed to Bran we speak 
or rather write accordingly. 

Not only was Bran a most famous hunting hound but he could 
even fish, as it is said 

Bu mhath a thathan dorain duinn, 
Is cha mhios 'thoirt eisg e h' amhuinn. 
Well could he tackle the brown otter 
And no worse to take fish from stream. 

One of Bran's feats was the killing of a giant or sorcerer, as 
follows. Bran having a venomous claw or shoe (brog-nimhe), pos- 
sibly had an advantage in cases of the kind. The account runs : — 

Thug sinn (na Feinne) fuasgladh do chu Fhinn. 

Is ruith e gu dian neo-mhall 

Mu 'n robh am Fuath ach gann a steach 

Rug e air le tiolam garg — 

Thug e 'n sin deanail cruaidh 

'S Claigean-ma-choin-a-chinn-chruaidh, 

Is thoisich air le Bran gu 'n fheall 

Ceann chlaigeann ann 'a bheul 

B'ait an sealla' leis an t' sluagh 

Ceann an Fhuath a bhi fui dheud. 

We (the Fingalians) then gave loosening to Finn's dog 

And swiftly and vehemently he ran. 

The demon was scarcely within 

When he seized him with a mighty grip. 

Then followed doughty doings. 

Skull cracking of hard-headed dog 

Bran went at it strait. 

The skull-head in his jaws ; 

A joyful sight to all't was then 

Beneath his teeth the demon's head to see. 

* " Ruaithne " here is an obsolete word, signifying reddish green or grey. 



DOG 139 

Another tale goes of how Bran conquered and captured a 
wild boar which had slain all the other hounds of a party of 
eight. This boar was a young woman of great beauty, under 
spells. See E. O. Curry on the legend of Find MacCumhal, 
Scathach, and her magical harp. 

One description of Bran gives him as being a Cu-sith or fairy 
dog, as large as a two-year-old stirk, of a dark-green colour, ears 
deep green, lighter towards feet ; or yellow feet, two sides black, 
and belly white, green was the back of this hunting hound, his 
two pointed ears blood-red. The foregoing meaning of the 
name " Bran " as avalanche, etc., is supposed to have been given 
him from a mythical tradition — mythical even in the third or 
fourth century — as to a certain personage who was too large 
to enter a house or go aboard a ship, and who, according to the 
Mabinogi of Branwen, sat on the rock of Harlech. Bran is a 
common name for a greyhound to this day. In the North of 
Scotland it is a custom to give the names of the heroes mentioned 
in "Fingal" to their dogs, at once showing a proof, if any be 
necessary, that these heroes' names are familiar to the ear of 
any one except an ignorant or prejudiced Saxon or Teuton, their 
fame generally known and their high estimate of their dogs' worth 
and value, though having a hfe only of some twelve years or so. 

Bran was supposed to be Fionn's relative. A certain king 
of the Province of Leinster was named Brandubh, this may have 
been the real relative. Still another description of Bran is found, 
viz., " A ferocious, small headed, white-breasted, sleek-haunched 
hound, having the eyes of a dragon, the claws of a wolf, the 
vigour of a lion, and the venom of a serpent." Accounts vary as 
to Bran's deatli, one being that it came about by witchcraft, for, 
if he had the venom of, he had not all the wisdom attributed to, 
a serpent, for he foolishly followed a witch deer, and plunged 
over a crag into a loch after her whence he never rose. Bran 
had the " venom of a serpent " in respect of his being an elfin 
dog, with a venomous claw, which was kept covered except when 
the dog was engaged in serious fight. This claw is called "shoe" 
(from being covered probably) in the tale of " How Finn went to 
the Kingdom of the Big Men," brog nimhe. In an Irish series of 
Irish Fireside Tales, we are told that this " shoe " was of refined 
silver and on Bran's right paw. Bran or Branno, in a note to 
Enghsh Edition (1762) of Ossian's Carricthura, is said to mean a 
mountain stream, Dubh-Bhran or bhranna, a dark mountain stream. 
An Irish statement has it that Fionn or Fingal, or Finn na Baiscne, 
the famous Fionn Mac-Cumhal, had kco favourite dogs. Bran and 
Sgeolan or Sgeolaind; in an Irish tale in Myths and Folk-lore 
of Ireland by J. Curtin — Birth of Fin MacCumhail, 'tis said that 
a whelp there that ate some carpenter's clippings or shavings was 
thereafter called " Bran " ! Another celebrated dog of Fionn's 
was named " Buglen." The mother of Bran and Sgeolan we are 



140 DOG 

told was Fionii's aunt Tinen, who was changed l>y a hcan silhc 
or fairy into a dog. 

Hunting, as is well known, was indulged in on a somewhat 
extensive scale in the days of old, and here Bran was facile 
princeps, "she would even overtake the wild geese, she was that 
swift." As an Irish saying puts it, " bearradh Bran air na gaethibh- 
fiadhaca bi si chondi luath riu." On one occasion the Feinn went 
hunting with three thousand dogs, each dog killed two deer, but 
Bran alone killed six thousand and one, bringing up the total to 
the resj)ectable number of twelve thousand and one. The loss of 
dogs, killed by one hundred boars secured on the occasion, was 
one thousand, though it is somewhat satisfactory to learn that all 
the boars were also slain outright. Bran was so famous that it is 
frequently said of a dog showing unusual merits, " Mar e Bran is e 
bhrathair" — If it be not Bran 'tis his brother. Another famous 
feat of Bran comes to us in a narrative (Irish) of a fearful chase 
engaged in by many famous hounds after a certain witch called 
"a bhean mhor" or the great woman, Bran being the only one 
that ever returned therefrom, her state being thus described : — 

Agus i suaidhte fliuch, 

Ag cul (gul) go caoin a's ag sgread gu cruaidh (truaigh) 
Is cosmhail a choileain do radh Fionn 

Go bhfuil ar goineamhain de 'n t-saoghal i gcontabhairt 
eruaidh. 

And she injured, fatigued and wet. 
Crying, howling and shrieking piteously ; 
It would seem, my doggie, said Fionn, 
That our earthly destiny is in great danger. 

In Temora Bran and Luath are mentioned together, viz., 
" Bran is howling at his (Oscar's) feet, gloomy Luath is sad, for 
he (Oscar) had often led them to the chase, to tlie bounding roes 
of the desert." Burns, no believer in Ossian — or for that matter 
of any other Celt, naturally — has helped, it must be admitted, to 
render CuchuUin's dog " Luath " more immortal if possible, as he 
(Burns) says the poet's tyke is called 

*' After some dog in Highland (Celtic) sang 
Was made langsyne — Gud kens hoc lang." 

A stone (according to the famous Dr Macpherson, late of 
Sleat, Skye) is still shown at Dunsgathaich there to which 
Cuchullin used to fasten Luath. The National Gallery boasts 
of the painting of a fine dog called "Bran" which belonged to 
the late Lord Colonsay, President of the Court of Session and 
Lord Justice-General of Scotland. 



DOG 141 

In Reliquiae Celticce an account is given of how Bran was 
killed, which apparently does not coincide with that formerly 
given. Elsewhere we read that Bran was killed really by Fionn 
himself in saving his mother, who, in the shape of a fawn, Bran 
was chasing ; she, by Fionn's advice, passed through between his 
legs, and when Bran followed Fionn squeezed her to death. Fionn 
is said never to have wept except twice — once at the death of his 
grandson Oscar, and again at the death of Bran, whose " shaggy 
foot" is referred to in Temora, Duan VI., beginning "Is teann air 
'n a shineadh air feur, cas mjiolach an treun choin Bhran." And 
near it (the shield), stretched on the grass, lay the hairy paw of 
the noble dog Bran. It will be noted how the gender of Bran 
varies. 

Other famous Celtic dogs, ancient and modern, are countless. 
We have room for only a very few references to one or two. 

A famous Welsh dog, for instance, was " Cavall," Arthur's dog, 
referred to by Tennyson — "the baying of the deep-mouthed hound 
Cavall," probably so called from his noble size — cahall means a 
horse — Caballus (Latin). To go to the other extreme, viz., a lap- 
dog as being "famous" on account of the tradition or history 
hanging round the first oircne or lapdog introduced into Ireland 
from Britain, and which was called " Mug-eime " or Mogh Eimhe, 
which is said to mean " Slave of the hilt or haft." This animal was 
brought from Britain by one Cairbre Muse ; it was a female. See 
Cormac's Glossary for account thereof. Some other accounts give 
it as the first dog of any kind which was brought to Ireland. In 
Leabhar na Feinne, in "Laoidh a choin duibh," a famous dog, 
supposed to be from Innis nan Tore (Orkney), is described as 
follows : — 

Bha allt luidh fad o cheann 
Meadhan leathann leodhar-chliabh 
Uileann fhiar agus speir cham. 

More fully and correctly in " Caraid nan Gaidheal " : — 

Sud mar thaghadh Fionn a chu 
Suil mar airneig, cluas mar dhuilleig, 
Uchd mar ghearran, speir mar chorran 
'S an t' alt luthaidh fad o'n cheann. 

Thus would Fingal choose his dog, 
Eye like sloe, ear like leaf. 
Crest like horse, hough like reaping hook. 
And the neck-joint far from his head. 

Or, 

Miann Mhic Cumhal air a chu. 

MacCumhal's choice of a dog. 



142 DOG 

An t-alt luthaidh fad' on'n cheann 

Meadhon leathanii, leobhar cliabh, 

Uileann fhiar agus speir cham, 

Earball seacli speir, speir mar cliorran, 

Suil mar airneig, cluas mar dliuilleig; 

Sud mar thaghadh Fionn-na-Feinne cuilein cuan. 

Another famous dog was called "Tor," or more properly 
" Toir," as it meant a dog which would go far and near in search 
of venison and prey for hiin.self. His owner challenged the 
Fingalians* dogs to fight "Tor," who (and there are several 
versions) killed " Tri chaogad chu ; naoi chaogad chu ; aon fhichead 
deug chaogad chu." Three, nine, or eleven twenty fifties of the 
Fingalian hounds. Bran, whom we introduce once more, however, 
tackled the big black dog (which, in due justice, we cannot help 
thinking must by that time have been somewhat exhausted), and 
killed it, to the great grief of his owner who had believed him 
invincible, but Tor's owner wronged his opponent, going some- 
what out of his way to account for the defeat by blaming Bran's 
mother, Geola (Smeolan) nan car, " Geola of the wiles," for the 
fate that had befallen his favourite. We, in common with others, 
fail to find any reason for this beyond the self-evident fact that if 
Bran's mother had never existed there would have been no Bran. 
Bran also is said to have been a female while " Tor " was a male. 

Another famous Celtic dog, somewhat nearer our time, was that 
mentioned in rhyme by Raol mac Raouil 'ic Iain, one of the 
Glencoe family : — 

An cu bh' aig RaonuU-mac Raonuill-'ic-Iain 

Bheireadh e sithionn e beinn, 

Ceann leathann eadar 'dha shuil, ach biorach, 

'S bus dubh air gu 'shroin ; 

Uchd gearrain, seang leasrach 's bha 'fhionnadh 

Mar fhriogan tuirc nimheil nan cos ; 

Donn mar airneag bha shuil ; speir luthannach lubta, 

'S faobhar a chnamh mar ghein ; 

An cu sud bh'aig RaonuU-mac-Raonuill-'ic-Iain 

Is trie thug e sithionn e beinn. 

Ronald-son-of-Ronald-son-of-John's good dog 

He could bring venison from the mountain ; 

He was broad between the eyes, otherwise 

Sharp and black-muzzled to the tip of his nose ; 

With a horse-like chest he was small-flanked, and his pile 

Was like the bristles of the den-freqenting boar. 

Brown as a sloe was his eye. 

Supple-jointed (was he), with houghs bent as a bow. 

All his bones felt sharp and hard as the edge of a wedge ; 

Such was Ronald-mac-Ronald mhic John's good dog. 

That often brought venison from the mountain. 



DOG 143 

Another famous dog, as mentioned in "Laoidh an amadain 
mhoir," is Umaidh's gaothair bhain, or Gorban's (Gao'rban) white 
hound, as mentioned in the poem " Manos." The lamentation of 
Umad for his hound will not appear unnatural or extravagant if 
we consider the situation of the mourner — lame, old, in a desert 
isle, and destitute of all other means of procuring subsistence — his 
hound, to him, was everything. The attachment and sagacity of 
the animal himself seems also to have been remarkable. Two 
days and nights he had lain on the tomb of his master's murdered 
son, as if he had meant to expire on the grave where his dust 
had been deposited, if the necessity of the old man had not 
called him away to a voluntary exile. If we form our opinion of 
what we now find dogs, we may, perhaps, be not a little 
mistaken ; their usefulness to society at that period raised them to 
a rank which now they have no title to hold. Their education 
and occupation were the same with those of man, and they 
constantly enjoyed both his company and his friendship, which 
must have greatly improved their nature, so susceptible of 
imitation and of gratitude. Strangers to the kennel, man late and 
early was their only companion, and man, the fairest copy they 
knew, they strove to resemble. By man they found themselves 
raised above their natural place in the scale of being, for which 
they showed their gratitude by exerting themselves to the utmost 
to serve and please him. This mutual friendship became at length 
so perfect that almost all nations in the hunting state, or first stage 
of society, allowed that even in their paradise, or that "humbler 
heaven " which they expected beyond this life, their faithful dog 
should bear them company. Favourite dogs used, indeed, to be 
buried with their deceased masters, in the belief that they should 
meet "in the clouds of their rest." This practice of burying 
favourite dogs with their deceased masters was not peculiar to the 
ancient Scots or Celts, for we find it practised by many other 
nations in their age of heroism. In the poem "The death of 
Cuchullin," the lines occur, " By the dark rolling waves of Lego, 
they raised the hero's tomb, Luath, at a distance lies, the com- 
panion of Cuchullin at the chase." It cannot be thought that too 
much stress is laid here on the circumstances to which this attach- 
ment has been ascribed, if we consider that even the ox of the 
Hottentot has acquired almost as much sagacity as has now the 
dog of the European, and this, by Buffon, was imputed to his 
having the same bed and board and lodging with his master. In 
Tighmora, Duan V., the expression " his dogs are howling in their 
place," is explained by the belief that dogs are sensible of the 
death of their master or mistress, let such happen at ever so great 
a distance. Numerous tales exist, as most if not all of our readers 
are aware, as to dogs' affectionate remembrance of a lost or dead 
master or mistress, and ancient record tells us of a famous dog 
called " Dubh-chos " or Blackfoot, which sat for days on a rock 



144 DOG 

beside the body of his defunct master, eisUvliilc a famous West 
Highhmd chief, called " Ullin glun-dubh." In coiuiection with 
the above, the howling of the dog is called " Sgairn." " B'fliad a 
chluint' an sgairn," their howling was heard afar off — Old Poem ; 
when hunting the hounds' cry was sometimes named " sgal," when 
very loud, sgalar or sgal-fhar. In the ancient Celtic tale, The Destruc- 
tion of Da Derga's Hostel, the howl of a dog named Ossir, Osar, 
or Ossar is described as " Gair," now generally meaning "laugh," 
etc. " CJair Ossir (messan Conaire)," the howl of Ossir (Conaire's 
dog — lapdog) ; Ossir here is in the genitive. The same applies 
to the cry of wolves. The Irish say that it is not safe to ask a 
question of a dog, for he may answer, and should he do so, the 
questioner will surely die. Lady Wilde tells us the Irish peasant 
believes that the domestic animals know all about us, especially 
the dog. 

In May 1877, "Nether Lochaber" in the Celtic Magazine, 
wrote, "One very curious thing in connection with the frequent 
references to dogs which occur in the old Fingalian ballads as 
well as in the more modern compositions is this — the shape, the 
speed, the strength, the endurance of the dog are largely and 
enthusiastically dwelt upon ... a jack-of-all-trades" ; he gives 
an elegy, translated from a composition in Gaelic by Duncan Ban 
M^Intyre on a dog that was drowned. 

A folk-lore tale entitled " Na tri coin uaine," or the three 
green dogs, will be found in Vol. XIII. of the Celtic Magazine. 
The names of the dogs are Fios, Luaths, and Trom ; Knowledge, 
Swiftness, and Weight or Heaviness, three good qualities for more 
than dogs. Another famous hound has given his name to an 
island in Ireland, Inis Samer or Samer's Island. Samer or Samar 
was a greyhound which a jealous husband slew there. Other names 
for famous hounds are Scar, a splinter, Morbh, surly, Ird or lurd, 
the slayer, from obsolete iur, slaughter, etc., and Guailleach, 
strong-shouldered. Conan or Conan maol, bald Conan, was a man 
whose name meant "little dog," and who always spoke boastfully 
and bitingly — see " Fingal," Duan VI. In Campbell's Tales, Vol. 
III., we find Black Arcan's dog had a double-barrelled name, viz., 
Bran-mac-buidheig. Here it may be worth mentioning that 
Shakespeare had no good word for the dog, but very much the 
reverse. Ailbe was the name also of a certain lapdog, while other 
famous dogs' names worth recording here are Argus (Ulysses); 
Boatswain (Byron); and Maida (Scott). In Duan IV. of " Fingal" 
mention is made of Inis-nan-con, isle of dogs, as being the residence 
of one of Swaran's heroes, and this brings us to the frequent use 
of cu, dog, among the Celts of Ireland and Scotland in place and 
personal names, Cu-chulainn, Cu-ulad, Conan, etc., these, it has 
been suggested may be an echo of the time when the Kynesii or 
Kynetes, or Dog-men and Celts lived together (Prof. Mackinnon). 
Among the Britons there was a king called Cunobelinn, the dog 



DOG 145 

of MarSj Bel being the name among the ancient Britons for that 
" leading " god ; elsewhere the meaning is given — wrongly — as 
" bright-coloured " dog. Cunoglasus (tawny or grey dog) was 
another king's name. One of St Kentigern's names was "Conthi- 
^irnus/' dog-chief or king or lord of dogs, Latinised. Cumee, 
Curaidhe, Cu-maidhe or Cu-maigh, means the dog or greyhound 
of the plain, the dog of Meath, i.e., magh a plain, Anglicised also 
into the corrupt form Coovey or Covey. In the Revue Celtiqtie 
D. Fitzgerald says "one who has carefully examined the oldest 
legends of Ireland and Wales would probably admit that the 
most striking feature in these Celtic traditions is the extraordi- 
nary prominence of names derived from the dog, Cu-chulaind, 
Con-chubhar, Mael-gwn, Cyn-fael, Conan, Conall cearnach, Cu- 
roigh (hound-of-the-arm — righ, i.e., fore-arm, wrist), Cuneglas, 
Cu-glas, Ber-chon (spit dog), Cu-dinasc (hound-let-loose), Cu-gan- 
mathair (the motherless, as Cu-gan-ainn the nameless hound), 
Concancness (hound-without-skin)." As to this Whitley Stokes 
says "Con-chubhar, Mail-gwn, Cyn-fael have nothing to do with 
'cu' dog. They stand respectively for Cunocrobos, Moglocunos, 
Cunomaglos. . . . There is no such name as Conancness. Mr 
Fitzgerald means Conganchnes, which seems to signify ^horn 
skin.' " Mr Stokes is very severe, he characterises Mr Fitzgerald's 
work as "a farrago of bad Irish, doubtful English, etymological 
guesswork and impossible etymology." 

Cu also signifies hero, and the above names referred to the 
hero or chief of Meath, etc. Among the ancient Celts the term 
"dog" was a designation of honour, hence the foregoing; Cu- 
Uladh is now Anglicised Cowley and Cooley ; Cu-duilig, canis 
avidus, or greedy dog, was once a proper name, viz., Cu-duilig 
O'Sneain. The inhabitants of Connaught are said to be the 
descendants of the dog-tribes. In the Yellow Book of Lecan, as 
referred to in Revue Celtique, mention is made of " a fearful land 
wherein dwelt men with heads of hounds, with manes of cattle 
upon them." Lady Gregory, in her famous collection, gives a 
tale in which dog-headed men are fought against and destroyed 
by Fionn ; also Cu-Luachra the hero of Luachur, Cu-Munnir the 
hero of Munster, Cu-Blaoma the hero of Sliabh Bloom (Bloom- Hill), 
Cu Cois'l the hero of Cashel, etc., etc. ; Cu-Connaught is held to 
mean Cu O'Connor or Constantine, while Cu-Chulainn bore the 
additional sobriquet of Cu-an-cleasnaidh, the dog or hero of 
the feats. 

Places also, as is generally known, took their names from the 
dog, a place in County Monaghan being called Coinsi, cu-insi or 
cu-innis, dog of the island or dog-island ; Ceathramh-na-madadh, 
the quarter of the dogs, now Anglicised Carrownamaddoo, near 
Ben Gulban, Sligo ; Maconsnava or snamha, son of swimming dog, 
now ridiculously Anglicised into Forde ; the familiar Scoto-Celtic 
name MacCulloch is said just to be Mac-con-Uladh, the son or 

K 



146 DOG 

descendant of the dog or hero Uladh ; Cu-mara, dog of the sea, 
has now come to be Macnamara ; in Fermanagh there is a hill 
called Sliabh-da-choin, the hill of the two dogs, and two townships 
called Cu-mor agus Cu-beag, the big and the little dog ; Mac-Con 
used to be quite a connnon name, it was even the sobriquet of 
an Irish monarch called Lughaidh, in the second century; while 
a proper name, now perhaps fortunately obsolete, was Cu-duilig 
(cu-duilich), translated greedy or sad dog, and another, not over 
complimentary to the "cloth" in Ireland, for a parson n'as Cu- 
crichi (cu criche), dog of the boundary, his dwelling, manse (or 
kennel), being known as Conbhair ; we have also Cubretan, a son 
of Congus, signifying dog or hero of Britain. Cu-chulainn above 
referred to, is short for Cu Chuailgne, hound of Culann, and is said 
to have been so named because he had slain, when only eight years 
of age, a huge watch-dog belonging to a smith, which barred his 
way. Cu-ceaird, the artificer's or smith's dog, hence came to be 
an old name for Cu-chulainn as he offered himself to watch in 
place of the slain dog. Cu-chulainn was under geasan (charms or 
vows) not to eat hound's flesh ; he is often called Cu nan con, the 
hound of hounds, and in a note to " Laoidh nan ceann," Book of 
Dean of Lismore, we are told that he was often spoken of simply 
as An Cu, the hound. Another account says Cu-chulainn was so 
called from "cu," a hound, and Ullin, the name of the province, 
but this is not likely. In Gaelic, as in other languages, the names 
of animals generally are frequently found forming personal names. 
A few may be given by way of example, such as Faolan (St Fillan), 
little wolf, from faol or faolchu, wolf, wolf dog; Sinnach, fox, 
from sionnach ; Turk, boar, from tore ; Madden, O' Madden, little 
dog, from madadhan, etc. The word cu, however, different from 
these, always combines with some attribute in such formation. 
Cu-connacht, hound or hero of Connaught ; Cu-Mumhan, hound or 
hero of Munster, a different rendering from that above given ; Cu 
Uladh, hound or hero of Ulster, a chief of Flinn or Flynn family 
(O'Flainn); Cu-Sleibhe, a chief of the O'Leavy family (O'Con- 
Sleibhe) ; Cubroc, badger hound or hero, a chief of the O'Connors 
or Corcumree ; Cugeal, white hound, a chief of the Gilkelly family ; 
Cucalma, brave hound, a chief of the MacGeoghagan family ; 
Cumidhe, as above, a chief of the Macnamee family ; Cumeala, 
honey-hound, a chief of the O'Meala family (O'Con-meala). 
When that famous champion John de Courcy invaded Ulidia (a 
part of Ulster comprehending the counties of Down and Antrim) 
in 1177, the dominant family there was, according to Connellan, 
that of Cu-Uladh Mac Dhunshleibhe O'h-Eochadha. who was a 
brother of Rory, the last King of Ulster of the Clan Colla progeny. 
The first part of the name has been Latinised Canis Ultonice. The 
name Bancho is just Ban chu, white dog. Skene says a Pictish 
name Constantine is derived from the Irish (Celtic) form cu, dog, 
which forms chon in genitive — compare Milchu, Milchon. This 



DOG 147 

applies equally to Scottish Gaelic ; as also Mailcon in Pictish 
Chronicle, Melcon in Irish Nennius ; Maelchon (Tighernac), father 
of Brude, genitive of Maelchu. In the Isle of Man there are two 
places named Bal-na-madadh, and Adh-chuillean, dog-town and 
whelp's-ford, so called from being stations where dogs which were 
constituted guards of the sacred fire of Baal kept watch, Bel, 
Beal, or Baal-tinn being synonymous with the Manx Tinvaal or 
Tynwald. Other names from dogs are Conan, Coinin, Culen, 
Catulus, Caniculus, Cailean, Branchu (raven dog), Fian-chu (Fenian 
or hunting dog), Dichu, Glaschu, Onchu, (leopard), Dobarchu 
(water-dog, otter), etc. The term Ci-cingeach, translated "leader," 
is equivalent to the head dog or leader of a pack, or the brave 
head or leading hound, this is the ci or ci-cingeach or ceangach 
in Dean of Lismore's " Caoilte's ransom." The dog-days are named 
in Gaelic "an t-iuchar," which we find in what we cannot help 
saying is the very coarse Gaelic of Rob Donn as "futhar." 
It is said that the best dog to have and to hunt with is 

Cuilean bus-dubh buidhe 

Ceud mac na saidhe 

Air arach air meog 's air bainne ghabhar 

Cha deach air sliabh air nach beireadh. 

A yellow brindled dog, first born of his dam (first litter). 
With a muzzle black as jet, reared on whey and milk of goats, 
no stag in forest can escape him. 

A Celtic ambassador had dogs as his bodyguard. Celtic dogs were 
noted for their ferocity and their superiority, the Romans therefore 
imported them extensively from Scotland. A rough and ready 
way of telling a dog's age is from its teeth ; though doubtless to 
the initiated professional this way is infallible, to the ordinary 
individual the mere fact of their appearing white and sharp 
bespeaks youth while blackness and bluntness naturally betokens 
age — see how Fionn selected his dog-given supra. Even " dancing " 
dogs are on record in Gaelic rhyme as may be gathered from the 
following " Port-beoil " : — 

Ruidhleadh Fhionnladh, dhannsadh Fhionnladh 
Ruidhleadh Fhionnladh 's an cu breac 
Ruidhleadh Fhionnladh, dhannsadh Fhionnladh 
'Null 's a nail air drochaid Pheairt. 

Finlay reel would, Finlay dance would, 
Finlay 'd reel with spotted dog, 
Finlay reel would, Finlay dance would 
Back and fore on Brig o' Perth. 

The word cuilean^ though primarily a whelp or puppy, is also 
applied to a full-grown hound as 
Ceud cuilean lughmhor dian. 

A hundred hardy powerful hounds. 



148 DOG 

The word gadhar is frequently translated " beagle," while 
madadh stands for (jommon dog, as in Silva Gadclica, where a 
certain Queen of Ireland is said to have dreamt that her four sons, 
Brian, Fiachra, Ailill, and Fergus were transformed respectively 
into a lion, greyhound, beagle, and commonplace dog — Leoman 
(leomhan), Molchu, Gadur (gadhar), agus madaid (madadh). The 
term "Slughound" belonged to a class of dogs esteemed as 
hunters by James I., these appear to have been the Scottish wolf 
dog. The Irish wolf-dog, it is thought, should have been called 
Elk-dog, as it was used to hunt the elk. A glen-wherry colley is 
a distinct and much-valued species still existing in a hilly district 
near Connor, to which they originally came from Scotland. 

In O'Reilly's Irish Dictionary the definition of cw, ordinarily 
a dog, is as follows : — " s.m. a moth, an insect that gnaws clothes ; 
and f. a dog, a greyhound ; s.m. a champion, a hero, a warrior." 
Hector Maclean in Ultonian Ballads refers to this as follows : 
" Here are three words different in meaning and gender — in fact, 
homonyms — the second cu cognate with Latin, Greek, Sanscrit, 
and other Aryan names for the same animal, the third is probably 
of pre-Aryan origin, and it borrowed the Aryan declension of cu, 
a hound." The word cuglass, or water-hound, means in Ireland a 
foreigner from beyond the sea who had married an Irish woman. 

Cameron's Gaelic names for plants, etc., has the following : — 
Braoileag or broighleag ran con, red barberry ; teanga-con, 
teanga-chu, the dog's berry, elsewhere bear whortle, Welsh, tafod 
y ci from shape of leaves ; barr braonan nan con, common potentil 
or tormentil, dogs' briar bud ; elsewhere braonan nan con is given 
as carmillion ; Coin ros or coin dhris, dog or dog's rose ; Earrdhreas 
or Fearra-dhris (earrad, armour), dog's thorn ; Coin-bhil, bhile 
or Coinbhaisene, dog-wood or dog-berry ; Sgeachmhadra is Irish 
for the hip or haw of the dog rose ; Clachan-gadhair is one name 
for the orchis ; Seisg-madraidh, bur-reed, dog-sedge, said to be 
so called from being in perfection during dog-days, July being 
called Miosmhadrail, the dogs' month ; Conan, quaking grass ; 
Goinear (goin or coin fheur), Irish feur-choinein, crested dog's- 
tail, dog's grass ; caor' coin, dog-berry ; Lus-ghoinich, dog lichen, 
cures hydrophobia in dogs ; Gearan, dog's ear ; Crios (or cneas), 
chuchulainn, cuchullins belt, also my lady's belt, being the 
meadow-sweet or queen of the meadow ; ChonguUion, yellow bed 
straw plant (Irish, cucuilean), in Glen Lyon cuchulainn, but not 
the meadow-sweet. 

Superstitions in connection with dogs are nearly as numerous 
as those in connection with any other animal, but we limit ours to 
a few. To meet a dog the first animal in the year is said to be 
lucky. A dog keeping away from a person whom it formerly 
followed, thought to be a presage of death to that person — some 
say to the dog. A stiay dog following a person voluntarily is a 
lucky sign and bodes success to that person in any errand he or 



DOG 149 

she may be engaged on. Dogs are said never to bite idiots ; 
immunity, however, does not infer idiocy. A good way is 
recommended to keep running after a dog, and he will never 
bite you. (See proverb.) A dog eating grass is said to foretell 
rain, dreaming of being bitten by one means plotting of enemies, 
a dog howling thought to be seeing a phantom funeral, and is a 
warning of a real one to follow (Folk-lore). Where the belief in 
witch hares exists, it is also believed that the only animal that 
can be run against these with any effect is a spayed or castrated 
bitch. Among North and North-eastern fishermen the word 
"beamer" for a dog is considered a lucky word to use, names of 
animals, inter alia, being debarred among them. A famous — or 
rather infamous — phantom dog was one generally believed to be 
seen near Kinloch Bervie, but accounts differ as to his colour, etc., 
he was reported harmless except for the evil effects his horrid 
appearance had on those who were unfortunate enough to see him. 
In Revue Celtique the dog has a prominent position in the " Glen 
of tortures" (? Hell), where there are said to be "many dogs, 
keen, greedy, gluttonous, broad-eared, long-clawed, and sharp- 
pawed " — Ilchoin gera, cicara (cha), ciochra, croesmora, cluaslethna, 
ingnecha, crobgera — though in justice to the dogs they were not 
the only animals said to be there. 

As may be admitted, proverbial sayings as to dogs rank high ; 
the following give a fairly good idea of the class. 

A chuil a bhios fosgailte theid na coin innte. 

The dogs will go into the corner that's open. 
A h-uile cu air a' chu choimheach. 

All the dogs down on the strange dog, or, 
Gach olc an toin a choimhich. 

Every evil behind the strange one. 
Aithnichidh gu geur a lochd. 

A sharp hound knows his fault. Most people are aware of 
their own particular fault. 
Am fear, no an te, a bhuaileadh mo chu, bhuaileadh e (no i) mi 
fhein. 

The man or woman that would strike my dog would strike 
myself. 
Am fear a luidheas leis na coin eiridh e leis na deargannan. 

He who lies with the dogs will rise with the fleas. 
Am fear nach biath a chu, cha stuig. 

Who does not feed his dog, will not set him on. 
An uair a bhuaileas tu cu, buail gu math e. 
When you strike a dog, strike him well. 
Aois coin tri bliadhna' na chuilean, tri bliadhna 'na neart, agus 
tri 'dol air ais. 

A dog's age, three years a pup, three years of strength, and 
three years of declining. 



150 DOG 

Aon de cheathrar da'n d'thu^ Fionn fuath, cu trua^h. 
One of tour tilings Fionn hated — a worthless hound. 
Aon de tliri subhailcean a Bhaird, ciocras coin gu Ian a bhroinn. 
One of three gifts (virtues) of the Bard — the dog's Inniger 
for a feed. Neither ancient nor true. But there are 
bards and bards. 
Aon rud oho fuar 's a th'ann — sroin coin. 
One thing as cold as there is — a dog's nose. 

Balach 'us balgaire tighearna, dithis nach bu choir leigeil leo, 
Buail am balach air a charbad, 's buail am balgaire 's an t-sroin. 

A laird's flunkey and his dog, two one should not spare. 

Slap the flunkey on the cheek, and hit the hound upon the nose. 

What Morrison of Bragar did on being inhospitably received 
by both the above at Seaforth Lodge, Stornoway, in the seven- 
teenth century. 

B'e saoradh air ceann a choin bhradaich e. 

That were saving the thievish dog's head. 
B'e sin magadh air cu a mharbhadh fiadh. 

That were mocking a dog that could kill a deer. 
Biadh-graineachaidh aig seana chu. 

Food of loathing to an old dog. 
. Bidh coin nam flath air eill gus an toisich an fhaoghaid. 

The chiefs hounds remain on leash till the hunt begins. 
A mark of superiority. 
Bidh naduir a choin mhoir 's a chuilein. 

The big dog's nature will be in the pup. 
Bheir aon cu air h-uile cu 's a bhaile 'bhi ri tabhuin. 

One dog will cause all the dogs in the place to bark. 
Bi gu math ris a chu is leanaidh e thu. 

Be good to the dog and he will follow you. 
Buail do chuilean agus 's ann thugad a ruitheas e. 

Beat your puppy and it's to you he'll run. 
Bu gheur an cu a bheireadh an t-earball uaithe. 

It would be a clever dog that would take the tail from him 
(the other dog). 
Cadal nan con 's a mhuilleann 's na mnathan a' criathradh. 

The sleep of the dogs in the mill while the women are 
sifting — dog-watching — i.e., wide awake but eyes shut. 
Cha be'n cu mu chnaimhe. 

He was no dog over his bone — i.e., unselfish. 
Cha bu tu mi 's cha bu mhi an cu. 

You are not I, and I am no cur. A polite Celtic form of 
telling a man that he is a hound. 
Cha chuimhnich an ditheach a chu gus am bi a bhru fhein Ian. 

The beggar doesn't remember his dog till his own belly is 
full. Not always. 



DOG 151 

Cha chuimhnich cu comain. 

A dog will not remember an obligation or favour. This is 
very doubtful. 
Cha dean cu sathach sealg. 

A full dog won't hunt. 
Cha dean e coire do'n ghealaeh na coin a bhi deileann 
(tabhanaich) rithe — or cha mhisd, etc. 

The moon is none the worse of the dogs barking at her. 
Cha d'ith na coin an aimsir, or, 
Cha d'ith na coin deireadh na bliadhna gu foill, no fhathasd. 

The time was not devoured by the dogs, or. 

The dogs did not devour the end of the year secretly. And 
yet it was wasted, or, patience, you have still time 
enough. 
Cha sheall cu air comain. 

A dog won't look at a favour — or forgets. This is doubtful. 
Cha truagh leam cu is marag m'a amhaich. 

I don't pity a dog with a pudding round his neck. 
Cha 'n aithneachadh tu cu bho madadh. 

You wouldn't know a dog from a wolf. Said in regard to 
the dusk. 
Cha 'n e cu cladaich th' ann ach cuilean monaidh. 

'Tis not a shore dog, but a mountain whelp. An evidence 
of superiority. 
Cha 'n 'eil coimeas comhraig na seana chu. 

No fight like the old dog's fight. Generally to the death. 
Cha 'n 'eil cu eadar e 's a chroich. 

There is not a dog between him and the gallows. So little 
for the dog. 
Cha 'n fhaigh cu gortach cnaimh. 

A starving dog gets no bone. He that hath will get, etc. 
Cha robh cu luath riamh nach d'fhuair a leoir oibre. 

There never was a swift dog that didn't get its fill of work. 
Cha sgal cu roimh chnaimh. 

A dog won't howl at a bone. 
Cha sheall cu air comain. 

A dog will not look at his obligation (see above). 
Cha thilg gala creachta cuain ghlain. 

A stolen bitch won't bear a clean litter of pups. 
Cha tugadh cu gearr earball as uat. 

A tail-less dog (or short-tailed) wouldn't take his tail from 
you. A sharp person. 
Cho briagach 's 'tha 'n cu cho bradach. 

As lying as the dog is thievish. 
Cho gionach ris a chu. 

As greedy as the dog. 
Cho leisg ri seana chu. 

As lazy as an old dog. 



152 DOG 

Cho ciocrach ri mial-chu. 

As liuiip^ry as a grew'nd. 
The foregoing four may be described as exceptional. 
Cho sgith ri cu. 

As tired as a dog. No animal works harder or more 
willingly. 
Cho tinn ri cu. 

As sick as a dog. 
Cluicli or mir a clmilean ris an t-seana chu. 

The pup's play with the old dog, or, 
Mir a chuilean ris a mhial chu. 

The pup's sporting with the greyhound — one-sided. 
Coin a's mucan . . . dithis leis nach toigh a cheile. 

Dogs and pigs . . . two of those that love not one another. 
(See " Nether Lochaber " in Courier of September 1891.) 
Coin bhadhail 'us clann dhaoin' eile. 

Stray dogs and other people's children. Both troubles — in 
their way. 
Crathaidh an cu 'earball ris an neach 'bheir dha. 

The dog will wag his tail for (or to) the person who gives 
him something. 
Crubaiche coin . . . aon de thri tha coltach ri 'cheile. 

A dog's limping . . . one of three that are like each other. 
Cu an da fheidh is minig bha 'fhiadh air chall. 
The dog of two deer has often lost his deer. 
Coir a mach an Sasunnach 's thoir a stigh an cu. 

Turn out the Englishman and bring in the dog. A prefer- 
able inmate once. 
Cuiridh cu e fhein air thoiseach. 

A dog puts himself forward. Bad manners. 
Cu lachdunn aon dhe na tri chomhlaichean a's mios' air 
bith. 

A dun dog, one of the worst meetings of any, or, 
Cu lachdunn las-shuileach aon de na tri 's mios' air bith. 

A dun fiery-eyed dog, one of the three unluckiest to meet. 
Cum do chu ri leigeadh. 

Hold your dog till the starting time. Be patient. Or a fair 
field and no favour. 
" Dheanadh sin e," mu'n dubhairt a chu mu'n che. 

"That would do it," as the dog said about the cream. Being 
asked to lick cream, the reason beijig, " because it was 
spilt." 
Dreun madaidh 's gaire Sasunnach. 

A dog's grin and an Englishman's laugh. 
Fad an taoid (a thaoid) do'n chuilean choin. 

The length of the leash to the whelp. 
Faodaidh cridh bhi aig cu cho math ri duine. 
A dog may have a spirit as well as a man. 



DOG 153 

Far am bi cairbhean cruiimichidh coin. 

Where carcasses are (or carrion is) dogs will gather. 
Far nach bi na coin cha leigear iad. 

Where dogs are not they can't be started. 
Fhad's a bhios cu cam . . . 'n Eirinn. 

So long as there is a one-eyed dog ... in Ireland. 
Ge be a's luaith lamh 's leis an gadhar ban. 

He that is of the quickest hand will get the white hound, or. 
Am fear a's treasa lamh gheabh. 

He that has the strongest, etc., or. 
An te is luaithe lamh biodh aice, etc. 

She that is of the quickest, etc. (Ir.) 
Ge be nach beathaich na coin, cha bhi iad aige latha na seilge. 
He that does not feed his dogs won't have them on the 
hunting day (or day of the hunt). 
Ged tha mi 'n diugh 'am chu-baile bha mi roimh 'am chu 
mointich. 

Though to-day I'm a farm-dog, I was once a moor-dog. 
Ged theirteadh riut an cu, cha bu tu ach smior a mhadaidh. 
Though you were (or are) called a dog, you would be (or are) 
but the very marrow of a hound. 
Ge luthmhor an cu cam, titheach air an smodal e, cha bheir 
e bhos na thall. 

Though the blind (one-eyed) dog be swift, and though he 
be eager for crumbs, he will not seize (them) here and 
there. 
Gleann nam Moireastan, far nach ith na coin na coinnleaii. 
(Smooth) Glen Moriston, where the dogs will not eat the 
candles. This refers to the bog-fir candles in use of 
old in that and other districts of the Highlands. 
Gnos mar chuaille, cluas mar dhuilleach, earball mu'n speir, 
*s an speir mar chorran. 

Muzzle like club, ear like leaf, tail to the hough, and hough 
like sickle. This refers to the old Scottish deerhound. 
Is aithne do'n chu a choire fhein. 
The dog knows his own fault. 
Is ami an casan coin a bhios 'earal. 

A dog's caution is in his feet. 
Is beag a's misde duine coir ged a dheanadh cu comhart ris. 
An honest man will be little the worse for a dog barking 
at him. 
Is blath an fhuil ged is aim an craicionn nan con i. 

Blood is warm though it be in a dog's skin. 
Is brathair do mhadadh am meirleach. 

The thief is brother to the hound. A very respectable 
sentiment, says Nicolson. 
Is cairdeach an cu do'n bhanais. 
The dog is friendly to the wedding. 



154 DOG 

Is dana cu air a dhunan, no aig a dhorus, fhein. 

A dog is valiant on his own dunghill, or at his own door. 
Is dana cuilean 'an uchd treoir. 

Bold is the puppy in the lap (breast) of strength. Appli- 
cable to human "puppies" dressed in a little brief 
authority. 
Is deacair toirt air seana chu danns. 

'Tis cMfiicult to make an old dog dance. 
Is diu do chu donnalaich. 

Howling is proj)er to a dog. 
Is fada 'shiubhlas cu gun mhaighstir. 

Far will a masterless dog travel. 
Is fheairrde an cu cu a chrochadh. 

A dog is the better of another dog being hanged. 
Is fheairrde cu sgaiteach cnaimh a chur 'na bhial. 

A biting dog is the better of a bone in his mouth. 
Is fheairrde h-uile cu a dhion a chinn a dhranndan. 

A dog's snarl defends his head. 
Is fhearr an cu a bhogas eaiball na'n cu a chuireas drainng. 

Better the dog that wags his tail than the dog that grins 
(shows his teeth). 
Is fhearr an cu a dh' flialbhas na'n cu a dh' fhanas. 

Better the dog that goes than the dog that stays. 
Is fhearr an cu a ni miodal riut na'n cu a ghearras tu. 

Better the dog that fawns than the dog that bites. 
Is fhearr an cu a ruitheas na'n cu a mheathas. 

Better the dog that runs than the dog that gives in. 
Is fhearr cu beo na leomhan marbh. 

Better a living dog than a dead lion. (See Eccles. ix. 4.) 
Is fhearr cu luath na teanga labhar. 

Better a dog swift of foot than loud of tongue. A good dog 
hunts silently. 
Is fhearr fuighleach madaidh na fuighleach magaidh. 

A dog's leavings are better than a fool's. 
Is furasda clach fhaotainn gus a thilgeadh air a chu. 

'Tis easy to find a stone to fling at a (or the) dog. 
Is follaiseach full air cu ban. 

Blood is noticeable on a white dog. 
Is gnath leis a chu 'bhi deanamh dranndan thar cnaimh. 

A dog is wont to snarl over a bone. 
Is ioma cu coimheach rinn tabhan teth an Raineach. 

Many a strange dog has barked, has barked hotly, in 
Rannoch. 
Is ioma doigh air cu a mharbhadh, gun a thachdadh le im. 

There are many ways of killing a dog without choking him 
with butter. 
Is laidir tathunn coin 's a shath 'n a bhroinn. 

A dog barks loud with his belly full. 



DOG 155 

Is luaithe aon chu a' ruith na dha dheug 'g a ruagadh. 

One dog fleeing is swifter than twelve pursuing. Terror 
lends speed. 
Is luaithe cu na 'chuideachd. 

A dog goes before (or is swifter than) his company. 
Is mairg a chuireadh a lamh gun aobhar 'am bial a mhadaidh. 
Pity him who would put his hand without cause into a dog's 
mouth. 
Is math do chu nan gobhar nach robh cu nan caorach ami. 
Good for the goat-dog that the sheep-dog was not there. 
He was superior for the time. 
Is minig a bha leigeadh fad' aig fear gun chu. 

A man without a dog has often got a long shot — at game. 
Dog not always indispensable. 
Is mor gur fearr an cu a ruitheas na 'n cu a shuidheas air tom. 
Much better a dog that runs^ than one that sits on a knoll. 

Is soilleir cu dubh air liana bhain, 
Is soilleir cu ban air liana dhuibh, 
Na 'm bithinn ri fiadhach nam beann 
Be 'n cu riabhach mo roghainn. 

The bright field shows the sable hound ; 
The white is seen on dusky ground ; 
Were I chasing the deer in forest free. 
The brindled hound my choice should be. 

Is olc an cu (no an gabhar) nach itheadh ablach. 

Bad is the dog that would not eat carrion (or refuse). 
Itheadh nan con air a bhlianaich. 

The dog's eating of the bad flesh. Unwillingly, but for lack 
of better. 
Laideann aig na gadhraibh, tuigeam ged nach laibhream. 

Dog's Latin (dog-Latin) I can understand, but speak not. 
Lean cu 's cha ghearr e thu. 

Follow a dog and he will not bite you. 
Ma bhuaileas tu cu . . . buail gu math e (see before). 

If you strike a dog . . . strike him well. 
Ma chuireas tu do lamh 'am bial a mhadaidh, feumaidh tu 
f'toirt as mar dh'fhaodhas tu. 

If you put your hand in the hound's mouth, you must take 
it out as best you can. 
Madadh muilleir aig am bi min, aon de thriuir is meamnaich' 
air bith. 

The dog of a miller (a miller's dog) rich in meal, one of 
three of the merriest things alive. 
Marbhaidh droch ainm na coin. 
A bad name kills dogs. 



156 DOG 

Mar is mo glieibli an cu 's ami is mo dh 'iarras e. 

The more a dog gets the more he desires. 
Mar chu gu cat, tha bean mie gu 'mathair-cheile. 

Like dog to cat, the son's wife is to her mother-in-law. 
Mar mhadadh ag ol eanruich ainmean Chhimi '11 'Eatliain 
'* Eachann, Lachann." 

Like a hound lapping broth are the names of the Clan 
MacLean '' Lachan, Lachan" — '* Hector, Lachlan." No 
Englishman can shine here. 
Mar ruith choin air monadli, oidhche foghair a' tuiteam. 

As the ruiHiing of a dog on a hill, is the fall of an autumn 
evening. 
Ma ruitheas an sionnach am broilleach a ghadhair, co aig' tha 
'choire .'* 

If the fox runs into the hound's embrace, who is to blame ? 
This also for " Fox." 
Mar thathunn coin ris an re — no an gealach. 

Like dogs' barking at the moon — of none avail. 
Ma 's tuath a ghoireas an cu cain 's gearr gu bas fear dhe 
'mhuinntir. 

If the white or dear dog bark to the north, soon shall 
one of his household die. 
Ma their mi fhein *• mach thu " ri m'chu, their a h-uile fear e. 

If I say "get out " to my dog, everybody will say it. 
Miann coin, sneachd. 

A dog desire — snow. 
Mios chrochadh nan con. 

The dog-hanging month — July. 
Mire ri cuilean, cha sgur e gus an sgal e. 

Play with a puppy, it ends in a howl. 
Mo chuideachda fhein, coin Throtarnais. 

My own friends, the dogs of Troternish. Said by some, because 
they are a hardy lot, by others, that it was the saying of 
a famous fool who was inhospitably received there. 
Mur h-e Bran 's e bhrathair. 

If it be not Bran 'tis his brother. So like each other. 
Na 'm biodh mo chu cho olc ionnsachadh riut, be 'n ciad rud 
a dheanaiun a chrochadh. 

If my dog were as ill-bred as you, the first thing I should do 
is to hang him. 
Na *m biodh na coin air do dhiot itheadh, 's air falbh le do 
shuipeir cha bhiodh tu cho mear. 

If the dogs had eaten your dinner, and run off with your 
supper, you would not be so merry. 
Na 'm bu toigh leat mi fhein, cha bhuaileadh tu mo chu. 

If you liked myself, you would not strike my dog. 
Na 'n sealladh cu air comain. 

If a dog could but see his obligation, (See " Cha sheall," etc.) 



DOG— DORMOUSE 157 

Nigh a' mhadaidh air a mhathair. 

The dog's washing of his dam. Superficial. 
" Sinne na gadhair a mharbh am maigheach/' mu 'n dubhairt 
am measan prap-shuileach. 

"We hounds killed the hare" quo' the blear-eyed messan. 
Sron coin, aon rud cho fuar 's a th' ann. (See " Aon rud/' etc.) 
A dog's nose, one of the coldest things there is. If in good 
health. 
Tachdaidh an gionach na coin. 

Greed will choke the dog. 
Tha e mar chu an deigh seilg. 

He is like a dog following the chase, i.e., keen. 
Tha e 's a chuideachd mar 'bha cu luideach a cheaird. 

He's in the company, like the tinker's ragged dog, i.e., 
uninvited, 
Tha sin aig coin a bhaile. 

The town (or farm) dogs know that. Known to every one. 
Thig la a' choin duibh fhathasd. 

The black dog's day will come yet. Something or everything 
will prove of use sometime. (See ante.^ 
Thoir do phathadh do 'n allt mar a ni an cu. 

Quench your thirst from the stream, as the dog does. 
Neither polite nor kindly. 
Tigh gun chu, tigh gun ghean gun ghaire. 

A house without a dog, a house without cheerfulness or 
laughter. 
Tri aois cait, aois coin. 

Three lives of a cat, the life of a dog. 
Tri miosan cu. 

Three months a dog — goes with young. (See Nicolson.) 
Trod a mheasan 's a chul ri balla. 

The scolding (barking) of the lapdog with his back to 
a wall. 
Tuigidh cu a chionta. 

A dog knows his fault — or when he does wrong. Few 
better. 

DOLPHIN. — Deilf; Leumadair, leumnach ; Muc-bhiorach. 

Mere or meer — swim or swine. 

The meaning of dolphin is " belly-fish." The flesh was formerly 
considered a great table delicacy, roasted and dressed with kindred 
porpess sauce, crumbs of fine white bread, vinegar, and sugar, 
rhe lesser dolphin is the porpess or porpoise. 

Cho reamhar ri muc-bhiorach. 
As fat as a mere- swine. 

DORMOUSE. — Dallag ; Feascorluch, feasgarluch, feothan, 
fobh-thoraain. 

Chestle-crumb ; Derry-mouse, dozing-mouse. 



158 DROMEDARY— FERRET 

In connection with this animal one informant supplied the 
compiler with the term — as pronounced by him — Fee s^ore lutch I 

DROMEDARY. — Gabon (young); Droman, dromadair ; Each- 
coimhliongadh (lit. a beast for the bridle, or racing-horse). 



ELEI»HANT.— Ailp, ailpe; Boir, boirr, borr ; Fil ; Yip (A. S.). 
This foreign animal is said to live for fully two hundred years. 

ELK. — Ale, alee, arr ; Boirche ; Lon, lun ; Os ; Segh. 

The word is Scandinavian, and also signifies "moose." In 
*' Fingal " we have " Lean-sa os-bhallach air Cromla," pursue thou 
the spotted elk on Cromla. 

A saying is "Cho luath ris na loin, na luin or na luinn," as 
swift as the elks (or the wavetops or wavelets), said to mean that 
a speaker's heart is beating swiftly or violently. 

ERMINE (see also Weasel, Stoat). — Easag, easaic, easan, 
easog ; Neas-gheal, neas-nam-fuar-thirean ; Radan Armenianach ; 
Kate-spot, stoat : — 

"Early on 1st January of this year (1903), Mr Alexander Hay, 
gardener, Colinton, caught a perfect specimen of the ermine on the 
Pentland Hills. It must be a surprise to many to learn that the 
regal ermine is still with us, and practically to be found at our 
doors, or, to be exact, five miles from Princes Street. Near 
Fernyflat Bridge two were occasionally seen, the one caught being 
one of the two. The other, Mr Hay says, instead of the black tip 
at end of tail, had a black head and an all-white tail. Messrs 
Small, taxidermists, who cured and mounted it, inform us that the 
ermine is occasionally seen in lonely parts of the Pentlands, but 
seldom have they come across so fine an example as this is. It 
was on view in the window of Messrs Gerrard Brothers, Princes 
Street, Edinburgh." 

The above was so far contradicted by one "C. Campbell," 
who stated that the animal caught was simply a fine specimen 
of the stoat weasel in its winter dress. 

EWE (see Sheep). 



FERRET. — Baineasag, baineasg (female), baircin, baireacan ; 
Coinneas ; Fearaid, feinecreasadh, feiread, feocullan, firead ; Neus- 
abhag ; Siread. 

Cat (Suffolk) ; Forest, foryth, furette ; Gill-ferret ; Keamer. 



FERRET— FOAL 159 

The word ferret is derived from " fur," wise, or the wise, wily, 
crafty one, and forest is also called ^'Putonius" from its smell. 
Bain-neas is white weasel, and Coin-neas, dog-weasel. We also 
find the word "ferret" applied to a narrow cotton or worsted 
band. (See Scott's Guy Mannering.) 

FIELD-MOUSE, Luch-fheoir. (See Mouse.) 

FILLY (see also Horse). — Biriche ; Cleobag, clibeag, cliobag; 
(fr.) Failore (falaire), foilean ; Larach, loth, lothag; Modh- 
searrach ; Searr, searrach. 

Clip (Aberd.). 

Loth loireach odhar (a shaggy dun filly) occurs in a folklore 
tale. Filly is just " foaley." Failore gorm, blue filly, is to be 
found in one of Campbell's Tales. The Irish name O'Sherry 
comes from "searrach." 

Gabhaidh lothag fhiadhta siol a boinneid. 

A shy filly will take corn out of a bonnet. 
Na toir breith chabhagach air loth pheallagach. 

Don't judge hastily of a shaggy colt. 
Iain Lom's saying is as follows : — 
Breith luath lochdach, breith air loth pheallagach. 

He judges rashly or wrongly who judges an untrained 
shaggy colt. 

FOAL (see also Horse). — Foilean ; Lorchaire, loth, lurcair, 
lurcaire, lurchaire ; Searr, searrach ; (Ir.) Gearreh ollach. 

Clip (Aberd.) ; Folymare ; Nibey. The term lorchaire, etc., 
means one following tracks (lorg), as a foal does his dam. In the 
Annals of Ulster Achadh urchair for Achadh lurchair is incorrectly 
given, and also corrupted into Aghar-lurcher, signifying foal-field. 

Chuireadh e na searraich bho dheoghal. 

It would put the foals from sucking. So bitter or disgusting. 
Chunnaic mi searrach (or searrachan), 's a chulaobh rium 's dh' 
aithnich mi nach rachadh a' bhliadhn' ud leam. 

I saw a foal with his back to me, and I knew that year 
to me bad would be. 
This is one of the sayings attributed to the Cailleach bhearra, 
a distinguished sybil. 

Cuid an t-searraich de'n chleith. 

The foal's share of the harrow. Going beside his dam. 
Searrach na seann larach, cha bhi tighinn a mach ann. 

An old mare's foal will never come to much. 
Searrach seann larach an greidh, aon de thriuir is meamnaich' 
air bith. 

The foal of an old mare in a herd, one of three of the 
merriest things alive. 



160 FOAL— FOX 

Searrach seann oigich, cha robhe riabh sgairteil. 

The foal of an old stallion was never vigorous. 
Suit searraich air a leis. 

A foal's fat is on his quarter. 

FOULMART(see Polecat). 

FOX. — An-ehu (a chu) ; Balgair, balgaire, bannach, brocaire 
(yelper) ; Cliabhach, cliamhach, criomhan^ criomthann, cuilean 
(cub) ; Faince, fainche, fainchi, fainchu, fear-chu (male), fiamoin 
(Ir.); Gibne, gille-boidhre, gille-mairtean, gille-martuinn ; Lois, 
loisidh ; Madadh-ruadh, nii-chu ; Prasach ; lladmuinn, rainche ; 
Senach, sinnchenac (Old Jr.), sionn, sionnach ; Tadhgan (Ir.); 
Uilp, uilpean, ulp. 

Bau-reynolds ; Faws (North), foks ; Kid-fox (young, Shakesp.), 
kliket ; Laste, laurence, lawrie, loss, lowrie ; On-beast ; lianald, 
reynald, rinkin (Suffolk), reynard, roplaw (young, Teviotd.) ; Tod, 
tod-lowrie, tod-tyke ; Vixen (fern.). 

The name "reynard" means "strong in council" ; "tod," from 
his bushy tail, being the old word for "tuft," etc. The word 
" criomthann " is said to survive in the famous name McCrimmon, 
though stated by some to be an improvement of the word " Cre- 
mona." An Irish guard, as after referred to, was named Crimthans. 
A fox's den is called "saobhaidh" also "Fuachas or Fuachasach," 
sometimes "Broclach" (E. McD.). 

The valve of the mouthpiece of the bagpipes, for closing while 
the player draws breath, is called "sionnach" or fox. Duncan 
ban Maclntyre, the bard, blesses the fox as a sheep-destroyer. 

Mo bheannachd aig na balgairean 
A chioiin 'bhi sealg nan caorach. 

My blessings on the cunning ones (foxes) 
For hunting down the sheep. 

The plant named the fir club moss or fox-weed is in Gaelic 
" lus-a-bhalgaire." 

A saying runs " coltach ri ceartais a mhadadh-ruaidh, liugach, 
lugach, lingach, lamhalach or camalach," like the justice of the 
red-dog, sneaking, cunning, crooked, corrupt. Whether one kind 
of fox is more cunning than another is a moot question, but the 
Mull of Cantyre ones are well to the front from the saying 

Cho seolta ri sionnach na Maoile. 

As cunning as the Mull (of Cantyre) fox. 

In the "Celtic Garland" by "Fionn," I. B. O. gives a 
humorous suppositious narrative in Gaelic as to "how the first 
fox went to Mull." It is stated in the old statistical account of 
Scotland that foxes were not then (sixteenth century) to be found 
in Lismore. A process of extermination, at the instance of land- 



FOX 161 

owners, of the fox has never gone (in England and Ireland at 
least) beyond the hunting, and in Scotland, careful as the process 
has been, it is not equal to the slaughter, at the instigation of the 
State, in Sweden and Norway, where the bill for a single year 
amounted to nearly twenty thousand. 

In 1744 a tax, called "fox-money," was imposed or laid on in 
the Island of Skye by the proprietors or lairds, and a resolution 
come to by them was to continue it "in the method now laid on 
until a general meeting of the heritors and tacksmen think proper 
to take it off." In the old Irish Gaelic Testament we read " Ataid 
fuachaisighe ag na sionnchaibh," the foxes have holes. The race 
of the " Foxes," " Clan Martin," is a proverb ; as before stated 
the fox is sometimes called " An gille Martainn." Saint Columba 
was originally christened "Crimthann," and in an article by 
Whitley Stokes we find certain Irish Guards (or swordsmen) 
named Flands, Cummains, Aeds, and Crimtha?is. A race of people 
in Westmeath, chiefs of Taffia, were, according to the Four 
Masters, called Sinnachs or Foxes, and " Muinntir Tadhgan," 
this, however, seems to be the Gaelic word "taghan," a marten or 
polecat. In the Irish Annals also, by Dual Firbis, it is said that 
the family of O'Caharney or O'Kearney of Taffia were the " Foxes," 
Sinnachs or Sinnacha. Clement O'Duigan, vicar of Kilronan, was 
called " Sagart-na-sinnach," or the priest of the "Foxes," he died 
in 1357. The name "Sinnach" or "Fox" was adopted by the 
foregoing about 1084, a tale being that from having killed an 
arch-poet thereabouts they thereafter stank like foxes. A king 
of Gaileng, who died in 989, named Ua Leochann, had the 
sobriquet " An sionnach," the fox ; he was probably a more than 
able diplomatist. 

In Applecross a bay is named Ob'mhadaidh ruaidh from the 
incident — alleged — of a fox which had been prowling on the shore 
having got his tongue into a large mussel, which closed on it, and 
held it while the tide rose and drowned the fox. It has to be 
mentioned also that a large kind of mussel is called " madadh." 

It is said that Irish fishermen will not go to sea if they meet 
or see a fox, or even hear its name mentioned. 

As may be expected the proverbial sayings in Gaelic are very 
good and apt. 

Am fear a bheir car as an t-sionnach feumaidh e eiridh moch 
(or moch-eiridh a dheanamh). 

He who would cheat the fox must rise early. 
An uair a leumas e'n Fheill-Brighde, cha 'n earb an sionnach 
earball ris an eigh. 

When Candlemas is past the fox won't trust his tail to the 
ice. There may be hard frost at that season, but it is 
not to be depended on. 
Be sin an t-sionnach a' searmonachdh do na geoidh. 
That were the fox preaching to the geese. 

L 



162 FOX 

Chu d'fliuair am madadh-ruadh riainh ceachdaire b'fliearr nil 
e fhein. 

The fox never got a messenger better than himself. 
Cha mhair an sionnach air a shior ruith (or cha lean) bithidh e 
sgith uair-eigin. 

The fox will not run for ever, he will tire sometime. 
Cha 'n 'eil mi a' m' sgoilear 's cha 'n aill learn a bhi, mar 
thubhairt a' madadh-ruadh ris a mhadaidh-alluidh. 

I'm not a scholar, and don't wish to be, as the fox said to 
the wolf. (See Nicolson, and Campbell's W. H. Tales, 
I., p. 278; and 111.^ p. 98.) 
Cha teid an sionnach na's fhaide na bheir a chasan e. 

The fox will go no farther than his feet will carry him. 
Cho carach ris a mhadaidh-ruaidh. 

As wily as the fox. 
Coltach ri cuilean a mhadaidh-ruaidh, mar a's sinne 's ann 
is miosa. 

Like the fox-cub, the older the worse. 
Feitheamh an t-sionnaich ri sithionn an tairbh. 

The fox's waiting for the bull's flesh. A model of patience. 
Ge b'e bhios na fhear-mhuinntir aig an t-sionnaich feumaidh e 
'earball a ghiulan. 

Whoever is servant to the fox must bear up his tail. 
Gleidheadh an t-sionnaich air na caoraich. 

The fox's keeping (or herding) of the sheep. Devouring 
them. 
Is eallach earball fhein do'n t-sionnach tha sgith. 
Even his own tail is a burden to the weary fox. 
Is fhurasda buill' an treun fhir aithneachadh. 

The mighty man's stroke is easily known. Said by the 
fox to the cock-wren. (See Nicolson's note hereto — also 
" wren.") 
Is math an latha 'ni am madadh-ruadh searmoin. 

It's a fine day when the fox turns preacher. 
Ma ruitheas an sionnach 'am broilleach a ghadhair, co aig 
tha 'choire } 

If the fox runs into the hound's embrace, who is to blame } 
Sionnach ag iarraidh a ruagaidh. 

A fox asking (or liking) to be chased. 
Sliochd nan sionnach, Clann Mhartainn. 

The race of the foxes. Clan Martin (see ante). 
"Tha biadh 'us ceol an seo," mu 'n dubhairt a' madadh-ruadh 
's e ruith air falbh leis a phiob. 

"There's meat and music here," as the fox said when he 

ran away with the bagpipes. A fair sample of Celtic 

humour. 

Tha thu cho lurdanach ris a bhalgaire bheag. 

You are as sly as the little fox. 



GOAT 163 

G 

GAZE HOUND (see Dog). 

GELDING (see Horse). 

GOAT. — Aibhreann (castrated); Bean (milker), boc (male), 
boc-gaibhre ; Cabhar, cadhla, cadhlan, cadhlas, cadla, caidhean 
(leader), cergich, cul-bhoc ; Dianag, dionag ; Ealt-ghobhar (trip 
of), eibhrionnach, eibhrionta, eirionnach ; Gabar, gabhar, gabhar- 
fhiadhain (wild), gabhrag (flock of), gadhar (Old Ir.), gadhlan, 
gafr (Welsh), gaur (Old Ir.), gavar, glaistig (goat-devil), gobhar ; 
Habrun, haburn (three-year-old castrated), heuran ; lubhran ; 
Laos-bhoc ; Maos, meanbh-chrodh (small cattle), meann (kid), 
meann-bhoc (buck-kid), meigeadan, meinne, minnean, minnseag, 
minnseagh, minnseach (young), mins, minsich, mise, miseach ; Pone ; 
Raisean ; Seaghach, somar (chamois). 

Aiver ; Christine (A. N.) ; Eveck (Lat.) ; Gat, gayte, gothe 
(A. S.), gyte ; Haiver, haiverel, haiveron, haivrel, hebrun, heburn 
(Loth.), hever ; Minshoch (fern., two years) ; Meenshogue (Ir.) ; 
Nanny (fem.) ; Rabuke ; Skybald, skype, skypel. 

The etymology of the word "goat" is given variously as from 
old word gamh, gamra, gabra, gabr, gafr ; gamh signifies winter, 
hence gamh thrath or geamhradh ; also from Aryan root ghaida 
or ghid, to sport, to play ; Old Etruscan, capra. A term " glomhar " 
means a band put on a goat to prevent the kid sucking her, from 
glomh, to gag, etc. Haversey and Hafur mean "the isle of goats." 
Boicionn is just boc fhionn, a goat's skin, while minicionn is a 
kid's. 

As behoves, mention must be made first of the Scriptural 
he-goat which was, as given by one writer, "the sin-offering for 
sins unwittingly committed " (Numb. xv. 27) ; and for sins of 
the congregation on the day of atonement, when one goat was 
sacrificed, and another (Azazel), dyed with its fellow's blood, was 
driven forward and flung over a precipice, called Zuk, as a symbol 
of pardoned sin. Whitley Stokes in his Thesaurus Palceohihernicus, 
Old Irish glosses, gives the following : — " It was a custom they (the 
ancients) had, that two he-goats used to be brought to the Temple 
and one of the twain was let go to the wilderness with the sin of 
the people, and curses were put upon him, and the other then was 
slain there by the people for its sins. This historical he-goat 
used to be called emissarius, because it used to be sent to the 
desert." The he-goat is used scripturally as a symbol of strength, 
and also of impurity. During Masonic rites it is believed that a 
certain evil spirit assists in the shape of a he-goat, and allows the 
novices to ride on his back and go " withershins " or deas-iuil 
three times round the chamber. A favourite Celtic form the Devil 
is said to assume is the goat called erroneously "Glaistig." It 



164 GOAT 

was always in a goat's blood the Crann-taiic was dipj)ed. The 
national emblem of the Welsh is the goat ; Gower, the reputed 
founder of the Cymric race (Cuimrich) being merely "gobhar." 
The goat was also the favourite emblem of Faunus or the deity 
who protects the cattle, etc., hence faunae by metathesis for all 
animals, etc. In Irish Gaelic goatherd is gour-aora. St Mungo 
wore a goat-skin coat (boicionn goibhre), which could be smelled 
at a considerable distance. The goat is not extra particular in 
its eating, being known to have devoured musty vellum, 
parchment, etc. Gabhran was the name of the father of the 
saint Aidan. It may be worth noting the similarity between Latin 
and Gaelic names for the goat, a he-goat in its perfect natural 
state is called hercus in Latin, heuran in Gaelic, when mutilated 
or castrated, in Latin caper, and in Gaelic gabhar or gabar. 

"Tha na gobhair anns a Challort," the goats are in the 
Callart, was the signal given by Janet Shaw to the chief of her 
clan to attack the Cummings. I'he goat is said to be the only 
animal that eats the Bishop-weed or herb Gerard aegropedium, 
hence called goatweed. Martin tells us that a he-goat suspended 
from the mast of a ship was believed to insure a favourable wind. 
This is incredible. It is alleged that the supposed he-goat was 
only an entire goat-skin bladder or float, and that Martin was 
merely gulled by the astute natives. (See Matt. xxv. 31, as to 
goats and sheep.) Goats are particularly fond of wind or exposed 
places, 

" Gobhar gaoth ann an aodann creag." 
Goat wind in the face of a rock. 

Goats are said to dislike wetting their feet, almost as much as 
cats do. 

In some districts the final handful of corn falling to be cut, 
was called when cut down ^' A ghobhar bhacach," the cripple 
goat, in regard to which certain ceremonies were observed, one 
being "damhsa nam boc." In Lewis and Harris, as in some 
other places, the goats' pen, fold, or stable is called mainnir, also 
era or cro, and gabharlann. In popular Gaelic sayings, songs, and 
catches, the goat figures more frequently than the sheep. What 
Highlander does not know the song " Gu bhi 'cuir nan gobhar as 
a chreag } " " Fiacail goibhre," goat's tooth, is a name given to 
a man who holds out against his neighbours, " aon an aghaidh 
pobuill," one against people. The "leader" among goats is 
termed caidhean, ceannabhoc, ceann-gaibhre, ceann-a-ghabhar or 
gabharcheann, while " cadhlach " is a herd or flock of goats. 
Caigeann, a machine for taming wild goats by binding them in 
pairs (E. M.). The goat can live where other animals would 
starve, as the following lines infer : — 

Cadha 'n fheidh Bochan Ubhaidh 
Cas is mollaicht' tha ann, 



GOAT 165 

Cha 'n fhas fiar no fodar ann 

Ach socliagan (sudheagan or sudhagan) is dearcagan allt ; 

Gobhar air aodainn, 

A 's laosbhoc air a cheann. 

The deers' pass of Bochan Oovai 
The most cursed of all difficult places. 
There neither grass nor straw will grow 
But wild strawberries and blaeberries ; 
A goat in its face. 
And a wether-goat at its top. 

Bochan Ubhaidh is a place near Kingussie. Near Inniskillen 
in Ireland there is a place called Sciath or Sgiath-gabhra, the 
goats' promontory, sgiath here is a piece of land jutting into the 
sea. In Cork, Ireland, there is a place called Keamagower, being 
said to be a corruption of ceim or ceum na gaibhre, the pass of 
the goat. In the Irish island of Aran, the tie rope between two 
goats is called braighdean ; this is said to have given a name to a 
place there. As an example of the difficulty and danger in 
giving the origin or meaning of many proper names, the following 
may be cited : " Sleueningorn," which on analysing turns out to 
be the corrupted Gaelic of Sliabh-nan-gobhar, the mountain of 
the goats, Goat-hill or Goat-fell. Goat-fell again may be Gaoth- 
mheall, a proper description of the mountain of that name in the 
Scottish island of Arran. Ardgour (Aird ghobhar). Goats 
Heights, is so named from their numbers there at one time. 
" Aonghus nan Aoirean," said thereof, " Aird ghobhar, 's am bi 
ganntar, dh'ichteadh na gobhair mu'm feannt' iad." In the 
Irish idiom gobharin, pronounced gorin, is sometimes given as the 
plural of goat, hence the n at the end of the above word. Dalna- 
meen in Athole is just dail na minn, the kid's field. The chamois, 
having a Gaelic name, is given under this heading, that name in 
the Gaelic Bible being given as Somer (Heb.) Zemer. It is 
described in the dictionaries as a kind of goat, though in a gloss 
to the Scriptures it is said also to be the wild sheep of Arabia 
Petraea, having strong horns curved backwards goat-like (see 
Deut. xiv. 5). The fabulous monster called "Uraisg or uruisg" 
was supposed to be half-goat, half-man, a satyr in short. Bocan, 
a little buck, signifies " bogie," and boicionn is a goat's skin. An 
expression or saying impl3ang profound contempt runs — 

Tha e gu siogaideach, rugaideach, marbh ; 
Cha bhoc 's cha tarbh ach laos-boc. 

He is lean, long-necked, and lifeless. 

He is neither buck nor bull, but a wether-goat. 

In Campbell's Talcs, Vol. III., pp. 91-2, we find the fable of 



166 GOAT 

" How the fox took a turn out of the goat," where this euphonious 
description is given : — 

Na tri minneana mine-glas, 

Tarurgna taraghlas, drioinana dromaghlas ; 

Agus am boc ceannaglilas. 

The three kindly kidlings gray. 

With bellies gray-bellied, and with backs grey-backed ; 

And the buck grey head. 

An epithet applied to a to usy-headed child is " raisean," 
goat's tail! In James Grant's Adventures of Iloh Rot/f we 
are informed that when The Bruce was in hiding in a certain 
cave at Inversnaid, he found himself surrounded by a flock of 
wild mountain goats, whose lair the cave was. The king, however, 
found himself so comfortable among them, that when peace was 
restored and proclaimed by him, and Parliament met, he had a 
law passed whereby all goats should be grass-mail (rent) free. 
If so this law can yet be found in the Statute Book. It is worth 
mentioning that the parchment of the oldest MS. written in 
Scotland, viz., a copy of Adamnan's Life of Si Columha, ante 
713 A.D., is goatskin. Cameron in his Gaelic naines for plants, 
etc., says the plant louse-wort or red-rattle is called, inter alia, 
Bainne gobhar, goats' milk, and thought to cause goats feeding 
on it to yield more milk. Proverbial sayings are as follow : — 

Ag iarraidh, no a' cuairteachadh, gobhar gun fhios a dhath. 
Seeking for a goat of an unknown colour. Asking for 
what one knows nothing about. 
An ni a chum an eidheann o na gobhair. 

That which kept the ivy from the goats. The inaccessibility 
of the rock or wall. Goats are said to be very fond 
of ivy. 
Bainne nan gobhar fo chobhar 's e blath, 's e chuireadh an 
spionnadh 's na daoine 'bha. 

'Tis the milk of the goat foaming and warm 
That gave the strength to our sires before born. 

The following is a true saying ; as a cosmetic let the ladies try it. 

Sail chuaich ann am bainne ghobhar, 

Suath ri d' aghaidh, 's cha 'n 'eil mac righ air an domhain nach 
bi na d' dheigheadh. 

With violets and the milk of goats anoint thy face freely. 

And every king's son in the world will be after thee (my dearie). 

Again, 

Is leigheas air gach tinn cneamh 'us im a Mhaigh ; 'us ol am 
fochair sud 'm bainne ghobhar ban. 

To heal all disease, take garlic and May butter ; and drink 



GOAT 167 

along with that the milk of a white goat — being the 
richest, like that of a red cow. 
Beo gun bhiadh, geal gun nigheadh, feoraich sud de chois a 
mhinnein. 

Alive without food, white without washing, ask that of the 
kid's foot. 
Bidh na gobhair bodhar a's t-fhoghair. 

The goats are deaf in harvest, or autumn. Will not hear. 
Bidh suilean ghobhar aig na mnathan a' gleidheadh am fear 
dhaibh fhein. 

Women have goats' eyes in keeping their husbands to 
themselves. Goats as is generally known are very 
keen-sighted. 
Biodh e dubh, no odhar, no donn, 's toigh leis a' ghobhair a 
mheann ; or Ma's dubh, etc. 

Be it black, or dun, or brown, the goat loves the kid that's 
her own. 
Bu dual do'n mheann meagad a dheanamh. 

It is natural for the kid to bleat. 
Ceann goibhr' air dhroch fheannadh a h-aon dhe na tri cinn 
nach fhiach itheadh. 

An ill-flayed goat's head, one of the three heads not fit 
to eat. 
Cha dean minnean meann. 

A kid begets not kids. 
Cleas na goibhre 'g ith na nathrach, 'ga sior itheadh 's a sior 
thalach. 

The goat's trick (or way) with the serpent, eating away 
and still complaining. 
Dh' aithnich mi gur meann a bheireadh a ghobhar. 

I knew it would be a kid the goat would bear. 
Gairm Mhic Mhannain air na gobhair, "raa thig, thig, 's mar 
tig fan." 

The Manx-man's (? Buchanan) call to the goats, " if you are 
coming, come, if not, stay." 
Ire bhuicein air a bhuicein, cul na duirn, maide 'n doruis 
tomhas romhad, meur 'us alt, cia meud adharc air a bhoc ? 

The little buck's length to the little buck, back of fist, 
measure the door-stick right before you, finger and 
joint; how many horns are on the buck? A child's 
play-guess. 
Is ann mar a mheagairt a ghobhair a dh' ailis a mhinnean. 

'Tis as the goat bleats the kid responds. 
Is e galar a bheireadh air na gobhair nach itheadh iad an 
eidheann. 

Sickness alone would keep goats from eating ivy. 
Is gearr gu 'm bithear am minnean na's miosa na'n t-seana bhoc. 
The kid will soon be worse than the old buck. 



168 GOAT— HARE 

Laideann aig na «;abhraibh, tuipjeam ged nach labhraim. 

Goats' Latin, I can understand it but cannot speak it. This 
is thought to refer to the Priests' Latin or " Dog-Latin " 
of some legal documents, etc. 
Mar is toigh leis na gobhair na coin. 

As goats like dogs — not at all. 
Mar itheadh na goibhre air an dris. 

Like the goats' eating of the brier — with caution. 
Miami goibhre, gaoth 's dol 'an aodann creag. 

A goat's desire, wind and climbing up a crag. 
Sheideadh e na h-adharcan de ghobhar. 

It would blow the horns off a goat. Stormy. 
Tha suilean nan gobhar an ceannaibh nam fir a' taghadh 
nam ban. 

Men have goats' eyes when choosing their wives. 
Trath bhios tuar a' dol as air na gobhair, cha bheir iad 
ach buic. 

When goats are dying out they bring forth only bucks. 

GRAMPUS (see also Porpoise). 

Can, canach, canna ; Leumadair, leumnach ; Mada-chuain ; 
Puthag. 

Becker-dog ; Bucker ; Chaffer, craspic, connat ; Orca ; Round- 
headed cachalot, round-lipped whale ; Wolf-of-the-sea. 

From (Ital.) Gran-pesce, great fish, (Lat.) grandus pisces ; 
(A. S.) Hwel. 

The grampus is a sort of third cousin to the whale, and a 
first cousin to the porpoise. It bears the name wolf of the sea 
from its habit of assailing anything or everything living inhabiting 
the waters. 

GREYHOUND (see Dog). 



H 

HACK (see Horse). 

HARE. — Fiamain, fiamuin, fiamaib (Old Ir.), fear-boc ; Gear, 
gearr, gearrag, gearraidh, gearr-fhiadh, gearr-gheal (white or 
mountain), groisgeach (hare-devil) ; Labran ; Maidheach, maigh- 
each, mial, mial-bhuidhe, mial-moighe, miol, moidhach (Shaw) ; 
Pait, paiteag, pata, puta, putan ; Reang ; Sgiarnag, sgiberneag, 
sgiobarnag. 

Arc (Old Eng.); Bandy, bawd, bawtie, bawty; Capron, 
caproun, cuttie ; Donie ; Farmer, fennel (fem.), fuddie ; Great- 
hare (three years old) ; Hallan-chacker (Devon), hara (A. S.) ; 
Katie ; Lagos, lavrock, lepus (Lat.), leveret (young) ; Malkin, 



HARE 169 

mally (N.), mapsie (pet), raaukin, mawken (and many other) ; Old 
Sarah (Suffolk) ; Puss ; Scavernick (Cornw.), skyper ; Whiddie 
(Aberd. Banff). 

Supposed from an old word signifying "jumper." The Welsh 
word is ceinach. Miol raaighe is just the beast of the plain. 

The hare is a native of Britain, and was one of the animals 
used in divination. We learn from Caesar, de Bell. Gal., that 
it was one of the animals the ancient Britons avoided eating. 
Witches are said to assume the form of a hare frequently. Hares 
are more stupid than rabbits, and more easily killed on railway 
lines. Hares are said to be fond of music. Chambers in his 
Popular Rhymes says, " Jock played upon his bulls (bagpipes) sae 
bonnie that the hares a' danced roon'." In Silva Gadelica the 
expression "in miol mongruad," translated '^•russet-coated beast," 
occurs, in miol mongruad da ngoirter in gerrfhiadh, am mial 
muing-ruadh da'n goirear an gearr-fhiadh, the red-maned beast 
called the hare (short deer). Fiamain or fiamuin is said to mean 
fiadh-muin, wild (?). In Lightfoot's Flora Scotica we are told that 
there were no hares in Arran about 1790, there are almost none 
there now. Hares are hated by fishermen, and the word must 
not be used at sea ; this applies chiefly to the North-east of 
Scotland. A hare crossing one's path when going on a journey 
is said to be particularly unlucky, indeed so much so that the 
journey may be given up for that day. A hare starting from the 
last patch of grain being cut, is said to be lucky. As may be 
generally known, the hare frisks very greatly, both in the very 
early morning when it holds apparent assemblies and sits in rings, 
as also gambolling in the evening before approaching rain. 
Cowper says of a pet jack-hare. 

His frisking was at evening hours 

For then he lost his fear ; 
But most before approaching showers 

Or when a storm drew near. 

In spite of this "dancing" disposition, we find Johnson 
describing the hare as " melancholy," because she is on her forme 
always solitary ! 

A Celtic riddle runs : — 

Chi mi thugam thar a bheinn 
Fear beag 's beum as a shroin, 
Da fhiacaill fhada 'na chir, 
'S cirb de bhlaigh 'na thoinn. 

I see towards me (coming) over the hill 
A little one with a cut in his nose, 
Two very long teeth in his jaw. 
And a tatter of tow tied in rear. 



170 HARE— HEIFER 

I)r (lillies refers to the (li^ta^til state called " Milleadh- 
luaighiche," hare-lip, or *' Heain-mhial or mhiol" (lit.) hare 
injury, and suggests the cause as being occasioned by a pregnant 
woman foregathering suddenly with or starting a hare, the child 
having a cleft lip like a hare. The disease called " Patnide " 
also comes from pata, a hare. 

Cameron, in his (laelic names for plants, gives Hare's-foot 
clover as Cas-maighiche, or hare's foot. As is doubtless generally 
known, a hare's sleeping-place or lodgment is called her forme, 
which being a "print" of her form originated the word "forme" 
in use by printers. 

Cho luath 's gum bheil an gearr beirear oirre. 

Though the hare be swift she can be caught. 
Is deacair gearr a chuir as an torn anns nach bi i. 

'Tis difficult to put a hare up from a tuft in which she is 
not. 

HART (see Deer). 

HEDGEHOG. — Draineag, draenog (Welsh); Graineag, griun, 
gruin ; Rutha ; Uircean-garaidh, uircean-sona, urrag. 

British porcupine, butter-bump ; Erchin (Fife) ; F'urze-a-boar, 
furze-man-pig (Glouc.) ; Hag-hog, herison, herysson (Palsg.), 
hirchen, hodgen, hurcheon, hyrchoune ; Nertchard, niceple, 
nisbill, nysebill, nurchon ; Perpentine, perpynt, pochin (Som.), 
porcupig, porkpoint, porpentine ; Rock (young — Som.) ; Sharp- 
nails ; Urchin. 

The name urchin signifies " the little bristly animal." 

In some parts of the North the name of the hedgehog was 
given to a very mysterious animal which, when met with among 
the corn, had only the appearance of a grey stone, but could 
change its shape. When thus met with a small quantity of the 
crop was left standing around it, and only the ears of grain cut. 
Such a clump has been seen by the compiler, and the above 
given him as the reason. It was called "Tom an ioghnaidh," the 
wonder clump or tuft ; as few knew, every one almost won- 
dered why it existed. The hedgehog's hoard, or cnuasachd na 
graineig (see Armstrong's Gael. Diet.), means that all gathered in 
this world must be left at the grave, as the hedgehog has to 
leave its burden of crab-apples at the narrow entrance to its hole 
or den. In Advie it is said to be unlucky to meet a hedgehog, 
especially after nightfall. 

HEIFER (see also Cow). — Adh (err.), agadh, agh, aghan, 
aghan-goirridh (fox-coloured), ag-nadara (in calf — Ir.), ainbhidh, 
ainbhte, atharla, ath-uanach {} ath-ghamhnach — Ir.) ; Biorach, 
bioraiche, bodag, bodog, boUag ; Caithne, colbthach, coilt, collach, 
coUaid, colag, colog, colpach, colpdach (to calve), colpdach firionn 



HEIFER 171 

(three-year-old bull), culldali ; Dairt, dartaid (two-year-old bulled), 
dartaid-inide (three years old at Shrovetide), dartaidh, dartoid 
(Ir.); Eannraidh (Suthd.), earc ; Fior-agh (two-year-old breeding), 
forgo (Ir.) ; lannraidh (Suthd.) ; Laulghauch (full grown, about 
to calve) ; Maoiseach, maoiseag, maoisleach ; Og-mhart ; Samaisc 
(third year till bulled, — Ir.), samhaisg, samseisce, seach-bha, seaeh- 
bho, seachlaeh, seachlaogach, seagaid ; Urchallach, urchullach. 

Arfer, ayfer ; Burling, burra ; Cuddoch, cuddock ; Haffer, 
halfer, harfer, heckfar, heckfor, heifker, hekfere, heiyearauld 
(Loth.), high-year-old, hiver ; Martin (spayed) ; Quaeg (Shet.), 
quee, quey, qwye ; Ruck (small, Somerset) ; Whee, whie (Yorksh.) ; 
YafFer, yat (North), yeifer (Devon). 

The etymology of this word is given as from A. S. " Heah " 
and " Fear," an ox. Old Etruscan (supposed Celtic) Burra is 
spotted-nose heifer, lit. "Nosy." 

Atharla, ox-calf — ath-ar-laogh, along with the term aigeach, 
a young horse, may be the root word "og," young, in both cases, 
whence also oigh, a maiden, and ogh, ogha, grandson, may be 
derived. 

In regard to the term " Fior-agh," there is an old saying 
which shows the wisdom of olden times : — 

Laogh firionn fior-aighe 

Na biodh air do ghreigh ; 
Ged a bhiodh e fhein a fas 

Bidh an t-al a' meith. 
The male calf of a two-year-old 

Let not among your herd ; 
For though he himself will grow, 

His progeny will decay. 

The Rev. Mr M^Rury, Snizort, Skye, Mho supplies the above, 
says, inter alia, "the idea underlying this verse is that it is unlucky 
to keep the male calf of a two-year-old alive. I well remember 
seeing such calves killed." This again is said to refer to the 
twin heifer of a bull-calf, which is called " Martin," and is supposed 
to be incapable of breeding. Immaturity has much to do with 
the matter however. Names of places from the term " biorach " 
are Allt-a-bhioraich at Barvas Moor, and another at Stacashal 
mhaol on the Carloway, island of Lewis. The following "points" 
of a good heifer is by Alasdair mac Bharr-aois who composed 
"An drobhaireachd," and is from that song; it is given more 
fully in the Duanaire. There are three verses given under 
" Cow " almost the same : — 

Dh* aithn 'inn an t-agh dubh no ruadh Fd know the heifer (coloured) red 
Dait' air suaieheantas a bhein or black 

'S na 'n leanadh a phris a suas. By the markings of its hide, 

Churaainn fhein 'mu 'n cuairt an And were the prices ruling high, 

ceum. It's I that would keep up the stride. 



172 HEIFER— HORSE 

Adharc fhada, ^horin, no dhmr^, Horn long, blue or red, 

Cluas nihor us carhall da reir. Large ear, likewise the tail. lrou_,li ; 

Speir mholach, leathan, garbh ; A shaggy hough, both broad and 

Bhiodh e searbh inur bi'niid reidh. Then to agree we would not fail. 

E 'bhi leathan os a chionn ; Broad should it be across the back, 

Goirid o'n da shuil a bheul ; Short the space 'tween mouth and 

Fionnadh dualach tiugh, 's c dluth eyes, 

Gun bhi fo na ghlun ach rcis. Curly hair, both thick and close. 

The knee a span above it rise. 

Aisne leoghar, dhorahain, chrom, Ribs both sloping deep and bent 

Trusadh 'n a chom air an f heill. Gathered to tne frame in folds 

Togail ann a suas gu bharr, Swelling gently to the top — 

Aigionnach na nadur fhein. The beast itself both bright and bold. 

The proverb '' Laogh air bialthaobh maoiseig," a calf before 
a heifer, is said to apply to those who procrastinate. 

HERD. — Ai, aibh ; Baidne (small), beutail, buar ; Cual ; Dartan ; 
Ealbha ; Fedoil, feudail ; Greigh ; lall ; Ni ; Sealbhan, sgann, 
slabhraidh, slaibhre, speil, sreath, stuaidh ; Tain, tainte, tan, treud. 

HIND (see Deer). — The etymology of this word is supposed to 
be " Henda," Old Teut. for what is taken by hunting. Another 
(A. N.) word is Biss. The Hebrew word "Ail" signifies 
"quadruped," and in Gen. xlix., the meaning in one place is 
given as " Napht ali," a hind let loose, while in another it is 
translated " a spreading tree," probably signifying " with antlers 
spreading like branches." We find the word in Old Irish " Aile," 
for ailech, a stallion. 

HOG. — Deil-mhuc (two-year), deil-thorc ; Fithean ; Lia, lulpat, 
lupait; Miadugh, more, mugart; Porc-thriath (stall-fed); Tore, 
torc-nimh, triath. 

In Shetland a hog is called a Runcie. 

HOGGERAL (see Sheep) is Dianag, dionag, and Moiltean. 

HORSE. — Abhair (cart or plough), agh (Irish), agh-uisge 
(water — Ir.), aigeach (stallion — oig-each), aile, err. for aileach 
(stone — Ir.), air-each, aireach-fada (pack), airech (Ir.), al, all ; 
Balla-bhreac (dapple), banaiche, the outer of two plough horses, 
biorach, bioraiche (year old colt), blaradhan (white-face — Campbell), 
boc, buabhall, bual ; Cab-all, cabuU (broken to the bit), caileasg, 
capall, capull, cathmheal, cuil-asb, cuileasg (jade), colpa, cullach 
(a stallion), cur, curair, curs, cursa, cursach, cursan (steed, courser ; 
cursan-srann, snorting steeds) ; Di-mhill-teach (destructive, 
vicious) ; P'ach, each-reidh (hackney), each-shasaid (riding), 
each-sith (fabulous), each-uisge (water, fabulous), ech (Old Celt.), 
edeighneach (gelded), eist, eitionach (gelded), esth, est (Old 
Celt.) ; Falcaire, feadhain, fedan (team, Bk. of Lecan), fell (Old 
Celt. — pi. fill), feunaidh, forthan (stud) ; Gabar (lean), gearran 
(gelding), gillin, gloir-fliionn or gheusta (ringle-eyed or spotted 



HORSE 173 

in face or forehead), gobar, gobhar (Old Celt.), gobur (Corn.), 
gour (Ir.), graid (stud), graideach, graidh, graidhairne, graidheach, 
graig (herd), graighire, grairne (stallion — Jr.), greadan (little — 
Ir.), greadh, greadhair, greidh, greidheirne, greigh (stud), grellach 
(a crossan's), gribeach ; lomach (colt — Ir.) ; Marc, marcan, meac, 
mearc, mearc-treabhaidh (plough), meadhach, meidh-each, meile, 
meleni (jades or bad), mil-each (blood or war), mong-steudach 
(fine-crested) ; Onn ; Peall (palfrey) ; Sealtaidh, searr, searrach 
(foal), sgor (stud), siolach, siolaidh, sodair, sodarnach (trotting), 
soinneach (race), stal, stalan, stallan, steud, steud-each, suma, pi. 
suma dan (pack — Old Celt.) ; Tarlaideach, tirich. 

Agney (saddle), aiver, alistalder (stallion — Sussex), amblere, 
averil, avir (Northumb.) ; Bad get (cart), bagit, baggit (stallion), 
balzan (white feet), barra (gelding), bassie, bawsond, bayard, 
bidet (small), blonk, blood-tit, blouk, blunk, boney (cart mare — 
Suffolk), brachicourt (bent — in legs) ; Cabal, caby (two-year-old), 
cape, capel, caple, capul, capyll (working), cheval, chival (Fr.), 
chimbald (piebald), clib (occasional), clip (one-year-old — Buchan), 
cocker, coilet (stallion — A. N.), colt, cooper (semi-castrated), 
cooser, courtault, couser, cowt, cuisser, curtal (docked), cusser 
(stallion), cut, cuttre ; Destrere (war), dob (small), dromounday 
(Clydesdale, Galloway — A. N.) ; Eean (one-year-old — aon G. one, 
or eang G. a year) ; Filler (in shafts), fol, foil, foin, foire, fole, 
foil, fooal, fool, fwoal (foal), fresome (A. S.), frog (under two 
years — Buchan), f rogue (under three years — Nairn) ; Gall ion 
(lean), garara (gelding), garron, gennet, gleyd, glyde, gly de- 
aver, gloyd, grogie (grey — Shet.), gur-pug (Shet.) ; Hack, hacknay, 
hackney, hacknie (saddle), haggart (Loth.), hake (Can), haras 
(stud), harse, bene (lean), herse, best, hesten (mare), hibby 
(colt — Devon), hog-colt (yearling — Devon), hors, hos, boss, 
houpy (craven), hypalt, hyppald ; Jabart (starved), jade, jennet 
(lady's), jinnet (cross between ass and mare), jonet, jottery (all- 
round worker) ; Kirkby (old) ; Liard, lyarde (grey) ; Matchet 
(cart — i.e., mare), montur (saddle), morel (dark coloured) ; Nacker 
(colt — Devon), nag, naig (rigwiddie-naig — worthless); Nob (Heref.) ; 
Poney, pony, prodler (small), punch (Suffolk) ; Rabite (war), ral, 
reull, ride (saddle — Norfolk), rixy (semi-castrated), roda, rodi (a 
red — } ruadh), roarer (broken-winded), rol, rool, roul, rowl, rul 
(one-year-old — Shet.), runcey, runcie, runcy (hackney), russa ; 
Shalt, shaltie, shultie (Aberd.), shammocks (bad-going), skew 
(piebald — Chesh.), skybald, skype, sky[)el, somer (baggage), spittle, 
(Clydesd.), stag, staggerstaig (work), stalane, stallant (stallion — 
Palsgrave), stanyel, stode-mere (mare in foal — A. S.), stonehorse 
(Cotgrave), summer, sumpter (baggage), stoud (colt) ; Thill, thiller 
(hindmost in team), tit (one-year-old), tillie-lan' (nearest in plough), 
tomerall (two-year-old) ; Vole (foal) ; Waltron (water, fabulous) ; 
Yad, yaud (jade, old — North). 



174 HORSE 

Numerous etymologies are given of this word with its variations, 
a few of which are given above. Horse is said to be from Old 
Teutonic har (hor), to run, a runner, while steed is from stod or 
stud. The original signification of capuU seems to have been a 
draught horse — at least that is one meaning found in a respectable 
authority, and explained as "cap," a car, and peall, a horse; this 
is to be found also in the Annals of the Four Masters. Gabar or 
gobhar is an obsolete name for a horse, the Welsh being gafr. 
The Old Irish word " Fellac " means an enclosure for horses, from 
*• fell." In the Scottish Celtic Revieio, "eoch " is given as Old Celtic, 
e.g., CO n-eoch, with a horse ; the words each, ech, eoch, etc., 
come from the root ak, to hasten ; the word deubhann or deabhann 
means a horse-fetter, this is supposed to be from deahh, to shrink, 
to contract, and ba?in, a tie or fetter, that which contracts or confines 
the pace or stride ; galuban again is a band on a mare's teats to 
prevent her foal sucking her, this is a provincialism but may be from 
gal or gul and liiban, the fold of weeping or sorrow — to the foal ; 
the word gearran is said not to mean "cut one," "glib horse" or 
gelding, but to be garran, short for gabharan, dim. of gabar or 
gabhar. The Hebrew word " ail," has been said to mean " horse," 
it certainly means a quadruped in one sense, that not only a horse. 
The Anglo-Saxon word "hors " is most probably from Old Teutonic 
as above ; " palfrey " is Celticised into falafraidh, though the 
word " pony " is originally from the Gaelic word " ponaidh," a 
small horse. Professor Cossar Ewart refers to the pony as being 
indigenous to Tiree, Barra, etc., but they are now extinct there. 
The word " cut " is a name frequently given to a common horse 
from its tail being docked. The word "cullach" also, now 
generally applied to a boar, seems to have been used for "stallion," 
as we read of a grey British stallion as glas-chullach ; elsewhere, 
in Irish Celtic Chronicles, we find " Caiple bitaille " given for a 
sumpter-horse, and "dila" as an epithet for horses (the latter 
word Whitley Stokes acknowledges as being obscure even to him). 
Roan is a corruption of Rouen in Normandy, where horses white 
or grey (roan) are common. The term " aileach " if not from above 
Hebrew word, and which signifies a stallion, may be traced, 
according to one etymologist, the Rev. J. Mackay, Canada, to 
alach, litter, or ailire, brood, all seemingly connected under 
the meaning of breeding or bred ; al signifies a generation, 
and is also an old term for a horse, while the Latin aleo 
signifies to nourish. The word "gobar," translated steed, is 
to be found in a prayer by Colum cille in Chronicon Scotorum 
as follows : — 

Ar alainn ferus alluaoh 
Gobar Baedain resin sluaigh, 
Fo la Baodan fuilte buidhe 
Beraseh a heren fuirre. 



HORSE 175 

How grandly he bears his course 
Baedan's steed before the host. 
Good for Baedan of the yellow hair, 
He will win his renown on him. 

That the horse among animals stands pre-eminent (from the 
winged " Pegasus " given to Bellerophon by Athena ; and in our 
own Celtic land of old consecrated in certain places by being led 
three times " sunways " round a certain earn, hence called 
" Carnach " or Carn nan each) is but a trite saying ; of late we 
have the famous Professor Cossar Ewart demonstrating the 
evolution of that friend of man from prehistoric times when it 
was a three toed animal, the size of a fox, up to the present time, 
the Professor's most recent discovery being that of the old Celtic 
horse of the Outer Hebrides. 

The "leader" among horses is termed ceanmarc, ceannmharc 
or marc-cheann, while a pair of horses in the plough is still known 
by the term seisreach, originally six; one who possesses many 
horses is termed " Marcach." 

Camjibell, in his West Highland Tales, says horses are frequently 
mentioned in ancient Gaelic tales, and more magic properties are 
attributed to them than elsewhere in popular lore. The most 
mysterious horse is of course the fabulous water horse, which, 
however, is now thought to have been the walrus. Fairies were 
supposed to ride always upon milk-white steeds. In the Ossianic 
poems the bards loved to sing of chiefs as riding on "white 
steeds " — see " Dean of Lismore." No Celt should forget the 
names of Ciichullin's two horses, Dubh-sron-gheal and Dubh- 
srannal, black-white-nose and black-snorter (Fingal, Duan I.) ; 
while still another, Sith-fada, long-stride, pulled up the famous 
James Macpherson in his translating stride. Duseivlin, Dubh- 
saoileann or dubh-suilean, black eyes, was the name of one of the 
famous steeds of Cuchulainn or of the Feinn, and Liath Macha 
another. In the Irish account the horses' names are given 
Dufhaoilean and Liathmara, ])lack sea gull and grey sea, while 
the name "■ Stuadh-mhor," broad-chested, is very descriptive. 
Though, so far as we know, no record exists of the signs used by 
the ancient Celts signifying a kind of written language, or different 
names for animals, birds, fishes, etc., etc., no doubt can exist that 
they had such in common with other races, the Chinese name 
or sign for horse being still in use. 

The "points" of a good horse are, as may be surmised, 
numerous, and are and were by no means unknown to our Celtic 
forefathers; Sibbald in Scotia Illustrata, 1684, says: — "Corporis 
forma talis probatur — caput exiguum, nigri oculi, nares apertae, 
breves auriculae, cervix mollis, latum pectus, armi grandes et recti, 
venter substrictus, testes pares et exigui, cauda longa et secta 
crispaque, raollia recta et alta crura, genua teretia parvaque, quae 



176 HOUSE 

introrsum non spectant, clunes rotundi, ungula; duru) concavae et 
rotundae, mediocresque super illas coronap." For characteristics of 
horse, see Leabhar na Feinne, "ton inhor, earball meadhon mor 
's mairsinn huar air a mharcachd." Another old description 
of a " good " horse is as follows : — *' Heded of an ox, ta} led as a fox, 
comely as a kyng, nekkyd as a dukyng, meuthyd as a kliket (fox), 
wilted as a woodkok, mylled as a wedercoke (i.e., easily guided or 
turned)." But the most minute description of what "a really 
good" horse should be is given in the Irish Brehon laws, as 
follows: — "Each mor slan . . . og, tirasa, ard-ceannach, airreachtach, 
beocraide, bruridleathan, bairneach, breac a tiathagad, suilig 
sleamain, seimchosach, socinevil, slangaitias, slangoisti, slan daib ; 
sorag a thucht, so chomail i laim ; ni bi cnoca na leac um a druim ; 
ni bi manidruimneach ; ni bu calace imneach ; ni ro isel, nib ro 
ard ; nib ocheall, nib imleimneach ; nib ro beil, nib do carrdach ; 
nip lease, nip lose, nip luach, nip luath chairceach ; ni bi cu 
anfthach, na hetrocht na crithach . . . forlim, slan, soimrime, 
somul ; dia mbe nachae, as Athchuirthe, no is faillithe," which 
has been translated as follows : — A big horse, sound, young, noble, 
high-headed, load-carrying, lively-hearted, broad-breasted, haughty, 
easy-bearing, sleek, slender-legged, well-descended {i.e., of good 
breed), free from spear thrusts, free from sword cuts, his form 
(chest) well-set, tractable to the hand, without lumps or flags on 
his back, not broken-backed, not rough-stepping, not too low, 
not too high, not shy, not starting, not big-mouthed, not ill- 
stepping, not lazy, not lame, not kicking, not dusty-haired, not 
puffing, not drop-eared, not shaky . . . perfectly sound, easj- 
ridden, obedient. If he be not such, he is rejected." The above 
is as given in a volume of the Ulster Journal of Archceoiogy. 
The translation into pure and idiomatic Scottish Gaelic will afford 
pleasure to any student who has the ability, inclination, and time. 

Another account of a " special steed " is given in an ancient 
Celtic tale, "The Destruction of Da Berga's Hostel" (as found in 
Rev. Celt., Tome 22), as follows : — Tri coecait gabur ndubglas. Itt 
e cendbecca, corrderga, biruich, baslethaidh, bolg (s) roin, 
bruinniderg, beolaide, s (o) aitside (soastaide or saitside), soga- 
baldai (fogabaltaide or sogabaltaide), crechfobdi, fegi, faebordae, 
femendae, cona trib ; coectaib srian cruan-maith (co cruan agus 
maithni, cruanmaithne, cruan moethne), friu. 

Thrice fifty dark-grey steeds. Small headed are they, red- 
nosed (?), pointed, broad-hoofed, big-nosed, red-chested, fat, 
easily stopt, easily yoked, foray nimble, keen, whetted Q), 
vehement (?) ; with their thrice fifty bridles of red enamel upon 
them ; these were not the lady's horse, called gennet or jennet, 
a Spanish breed. 

The following fine description of a horse is from " Sean Dana " : 
"Co so air an each steudach, las-shuileach, chobhar-bheulach, 
amhach mar bhogha catha, lubta, grinn 's an ard adhar.^" 



HORSE 177 

Who is this on the bounding steed, of flaming eyes and foamy- 
mouth, his neck as the battle bow, curved and beautiful, raised 
on high ? " Argyll " is referred to here, " Dh'fhalbh Mac-Cailean 
'm fear-buairidh, le sac gearran de thuaileis." Mac-Colin the 
disturber went with a horse-load of calumny (Gillies). 

An animal called "Eel-horse," having twelve legs, is said to 
be found in Loch Awe, which, however able for transit, does not 
equal the magic horse which Daire, the son of the king of Sorcha 
(Ardnamurchan) had, and which was capable of carrying its 
master over sea and land. In Carthon we read : — 

Mar steud each gun srian 'am mor-chuis 
'Nuair chithear an t-eachradh m'an raon 
Agus foghar na gaoith na shroin. 

Like a steed in his strength, who finds his companions in 
the breeze, and tosses his bright mane in the wind (.''). 

(See also Pope's Homer, IL 6, and Dryden's Virgil.) Carlyle 
quotes Goethe who spoke of the horse as impressive, almost 
affecting it was that an animal of such qualities should stand 
obstructed so ; its speech nothing but an inarticulate neighing ; 
its handiness mere hoofiness, the fingers all constricted, tied 
together, the finger nails coagulated into a mere hoof shod with 
iron. The more significant then are those eye-flashings of the 
generous, noble quadruped, those prancings, and curvings of the 
neck clothed ivith thunder. See Job, where it is said, " Hast thou 
given the horse strength, hast thou clothed his neck with 
thunder? He paweth the valley and rejoiceth in his strength." 
In spite of all this, no animal is more sensitive and affectionate 
than a well-bred horse, its sensitiveness making it sometimes 
shed real tears of anguish when pained, and its life is only for a 
period of some thirty years. 

Some superstitions, etc., as to horses may be given. In Skye, 
to dream of a horse refers to the Clan Macleod ; to meet a horse 
is generally deemed lucky, a brown one preferred, a chestnut or 
red is bad, boding death. Each donn, brown horse, means 
fearann, land ; each glas, grey horse, fairge, ocean ; each ruadh, 
red horse, reilig, i.e., churchyard ; each dubh, black horse, mulad, 
sorrow. To dream of a white horse used to foretell the arrival 
of a stranger (if yellow, a Mackenzie), or the coming of a letter. 
A horse, standing and looking through a gateway or along a road 
in the direction of a dwelling, said to be a bad omen to inhabitants, 
also neighing at door of a dwelling-house said to bode sickness 
to some of the inmates. To meet a piebald horse is said to be 
very lucky, if two are met apart, one after the other, the person 
meeting them should spit three times, wish any reasonable wish, 
and it will be granted within three days. In the West Highlands 
generally it is said to dream of a horse is lucky, the colours as 

M 



178 HORSE 

before. A certain virtue was said to lie in a " right-sided-maned 
horse," as such an one was selected to assist in capturing a 
famous "fuath" or spectre at Inveran, called by Lowlanders a 
" baugh." A beautiful black horse used to frequent a road near 
Loch Ness, till a resolute Highlander, meeting him one night, 
drew his sword in the name of the Trinity, and struck at his 
head, securing a small hook — by one account — or a bridle, which 
ended the supposed "kelpie" or water-horse. This bridle has 
also been termed "brang," a halter, which is the origin of the 
Scotch term for an instrument of old fastened round the jaws of 
a scolding woman. A horse-halter is also termed "iadastar," 
iadastur, iadhastar or adhastar, i.e., ni tha 'g iadhach mu 'n tor, 
ceann an eich, and the bridle-rein "airghean," a name for the 
bit being "bealbhach." A man if met riding on a white horse 
is supposed to be able to name a cure for any illness ; this belief 
is said to extend beyond the Highlands. Whooping-cough is 
said to be cured by passing the patient three times beneath the 
belly of a piebald pony, a rarity. Mare's milk is said to be a 
specific for this ailment, certainly a more practical one ; while a 
horse's cough itself is " fothach," glanders in a horse is " Grain- 
easadh." The superstition as to the horse-shoe, so prevalent still, 
is because either a horse or an ass was in the stall when Christ was 
born ; the shoe, however, must be found. A word for horse food 
is "dosdan." In the island of Mull the ghost of Ewen Maclaine, 
Loch Buidhe, Eoghan a chinn bhig, Ewen of the little head, who 
was killed in a fight, is seen riding on a dun or mouse-coloured 
pony, which goes up hill and down dale with equal speed; the 
knowing ones, in that island, point out the prints of the pony's 
shoes or hoofs. This apparition is said not to be confined to Mull, 
but to have been seen in the remotest of the Hebrides, and even 
in Ireland. A figure of this horse or pony, with Ewen on its 
back, is sculptured on his tomb in lona. The Irish race of horses 
was (and perhaps still is) a fine one, as is evident from the many 
passages which occur in Irish literature, and in the Brehon Laws 
descriptive of a good horse. One horse (M^Murrough's) was said 
to be worth 400 cows, which, at .£3 per cow, would be about 
£1200, a large sum in the days of yore, though hardly up to the 
price paid in later days, viz., .£30,000 for a celebrated staUion 
and race-horse. In 1486-7 horses were so dear in Ireland that a 
milch-cow and a heifer were often given for a colt. A horse 
when valued against other stock is estimated as being equal to 
any of eight foals, four one-year-olds, two two-year-olds, one 
three-year-old, or one one-year-old filly. Another estimate in 
" Coilpeachadh," or equalising for souming purposes, is eight foals, 
four one-year-old fillies, two two-year-old fillies, one three, and 
one one-year-old filly, or two cows. Horses are put or taken to 
the fields on St Bridget's Day — La Bride bheirear gearrain thun 
nan fonn. The name of an island set apart for horse-grazing is 



HORSE 179 

"Mulagroch," i.e., mul giach or graidh, a stud of horses. 
According to Mr A. Carmichael, a term in Lewis and Harris for 
an enclosure for horses is marclan, also comhlong, i.e., marc lann, 
coimh lann. In Lough or Loch Swill, in Ireland, there is an 
island called Aughnish, which stands for Each inis, horse island. 
Inter alia, the Four Masters record the death, in 1237, in the 
monastery of Boyle of a priest called Gille-na-necc, Gille nan 
each, the lad or servant of the horses ; in County Tyrone there is 
a place Domhnach-an-eich, now Donaghanie, this may mean the 
Sunday of the horses, while " Lemlair " in Kiltearn is leum an lair 
or leum na larach, the mare's leap, " Ardincaple " in Dumbarton- 
shire being ard nan capull, the height of the horses, while 
" Hrossey " at Marvig, meaning " horse island," comes from Norse 
" hross." A king of Munster in Ireland of old was called " Echach 
cind mairc (Eachach ceann-mhairc), Echu Horsehead. The 
family name "Eacharna" (M^Eacharn), means horse-owner. 
" Brahan of steeds " is a well-known saying. Eachfuin herezelda 
refers to the practice of landlords taking the best horse at death 
of tenant. Cameron, in his Gaelic names for plants, etc., says 
horse-radish in Gaelic is "mucan-each" or the horse-plant, also 
racadal. As to the plant Moonwort or " Luan-lus," it is said that 
horses lose their shoes where it grows. One Culpepper gives 
incredible accounts of this ; the plant horse-tail is, of course, 
" Earball-each " ; " Meacan-each " is the proper horse-radish, 
horse-clover being " each-siamar " or seamraig. 

Riddles, sayings, and proverbs in regard to the horse are of 
course numerous everywhere ; a few follow, which relate to the 
North and West Highlands chiefly. Iain Lom's caustic saying : — 

Mar lagh na linnibh nach mairean 
Bha 'n Sgire Cille-ma-Cheallaig, 
'Nuair a dhit iad an gearran 's a mhod. 

As law of ages that are not, as was in Sgire-mocheallag, 
when doomed they the garron in mod or mote. 

A horse-riddle runs "Air muin each nach d'rugadh, a's srian 
a leathar a mhathair ann." Upon a horse that never was born, 
and a bridle of leather of its mother's hide — the solution being 
that as a foal the horse was cut out of its dead mother's side, of 
whose hide the bridle was made. In Adamnan's Life of St 
Columha the real meaning of gerran equiis ministrator (translated 
elsewhere "minister's horse") is given as the Abbot's servant's 
horse. An Irish word for flock of horses, or stud, is "graig" — 
graig mac Lir, the horses of the son of Lir. Among "long- 
breath tests " we find the following : — 

Coig stallain dhiag dhubha dhubhach 

Le 'n coig sar buill dhiag dhubha dhubhach 

Ceithir capull dhiag dhubha dhubhach 



180 HORSE 

Le 'n ceithir searracli dhiag dhubha dhubhach 

Tri miiathan dia<if geala geala ^eal-breideach 

Da ghille dhiag breac-luirgneach 

Aon fheadag dhiag fhad speireach 

Deich ba ceaiui-fliioiin croidhioiina lairceach 

Naoi tarbh mhaola dhonna chorc-chluasach 

Ochd cailleachan miogagacha magagacha magach 

Seachd gobhair ghiorragacha gharragacha dhaite 

Sia mucan biadhta coig faineachan oir 

Ceithir sraibh mhuillein 

Tri coin ghurra 

Da chrann-lacha 

'S isean-circe 's a chas briste 's beart air a mhuin. 

Fifteen black dusky stallions with their fifteen excellent 
dark dusky parts, fourteen black dusky mares with 
their fourteen foals, thirteen white white women white 
kerchiefed, twelve speckle-shanked lads, eleven long- 
legged plovers, ten white-headed brown-hoofed treading 
cows, nine brown hornless slit-eared bulls, eight sly 
sneering mocking old wives, eight coloured greedy 
gluttonous goats, six stall-fed pigs, six golden rings, 
four mill straws, three hatching hens, two teals, and a 
hen-chicken with her leg broken and a burden on 
her back. 

The steps from horse to hen are worth noting. A mill wheel is 
described as follows : — 

Each dubh, dubh, a mire ris an t-sruth 
'S cha 'n 'eil an Eirinn no 'n Albainn 
Na leumas air a mhuin. 

A black, black horse sporting with the stream 
And there is not in Ireland or in Scotland 
One that will leap on his back. 

Wind and rain in fierce conflict is apostrophised as follows : — 
Each dubh 's each donn, 's iad bonn ri bonn, 

Ged is luaithe an t-each dubh, 's seachd luaithe an t-each donn. 
Marcach sion. 

A black and a brown horse, hoof to hoof. 
Though swift the black horse, the brown is proof. 

A' cuir an eich 's e 'n a fhallus. 

Urging on the sweating horse. 
A' cuir glais air an stabuU an deigh na h-eich a ghoid. 

Putting a lock on the stable after the horses are stolen. 



HORSE 181 

A' dol 's na h-eachaibh deiridh. 

Going among the hindmost horses. Said of persons when 
their failing powers disqualify them for leading places, 
as in a team of horses. 
Aithnichear searrach sean laire ann an greigh. 

An old mare's foal is known in a stud. Supposed, whether 
truly or not, to be more lively than others. 
Am fear a cheannaicheas am fath each, ceannaichidh e 'n 
t-ath each. 

He that buys an old hack, will have to buy another horse. 
An searrach bu choir a bhi san lair 's ann a dh' fhas e 'n a 
ghearran. 

The foal that should have been in the mare grew into a 
gelding. Said of an over-presumptuous youth. 
An t-each a bhuailear 's a cheann bidh e sgathach. 

The horse that is struck on the head will be timid. Worthy 
of note, and applicable to children also. 
An uair theid thus' air d' each mor, theid thu thairis air. 

When you mount your high horse, you tumble over it — 
"vaulting ambition which o'erleaps itself, and falls 
on the other side " (Macbeth). 
Aon de cheathrar da 'n d' thug Fionn fuath, each mall. 

One of four things Fionn hated — a slow horse. He was not 

singular in this. 

Ars' an t-each og 's a mhaduin "treabhaidh sinn an t-imir 

ud 's an t-imir ud eile " ; ars' an t-seann each "treabh am fear 

tha romhad an drasda, 's treabhaidh sinn each a rithist" — agus 

threabh an seann each, 's thug an t-each og thairis. 

Said the young horse in the morning "We'll plough that 
ridge and the other one"; said the old horse "plough 
the one before you now, and we'll plough the rest 
after," and the old horse ploughed, but the young 
one gave over. 
Be sin capull a chuir (ga thoirt) a dh' Innsegall. 

That were sending a horse (mares) to the Lowlands, or to 
the Hebrides. 
Bheir aon fhear each gu uisge, ach cha toir da fhear dhiag 
air ol. 

One man may lead a horse to water, but twelve won't make 
him drink. 
Bho 'n is tu mharcaich an eich, crudh e. 

Since you have ridden the horse, shoe him. 
Bi beo a chapuill is gheabh thu biadh. 

Live horse and you'll get food. 
Bliadhna mhor do'n lair 'dol le h-al. 

A full year to a mare going with young, i.e., thirteen months. 
Bristidh each gun urras cnaimhean. 

A horse without warrant will break bones. 



182 HORSE 

Bronnachaii an t-each, seang an lair. 

Plump the horse, slim the mare. 
Buile nia seach a spadadh nan each, or na h-eich. 

Stroke about killing the horses. 
Buile ma seach, iomradh nan each. 

Stroke about the horses rowing. 
Buile ma seach, mar bha biita nan each. 

Stroke about like the horse-boat. A boat with horses in it 
is not easily rowed. 
Caithidh each ri treabhadh. 

A horse wears with ploughing. 
Cha bhi each iasaid a chaoidh sgith. 

A borrowed horse never tires. 
Cha bhi treabhadh an each mnatha. 

A woman's horse won't yield (or do) ploughing. 
Cha choir an t-each glan a chuir h-uige. 

The willing horse ought not to be urged. 
Cha chudthrom (no cha trom) air each a shrian. 

The bridle burdens not the horse. 
Cha mho air e 's air sean each 'athair. 

He cares no more for him than an old horse of his sire. 
Cha nar do dhuine . . . lair ga thilgeadh. 

It is no shame to a man to be throw^n by a mare. 
Cha *n 'eil fhios co as a thainig na h-eich bhana. 

Nobody knows where the white horses came from. 
Cha tugadh na h-eich an casan as. 

The horses couldn't take their feet out of it. Said of very 
thick porridge. 
Cho dona dheth ri lair a ghobha. 

As ill off as the blacksmith's mare. Badly shod. 
Cho laidir ri each. 

As strong as a horse. 
Cho mor aig a cheile ri da cheann eich. 

As thick as two horse heads. (See Nicolson.) 
Each is cu is bean phosda, tri ionmhasan Triath. 

His horse, dog, and wife, a chiefs most valued possessions. 
Horse first, wife last. 
Each Samhna 'us Capull Liunasdail. 

A Hallow-fair horse and a Lammas mare. More showy at 
these terms, and therefore not to be hastily chosen. 
Faodaidh seann each sitir a dheanamh. 

An old horse may neigh. 
Fhuair e nead gearran. 

He found a gelding's (mare's) nest. 
Ged is e 'n duine 'n tuathanach 's e 'n t-each an saothraiche. 

Though the man is the farmer, the horse is the labourer. 
Gheibh an t-each easgaidh a luchd. 

The willing horse gets a load. 



I 



HORSE 183 

Gu la a bhais an cuimhn' an eich. 

To the day of his death in the horse's memory — is his 
stable, etc. 
larraidh mhic Chruislig air na h-eich. 

MacCrusUck's search for the horses. Wherever they are, 
or not Hkely to be. (See Nicolson.) 
Is ann air an each easgaidh a leigear an uallach. 

It's on the wiUing horse the burden is laid. 
Is ann mu seach a leigear na h-eich. 

'Tis by turns (one at a time) the horses are slain. 
Is coma leam inneir an each air an arbhar. 

I hke not the dung of the horse on the corn. 
Is eol' do dh' each am marcaiche cinnteach no neo chinnteach. 

A horse knoweth his rider to be confident or timid. 
Is eudar gabhail le each mall o'n nach faighear na 's fhearr. 

The slow horse must be taken since no better can be got. 
Is fhearr oirleach de dh'each na troidh de chapall. 

An inch of a horse is better than a foot of a mare. 
Is fhiach each math breab a leagadh leis. 

A good horse may be forgiven a kick. 
Is mairg a bhiodh a' biathadh nan each agus gun phris orra. 

Pity him who would keep up horses, when there is no price 
for them. 
Is mairg a chailleadh a's t-Earrach e. 

Pity him who would lose him in spring. The busiest season 
for man and horse. 
Is math an t-each a thoilicheas (no a shasuicheas) an (no gach) 
marcaiche. 

He's a good horse that pleases his (every) rider. 
Is math an t-each nach tuislich ceum. 

He's a good horse that never stumbles. 
Is olc an t-each nach fhiach a chrudhadh. 

He's a bad horse that's not worth shoeing. 
Is olc an t-each nach giulan ais-thir. 

He's a bad horse that cannot carry the food for his return 
journey. 
Is olc an t-each nach giulan fhasair. 

He's a bad horse that can't carry his harness. 
Is don' an t-each nach giulan a shiol. 

He's a wretched horse that can't carry his corn. 
Is teare each a dhiultas a mhuing. 

Seldom will a horse refuse his mame. 
Is trie nach e 'n t-each is fhearr a choisneas (an reis). 

Often it is not the best horse that wins (the race). 
Ithidh a cheann a chasan dheth. 

His head will eat his feet off. An idle horse. 
Ma bhios taod agad gheibh thu each. 

If you have a halter you'll get a horse. 



184 HORSE— KITTEN 

Mar a bha *n t-each ban an dorus a mhuilinn 'smuaineachadh 
tuilleadh 's na bha e 'g radh. 

Like the white horse at the door of the mill, thinking more 
than lie was saying. 
Ma 's math an t-each 's math a dhreach. 

If the horse be good, his colour is good. 
Miami eich uonach. 

A horse's desire, a heath. 
Millidh an t-srathair an t-each. 

The pack-saddle will spoil the horse. 
Millidh aon tarrung an t-each, 's millidh aon each an 
t-seisreach. 

One nail will spoil the horse, and one horse will spoil the team. 
Molaidh an t-each math e fhein. 

The good horse commends himself. 

Na cuir na ruith le leathad mi, 
Na greas a' direadh bruthaich mi, 
'S na caomhain air a chomhnard mi. 

Don't make me run down a decline. 
Don't urge me going up a hill, 
But spare me not on level ground. 

Oidhch* am muigh 'us oidhch' a stigh, 's olc an t-each. 

In to-night, out to-morrow, horse's sorrow — or bad is the 
horse. 
Ruigidh each mall muileann, ach feumaidh fear fuireach a 
bhristeas a chas — no, ach bristidh each tuisleach a chas. 

A slow horse will reach the mill, but the horse that breaks his 
leg must lie still — or a stumbling horse will break his leg. 
Tha e air a ghearran guanach. 

He is on his flighty horse. Restless. 
Thig a mharcachd 's na h-eich mhora leo fhein. 

Riding comes naturally to full grown horses. 
Tri aois coin aois eich (no duine). 

Thrice dog's age age of horse (or man). 
Tuislichidh an t-each ceithir-chasach. 

The four-footed horse (even) may stumble. 



HOUND (see Dog). 

JACK-ASS (see Ass). 

KID (see Goat). 
KITTEN (see Cat). 



J 

K 



LAMB 185 



LAMB (see also Sheep). — Bram-uan (pet) ; Cediach, cette 
(Old Ir.), cideach (pet), cigheach (fat), cir, eire, cireag, ciora, 
eiten ; Fior-uan (hog with lamb) ; Lias, loirean, luan, lubhan, 
lumhan ; Oen (Welsh) ; Siota, suaicein ; Uaghan, uan, uanan, 
uanachan, uainein. 

Ailie-cuddie (twin), alian (not suckled by dam) ; Bivie-lamb 
(sucking) ; Cade (tame or house), chute (hand-bred), cosset, cot- 
lamb, cotterlin, cuckool (early — Oxon.), cuddly, cuddy (yearling) ; 
Dan (fat), doublet (one of twins) ; Eanling (just dropped) ; Fitfall 
(grown lamb), fix (dead-yeaned) ; Gib or gib-a-lamb (newly 
dropped — Devon) ; Hob, hob-lamb ; Lam, lambe, lamber, lamberne, 
lambes, lambkin, lamborn, lambren, lambres, lambron, lambryn, 
lame, lames, lamline (pet), lamm, lammas, lammbre, lamme, lamp, 
lemb, liddling, lomb, lombbe, lombe, lomber, lombern, lombor, 
lombren, lombro, lombur, lome, loom, loomb ; Mud-lamb (pet — 
North) ; Shot (ill-grown, etc.) ; Tourkin-lamb (bearing another 
lamb's skin). 

In the eighth tome of the Revue Celiique the word "Bram" 
is given as Scottish Gaelic for a pet. 

The word " lamb " is said to be from the Teutonic " lamba." 

The peaceful attributes attached to the lamb are as well known 
among Celts as among most other nations, the proverb that March 
should go out like one has its well-known equivalent. 

A disease prevalent among lambs on damp boggy pasture is 
called " scoed/' and this is said to be a kind of gout in the knee, 
when they are said to be "scoled." A term for a part of the 
lamb near the brisket is "scovin." 

Cameron, in his Gaelic names for ])lants, etc., says kidney 
vetch or lady's fingers is " Cas-an-uain," or the lamb's foot. It 
is supposed to be very lucky to see the first lamb with its face 
towards one, good with its side even. 

Cha b'uan sin air bialthaobh oisge. 

That were not a lamb in front of (or before) a sheep. 
That were no yearling's lamb. 
Cha 'n 'eil ann ach an t-uan na's duibhe na' rahathair. 

'Tis merely the lamb blacker than its dam. 
Is trie a bha craicionn an uain air a chleith cho luath ri 
craicionn na seana chaora. 

The skin of the lamb has often been hung on the hurdle (or 
wicker-frame), as soon as that of the old sheep. 

LAPDOG (see Dog). 



186 LEOPARD— MARE 

LEOPARD. — Liobart, liocard, liopard ; oim-chu, orm-chre (Ir.). 
Labarde, lebard, leopart, libart, libbard, libbert; Pardal 
(Topsell). 

Little is known or said of this animal from a Celtic point of 
view ; a cerUiin king of Connaught, Ireland, bore the device on 
his standard, the bearer being called " Fear iomchair na h-onchoin," 
the bearer of the leopard ensign or standard. 

LEVERET (see also Haiie). — Breog; Cuilean-maighiche ; 
Gearrog, gearrag ; Maigheach og ; Pait, paiteag, patan, put, putan. 
From " Lepus," Latin for hare. 

LEVIATHAN (see Whale and Monster). 

LION. — Leomhann, leobhann. 

The lion is the general badge of the Celt, four appearing in 
the arms of Macdonald of Isla, according to Martin, while we 
may remind our readers that the lion was the emblem or coat-of- 
arms of Judah, and the lioness Gad's, while that of Hercules was 
a lion rampant holding a battle-axe, but the antiquity of this latter 
we do not vouch. A lion's den is " fochla," so termed, it is said, 
from being the abode of the king of beasts or animals. 

Aithnichear an leomhann air sgriob de ionga. 

The lion is known by a scratch of his claw. 
Is fhearr cu beo na leomhann marbh. 

Better a living dog than a dead lion (Eccles. ix. 4). 
Mar leomhann colgach is dual d'an Mhairt tighinn. 

As a furious lion it behoves March to come (in). 
Tha h-uile fear 'n a leomhann air a chuid fhein. 

Every man is a lion over what's his own. 



M 

MARE (see also Horse). — Alaire ; Baineach ; Caball, cabull, 
cailleasg, capall, capull, cleobag, clibeag, cliobag; Falaire; Lair, 
lar ; Saoi, saoidh. 

Cabal ; Hesta, hocknie (Shet.) ; Meer (North), mer, mere 
(A. S.), myre ; Yad, yade, yaud. 

The word "mare" is said to be from " marc," horse. 

Cameron, in his Gaelic names for- plants, etc., says bog-bean, 
buck-bean, marsh trefoil signify in Gaelic " ponair chapuU," mare's 
bean, also "pacharan chapull," the mare's pack or wallet; the 
vetch in Gaelic is " peasair chapull," mares' peas. A belief is 
said to exist that a mare tethered and kept sometime from water 
will discover same by pawing above spot, if there at all. As a 



I 



MARE— MOLE 187 

sign of degeneracy, Coinneach odhar (Dun Kenneth), the seer 
of Brahan, prophesied that the day would come when Enghsh 
mares should be led with hempen bridles round the back of 
Tomnahurich. "Thig an latha 's am faicear laireachain 
Sasunnach air an tarruing le srian corcaich air cul Tom-na- 
lubhraich. 

A famous mare-goblin was Lar bhan Choire-dho, the white 
mare of Corrie-dho, for generations the cause of much trouble to 
the farmers of Glen-Urquhart and Glenmoriston. (See Celtic 
Monthly, Vol. III., page 45.) 

The proverbial sayings, as may be expected, are mixed up 
with those regarding the horse, but the following may be given 
here : — 

Fear sam bith a dh' olas bainne capaill le spain chriothuinn 
cha ghabh e 'n triuthach ach aotrom. 

He that drinks mare's milk with an aspen spoon will take 
whooping-cough lightly. The aspen is sacred, the milk 
is rational. 
Is i 'n lair a bhreabas a dh' eigheas. 

'Tis the mare that kicks that squeals. The one who has 
done the mischief frequently makes the most noise 
about it. 
Is minig a chaill bodach lair agus a rinn e treabhadh. 

An old man has often lost a mare and done ploughing. 
Lair chaol-chasach agus each bonn-chasach. 

A slender-legged mare and a stout-legged horse. Desirable 
attributes. 
Ma tha mo chuid airgid anns a chapull thig e dhachaidh 
uaireigin. 

If my money's in the mare it will come home some day. A 
sound investment. 

MARTEN (see Polecat). 

MOLE. — Ath-thalmhain (Badenoch) ; Broth ; Caoch, caochag, 
caochan, creachag, criadh-luch ; Dallag, dallag-feoir, dallag-fheoir, 
dath-reodha, dubh-reabh ; Fabh, fadh, falcaire, famh, famhalan, 
famh-bhual, famh-fhual, famh-thalmhain, fath, fathbh, fath- 
mhugach ; Garluch, garbh-luch, gearraidh-luch, guadh (Welsh) ; 
Luch-ghallda ; Mallan, mullan ; Radaim-uir ; Uireach, uir-fhamh, 
uir-reathabh, uir-reathadh, uir-reothadh. 

Crode ; Heunt (Wore.) ; Maalwarp, mande-warp (A. S.), meande- 
warp, meauldiwart, meawdewart, modewarp, modewart, modiwarp, 
modiwart, modywarp, modywart, mohdiwarp, molden, moldewarp, 
moldewerper (A. S.), moldewort, moldwarp, molewarp, moleywarp, 
molewhaup, mollwarps, moodiewart, moodiewort, moodiwarp, 
moodywarp, moolywarp, mothert, mothiewort (Banff), moudewarp, 
moudewort, moudie, moudiewark (Lanark), moudiewarp, moudie- 



188 MOLE— MOxVSTEH 

wart, inoudiewort, moudivvarp, inoudiwart, moudiwort, nioudw.arp, 
moudwort, moudywarp, moudywart, moudywort, mouldard, moulde- 
warp, mouldiewarp, mouldiwarf, mouldiwarp, raould'ort, mouldwarp, 
mouly-warp, moundiewarp, mouther, raowdawarp, mowdhat, 
mowdie, mowdiewark, mowdiewarp, mowdiewort, niowdiwark, 
raowdiwarp, mowdiwart, mowdwar]), niowdywark, mowdywarp, 
mowlewarp, raowlwarp, mowthad, muddywarp, mudwart, mulli- 
wark ; Tape ; Want, wont. 

The etymology seems to be short for "mold" or ''mould- 
warp," an animal that casts or warps up moulds of earth. Famhalan 
thought to be merely an abbreviation of "Famh-thalmhain." 

Some ancient medical properties of the mole were that its 
ashes mixed with honey was a cure for certain inward complaints ; 
wine, in which a mole or its ashes has been decocted said to be 
good against scrofula, while its blood causes growth of hair. In 
the old statistical account of Scotland the mole was said not to 
be then in the island of Lismore, but it was in Bute. There are 
none in Ireland. A mole burrowing beneath a house betokens 
speedy departure of inhabitants, if extensive, say round whole 
house, a death of one of inmates probable. One proverb is 
extant, viz.. Far am faighear (oir neo far am bi) famh bi fuithir. 
Where a mole is found good land will be. This is very true, 
fuithir is fo-thir, subsoil. Moles are said to be of various colours, a 
white one having been caught at Cawdor and Moyness, a grey at 
Edinkillie, and at Carnach in the Streens one partly pale and yellow. 

MONSTER. — Aibhse (spectre), amhlair, arachd, arrach, arracht, 
athach, athaid ; Badaroshan (Ir.), bansgal, beannach-nimhe, beist, 
beithir, beithir-laindeach or lannach (scaled) ; Ceirean or cirein- 
croin, coluinn-gun-cheann, congeilt ; Fuath, fuath-arrachd ; Grib, 
gribh, griobh or griobh-ingneach (griffin) ; larchullach, iolbheisd ; 
Libheadan (leviathan) ; Mata (pig-monster) ; miochairth, murdachan, 
mur-ducha or murduchan (sea — a mermaid — Ir.) ; Ollbhiast ; 
Rochuaid, rosualt, sea-monster (? W^alrus) ; Samduba, a mermaid 
(Lee), siabra or siabrae, evil monster, elf, demon ; sianach, Tarbh- 
coill or choille, toradhair, torathair ; Uarohas, uile-bheisd or 
bheist, uiridh, uUa-bheisd or bheist, umhraisg, urghrannach. 

As-capart (Shakesp.) ; Gavlaw (Welsh) ; Leviathan ; Nikir 
(A. S.) ; Toad-monster, trunk without head ; Ullfish ; Wood-bull. 

"Croin" is the old Cornish word for "skin," the word 
"athach" is said to mean also "tonna," waves, i.e., anything 
great or awe inspiring. See Reliquice Celticce, Vol. I., p. 256, for 
"An t-Athach iodhna." A term "ortabhair" for monster has 
been met with, but this word is supposed to be merely " torathair " 
got transposed somehow. The ancient Celtic demon-monster 
named Siabra, etc., is referred to in Rev. Celt., dord (durd) 
siabrai, the howl of demons. 



MONSTER 189 

A fearful monster is described in an Irish tale as having been 
seen by Fionn and his heroes when hunting in Glen Smol ; " it 
was being chased by a red wife (bean ruadh), had four thin legs, 
a head like a bear (? cullaigh), and long horns on it, the rest of 
it like a deer (eilit), with a shining moon on each side ; the sea 
was as easy for it as the land, and no one could overtake it, but 
Bran got up with it as it fell dead." This beast-monster was no 
less than the King of the Fir Bolg in that shape. Sraid na hputog 
was the name of the place this monster or beast started from, and 
Cill-a-bhei thigh where it fell dead. A decent specimen of the 
genus monster is thus described : " Beist mhor anagnathach," a 
big uncanny beast, which would suck in any man, other animal, 
or creature that came within seven miles of it, and swallow a 
team of horses, the plough and the ploughman. In an Irish 
folk-lore tale we read that in Lough Dearg, Ireland, a monster 
(uilpheist) is said to be seen which is neither more nor less than 
a certain murderer, Phelim MacGriomh, who was first transmuted 
into a wolf yjro tem., and subsequently into this form perpetually 
after the wolf had been slain by one Seaghan of the two sheep. 
That famous and well-known monster, the water-horse, had no 
monopoly of the Highlands evidently from its having, what may 
be termed, a Southern name, viz., Waltron, or Walter's one ; it was 
supposed to belong more especially to the Borders. 

The river Ness, or neighbouring banks, had at one time an 
unenviable notoriety for a fearful monster till St Columba exorcised 
it, the Saint keeping one of his companions, Lugue Mocumin, 
from being destroyed while swimming across that river. Though 
perhaps not really a monster, an Irish goblin or spirit called 
"Puca," which, if we are not mistaken, answers to our Gaelic 
word " bocan," took various shapes, among them being the dog, 
horse, ass, and eagle. A certain doughty Irish champion named 
Muiredach obtained the surname " Cuchongeilt," or the hero of 
the monster (cu gun geilt, a fearless dog), for slaying one, while 
the word " torathair " or toraithear is perpetuated in the name of 
a certain place it is thought near Sligo, called Ros-torathair, the 
promontory of the monster. The Irish, moreover, call a mermaid 
Murdachag or ^^ Murduchan," and her song " Samhghulha," 
perhaps saimh or seimh ghul — gentle weeping. Elsewhere we 
find this word spelled "Samguba" (i.e., Saimh or seimh-gutha, 
gentle voice), durd na samguba, the mermaid's melody (W. S.). 
A sepulchral monument mentioned in the Irish Dindsenchas of 
Brugh na boine is "Lecc Benn," the flag (stone) of Benn, i.e., 
the leacht on which the monster was killed, said to have had 
one hundred and forty legs, and four heads. Another was called 
" Broicseach," broc sitheach, badger-monster, being amphibious 
and suddenly appeared in Loch Broicsighe, or Broicseach's loch. 
County Clare ; it was reputed as being very destructive to cattle, 
and tried to be exorcised by the ecclesiastics going out against it 



190 MONSTER 

Mrith book, bell, and crozier in vain. It was eventually chained 
to the bottom of its own loch by Saint MacCreiche. (See 
O'Curry's Customs of Ancient Irish, Vol. III.) Other monsters 
were named or termed Fuaig ; Fomor (fo mara), man of the sea ; 
Bocanachs, Bananachs, etc. Boca, a monster, is just the Irish 
pooke or puca, whence " bocan " ; it is said to take various 
shapes, such as a goat or horse or even a bird of prey. But the 
" Monster of Monsters " is that described in Revue Celtiyue as 
somewhat of this description, viz. ; " One hundred necks upon 
him, and one hundred heads upon each neck, and five hundred 
teeth in each head ; one hundred hands upon him, and one hundred 
palms in each hand, and one hundred nails on every j)alm." For 
monsters of a kind see Revue Celtique, Tome IX., p. 471, et seq., 
Voyage of Mael Duin. Another term for a monster, hobgoblin, 
or devil, is " Kobold " ; another for monster, apparition, or phantom, 
is Ealpaid, ealpait, or elpoid. Another is called the " Mata," 
which — or who — had seven score feet, and seven heads (in 
another account only four), another (or giant), had seventeen 
heads upon him, was higher than any oak tree, fifty cubits in his 
fork, and twenty-five in his shoulder-blades (VV. S.) ; one sea- 
monster was called " Ruisheadan " (Ir. ruiseda), which was 
amphibious. The Rosualt (Ross-ualt) seems to have been 
a species of plague, in guise of a monster, which visited Ireland, 
and brought a plague on land, in air, and in the sea. The 
etymology is not discernible unless it be akin to " Rosal," a 
judgment, a visitation. In Vol. III. of Campbell's Tales mention 
is made of a female monster called the yellow Muileartach, and 
reference is made to another, or goblin, called a "Fuath." A 
word " Fachach," a giant, may also be included under monsters, 
and on page 362 we are introduced to a venomous (horned) 
creature entitled " Beannach-nimhe," horned poison. The 
monster termed "Sianach" was a deer-monster. The 
"Arachd" or " Fuath-arrachd " was a spectral monster, also 
simply called the " Biast " in the tale of the Muileartach or 
Muireartach, which it represented. In Reliquice Celticce he, she, 
or it is called Tarrach, likely an t-arrachd, as shortly after it 
is referred to as Arrachd eitidh. The description of this 
monster as there given is : — 

An Tarrach eitidh athuU crom 
'S e b' ainm do 'n fuath nach raibh fann, 
A Muileartach claon ruadh manntach, 
Bha aodan dughlas air d breach guail, 
Bha dheud carbadach claon ruadh, 
Bha aon suil ghlogach 'n a cheann 
'S bu luaithe e na rionnach maothair ; 
Bha greann glas dubh air a cheann 
Mar dhroch choille chrionaich air chrith. 



MONSTER 191 

The awesome spectre hideous and crooked 
Thus was called the mighty apparition — 
The red, stammering, sinister Muileartach ; 
His dark grey face the colour of coal, 
A red bent tooth within his jaw. 
Swifter than any lobster spawned ; 
With grey black bristles upon his head 
Shaking like badly rotted wood. 

A truly awful combatant to engage, which, however, the Feirni 
did, and slew. 

The word "Beist" is also applied to this, as Gillies says 
"Liodair a bheist a chneas ban, Liodair e a lamh gu' leoin." 
The monster tore his fair skin, it tore his hand to its hurt. He 
also uses the word " Uile-bheist '* as follows, "Mharbhadh leis 
an uile-bheist. He slew with it the monster — or the monster 
was slain by him. See under " Animal " for a proverb or saying 
as to the " Cirean-croin." The Tarbh-coill is used in this saying, 
"Thuit an Tarbh-coill orra," the wood-bull fell on them, i.e., a 
great fear or awe. " Mir am bial na beiste," a bite in the monster's 
mouth, speaks for itself. " Urbheisd " again is said to mean the 
original or greatest monster. 

Here mention must be made of the " Beast " that killed Fraoch 
when he went for the second time to get the rowans for Maidh 
from Castle Cro. This hero's body, after and before death, is 
described as : — 

Bu duibhe na fiach a ghruag, 
Bu deirge ghruaidh na full laogh, 
Bu mhin 'e na cobhar an t-sruth, 
Bu ghill na sneachd corp Fhraoich ; 
Bu mhaise na 'n caisein fholt, 
Bu ghuirme rosg na eir leac, 
Bu deirge na cruban a bheul 
'S bu ghile dheud na cailc. 

Darker than raven was his hair, 

Redder his cheeks than the blood of calf. 

Softer — more gentle — than the foam of stream. 

Whiter than snow was the body of Fraoch ; 

More beautiful than curls (?) his hair. 

Bluer his eyes than the vaulted plain (the sky). 

Redder than crab his mouth. 

Whiter than chalk his teeth. 

The term "beist" is something more, in Gaelic, than mere 
animal, "Loch-na-beiste" meaning, for instance, the monster's loch, 
cu-bheist, dog-beast or dog-monster in shape of a wolf. The Griffin 
which enters into heraldry, etc., is a monster, half hen half eagle. 

MORSE (see Seal). 



192 MOUSE 

MOUSE (see also Shrew). — Fiolagan, feasgar-luch (field) ; 
Labhallan, lanihalaii, lliygoden (Welsh), luch, luchag. 

Foittac'k (Field); Harvest-row (Wilts); Maase, nieawse, moose, 
moss, mellot (short-tailed), mouel (field), mousey, muss (plur.),myss 
(Jonson) ; Uana, raima, ranny (shrew), reiny, rennie ; Schrocrop, sew, 
shroe (shrew ; Thraw-mouse (shrew) ; Water-ranny (field). 

The etymology is said to mean " stealing animal," from " mus," 
to steal, while the Gaelic " luch " is from " lokos " (Gr.), a wolf, 
or vice versa. 

The mouse is known everywhere, but we question whether 
greater attention has been paid to it anywhere than in the 
Highlands. For one thing it (as well as its big brother, the rat) 
is supposed to dread, or at least hate, sarcastic rhymes, how, it is 
not said, but the alleged results are adduced as sufficient evidence. 
A satire of eight verses called "Aoireadh le Alasdair Catanach 
an Saor ruadh anns a Chreagan 'nuair bha e 'fuadach nan luchan 
bho sabhal" — A satire by Alexander Cattanach, the red carpenter, 
on the occasion of his putting to flight the mice from a barn, 
will be found in Vol. XH. of the Celtic Magazine, page 257. The 
following is a child's or nursery rhyme : — 

" Thuirt an luch bheag 's i san toll 
' De'n fonn th' air a chat ghlas ' } " 
Fonn math is deagh shaod 
Gum faodadh tusa tighinn a mach ; 
*S mor m'eagal romh 'n dubhan chrom 
A th' agad ann am bona do chas, 
Mharbh thu mo phiuthar an de 
'S fhuair mi fein air eigin as. 

Another version is : — 

Luch— Thuirt an luch 's i 's an fhroig Mouse— S&id the raousie in the hole, 

"De 'ra fonn a th' ort a chait "What is that purr of the 

roraach ghlais ? " grey cat ? " 

Cat—*' Comunn 'us cairdeas 'us gaol, Cat—'' A good purr and a pleasant 

faodaidh tusa tighinn a mood 

mach." That thou might'st come 

out of that" 

Luch—"'S eolach mi mu'n dubhan Mouse— " Great is my fear for the 

chrom crooked hooks 

A tha mach e bonn do chas That thou hast got in the 

Mharbh thu mo mathair an d6 sole of thy feet, 

Ge caomh rium do bheus an Thou killed'st my sister 

diugh." yesterday 

And! myself got hardly quit.'* 

Cat—*' Cha mhis' a bha sin ach cat Cat—" That was not me but John 

Mhic Iain ruaidh Roy's cat 

A b'abhaist a bhi ruagadh That used to be the hens' 

chearc, distress, 

Ghoid i 'n caise bha's a chliabh. She stole the cheese that was 

'S dh'ith i 'n t-iasg a bha 's a in the creel, 

phreas." And ate the fish that was in 

the press.** 



xMOUSE 193 

The following, by Aonghus nan aoir, falls to find a place here. 
It is given in the Duanaire as " Aoir nan Inch." 

A h-uile luch fhiorionn 'us bhoirionn, All ye male and female mice, 

Eadar Cnocan Dal-na-carra Between the knoll of Dalnacarra 

Agus lonmhar Allt-a-mhuilinn, And the mouth of Millburn, 

Bithibh ullamh gu dol thairis. Be ready to cross. 

Gabhaibh seachad air an dam, Take your way across the dam 

Beagan am braigh a mhuilinn, A Uttle above the mill, 

Cumaibh sios rathad-mor an Diuc Hold down the Duke's high road 

Seachad cul Tom-na-h-aire. Past the back of Tomnaharry ; 

Ruigibh an sin Drochaid Nibheis, Then make for the Nevis bridge, 

Tha e tioram, 's bithibh thairis. It is dry, and get across ; 

Gabhaibh sios cul nan garadh. Go down by the back of the wall, 

Seachnaibh an t-sraid, tha i soilleir, Avoid the street, it is bright, 

Mu'm much iad sibh fo'n casan Lest they crush you 'neath their feet 

'S mu'n t-saltair iad 'n ur goille. And tread upon your throats. 

Tha figheadair an ceann shios a bhaile There's a weaver at the lower end of 

Agus ciste mhine air a chulaobh. the town 

Fanaibh an sin gus an abuich eorna Who has a meal-chest behind him ; 

Shiuna, Stay there till the Shuna barley ripens, 

Agus cho ceart 's gum beil boinn' And as sure as there's a drop of water 

uisg' an Lochaidh in Lochy 

Cuimhnichibh an t-ordugh 'chleach- Remember to observe this injunction ! 

dadh. 

Though not a bird the mouse is known to sing, which was 
thought peculiarly unlucky, this is true — to the mouse, as the 
singing arises from or is caused by a bronchial disease which 
proves fatal. When a mouse is found dead it is said to mean a 
presage of death to the finder, but no particulars as to time, etc., 
seem to exist. Cameron, in his Gaelic names for plants, etc., says. 
Mouse-ear chickweed in Gaelic is Cluas-an-luch. Creeping mouse- 
ear is Peasair-nan-luch, mice peas, mouse-ear hawkweed, also that 
tufted vetch is elsewhere given as Lus-iiam-mial, in Ireland, 
Lus-midi. 

A roasted mouse is said to be a sure cure for the whooping- 
cough and jaundice. Paralysis is sure to follow the running of 
a field-mouse over the bare feet, and it is specially unlucky for a 
field-mouse to pass in front of a cow or horse. We have not 
learned whether it is unlucky for the mouse or the others, but 
presume the latter. 

Every Gaelic-speaking Highlander, it is presumed, is familiar 
with the lines which, it is said, convey mysterious meaning, viz. : — 

Rug an luchag uan boirionn 

'S thug i dhachaidh cual chonnaidh. 

The mousie bore a female lammie 
And carried home a load of firewood. 

Proverbial sayings in connection with the mouse are : — 

An rud a bhios samhach cha chluinn na luchain e. 
What is silent the mice won't hear 

N 



194 MOUSE— OTTER 

Cha mhortair an luchag fo'n chruaich-fheoir. 

The mouse is not crushed (murdered) under the hay-stack. 
Cho bith or bidh ri lucha^r, neo 
Cho bith ris an luch fo ladhar a chait, neo 
Cho umhal ri luch fo spog a chait. 

As quiet as a mouse under the cat's hoof, or 

As humble as a mouse 'iieath the cat's paw. 
Chual' luchan an ard-doruis e. 

The mice of the lintel heard it. A supposed secret. 
Fois luchag 'am balg. 

A mouse's rest in a bag. Small. 
Is bean-tighe (neo bana-mhaighstir) an luchag 'n a tigh fein. 

The little mouse is mistress in her own house. 
Is boidheach an luchjig 's a mhir arbhair. 

Pretty is the mouse in the corn-plot. A Burnsian sentiment. 
Is fheairrd an luch samhchair, mar a thuirt luch a mhonaidh 
ri luch a bhaile. 

The mouse is the better of quiet, as the moor mouse said 
to the town mouse. 
Is laidir luchag fo chruaich fheoir. 

A mouse is bold (strong) under a hay-stack. 
Tha fios aig an luch nach 'eil an cat a's tigh. 

The mouse knows the cat's not in the house. 
Tha thu cho breugach 's tha 'n luch cho bradach. 

You are as lying as the mouse is thieving, or, you lie as the 
mouse pilfers. 

MULE (see also Horse). — Greadan ; Lethasal ; Mall (Ir.), 
maoileann, maoluin, muilead, muileid, muille, mulag, mullaid. 
Fummel, fummle, funnel; Moll, molle, moil, moyle, mull. 

Aon de thriuir is mi-riaghailtiche th' ann, muileid, muc 's 
mathair a chlann. 

One of three without a rule — a wife, a pig, and a mule. 
Is raige bean na muileid, 's is raige muileid na 'n Donas. 

A woman is more obstinate than a mule — a mule than the 
devil. 

N 

NEAT, ETC. (see Cattle). 



OTTER. — Balgair, beisd-dubh or donn, beist-dubh or donn, 
biasd-dubh or donn (sea) ; Ceann-fionn (hoary head — King), coibh- 
earan, coin-fhoidhairne, confoirne (plur.), cu-donn, cu-dur, cu- 
odhar; Dobar-chu, dobhar-chu, dobhran, dobhran-leas-leathann, 



OTTER 195 

doborci, doran, doran-donn, dor-chu, douran, dubhr-ci, dur-chu 
(fresh water) ; Ki-dur (Arm.) ; Madadh-donn, madadh-uisge ; 
Onchu ; Peist or piast dubh or donn. 

Atter (O. E.) ; Dratsie ; Hotor (A. S.) ; King-otter ; Lutria ; 
Oter^ otor, ottar, otyre ; Teak, tike, tyk, tyke (Shet.). 

The etymology of this word is supposed to be from Teut. 
" Utra/' Ar. Udra, for original Wadra, a water animal. The 
proper etymology of the Gaelic name "dobhran" is dobar or 
doboir an or aon, the water one, the term dobhar-chu is just 
water-dog ; doboir is the old form of word for water, as appears 
from the Book of Deer, where Aberdour is written Aber-dobboir ; 
and in Cormac's glossary of the Old Irish, doboir is given as an 
Old Irish word for water. In another Old Irish glossary we find 
this couplet : — " Bior and An and Dobar, the three names of the 
water of the world " ; tobar, a well, is just dobar. The etymology 
of this word furnishes a leading case in point against the preju- 
diced scholars who sought for everything outside of Celtic. One 
rendering, but supposed erroneous, is ^^An t-odharan," the dun 
one, or dun-coloured. Dobhran is said to mean the fresh-water 
otter and beist-dubh the sea otter. The skin of the latter is said 
to be red in August. 

The otter was said to have a magic skin and vulnerable only 
in the white spot (ball), beneath the chin, or under forearm, all 
the rest of its person being invulnerable. Like the toad, a jewel 
is also said to be in the head of the otter. This white spot is 
called ball-dobhrain, and is the term for a mole or spot on a 
person's skin, which is considered lucky to have. It was also 
considered lucky to have one's targe lined with the skin of an 
otter. Dr Gillies says that " Maol-dobhran " is a mark similar in 
its origin to " milleadh-maighiche," or hare-lip, or " maol-conan," 
rabbit-mole or spot ; these spots, as said, are lucky, especially 
when mole or spot above the eyes. The skin being magic is, 
of course, considered a charm, also an antidote against fever and 
smallpox, a safeguard against drowning, and efficacious in child- 
birth. As the otter shuts its eyes while eating it is easily robbed. 
Whenever nine otters are found together, it is said one will be a 
male. A famous white otter, or dun with a white star, used to 
live in Sutherland, and was supposed to be the king of the otters. 
An otter was killed there though shot in the hind quarter, which 
so far disposes of the invulnerability story. In Sutherland it is 
called " Ouar hoo " (odhar chu), the dun dog. In Sweden and 
Norway a system of extermination is pursued against this harmless 
animal. In ancient times otters were of great value. See Welsh 
laws of Howel Dha of tenth century, in which the skin of an ox, 
a deer, a fox, and an otter are all valued at the same price, i.e., 
eight times as dear as the skin of a sheep or goat. In Folk-lore 
from the Hebrides, it is said that any one who licks three times 



196 OTTER— OX 

the liver of a newly-killed otter while warm, receives the power 
to cure burns and scalds by licking them. It was of an otter's 
skin the famous Hob Roy's favourite sporan was said to have been 
made, and in "'Jain bo Fraich," the reiving of Fraech's cows, 
it is said that the bag which held the harp was made of otter skin 
and called " Crotbolg." 

The otter's den in the Lowlands is termed " Bousie." It is 
said he hates the feathered race. Several places have a "Cam 
dobhran," being the spot, generally elevated, where the otter 
used to devour his prey, a spot generally well-known to the 
neighbouring inhabitants, and by them dubbed also "earn 
nam bochd," as they, the poor, used to feast on what the otter left 
of a salmon, i.e., all but a piece from out the back. A proverb is, 
" Mar dhobhran am bun uisge, tha bean mic gu 'mathair-cheile." 
Like otter at a river mouth is the son's wife to his mother — 
watchful. 

OX (see also Cow). — Agadh, aghan (young), aithre ; Baisleach, 
bo-alluidh (furious), braithcheam ; Damh, damh-alluidh (wild) ; 
Es or eis-dhamh, esamh, esemh ; Is ; Meac-treabhaidh (plough), 
meactroigh, modh-dhamh ; Saoth-dhamh. 

Ag, agg (stall-fed), axan ; Bu (A. N.), bugle, bull-seg, bummick, 
burling (young) ; Ex ; Ouse, ousen (pL, North), owse (Banffs.) ; 
Runt ; Saig, seg (Gall.) ; Tomminaul (two-year-old). 

The etymology is said to be from Aryan " gau," an ox or cow, 
from "gu," to low, to bellow, while the word "damh" is a very 
interesting word, and happens in Latin as "dama," as the goat 
or deer ; the English word " dame " may also be traced therefrom. 
The word " Meac-treabhaidh " or meactroigh means the ox next to 
or nearest the plough. 

Names from " damh " are Daimen, Daimhin, son of Cairbre — 
Damh-airgiod in 560. Our letter " A " which with the ancients 
stood for the word " eagle " was afterwards thought to call to mind 
the head of an ox, and the drawing of that letter was altered to 
look more like that ; an ox stood as a coat-of-arms among the 
ancient Egyptians. In Aberdeenshire we find " Dailnadamph," 
or dail na damh, the field of the oxen. Cameron, in his Gaelic 
names for plants, etc., says the plant Bugloss is in Gaelic " Lus 
teang' an daimh," ox-tongue, while we are elsewhere told that 
" Boglus " is a corruption of " colg" an ox, and " lus," a plant ! The 
life (i.e., natural) of an ox is said to be twenty years. 

Cho dall ri damh ann an ceo. 

As blind as an ox in mist. 
Is damh thu 's gu *m meall thu d'ainm. 

You are an ox, and may you enjoy your name. 
Tha car eile 'an adharc an daimh. 

There's another turn in the ox's horn. (See note by Nicolson 
hereto.) 



PIG 197 

P 



PANTHER.— Paindeal. 



PIG. — Ainmidh (litter), aire (sow), aitheoh (Old Ir.), arc, 
arcain, arcan (sueking), are-craniiach (young — lit. son of a sow), 
arc-mhuc, are-rauice (male), athach (Old Ir.) ; Baedh (boar), bainbh, 
banabh, banabhin, banban, banbh, banbhan, birid (breeding) — 
(? beiridh) ; Caileach (hog), caois, ceann-cula (leader), ceis, ceisin, 
coilbhinn, coilleadh (hog), coilmein, coilmhinn, comlachdaigb, 
euineal, cumlach (sucking), crain (female), cribus (Old Ir.), cro, 
cula-cheann (leader) ; Deil, deileang (two-year-old), deile-muic or 
thorc, durraidh ; Feis, fionn (sow), foir ; Gata, gearr-miola-dearg 
(a short red animal), gius, gius-aidh ; Lia, lulpat, lupait ; Mat, 
mata, miaduig, miadugh, midisi, more (boar), muc, muc-ainidhe 
(with young), muccin, muc-fhinn, a milch pig (brood sow), muc- 
forais (house-fed), muc-glasach (fatted) (lit. animal with a snout), 
mugart (Old Ir.) ; Oircean, ore, orca, orcan (young) ; Peileag, 
peilig, poircean, poircein, pore, porcan ; Rue, ruchd, rucht, rem-ec 
(roimh-eug), prematurely dead ; Samh, scuithe, speil (drove or 
herd), speil or speile-cheann (leader), suig ; Tochra (small) ; 
Uircean, uircein (young). 

Anthony ; Baerie (boar), bally (litter), barling (smallest), barra 
(gelt or gelded — Exmoor), barrow, baru, boar-seg (three or four 
years old), boar-stag, boneen (sucking), bonham (young), bonyeen, 
boyeen (little), brawn (boar) ; Cad (very small), cadma (least), 
cardidwin (youngest), chowny, crit, crowly, cruit, curry (sucking) ; 
Daniel, diddle, diddling, dilling, dilly, doreneed ; Eavor (boar — 
Old Eng.), eervar (last of litter, fhior bharr), eleanor, elt (young 
sow — West), farrow (litter), fezzle, flutter; Gait, galti (A. S.), 
gaut (castrated — Roxb., Shet., etc.), gauntie (Wilts), geassy, 
geulty (sucking), gill (female), gilt (spayed), giss, gissy (North), 
gorral, gorrel (young), goosy, gracie (Roxb.), graff (hand-bred), 
gramfer, greek (youngest), griskin, grunter, gruntillot, grunline, 
gruntling, gruntling-cheat, grunty, gurrell (young), gussy (spayed), 
guttrel (Gall.) ; Heever (boar), hoch (Cornw.), hoglin, hogling, 
hoglyn ; lit (gelt sow — Devon); Jorey (smallest); Kep (dead 
littered), kerdidwin (youngest), knurdy ; Mallock, mudvite, inudy- 
veetick (Shet.) ; Norrie, nurdy (smallest), nurk (worst) ; Paatie, 
parram.arrowed sow (gelded — North), pet-man (smallest), piggy- 
whiddin (weakling, white one) ; Rackling (very small — Suff.), 
rinklin (last littered), rit, rut, rutling (smallest in a litter), rookler 
(young) ; Sawney Cammull, shoat (half-grown — Chesh.), shot 
(half-grown), slip (young), sow, sow-met (young female — North) ; 
Tanthony, team (litter — Kent) ; Veer (young — Cornw.) ; Whinock ; 
Yelte, yilt (young sow — North). 

The word " ore " used to be " pore," akin to the Latin jwrcus. 
The word " Muceodha " is Irish Gaelic for swineherd, " ced arc " 



198 PIG 

means pig firstling, sometimes exacted as a tribute by the lord 
of the manor. " Banbhradh " means swine (coll. from banbh) ; a 
pig of special excellence was spoken and written of as " Muerime," 
and Muc Slanga (W. S.) ; another word which Whitley Stokes 
says is " an epithet for pig," and obscure to him, is "midisi " ; this 
appears to be a diminutive of " miadaigh," viz., miadasaigh, a little 
pig. Muc-classa or glassa is said to mean a fatted pig (? closach, 
dead carcass), inference that pig is fat before being made a 
carcass. 

The youngest pig in a litter is, inter alia, called "Doreneed," 
and the smallest "Anthony." Daniel, etc., the favourite or 
"Anthony," was supposed to be dedicated to St Anthony, the 
patron of swineherds. Sir David Lindesay of the Mount, Lord 
Lyon King-at-Arms, wrote " Heir is a rellik, the gruntill of Saint 
Antoni's sow, quhilk bare his haly bell." Grunkle, gruntle, 
gruntill means the snout, and here it refers to all that the 
devil — who had stolen the sow — could return the Saint ; 
Beelzebub, Lucifer, and the other fiends having eaten the rest 
of it. Bacon (or even sometimes salt pork) is called tindiu, tinne 
or tinni, tinniu, i.e., " fired." Strange though it may appear the 
word "tinne" also means a bagpipe. 

Place words in connection with this animal are numerous. 
The Sow of Athole and Boar of Badenoch may be referred to, 
they are near each other, and one place near is called "Corrie 
bhoite." Banff is from "banbh," the Irish word for a sucking 
pig ; in Colonsay we have " Torr-na-baine " or bainbhe, the hillock 
of the sucking-pig; the Isle of Muck means the isle of whales or 
sea-pigs, a whale in Gaelic being "muc mhara," or sea-pig. In 
Ireland, of course, such names are more numerous, though many 
are so corrupted as to be hardly recognisable, e.g., Mucknoe is 
misnamed altogether, as in Irish Gaelic it is "machaire," a plain; 
a certain loch however perpetuates the power of pigs to swim, 
bearing as it does the name " Loch-muc-snamha," the loch of the 
swimming pigs, while in County Clare we find " Muc Inis," pig 
island, to or whence pigs may have swam. Indeed this word is said 
to be an old name for Ireland generally, as the Tuatha de Danann 
changed it into the semblance of a pig, when opposing the Children 
of Mileadh, the invaders. Halliday and O'Mahoney think, how- 
ever, this word should be " Muich-Inis," isle of mist or fog, while 
Coney calls it "Muig." In Tome II. of Revue Celtiqiie we read 
of the " Slanga-pig," which, like the mucca Debrend, or pigs of 
Debriu, and the mucca Mannaan, or pigs of Manannau Q Isle of 
Man), the Irish Neptune, were magical swine, and reappeared as 
often as they were killed and eaten. The last slanga-pig 
distributed among the men of Ireland is said to have satisfied 
twenty-five battalions. In the tale of "The Pigs of Angus," as 
given by Lady Gregory, these are king's sons transformed by 
witchcraft. The pig, as is well known, is no favourite among 



» 



PIG 199 

genuine Celts, in fact it used to be detested, though the march 
of time has somewhat modified this. A certain Farquhar Beaton, 
in the Isle of Skye, was noted far and wide for his abhorrence of 
pork ; he, however, has been known to eat it unawares, to his 
intense chagrin and disgust when discovered. This hatred, it is 
said, was justified by his having known of a domesticated pig 
having devoured an infant from the cradle, in the absence of all 
in the house. Of old the only northern district in which pigs 
were kept was Caithness. The Campbells, however, with a few 
others, who even boast of it in their coats-of-arms, are not so 
strait-laced. The Phrygians had a " swine " as their emblem or 
coat-of-arms. An epithet or helpname (foir-ainm) for one of 
thirty Pictish Brudes, Skene tells us, was " Urcint," i.e., uircean, a 
little pig. Pigs were at one time, in the Highlands at least, 
endowed with diabolical properties, having, it is said, five marks on 
the foreleg called the devil's marks ; their bite is much dreaded, and 
thought to be incurable, producing cancer or some similar trouble. 
Fishermen consider the word " pig " should never be pronounced 
at sea; pork soup, however, is considered a remedy for many 
diseases, even consumption. Pigs for curing should be killed 
during the increase of the moon, otherwise the flesh — like 
others — will not keep well ; pig's blood is vulgarly supposed to 
remove warts ; a pig fit for killing, i.e., a fat or fatted pig, as 
above referred to, is termed 7mic glasach. Even to dream of 
swine, it is said, augurs something coming to cause much annoy- 
ance. 

The word " Sean-rahair," grandmother, is a playful term or 
epithet applied in some parts of the Highlands to a brood-sow. 
The leader among or of a drove or herd of swine is termed 
ceann-cula, cula-cheann, speil-cheann or speile-cheann. Banbhan, 
or a little pig, was the name of an Irish scribe who died in 686. 
In the article " Cow " reference has been made to the " Borumha," 
which included "thrice and fifty hundred swine." In the tale 
of " Manus," pig's music is described as follows : — " 'S e bu cheol 
taimh dhaibh beuchdail mhuc, is ranaich thorc ; a mhuc bu mhotha 
ag itheadh na muice bu lugha 's a mhuc bu lugha 'deanamh mar 
a dh 'fhaodadh i." Their lulling music was the squealing of pigs, 
and the roaring of boars ; the bigger pig eating the smaller pig, and 
the smaller pig doing as it be^t could. This " music " was heard 
while cleaving the dashing, splashing, light blue, light-red Scandi- 
navian sea. The singular feature here is how, unless very near 
shore, such sounds could have been heard, also the fact that whales 
are sea-pigs in Gaelic has to be borne in mind. "The Sow's tail to 
Geordie," is a well-known poem expressive of the then intense 
Jacobite hatred of the Hanoverian dynasty, now not so much in 
evidence. Some superstitions as to pigs exist : for instance, 'tis 
only for Campbells deemed a good omen to meet a pig, a matter 
of indifference to any one else, though decidedly bad if seen with 



200 PIG 

its back towards one ; if a fisherman, in many parts of the North, 
meets a pig on his way to the fishing, he will turn back, as it 
would be fatal to his success ; even to meet a sow the first thing 
or animal in the morning, boded bad luck for that day ; pigs 
carrying straw about in their mouths it is said portend or 
prognosticate rain. Cameron, in his Gaelic names for plants, 
etc., gives " Sow-thistle " in Gaelic as Bainne muice : it has been 
alleged that the word " sow " here is not the animal, but the verb 
to scatter as seed ; " dandelion " has for one of its Gaelic names 
" Caistearbhan-nam-muc," the pigs' sour-stemmed plant ; mug wort 
is mughard (Ir. mugart, a hog) ; the hip (rose) is called " mucag " 
from its pig-like bristly seeds ; the plant sow-bread is given in 
Gaelic as "culurin," from cul or cullach, a boar, and aran, 
bread, lit. the boar's bread. Cularan is also said to mean pig- 
nut, cucumber; while the dandelion is "searban or searbhan 
muic," lit. pig's-oats (W. S.), after given " searbhan-muic," pig's 
tribute ; the blue-bell or wild hyacinth in Gaelic is called " Fuath 
mhuic," the pig's fear, hatred, or aversion, the bulbs being very 
obnoxious to swine ; in Irish it is given as " Buth or bugha a 
muc " ; the common asparagus is also given in Irish as Creamh 
muic fiadh, the wild boar's leek or garlic (see Deer) ; the green 
fern in Irish is called " Craobh-nam-fiadh," wild boar plant or 
tree ; the endive in Gaelic is " Searbhan muic," the pig's tribute 
(? searbhag means that which is bitter) ; while the wall hawk- 
weed in Irish Gaelic is " Sruthan-nam-muc," the pigs' burnie or 
runnel. " Lus na muc " is thought to be a name for the deadly 
nightshade, pigs, it is said, being able to eat it with impunity ; 
" Coirean-muice " is pig wort. 

In Irish Gaelic a pig's stye is " Mucoil," i.e., Muc foil or fail. 
In Shakespeare we find "stye" called "Frank." Zeuss glosses 
Hara, pig-stye. A mhuclach, a piggery, is a common proper 
name. "Tinne," being Irish Gaelic for bacon, tinneiceas, smoke 
or fire-cured bacon, as above stated. A swineherd chief is 
" Flaith-muc-fhlaith," a chief over swine-chiefs or herds. But in 
the Yellow Book of Lecan, mention is made of a land wherein 
dwelt men with heads of swine upon them, in fact "magic" 
pigs, of which various accounts are to be found in Old Celtic 
tales, "muca deabhta Druidheachta," pigs fashioned by magic, 
and "muca Dearga Drebrinne," the red swine of Drebrenn. 
Mention, for instance, may be made of three boars which were 
transformed men, that were named Froechan (the fierce one ?), 
Banban (the little pig), and Brogarban (?); while three sous of 
same description were Crain-chrinn (little sow), Coelcheis (thin or 
lean sow), and Treilech (trealach, worthless). 

Sayings and proverbs as to the pig are fairly numerous even 
in the Highlands, though Ireland, of course, holds first place. 
Some are : — 



PIG 201 

A mhuc a mharbh mi'n uiridh 
Bha uirceanan aic 'am bliadhna. 

The pig that I killed last year 
Has produced young this year. 

The shoots from a cut-down tree. A riddle. 

" Ma bhriseas bun-fionn bidh fhios aig do cheann." If the 
sow's tail (pig-end) break, your head will know, was a pithy and 
appropriate saying used on a pig-hunting exploit, where one 
Highlander caught an enraged sow by the tail as she was 
entering a cave where his comrade was busily engaged slaughter- 
ing the brood, and who inquired why the darkness. Another 
riddle runs : — 



^ 



Tri mucan dubha, dubha, 

Tri mucan datha, datha, 

Muc an ear 's muc an iar, 

'S pian air an fheanach tomhais e. 

Three black, black pigs, three coloured, coloured (?) pigs, 
A pig in the east and a pig in the west, plague on him who 
doesn't guess it. The waves. 

An uair a bhios mhuc sathach cinnidh an drabh gort. 

As the sow fills the draff sours. 
An uair a shaoil leat a bhi air muin na muice, 's ann a bha thu 
lamh rithe 's an luib. 

When you thought you were on the sow's back, you were 
beside her in the puddle. Mistaken estimate of one's self. 
A pig is one of the most difficult of animals to catch 
and hold. 
Buadhaichidh bean air muc 's muc air aonaich. 

A woman will get the better of a pig, and a pig of the 
market ; when it runs amuck. 
Cha chord muc sheasg 'us al. 

A barren sow was never good to pigs, or 
A barren sow agrees not with piglings. 
Cha 'n e rogha nam muc a gheabh fear na faighe. 

It's not the pick of the swine that the beggar gets. This is 
distinctly Irish. (See Nicolson.) 
Cha 'n aithnich a mhuc a bhios 's an fhail (no's a chro), a 
mhuc a bhios a' gabhail an rathad mor. 

The pig in the stye will not recognise the pig on the high 
road. Said of snobbish people. 
Cha 'n fhacas a mhuc riamh gun chabhag oirre. 

The sow was never seen but in a hurry. This is almost 
ridiculous. 
Cha tig o'n mhuic ach uircein. 

From the sow comes but a little pig. 



202 PIG 

Coin 'us mucan, ditliis leis nach toil a cheile. 

Dogs and pigs, two that love not each other. 
Cho reamhar ri inuo. 

As fat as a pig. 
Cnuasach uircein, buain 'us itheadh. 

The i)igling's contemplation, j)luck and eat. 
Cuir ceann na muice ri earr an uircein. 

Set the sow's head to the pigling's tail, or. 

The sow's head to the tail of the grice. Balance your loss 
with your gain. 
Cumaidh a mhuc fhein a fail fhein glan. 

Even the sow will keep her own stye clean. Few cleaner. 
Far am bi a mhuc, bidh fail. 

Where a sow is a stye will be. 
Im air a mhuc mheidh. 

Butter on the fat pig. Wastefulness. 
Is ann air a mhuic reamhar a theid an t-im. 

It's on the fat pig the butter goes. He that has gets. 
Is ann annad tha'n rud a bh'anns na mucan. 

It's you that have in you what was (and is) in the pigs. 
Stubbornness. 
Is blath an fhuil ged is ann an sron muice. 

Blood is warm though it be but in a pig's nose. 
Is i a mhuc shamhach a dh'itheas an drabh. 

It's the silent sow that eats the draff, or that sups the 
most. 
Is olc a thig muc-saille air sobhraichean na coille. 

The fat sow fares badly (or is ill-fed) on the primroses of 
the wood. 
Mar sheud oir ann an sron muice, tha bean bhoidheach gun 
leoir tuigse. 

As a golden jewel in a pig's snout, is a fair woman without 
sufficiency of understanding. (K. Macd.) 
Mar thig triubhas do'n mhuic. 

As trews become a sow. Not at all. 
Ma tha thu coma, dean comaidh ris a mhuic. 

If you don't care, go and share with the sow. 
Moran sgalan *s beagan ollainn mu 'n dubhairt Muisein 's e 
'lomairt na muice. 

Great cry and little woo', as the Deil said when he sheared 
the soo. 
Nadur muice, gabhaidh i a rathad fhein. 

The nature of a sow, she will take her own way. 
Se sin ton na muice a ghreisigeadh (Ir.). 

That were greasing the pig's rump. 
Sgriach na muice a' dol do'n iolainn. 

The screech of the sow on her way to the stackyard. 
Pleasant anticipation. 



POLECAT 203 

Tha full mo mhuic-sa cheart cho meith ri full do mhuic-sa. 
The blood of my pig is just as rich as the blood of yours. 

POINTER (see Dog). 

POLECAT, MARTEN-CAT (see also Weasel).— Breun- 
fhocuUan; Feocullan, fiadh-chat, fochdalan, foclan, focuUan, 
fumair, fumaire ; Tachan, taghan, taghan-tartaidhe or tutaidh, 
taoghan. 

Beech-marten ; Carre, club-tail ; Fewmot, fichet, fidget, fidgeon, 
filmart, filmert, filmut, fitch, fitchal, fitchat, fitchan, fitchaw, fitchee, 
titchet, fitchock, fitchole, fitchuck, fithawe, fithowe, fiumart, flout, 
fomard, fomart, fomud, fooamad, fooamet, foomart, foomerd, 
foomert, foomet, foomot, foomurt, foomut, foulmart, foulmarten, 
foulmard, foumart, foumert, fourmart, fourmer, foutnart, fowmart, 
fowmarte, foynie, fozzle, fullmart, fulmar, fulmarde, fulmart, 
fulmarten or martern, fumard, fumart, fumat, fumert, fummad, 
fummard, fummart, fummat, fummed, fummit, fummut, furner ; 
Martill, raartrick, martrone, mertrick ; Pine-marten ; Stote (Som.) ; 
Tigulmard, turnjie ; Wild-cat, wilocat (Lane). 

The supposed origin of polecat is from " poll," a hole or 
burrow. 

The polecat used to be plentiful in the Highlands, one 
hundred and six animals under this name having been destroyed 
at Glengarry from Whitsunday 1837 to Whitsunday 1840, and 
two hundred and forty-six marten-cats. The latter in a hen-house 
is most destructive, as it goes on killing till there is nothing left 
alive. Both are now rare. A fine specimen of the former, twenty- 
two inches in length, weighing two-and-three-quarter lbs., was 
lately (1902) captured in a rabbit trap, in Ross-shire; a marten- 
cat also was thus caught in Melfort about the same time. The 
"martrick," Hector Becc says, was largely caught at one time. 
It is the miistella martis of Linnaeus; he (H. B.) describes it as a 
carnivorous quadruped, larger than a cat, of a brownish black 
colour, and has a fine fur. 

Capture of a Polecat. — A few days ago Mr Adam Henderson, 
head keeper, trapped a fine specimen of the polecat in the Amat 
Forest, Ardgay, Ross-shire. It was in splendid fur, and measured 
twenty-four inches from tip to tip. Like other wild animals the 
polecat is getting very rare. Even in Amat Forest, so far out 
of the beaten track, none have been got for a number of years 
back. The specimen caught has been sent to Mr Inglis, taxider- 
mist, Dingwall, for preservation. It may be mentioned that Mr 
Henderson captured a still more rare animal — a pine-marten -cat 
in the same forest and near the same place. 

Polecat in the Highlands. — Mr Bisshopp, naturalist, 130 George 
Street, Oban, has just received a remarkably fine male specimen 
of the polecat {Mudela Putorius). The animal is in exquisite fur. 



204 POLECAT— RABBIT 

and is twenty-two inches in length and weighed two-and-tliree- 
quarter lbs. This rare animal was taken in a trap set for rabbits 
in a rocky hill face at Leckmelm, Ross-shire. Fifty years ago 
the polecat was found in every county from the Solway to 
Sutherlandshire, and at that time was tolerably numerous in the 
01)an district. The marten-cat, or more correctly speaking, the 
pine-marten {Mmtela martcs) is also fast becoming extinct. A 
very few specimens have been obtained in late years, and these 
have principally been taken in traps set for rabbits. A very fine 
specimen of the pine-marten was thus captured in the Melfort 
district a short time ago. This latter specimen, together with the 
polecat, has been added to Mr Bisshopp's interesting collection 
of Highland mammals. It would be interesting if some of our 
readers would favour us with the date of the last capture of the 
polecat in Argyllshire. — December 13, 1902. 

PORPOISE. — Can, canach, canna, cribus-mara ; Esc-mur 
(Old Ir.) ; Muc-bhiorach, mulbhach, mulcha, mullach ; Peileag, 
peilig, peallach, poircean, poircein, puthag. 

Bucker; Caaing-whale ; Dogfish-pig, dunter (North); Gairfish 
(Dundee) ; Lesser dolphin, louper dog (Banff) ; Meer or mere- 
swim or swine ; Neisick, nisik, nissac ; Pallach, pallack, pallo, 
pellach, pelag, pellack, pelloch, pellock, penag, porce-pesce 
(Jonson), porpess, pullock (small) ; Sea-hog. 

The etymology seems to be derived by some from Pesce porco 
(It.), Piscis porciis (Lat.), and is also called Pore iasg, the hog fish, 
or Esc-muga (Iasg muc), lit. water pig. A pheileag, sar-iasgair a 
chuain, or the boar of the wave. 

PROGENY (see Animal). 

PYGARG. — Damh-allaidh, damh-fiadhaich ; Earr, earra or 
earran-gheal. 

Bubalus ; White-tail. 

This animal is thought to be a kind of deer, gazelle, or 
antelope, and is given in the Gaelic Scriptures, Deut. xiv. 5. 
Dishon. 



UEY (see Cow). 



Q 



RABBIT. — Coibhearan-muirt, coinean, coineanach, coineduach, 
coinein, coulnich (Old Celtic) ; Fear-coinein (buck) ; Labran, leath- 
choinein ; Pata, pataire (young) ; Rabaid. 



RABBIT— RAM 205 

Batty, bun, bunk, bunny ; Capron, caproun, clargyman (black — 
Chesh.), conig, coney, cony, cuning, cunning, cunyng ; Jack-sharp ; 
Kinnen, kinning, kinnon, kiunin, kjunen, kyoneen ; Map, mappy ; 
Rabbert, riote, rump (young — Eng.) ; Scurel, sharpling, sharpnails. 

Supposed from old Dutch " Robbe," a rabet. 

Rabbits were introduced into Britain from Celtiberia. The 
smallest kind known are to be found in Islay. Their native land 
is apparently Spain, where the rabbit appears as an emblem upon 
money or coins. Sometimes playing-cards have been made 
representing rabbits. Though the Scriptural coney is said to be 
the rabbit, this is not so, as that animal is now known as the 
Syrian hyrax. A flesh-mark, the origin of which is similar to 
that which is said to cause milleadh-maighiche, or liare-lip, is 
known as maol-conain, or rabbit-mark or mole, elsewhere called 
meall-conain, rabbit-lump, or ball-conain, rabbit spot or mark. A 
place in Ireland is known as Sigrain moir na goinean, the Cunings' 
isle. A rabbit's warren is "coinniceir." Though a rabbit's natural 
life is only eight years, it multiplies at such a rate as to be almost 
ineradicable. 

Is fhearr aon greim de choinein na dha de chat. 

One bite (or piece) of a rabbit is worth two of a cat. 
Cats must have been eaten of yore, according to this. 

RAM (see also Sheep). — Beadagan (yearling) ; Reath, reatha, 
reithe, rige, ruig, ruige, ruta ; Seilmigir. 

Ballard (castrated — Devon) ; Heder, heeder (Line); Ram- 
stag (gelded), riglan, rigland, rigling, riggilt, roger (Eng.), rom 
(Lane.) ; Teep, thrinter, thrunter (three years), tip, toop, tup. 

From old Sanscrit word meaning " to sport," etc. ; or from the 
Norse word " Hruta." A term in Sanscrit for ram is "Bheda." 

In Silva Gadelica we read of a ram with nine horns. The 
word " Beadagan " includes the idea of an early tendency to 
propagate the species. Some confusion is said to exist as to the 
res];ective meanings of rige, rud, ruda, ridge, etc. ; on the authority 
of the Rev. Mr McRury, Snizort, Skye, rige, etc., means a semi- 
castrated ram, nida, etc., the name given almost invariably to a 
ram or tup. In the Outer Islands, at least those belonging to 
Inverness-shire, ruda and rige are different in their application. 
In Lewis, however, the word rida is applied to any ram. The term 
Seilmigir also stands for an imperfect ram, incapable of castration, 
but undependable. The term is also applied, metaphorically and 
in a contemptuous manner, to useless men. The forms of the 
word "rid, ridge, ridgel," etc., are numerous, and are applicable to 
bulls and horses also. Among the sights unlucky to be seen the 
first day of the year or time in Ireland was a black ram with its 
hinder parts towards one. 



206 RAT 

RANGER (see Doo). 

RAT. — Dubh-radan (sable); Gallach, gall-luch, garbh-luch, 
garlach, garluch, gearraidh-luch ; Luch-fhrangach ; Radan^ rodan. 

Black-rat, brown-rat; Muggleton (nursery name); On-beast; 
Rad (A. S.), ralurus (Lat.), raton (A. N.), ratton, raut, rawt, rot 
(Chesh.) ; Sable (black), surmullet (brown — Norway) ; Water- 
rat or vole. 

Supposed from "rad," to scratch, but more likely from "rodo" 
(Lat.), I gnaw. 

The Celt is as familiar — almost — as the Saxon with this 
scavenger scourge, for if it has to be admitted that he is the first, 
he is, by far more, the latter. The rat is also one of the animals 
which evil-disposed witches appeared to assume the shape of, and 
is consequently held in utter detestation. The brown rat, as is 
well known, now monopolises our country, the black rat having 
been the pet pest in Scotland at least from the fourteenth to the 
nineteenth century, and for this, inter alia, we have to thank the 
Hanoverian. Like them, they have come to stay, and are far 
more objectionable and filthy than the black, which they have 
almost, if not quite, extirpated. Being sucli dangerous pests, it 
would be strange if our famous fighting forefathers had not 
waged war upon them by all means available, if not by book, 
bell, and candle, they resorted to what was equally efficacious — 
in addition to all available physical appliances — viz., charms, 
incantations, and spells. In regard to the latter, when used, they 
had to be composed ex tempore, as was done, for instance, 
by Iain Pholchrain at Island Calve, Tobermory. The following 
must take first place, not only for its own merits, but as being 
given to the world by our dear departed friend " Nether Lochaber " ; 
it is a Lismore spell. 

AOR NAN RADAN. 

Mile marbhaisg ort, a radain ! 

A shlaideare nam badan arbhair ; 

Cha leor leat sop ach an Ian sguab dheth 

D'fhfag thu 'm bualadh dhomh neo tharbhach. 

Rinn thu gradan de 'm chuid eorna, 

A mheirlich gur mor do chail dheth ; 

Na 'n robh do cheann agam air innean 

'S mise nach tilleadh mo lamh dhiot ! 

Cha d'fhag thu mulan anns an iolainn, 
Nach do mhill thu 's nach do mhab thu 
Cha d' fhag thu poca 'san t 'sabhal 
Nach do tholl thu 's nach do shlaid thu ; 
Mo thruaighe mi aig am 'cuir coirce 
An t' seann lair dhonn bi boohd da-rireamh ; 
Mhic an Radain 's mor do pheacadh. 
Mar a chreach thu de gach ni mi ! 



RAT 207 

Ach eirich a laochain 's dean imrich, 
Imrich th 'ar a chaol gu seolta, 
Thu fein 's do chuid daoine uile 
Falbhaibh gu buileach mar chomhla' 
Air Micheail 's air Bride min, 
Eirich, imrich as mo thir ! 

Paraphrased into English : — 

A RAT-EXPELLING INCANTATION. 

A thousand ills befall thee, greedy rat ! 

Expertest thief that ever yet was born 
In barn and stackyard, maugre trap and cat 

Sad is the state of all my stock of corn ; 
Nor does a handful serve thee, shameless thief, 
Unblushing rogue, thou claimest the whole sheaf. 

My barley thou hast millered into meal, 
Chaif and small dust together close commingled ; 

Thou spoilest more than ever thou canst steal, 

Had'st thou but any shame thine ears had long since tingled, 

I wish I had thy head upon a stithy, 

I'd rap it with the biggest hammer in the smithy ! 

Nor corn in sheaf, nor barley snugly stacked 
Could serve thy turn ; but all my garnered grain 

In well-filled sacks is next by thee attacked 
And all y spoiled, thou thief of fertile brain. 

And all my sacks are nibbled too, and holed — 

A sight most aggravating to behold. 

Alas, for all my seed corn in the Spring ! 

Alas, for all thy keep, my good brown mare ! 
. But take advice, and leave me, rat ; and bring 

All thy companions with thee ; else beware 
My mahson shall fall withouten fail 
On thee and thine, from whisker tip to tail ! 

So rat be warned ; away ! across the ferry. 
And in some quarter new be sleek and merry, 
By good St Michael, and by chaste St Bride, 
I charge thee, leave me ere the morning tide ! 

{Exeunt Ratti tumultuously, and best foot foremost.) 

The rat is " rhymed " to death by similar compositions " aoir." 

Another old Aoireadh or Satire in Gaelic is to be found in the 
Oban Times of 16th January 1904, given for the first time by 
Archibald F. Shaw. 

Rhyming and satire was in vogue against rats also in Ireland 
of old ; reference is made to some such proceeding, it is believed, 
in Shakespeare even. In January 1853 the Rev. Dr Todd read 
a paper on this subject before the Royal Irish Academy, and 
introduced the tale of Seanchan, chief poet of Ireland, who 
pronounced such a rhyme. 

Rats coming in numbers to a house foretell a flitting, leaving 
or death, or fall of the building they have left — or what is more 
likely a dearth of food in the latter. While destructive to corn. 



208 RAT 

goods, human beings, and animals, they are equally so, when 
opportunity serves, to each other, as they prey on one another 
indiscriminately, especially the unfortunate trapj)ed one, whom 
they devour entirely, with the exception of the skin and paws, 
making a very neat job of it. 

Rats, as it is hardly necessary to state, are indeed almost 
omnivorous, and are, when in stress, frequently found on the sea 
shores at low tide which they discriminate unerringly, eating the 
limpets off the rocks. The author found one drowned with its paw 
under a large limpet and its body twisted up in a crevice whence 
it had been unable to free itself. Rats detest goats, at any rate 
they do not infest or even appear in a house where one is ; 
doubtless the strong smell of the goat is too strong even for 
them. Special mention of this antipathy is made in the 
statistical account of the parish of Borthwick, but had been 
well-known for long in the North and West Highlands. In same 
statistical account it is stated that rats will not live in Morven, 
Argyllshire, where goats used to abound, though, at one time, 
hordes landed from ships then in Loch Aluinn Bay, they dis- 
appeared entirely in a few years. In the parish of Gairloch a 
place is named Bealach-na-h-imrich, being a record of the migration 
of rats from one side of the peninsula to the other. When in a 
tight corner, rats simulate death in a most imposing manner, 
equal to the fox or opossum. Rats are said not to be able to live 
at Roseneath, while in above statistical account they were said 
not to be in Lismore. Though very cleanly in their own persons, 
their bite is dangerous and the wound difficult to heal even in the 
healthiest person, while it is averred that their urine coming 
into contact with a person's skin causes the flesh to putrefy. 
The detestation in which they are held has given rise to the 
Gaelic epithet used to a cordially-hated person of " Garlach," 
gar or garbh luch, large, great, or coarse mouse. The water-rat or 
vole, nearly allied to beaver, q.v., was once superstitiously believed 
to cause the death of any horse feeding on grass cropped by it ; 
beothach-an-fheoir is one name for it (see Shrew). 

A rat eating or gnawing clothes of a person is said to 
portend disaster to that person. Cameron, in his Gaelic names 
for plants, etc., refers to the rat's fern, rainneach-nan-rodainn, 
so called from its commonness in or near the holes or haunts of 
rats ; he further says the Gaelic for the tufted vetch is peasair 
radan, rats' pease, while fuath radan is rat's bane. A rather 
repulsive cure for erysipelas is given in Folk-lore, from some part 
of the Hebrides, viz., crushing as young a rat as can be procured 
in the hands, which gives the power to these hands to effect the 
said cure by mere contact ever afterwards. 

Rat proverbs are : — 

Buille thall 's a bhos, mar gu 'm bitheadh duine a' marbhadh 
radain. 



RAT— SEAL 209 

A stroke here and there, like a man killing rats (sharp but 
uncertain work). E. IVPD. in his Dictionary adds, "often 
applied by worthy ' Moderates ' in the North to the 
Catechists' style of preaching." 
Cho bochd ri radan. 
As poor as a rat. 
Fois radan an conlaich. 

A rat's rest among straw — i.e., short. 
Tha mi 'cuir an amharus, which has been translated — 
I smell a rat. 

REARMOUSE (see Bat). 

REINDEER. — Brae ; Fast, lit. running deer. 

ROE, ROEBUCK (see Deer).— Other names are Emele 
(female), emeuse (third year) ; Ra, raa (A. S. — Chaucer), rah, 
rah-deer, rae, ra-capreus, rah-deor. A Teutonic origin is 
« Raiha." 

In the Irish version of the tale of Deirdri, or the lamentable 
tale of the sons of Usnach, the place now called Glendaruel is 
designated Glenn da ruadh, the vale of the two roes, or the vale 
of the red roe. The island of Raasay means roe isle, raa-ey. 



SABLE (see Rat). 

SEAL. — Beisd-mhaol, bodach (lesser), brional (male) ; Cuilean 
(young), cullach-cuain (male), cu-mara ; Each-mara (large — Morse) ; 
Goba-sail ; Luch-mor ; Mial-ron, moineas, moineis, morlo, mor- 
luah (Welsh), mulach, mulbha, mulbhach, mulcha, mullach ; 
Pliutach ; Ras, raismhaol, ron, ron-mulach or mullach, ron mhuir ; 
Tabhuan, ta-beisd, tabh-bheisd, taifean, tap-bheisd. 

Bilder, boca (phoca ?), brineld (old fem.), brun-swine or swyne ; 
Dog (Fife) ; Haaf-fish, hran, hron (A. S.), horeng ; Jarck : Molle- 
welle, morse ; Neubling (a kind of) ; Powart ; Sael, saelkie, saylch, 
sea-dog, selch, selchie, seekie, seolbh, silkie (Shet.), swelchie ; 
Tang-fish ; Walrus, willie-powret. 

The etymology has been given as from "Sal," sea-water. 
Teut. "selha" means a fish. The Norse word "Shellay" — sel-ey, 
in the outer isles, is just eileaii nan-ron, isle of seals, an island off 
Colonsay. The word "ron" is thought by some to come from 
the Norse " hraun," a rocky, desolate place. 

In Caithness the seal is — or was — deemed to be a fallen angel. 
There used to be a family in North Uist said to be descended 

O 



210 SEAL 

from seals, named Clann-ic-Codrum. A purse made of the skin 
of a seal is considered good and lucky. There are — or were — 
several saints Ronan, or seal saints. The seal has been described 
as " half dog, half fish " ; and also as " neither dogs nor cods but 
downright fairies." A wild wordless chant, into which bursts of 
loud whistling are introduced frequently, called " the fisherman's 
song for attracting seals," exists. To trap or circumvent a seal 
is a test of manhood. 

Martin describes the mode of catching seals pursued at 
Heiskeir, an island famous for seals ; he also states that the 
parish minister had his choice of the young seals, which are called 
"Cullen Mori" (cuilein Mairi), Virgin's whelps or Mary's seals, 
Mary's whelps. Seal flesh is allowed to be eaten by Roman 
Catholics in Lent, in the North. From Columban records the 
monks of lona appear to have used seal's flesh. As above hinted, 
the young seals were a perquisite of the parish minister in some 
places. The large, or ocean seals as they are sometimes described, 
bring forth their young in the beginning of October, the lesser 
ones in the middle of June ; the teats of the mother seal are 
invisible, being secreted under the skin as a protection against 
injury on rocks ; the difficulty of access to the young is overcome 
by the tongue being cloven. Flesh of young seals and broth 
therefrom is excellent in cases of chest weaknesses or complaints 
pectoral, and the flesh being astringent, is also good against 
diarrhoea and dysentery, while the liver, dried and pulverised, 
and taken in milk, is good against flux. A girdle of seal's skin 
worn next the person round the waist is a cure for sciatica and 
weakness ; this comes from Harris, while in Aberdeen it is held 
also good against chincough. Seal's flesh, when partaken of by 
the upper classes, was called " Hannsi," and can be eaten instead 
of fish in Lent ; it is also called '^ carr," whence the Gaelic word 
"carghus," Lent is thought to come. In Sweden and Norway a 
system of extermination is — or was — foolishly pursued by the 
State, of this animal, which, iJiter alia, according to Boece's 
Hlstoria, formed a stable export to France. " Selch and Salmone, 
Scuir pellat and pran, for fox and fulmart and of mertrik skin . . . 
into France." Scuir is said to mean "turbot." In the Shetland 
Isles, a supposed supernatural being takes the form of the larger seal 
or Haaf-fish. A spliucan, or tobacco-pouch made of the skin of 
a seal is said to indicate the humour of the animal or fairy — as 
it is supposed to be — at the time, the hair or bristles being either 
erect or sleek, according to the then disposition of the former 
owner ; this belief applies to purses and spliucain, both of which 
are seldom empty. Seals were also supposed to be the sons or 
children of kings under a spell or enchantment, "Mac righ fo 
gheasaibh " being a saying found frequently in old Celtic tales. 
As evidence of its human descent, the hand-like paws are pointed 
to as all that remains of the human state (F. L.). Many places 



SEAL— SHEEP 211 

are named from the seal^ notably the island or islands of Rona. 
In Ireland a certain place near Roscrea is called Suidhe-an-roin, 
the sitting-place of the seal^ which title is qualified by the 
alternative meaning given of "or hairy person"; this name is 
now corrupted into '' Shinrone " ; the island of Shellay is just 
seal isle — sel-ey. In Silva Gadelica we find the expression 
"Tabroin remardhonna romora/' translated "huge bull seals." 

Bu dual do isean an roin a dhol thun na mara. 

The young seal takes naturally to the sea. 
Cho reamhar ris an roin. 

As fat as the seal. 
Clann Mhic Codruim nan ron. 

The seal MacCodrums. (See Nicolson.) 
Is ann aig na roin tha brath. 

The seals know. Said of the impossible. 
Is fhada bho'n uair sin bho'n a bha cluas air ron. 

It's long since the time when the seal had ears. 
Is luaithe ron na rionnach. 

A seal is swifter than a mackerel. 
Is math am biadh feamanaich, aran seagail agus saill roin. 

Good food it is for sea-weed workers, rye bread and seal's 
flesh (Carmichael). 
Seachd bradain sath roin. 

Seven salmon, a seal's feed. 
Sitheadh roin, aon de na tri sithidhean a's luaithe 's a chuan 
mhor. 

The rush of a seal, one of the swiftest rushes (known) in 
the great ocean. 

SHEEP. — Ai, ailbh, ailbhinn, aodh, aoi, aoilbhinn (small flock 
or drove) ; Cairig, caoir, caor, caora, caora-beanhach (with four, 
five, or six horns), caorach, caora-ceanan, ceann-fhionn (white- 
faced), caora-molach (heavy-fleeced), caora-ceaslach (coarse-wooled), 
ceasg, ceast, ceath, ceathnaid, cette (or lamb — Old Ir.), ceut, ciob, 
cioba, ciora, cir, cire, cireag (pet), cloimh (woolley), conadal (a stray 
sheep), coti (drove — Ir.), crog (aged six years), cuanal (flock), 
cura, curu ; Deat, deata, deathaid (separated from flock), dianag, 
dionag (a year-old lamb before lambing) ; Lomaidh (shorn) ; 
Maithreach (giving milk), meanbh-chrodh, meile, meileinich, 
molla ; Oe, oi (Old Ir.), oisg, oluidh (sucking ewe), othaisg, 
othasg, othisg, i.e., oi seasg ; Ribhinn-chro (barren ewe) ; Scotan, 
scottan (small flock), sgrog, sgrogag, seathaid (sucking ewe), 
spreidh (flock). 

Aneling (bearing one at a time) ; Baggit (sickly), bidens, braxy 
(died of surfeit), busk (flock — East); Chepe (A. S.), chid, chilver 
(young), cleavins, crob (weakling), crock, crone (old ewe), cull- 
ewe, cullen-more ; Dail (barren ewe, fattened for consumpt), 
dans (yearling — East), dilmond, dimment, dinman (two years— 



212 SHEEP 

North), dinmont, dok, drape (barren ewe — North), dummond, 
dummott, dumpy-willy (pet), dunmond, dur (yearlin/r)^ dymmond ; 
Eik-weder, eow, eu, ewe, ewies, ewis (pi.) ; Fitfall (lamb-grown), 
fronter, frunter (four-year-old ewe) ; (ianimer, ginimer, guess- 
sheep (barren), gymber, gymbure ; Hob (two years — Cornw.), hog, 
hogaster, hogatte, hogget, hoggrel (two years), hog-mutton, horna 
(one year), hump-glutteral (died natural death), hypald, hyppalt ; 
Katmoget (dark-bellied gimmer), keb, kebbed-ewe (lost her lamb — 
Ett. Forest), keut (Ir.), kliv, klivsie (Shet.), klovik ; Lammermoor 
lion (Loth.), Ihuske (flock — Jr.), long-sheep (Cheviots); Mailie, 
maillie, mapsie (pet), morkin (died outside), mud-sheep (Teeswater 
breed — North), mug, mugg (hornless — Ladykirk), mutton (Fr.); 
Napsie (fat) ; Owe ; Pegge (three-year ewe), podart (young — Line.), 
polly, pur (one-year male) ; Quinter (two years) ; Rake, ree-dur 
(one-year-old male); Scart (fern, hermaph.), Sceap, seep, sharhog 
(yearling — North), sheat (young hog — Cotgrave), sheder (fern. 
— Line.), shipp (Oxford), shot (ill-grown — Perth), sock, sock-lamb 
(pet — Sussex), square-ewe (four-year), strales (two-year — North) ; 
Theave (one-year ewe — Ray), thrunter (three years), towmonds, 
twolmonds (two years wedder), twice shorn, twinter (two years) ; 
Yaa, yaw, yeaw, yeo, yeow, yew, yio (Exmoor), yo, yoe, yoh, youe, 
yow, yowe, yowies (pi.) ; Zowe. 

The etymology of the word "Ewe" is said to be from the 
Sanscrit "aw," to please, etc., hence awe or ewe, pleasing, gentle 
favourite; the word "mutton" from the Armoric word "maud"; 
the word "deat or deata" is said to be from "deth," suck, or a 
sheep still sucking. A lamb's skin is " uainiceag " or "uainicionn." 
A Celtic scholar, the Rev. J. Mackay, Canada, favours us with one 
view as to the word "caor," he considering it to come from 
"curro," I run, suiting, as he says, the young lamb, which is 
often designated "skipping." In that case, caor, cur, a dog, a 
courser, a horse, a current, a stream, a courier, messenger, carrier, 
all are words involving the idea of " running." 

The word "oe" is Irish Gaelic, and gives the w^ord "oegaire," 
shepherd, a driving shepherd being styled " Immonn-oegaire," 
ioman-aodhaire, while O'Connor gives " Caoircaon," as another 
name for shepherd. Aedhaire is another spelling, as given in the 
Irish phrase,^" Aedhaire ag na cairib," the shepherd of (at) the sheep. 
Ai is given in the Senchus mor, and "ai-gaire," shepherd, while 
"li" means fleece. The word "crog" means, among farmers 
keeping a large stock, a sheep of six shears, generally sold in 
November or December; among smaller holdings or crofters, 
crogs may be eight shears. A sheepfold in Irish Gaelic is 
"Comora" or "Cumara" comraich, a protection, a shelter. 
"Glomhar" is the word for a band put on a sheep's teats to 
prevent the lamb sucking her, from glojnk, to gag ; a rope round 
a sheep's neck is called in Aran "braighdean." In the Book of 
Lecan old Irish Gaelic words for sheep are "Cetnat" and "Cit" ; 



I 
I 



SHEEP 213 

sheep, when gathered by a dog into a comer are described in Aran 
Irish Gaehc as "ta na caoraigh sainnighthe aig an madadh/' "the 
sheep are gathered in a corner by (at) the dog," " sainne " meaning 
a corner. The "Curragh" of Kildare means just a sheep-walk or 
run, from caora. The term " Gonadal," translated a stray sheep, 
also means sheep that do not belong to the farm, while "deat" 
is generally applied to an unshorn year-old sheep or wedder, as — 

'S coslach ri deata Bealltuinn do thaobh. 

Like to an unfleeced old sheep thy side. — (Rob Donn.) 

The word "peallaid" means a sheep-skin, while a mangled 
carcase is "peileid" or " riasglach." The leader among sheep 
is termed " Ceannciorra " or " Caoracheann." It is said that the 
word "aodh," given for "sheep," originally meant "fire," and was 
the Vesta of the ancient Celt — or Irish Celts at any rate ; while 
another meaning for "aoi" is isthmus. "Cor-lan" (caor-lann) is 
Welsh for sheep-fold, while an old name for sheep is "ma-is," 
probably from the bleat of the animal; "ret" in Sheffield is a 
term for sheep-fold — or strictly speaking, the right entrance or 
road to the fold or cro, as it is there also called; "rettack" is 
sometimes also used as a fuller term. " Pluc " also is another 
term for sheep-cot. Dr Walker describes the old native sheep 
of the Highlands as the smallest of its kind, of a thin lank shape, 
with short straight horns, ffice and legs white, tail extremely 
short, and the wool of various colours, i.e., black and white, 
sometimes blueish grey, brown, deep russet, etc. ; frequently the 
same animal was blotched with two or three of these colours or 
tints. The wool, however, was generally of the finest, except in 
the case of mountain sheep, which had often four and sometimes 
six horns. The souming of sheep was eight or ten to one cow, 
while two cows went to one horse. 

Black sheep were said to be the form which witches frequently 
assumed, as being likely, from their innocent or stupid appearance, 
to mislead people, but sheep, though apparently stupid, give 
many proofs of strong instinct and intelligence — notably, their 
wonderful attachment to the place of their birth, in regard to 
which many interesting tales are and could be told. One black 
sheep in a flock is said to be lucky ; several the reverse. It 
was "infamous" of old to steal a sheep, though considered 
"honourable" to lift a cow, etc. In St Kilda the sheep there 
are thought to be a special, or at least peculiar, breed, being hairy. 
This, however, most likely arises from the wool having run to 
hair through poor feeding, exposure, etc. St Kilda is called there- 
from "Irt nan caoraich feann," Hirt of the hairy sheep, while the 
island of Soa means sheep isle — so-ey. Lightfoot, in his Flora 
Scoiica, says that Bcethius speaks of great horned sheep (some 
say four-horned) in St Kilda, supposed to be the musimon. A 
record in the Aniials of the Four Masters tells us that, in 1355, a 



214 SHEEP 

sheep dropped ten lambs at one birth. This would have bothered 
the exactors of the "firstlings" of a sheej), or sgreaball caethrach, 
meaning sheep tribute. The average natural life of a sheep is 
said to be nine years. Of old, in a Celtic establishment, when a 
sheep was killed, certain perquisites, as on the occasion of killing 
a cow, pertained to certain parties — some are, the head to the 
horschoi/ (war-horse) ; neck to the gearran-keepcr (work-horse) ; 
liver to the carpenter ; shoulder to the (uilrononier (this probably 
in connection with "shoulder-blade" divination), this party was a 
learned man, ecclesiastic or doctor, generally named sruth or 
srulhan ; bag or pudding, prainnseag or haggis, to the icater- 
cairier (this blood pudding was called " driseachan ") ; heart and 
feet or trotters to the shepherd ; skin or pelt to the cook, etc., 
etc., while the stomach formed the "rennet" or binid. In 
reference to the astronomer's portion, it may be added here that 
an ancient mode of divination, once practised in the Highlands, 
Wales, and some parts of England, if not in Ireland, was by 
inspecting the blade-bone of a sheep, or " Slinnearachd." An 
instance of such divination, was on the occasion of Argyll making 
an expedition to Lochaber, when his fate and that of eighteen 
Campbell lairds was foretold by one MacMaran, Alasdair 
MacColia winning the victory. An ancient Highlander, Donald 
Macpherson, long resident in Chelsea, England, gave a long 
account of this. A sheep should not be killed on a Friday, 
caora bhronnach or well-fed sheep. 'I'o return to our wethers : 
a proverb by the way is taken from the old French play of Ratelin, 
and which Rabelais describes in his life of Gargantua, and which 
we think worth giving here, viz., a woollen draper is brought 
before a judge, who, pleading against a shepherd concerning 
some sheep the latter — he alleged — had stolen from him, would 
ever and anon digress from the point to speak of a piece of 
cloth, which, he also alleged, his antagonist's attorney had likewise 
robbed him of, which made the judge call out to the draper, and 
bid him " return to his muttons." 

In the days of Alexander MacCoU (Macdonald), Highlanders 
seem to have been subjected to a tax of a merk upon every head 
of sheep they possessed, and he (Alexander), it was hoped, would 
be the man to relieve them from this impost, as may be gathered 
from the following lines : — 

Dia leat Alasdair-mhic-ChoIla, God be with you, Alexander MacColl, 

'S mor do thomad 'measg dhaoine. The great in stature among men, 

Gloir do Dhia u 'thighinn dh' Albainn, Blessed be He who sent you to Scot- 
Cha phaigh sinn marc as a chaora. land, 

We shall no longer pay a merk each 
sheep. 

Sinclair gives sheep as follows: — 1. Ewe, wedder tup lambs, 
until weaned ; 2. Ewe, wedder tup hogs, until shorn ; 3. Gimmers, 
dummons, tups, until shorn ; and 4. Old ewes, wedders, tups. 



I 



I 



Sheep 215 

In Folk-lore for March 1902, it is stated that sheep, among other 
animals, were thought, in the Hebrides, to have once had the gift 
of speech, and been in Paradise, which, when it had to leave, 
enabled it to say as its last words, " Na loisg mo chnamhan," do 
not burn my bones ; hence no sheep bones should ever be burnt 
in or on a fire, or ever even thrown thereon. 

A reverence, approaching to superstition, took possession of 
the ancient Roman Catholic Celt, as is evidenced by his sayings, 
etc., in prose and verse, as used or applied to sheep and cattle, 
etc., which he apparently believed the Deity and the Sain!s took 
as peculiar and exclusive an interest in as he did himself. A saying 
as to sheep is : — 

Dirdaoin, la 'lUe Chaluim chaoimh, Thursday, gentle Saint Columba's day, 
Latha chuir chaorach an sealbh. The day to put sheep to pasture (lit. 

possession). (See proverbs.) 

Gentleness is associated with Saint Columba and sheep, and it 
has been remarked as somewhat singular that the drum, which 
roused and rouses men to martial daring, next to the pipes the 
bag of which is also of sheep-skin, is formed from the skin of the 
most peaceful of animals. As to our pipes, in the well-known 
piobaireachd "Thug mi pog do lamh an Righ," I gave a kiss to 
the king's hand, the sheep-skin is referred to as follows : — 

'S cha d'chuir gaoth an craicionn Wind in skin of sheep there blew not 

caorach One who got that boon but me. 

Fear a fhuair an fhaoilt ach mi. 

The sad wail of the pipes over the conflict of Glenfruin has been 
poetically referred to, and strange to say the alleged cause of the 
conflict itself was a black wedder, which had "allowed " itself to 
be stolen by an individual of one of the clans from the other, and 
which subsequently formed the basis of a proverb among the 
MacGregors of " Gonadh air an uair a rugadh mult dubh an 
earbuill ghil," or am breaman ghil. Cursed be the hour that the 
black wedder with the white tail was lambed. 

A sheep-fold is also called " Cata " as in the Badenoch song, 
" Thainig meirleach gu na cata, 's thug e leis a chaora chruim " ; 
other names are Banair, bannrach, banrach, which mean the 
enclosure where the sheep are milked, where such is practised. 
Another term for a sheep-cot or fold is " Lias, lios, or les-chaorach." 
A sheep exacted from sub-tenants at Hallowmass is called " caora- 
charaidh," while a " good digestive " is said to be ewe-milk cheese. 
(^Antiquary.') A Gaelic rhyme, used in the game of " Falach 
lead " is : — 

Gliocan, glacan, mo chuid chaorach, Citchin', catching my own sheep, 
Thig am madadh ruadh 'maireach The fox will come to-morrow, 

'S bheir e leis 'n caor'is fhearr 'th'agara And take with him the best sheep I 
Ach caora dhubh fir an tighe have, 

'S caora glas an t-searbhanta. Except the master's black sheep 

And the servant's grey one. 



216 SHEEP 

A sheep-pen or enclosure is called in most places, cro, fang, or 
faing, sheep-cot, fold, or pen. Mr A. Carmichael says this applies 
to Lewis and Harris specially. A drove of sheep is called a 
"drift" in some places (North), while the owner of a thousand 
is found in Old Irish as " Kidire caorach," a knight of sheep. 
Another rhyme among children is : — 

Orda^^, colgaj?, nieur-fad, Mac-an-Ab' Thumb, face-finger, middle finger. 
Rag mheirleach nan caorach 's nan Son of Abbot 

gobhar ; Arrant thief of the sheep and the goats 

Cuir gad ris, cuir gad ris. Put a tie (withy) on him, put a tie 

on him. 

Sleeping among sheep is said to be a good remedy in cases of a 
lingering disease, while a coarse cure for whooping-cough and 
jaundice was a decoction of sheep's droppings, "puslooks" or 
" buaichleach." Cameron, in his Gaelic names for plants, etc., 
gives "sheep-bit" in Gaelic as dubhan-nan-caora, the sheep's 
kidney, while the Old Irish for "sheep's yew" is simply Ibur- 
caorach, lubhar chaorach. "Sheep-sorrel" again is samhadh- 
caorach. Caora-bada-meann is stone-bramble. The " rot " among 
sheep goes under several names, one being " mua or moor-sickness." 
Sheep afflicted with the disease called stuird, stuirdean, vertigo, or 
" sturdy," are also called " dunt-sheep," probably from dunting or 
knocking up against things, etc. The tie between the hind and 
forefoot of a sheep is called " Bangle," while a sheep is said to be 
amuUed, awart, cast or non-powered, when lying on its back in a 
hollow or ridge-furrow and unable to rise. The word " amuUed " is 
derived from the Gaelic word "amaladh," hindered, tha i air amaladh, 
she is hindered — from rising. Bragsaidh again is a disease said 
to be occasioned by "eating withered grass and from wart of 
water," also from over-eating of young succulent grass. Sheep- 
scab or itch is "scrutach." In Soval at Lochs, Lewis, we find, 
as one of the many Norse names, the word "Saudhr," sheep. 
" Coilpeachadh " or equalising stock, referred to more fully else- 
where, as regards sheep is generally three one-year-old hoggs equal 
to two sheep, and one two-year-old hogg equal to one sheep. 

As is generally known, proverbs, riddles, and sayings as to 
sheep are fairly numerous, the following fairly exhaust them : — 
Aireamh na h-Aoine air caoraich a bhail' ud thall. 

The Friday numbering of (or on) the sheep of yonder town- 
ship. Equivalent to an evil wish, as it is thought 
unlucky to count sheep on a Friday. This is an 
exception to another belief that it is lucky to begin a 
piece of work on a Friday, or to give it "ruith na 
h-Aoine," the Friday's run or inception. 
A chaor theid 's a chreig, cha'n 'eil aic' ach tighinn aisde 
mar a dh' fhaodas i. 

The sheep that gets into the rock (some cleft), must get out 
as best she can. 



SHEEP 217 

Am fear a dh' itheas an ceann dathadh e 'm bus. 

He that eats the (sheep's) head, let him singe the mouth 
himself. 
An ceann 's na casan a' chuid a's fhiach (no is fhusa) roinn, 
bidh an ceann aig fear an tighe 's na casan aig a chloinn. 

The head and the trotters are the easiest shared, the head 
to the goodman, the trotters to the bairns. 
Ant-uanna's gilena'mhathair's a mhathair na's gilena'n sneachd. 
The lamb whiter than the mother, and the mother whiter 
than snow. Purity. 
An t-uan na's duibhe na 'mhathair 's a mhathair air dath an 
t-suidhe. 

The lamb blacker than the mother, and the mother blacker 
than soot. Impurity. 
Aon a dh' iarras 's a dha a dh' olas, no pathadh na caorach. 
One asking and two drinking, or the sheep's thirst. Sheep 
seldom drink. 
Aon de thriuir nach fuiling an cniodachadh ; caora. 

One of three that won't stand caressing — a sheep. The 
others are a hen and an old wife. 
A's t-earrach 'n uair a bhios a chaora caol, bidh am maorach 
reamhar. 

In Spring when the sheep is lean, shellfish are fat. A 
providential dispensation. 
Be sin a bhi cuir na caora air theadhair lamh ri tigh a 
mheirlich. 

That were tetheiing the sheep near the thief's house. 
Bidh uan dubh aig caora bhain 's uan ban aig caora dhuibh. 
A white sheep may have a black lamb, and a black sheep a 
white one. 
Cadal nan caorach san dris. 

The sheep's sleep in the brier — uneasy. 
Caora bhiorach, bhiorach, 's a mionach slaodadh rithe— Snathad 
mor. 

A sharp, sharp sheep, and her entrails trailing from her. A 
large — or darning — needle. 
Caora dhearg, dhearg, air an dearg chuthaich — An teanga. 

A red, red sheep, red raving mad. The tongue. 
Caora dhubh a thilgeas ceud lomara geal 's a bhliadhna. 
Groideal. 

The black sheep that casts a hundred white fleeces in the 
year. The griddle, on which cakes are partially cooked. 
Caora fhoghmair, aon rud is deacra do thoghadh. 

A harvest sheep, one of two things most hard to choose (i.e., 
a sheep with its new autumn fleece on.) — (Douglas Hyde.) 
Caoraich 'ruidh (ruith) air theas, ri faoileach, gal 'us caoin. 
Sheep running hot in February, weeping and sorrow (is 
sure to follow). (See " Faoilleach," etc., Nicolson.) 



Caora luideagach 'theiii saii dris fagaidh i 'Ii-olaiiin 's an dos. 
The ragged sheep that goes into the briers will leave her 
wool there. 
Cha b'uan sin air bialthaobh oisge. 

That were no yearling's lamb. Said of those who pro- 
crastinate. 
Cha chudthrom (no cha trom leis a chaora) air caor* a h-olahui. 

Her wool burdens not the sheep. 
Cha 'n 'eil achan t-uan na's duibhe na 'mhathair. 

'Tis merely the lamb blacker than its dam. 
Cha 'n 'eil rud sam bith gun da latha, 's tha tri lath* aig na 
h-oisgean. 

Everything has two days, and the ewes have three. (See 
Nicolson.) 
Cha robh caora claimheach riamh sin trend nach bu mhath 
leatha companach 'bhi aice. 

There never was a scabby sheep in a flock but she liked to 
have a companion. 
Cha robh reithe leathann liath riamh reamhar. 

A broad grey ram was never fat. 
Cuiridh peirceall na caora an crann air an fharadh. 

The sheep's jaw will put the plough on the hen-roost — or 
rafters. Sheep-farming supplanting agriculture — and 
men. (See Nicolson.) 
Dh' itheadh na caoraich an cuid roimhe. 

The sheep would eat their portion through it. Said of 
thinly-woven cloth. 
Dirdaoin la Chaluim-chille chaoimh ... la chuir chaorach an 
seilbh. 

When Thursday is dear Columba's day . . . the sheep 
should be sent to pasture. 
Duais fir dhathaidh a chinn. 

The reward of the man that singes the head. Supposed to 
mean the trotters. 
Faodaidh a chaora dol bas a' feitheamh ris an fhiar ur. 

The sheep may die waiting for the new grass. 
Faoigh fir (no fir falaimh) gun chaorach. 

The contribution of a man without sheep. A contribution 
of wool from a man without sheep would be suspicious. 
'H-uile h-uair a ni a chaora meadhlaich cailhdh i greim. 

Every time the sheep bleats she loses a mouthful. One 
should work, not speak. 
Is deacair a chaora 'ghoid lamh ri tigh a mheirlich. 

It is difficult to steal the sheep near the thiefs house. 
Is ioma fear a ghoid caora nach deachaidh leatha air taod do 
Steornabhaigh. 

Many a one has stolen a sheep that didn't lead her in to 
Stornoway. 



SHEEP— SHREW 219 

Ma dh' itheas tu teanga no cridhe na caora bidh tu meilich — 
no gealtach — ri d'bheo. 

If you eat the sheep's tongue or heart, you will bleat, or be 
cowardly, for ever during your life. 
Miann caora, teas. 

A sheep's desire, heat. 
Millidh aon oisg chlaimheach an treud. 
One scabby ewe will spoil the flock. 
Al. Salachaidh aonchaora, etc. 
Mult ranatha gun chaoraich, is saothrach a ghlacadh. 

The wedder of a woman without sheep is difficult to catch. 
Al. 'S e 's saoire gheabhteadh — would be cheapest got ; 
or 's e 's faoilidhe'th' ann, is the most freely given. 
Mur bitheadh an dris 's an rathad cha rachadh a' chaor' innte. 
If the brier were not in the way the sheep would not go 
into it. 
Na caill caora airson luach peighinn de thearra. 

Don't lose a sheep for a pennyworth of tar. 
Oidhch' am muigh 'us oidhch' a's tigh, math nan caorach. 

Out to-night, in to-morrow, good for sheep. 
Pathadh na caoraich ort. 

The sheep's thirst to thee. A bad wish ; sheep seldom 
drink and can exist without, except when hard driven. 
Ruith na caorach caoile le leathad. 

The lean sheep's run down the slope. Ending in a fall. 
Seachduinn an t-sionnaich, 's bu mhath nach bu bhliadhn' i. 
The fox's week, and 'tis well that it was not a year. End of 
April — first week in lambing time. 
Tha claimh mo chaoraich fhein air. 

I le has the scab of my own sheep — suggestive. 
Thainig caoraich Gheansaidh a raoir 's dh' ith iad e. 

i he Guernsey sheep came last night and ate it. Guernsey 
sailors or fishermen who made a },ractice of robbing the 
islanders en route to the fishing. 
Trod chaoraich mhaola. 

The fighting of hornless sheep — a sham. 

SHREW (see also Mouse). — Beathachan or Beothachan-feoir ; 
Dallag, dallag-feoir or dallagfheoir ; Feornachan, fionnag-feoir ; 
Labhallan, lamhalan, luch fheoir, luch shith ; Truth. 

Artishrew, artishow, artisrobe, artisrow ; Erd-shrew ; Hardi- 
shraow, hardishrew, hardistraw, hardistrew, hardistrow, hardy- 
mouse, hardyshrew, hartis-straw, harvest mouse, harvest-row, 
harvest-shrew, harvest-trow ; Ranny (Suffolk) ; Shirrow, skrew, 
skrow, strawmouse (Moray), streaw, strow (Gall.) ; Water-mole or 
vole, wight, wreen (Shet.). 

The etymology is said to be from "Skru," to bite, tear, etc.. 



220 SHREW— SOW 

and is founded on the old belief of this innocent animal being 
not only destructive but venomous. 

Sibbald in 1084 writes : " Lavcllan, animal in Cathancsiafrequcns." 
Its bite then said, as above, to be venomous, a cure therefor 
being to drink of water in which its head had been boiled or 
decocted. It was also supposed to have "bewitching" powers, 
hence " Inch shith." Rob Donn refers to it in " Briogais 'Ic 
Ruairidh." There is a place called " Dallagan fhraoich," anglicised 
"Shrewfield." In Sutherland it is believed to live in "deep 
pools." This animal is no kin to the common mouse. It is the 
most pugnacious of all animals in proportion to its size. 

SLOW-HOUND (see Dog). 

SOW (see also Pig). — Aitheach ; Ceis, crain, cruimeachda ; 
Durraidh ; Feis, fionn, fuin ; Gius, giusaidh ; Miaduigh, muc- 
ainidhe, more, muc ; Oirceann ; Pore; Rue, ruclid, rucht ; 
Triath ; Urc. 

Bath ; Gamald (aged), grumphie ; Kep (littered dead^ young — 
Roxb.); Sau; Wrotok. 

From the root " su," to produce. 

It is not unlikely that at an early period the Celts worshipped 
the sow like the Egyptians, whose worship of it might have been 
one reason why it was pronounced unclean. Whether the Celts 
worshipped it or not, it is manifest that it was held in high 
esteem, for its figure is engraved on most of the ancient 
sculptured stones of Scotland. Among the Welsh it is a 
national emblem, and hence one argument for the ancient Picts 
being British, as these stones are found confined to the ancient 
Pictish territory. The word "muc," a sow, enters largely into 
Scottish topography. We have " Eilean-nam-muc," the isle of Muck 
or sow island, the ancient name of St Andrews was " Muc ros," 
the sow's headland, and we know that the sow is associated with 
the memory of Saint Regulus ; there is a " Slochd muice," or the 
sow's hollow, near Inverness on the Highland road, a name derived 
from a hillock shaped like a sow's back, in the bottom of the 
chasm, a little to the west of where the coach road crosses, there 
is " sron muice," the sow's snout, on the north side of Loch Ness, 
derived from the resemblance of a hill face to that part of the 
animal. These two latter names are manifestly derived from 
natural resemblances, and have nothing to do with mythology. 
" Muckrey," or the island of swine, is an ancient name for 
Ireland, derived obviously, not, as it might be in modern times, 
from the abundance of pigs in the country where it is frequently 
the sum total of the family possessions, but from the place which 
the sow held, as above referred to, in the national mythology. 
"Banva" is another name for Ireland, being Gaelic, and meaning 
sucking pig, so that it also is mythological. " Aitheach-tuath " is 
one name for a husbandman, lit. a sow-tenant. 






SQUIRREL— STIRK 221 

SPANIEL (see Dog). 

SQUIRREL. — Con; Earag, earrag, eas, easag, easaic, easan ; 
Feorag ; Ir, ire, ira-rua (Jr.) ; Toghmall. 

Scorel, scropel, scrug, squirrell, skarale, squerylle, swirrel 
(North). 

This word is derived from "ska" or *'skia" (sgiath, a shield), 
and " oura " (Gr.), a tail, to cover, as does his bushy tail ; hence 
called "shadow-tail." 

Though this animal is supposed generally to feed on nuts, hips 
and haws, and the like, they have been seen to eat off the heads 
of young blackbirds; also in captivity to show a great fondness 
for fish, particularly crabs, the claws of which were cracked, and 
the meat eaten with great relish. 

Ge h-ainneamh an f heorag, gheibhear seol air a faotainn. 

Though scarce be the squirrel, there is a way got to find her. 

STAG (see also Deer). — Buc ; Gripes ; Haveer, haver, havering, 
havier (castrated), heort (A. S.), hevior ; Wood-goat (more properly 
roe), wudugat. 

This word is also applied, in the signification of "mounter," 
to the male of any animal, etc., e.g., stag-gander, stag, a young 
horse, etc., etc. 

So much has been already given under the word Deer, and 
so much lore and history hangs round this animal that it would 
be superfluous here to refer further even to their more prominent 
features and characteristics, etc. It may be mentioned, however, 
that from time immemorial stags were known almost every- 
where, and that a wound from the horn is always fatal, according 
to the lines, "If thou be hurt with hart (stag) it brings thee to 
thy bier, but barber's (the old physician's) hand will boar hurt 
heal, therefore thou need'st not fear." "Sinteag feidh," or a 
stag's leap, bound, or stretch, is an old linear measure, equal to 
thirty English feet. (See " Nether Lochaber " in Oban Times of 
8th June 1880.) 

STALLION (see Horse).— 5'^«w^e/—Ech-ccullach (Ir.) ; Irish, 
Stall.; stalan, stalon, stoat; Russa. Stallion so called because 
kept in a stall and not made to work. 

STEER (see Cow). — Biorach, bioraiche ; Colbthach ; Damh, 
damh og ; Gabhainn, gabhnach, gabhuinn, gamhainn, gamhuinn ; 
Tarbh og. 

The etymology is said to favour the signification full-grown, 
strong, from "stu," to be firm, also "sta," to stand. 

STIRK (see also Cow). — Da-bhliadhnach, do-bhliadhnach ; 
Gabhainn, etc. (as in Steer). 

Gamhainn is said to be derived from "gam," winter — a "year- 



222 STIRK 

old " by winter time. Do-bhliadhnach is the form used in the 
Outer Islands ; as pronounced in some places it sounds very like 
"dorlunnach " or ** dobhlunnach." 

Certain black sea-rocks off the island of Gigha are called " Na 
gamhna," the stirks. The nan e O'Gamhna is found in the Book 
of Kells. Gamhna was the name of an illegitimate scion, it is 
said, of Glen Nevis family, being called "An gamhainn maol 
donn," the hornless brown stirk, and his descendants "Sliochd 
a ghamhna," the stirk race. A lullaby or cradle song composed 
for one of them runs : — 

Pru dhe mhic a ghamhna, 

Pru dhe mhie a ghamhna, cheann-f hionn, 

Pru dhe mhic a ghamhna, 

Bhrist thu 'm braidein 's dh* ol thu 'm bainne, 

Pru, etc., 
'S dh' fhalbh thu thu'n oidhche ris a ghealaich, 

Pru, etc., 
Ach ma dh' fhalbh 's ann duit nach b'aithreach, 
'S boidheach air lianaig ar n' aighean, 

Pru, etc., 
'S boidheach calg-fhionn ar crodh-bainne, 

Pru, etc., 
Chuala tu 'n damh donn ri langan, 

Pru, etc., 
Ach ma chuala fhuair e 'n t-saighead, 

Pru, etc., etc. 

The *' Saighead " refers to the death of one of the Glen Nevis 
Cameron chieftains at a buaile, being shot by an arrow from the 
ambush or cover of a burden of heather. 

In County Cavan, Ireland, there is a loch named Loch Gamhna, 
corrupted into Gowna ; a w^ell, whence a stream flows into this loch, 
is called tobar Gowna, the well of the stirk (or calf, as rendered 
in Irish), whence a magical calf sallied. Another place of note in 
Ireland is named Inis-mor-loch-a-ghamhna, the great island of 
Loch Gowna. On this island there was once a church called 
Teampull Choluim-cille, Columbcill's church or temple. The 
name Mac-a-Ghamhna appears in Dermott na'n gamhnach, 
i.e., Dermot, Diarmaid, Jeremy or Darby of the strippers, or, as 
rendered in the Annals of the Four Masters, milch cows. The 
name O'Gamhna is common in Ireland, and has been anglicised 
"Gaffney." In King's County, Ireland, is Cluain nan gamhna, 
the lawn, meadow or pasturage of the calves or stirks, now 
corrupted into Cloneygowan. The honeysuckle has as one of its 
Gaelic names "Bainne ghamhnach," lit. a young farrow cow, or 
young cow's milk, from the juice in the berries. 

Proverbial sayings strictly applicable to the stirk are : — 

Am bronnach geamhraidh 's an seang earraich, cuma' gamhna. 
Rough in winter and thin in spring — a stirk's shape. 



STIRK- STOAT 223 

Bha rud-eigih de dh' uisge far na bhathadh an gamhainn, neo 
Bidh beagan uisge far am bathar. 

There was some water where the stirk was drowned, or 
There will be a little water, etc. 
Bheireadh e gair' air gamhainn. 

He would make a stirk laugh. This animal being as a rule 
somewhat dense and imperturbable, the joker must have 
been good. 
Ceann mor us muineal caol aogas an drocli ghamhna. 
Big head and slender neck mark the bad stirk. 
Al.— casan caol — thin legs. 
Comunn an da ghamhna. 

The friendship of the two stirks. 
Latha (no oidhche) Fheill-Eoin their iad (no theirear) aighean 
ris na gamhna. 

On St John's day or eve they call the stirks heifers. Feill- 

Eoin is on 24th June. It is ordinarily called Feill- 

Eathain, a more phonetic spelling of Eoin, or Iain, or Ian. 

Mar a bha 'n gamhainn 's an dorus, a' feitheamh 's ag eisdeachd. 

Like the stirk at the door, waiting and listening. 

STOAT (see also Weasel). — Carlum ; Eas, easag, easaic, easan, 
easog ; Nas, neas, ness, nios (for an eas, etc.). 

Carre, clubster, clubtail ; Ermine ; Fite (or white), futteret (or 
whitteret) ; Lobster ; Puttice (Kent) ; Whitterick, whutherit. 

The etymology is thought to be derived from " stot," a generic 
name for any male animal. 

When the stoat becomes white it is called " ermine," q.v. The 
natatory powers of the stoat are described as follows : — 

Long Swifn by a Stoat Weasel. — A Drumnadrochit correspondent 
writes to the Scotsman : — As the head gamekeeper was being rowed 
across Lochness on 8th Aug. 1902, he observed at some distance 
an object in the water with a pronounced "wake " behind it. On 
steering the boat in pursuit, and after a stiff pull, he found to his 
surprise that the swimming object was a stoat weasel going strong 
and straight for the nearest shore. The loch at this point is fully 
a mile and a quarter wide, and the stoat, which was heading right 
across from the eastern shore, was then within six hundred yards 
of the western. It was going at a good pace, and evidently quite 
fit to accomplish its object of crossing the loch ; for, when alarmed 
by the pursuit, it made a gallant attempt to escape by plunging 
vigorously ahead and zig-zagging wildly right and left. In vain, 
however, for a sweep of the landing net scooped it into the boat. 
The stoat has many long swims to his credit ; but this one, if it 
does not break the record, yet deserves this little notice. One 
regrets that the adventurous little beast fell literally into the 
net of its mortal enemy. 



224 SWINE— WEASEL 

SWINE (see also Pio, Sow).— Ealt-niluic (herd) ; Feis ; Lulpat, 
lupait; Mucraidh (herd), mucaii. 
Shot (young — Teviotd.). 
Teut. Swina, plural of su, sui. 

TERRIER (see Doo). 
TIGER.— Tigear, tiogair. 

Said to be of Persian origin, from a word signifying an arrow, 
from its swiftness. 

UNICORN (see also Monster). — Aon-adharcach, aon- 
bheannach ; Beisd or biasd-na-scrogaig (Skye), buabhall or 
buabhull. 

This beast of the towering horn was said to be peculiar to 
Skye under the name "Biasd na sgrogaig," and indeed to the 
Outer Hebrides generally, having, as it is generally portrayed, 
one horn on forehead, and dwelling in certain sea lochs (some 
accounts add long legs, clumsy and inelegant, tall and awkward). 
Now it is shrewdly surmised to be a narwhal strayed from the 
Arctic seas, and which is called in some places the " unicorn of 
the sea," having the horn shown in that animal. 

The unicorn is the right hand supporter of the MacGregor 
arms. See also Isaiah xxxix. 

VOLE (see Rat and Mouse). — Bad-alan (water) ; Famh-alan ; 
Lamh-fhual. 

There is the water-vole (or rat), meadow or short-tailed vole, 
and the red vole. 

WALRUS (see Seal). 

WATER-HORSE (see Horse and Monster).— Each-uisge ; 
Waltron. 

WEASEL. — Bladnait, blatnait; Eas, easag, easog (fr.), easaic, 
easan ; Ian, iar, iarag ; Labhallan, lamhalan ; Nas, neas, ness, nios. 

Beal (small) ; Cane (small) ; Doussing (Lat.) ; Fairy (Devon), 
ferry, fozle, futcat (Banff), futrat ; Kane, keen, ken, kime, kine 
(small); Lavallan, lavellan (Caith.); Marder, marten, marten-cat, 
marter, martern, martre, martrick, martrik, mertrick, mertrik, 
mouse-hound, mouse-weasel (Moray), mulere (Somerset), mustela ; 
Puttice (Kent) ; Quhitred, quhittret ; Waesel, water-mole, wesle 
(A. S.), weysyl, whesile, whezle (Loth.), whitneck (Cornw.), 
whitrack, whitred, whitret, w^hitruck, whut-throat, wreasel 
(North). 

The Teutonic type is "wisala," a diminutive, "the little thin 
creature." 

Some of the above terms found as " other names " for the 
weasel are not vouched as being properly so, but are given as 
found in respectable authorities, 



WEASEL— WHALE 225 

Wesaels are always with us, and are well known in most 
places, in the Highlands especially ; in Glengarry for instance, 
301 stoats and weasels were destroyed in the period between 
Whitsundays 1837-1840. In the old statistical account of Scotland 
it is stated that, at date of writing, no weasels existed in Tiry 
(Tiree) ; the same applies, it is believed, to Ireland, they having 
the stoat there only. The weasel is spiteful and malignant, and 
a person should be cautious in killing one in case of its being a 
witch, which they sometimes are said to be ; it is said also to be 
very unlucky to meet one the first thing in the morning. 

A purse made of weasel's skin is said to be peculiarly lucky — 
in fact a money-getter and a money-keeper — at least according to 
the following : — 

Neas bheag bhuidhe nan cos Little yellow hole-frequenting weasel, 

'S e 'n t-or thug a dhreach da bian From gold is derived the colour of 

Gleidh sid mar sporan, air a cheangal thy coat of fur. 

le h-ial. Get it for a purse, to be tied with its 

'S cha bhi thu gun bhonn, geal, thong, 

buidhe no donn And thou shalt not be without a coin, 

Eadar Nollaig 's Feill-roid, eadar white, yellow, or brown, 

Feill-roid 's Feill-Brian. From Christmas till Rood-day, from 

Rood-day till the Feast of St Brian. 

These days literally mean the whole year. 

There is said to be a large kind of weasel which kills calves 
and lambs by its mere breath. In Adamnan's Life of St Columha 
the name Nesamus Curvus occurs, which is from Neasan or Nesan, 
little weasel. 

WEDDER or WETHER (see also Sheep).— Maud, maut 
(Armor.), molt, mult. 

Weder, wether, wither. 

This word is said by some to be from Teutonic base wethra or 
wethru, a lamb, and "wether," from German widder, a ram — 
Belgic, wider ; from Lat. mtdto, in Revue Celtique. 

The molt-nollaig was an important feature in Highland families 
gentle and simple, being usually killed at Christmas by every 
family, though sometimes two families went shares. "Car a 
mhoiltean," or the " wedder's turn," means a somersault. 

Mult mnatha gun chaoraich, is saothrach a ghlacadh ; mult 
mnatha gun chaoraich 's e 's saoire gheabhteadh ; mult mnatha 
gun chaoraich 's e 's faoilidhe 'th 'ann. 

The wedder of a woman without sheep is difficult to catch, 
or would be cheapest got, or is the most freely given. 

Theid mult dheth 'n fhear chadalach. 

The sleepy man will lose a wedder. A trifler. 

WHALE. — Arc; Bansgal, blagh or blath-mhial, blaoc, bleid 
or bleidh-mhial, bleidh-mhial-mara ; Can, canach, canna, crespeis ; 
Docoisle; Falain, falaine ; Macreil-chapuill (Ir.), men or meann- 



226 WHALE 

mhara^ n)en-iiiara,mial-l)uirn, inial-nihara,mial-mhor, mial-moir (Ir.), 
mial-mor-mara (leviathan), nior-mhial or mliil, morvil (Old Brit.), 
muc-bhioracli, muc-nihara, muc-sgideil ; Ore, ore-rad (Ir.), oreab ; 
Parn ; Reasuall, roehuaidh, roreual, rorual ; Siome ; lire. 

Bottlenose, bueker; Chaffer (round-lipped), craspic, crespeis ; 
Feyadin, finner, fin whale, fyardeng ; Gal Ian (Lewis) ; Herring- 
hog, huddone, huddum, hwael (A. S.), hwel ; Narwhal ; Pike- 
headed bottlenose ; Qual, (juhale ; Tymbrell ; Unicorn-fish. 

The Teutonic type Hwala, any large fish ; the sense is " roller," 
closely allied to word "wheel." The word "leviathan," as applied 
to whale, is said to be from a word signifying to twist, curve, etc., 
more in the case of "eel" or "sea-serpent," however; orcab 
signifies the son of the waters. Arc, ore, tore, urc, signify a 
whale ; Orkney is ore ey, whale island ; arcamh or airc-have, 
signifies the swine or whales of the ocean ; innis thorc, innse 
ore, the island of whales (Orkney), or innistore, properly innistorc. 
The words " Blagh-mhial, bleid-mhial, or bleidh-mhial " are merely 
compounds of the words "blagh" (obs.), puff, blow, and "mial," 
an animal, the puffing or blowing animal. The Lowland Scottish 
word " blaw " and English " blow " both come therefrom. " Orca " 
is the old Armorican for water ; while " mial-buirn," as is seen, 
means " water-animal." The round-lipped whale is called grampus, 
also chaffer ; if fishers are bothered by its following their boat, a 
coin thrown out at it causes it to disappear — a stone or piece of 
wood has been found, however, to be equally effective. The 
sperm-whale is, in Irish, called " mil-moir," and the sperm itself 
"ambra," or "Silni an mil moir, siol na mial' moire." The monks 
of Dunfermline had a grant from Malcolm IV. of all the heads 
of the whales, called " Crespeis," caught in the Firth of Forth ; the 
tongues were the king's perquisite. In Sean dana we read, " Bha 
nuallan thonn mu Innse-orc." There was a sound (howling) of 
waves round the islands of whales. Milton uses the word " ore " 
in " An island salt and bare, the haunt of seals and ores and sea- 
mews' clang." 

The Gaelic term " muc-sgideil " signifies a small whale or 
" splasher." The word or term " orc-rad " for a whale is to be 
found in Saltair-na-rann. In the Senchtis mor the bones of the 
whale are described as a necessity for making of the backs of 
sieves and saddle-trees, or hoops, where there is no timber. The 
life of the whale is said to average 400 years, but no foundation 
for this is given. 

Seachd roin, sath mhial-mhor-mhara, seachd mial-mor-mara, 
sath cirein-croin. 

Seven seals a whale's feed, seven whales a ceeran crone's. 

Note. — The former, at least, must mean some other great 
"sea monster," as whales do not feed on seals, nor can they 
swallow such. 



WHALE— WOLF 227 

In the Annals of Tigernach, so ably translated by Whitley 
Stokes, we read of a whale which, circa 739-743 a.d., the sea cast 
to land with three golden teeth in its head, and fifty ounces in 
each of these teeth. " Mil mor rola in muir docum tire ocus tri 
fiacla oir na chind, ocus 1. uinge in gach fiacail dib." (Rev. Celt., 

xvn.) 

Tha fios aige c'aite 'bheil na muca-mara breith. 

He knows where the whales breed — or bring forth. (Said 
of the would-be omniscient man.) 

WHELP (see also Dog). — Can, canna, cuain, cuilean. 

This word is from the Teutonic type " Hwelpa "-Cuilen (Old 
Germ.) ; while the old Gaelic word cuilen is from cul, col ; foetus, 
embryo. 

WOLF. — Allabhair, allaidh, allamhadadh, allmhadadh ; Blad, 
bladair, bladaire, blaidh, bleidire (a mouth or mouther), breac, 
breach, brech, broc ; Cliabhach, cliamhach, cliuin, con, conoel 
(Ir. fem. werewolf), criun, cu-allta, alluidh choille, fiadh or fiad- 
haich ghearr or ghiorr ruadh, cuan, a pack or rout of wolves ; 
Fael (Ir.), faol, faolbhaidh, faol-chu, fiadh-chu, fiamoin ; Gladaman, 
glaoidheaman ; Leidire, lub (obs.) ; Mac thire (Ir.), mac-tire, mada, 
mada-galluidh, madadh, madadh-alluidh or allt ulaith, madra, 
madra-alta (Ir. pi.), raaduigh, magadh-ulaidh alia or allta, marbh- 
chu ; Odhar-chu, onchu ; Ruadh-chu ; Sagh-ictire (fem.), sidheach, 
sigheach, sighoch, siogach, sithoch ; Uilbh (Sutherland), ulmhach. 

Brocad; Licos ; Onbeast, ouf ; Volt; Wluine (A. S. fem.), wouf, 
wowf, wulf, wulfa (A. S.). In Old Irish we find the term 
"canaid" for a wolf-whelp. 

From Teutonic type Wolfa, a wolf; lit. a tearer or render — 
" wark," to tear. The terms breac and broc mean spotted or 
brindled, as wolves sometimes are. Leidire or bleidire, said to 
mean "thief," but more correctly "mouther"; hence the words 
blether, bletherer. The phrase in Irish Gaelic of Macthire 
mongach, or hairy wolf, has been come across. "Uilf" is just 
"brute," from Norse Ulfr ; while the word "faol" enters into the 
proper name " Cathal," i.e., cath wal or fliaol cath, signifying 
battle, and wal or faol, wolf (Macbain) ; a wer-wolf, again, is 
"conricht" — cu riochd. A full-grown wolf measures 5 feet 
5 inches in length, 18 inches of which is tail, height 33 inches, 
and weight over 100 lbs. ; a wolf can travel over forty miles in 
one night. The word glaoidheaman is from the double bark oi 
cry of the wolf, and also applies to the yelp of the fox. 

It is upwards of two hundred years at least since the last wolf 
was slain in the Highlands. Several circumstantial accounts are 
given and tales told as to the date of death of the last ; one being 
that the feat of killing the last wolf was performed or achieved 



228 WOLF 

by one Poison in Glen Loth, Sutherland ; another, that the last 
was killed at MuIIionn-a-nihadaidh, Murcla^gan; while again we 
learn from The Salural Ilisiori/ of a High/and Parish (Ardclach, 
Nairn), by 'I'liomson, that the last wolf in Scotland was killed in 
1743 by one Macqueen of PoUochoch (or Polla-ehrocain), near the 
head of the Findhorn — this one seems to have been of a black 
colour, and is supposed to be the very last in all Scotland. In 
Ireland, the last native wolf was seen in the mountains of Kerry 
in 1720. Wolves abounded once in the black wood of Hannoch. 
Another (English) writer states that the last wolf in Scotland 
seems to have disappeared in 1743, none being heard of in 
England after the reign of Henry VII., while in Ireland their 
extinction is dated 1766. Of all the places in Europe, Russia 
has the most. As evidence of the necessity for protection from 
their ravages, the heavy flat stone still to be seen over graves 
in churchyards is eloquent. In the modern work by " John 
Splendid," reference is made on page 78 to a wolf from 
Benderloch. The burning of forests was an extreme remedy to 
rid the country of these pests. In 1594, on one farm in Bread- 
albane, four mares, a year-old horse, and a year-old quey are 
chronicled as killed by wolves, while many other instances might 
be quoted of the ravages in olden times of these beasts. A 
service due to a lord for chasing, keeping off, and killing wolves, 
was called "Fuba" and " Ruba " (Ir.). This was merely 
Gaelicised Latin; in 1427 it was ordained that "The woolfe and 
woolfe birdes (i.e., breed), suld be slaine." In reference to the 
graveyard flat stone practice, Rob Donn says : — 

" Thus every grave we dug, the hungry wolf uptore. 
And every morn the sod was strewn with bones and gore. 
Our Mother Earth has doomed (denied?) us rest on PMdrachilis shore." 

So to the island the body had to go. Rob further says : — 

** Push off for the sea dashed grave ; 

The wolf may lurk at home, 
May prowl in the * Diri mor ' 

Till nightfall bids hira roam ; 
But the grave is void in the mountain kirk, 

And the dead has crossed the foam." 

In Strathardle, Glenshee, and Glenisla, so plentiful and 
destructive were the wolves that all tenants were bound by their 
leases to keep one pair of hounds for hunting them, etc. In 1552, 
in one D. Ogilvie's lease of Newton of Belite, etc., he was taken 
bound to keep two hounds and two sleuth-hounds, "and sail 
nwrice ane leiche of guid houndis, with ane cuppill of rachis, 
for tod and wolf; and salle be reddy at all times quhene we 
charge them to pas with us or our balzies to the hountis" — 
this is only one of many such. The wolves of Ben Bhuirich, Glen 
Fernate, were reckoned the largest and fiercest j see Robertson's 



I 



WOLF 229 

"Beinn Bhuirich nam madadh mor." The wolf is mentioned in 
the First Book of Fingal, and also alluded to in poems of Clann 
Uisnich and Cuthon as follows : — " Gadhair is fiadhchoin nan 
earn." " 'S air chuilen na fiadhchoin." One of the characters in 
Fingal, Duan I., is named " Faobhaidh/' Anglicised " Foivi/' the 
spoiler, from faobh, spoil. Faolan, little wolf, was a personal 
name in olden times, now Fillan. Though Fillan is one of Ossian's 
characters, no more direct mention is made in his poems of 
this animal. The Macmillan name is just Mac-gill- Fholain or 
Fhaolain, the son or descendant of the servant of Faolan, the 
wolf saint. Faelcu or Faolchu, wolf or wolf-dog, was the name of 
one of the Columban abbots. Ossian, when dying, is said to have 
compared himself to a wolf being helplessly sucked under a weir. 
The mediaeval Irish are reported to have taken wolves as "gossips," 
i.e., godfathers and godmothers, and also to have tamed and made 
use of them. A quondam king of, or in, Ireland, about 74 a.d., 
named Ruidruide, had a horse named "Tonn," but afterwards, 
while on his back, changed his name to "Mactire," son of the 
land, having, with his aid and brave demeanour, killed a fierce 
wolf. Etymologists in this as in many other cases have made 
some wild guesses and assertions as to this name or word, among 
which it is stated that the Irish surname, M^Tear, was from 
Mactire. A somewhat better-informed writer, however, says that 
M^Tear is merely a contraction of M^Ateer, which again is a 
contraction of M^Anteer or Mac-an-t-saoir, the carpenter's son — 
M^Intyre. The term Mactire can also be traced in the proper 
name " Drummatier " in Galloway. In Ireland there is a fort 
called " Cathair na mac tirech," the fort of the wolves, and a place 
now called '^Glen conveth" is a corruption of Gleann Con-fhiadh, 
Glen wild-dog or wolf, so called from that animal having been 
slain there ; while " sod mac-tire " means she-wolf-sod, a bitch, lit. 
a bitch of a son of earth, the wolf being so prevalent in the olden 
times that it literally was indigenous to the soil ; while the month 
of January was called the " wolf-month." It has been thought 
worthy of notice by some writers to mention that the wolf's tail 
is shorter than that of the fox, which at one time it equalled in 
length, the alleged cause of this discrepancy being owing to the 
alleged fact that the fox persuaded the wolf to insert his tail in 
a hole in the ice, for some purpose or other, where it froze fast, 
and whence he had to tear it by force when his false friend the 
fox set the hounds on him, part of the tail only being left behind. 
The wolf figures also in coats-of-arms ; and as many are attributed 
to the Twelve Tribes, it may be interesting to state that the 
wolf is that of Benjamin. "Struan" arms contains, inter alia, 
" Gules, 3 wolves' heads erased argent." Among the ancient 
Celts, as said to be derived from the Danes, the wolf signified 
" tyrant," and was in the coat-of-arras of the kingdom of Macedonia. 
In folk-lore generally wolves are of importance, and the traditions 



230 WOLF 

of their transformation into human beings, or vice versa, in the 
Middle Ages assumed a peculiarly ghastly shape ; such tales are 
very widely spread. Bean a theid na con (conoel) riochd — A 
woman that goes into a (dog) wolf shape (^Rev. Celt.). A 
number of wolves together is usually called a "pack" or "rout," 
and the young, whelps or cubs. 

Cameron, in his work on the Gaelic names of plants, etc., says 
Monkshood or Wolf's-bane in Gaelic is "Fuath mhadaidh," the 
wolfs aversion, while the plant Wolfs-foot is literally " Faol-chois." 
We have in Welsh " Bleiddag," Monkshood, from Bleidd^ a wolf, 
and tag, choke. 

Though wolves were so plentiful of old, proverbial sayings 
thereanent are almost non-existent. 

Ma bhristeas bun-feann, bidh fios aig do cheann. 

If the tail breaks, your head will know. (See note by 
Nicolson hereto.) This is said in regard to a wild boar 
or sow also. 
Mir am bial na beiste. 

A bite for the monster's mouth, i.e., what the traveller 
stopped the wolves with. 
Nuair a theid thu air cheilidh air madadh — allaidh, thoir do 
chu leat. 

When you go a- visiting the wolf, take your dog with you. 



ENGLISH-GAELIC 
NAMES OF BIRDS 



This part being so voluminous and almost inexhaustible^ even 
as regards Celtic lore, etc., necessitates the shortest and most 
concise reference, consonant with clearness. 

In reference to " other names," I have to refer the curious in 
such matters to, inter alia, the Folk-lore and Provincial Names of 
British Birds, by the Rev. Charles Swainson, 1886, where the 
subject — so far at least as English names are concerned — is treated 
most exhaustively. 

As regards Scottish names in that work, very few variants 
are to be found apart from those 1 had procured before ; and as 
regards Celtic names, almost none. 

It will of course be concluded that it is with the two latter 
this work is chiefly concerned, especially Celtic, though some 
English dialectic terms are given throughout. 

From the Celtic Historian or Tradition-monger we have the 
sapng that at one time — if not now — "Bha Gaidhlig aig na 
h-eoin uair 's thuigeadh iad gloir nan dan." The birds had 
Gaelic at one time, and understood the glory of song ; while Burns 
says in his " August " song : — 

*' The partridge loves the fruitful fells. 

The plover loves the mountains ; 
The woodcock haunts the lonely dells, 

The soaring hern the fountains ; 
Through lofty groves the cushat roves, 

The path of man to shun it ; 
The hazel bush o'erhangs the thrush, 

The spreading thorn the linnet. " 

Which proves how closely Burns had studied nature. 
To turn further south, Churchill says : — 

*' Among the Romans, not a bird 
Without a prophecy was heard ; 
Fortunes of empires often hung 
On the magician magpie's tongue. ' 

231 



232 NAMES OF BIRDS 

This was also a strong point or feature in the soothsajnng 
sorceries or mysteries of our own ancient Druids, and Solomon 
was said to be able to understand their language — probably when 
it was Gaelic. Bums was by no means the only southern Scot 
who noticed bird nature, as in an old " Glasgow " publication 
entitled The Cherric and llir Sine, the following quaint lines 
appear : — 

" About a bank of balmy bews * 
Where nij^htingalcs their notes renews {sic) 

With gallant goldspinks gay ; 
The mavise, merle and prognc proud, 
The lintwhite, lark and laverock loud 

Saluted mirthful Mav. 
The cushat crouds, the corbie cries. 
The cuckoo couks, and prattling pyes 

To geek * her they begin. 
The jargoun of the jankling jays. 
The craiking craws, the kekiing kays. 

They deav'd rae wi' their din. " 

It is very remarkable, says Dr Clerk, that there is no allusion 
whatever throughout the whole of Ossian's — or the Ossianic 
jioems — to the voice of singing birds, with which the woods of 
the Highlands must have been tuneful in the days of old, as they 
are now, for " Is fas a chuil as nach goirear," deserted indeed is 
the corner whence no voice of bird is heard — lit. whence no call — 
is a proverb of very old standing. Mention is made even in these 
poems of the hum of the mountain bee (Temora, Duan III.), and 
the droning dance of the evening fly. In the 7th duan of Temora, 
the birds of night are startled by the loud sound of Fingal's shield, 
and the flight of sea-birds is noticed, but no reference is made 
to lark, thrush, or blackbird — to any bird of song indeed. 
It is worth noting here that not a single bird of prey has the 
gift of song, otherwise the bird creation generally — according 
to tradition, at least in Ireland — at an early period was considered 
sacred. See the curious legend Einglan, king of the birds, and 
Mesbuachala, the mother of Conaire mor, king of Ireland. As 
regards auguries from birds, see the valuable MS. preserved in 
Trinity College, Dublin, a special tract thereamong being a 
tract devoted to auguries of birds, especially the raven and wren. 
In a poem attributed to St Columbcille the following lines, inter 
alia, occur : — 

** It is not with the sreod our destiny is, 
Nor with the bird on the top of the twig. 

I adore not the voice of birds.*' 

* This writer aspires to alliteration so much that he does not excel other- 
wise; — some words are now obscure : " bews " means *' boughs," "geek," to 
sport with or make fun of ; lark and laverock are the same. 



NAMES OF BIRDS 233 

The eagle is the only bird, except the hawk, ever specially named, 

and as follows: — 

Mar iolair Thorno fo og sgiath 
Thionndaidh mi mo shuil air an Triath. 

Like eagle of Torno on young wing 
I turned my eyes upon the Cliief 

or, 
Like U-thorno's young eagle 
I turned my eyes upon my father. 

Cath-Loduinn, Duan IIL 

In opposition to the foregoing, reference is here made to the 
paragraph in this work under " Blackbirds," which gives a very 
contradictory account, and proves, or seems to prove, that our 
Scottish Ossian and the Irish Oisin have been two very different 
})ersonages, or that one or other, if not both of the historians, 
must be partly in the wrong. 

Birds and animals of this country in the days of Ossian were, 
or are supposed by some to have been, not numerous, though 
this is very questionable, and that Ossian's acquaintance with 
them was slight, as he and his heroes were very much otherwise 
occupied, and the creatures now so well known were little 
subject to the uses or pleasures of mankind ; latter-day research, 
for instance, shows us that there are 110 different species of 
birds in the island of Lewis alone. Modern Gaelic poetry, which 
however is for the most part only some 300 or 400 years old, 
abounds with descriptions of thrush and lark, and the sweet song 
by MacLachlan of Rahoy, "'S binn leam na h-eoin, na h-eoin 
bhoidheach, bhinn chluinn mi na h-eoin," etc., gives ulterance to 
the deep love true poets always had, and will have, for birds. 
In the Book of the Dean of Lismore, Caoilte's ransom for Fionn 
to Cormac Mac Art, some of the English or Scottish meanings 
differ from those now accepted, or at least as found and given 
here, while there are some untranslated and untranslatable, such 
as "Geillt, sruall, eachta, ceingeach (perha])s), and cith ceangach, 
caochan, cathal, and biorach." It is onlj' assumed that the 
foregoing are birds, cith ceangach meaning a bold leader of 
animals, though birds have their leaders also, another term for 
which is " Ceannianlainn." In the Revue Celtique we find a 
reference to totemism in the geasa laid upon Conaire by (his 
father) Nemglam or Niamglan, the king of the birds, never to 
kill a bird. 

To Celts whose domicile of origin is the East, Eastern poetry 
has peculiar attractions, indeed has moulded much more modern 
among Celts ; in Persian poetry, for instance, we find a poet 
bearing the name "Ferideddin Attar," who wrote the "Bird 
Conversations," a mythical tale, in which the birds come together 
to choose their king, and resolve on a pilgrimage to a certain 
mountain to pay their homage. The tone of the poem is said 



234 ATTK— Rinn 

to be somewhat modern, tht- lair as written at least 500 years 
old, while the a<^e of the myth is unknown. In this fable the 
birds are said to have been soon weary of the length and 
difticulties of the way, and at last almost all gave out. Three only 
persevered and arrived before the throne of the "Simorg," who 
was however invisible to them. Chaueer wrote The Fowls' A.s.sembli/, 
which some say was founded hereon. He gives the character of 
nearly forty birds. "Conaltradh nan eun," as given under Bnin, 
seems akin to the foregoing. 



AUK (see also Penguin). — Ale, alca ; Bunabhuachaile, burra- 
bhuachaile (great) ; Caltag ; Falcag ; Gearrbhuil, gearbhal, gearr- 
bhall. 

Alk, auklet; Bawkie ; Carling (penguin); Faik, falk ; Gare- 
fowl ; Little auk, little guillemot ; Oke ; Pendugan (penguin — 
Skelton), penguin ; Rare-fowl, ratch, rotch, rotchie ; Scout (Bass), 
sea-dove, sea turtle-dove, small black-and-white diver, spotted 
one, squat. 

From Icelandic word " Alka " ; and gare-fowl, from geyr-fugl. 
Gearrbhuil, etc., probably the same. 

In 1790 this bird was said to be common in Iceland, whence, 
or from Norway, they' were supposed to wander to our more 
northern shores ; according to Lightfoot and others, visiting St 
Kilda, and breeding there, though not a regular migrant. The 
auk is particularly described by Martin. It is now concluded to 
be extinct, and the few eggs known to exist change hands at 
fabulous prices. 

AVOCET. — Cearra-ghob ; Gob-cearr ; Mini-ghob. 

Avoset ; Black and white avocet, butterflip ; Clinker, cobbler's 
awl or awlduck, crooked-bill ; Scooper, scooping avocet ; Rearine ; 
Yelper. 

B 

BARNACLE GOOSE (see Goose). 

BIRD (see also Gaelic-English lists in Part I.)— Afais (Old 
Celt.), ahmhin (brood), al, alach (young), altain (flock), amac, araach, 
amhach (ravenous) ; Badh (fierce, ravenous), baidne, baidnein (small 
group), beach, beathag, bidein (cheeper), bigean, bigean-beag, 
bigein, bigeun (wee little bird — Carm.), bodh (fierce, ravenous), 
brid-eun (small), buidheag, buidhean (all yellow) ; Cai (cuckoo), 
caochan, ciuthrach (red-headed), cluimhealta (flock), cubhar, cuibh 



BIRD 235 

Tflock) ; Darag-thalmhainn (a kind of) ; Ealt, ealta^ ealtainn 
(flock)j ean (pi. in Ir., eanachaibh, eathaide, and eathaidh), ell 
(flock)j en, eun (pi. eunlaith), eunan-ar (prey), eun-uasal (rare or 
foreign), eun-uisge (water) ; Fairig (dead), faoghaideach, faoghalach 
faolach (carnivorous, prey), fideag (small), fion-eun (small), foirthir 
(passage) ; Gabhar (old), gall-eun (foreign), gearcach (nestling), 
gearcuig (brood), goillire, gramasgar (flock), grunnan (group of), 
gugarlach (useless), gur (brood), guraiceach (unfledged) ; lal, iall 
(flock), ian, iar, idhen (Corn.), isean (young) ; Lachar (large), 
lampar (unfledged). Ion ; Mionta (small — Old Ir.), mol (flock) ; 
Peacarach (prey — a sinner); Roisgean, ruisgean (unfledged); 
Scallachan, sgallachan (unfledged), sgaoigh, sgaoth (flock or rout 
of), sgugairneach (useless), stein (flock — Ir. for stuaidhean), 
stuaidh (flock or folk) ; Todhan, troghan, troghan (prey). 

Balchin, balching, batching, bolchin (unfledged), belcher, 
billy, brancher (young), bub (unfledged) ; Cricklet (weakest) ; 
Dicky, dickybird, dow-pig (last hatched — North), drift (a flock — 
North) ; Earock, eerock, eirack, erack, crock, erok, errack, errock, 
yearock (one-year old); Flaag (flock); Garb, garbel, gorb, gorbet, 
gorblet, gorblin, gorbling, gordlin, gorling (young), gobby (newly 
hatched), goes, goit (unfledged), golliii, gollock, golly, gorp, 
gullin ; Jeegler (unfledged) ; Ness-cock, nesslecock, nestcock 
(unfledged) ; Pelt (killed by a hawk) ; Quab, quiller (unfledged) ; 
Seamels (Shakespeare), squelch-bub (unfledged) ; Wache (flock 
of), werdie (weakest in brood). 

This word is said to be from Anglo-Saxon "Bridde," the 
young, the brood. In Gaelic " lal " is supposed to be " al," 
really "the thing bred," while a bird-skin is (in Old Ir.) 
Enchendaich or en-chennach ; the word " Eal-eun," a monstrous 
bird, is, according to Whitley Stokes, derived from "eallamh," 
wonder, astonishment, but this is not the meaning in Scottish 
Gaelic of that word either in Armstrong or Macleod and Dewar ; 
en-flaith is also given as "bird-realm," a blessed spot. 

A metrical list of birds as found in an MS. of the fifteenth 
century, now in the British Museum, may be of interest here : — 

'• To-day in the dawnyng 

I hyrde the fowles sing. 

The names of them it likyt me to myng — 

The parterigge, the fesant and the sterlyng, 

The quayle, and the goldefyng and the lapwyng. 

The thrusche, the maveys, and the wodewale, 

The jaye, the popinjaye, and the nyghtyngale, 

The notthache, the swallow, and the sernow, 

The chawze, the cucko, cocow, 

The rooke, the revyn, and the crow, 

Among all the fowles that maden gle, 

The rere-mouse and the owle could I not see. " 

The following are some terms for birds, etc., viz. : — A covey of 



23G BIRD 

partriclges ; a hide of pheasants ; a wisp of snipe ; a bevy of 
quails ; a flight or doyes of swallows ; a muster of peacocks (a 
most unlikely thing, as no two peacocks, like robins, can agree) ; 
a siege of herons ; a building of rooks ; a brood of grouse ; a 
plump of wildfowl ; a stand of plovers ; a cast of hawks ; a watch 
of nightingales; a clattering of choughs; and a flock of geese. 
In Revue Cellu/iic (Srub Brain), mention is made of Dubh-eala or 
aelt, black bird-flock or covey. 

We cannot refrain from giving a beautiful piece from our own 
(now the late) Loch Fine bard, Evan MacColl, who, writing in 
1898 from Toronto, says: "Even in midsummer )ou may roam 
through our Canadian woodlands for miles and miles together 
without hearing or seeing any bird whatever, a solitary crow or 
two perhaps excepted. Our boyhood's favourite search for birds' 
nests is an enjoyment utterly unknown to boys in this country. 
Oh for the blackbirds, the linnets, the thrushes, and the skylarks 
of my native Highlands !" Here we join issue. 

In verses entitled " Rannan breige," or lying lines, the 
following impossibilities are set forth: — 

Piob-mhor air an fhitheach The great bagpipe on the raven, 

'Us fiodhal air an rocas And a fiddle on the rook, 

Targaid air a bhuda-goc A targe upon the woodcock, 

'Us musgaid air na smeoraich. And muskets on the mavises. 

As formerly referred to, the birds once spoke only Gaelic, 
according to the saying, " Nuair a bha 'Ghaidhlig aig na h-eoin 's 
ann a bha linn an aigh." 

The age of joy (or prosperity) was when the birds spoke 
the Gaelic tongue. 

The following verses serve to exemplify this statement. 
They are by Ewen M^Lachlan, Aberdeen, the famous Gaelic 
scholar, and we have found them in Leabhar nan cnoc for 1834 : — 

CONALTRADH NAN EUN. 

'Nuair bha 'Ghaelig aig na h-eoin 

'S a thuigeadh iad gloir nan dan, 

Bu trie an conihradh sa 'choill 

Air iom' pone, ma's fior am Bard. 

Thainig pithaid luath na gleadhraich 

'S shuidh i air grod-mheur cosach fearna ; 

Bha 'chomhachag 'na gurach riabhach 

M'a coinneamh, gu ciallach, samhach 

(AI. M'a choinneamh co'chag a ghuib chruim 's a caog 
shuil donn 'na ceann mar airneag.) 

'N so dh'eirich a phitheid gu grad, 

'S thuirt i 's i 'stailceadh a buinn, 
*' An tusa sin a' d' mheall air stob, 
'Nuair a bhios air do shiod-cheann trora. 
Am hi do theanga 'ghnath fo ghlais 
'S tu gun luaidh air neach no ni, 
'S tu cho duinte ri seana chloich bhric 
A bhios air meall a chnaip gun bhrigh ? " 



BIRD 237 

♦' Bu-hu-hu, tha thu faoin." 
Ars' eun maol a mhothair choir, 

" Os mise tha fiosrach 's a chuis 

Fheudail ! 's beag- an tiir tha 'd ghloir, 

Cha bheus leamsa glige-glaige, 

Chaoidh chaghabh mi tlachd do'n luath-bheul, 

Labhraidh mi 'nuair chi mi feum air, 

'S cha choisinn mo bheul dhomh bruaidlein ; 

Ach 's trie each ort fein a magadh, 

'S a liuthad glug-mhearachd bristeach 

Thaomas le cladhaireachd fhocal 

O shior-chlabar guib gun tuigse ! " 
Bu greis (treis) dhoibh mar so chonnspoid (comhstri), 
A' gearr-bhearradh gloir a cheile— (al. gearradh-bearradh) 
Gus an do leuni a nuas an Glas-eun 
'S rinn esan gach beairt (cuis) a reiteach'. 

(Al. An sin dh' eirich Fir-eun nan gleus, 
A shiubhlas an speur gu luath, 
Sgrog e 'phiad air a cheann, 
'S dh' fhag e i gu fuar fann.) 
Air gach taobh 'nuair chual' e 'chuis 
Thuirt e riu le run gun chleth, 

" Ma's a fiach mo bhriathran eisdeachd 

So mar dheannainn fein duibh breth ; 

'S ioma barail tha 'measg sluaidh, 

'S toigh le cuid ni 's fuath le each, 

Pairt their direach na ni cuis 

'S cuid nach duraig sgur gu brath ; 

Tha am gu labhairt, 's am gu cleasachd. 

Am gu bron, 'us am gu h-abhachd ; 

'S Honmhor iad d'an ainm 'bhi tuigseach 

O'n tig mile focal cearbach, 

Corr' uair a mheasadh tu gorach 

Le tuille 's a choir de sheanachas, 

Neach g'am bi theanga fo smachd 

'S ainmig leis gu 'n gluais e lochd ; 

Saoilear gum bi an t-umaidh glic 

Nam b'eol da 'bhi trie na thosd." 

An English translation has not been found given of the above 
by any one : the following may be accepted : — 

THE COLLOQUY OF THE BIRDS. 

When the birds spoke the Gaelic tongue 

And understood the glory of song. 

Full oft their converse in the woods 

On many a point, unless the Bard is wrong. 

Down then came the noisy magpie 

And perched on a rotten branch of a hollow alder ; 

The owl like a speckled bunch 

Opposite her, sensible and silent. 

(Al. Opposite her the owl of the crooked beak, his blinking 
brown eye like sloe in his head.) 
Then up started quickly the magpie 
And said, while stamping her feet, 

" Art thou there in a heap on a thorn. 

While your silky head hangs heavy ? 

Is your tongue to be always locked 



238 BIRD 

Without mentioning any one or thing ? 

You're as close as an old j^rey stone. 

Which sapless on yonder knoll wc see." 
** Boo-hoo-hoo ! You're a fool ! " 
Said the bald bird of the kindly murmur. 

*' Tis I who am knowing in the case ; 

Dear and senseless is your chatter, 

I do not admire glig-clag, 

And never take pleasure in the hasty mouth. 

I will speak when I see 'tis necessary 

And my mouth won't bring me sorrow ; 

But others often mock you, 

While so many stupid mistakes 

Pour forth in the cowardly word 

Spoken flippantly by a senseless gab. " 
Awhile they thus colloquied or discussed. 
Criticising sharply each other's speech (or, cutting and 

slashing), 
Till down leapt (or alighted) the graybird. 
Who speedily settled each point or case. 

(Al. Then arose the ready true-bird 

That travels swiftly through the air ; 
He punched the magpie on the head. 
And left him cold and weak.) 
When he had heard all sides of the case. 
He said to them, with evident design, 

" If my words are worth listening to 

Thus would I do judgment among you : 

Many people, many opinions ; 

Some love what others hate. 

Some say sufficient for the purpose. 

Others hardly ever wish to stop ; 

There's a time for speech and a time for play, 

A time for sorrow and a time for joy ; 

Many are there who are thought intelligent. 

From whom come a thousand mistakes. 

Occasionally you'd think them daft. 

By the superfluity of their talk ; 

He who has his tongue under command 

Seldom causes any harm — 

The very fool may be thought wise 

If frequently he held his peace. " 

In the Duanaire we find the flying dragon ranked among 
birds apparently, as on page 164 occurs the line, " Bu tu an 
Dragon anns an ianlaith " — Thou wast (or art) the dragon in or 
among the feathered tribes. This may, however, mean that the 
party so apostrophised was as terrible among men as a winged 
dragon was among birds. 

Mr Carmichael, inter alia, gives one version of the St Kilda 
song of praise at the arrival there of the sea-birds, as follows : — 

Buidheachas dha 'n Ti, thainig na Thanks to The Being, the gannets 

gugachan have come, 

Thaine 's na h-eoin mhora cuide riu. Yes, and the great auks (birds) along 

with them. 

Na h-eoin air (iar) tighinn, cluinneara And the birds have come, glad sight 
ftn ceoL I see (I hear their music). 



BIRD 239 

Mr Carmichael translates freely ; he does not inform us how 
he makes out the "great birds" to be auks. It is possibly 
meant that the old or great gannets came with the young ones, 
or the "gugachan." 

"Nether Lochaber," in Scotsman of 31st March 1877, gives a 
translation of the St Kilda song, as heard by himself twenty-five 
years previously. In his letter therewith, he says, "The air, as 
I recollect it, was one of the saddest and eeriest I ever listened 
to afloat or ashore, the burden or refrain particularly being 
manifestly an imitation — and a very successful imitation, too — 
consciously or unconsciously, of the loud, discordant clamour of 
a flock of sea-fowl over a shoal of fish, which they are in haste 
to gorge themselves to repletion, as is their habit." 

The bird given as the "goillir or goillire" is described as a 
Lewis bird, which comes to land only in January, to nest. This 
is thought to mean the petrel by some. "The desperate battle 
of the birds," or "cath gailbheach nan eun," is the title of a 
tune by that famous piper Angus Mackay. 

Another kind of bird not generally known was called the 
" Togh-mall," or " slow-bird," and is referred to where Cuchullin 
is said to have slung a stone at Queen Meave, when he missed 
her, but killed the "togh-mall" which was resting on her 
shoulder. This " bird," howevir, is a squirrel ! An equally 
unknown bird, and one which must be referred to as possibly 
the largest known to our ancestors, is mentioned in Revue Celtique 
(Srub Brain) as having seven hand-lengths of a bill, and seven 
royal cubits round the neck, a thick body, and thick feet with 
which it swam the sea. According to one writer, W. J. Wintle, 
Great Britain possessed once at least two huge wingless birds, 
called (classically) the " Dasornis," remains of which have been 
found in the London Clay, and the " Gastornis," the bones of 
which were discovered in the neighbourhood of Croydon, England ; 
these monsters flourished, however, probably even before the 
advent of the Celt to Great Britain. 

The name or term " fitheach " is given to all wild or untamed 
birds, while "loin" is translated bird in Campbell's Tales, Vol. 
III., p. 76, but is more properly "wild swan." It is notable 
that when a bird dies or is killed, the eyelids close of their own 
accord. In the Chron. Scot., D. MacFirbis refers to a fearful 
destruction, in 1107, of nearly all the birds in Ireland by a 
heavy and prolonged snowstorm ; while we find a note to the 
Annals of the Four Masters saying that in 1335 the most part 
of the birds in Ireland died owing to the severity of the weather, 
heavy snowstorms, etc. Another deadly year to the "eathaide 
or eachaide" (though rendered generally birds of prey, is made, 
in the Book of Ballymote, to mean birds in general) was in 1434, 
owing to a twelve weeks' frost about Christmas. Another song, 
in addition to the one above referred to, of the St Kildians i^ 



240 BIRD 

" Oran na h-Irtich," or the St Kildians' Song, which has a chorus 
in imitation of the birds; see "(lesto" collection. Hirt or St 
Kilda is named indeed from the birds as " Hirt nan eun fionn," 
Hirt of the white birds, which, flesh, feathers, and oil, form a 
main staple of their existence. " Irt nan ian gonna," Hirt of 
the blue (green) birds, is another saying, supposed to refer to their 
appearance on the blue (green) sea. Birds' feathers from the first 
of time seem to have formtd the means for adornment of both 
sexes, though now mainly confined as a rule to the female sex. 

O'Reilly states that the " Tuigen," or toga of the ancient Celtic 
bards, was a most precious garment, and made not only of the 
feathers, but the skins of white and variously coloured birds, the 
girdle being of necks of drakes, and thence to the neck of their 
tufts. This cloak elsewhere is called " Taeidhean " or " Taighean." 

Saint Bridget is said to be the patron saint of birds, and 
the pied oyster-catcher (^.r.) is hence called Gille-Bride. As 
mentioned before, auguries were derived by the Romans from 
the birds ; in the book of the Cruithne or Picts, contained in the 
Irish Nennius, the Pagan Druids also derrved an augury from 
watching or listening to the voice of the birds, especially fortelling 
weather, at which " Nether Lochaber " was also an adept. A 
pretty and j)oetical expression for a calm being " Feath nan 
eun," the birds' calm, which is equivalent to "Feath geal," a 
white calm. Three birds in particular were called "Eoin shithe," 
or fairy birds, as of old, when migration was almost unknown, 
they were supposed to disappear mysteriously, hence they were 
held sacred ; these three were the clacharan or stonechat, the 
cuthag or cuckoo, and the trian-ri-trian or corncrake ; the 
clacharan was noticed first of the three, and it was thought 
more propitious to see it on the wing (a rarity) than standing 
on a stone — "Chunnaic mi 'n clacharan air cloich luim," I saw 
the stonechat on a bare stone, was one of several evil auguries. 

Numerous places, as is well known, are named in Giiaelic 
from birds; for instance. Tor or Torr nead 'n coin, the hill of 
the birds' nests, near Loch Ranza, Arran, is so called from 
ptarmigan having been once very plentiful there ; Slieve-da-en 
(Sliabh da eun), the mount of the two birds, noted in the Annals 
of the Four Masters for being the place where a certain hero 
called Congaloch was slain ; Loch-da-gliedh, if not the same, is 
close to above place ; a place in County Antrim was once 
called " Fidh-na-finnoige " (fiodh na feannaige), translated by 
O'Donovan in his able translation of the Annals, "The wood of 
the O'Finnocks," it may be rendered "the wood of the raven," 
from which bird of evil omen the O'Finnocks [)robably took 
their name ; the island called En say is the present Gaelic for 
"Bird island," from Gaelic "eun or en" and Norse " ey." The 
"crop" of a bird is sbrogaill, sgroban, or sprogan. As an 
instance of corruption gone mad, W. J. Watson gives, inter alia, 



BIRD 241 

"Pitnellies" (Tain) as meaning "Bail' an ianlaith," bird ste; d. 
All praise is due Mr Watson for his heroic and practical efforts 
to expose such insolent crudities. 

Gaelic names for plants, etc., have their bird origin like 
everything else. A kind of pea bears the name " Peasair (or pis) 
phreachain," the raven's bird-pea ; birds'-foot trefoil is " Barr-a- 
mhilsean " ; the sorrel is " Biadh-nan-eoinean," or birds' food ; in 
Irish, " Billeag nan eun," the leaflet of the birds ; the plant 
fenngreek, or greekhay, is said to be in Gaelic "crubh (or crudh) 
coin," birds' shoe. 

Sayings and superstitions are fairly numerous as regards birds, 
both in Gaelic and other languages. A rhyme or riddle used in 
Scotland and Ireland is : — 

" The bat, the bee, the butterflee, the cuckoo and the gowk. 
The heather-bleat, the mire-snipe ; how many birds is that f " 

Ans. : Two. Or, 
" The cuckoo and the gowk, the lavrock and the lark. 
The heather-bleat, the mire-snipe ; how many birds is that ?'* 
Ans. : Three. 
A bird flying into a house and over anyone's head is supposed 
to be a bad omen for that person ; it is unlucky also to bring 
birds' eggs into a dwelli?ig-house for preservation. If a bird 
is seen for the first time in a year on wing, 'tis a good sign ; and 
if flying towards one, it means a letter — this is modern. That 
birds are peculiarly the habitat of spirits, was an ancient Celtic 
belief. Birds, it may be remarked, dislike to perch on a lilac 
or fuchsia bush ; the former, at anyrate, is sticky. A trap for 
birds, as given in Old Irish, is termed "Airndel." In every 
brood of birds or fowls there is said to be a weakling or "shott." 
We give the following familiar saying, "out of place," as given 
by "Nether Lochaber" on 3rd March 1899, and in the 
Highlander of a subsequent date : — 

" Bid, bid, bidein, co chreach mo neadan? 
^ Ma 's e duine mor e, cuiridh mi 's a Ion e ; 

K Ma 's e duine beag e, cuiridh mi le creag e ; 

Ma 's e duin' e gun chiall gun naire, 
Fagaidh mi aig a mhathair fein e." 
" Bhid, bhid, bhidein, co chreach mo nidein ? 
Ma 's e duine mor e, cuiridh mi le tom e ; 
Ma 's e duine beag e, cuiridh mi le creag e ; 
Ma 's duine beag e gun chiall gun naire, 
Gu 'n gleidheadh Dia dha mhathair fhein e." 
The translation of the foregoing may be attempted as follows : — 

*' Tweet, tweet, tweetie, who robbed my nestie? 
If he be a big man, Fll cast him in a bog then ; 
If he be a little man, Fll cast him o'er a rock then ; 
If he be a man void of sense and shame, 
I'll leave him to his own mother at hame. " 
For "bog " read " hillock," and in last line, " May God preserve 
him for his own mother," in second version. 

Q 



242 BIRD 

A nursing song runs somewhat as follows : — 

*• Tha nead na feadaig ann an coill' an lagain ; 

Ni mo leanabh cadal, ajfus gheabh e 'n t-ian. 
Tha nead na h-uiscige aim am bun na h-ursainn ; 

Ni nio leanabh cadal, agus gheabh e n t-ian. 
Tha nead a chlacharain ann am bun a chloichearan ; 
Ni mo leanabh cadal, agus gheabh e 'n t-ian." 
The plover's nest is in the woody hollow ; 

Let baby sleep, and he'll get a bird. 
The lark's nest is at the door-post foot ; 

Let baby sleep, and he'll get a bird. 
The stonechat's nest is at foot of pavement ; 
Let baby sleep, and he'll get a bird. 

And so on, taking in various birds, etc. 

Though signs attached to seeing certain birds the first time 
of a year are referred to in most cases elsewhere, they may be 
given together as follows. These beliefs are said to hold good 
in the Highlands generally — if not in other places. 

Bird on the wing coming towards one. — A letter — generally 
good. 

Cock looking towards one. — An excellent sign. 

Crow. — A bad sign — death. 

Dove. — A good sign. 

Duck (wild). — A good sign. Ducks generally are good, 
especially for sailors, meaning safety from drowning. 

Raven. — Especially bad sign — death. 

Sparrow. — Not lucky, but blessed (foretells death of a child). 

Stonechat. — Untoward — "Rosadach." 

Night birds were supposed to be ominous, and capable of 
resisting witchcraft, which affected all other birds by causing 
them to forget their song. Lady Wilde tells us that, with the 
exception of the robin, birds are not trusted in Ireland. 

Some proverbs are : — 
Aithnichear eun air a h-itean. 

A bird is known by its feathers. Whether this means th, 
because of its feathers it is known to be a bird, or froi 
the style, etc., thereof what kind of bird it is, is ni 
certain. 

An uair a thig tionndadh (no atharrachadh) na h-aimsir, tillidh 
gach ian ri 'ealtuinn. 

When the change of season comes, each bird returns to his 
flock ; or. When the season changes, each bird returns or 
betakes itself to its kind. 
Bidh cas an coin ghoraich 's an ribe. 

The silly bird's foot will go into the snare. 
Bidh iteagan boidheach air na h-eoin tha fad' as. 

Far-away fowls (or birds) have fine feathers. 
Cha b'ann de na h-eoin thu mar bitheadh am bad ort. 
You wouldn't be of the birds if you hadn't the tuft. 



\ 



BIRD 243 

Cha ghlacar sean ian le moll no le cath. 

An old bird is not caught by chafF or bran^ i.e., husks. 
Cha luidh an t-ianach air aon gheug. 

Birds do not light only on one branch. 

Cha deanar seobhag na chlamhan, 
Cha deanar eala de'n rocas, 
Cha deanar faoilean de'n fhitheach 's 
Cha deanar pithean de Thomas. 

A hawk cannot become a kite. 

Nor yet a swan a rook ; 
A seagull is not raven like, 

Nor a magpie Thomas (Cook). 

Alasdair Macmhaighstir Alasdair. 

Cha 'n 'eil anns a choille nach bi greis 'n a bhantraich. 

There is no (bird) in the wood but is at times in widowhood. 
Cho beo ri eun. 

As live as a bird. 
Cho gorach ris na h-eoin. 

As thoughtless as the birds. Said of children by 7iice old 
people. 
Chuala mi gug-gug 's a chuan. 

I heard the birds cry out at sea. (See Nicolson's note to 
" Paisg mo chaibe/' etc.) 
Chuireadh e na h-eoin 'an crannaibh. 

He would make the birds go into trees. Sweet singing. 
(See Nicolson.) 
Druididh gach ian ri 'ealtuinn. 

Each bird draws to his own flock. (See " An uair a thig," etc.) 
Eoin a chuir do'n choille. 

Sending birds to the woods. Sending owls to Athens, etc. 
A work of supererogation in this country. 
Far am bi an-t-iasg, 's ann a bhios na h-eoin. 

Where the fish is, there the (sea) birds will be. 
Gach ian gu 'nead 's a shrabh na ghob. 

Each bird to its nest, with its straw in its beak. Signs of 
the season. 
Gach ian mar a dh' oileanar. 

Every bird according to his rearing. Applicable to more 
than birds. 
Ge beag an t-ubh thig ian as. 

Though the egg be small, a bird will come out of it. 
Ge don' an t-ian 's mios' an t-isean. 

Though bad the bird, the chicken is worse. Frequently 
exemplified in human beings. 
Is beo na h-eoin, ged nach seobhagan uil' iad. 

The birds live, though not all hawks. An encouragement to 
honest-minded men, though rough on some lawyers, etc. 



244 BIRD 

Is binn gach ian 'n a dhoire fliein. 

Sweet (sings) each bird in its own grove. 
Is binn guth an coin far am beirear. 

Sweet is a bird's voice where he was born. Even in a cage. 
Is fhearr aon ian 's an lainih na dha-dhiag air iteig. 

A bird in the hand is better than a dozen on the wing. 
Is iad na h-eoin acrach a's fhearr a ghleacas. 
The hungry birds fight best. This is a truism, and applies 
to more than birds. 
Is mairg a theid do'n traigh an uair a tha h-eoin fhein 'g a 
treigsinn. 

Pity him who goes to the shore when its own birds are 
forsaking it. Or, 
Is mairg a thaghlagh a chreag 's a h-eoin fein ga fagail. 

Pity him wlio visits the rock which its own birds are leaving. 
Where the birds fail, on land or sea, few will find any- 
thing worth. 
Is math na h-eoin far an gintear iad. 

The birds are good in their native place. So are men. 
This is genuinely Celtic. 
Is olc a chreag a threigeas a h-eoin fhein. 

It's a bad rock which its own (or the very) birds forsake. 
(This and some preceding proverbs point to strict ad- 
herence to localities by birds.) 
La Fheill Phadruig bidh nead anns gach coill. 

On St Patrick's day (17th March— O.S.) there will be a 
nest in every wood. 
Ma dh* fhalbh an t-ian, faodaidh a nead a dhol 'n a theine. 

If the bird be flown, the nest may burn. 
Ma dh' itheas tu cridh an eoin, bidh do chridh air chrith ri 
d'bheo. 

If you eat the bird's heart, your heart will palpitate for ever. 
A mode of warning against cruelty. 
Mu'n cailleadh e buileach na h-iteach (or an t-iteach) bheireadh 
an t-ian a bhiodh glic ris an t-snaimh. 

The wise bird will take to swimming before he lose the 
power of flying ; i.e., not to be beat. 
Na abair "diug " (no " Bid ") ris an ian gus an tig e as an ubh. 

Don't say " chuck " to the chick till it be out of the egg. 
Rinn e biadh ian deth. 

He made birds' food of him ; i.e., pounded him well. 
Sgugairneach no gugarluch de dh'ian deireadh Foghair, 
*s mairg a dh' fheith ri d' bhreith, 's a mhairt. 

Useless bird at harvest end, pity those who waited for your 
birth in March. Applied to people more in the way 
than useful. 
Talaidhidh, cataichidh no meallaidh am biadh an t-ian athair. 
Food will entice the bird from the sky. 



BIRD— BLACKBIRD 245 

Tha da ian bheag 's a choill' ud thall 's their an dara fear ris 
an fhear eile, " 'S toigh leam thu, 's toigh leam thu " ; 's their am 
fear eile, "Dearbh sin, dearbh sin." 

There are two little birds in yonder wood, and the one says 
to the other, " I like you, I like you " ; and the other 
says, " Prove it, prove it." This is bird-sound imitation, 
with moral annexed ! 
Thoir ian a nead glan. 

Take a bird out of a clean nest. This is important, and 
refers to the selection of a helpmate. 
Tri la lomaidh na h-eoin. 

Three days' stripping or destruction of the birds. (Borrowing 
days.) 

BITTERN. — Bonnamain, bonnan, buatham, bubaire, buinnean- 
leana, buirein, buiriche (the lowing one), bun, bunna, bunnan ; 
Corra-ghrain or ghrian, corra-bhub, corra-na-h-easgunn ; Graineag ; 
Punan ; Siteirnin, stearnal, steirneal ; Trodhan, troghan. 

Benter, beuter, bewter, bitore, bitter-bum, bittle-bump, bittor, 
bittore, bittour, bittour-bump, bleater, blitter, blutter, bog-bumper 
or jumper, bog-drum, bog-tyer, bogtour, bottle, bottle-bump, 
bull-o'-the-bog, bumble, bumpy-cors, buter, butour, buttal, butter, 
butter-bump, buttle, butture (A. S.) ; Gar-whonngler, glutton ; 
Heron-bluter, etc., hether-blutter ; Jipe; Mire-bumber or bumper, 
mire-snipe or drum, moss-bummer ; Pur ; Rare-dumle ; Sky-goat ; 
Wairbens. 

" Bittor " seems to be the root. The cry of this bird is 
described as "booming." 

BLACKBIRD.— Druid-dhubh, druid-mhonaidh, dubhan, duibh- 
eun ; Eun-dubh ; Lon, lonag, lonan, londubh ; Merg, mere ; 
Rear, rearg, reargag, reargagan, reasg. 

Amsel ; Blackdrish, blackie, blackmack, black thrush, black 
uzzle (Yorksh.), buntling ; Chacket ; Drostal ; Garden ousel or 
ouzel ; Melle (A. N.), mearle, merk, merle, moelbh (Old Brit.) ; 
Nosylle ; Ousel, ouselcock, ouzel, owsell ; Woofell. 

In a volume entitled Transactions of the Gaelic Society of 
Dublin, 1808, twelve verses of a song called "The Blackbird of 
the Grove of Carna," from "Oisin," translated by W. Leahy, are 
given. The first and last, as so translated, are as follow : — 

*• Hail, tuneful bird of sable wing. 
Thou warbler sweet of Carna's grove, 
Not lays more charming will I hear 
Tho' round the expansive earth I rove. 

"When lived brave Finn and all his chiefs, 
The heath did more the heroes please. 
Than church or bell they'd dearer deem 
The sable bird's melodious lays." 



246 RI.ArKRIRD 

Amonpj mucli viLu]»ci'.'iLivc abuse ami untruthful wriliu^ there, 
to which our readers are referred, the line in Ossian as given by 
Macpherson, Temora, page 292, rendered " The heart of the aged 
beats over thee," is said should be, " My heart leaping as a 
blackbird." 

In Lightfoot's Flora Scotica, notice is taken of a variety of 
blackbird about Killin with a black bill — may this not have been 
the female ? 

Like other birds, the blackbird has given names to places. 
In Ireland, for instance, we have " Coill-nan-Ion," the wood of the 
blackbirds, now " Kilnalun," near Donegal; the dative of "Ion" is 
*' lun " ; Lis-da-lon, the field (or garden) of the two blackbirds, now 
"Leesdalin," near Athlone. Such names might be multiplied 
indefinitely. In the quotation, " Gair choille loinche," the voice 
(or call) of the wood (full) of blackbirds, we have " loinche " as 
the genitive plural of "Ion." Lun dubh, Mac Sinola, blackbird, 
son of thrush, was the name of a certain Irish champion. The 
shape of a blackbird's eggs are described in an old Irish tale, 
where an ill-visaged youth's eyes are described as being " rounder 
than a blackbird's eggs." 

A reason alleged for the blackbird's beak being yellow, is 
because it has come down in the world, having been used to 
richer food or berries than the whortle-berry ; another reason is 
its having dug its beak into a mass of gold in an enchanted 
cave. 

A saying holds good to the effect that if the blackbird sings 
before Christmas (O.S.) she will cry before Candlemas ; when 
blackbird sings loud and clear, rain follows. A child's rhyme, 
in imitation of this bird's notes, runs somewhat as follows : 
" Bun a ghuib, air a ghuib, barr a ghuib, air a ghuib ; eun- 
dubh air an nead, sheinn an lon-dubh, eun dubh, ho, ho, 
gradh air na feadagan." 

The blackbird's notes, it will be noted, are more melancholy 
melodious than those of the mavis ; he is also a much more 
intimate friend of man, especially in winter. 

The saying "An lon-dubh, an lon-dubh spagach, thug mise 
dha coille fhasgach fheurach 's thug esan dhomh am monadh 
dubh fasach " — (The blackbird, the sprawling blackbird ! I 
gave him a sheltered grassy wood, and he gave me the black, 
desolate moor) — is supposed by some to refer to either the 
Roman or Scandinavian invader, or possibly to more modern 
invaders, say the Saxons, etc. 

The only proverbial saying secured is : — 
Tri la lomaidh an loin. 

Three days for fleecing the blackbird. (April borrowing 
days— O.S.) 

BLACKCAP (see Bunting). 



BLACKCOCK— BUNTING 247 

BLACKCOCK.— Coileach-dubh, cubaire. 

Aith-henne (female) ; Black-game, black-wrok ; Grey hen's 
son with the white belt ; Heath cock, heath powt (fem.) ; 
Ware cock. 

The flesh of the blackcock was, of old, called ^^ Searcoll " 
(searc fheoil), as we find Diarmad addressing Grainne as follows, 
who was doing a little cooking for him : — 

As maith do chuid a Ghrainne Good is your providing, O Grainne. 

Carna tuirc la taobh tire, A lump of boar (flesh) once on land 

Searcoll na gcoileach feadha side ; 

Le banna meadha mine. Sweet flesh of the wild cock, 

And smooth, creamy milk. 

It is hardly necessary we suppose to point out that the above 
is in Irish Gaelic. The translation is ours. 

A well known " Port-beoil," or mouth tune, is entitled 
" Ruidhleadh nan coileach-dubh," the reel or reeling of the 
blackcocks, which begins : — 

" Ruidhlidh na coilich dhubh 's dannsaidh na tunnagan, 
Ruidhlidh na coilich dhubh, suas am bruthach ard ud." 

Reel will the blackcocks, and dance the ducks will. 
Reel will the blackcocks, up yonder high brae. 

Aon de thriuir marbh a's boidh 'che air bith — coileach-dubh. 

One of the three prettiest dead — a blackcock. 
Is duilich an coileach-dubh a ghleidheadh bho 'n fhraoch. 
It is difficult to keep the blackcock from the heather. 
Applicable to genuine Celts or Highlanders. 
Rinn e coileach-dubh dheth. 

He made a blackcock of him. Shot him ! (See Nicolson's 
note hereto as to " Inverlochy.") 

BLUE-BONNET.— Currachd-shide- Silk-cap. 

BULLFL^^CH (see Finch). 

Buidhean, buidhean-coille, or na coille ; Corcan, corcan-coille, 
corcan-glas (green) ; Deargan, deargan-coille, deargan-fraoich ; 
Gealbhan-cuilinn. 

Alpe ; Billy-black-cap, black-cap, black-nob, blood-olp, bud- 
bird, bud-finch, bud-picker ; Coal or coaly-hood ; Hoop, hope ; 
Knob; Mawp, monk, mwope ; Nobe, nope; Olf; Plum-bird, 
plum-budder ; Pope ; Red-hoop ; Tawny, thick-bill, tonnihood, 
tonyhoop. 

BUNTlNG.^Bigean-sneachda (little-snow), buidheag-bheall- 
aidh or bhealluidh (yellow), buidheog (Ir.) ; Cean n-dubh-fraoich 
(reed) ; Eun-an-t-sneachdaidh (snow-bird), eun-ballach, or bollach- 
a-ghart or a-ghort (garden speckled bird) ; Geala-bigein, gealag- 
bhuachair, gealag dubh-cheannach (reed), gealag-loin, gealbhan- 



248 BUNTING— BUZZARD 

sgiboil (Ir.), more prop, barn-sparrow, gola-bhigein, gualach or 
gualachan (? gealach), white or snow one. 

Bentlark (corn), Bessy-blackcap, Billy-biter, black-bird, black- 
bonnet, black coaly-hood, black-headed bodkin or bunting (reed), 
brambling, briar bunting, bunt-lark, buntlin, buntling, buntling- 
lark, busli-lark ; Chink, cirl-bunting, coal-hoodie, coaly-hood, cock 
o' the North, common bunting, colin black-head, corn-bunting; 
Ebb ; Ghallie (gealaidli — snow) ; Horn-bill, hornbill-bunting, horse- 
lark ; Lark-bunting ; Moss-sparrow (reed), mountain-bunting ; 
North-cock ; Oat-bird or fowl ; Pied-finch ; Redwing, reed-bunting, 
reed-sparrow, ring-bird or fowl, ring-bunting ; Skite (yellow), 
skitter broltie or brottie (Orkney), snaa-fool, snaw-fowl, snow- 
bird, snow-bunting, snow-flake, snow-fleek, snow-flight, spang, 
sparrow, spear; Tawny bunting, thistle-cock, thristle-cock (Ir.), 
toad-snatcher ; Water-sparrow, white lark, white-winged lark 
Yeldie, yeldring, yella-yorlin, yellow bunting, yellow-hammer, 
yite. 

From Gaelic " Bun," lit. a stumpy bird. 

The black-cap bunting does not put in an appearance until 
the month of May has begun, nearly a month later than most 
migratory birds. The song is little inferior to that of the 
nightingale, for which it has often been mistaken. 

BUSTARD (see also Curlew). — Coileach-Turcach fiadhaich. 

Avis tarda ; Bistard, botor ; Gustard ; Little bustard ; Thick- 
kneed bustard. 

This bird, as well as the bittern, are extinct in most places 
where once they were plentiful ; this is owing to the increase in 
population. 

BUTCHER-BIRD (see Shrike). 

BUZZARD (see also Hawk). — Armhaidhe, armhuigh ; Beal 
bhan, beilbhean-ruadh, bleidir, bleidire, bleidir-riabhach (honey 
b.), bleidir-tonach or molach (rough-legged, large-hipped, or 
hunchy) ; Clamhan (kite), clamhan-gobhlach (fork-tailed), clamh- 
an-riabhach (honey b.), crom-riabhach ; Finnean, finneun ; Gearr- 
chlamhan, gilm ; Parr or para-riabhach (honey b.), preachan-gearr ; 
Searrach-ruadh, stannaire. 

Bald kite, bee buzzard, bee hawk, bisette, bissarte, bog-gled, 
brown buzzard or hawk, buzzard hawk ; Capped buzzard, common 
buzzard ; Dunpickle (North) ; Falcon ; Glade, glead, gled, gos- 
hawk, grey Peter (honey) ; Hen-harrier, honey buzzard, honey- 
kite ; Kite ; Moor buzzard ; Puddock, puttock ; Rough-legged 
buzzard or falcon ; Sorner. 

The number of buzzards destroyed in Glengarry in three years, 
1837-1840, amounted to 700. 

Bums says, " There is Satan's picture, like a buzzard gled." 



CANARY— CAPERCAILZIE 249 



c 



CANARY.— Canairi. 



CAPERCAILZIE. — Aur-coille ; Cabar, capar^ caper, capull- 
coille, caprioc, coileach-coille. 

Cock of the mountain ; Great cock of the wood, great grouse ; 
Mountain cock ; Wood-grouse. 

The following interesting variations in the appellation of this 
noble bird are as follow: — Auercalze, aueicailye (Burt, 1754); this 
word is akin to "abhair" or "aiver,*' a horse — for size and 
strength, so also '^capull," etc. ; Caiper-caillie, capercailye 
(Bellenden, 1553); capercalye and capercalyeane (Jameson, 1808- 
1825), capercailles (Chron. of Scotd., (1436), (1813),) capercaillie 
(King James VI., 1617), capercaile (Foster, 1817), capercaly, caper- 
caillie (Blaine), capercali (Lloyd, Game Birds of Stveden), caper- 
cally and caperkally (Newton — Encyc. Brit. — quoting Pennant), 
capercalze (Bishop Leslie, 1675-1758; also in Scots Acts, Jas. VI., 
1621), caperkalzeis, capercailzie (MacGillivray), cobber-kelly 
(Burt, 1754 — as if from cflA«r), capercaleg (Sir R. Gordon, (1630) 
(1813),) capricalca (Sibbald), capercayllie (Gregor on Game-Laws, 
1837), capircalyeane (Dunbar's poems, before 1520), capercoilzie 
(Travellers Guide, 1798); Horse-cock; Urugallus fcemina, hen of 
the wood or mountain (F. Willoughby, 1676), urugallus major 
(J. Rutty, 1772), urogallus tetrao major aldrov, Fcemina grygallus 
major, Gesu et Aberovando dicitur (Sibbald, Scotia illustrata') ; 
Celiog coed (Anc. Brit.). 

The following explanation of this bird, obtained by Harvie 
Brown from eminent Celtic scholars, gives all that is supposed to 
be necessary: — 

Dr Maclachlan, Edinburgh, says : " Cabhar," pronounced 
"cavar," means, according to our dictionaries, a hawk or old bird. 
It is not at all unlikely that it is the word spelled Capar. There 
is a similar word used in the name for a snipe — Gabhar-athar, 
thought by some to mean the goat of the air, from its bleating 
note; but it is a masc. noun, and "gabhar," a goat, is fem. I 
therefore lean to the idea that both in cabhar-athar and Cahhar- 
coille — the one being the bird of the air, and the other the bird of the 
ivoods — the original term is Cabhar. Caber-coille is the orthography 
which comes nearest to the original. The M^ord " cabhar " is not 
one in common use, and we are indebted for its meaning to our 
dictionaries, except in so far as it may enter into the formation of 
words like Capercoille. The Latin senex, so far as I apprehend, 
comes nearest to the meaning of "old" in cabhar, not antiquus. 
There is a playful way of applying such words to the formation 
of names in Gaelic. For example, Bodach is an old man, and 
Bodach-ruadh, the red old mati, is the rock cod. Cailleach is an 



250 CAPERCAILZIE 

old woman ; anil CuiUeacli-oidhcJie, the old icoman of the nig/il, is llu 
owl. I think the Cab/tar in this case is similarly applied. Prof. 
Newton says Cahhar, an old man, by metaphor an old bird, whicii 
is the acceptation of Dr Maclachlan's meaning = the old bird of 
the wood, the capercaillie. 

On the other hand, not a few Gaelic scholars consider that 
capercaillie is derived from "Capull," a horse — see capel, capell, 
caples ; Chaucer, line 170; vide Bayley's Did. Brit. = cabal I us, 
or more correctly a mare. Capull is a masc. noun, but at the 
present day is limited to a viare, and coille, a rcood. This reading 
gives " horse of the woods." In Argyllshire and Lochaber the 
bird is still known by the name " capull-coille." So also it is 
considered by several correspondents who are good Gaelic scholars. 
Amongst others, the Rev. Alexander Stewart of Nether Lochaber 
says: It is called "horse of the woods," because of its size, 
strength, and beauty, as compared with other wood birds. The 
word " cajipull-coille " is found in Gaelic songs at the beginning of 
the nineteenth century. The Rev. Lachlan Shaw, in his history of 
Province of Moray (1775), also assigns this derivation: "Properly 
in Erse, Capal-coille, i.e., the wood-horse, being the chief fowl of 
the woods." In Strathearn, in the south of Perthshire, where 
native Gaelic is now almost extinct (1879), the name still lingers 
in this form. The first author of a Gaelic dictionary — McDonald, 
an Argyll man — thus renders it, and all subsequent authors of 
Gaelic dictionaries do so likewise. Mr D. Mackinnon, now (1899) 
Professor of Gaelic in Edinburgh University, who has most 
kindly taken great trouble in this connection, looked up all the 
Gaelic diets, accessible, and informs me that all without exception 
give " capuU-coille," none have caper, cabar, or cabhar. The first 
Gaelic diet., Mr Mackinnon says, was written by McDonald, an 
Argyll man, in 1741. Shaw, a native of Arran, prepared the 
next diet., and published it in 1780. Two small diets, were 
published in the latter part of the century by two xMacfarlanes. 
In the nineteenth century our two standard diets. — Armstrong's, a 
Saxon domiciled in Perth, and the Highland Society's, prepared 
by scholars from all parts of the country — were published in 1825 
and 1828 respectively. There followed these : Macleod and 
Dewar's, two clergymen from different parts of the country ; 
McAlpine's, an Islay man ; and McEachan's, a Roman Catholic 
priest, who spent his life, or the greater part of it, in Braemar. 
The only Irish diet. I (D. Mackinnon) turned up has "CapuU- 
coille," quoted from Shaw. In the Scoto-Irish dictionai*y given in 
Llhuyd's Arch. Brit., the word does not appear. 

Besides the above, Jamieson's Scottish Dictionary has "caper- 
cailye," as compounded of Gaelic cabar, a branch, and caolach, 
acock — from Bellenden, the Scotch translator of Boece, who gives, 
"Gaelic Caolach; C. B. Kelliog; Corn. KuUiog; Arm. Kuliog ; 
Irish Kyleach, a cock," by which another element of confusion 



CAPERCAILZIE— CHIFFCHAFF 251 

is introduced. Cabar also means an eminence, or the mountain, 
which may have led writers astray in talking of the capercaillie 
as specially "inhabiting mountains " (Burt, Ray, etc.). .fenyns gets 
out of the difficulty by saying "mountain forests" (it is presumed 
he uses "forests" in the usual sense, and not that of a "forest 
or chase "). 

We are not yet done with combinations, as we have " capuU- 
caolach/' horse-cock ; and Yarrel, British Birds, 1st edition, seems 
inclined to entertain this view, and finds parallels in "horse- 
mackerel, horse-fly (?), horse-leech (?)." 

The Lochnell Bard sung : "Bu tu capullcoille na giubhsaich." 
The capercailzie is of wide distribution in continental Europe, 
and reintroduced only lately on a small scale to North Britain 
from Scandinavian stock. A full-grown male bird is nearly three 
feet in length — with wings expanded, four feet ; the weight, ten 
to fifteen pounds ; the bill a light colour, and very strong ; on each 
eye there is a naked skin of bright red — bright scarlet at pairing 
season ; the feathers on the head and throat are darker than 
those on the body, having, as well as the back and wings, elegant 
transverse dark markings ; the breast is black, with a tinge of 
glossy green. The hen is much smaller, much lighter, and almost 
totally different. (See also Lays of the Deer Forest, by the Sobieski 
Stuarts, Vol. II., p. 467, et seq.) 

CAPON. — Caban, cabon, coileach-spodhta, cuUach-coilich. 

Long-tailed capon ; tailed farmer, tailed mag. Etymology is 
from " cap " or " skap," to cut. 

CHAFFINCH (see also Finch). 

Breacan-beatha or beithe, breac-an t-sil, bricean, bricein ; 
Uiseag-a-chath. 

Apple-bird, apple-sheely ; Beech-finch, boldie, brichtie, brisk- 
finch, briskie, buck-finch, bully, bullspink ; Caffincher, chaffie, 
charbob, chawdy, chic (Banff), chink, chink-chink, chink-chaffey, 
chivy, copperfinch ; Dad-finch, daffinch, dap-finch ; Horse finch ; 
Maze finch ; Pea finch, pied finch, pine finch, pink, pinkety, 
pink-twink ; Roberd, robinet ; Scobby, sheelfa, sheely, shelldapple, 
shilfa, shilfaw, shilfey, shilfy, shoulfall, snabby, spink ; Tree lintie ; 
Wet bird, wheated bird, white finch, whitewing. 

So called, it is supposed, from its delight in chaff. Cowper 
devotes no less than twenty-nine verses to a pair that built their 
nest in a ship's block. 

CHICKEN (see Hen). 

CHIFFCHAFF.— Caifean, caifein, caifin. 

Bank-bottle, bank-jug; Chatterer, chip-chop, choice-an'-cheap 



252 COCK— CORMORANT 

or cheep, cock-haiinel (house — Hulcet); Least willow wren, lesser 
petty-chaps; Peggy; Sally-picker, saugh-j)icker ; Thummie ; 
Willow-picker, wood-chatterer. 

COCK (see Hen). — Coileach, coileach-otraigh, etc. (see Gaelic- 
Eng. part) ; Dreimrie (Ir.) ; Fuidsidh (fugo), craven ; Gall ; 
Sioltaiche, smogairneach, spogairneach. 

Cockerel, coystril ; Leerie, etc. 

COCKATRICE.— Nathair-nimh-sgiathach ; Righ-nathair ; Suil- 
mhlalair, suil-mhala-righ. 

Basilisk ; Cock-a-christ. 

A cockatrice or cockatrix is said to be generated from a 
seven-year-old cock's egg hatched. Hence all cocks should be 
killed before they attain that age. 

COOT. — Cearc-cheannan, cutag ; Darcan, dubh-lach ; Eun- 
snaimhidh or snaxnhta; Uiseag-mhara, uiseag bhreac na mara. 

Bald-coot, bald-duck, bald-powt, beld-cytte, bell-kite, bel-poot, 
black diver; Drink-a-penuy ; Gallinule, green-footed gallinule ; 
Hawkie ; Queet, queit, quiet ; Smyth-cute, stank-hen ; Water- 
craw, water-hen, whistling-duck, white-faced diver, moor-hen, 
marsh-hen, coot. 

From Gaelic "cutach," short, stumpy, etc. A. S. Cote. 

As bald, or as mad as a coot, is a familiar saying. Bums 
apostrophises this bird as the "wanton coot." 

CORMORANT. — Balaire or ballaire-bodhain, bothain or 
boain (white-breasted), braigheall or broigheal (large white- 
breasted), broighioll (Ir.), bun or buna-bhuachaill ; Cailleach 
dhubh (Shag), collaire-bothainn, buthainn or boain ; Fitheach- 
fairge or mara, fleigire ; Gairg, gairgeann, gairgear ; Learg ; 
Mial-bhran, mona or muna-bhuachaill, mor-bhran, muir-bhran, 
muir-bhuachaill ; Odharag, odhra, odhrag, odhra-sgairneach, orag 
(young) ; Peata, peata-odhar ; Sgarbh, sgarbh-buill, sgarbh-a- 
bhothain or bhuthain, sgarbh-an-uchd-ghil, sgarbh-an-sgumain, 
sgaireag (young). 

Black cormorant, brongie or brougie (young), bump, butter- 
bump ; Church-warden, coal or cole-goose, cormoral, corvorant, 
cowe-en-elder (Coven or Colvend), crane, crawn, crested cormorant, 
crue ; Gorkerel, gormaw, gormer, goulmaw, gramma w, great 
cormorant, green cormorant, green scout ; Isle-o'-Wight parson ; 
Kren, krean, kron ; Leering, loering (adult), lile-scart ; Mochrum 
elder; Scaraf, scarf, scarp, scart, scarth, scarve, scout, serath, 
seratt, scurrie, sea crow or raven, shag ; Tufted scart or skart ; 
White-headed cormorant, white-spot cormorant, wool-cottar. 

The term " Ballaire," etc., is obviously from the word, "ball," 






CORMORANT— CORNCRAIK 253 

a spot. " Bump " is said to be like the sound the young utter, 
being the cry or "eronan-nan-sgarbh." 

This bird is not good eating, unless white-feathered more or 
less. Creag-an-sgairbh, or Failte mhic Iain Stuibhart, Stewart 
of Appin's salute — a very old pibroch — their war-cry, i.e., Castle 
Stalker (Stalcaire), castle of the falconer. The cormorant passes 
through three stages of existence : in the first year it is called 
a scart, for seven years a speckled hen, and for seven more at 
least a cormorant, or scarbh learg and ballaire-bodhain. It is a 
greedy glutton and is referred to frequently in many works, but 
never favourably, from the Holy Scriptures, Milton, etc., onward. 
As above mentioned, the white-feathered are edible ; even in soup 
the flesh is available, but it must be buried in the earth for three 
days at least. The shag or green cormorant is among the most 
wary of the species, while the fat of all in the young enable them 
to be burnt, with a wick drawn though their bodies, like a candle, 
though the flavour is somewhat trying in a small, close room. An 
English saying is, " As wet as a shag." The very name of the 
bird exemplifies greed ; and the exactions of a '^ Tigherna mor," 
or his factor's in his name, have frequently been compared to one. 

Names of places are: — "Scarba," which means scarf (or scart) 
ey or island — Cormorant isle ; Sgeir nan sgarbh, or skart skerry, is 
just two Norse words put together — Celtic fashion. In County 
Sligo, Ireland, an island in a loch there is called " Sgairbh innsi an 
fhraoich," the cormorant of the heather island. Irish writers trans- 
late the word " sgairbh " as " scarriff," which signifies a shallow ford. 

A "monster " slain by St Gilbert at Dornoch was transformed 
into a cormorant. 

Trod nam ban mu'n sgarbh, 's an sgarbh a muigh air an loch. 
The scolding of the wives about the scart, and the scart out 
on the loch. Female folly — unreasoning. 
Biodh gach fear a toirt sgairbh a creagan dha fhein. 

Let every one take scarts out of rocks for himself. (See 
note by Nicolson.) Scarts are not sought for in rocks. 

CORNCRAIK (see also Rail). 

Cearrsach ; Dreaun ; Ean or eun-rap ; Garra-gart or gartan, 
garra-gort ; Traghna, traineach, traon, traona, treanaire, treona, 
treubhna, treun, treun-ri-treun, trian-ri-trian, troghna, troghnadh. 

Bean-cracker or crake, ben-crake ; Corn-crek, corn-drake, 
cornscrack, cornscraich, crack, cracker, craker ; Daker, daker-hen, 
dawker, draken, draker, draker-hen; Gallwell-drake (Gallinule ?), 
gorse-duck-, grass-drake ; Landhen, landrail ; Meadow-drake ; 
Night-crow, nyght-crake (A. S.). 

A comical and absurd belief existed that when uttering its 
notes the corn-crake does so lying on its back, otherwise the 
heavens would fall. This may have arisen from the fact that it 



254 CORNCRAIK— CRANE 

simulates death in this position admirably, and is most difficult 
even to see, let alone catch. The present compiler has been 
twice fortunate enough to catch one. The following letter as to 
the Carolina crake in Tiree is worth recording : — 

SiK, — It may interest your readers to know that when out snipe-shooting 
in Tiree — one of the Inner Hebrides — with my brother-in-law, Mr F. Guinnis, 
on 25th October last, I shot a specimen of " Porzana Carolina." The bird is 
apparently a young one, having fully completed its first autumn moult, and 
was extremely fat. As far as I can determine, this is the third authentic 
record of the occurrence of the Carolina crake within the British Islands. 
The first was killed near Newbury in 1864, and was exhibited by Professor 
Newton at a meeting of the Zoological Society, on February 14, 186.5. 

In Tha Birds of Glamorgan {\i. 113), a second specimen is mentioned as 
having been caught alive by a boy at the Low Water Pier, Cardiff, in the 
spring of 1888. A third specimen of the Carolina crake was recorded in the 
Field of December 4, 1897. Two birds came on board the yacht Varnpa in 
long. 55° W., lat. 20° N. ; one of them taking food, finally reached England 
alivfe. As the last-mentioned bird was captured near the American coast 
and brought by the vessel to England, it can hardly be considered a true 
British example of the species. 

The Carolina crake is a near relative of the porizana maruetta of Great 
Britain, but it is easily distinguished from that species at all ages by the 
absence of the buff colour on the inner secondaries, which is a very 
conspicuous feature in the spotted crake. 

I see no reason why the Carolina crake should not occasionally occur in 
the British Islands, and the Tiree individual was doubtless blown out of its 
line of migration by one of the heavy gales of last October. — I am, etc., 

1902. E. L. Philii»s. 

If heard frequently uttering its rasping note, rain may shortly 
be expected. In the North it is considered a blessed bird, and 
supposed to lie torpid in winter, even to live under the water ! 
Another belief being that after it begins to sing (?), all danger of 
frost injuring crops thought to be past. 

COULTERNEB (see also Puffin). 

Albanaich ; Buthaigear, buthraigear ; Calcach, colcach, colcair, 
colcair-cheannach, colgach, colgaire, conntrachan, conntraigh- 
eachan, comhdachan ; Fachach, faobach ; Gob-a-choltair ; 
Seumas-ruadh. 

CRANE (see also Heron.) 

Bonnan-buidhe, bonnan-liona ; Corr, coireisg (Ir.), corra, curr ; 
Garan, guis, gru (Old Etr. Celt.) — Cran (A. S.) ; Pipion (young— 
Hulcet). 

Said to be from the call, " gair," of the bird gar or gair-aon ; 
a far root being gra, gera, cry. " Gar," a word said to signify 
"shank," is adduced as a good root for "garan." 

It is often known as the long-craigit heron or crane, longie- 
crane or creke, also Jenny-crane. 

In the appendix to Celtic Alban, an interesting instance in the 
life of St Columba, where the verses occur in which the crane 



CRANE 255 

figures as the form into which a queen and her handmaid were 
turned, viz. : — 

" ' Thou hast leave to be a crane ' (heron), 
Said the cleric furiously — 
'As just punishment to thy handmaid 
She'll be a crane along with thee. ' 
Aedh's wife and her waiting maid 
They live still and make complaint — 
The two old herons of Drum Ceta. " 

Cranes are not numerous in the Highlands, though often 
referred to in old writings, from the Holy Scriptures downwards. 
It is — or was — considered a favourite "tit-bit" by gastronomic 
epicures. 

The following is a rhyme, port-beoil or mouth chant, to which 
iider midta alia Highlanders, in the absence of pipes, etc., danced 
in the days of yore. 

" Fhuair mi nead na corra-dhubh 
Ann an cull na moine 

(Repeat twice — spiritedly) 
Agus nead na fithich 
An cridhe nead na smeoraich." 

The above is sung to a tune to which " Cawdor Fair " is similar. 

In reference to above, a still more primitive substitute, which 
was resorted to by our cheery dance-loving forefathers and mothers, 
was an indifferent form of " cainntireachd," vulgarly termed in the 
Lowlands "doodling." To those who, like them, had so acute an 
ear for music, little sufficed to set and keep them going. 

The term "corracha-margaidh " is said to mean what is now 
known as "jailbird," i.e., market herons, birds, or people which 
or who haunt markets or places where they are likely to pick up 
something, or find employment. A tale comes from our Irish 
brother Celts of a lonely crane that was reputed to be "one of 
the wonders." This bird has lived on the island of Inis-Kea, 
Co. Mayo, since the beginning of the world, and will live there till 
the day of judgment. Further accounts state this bird to be an 
enchanted human being, doing penance. 

Cameron gives "Crob " or " crobh-preachain " as the Gaelic for 
the cranebill, the claw of any ravenous or rapacious bird. The 
bitter vetch in Gaelic is " Cairmeal," from "corr" or "corra," a 
crane, and "meilg," a pod, meaning the crane's pod or pea. In 
Welsh, Pys y garanod, crane's peas, "garan," a crane. 

Of a very deaf person it is said, "Cha chluinn e glaodhaich 
nan corr " — He can't hear the cranes cry. Another proverb is — 

" Ghoideadh e 'n t-ubh bho 'n chorr, 's a chorr fliein 'na 
dheireadh." 

He would steal the egg from the crane, and the crane 
herself at his heels. A proof of extra sharpness. 

We have also another proverb or saying exemplifying patience, 



256 CREEPER— CROW 

or lasgach na curra. The crane's fishing ; — a whole clay spent 
watching her chance is nothing to her. Of a gaping wound in 
one's body is said, Shnamhadh na corran roimh d' chneas. The 
cranes would swim on (or before or through) thy breast or waist. 

The Irish word or name for crane, " Cas-crefoy," is said to 
mean "foot in the mud" ; possibly "cas ere fo." 

CREEPER. — Meanglan ; Snag, snaigear, streapach. 

Bark-speiler, brown-woodpecker; Creep-tree, cuddy; Nettle- 
creeper ; Tomtit, tree-climber or s])eiler, tree clipper ; White- 
throat, woodpecker. 

See Dr Macdonald's "Gesto" collection for "Thig an Snag 
anns a cheitein." 

CROSSBILL. — Cam or cama-ghob; Deargan - giubhais ; 
Trasdan. 

Chipper; Parrot-crossbill; Sheld-apple, shell-apple; White- 
wing-crossbill. 

The legend of the crossbill and our Saviour is given by Long- 
fellow. Abroad, numerous beliefs and superstitions attach to 
this bird. 

CROW. — Badb, badh, badh-catha (witch-form), bodh (royston 
or scald), bran-orgain (Ir.), bran-eun (carrion) ; Cabhag, cabhog, 
cadhag, cathag or cuthag-dhearg-chasach (red-legged), cluimh- 
ealta, cnaimheach, craimbeach, creumhach (Argyllshire), corn- 
eun (hooded), corrog (Scald — Connemara), crairdeach, cruifechta 
(carrion), cruimheach ; Duben (Dubh-eun), duis ; Feannag, 
feannag-fireach (forest), fionnag, fionnog (Ir.), fuince, fuinche ; 
Gairm-fliitheach, garrach, garrag (young) ; Lochd-fitheach ; 
Macha (royston) ; Neabhan, neamhan (flock of) ; Preachan, 
preachanach, preachan-chearc ; Rocas, rocais, rocis, rocuis, rocus, 
rocas dhear-chasach (chough) ; Sionnach (Dean of Lismore), 
starrag (hooded) ; Teathra (royston). 

Black-crow (carrion), black-neb, black-nebbed craw, bran, 
brancher (young), bunting-crow (hooded) ; Car, car-crow, carener, 
earner, carrion-crow, cawdy-mawdy (hooded), ces (A. S.), chough, 
corbie, corbie-crow, corbin, corby, Cornish crow, Cornwall kae, 
era, craa, craik, craike, crake, craw, creak, cruke ; Danish crow 
(carrion), daup, dawp, dob, dope, doup, doupe, dowp or dowp- 
crow, dun-crow (hooded) ; Flesh-crow ; Gawby, gaw-crow^, ger- 
crow, gerg, girg, giblich (unfledged), gor, gore or goring-crow 
(carrion), grey-backed crow, grey crow ; Harry Dutchman or 
Leuchman, heady-crow, heedie, heddy, heedy, hiddie ; hoddy, 
hoodie, hoodie-craw, hoody, buddy, hunting-crow ; Kaa, kelp 
(young — Cumb.), Kentish crow, ket, killigrew (chough), kraa, 
krake, kro (hooded); Land-daw; Lethy-craw ; Market-jew crow, 
middin-craw ; Northern or Norway crow ; Praheen (hen crow — 



CROW 257 

Ir.) ; Rook, royston crow, royston Dick, ruik ; Scald (or scall) crow, 
scalte-crow, scaulte-crouw, Scremerston crow. 

The etymology is said to be from '' Gar," to call ; while 
"rook" is from " rocas," "roc," signifying to crow hoarsely ; also 
supposed from Su. Gothic or Ancient Swedish, "Kraka." The 
Irish term, "duben," is just dubh eun, black, dark or sombre 
bird ; "loc-fiach" (Lochd-fitheach), the evil or mischievous crow — 
the royston crow ; elsewhere (Book of Lecan) it is translated 
"crow-talk." The word "macha" seems given to the bird 
individually and collectively; also, strange to say, it is used as 
the name for a milking-place, probably from " magh," a field or 
plain. The royston crow in Irish is badh, etc., baobh, a wizard, 
etc.; though now signifying differently, it also signifies "rage," 
fury, or violence, even lunacy, and in this sense the word 
ultimately came to be applied to a wild fairy or goddess, repre- 
sented by the scare-scald or royston crow, which was said to rule 
over carnage and battlefields, which were styled " Macha's fruit- 
crop." In the Isle of Skye, the word "baobh" is applied to a 
mischievous fool. Joyce, in his place-names, gives several deriva- 
tions from this word badh or hav — names derived from it being 
Bovan or Bavan, badhadh-dhun ; Badhbha is the name of an island 
mentioned in the Four Masters, now called " Innis Badhbhan," 
the island of Badhbh — see Joyce, Here, as elsewhere, names of 
places are hardly recognisable, so miserable is the state of 
corruption to which those ignorant of their country's language 
have reduced the pronunciation — " Knocknaveenie," for instance, 
is hardly recognisable as meaning " Cnoc na feannaig." The rook 
has been named " frugilegus," or corn-gatherer ; while " Ket-craw " 
is from " Ket," filth, etc. ; and " Lethy-craw " from " Lethy," nasty, 
filthy. 

The hoodie-crow says in Gaelic "Gorach, gorach," silly, silly; 
but the crow is said to have twenty-seven different cries, each 
distinctly referable to a different action ; " Feannag Hath na gnad- 
ranaich," the chattering or croaking of the royston crow, or, the 
royston crow of the nasty crying or croaking. So when a " Mol- 
macha," or flock of crows, is about, the confusion of sounds is 
striking. Crows, or rather rooks, are said to begin nesting on the 
first Sabbath of March ; but this from experience does not hold 
good ; certainly they begin very soon after the first of March, N. S. 
At Glengarry, from Whitsunday 1837 to Whitsunday 1840, no less 
than 1431 hooded or carrion crows were destroyed; but this does 
not come near the slaughter for one year in Norway and Sweden, 
when more than 125,000 crowds and magpies fell victims to the 
mistaken zeal of the State. The ashes of a burnt crow are said 
to be a good cure for gout, etc. ; how taken, unless in a potion, it 
is not said. The chough, or red-legged crow, is now almost extinct 
in the Highlands of Scotland. The hooded crow is considered 



258 CROW 

even more objectionable than the ordinary carrion crow : all is 
fish that comes to his net, on mountain, plain, or shore; a peculiar 
and sa«jacious habit of his in the latter locality being the raising 
of shellfish and crabs in his beak or talons some distance into the 
air, and letting them drop on a stone or rock for the purpose of 
getting at the contents : they are particularly partial to the crogan 
or large periwinkle, which is hence called " crogan-feannaig." 'J'he 
carrion-crow lays five eggs: its name, "gor-crow," is from "gor" 
or " gaor," filth, etc. A childish idea has gained some currency, viz., 
that the "crows' parliament," so called, is systematically held by 
these birds for pronouncing judgment and punishing or executing 
a victim or victims for certain misdemeanours ; this is not the case, 
the birds only gathering for company's sake. 

" The gale (or guile), the Gordon, and the hoodie-craw are the 
three worst things that Moray ever saw," is a well-known saying. 
The gale or guile is thought by some to be the wild thyme, but 
more correctly the marigold, which, where plentiful, betokens 
light soil. The Gordons were the special plunderers of the 
district. The crow, according to Celtic belief, cannot be put to 
shame ; for when the lapwing says, " I never saw your like for 
stealing eggs," he answers, "Nor did we ourselves, tho' 'tis we 
who are older." The royston or hoodie-crow (feannag) plays a 
prominent part in folk-lore tales such as have been collected by 
Campbell, who describes it as a "sly, familiar, knowing bird." 
The following is one of many : — 

AN FHEANNAG A' TEAGASG THE CROW TEACHING ITS 

A' CHORRACHDAIN. CHICK. 

Thoisich an fheannag air teagasg The hoodie-crow began to Leach 

a' ghorrachdain 's thuirt i ris, "Ma its chick, and she said to it : "If you 

chi thu fear a tighinn agus stichd see a man coming, and a thin stick 

chaol 'na asgaill agus ceann leathann 'neath his arm, and a broad end on 

oirre, teich ; 'se gunna bhios ann ; it, fly, it will be a gun ; he will be 

bidh e del ga d' mharbhadh. Ma going to kill you. If you see one 

chi thu fear a tighinn agus e to^^ail coming and lifting a stone, 'tis for 

doirneig, 's ann 'ga togail a dhol the purpose of killing you he lifts it, 

go d' mharbhadh-sa bhitheas e; fly. If you see a man coming without 

teich. Ma chi thu fear a tighinn anything, and walking upright, and 

lom, direach, 's gun ni sam bith 'na nothing 'neath his arm, and not 

asgaill, 's gun e cromadh, cha ruig bending, you need not move; that 

thu leas carachadh ; cha bhoin am man will not touch you." "What," 

fear sin duit " Gu de," ars an said the chick, " if the stone be in 

gorrachdan, " ma bhios a' chlach 'na his pocket?" " Oh," said the crow, 

phoca ? " " O," ars' an fheannag, " I need not teach you any more." 
cha ruig mise leas a bhi ga d' 
ionnsachadh na 's fhaide." 

The Crowberry in Gaelic is " Lus-na-feannaig," also written 
fionnag, fiannag, fiadhag ; also "caor'-feannaig,'' etc. 

The proverbial sayings in reference to this "knowing" bird 
are fairly numerous ; some are : — 



CROW 259 

An taobh a theid an fheannag bheir i 'feaman leatha. 

Wherever the crow goes, she'll take her tail with her. 
Bheireadh e a suilean nam feannag e. 

He would take it from (beneath) the crow's eyes. 
Bidh bean-mhuinntir aig an fheannaig a 's t-Fhoghair. 

The crow has a maid-servant in autumn. Said of people 
who keep more servants than they need, as in autumn the 
hardest of the work is usually past. 
Cha bhi sinn 'g a innseadh do na feannagan. 

We won't tell it to the crows. 
Cha dhochainn blionach an fheannaig. 

Carrion won't hurt a crow. Said of those who can eat 

anything, or to whom nothing comes amiss — a useful 

faculty in hard times. 

Chaidh an fheannag gus an traigh 's mharbh i portan, 's mar 

bhi mhuir Ian, mharbh i seachd dhiubh ; chuir i 'cas air an tigh 

mor 's cas air a chaisteal, etc. 

The crow (hoodie) went to the shore and killed a partan, 
and had it not been full tide she would have killed seven; 
she placed her one foot on the great house, and the 
other on the castle, etc. This is also found in connection 
with the seagull, and is not very clear as to meaning, 
except as an expression of the freedom of the bird. 
Cha tig olc a teine ach ubh glas na feannaig. 

Nothing evil will come out of the fire but the crow's grey egg. 
Al. Ach feoil na glas fheannaig. The grey crow's flesh. 
(See note hereto by Nicolson.) 

Fag, fag ! thuirt an flieannag, 's i mo nighean a' gharrag dhonn. 

" Go, go ! " said the crow, " that brown chick is my child." 
Foighnich sin dhe na feannagan. — Or, 
Foignich dhe na feannagan e. 

Ask that (or it) of the crows. Said of the impossible. 
Gorach, gorach ! ars' an fheannag, 's e mo mhacs' an garrach 
gorm. 

"Groch, groch ! " says the crow^, "that blue-black chick's my 
son." 
Gheibheadh tu na feannag >in-firich. 

You would find the forest-crows. Almost an impracticable 
thing. 
Is ann deireadh an la a ni an fheannag a mhuin. 

It is in the evening the crow makes water. 
Is boidheach (no is toigh) leis an fheannaig a gorm garrach 
fhein. 

The crow thinks her own blue-black chick a beauty. (" Gorm " 
is rendered " ghastly " by Nicolson.) 
Is caraid (no dithis) dhuinn sin, mar a thuirt an fheannag ri 
'casan. 

That's a pair (or two) to us, as the crow said to her feet. 



260 CROW— CUCKOO 

Na creid feannag na fitheach, is ann mar is toil le Dia a bhios 
ail la — no bidh an la mar is toil le Dia. 

Believe neither crow nor raven ; as God wills, the day will be. 
Good Christianity ; — a set-off against the old Roman and 
Druidical beliefs and practices as to bird prophecies, 
auguries, etc. 

CUCKOO. — Caoi, caolag-riabhach, coi, cuach, or a chuach, 
cuachag, cuag, cubhag, cumhag, cuthag. 

Cuccu (A. S.); Gacc, gail, gale, gawk, gawky (North), geac, 
golk, goo-goo, goo-koo, gouckoo, gowk, gowkoo, gowk-coo, guch, 
guck, guckaw ; Kocok, kuckuc ; Welch-ambassador ; Zeke (A. S.). 

So called from its cry, though the Lowland term '*gouk" is 
given to it because it repeats a single note. The term "zeke" 
has for its first letter a character often printed Z, but it is not so, 
being an old early English character, with more of the sound of G, 
being like this latter letter upside down. Volumes almost might 
be written on this familiar visitor, which so cunningly leaves its 
young to be brought up by deputy. All Highlanders love this 
bird, which feeling is not shared in by all other races, especially 
some of the continental ones. Various are the nests in which 
naturalists and others allege this bird lays itf? eggs in : those of the 
hedge-sparrow, red-breast, white throat, red-start, willow-warbler, 
pied wagtail, meadow-pipit, skylark, yellow-hammer, chaffinch, 
greenfinch, and linnet. These of the sparrow, pied wagtail, and 
meadow-pipit being most frequently selected, the latter even 
taking its name from the cuckoo as its most constant companion. 
Allegations have been made that the cuckoo lays only one egg, 
but it is believed to lay several, though only one in each nest 
selected — (see an interesting article, written in good Gaelic, by 
"Bodachan a gharaidh," Highland Neios, October 31, 1903). 

This bird has been called " eun sith," or fairy bird, because it 
was believed to have its winter dwelling under-ground instead 
of migrating. The time of its arrival and being heard in this 
country is recorded in various works on natural history ; it has 
been heard on the moor of Rannoch as early as 10th February, 
and in Appin on the 11th. In the Edinburgh Dispatch of 6th 
March 1902, the cuckoo was reported as having been heard in 
Windsor Great Park, England, during that week. It is said to 
leave Uist on St Peter's day (29th June). In reference to this, 
the following lines may be given : — 

*' Thig fochunn, thig feur, bidh bainn' aig an spreidh 

Theid am minnein do'n bheinn, bristidh duilleach nan geug, 
Goiridh an ianlaith gu leir, theid an earrach fo gheiU 
'S a bhealltuinn bhuig sheamh mu'n goir a chuthag. " 

Braird will come, grass will come, cows will have their milk. 
The kidlings to the mount will go, the leaves burst from the twigs, 
All birds will break forth into song, the spring its homage yield ; 
On soft and mild Midsummer's Day, the cuckoo is afield. 



CUCKOO 261 

But the beginning of May is usually associated with its arrival, 
or being seen and heard ; at this season there are often cold 
blasts from the north, which are said to be called " Glas fhiontachd 
na cuach," the heavy storm of the cuckoo, or glas fhionnarachd na 
cuthaige, the grey cold of the cuckoo, now in June ; and from the 
East the expression "glasadh na cubhaige/' or "ullamhachd na 
cubhaige/' means just the dawn or the dark turning to grey when 
the cuckoo prepares to chant, which it does right early and late, 
as if being so short a time with us, it was desirous of making the 
most of its time : it even sings or chants when on the wing, 
which no other bird does. Despite this, strange to relate, owing 
to its peculiar and erratic flight, it has not only been mistaken but 
shot for a hawk by gamekeepers, the belief even going so far as 
the cuckoo being called the "hawk-bird," a sad misnomer. 

The mere assertion (in a poem) that this bird said " gug, gug," 
cost a man his life, which had been promised him on condition 
of his composing a poem in which there would not be a single 
truthful statement. A portion of this poem has been discovered, 
by a famous and indefatigable Celtic - lore scholar, " Iain," as 
further referred to under Article " Lark," the fatal lines being : — 

'* A chuthag is gug gug aice 'si toirt nan sul a caorich." 

The " Song of Lies," or " Oran nam breug," before referred to, 
is partly as follows : — 

" Fhuair mi nead na liath-chirce 
Air barr na tuinne fiadhaich, 
Bha 'n ron glas a' dol do 'n iarmailt 
Agus cliabh air bac a ghaoirdean. 

Tha cumha 'n deigh do ghaoil orra 

Tha mulad mor as d' aonais 

Tha cumha 'n deigh do ghaoil orm. 
Chunnaic mi na sgaireagan 
A sior dheanamh bhuntata dhuinn, 
'S dreathain-donn 's da ramh aige 
'Cur bata 'n aghaidh gaoithe. 

Tha cumha, etc. 
Chunnaic mi na cudaigean 
A' sniomh air an cuid chuigealan, 
'S a chorra-ghriobhach 's buideal aice 
'Falbh air cuideachd dhaoine. 

Tha cumha, etc. 
Chunnaic mi na donnagan 
A' falbh 'us eallaich chonnaidh orr'. 
An fhaochag as an tomadaich 
A' falbh 'us dronnag fhraoich oirr'. 

Tha cumha, etc. 
Chunnaic mi na h-easgannan 
A' danns' air an lar fhasgnaidh, 
'Us a ghuilbneach agus bat' aice 
S i 'cur a steach nan caorach. 

Tha cumha," etc. 



262 CUCKOO 

Which bein<T translated, is to the following effect : — 

I found the nest of the heather hen 

On the top of the stormy waves ; 

While high in the skies rose the red-grey seal. 

And a creel on her back so bare. 

For love of thee I'm sad to-day, 

I'm sad for thee and lonely. 

For love of thee I'm sad to-day. 
I saw the little kittiwakes 
Our potatoes industriously till. 
While the little brown wren with a pair of oars 
'Gainst the wind a boat did pull. 

For love, etc. 
I also observed the young coalfish 
Their distaffs busily ply. 

While the eleujant crane strode along with men 
With a cask for those who were dry. 

For love, etc. 
I saw each slippery Httle brown fish 
With a burden of faggots of fir. 
And on her clumsy shell the buckie as well 
Bore a load of mountain heather. 

For love, etc. 
On the winnowing-floor the eels uprose 
And danced on the tips of their tails. 
While the crooked curlew, with a staff and haloo, 
Drove the sheep to the fold without fail. 

For love, etc. 

To give even a reference to the many Gaelic and Highland 
songs wherein the cuckoo is more or less made a theme of, or at 
least referred to, is impossible, so the attempt is not made ; it is 
notable, however, that, in his dire love-sick distress, William Ross, 
who is perhaps the sweetest and most graceful of our numerous 
Highland bards or minstrels, it was to the cuckoo of the grove 
he addressed himself for sympathetic relief, saying : — 

' ' A chuachag nan craobh nach truagh 
leat mo chaoidh 
Ag osnaich ri oidhch' cheothar," etc. 

O cuckoo of the grove, don't you hear how I mourn 
And sigh on this dull misty evening, etc. 

One Logan, who lived after 1748 in the South, was said to 
have composed an ode to the cuckoo, which might have been 
passed over with the mere reference were it not that it was 
translated into Gaelic by " Caraid nan Gaidheal " ; it will be found 
in the "Teachdaire Gaelach," for May 1829. There are only seven 
verses, one of which we quote ; — the real composer, however, 
settled after a long correspondence, was Michael Bruce. 

Do choillse ! coin nam buadh tha Sweet bird ! thy bower is ever green, 

gorm. Thy sky is ever clear. 

Do speur do gnath tha blath. Thou hast no sorrow in thy song, 
Mulad cha 'n *eil a chaoidh ad dhan No winter in thy year. 

No gearahradh ann ad thra. 



CUCKOO 263 

A song similar to foregoing contains the following verses : — 

A chuthag gorm, a chuthag gorm O blue cuckoo, O blue cuckoo ! 

Tha ioghnadh orm gu dearbh Indeed I truly wonder 

Mur 'eil thu subhach air gach am If not joyful you always are 

'S an Samhradh leat a falbh, As with you goes the summer ; 

Cha 'n aithne dhuits' droch shid' gu You really know not weather bad, 

beachd Nor snow nor winter stormy. 

No sneachd no Geamhradh garbh, For May day calm you always have 

Gir tha thu 'n Ceitein ciuin do And pleasant times inherit. 

ghnath 
'S air aghmhorachd an sealbh. 

A beautiful poem by Principal Shairp, entitled "The clearing 
of the Glens/' opens with the lines : — 

" When from copse and crag and summit 
Comes the cuckoo's lonely cry, 
Down the glen from morn to midnight 
Sounding, warm fine days are nigh. " 

In the popular imagination, so connected with fairyland was 
the cuckoo, the very name was in a sense taboo. When referred to, 
it was deemed discreet not to speak of it by its proper name of 
" cuag," but circumlocutorily and euphemistically rather, as "ian 
glas a cheitein," the grey bird of early summertide ; even at 
the present day the mysterious bird is frequently referred to by 
the same roundabout designation, so says Nether Lochaber, May 
18, 1894. 

A cuckoo heard calling from a house-top or chimney (luidheir), 
presages death to one of the inmates within the year ; though it is 
said to be lucky to hear its cry from the right-hand side. In Ireland, 
a cuckoo always appears to a certain family before a death in that 
family. Medical and plant lore in regard to the cuckoo is not 
wanting, for we read that the Jimus of a cuckoo decocted in wine 
is a cure for the bite of a rabid dog ; while Cameron, in his Gaelic 
names of plants, etc., says the Gaelic name for the cuckoo-flower 
or lady's-smock is " Plur-na-cubhaig ; " the ragged robin, " Currachd- 
na-cubhaig," the cuckoo's hood ; corncockle, " Brog-na-cubhaig," 
the cuckoo's shoe, also sometimes " Curachd-na-cubhaig " ; bog- 
violet is also "Brog-na-cubhaig," or cuthaioc, as is the cowslip 
and blue-bell or wild hyacinth ; wake-robin, or in Old Eng. 
cuckoo's pint, is in Irish " Gachar gaoicin cuthaidh " ; while 
pansy or heart's-ease is in Gaelic " Spog-na-cubhaig," the cuckoo's 
claw ; sorrel or sourag is called in Welsh "Suran y gog," cuckoo's 
sorrel or sourag. An English saying is : " Cuckoo in May sings 
all the day ; cuckoo in June changes his tune ; cuckoo in July, 
prepared to fly ; cuckoo in August, go he must." Note the gender 
here. 

A chuir a ruith na cubhaig, no air gnothach na cuthaig. 

On the cuckoo or the gowk's errand. Sending any one to 
chase the cuckoo. April fool. 



264 CUCKOO— CURLEW 

Chuala mi chubhag ^un bhiadh 'am bhroinn. 

1 heard the euckoo while fasting. A portent of misfortune 
for that year. 
Cho clomhach ris a chuthag. 

As full of itch as the cuckoo. This is thought to be a 
mistake, and that it should be, Cho cloimhtach, etc. (as 
downy or featliery). 
Gach eun mar oilear ars' a chubhag a' dol san deantag. 

Every bird as he has been reared, as the cuckoo said as she 
went into the nettles. 
Gheabh thu e 'n uair a gheabh thu nead na cubhaig. 

You'll get it when you find the cuckoo's nest ; i.e., Never. 
"Gug, gug," ars' a chubhag, latha buidhe bealltuinn. 

"Coo, coo," says the cuckoo on yellow May-day. (Nicolson 
says the cuckoo is seldom heard so early now; but see 
as given above, as to this.) 
Guth na cubhaig 'am bial na cathaig. 

The cuckoo's voice in the jackdaw's mouth ; i.e., sweet words 
from a known knave. 
La Fheill-Eoin a's t-Samhradh, theid a chubhag gu 'tigh 
geamhraidh. 

On St John's day in summer, the cuckoo goes to her winter 
home — 24th June. 
Luath no mall g'an tig an Maigh thig a chubhag. 

Late or early as May comes, so coines the cuckoo. 
'Nuair a ghoireas (no a ghairmeas) a chubhag air an sgitheach 
lorn, diol (no reic) do bho, a's ceannaich arbhar. 

When the cuckoo calls on the bare thorn. 
Sell your cow and buy corn. 

CURLEW (also Godwit, Whaup, and Whimbrel). — Colman 
cathaich or cathaidh (?), cranntach, crithane (Ir.), crith-eun, 
crotach, crotach-mara or mhara, crotag, cruiteach-mara or mhara, 
crutach (Ir.), curliun (Ir.) ; Golbhinear, guilbeann, guilbinn, 
guilbneach, guilneach ; Roid or ruid-guilbneach (stunted). 

Awp ; Bavvdy-mawdy, bustard ; Curlew-help ; Godwit, great 
plover, great whaup ; Hoop ; Jack cureew ; Knot ; Little whap or 
whaup (lesser) ; Quhaip, quhaup ; Norfolk plover ; Stock whap 
or whaup (larger), stone curlew, stone plover ; Thick-knee or 
kneed ; Whaap, whaup, wheep, whimbrel, whitterick, whoop. 

So called from its cry. 

Kill a curlew, a wild goose, and a heron, and I'll ca' you a 
hunter, is obviously derived from the Gaelic proverb, or equivalent 
saying. This is from the extreme caution, wariness, and sagacity 
of all the above three birds. 

Burns wrote: "I never hear the loud solitary whistle of the 
curlew on a summer noon, or the wild mixing cadence of a troop 



CURLEW— DIVER 265 

of grey plover in an autumnal morning, without feeling an 
elevation of soul like the enthusiasm of devotional poetry." 

The Irish name for this bird, " crithane," or the shaker, is 
derived from the shaky manner in which the curlew walks ; crith 
signifying to shake, to tremble. A Scottish saying is, " A curlew, 
be she white or be she black, carries tenpence on her back" — 
probably the old value. 

Is sealgair mhath a mharbhas guilbneach. 
He's a good hunter who kills a curlew. 



DIPPER (see also Kingfisher). — Bogachan, bog-an-lochan ; 
Gobhachan uisge, gobha dubh nan allt, gobha uisge ; Tumair. 

Ducker ; Ess-cock ; Heather-cu r.-dunk, herald duck ; Peggie, 
piet ; River-pie ; VV^ater blackbird, water cockie, water colly, 
water crake, water craw or crow, water ouzel, water Peggie, 
water piet, water thrush. 

This bird has been graphically described as a "big black 
wren with a white bib." 

DIVER. — Brollach-botbain (Great Northern), bun-bunna, bur, 
fur, mona, muna, or muir-bhuachaill (Northern, or speckled) ; 
Crann-lach ; Dubh-eun, dubh-shnamhaiche ; Eun-glas-an-sgadain 
(Great Northern); Faoileag bheag, fiach or fitheach-mara ; Gairg, 
gairgeann, gairgear, gallan-curra (Ir.), gearradh-breac ; Lachadair, 
lachaire, learga, lumhair, lumhaire ; Paslaghadh ; Tumachan, 
tumaire. 

Allan hawk, aminer, arran-ake (red-throated), arsfoot ; Bishop, 
bishop-carara, black-throated loon or diver, bonnivochil, burrian ; 
Cobble ; Dab or dap-chick, didapper, didnapper, dive-dipper, dob- 
chucker, dokare (A. S.), dopper-bird, doukar, dowpar, duckar; 
Ember, emmer, emmer-goose ; Galrush, greatest speckled diver, 
great northern diver, gunner ; Holland hawk, holy carara ; Iraber 
diver (Ir.), immer, immer goose ; Lion, loon, lumme ; Mag, maak ; 
Naak, northern diver ; Oilan auk ; Rain goose, red-throated 
burrian or diver, ring-necked loon ; Scoter, sea-pigeon, sprat borer, 
sprat loon, spratoon ; Willie-fisher. 

This beautiful sea-bird sometimes attains a weight of sixteen 
pounds. Its fat is said to be a good cure for sciatica. The name 
Mur-bhuachaill, or sea-herd, is from its giving warning of a coming 
storm. They are never found washed ashore dead like other 
sea-birds after a storm, and never leave the sea for the fiercest 
weather. Their cry sounds like " haoo5," and, when gorged, 



266 DIVER— DOVE 

float listlessly and in a most ungainly manner. They never use 
their wings under water, as do guillemots, auks, puffins, etc. 
The monks of old paid this bird special notice, and dubbed it 
" Bishop." The black-throated diver's cry is said to sound, in 
Gaelic, " Deoch, deoch, deoch 's an loch a' traghadh," drink, drink, 
drink, the loch is ebbing. 

DOTTEREL (see Snipe).— Amadan-mointich. 

DOVE. — Caidhean (turtle), calaman, calaman-coille (ring), 
calaman-fiadhaich (or fiadh-cholum), calaman gorm, calaman-nan- 
creag (rock), calaman-mara, calaman-tuchan, caiman, calman- 
cathaidh (moulting), ciad-cholum (Ir.), colgan, colm, colman, 
colman-coille, colman-gobhlach (fantail), colum, columan, colum- 
creige; Duradan; Eidhion ; Faran, fearan (turtle), fearan-breac ; 
Gearrcach, grib-cholum (feather-footed), guragag, guragan ; Smud, 
smudan (ring, etc.) ; Turtur. 

Blue-dove (rock), bush-dove; Cheeter (young), cod-pigeon 
(rough), commonack, coo-me-doo or door (turtle), cooscot, covloor, 
cowprise, cowshots, erooding-doo, crowde-doo, cruchet (wood), 
culfre, culver, culvere (A. S. and Devon), cuscote (white-backed), 
cush, cusha, cusha-dove, cushat, cushie-doo, cushot ; Doo, dow, 
douffe (Lydgate), dowve (A. S.), duffer (cross-bred), duffy-doo; 
Pejon (Lydgate), pigeon, pud-dow, puddie-doo ; Quease, queest, 
quest, quice (Glouc), quist, quoist ; Ring-dove, rock-dove ; Sea- 
j)igeon, sod (rock), stock-dove, stok-dowe (wood), stoke-dowef 
(A. S.) ; Timmer-doo, turtle, turtle-dove, turtour, turture ; Wood- 
dove or pigeon, wood quest, etc., wrekin, wudu-culfre, etc. (A. S.) ; 
Yron ; Zoo-zoo. 

The name "pigeon" is from Latin pipire, to peep; "turtle," 
from Latin turtur, imitative of the note. The ring-dove is sup- 
posed to say — in some English-speaking localities only — three 
times, " I do love you, dear Katie " ; and that it finishes with, " I 
zvill love you, dear Katie — Yes." There are numerous names or 
terms for doves given by their breeders and fanciers which are 
not given here. Caiman or columan is said to be calm eun, the 
brave bird. There be many different kinds of this brave bird not 
known to or named by our Celtic forefathers, and this is no place 
for referring further to them than to say that the flight of the 
dove was noted of old as now, though not noted statistically ; as, 
for instance, we find it now recorded that the carrier pigeon flies 
at the rate of 88 feet 6 in. per second. 

A famous Celtic writer, who flourished, or at least existed, ii 
1498 — Macmanus — is described in an obituary notice of that date as| 
" a dove in purity of heart, and a turtle in chastity," or, an colui 
an gloine cridhe, agus an turtur an ionraca. 

In that sweetest of songs by William Ross, " Brughaicheai 
Ghlinne-Braon," as given in the " Gesto " collection of Gaelic airs 



DOVE— DUCK 267 

the following verse occurs : ^' Anns a choill' am bi 'q smudan^ 's 
e gu binn a' seinn ceol duinn, cuach a's smeorach 'g ar dusgadh, 
'cuir na smuid dhiu le faoilt'." To quote here even a tithe of the 
Gaelic songs or verses in which the dove is referred to, would be 
out of place entirely. It is a good omen to see a pigeon the first 
thing of a morning, though it is considered unlucky to stuff beds 
or pillows, even partly, with pigeon's feathers. A flock of doves is 
called a " dule," a word signifying their moan or moaning sounds, 
while a dove-cot is dukit or dukate. It is believed in some places 
that pigeons hatch two eggs only, whence a male and female bird 
emerge, that always go through life together lovingly. The ring- 
dove, at anyrate, lays two pure white eggs. Medical cures are 
attributed to the flesh of a dove, one being as a cure for dysentery, 
another for paralysis and tremors ; also that a live pigeon, cut up 
the back, and applied to the soles of the feet, is beneficial in the 
case of malignant fever. Cameron, in his Gaelic names for plants, 
etc., gives the Gaelic name for Columbine as " Lus-a-cholumain," 
the dove's plant ; in Irish, " lusan colam," pigeon's flower. 

Cha 'n ann de mo chuideachd thu (repeated), ars' an caiman. 
You are not of my flock, said the dove. In Gaelic, the above 
sounds like the cooing of a dove. 
Gob a chalmain-chathaidh, bidh tu slan mu 'm pos thu. 

Beak of the moulting dove, you'll be well before you marry. 
(See Nicolson's note hereto.) 

A moulting dove is likely to be sick at that time, and utter 
more mournful notes than usual. The word " cathaidh " might 
also be from "cath," which, inter alia, means "fan," and that "fan- 
tail " is meant. 

Mar is airde theid an caiman 's ann is doch' an t-seobhag 
breith air. 

The higher the dove goes, the likelier is the hawk to catch it. 

DRAKE (see Duck). — Bardal ; Cra or cradhgheadh (shell), 
creagag ; Rac ; Tunnag fhirionn. 

From Rick, reiki, regal, i.e., lord of the duck, or duck-king. 

DUCK. — Buchthuinn, buchuinn (melodious) ; Cadhan (wild) ; 
Calcach, etc. (puffin), cathal or cathail (the long-tailed waller), cra 
or cradh-gheadh (shell), crann or crion lach or lacha (little, wild), 
currachag (tufted) ; Eun bhuchail (waller) ; Gaill-chearc, giurnag 
(barnacle — Ir.), giurnan, gob-leathann, graineag (wild); Lach, 
lacha, lacha fiadhan (Ir.) ; Rioglachan (wild); Siolta (teal); Tuinn 
(ducklings), tunnag, etc. 

Aened (A. S.), African teal, atteal, attile-duck (pochard) ; 
Banjo-bill, bay-duck (shell), black, black-and-white poker (tufted), 
black diver (Scoter), black wigeon, broad-billed scaup duck, 
burrow duck ; Calaw, caloo (long-tailed), castaneous duck, coal-an'- 



268 DUCK— DUNLIN 

can'le - liclit, col-can'le-wick, coldie, colk, common scoter, covie 
(scHup), cudberdiice or cuthbert-duok (Northumb.), curr, currie 
(jrolden-eyed) ; Daak, darcell (lon^-tailed), dawk, deauk, deawk, 
dewk, diddle, dig, dig-brid, diggey (young — Lane), dock, dokeling, 
dook, dooke, double scoter, douck, douk, dowk, drake, dug, duik, 
duk, duke ; Eider (Scand.), enede (A. S.) ; Ferruginous duck or 
scaup duck ; Golden-eye, golden-eyed garrot, gowdy, great-billed 
scoter ; Harlan (pintail), harlecjuin, harlequin garrot ; Long-tailed 
duck, long-tailed liareld ; Mallard, merganser; Nortluin haerald 
or herald, myroca duck or pochard ; Pied wigeon, pintail, pochard ; 
Quinck, quink ; Red duck ; Scaup, scaup duck, scoter, sheldrake, 
shoveller, spoonbill, Steller's duck, surf-duck or scoter ; Teal, tufted 
duck, tufted scaup ; Velvet duck, velvet scoter ; Western duck, 
wheetlie, whistler, white-eyed duck, white-faced duck, whiteside 
(tufted), white-winged black duck, wigeon. 

The giurnan or bernicle duck (or goose) is well known to have 
been once thought hatched from a shell which adhered closely to 
logs, etc. The power of adhesion is so great as to give rise to a 
saying that they grow on the heels of lazy slatterns or slovens. 
The saying indeed has been used by a Gaelic Skye bard, who sung, 
" 'S gun do dh'fhas na giurnainean air cul do chois. Ho raill o," etc. 
An epithet for wild duck is "linneach," probably from being a loch 
or linn frequenter. 

Ducks are considered blessed, from having once concealed Jesus 
under straw when He was being pursued by His enemies, and was 
taking refuge. 

The wild duck is common all over the Highlands of Scotland, 
and is frequently referred to in Celtic prose and poetry. In " Miann 
a bhaird aosda" occurs, "Bidh tuinn og a'snamh le sunnd" — 
Young ducks swim joyously. The scaup duck is said to be plentiful 
in or on Loch Dochart. A dance, once in vogue, was called 
"Turraban nan tunnag," or the waddling of the ducks, which must 
have been rather an ungainly dance. It is lucky to see a wild duck 
(lach), and that especially for sailors, the first day of the new year — 
or, indeed, as the first bird of a morning — in the case of sailors 
about to proceed on a voyage ; such ensures safety from drowning. 

According to Cameron, duck-weed in Gaelic is " gran-lachan," 
the duck's rose or flower ; and " aran-tunnag," ducks' bread, food, 
or meat; " Lachaceann-ruadh " is said to mean the herb celandine. 

Cha chudthrom air loch an lach. 

The wild duck burdens not the loch. 
Cho buidhe ri cois tunnaig. 

As yellow as a duck's foot. Applied to the complexion ! 
Is e miann na lach an loch air nach bi i. 

The duck's desire is the water (loch) where she's not. 
DUNLIN. — Gille-feadag, grailleag, graillig ; Pollairean, 
pollaran; Scraillig; Tarmachan-traghaid. 



I 



DUNLIN— EAGLE 269 

Black-breasted sandpiper, bundie (Orkney) ; Churr-cock ; 
Dorbie; Ebb-sleeper; Jack-snipe; Mud-bird; Ox-bird, ox-eye; 
Pickerel, pigmy curlew, pigmy sandpiper, plover's page, purre ; 
Red-backed sandpiper ; Sand-mouse, sea-lark, sea-mouse, sea-peck, 
sea-snipe, shore jitarmigan, sleeper, stint, summer snipe. 

This, the smallest of sandpipers, changes suddenly from 
silvery grey to black. The Gaelic name, signifying "Mud one," 
is expressive. 



EAGLE. — Aar, acuil, aguil (Ir.), antar (an t-ar) (Old Etrusc.) ; 
Ferain, fiolair, fior-eun, fireun ; lolair, iolair riabhach or riomhach, 
iolrach (Jr.), etc. (see Gaelic-English part) ; Sorn, suil-na-greine. 

Alcyone, arn (A. S.) ; Black e. ; Cinereous e., clicksie ; Eagless 
(fem. — Howell), earn, eirne, ern, erne, egyll (Ritson) ; Fish, fisher, 
or fishing e. ; Golden e., grey e. ; Osprey, owl e. ; Ringtail e. ; 
Sea e. ; White-tailed e. ; Yearn. 

One name is "Brownbird," from aquihis, brown; Gier-eagle 
is vulture-eagle; Neggle and negylle (A. S.) ; earn is from aar, 
ara, from its habit and power of soaring, ar meaning to rise or 
tower; the word "ornithology" is also derived therefrom. lolair 
is from iul and adhar, air guide. 

There is a Celtic-Irish tradition current, to the effect that 
Adam and Eve exist still as eagles, and their very dwelling is 
located, viz., Bo-fin, Killery Bay, Galway. Among the Chinese 
a likeness of the eagle stood for what is now our letter A, and 
which came from Egypt. The eagle is a royal bird, and endless 
references are made to it from and including the Holy Scriptures, 
Dan an Deirg, Tiomna Ghuill, and downwards. Ite firein locha 
Treig — a feather of the true bird of Loch Treig — was held in great 
renown for arrows by the ancient Scottish Celts. The kings of 
Caledonia and Ireland were in the habit of wearing a plume of 
eagles' feathers, by way of distinctive ornament, in their helmets 
or head-gear. It was by this distinguishing mark that Ossian 
recognised Cathmor — (see Temora, Duan II.). This is the origin 
of the three feathers a modern chief is entitled to wear ; two 
being for a cadet of the clan, and one for any gentle, or duin' 
uasal, thereof. The eagle, as is generally known, is termed the 
king of the birds, hence their feathers were the only ones suited 
to a king or Highland chief. The eagle is termed Righ na h- 
ealtain, or king of the bird universe. An eagle is called " lolair 
dhubh," black eagle, after it is ten years of age. A full-grown 
eagle, it is computed, can fly one thousand miles in a day. The 
time of its maturity, or being "full grown," is a matter of 
controversy, as the life of one is variously estimated at from five 
hundred to eight hundred years, its only senior in creation'? 



270 EAGLE 

growtli being the oak tree. Reference is here made to Liglitfoot's 
Flora Scotica, Logan, (joldsmith, MacCiillivray, etc., etc., for 
innumerable tales and details as to this noblest of birds. Their 
numbers are not on the increase in Scotland ; the white-tailed 
eagle was once so numerous and destructive as to give rise to an 
Act of baliary in 1G26, offering a reward for the killing of same. 
A noted Skye bird once was the spotted eagle. The eagle is 
said to typify a strong man. The eagle is said to bark like a dog : 
" comhartaich nan iolairean " is a phrase to be met with. In 
modern heraldry, an eagle takes the same place among (or over) 
birds as a lion does among (or over) beasts, representing strength, 
swiftness, and courage. The expression "an t-ian riabhach," 
speckled bird or spotted eagle, is found in Sean dana as 
follows : — 

Co dhireas am mullach, no dh' fhogras m' coin riabhach o'n 
leabaidh sheamh ? 

Who will ascend the hill, or chase my grey eaglets from 
their peaceful bed } 

Various places are, as may be surmised, named after the eagle, 
both in Gaelic and English, if not in all languages, such as larlraig 
(iolairig), the place of the eagle, at Garva Bridge ; Allt-coire-na-h- 
iolaire, near Loch Ericht, })rinted alas ! as Auld cory na helruck ; 
Elruck (iolairig) is a place near Killyhuntly. 

The following description from Percival's poems we offer no 
apology for presenting here : — 

i' Bird of the broad and sweeping wing, 
Thy home is high in heaven, 
Where wide the storms their banners fling 
And the tempest clouds are driven ; 
Thy throne is on the mountain top. 
Thy fields the boundless air. 
And hoary peaks that proudly prop 
The skies, thy dwellings are. 
Thou sittest like a thing of light 
Amid the noontide blaze, 
The mid-day sun is clear and bright. 
It cannot dim thy gaze. 
Thy pinions to the rushing blast 
O'er the bursting billow spread, 
Where the vessel plunges, hurry past 
Like an angel of the dead. 
Thou'rt perched aloft on the beetling crag. 
And the waves are white below. 
And on with a haste that cannot lag. 
They rush in an endless flow. 
Again thou hast plumed thy wing for flight 
To lands beyond the sea. 
And away like a spirit wreathed in light 
Thou hurriest wild and free. 



EAGLE 271 

Thou hurriest over the myriad waves, 

And thou leavest them all behind ; 

Thou sweepest that place of unknown graves 

Fleet as the tempest wind. 

When the night-storm gathers dim and dark, 

With a shrill and boding scream, 

Thou rushest by the foundering bark 

Quick as a passing dream. 

Lord of the boundless realm of air, 
In thy Imperial name, 
The hearts of the bold and ardent dare 
The dangerous path of fame." 

In contradistinction to this, we give two verses from " Cabar- 
feidh," which every Highlander knows is a sarcasm : — 

" Chaneil eun anns na speuraibh cho breun ris an iolaire, 
Cha'n ionnan idir beus di 's do'n fheidh anns na firichean 
Bidh iadsan moch ag eiridh ri feuchainn a bhiolaire 
'S bidh is' air scan each caola ri slaodadh a mhionach as 
Chuir i spuir a stigh na churach, thug i fuil na spadul air, 
'N t-iain gun sonais 'g iarraidh donais, bidh na coin a' sabaid rithe, 
Gur breun an t-isean i air iteag, gun fhios caite a stadas i, 
'S ged olc a lean i h-abhaist, cha'n fhearr far na chadail i. 

Cha 'eil ian ann ri fhaotainn air an t-saoghail so tha cosmhuil riut, 

Cha n' ithear do chuid sithne rinn Firinn a mholachadh, 

Ged th' ort iteag dhireach mar fhior shaighead corranach, 

'S ged thuirt iad riut am Fireun, tha inean au Donais ort, 

'S ioma buachaiUe air fuar chnoc agus cuaille bat' aige, 

Ni guithe bhuan do bhuintinn bhuaithe 's a bhuaileas bho do thapadh thu, 

'Nuair ni thu ruaig am measg nan uan nuair bhios buaireas acras ort ; 

Ma chi thu ' Cabarfeidh,' gum feum thu bhi snasadh dha." 

The following is an attempt at translation: — 

There's no bird in the aether so foul as the eagle is ; 

Quite different are her ways to the deer in the forest glade, 

That rise up so early to browse on the tender herb. 

While she is busy tearing the inside from an old lean horse. 

She sticks her talons in the carcass, blood and gore she revels in ; 

The restless bird. Destruction's dirge, the very curs they snap at her. 

A filthy fowl she's on the wing, her resting-place uncertain is ; 

Tho' bad her way by day is, no better is her sleeping-place. 

Go search the wide world over, the like of you we'll never find : 

To eat your flesh will no one ; by Holy Writ it is condemned. 

Though pinions straight you boast of as any barbed arrow-shaft, 

And though you're dubbed the *' True bird," your claws just like the 

devil are. 
Many a herd on cold hillside, with staif both stout and trusty too. 
Devoutly prays you'll keep away, as from your prey he threatens you ; 
When 'mong the lambs you make a raid, impelled by hungry appetite. 
If Cabarfeidh appears just, you fly with great celerity. 

An English, or rather a Scottish proverb, says : 

" As long as there is an eagle in Pennan, there will be a Baird 
in Auchmedden," 



272 EAGLE— FALCON 

This is a conundrum : 

Chaidh hiadh gu dithis 

Gu ceann Loch Maciribho, 

Dhitli am biadh an dithis 

'S thainig am biadh dhachaidh a rithisd. 

Food went to two at the head of Loch Macirivoe. 
The food ate the two and returned home again. 

A cat carried by parent eagle to two eaglets, having recovered, 
turned the tables by eating the eaglets. 

Glig, glig, ars' an iolair, 's e mo mhac sa 's tighearn oirbh. 

Glig, glig, says the eagle, it's my son is your master. 
Mar cheosan air sgiath an fhirein. 

As the light down on the wing of the eagle. 
In Sean dana the above is found as : Mar cheosan air sgeith 
an fhir-eoin. 

As mist on the eagle's wing. 
Spion an iolair o ciar creich, ach na spion o m' ghaol mise. 

Tear the eagle from her dun prey (deer), but tear not from 
me my love. 

Tri aois feidh aois firein, 

Tri aois firein aois craoibh dharaich. 

Thrice deer's age, age of eagle ; 

Thrice eagle's age, age of oak-tree. 

EIDER-DUCK (see also Duck).— Cole. 

Black-bearded eider ; Colk, cudberduce (St Cuthbert's duck) ; 
Dun-eider, dunnutur (Fife), dunter, dunter goose, dusky duck ; 
Great black-white duck ; King-duck ; St Cuthbert's duck ; The 
king; White-backed eider. 

From Icelandic Aedr. 

This fowl comes chiefly from Norway, as do so many others of i 
our sea-birds. The "lonely isle of Colonsay " is famed particularly 
for them ; Martin makes special mention of them under the name 
"colk." 



FALCON (see also Hawk). — Capais(Capys — Old Etrusc. Celt.); 
Deargan ; Eireach ; Fabhcun, facon, faolchon ; Gearr-sheobhag, glas- 
eun, gormag ; Lainnir (peseg-aire), lannair, lannaire, lannair sheilg ; 
Meirneal (merlin); Obag (hobby); Seabhac (Ir.), seabhach, seabhag, 
seabhag-seilge, seobhag, seog (merlin), stale. 

Black-headed falcon, blue hawk ; Cliff hawk ; Duck hawk ; 
Estrich falcon (large) ; Faakin, fan-wing, ftin-winged hawk, faukin- 
l^amage ; Game hawk, gleaner, ger-fawcune (A. S.), goshawk, 



FALCON— FINCH 273 

Greenland falcon, grucher, gjv falcon ; Heavel-havoc (A. S.), 
hobby, hunting hawk ; Icelandic falcon ; Jer or jar-falcon, jerkin ; 
Kestril ; Lannard (peregrine) ; Merlin ; Peregrine (wandering) ; 
Red-footed falcon ; Sacre, saker, stock-hawk ; Tassel, tercel, 
tersil, tessil, tirsel (male) ; van-winged hawk (fan) ; Wanderer, 
wandering falcon (peregrine) ; Wealh-havoc (A. S.), wheel-hawk. 

Falcon comes from "falc," a sickle; curved clawed. The 
word eireach or eirreach (Ir. errach) is supposed to mean 
the riser or ascender, and is thought to mean the sea-eagle 
also (W. S.). 

There are six species in Great Britain, viz., Ger or gyr, 
peregrine, hobby, red-footed, black-headed, and kestrel. Falcons 
are deemed and termed "noble," other hawks, and even eagles — 
by falconers — "ignoble." Byron, in his footnote to "the Field of 
Waterloo," in Childe Harold, is thought to misquote Macbeth, Act 
II., scene 4, "An eagle towering in his pride of place," instead of a 
falcon, etc. No one ever " hawked " with eagles. We find " erreg " 
given as the old Irish, with " errche " as the accusative plural. 

FIELDFARE. — Liath-troisg or truisg, liath-ruisg ; Siocan, 
socan or uiseag-sneachta (Ir.). 

Big-felt, blue-back, blue-bird, blue-felt, blue-tail; Chooker, 
clod-hamer (A. S.), cock-felt; Fealefor, feldefare, felder, feldey- 
bird, felfaa, felfar, felfare, felfaw, felfer, felfit, felfoot, 
felfur, felfiit, fellfaa, fellfare, fellfaw, fellfor, felt, feltifare, 
feltiflier, feltiflyer, feltyfare, felverd, fendfare, fendyfare, filde- 
fare, fildevare, fildefire, filfare, fulfar, fulfer, fulfit ; Grey thrush ; 
Hill-bird ; Jack-bird ; Meslin-bird, monthly-bird, mountain-bird ; 
Pigeon-felt; Redshank; Screech-bird, screech-thrush, shred-cock, 
snow-bird, storm-bird, storm-cock ; Veelvare, veldevare, veldever, 
veldwer, veltifer, velverd, vildever, vildwer, vildyveer, vilvare, 
vulver. 

From "feld" or "field" and "faran," to travel; a field- 
traveller. 

FINCH. — Bricean-caorann (mountain) ; Circean-caorann 
(mountain) ; Glaisean or glaiseun-daraich (grey or green), 
glaisean-gobach (haw); Lasair-choille (gold), lu-eun, lus-eun 
(mountain). 

Aberdavine, adder finch, alf, alp, alpe, awf, elf (bull) ; Berry- 
breaker (haw), black-headed nob or thistle-finch (bull), blood- 
olph (bull), bramble-finch or brambling (mountain), bull-finch ; 
Chaffinch, cherry-finch (haw), chiveller (gold), coble, coble-bird 
(haw), cocky-hoop ; Draw-bird, draw-water ; Flinch, foolscoat ; 
Gold, goldfinch, goldie, goldspring, goldspink, goldy, gooldie, 
goold-spring, goolfrench, gooly, gouldy, gowdie, gowdy, green- 
serene, greenwood-pecker, grey Kate or Pate (young), grosbeak 
(haw) ; Hawfinch, hawp, hoop (bull) ; Jack Nicker (Chesh.), Jack 

S 



274 FINCH— FOWL 

Nicol (gold) ; King Harry, King Harry red-cap ; Lady-with-the- 
twelve-flounces, linnet, long tailor, long Tom ; Mountain finch 
(branibling) ; Nob, nope; Olpb, ope (i)ull) ; Fie-finch (chaf. — 
North), pope, proud tailor (gold) ; Red-cap, red whoop (bull — Som.), 
reike (chaf.), ribinet (chaf.) ; Uoberd, rodok ; Scoby (Yorksh.), 
seven-coloured linnet, sheely (North), sheldappel, sheldapple, 
sherifTs man, siskin, speckled Dick, spink, sweet William ; Tawny 
(bull — Som.), thickbill (Lane), thistle-finch, tonnihood (North), 
twink (chaf.) ; Ulf (bull), uthage (Som.). 

" Spink " or spunk, said to be from Aryan form spinge ; Teut. 
spinka and tinka, all from "spang," to make a noise. 

A finch entering a dwelling-house voluntarily, is thought to be 
an emblem of good luck. The siskin is particularly fond of feeding 
on the catkins of the birch. The finch's egg is remarkably gaudy. 

FLYCATCHER. — Beicein-glas, breacan-glas orbreacan-sgiobalt 
(spotted) ; Cab-nan-cuileag ; Glac-nan-cuileag. 

Beam-bird, bee-bird ; Chait, chancider, cherry-sucker, cherry- 
chopper, cherry snipe, cobweb, cole finch ; Gip-gip, grey finch ; 
Hewsick ; Lyle pyet ; Miller (young) ; Post-bird ; Rafter-bird, 
red finch ; Sea-robin, spotted finch ; Wall bird, wall-plat, white 
baker, whitewall. 

This bird arrives late in the North, but it is noted for the speed 
with which it builds its nest. 

FOWL. — Ean, en, eun, eunlaith, eun-otraich (barn-door), eun- 
uisge (water) ; Ian. 

Boon (Yorksh.) ; Cuckoo (dorking) ; Faa, faal, fahl, fal, faoo, 
farl, faster (sea), fawl, feau, feaw, feawl, figh, foo, fool, fou, foul, 
foule, fow, fower, ful, full, fuxol (tail-less); Gordon (wild), grig, 
grug (bantam) ; Kain-fowl ; Martin, morton, mortyn ; Reik-fowl 
(kain), rumkin ; Schidderems, schiwerine, scry (flock), silver or 
golden-creil or creile ; Voul, vowel. 

From Teut. base " fugla." 

A well-known cure in the Highlands against the bite of a 
poisonous serpent was (formerly) the warm flesh of a black cock or 
fowl cut up alive and applied to the part, the poison is thus drawn 
from the person or animal affected, and the flesh of the fowl turns 
black and putrifies quickly. The killing of the fowl first isj 
more humane and equally efficacious. The dead body of a fowl, \ 
killed and mangled by a hawk, is called a "pelt," nothing being 
generally left but the skin. The word " kain " is a well-known 
legal term, meaning the best fowl taken or exacted as rent by 
the landlord or factor on his behalf (from Gaelic " cain," a tax). 
This is a mode of rent-paying common in or to St Kilda. The 
meat or flesh of a fowl in Gaelic is called "serc-fheoil," while the 
pole used in knocking down the birds is called " stearr," stear, a 
rude blow. The life of a domestic fowl is estimated as from twelve 
to fifteen years. 



FULMAR— GODWIT 275 

FULMAR (see also Petrel). — Fulmair ; Grey petrel ; John 
Down ; Malduck, mallemock, mallemoke, malmock. 

See Martin's description of Western Isles. 

Its name seems to originate, like "foumart/' a polecat, from 
the peculiar and disagreeable odour of this bird, or the oil it is said 
to vomit. There is an Icelandic term Folc mar, given as a sea 
horse, which some suppose to be the root name. 



G 

GALLINULE, or WATER-HEN (see also Coot).— Cearc- 
uisge, etc. 

This is a rare bird in the Highlands, as it is a denizen chiefly of 
the swamps near the Mediterranean, though sometimes actually 
mistaken for our moor-hen, which it resembles. It is somewhat 
larger and of a more purple hue. 

GANNET (see also Solan Goose). — Amhas, sulaiche, sulair, 
sulaire. 

Bass goose, basser ; Channel goose ; Gan (A. S. " ganot," a 
gander) ; Herring gant ; Solan or soland goose, spectacled goose. 

GEILT.— Geilt. 

This is a more or less mythical bird, and is included here 
merely on account of its being found in the Book of the Dean of 
Lismore in " Laoidh nan ceann," by Caoilte mac Ronan, where it 
will be found. O'Reilly says this word means, inter alia, a fierce 
untameable bird of some unknown species. The phrase "Geilt 
gluine" exists. (See Dublin University Magazine for March 1854, 
Vol. XLIIL, page 322.) 

GOATSUCKER.— Gabhar-adhair, etc. 

Churn, churr ; Dor-hawk ; Fern owl ; Gar-owl ; Night churr, 
night hawk, night jar. 

This misnamed bird has, from the time of Aristotle down to 
the present day, been in disgrace with mankind ; it is, however, 
an unoffending fowl, and its character foully stained by sheer 
inattention to facts, as, instead of sucking goats or cows, or any 
other animal, it merely gets underneath such animals to catch 
flies off their udders, etc. 

GODWIT (see Curlew). — Roid-guilbneach, etc. 

Barge, bar-tailed godwit, black and white - tailed godwit, 
black-tailed godwit ; Frankline ; Godwin, godwyn ; Half curlew, 
half whaup ; Jadreka snipe ; Necked barnacle ; Pick, poor Willie, 
prine ; Red godwit ; Scammel, sea woodcock, shrieker, small 
curlew, stone plover ; Yardkeep, yarwhelp, yarwhip. 



276 GOLDFINCH— GOOSE 

The name of this bird is said to be derived from tlie Anglo- 
Saxon "god wiht," i.e., good creature, good animal, good wight. 
It is almost the same as the whimbrel. 

GOLDFINCH (see also Finch). — IJoidheig, buidheag, buidhean, 
buidheann-coille ; Deargan, deargan-fraoich ; Lasair choille. 

Chelaundre (A. N.), cheverel, chevil (large) ; Goldie, goldspink, 
goudspink ; K nicker, knocker ; Red-footed thistle finch. 

The goldfinch is an excellent mimic. 

GOOSANDER (see also Goose). — Siolta, siolta-bhca^- ^i..lf.,ir)). 
sioltaiche, sioltainn, sioltan-ban. 

Buff-breasted goose ; Dun diver ; Grajve, greater goose ; Harle, 
harle duck ; Jack-saw ; Land cormorant ; Merganser ; Pied wigeon ; 
Rantock, red-breasted goose, red-breasted merganser ; Saw-bill, 
saw-neb, shell-duck, smew, sparling-fowl, spear wigeon; {Smeic) 
Easterling (immature male); Loch diver (fern.); Magpie or pied 
diver ; Red or red-headed smew ; Smee, smee-duck ; White- 
headed goosander, white merganser nun or wigeon ; Yare 
wigeon. 

GOOSE (see also Gannet, Solan Goose, etc.). — Amhsain, etc. 
(solan or gannet); Cadhan (wild or barnacle), cathan, cath-eun, 
or ian-leadain (war-bird), cnaimh-gheadh (a certain kind), cos- 
dubh (black-legged), creagag (rock) ; Feadhan (leader) ; Ganra, 
ganradh (gander), gaob (rain), gaod (pi.), ge, geadb, geadh-bhlar 
(white-breasted), geadh-dubh (solan), geadh-ghlas (grey-lag), ged, 
gedh, ge-fiadhan (wild — Jr., pi. geidheacha), giodhran, giugran, 
giuran, giurnan (barnacle), glas-gheadh (wild grey), goch or gog- 
gheadh (gosling), goinead (solan — Jr.), got-gheadh (brent), guaisin 
(gosling — Jr.), guiran, guirenan, guireneun (brent) ; Leadan (bar- 
nacle), learg, lea-sg (rain) ; Muirgheadh, muireadh (bean) ; 'Nuallach 
(screamer or roarer) ; Orrag ; Sgeigeir, sgeigeire (gander, mocker) ; 
Traigh-gheadh (shore). 

Bald, bar, bargander (barnacle), barnacle, bass, bean, bernak, 
black, brant, brent; Channel, channel bean, claik, clake, clakis, 
clatter, deck, cocker, corn, covesea, cowsie (barnacle), croker ; 
Dunter ; Ember, emmer ; Fen ; Gaez-zalin, gail (flock), gainter, 
gaislin, gale (flock), gander, gase, gesling, gesslin, gezlin, gony 
(great — Glouc), gos (A. S.), gosling, greengoose (midsummer), 
grey, greylag, gull, gunner ; Horra or horrie-goose (brent) ; Lomr 
(ember) ; Norway barnacle ; Pie-annet ; Quink ; Rat, rede, rood, 
rude-goose, road, roger, rott, rontherock, ronthurrock, rout 
(barnacle) ; Scaw, solan, soland, solant, spectacled, stag, stag- 
gander, steg, steg-gander, stower (flock — Yorksh.), stubble ; 
Tortoiseshell, tree; Ware, white-faced, white-footed, wild, wild- 
laughing. 



GOOSE 277 

The etymology is given variously, from " gha/' to gape, to yawn, 
or from gor, gore, or gaor, filth, dirt ; Brent goose, from Welsh 
"brenig" or Breton "brennig," a limpet — elsewhere given as 
"breunag," the dirty one ; the Gothic is "gos," German " Gans " ; 
the term "barnacle" is said to be from "Branclakes" or "Barn- 
clake," i.e., Bran claik, the dark coloured ; the name " Feadhan " 
signifies the leader of a flock of wild geese, or the one which 
sounds the well-known note, or whistle, of alarm ; this word 
seems akin to "feadan," a whistle. Another word in Irish 
Gaelic is "fedhan," signifying flight; the rain-goose is so called 
because it makes a doleful sound before rain. The words " gail " 
or " gale " are used in Teviotdale to signify a flock of geese, from 
the loud noises made by them in their flight ; Celtic gal or guil. 
Various and ancient beliefs long existed as to the origin of the 
brent or barnacle goose, which are now exploded; one being that 
these are not supposed to be able to generate like other fowls, and 
were supposed to spring "suddenly" into life, that being the 
etymology of the word "brent" ; another, that the acorn shell was 
the parent ; another, that it was generated in shell-fish attached to 
logs at sea (see Boeth. cosmographie, chap, xiv., for a circumstantial 
account of this latter belief, wherein it is said to be " notably 
proven in the Yeir of God ane thousand iiii hundred LXXXX., in 
sicht of mony pepyll besyde the castell of Petslego ane gret tre 
was brocht be alluvion and flux of the sea to land.") The above 
is also given and certified in Gerard's Herbal, a Lancashire 
publication, on page 1587. The writer hereof has seen a log, 
which had drifted into the Minch or Sound of SI eat, perforated 
with small holes about a quarter of an inch in diameter, from 
which he saw extracted, when the log w^as cut up, and previous 
thereto, several small oval shells which contained what seemed to 
be like immature foids or birds. The ember or emmer goose is also 
called " swim," and believed even to hatch their eggs under water. 
Of the " Skeeling " goose Sibbald writes " Grana piperis reperiri 
in ventriculo ejus." The entrails of a goose are said to be called 
"giblion," but this is supposed a gross corruption of "gioban" 
(see Solan Goose). The grey-legged goose, or "grey-lag," has 
its habitat par excellence in the Hebrides, and gets much attention 
from its predatory habits ; it is difficult to kill, and like most wild 
geese requires most careful stalking. A Gaelic saying referring 
to this is — 

Is sealgair thu 'nuair a mharbhas tu geadh, a's corr a's 
crotach. 

Sportsman thou when thou killest goose, heron, and curlew — 
" goose " comes first, it will be observed. 

For "souming" purposes in the North and West, sixteen 
geese are said to equal one cow. 

A small island off Harris is called G'askeir — geadh sgeir, 



278 GOOSE 

the rock of geese. In " Biorlinn Chlann Raonuill/' occurs this 
line : — 

'S togaihh siuil rithe bho Uithist na cradh-gheadh. 
And raise sjiil on her from Uist of the shell-geese. 

Uist in Gaelic is also spelled Uibhist and Uidhisd. 

Geese are said always to fly in two lon^ lines and to form a 
letter of the ali)ha])et, viz., A. If wild geese are observed on their 
arrival g(ung towards the sea, it is an augury of good weather to 
follow, the reverse if seen flying hillwards ; in their flight the 
Irishman says the leader brings up the rear. George Ebers says, 
" When God Almighty wrote the law on the tables of stone, a flock 
of wild geese flew over Mount Sinai, and one of them smeared 
out a letter with its wing, and since that time they have always 
flown in lines that make a letter of the alphabet, and all their 
kind have to submit to be stripped of their wing feathers for men 
to write with." A more commonplace and well-known saying is, 
on the occasion of a heavy fall of snow, "the Welshmen are 
plucking their geese." 

Ach biadh bu docha leat na 'n t-im, geobachan nan gugachan. 
But food that thou would'st prefer to butter, the gizzards of 
the (young) Solan goose. (Stewart.) 
Bho nach fhaod mi beantuinn do'n gheadh mor, pronnaidh mi 
na h-iseanan. 

As 1 cannot (may or dare not) touch the big goose, I'll 
pound the goslings. Probably said by a fool bitten by 
a gander. 
Cha daoire 'n geadh na 'shailleadh. 

The goose is no dearer than his salting. The goose could 
be got for nothing in the days of the salt tax. 
Cha 'n fhaide gob an geadh na gob an gannrail. 

The goose's beak is no longer than the gander's. This may 
be questioned. 
Cho bodhar ri giadh a's t-Fhoghar. 

As deaf as a goose in autumn. 
Coimeas a gheoidh bhric 's a mhathar. 

The comparison of the grey goose to his mother. Easily 
made and somewhat superfluous. 
Far am bi geoidh bidh callan. 

When there is geese there will be cackling (or noise). 
Far am bi geoidh bidh iseanan. 

Where geese are will goslings be. 
Geoidh 'us cearcan nach toil a cheile. 

Geese and hens that love not each other. 
Innsidh na geoidh a's t-Fhoghar. 

The geese will tell it in autumn. The approach of winter, 
when the wild geese are heard piping aloft. 
Is coltach ri cheile an geadh breac 's a mhathair. 
The grey goose and its mother are alike. 



GOOSE— GROUSE 279 

Is sealgair mhath a mharbhas geadh. . . . 

He is a good sportsman who kills a (wild) goose. . . . 
One of three particularly wary birds. 
Suidhe a gheoidh 'an dorus tigh an t-sionnaich. 

The sitting of the goose at the fox's door. Short. 
Sulaire sgire na h-Uidh. 

The solan goose of Uy. Uy is now called Stornoway, where 
the herring are plentiful at times, and consequently the 
solan geese. 
Tuigidh na geoidh fhein a cheile. 

Even the geese understand each other. Few better. 

GREBE. — Fad-monaidh ; Gobhachan, gobhachan-allt, gobhlan- 
uisge ; Lacha, lapairin, laparan ; Spagaire-tuinn or tuinne, spag- 
ri-toin. 

Arsefoot (greater crested), ash-coloured loon or swan ; Black 
chin or chinned, bonnetie ; Car goose, crested doucker or ducker ; 
Dabber. dabchick, darber, didapper, dive-an'-dop, dive-dapper, 
dive-dop, diver, divi or divy duck, dob-chick, drink-a-penny ; 
Eared grebe ; Gannt or gaunt, great-crested, greater-crested, 
greater loon, grey-cheeked, grey loon ; Horned dob-chick, doucker 
or grebe ; Jack doucker ; Little doucker, little grebe, loom, loon ; 
Mither-o'-the-mawkins, mole-diver (little), molrocken, molrooken ; 
Penny-bird ; Red-necked grebe ; Satin, Sclavonian, small doucker, 
spider-diver ; Tippet, Tom puddin' ; Willie-hawkie. 

Said to derive its name from Breton " Grib," a comb. Called 
" Mither-o'-the-mawkins " from its witch-like alertness in diving. 

GREENSHANK.— Deoch-bhiugh or bhuidhe. 
Greater plover, green-legged horseman or longshank, green- 
shank snipe. 

GROSBEAK. — Cnag (pine), cnagag-choille, crag, cuag ; Lair 
fligh, lairigidh. 

Hawfinch ; Little wood-rapper ; Woodpecker. 

This bird is said to be peculiar to Sutherland, but as woods 
must be plentiful, this is now questionable, as it lives chiefly on 
wood insects. 

GROUSE. — Ceare-fraoich (fraoigh — Ir.), coileach-fraoich, 
coileach-ruadh ; Eun-fraoich, eun-ruadh ; Fraoch-chearc ; Lia or 
liath-chearc (black) ; Put, putan (young) ; Reir or rer-chearc, 
ruadh-bhiast. 

Bilcock, bilter, black cock or game, brown hen or ptarmigan ; 
Dop-fowl or fugel (lit. dipping-fowl — A. S.) ; Gor, gor-cock, gore 
(red), grey hen ; Heath-cock or hen, heather-hen, heath-fowl, 
heath-poulet ; Moor-cock or hen ; Poor wren, pootis, puttis (young) ; 
Red-cock, red-game, red ptarmigan. 

The word " grouse " is said to come just from " fraoch," heather. 



280 GROUSE— GUILLEMOT 

Campbell, in his JVr\f Hig/i/and Tales, gives the following as 
remarkable : — 

" The grouse cock and his wife are always disputing, and may 
be heard on any fine evening or early morning quarrelling and 
scolding about the stock of food. This is what the hen says : — 

"*Faic thusa 'n la' ud 's an la' ud eile,' and the cock with his 
deeper voice replies : — 

" * Faic thusa 'n cnoc ud 's an cnoc ud eile.' 

See thou yonder day, and yon other day, 
See thou yonder hill, and yon other hill." 

The ordinary food of the grouse, as is well known, is the 
tender tops of the heather, but in times of stress they have been 
known to resort to the shores and eat seawrack, etc. This bird is 
now known as "the rich man's bird," and for numbers may be 
called the " king " of the Highland moors, and has as its larger 
relatives the blackcock and the capercailzie, which are not shot 
till the 20th of August, while in Somerset and Devon, as well as in 
the New Forest, they are immune until September 1. It is 
frequently referred to in Highland sayings and songs, and has 
been and still is the cause of much misery to the Highlanders, 
who have had to make way for it and its neighbour, the red deer. 
The cry, call, or challenge of the grouse in Gaelic is, " Co chaidh, 
mo chlaidh," who went, my sword, like the challenge of a sentinel. 
In English it is said to sound like " Go back," at least the black 
cock. The grouse is very fond of the crowberry. Alasdair 
Mac Mhaighstir Alasdair calls the hen grouse " A chearc ghearr- 
ghobach riabhach," the short-beaked speckled hen, and the 
cock-grouse, "An coileach craobhach nan gearr sgiath," the woody 
cock of the short wing. 

GUILLEMOT.— Caileag, callag, calltag, carlag (black), 
casgan-long, craigeach (Eigg), cronan (Ir.), crosan ; Eala-bheag- 
an-sgadain, eun or eunan-aille, eun-a-chrubain, eun-an-sgadain, 
eun-dubh-a-chrubain or a-chrullain, eun-dubh-an-sgadain ; Falc ; 
Gearra, gearra-bhreac, gearra-ghlas (black) ; Lamhaidh, langach, 
langaidh, langidh ; Muir-eun ; Taibhse. 

Auk, awpie ; Bar-goose (barnacle), black goose, bridled goose ; 
Didlymot, diving pigeon, dovoky ; Eligny ; Foolish goose ; goose 
or goosen-chick (gosling or young), gospel, gospell, Greenland 
dove or turtle, guillem, guillemote, gusan-chick (young) ; Herald 
(diving) ; Jenny Grey ; Kiddaw, kittag ; Lamy, langvia, large- 
billed goose, lavy, little goose, lomvie, longie, longivie, lum, 
lungie, lungy ; Maggie, marrot, morrot, murran (Ir.), murre, 
murryan, murse ; Oakie ; Parrot, puffinet, puffixet ; Queet, quet ; 
Razorbill, redshank, ringed or ring-eyed goose, rock dove ; Scout, 
scraber, scuttock, sea coot, hen, dovie, pigeon, or turtle (foolish), 
skiddaw, skout, skuhe, skutie, skuttock, spotted goose, spratter. 



GUILLEMOT— GULL 281 

Strang ; Taiste, tarrock, tinkersheer, tinkershire, tinkershue, thick- 
billed goose, tystay, tyste, tystey, tystie (black) ; Weerit (young), 
willock, willy. 

The names " eun-a-chrubain," etc., signify the " crouching or 
squatting bird." 

Like some other wild birds the egg of the guillemot varies in 
colour according to the locality of the hole it is laid in — supposed 
pre-natal influence. This bird lays only one egg, which has 
curious markings on it. Edie Ochiltree in the Antiquary refers to 
the " Lungie." 

GUINEA-FOWL.— Coileach-innseanach. 

Gallancy, gallinic (Cornw.). 

A name derived from the cry or call of this fowl is "come 
back." 

GULL. — Aoileann, arspag (larger); Ceann-dubhan (black- 
headed), cra-fhaoileag, crann-dubhan, crann or crion-fhaoileag 
(little); Dubh-cheannach (black-headed), dubh-fhaoilean (black, 
large) ; Eigir (small) ; Fairsbeag (large), faoileag, faoighleann, 
faoilean druimmeach (black-headed — Connemara), faoilean garbh- 
anach (black-headed), faoileann, faoileag-mhor (glaucus), farspach, 
farspag (great black-beaked or headed), fairs})reig (Argyll), 
fasgadair, fasgadan, faisgeadair (skua), feabhlann (Ir.), feadhlan, 
foilearm, folaiream, foluirm ; Glas-fhaoileag (herring), goban 
(young) ; lasgair-diomhain ; Muirmhaighstir (glaucus) ; Sgaireag 
(small), sgliurach (young), sionnachla, stairleag ; Tuliac, tuilleag 
(skua). 

Annet, anny, allan, aulin ; Baagie (great black-headed), 
badoch, badock (artic), bakie, barley-bird (plough follower), 
bawgie, black, black-headed, black-toed, blue-man or maw, boat- 
swain, bonxie, brown, brown-headed or hooded, brown-masked 
mew, burgomaster ; Cald-mawe, calmewe, calmaise, carrion, cat, 
cloven-footed, cob, cobb, cobbe (small), codd, coddy-noddy, 
collocan, collochan, colmose, colmow, coppe, crocker, cub (small) ; 
Dirtenallan, dirtyallan or aulin, diviegoo, dog-foolie, dung-bird ; 
Fork-tailed, fraik ; Gaw, gawlin, geylir (artic), glaucus, golden 
maw, goor, goose, gor, gow, goyler (artic), grain-bird (plough 
follower), great black-backed, great grey, greater saddleback, 
green-billed, grey, gull-maw ; Herdsman, herring, hooded crow, 
maw or mow ; Iceland scorie (glaucus), ivory-gull ; Kittiwake ; 
Laughing, lesser black-backed, lummie (artic) ; Maa, maddrick, 
maew, mall, man-o'-war bird, mar masked, maul (black-headed), 
maw, mell, merrick (black-headed), mew (A. S.), mire-crow ; 
Parson gull or maw, peewit, pewit, pickie burnet, pick or 
pyk-maw, pick mire, pick sea, pictarn, pictarnie, pictarnitie (black- 
headed), pine, pine-maw, plee, pleengie (young), pomerine skua. 
Port Egmont hen, Potterton hen (black-headed), puit ; Red-leg, 
red-legged pigeon, redshank, rig (smallest kind) ; Sabine's mew 



282 GULL 

or gull (skua), saddleback, said or sethe fool, foul or fowl, scait- 
bird, scart, seawrey, scoulton, scoulton pie, pewit or pint scouter, 
scoutiauliii, scowry, scull, scutiallan, sea-cobb or crow, sea-eagle, 
sea-go, goo or gow, sea-maw or mew, seed-l)ir(l rplough follower), 
senator, shooi, shooie, shuggrie Willie (young), silvery, skaet- 
bird, skua, small maw (common), snow-bird, sj)eikintare (com.), 
sprat loon (Kent), swabie, swart or swert-back ; Tanye-maw, 
tarrack, tarrackie, tarrock, teaser, Tom hurry, trumpie (skua), 
tuliac ; Wagell, weather gaw, whale gull, white bonnet, white 
gull or maw (herring), wiese-allan, will, willie-gow (Kug.), winter, 
wormie ; Yellow-foot. 

The etymology of the foregoing it is impossible to give 
beyond the leading word "gull," which is said to be so named 
from its stupidity — at least by Lowlanders ; but by Celts said to 
be from "guil," to wail, etc., "guileag" being the cry. The 
word " faoileann " means also an exposed place beside the shore 
covered with small white stones. 

This beautiful and graceful bird is well known even to inland 
dwellers, but any lore therewith is found among those whose 
habitat is the coast, etc., and with whom the gull was considerably 
more than a mere visitor, forming, as they sometimes did, a staple 
article of food. Seagulls or fowls in such use, therefore, are 
preserved by being "salted" with ashes of burnt sea-ware, in 
cows' hides. The young gull (sgliurach) is said to be excellent 
eatmg. "Nether Lochaber" tells of a certain individual who 
was called " Eachunn nan sgliurach " from his knowledge of this 
fact, though Celts, as a rule, would rather starve than make a 
meal of a seagull, which is considered "unclean," hence the 
proverb " Righinn, righinn, mar bha 'n sgliurach thug Eachunn 
MacUilleachain do dh' Alasdair MacCholla-chiotach," tough, 
tough, as was the young gull given by Hector MacUilleachan to 
Alexander the son of left-handed Coll. This was a reference to a 
cipher message " tough," or difficult to decipher, carried on the day 
of Inverlochy. This proverb or saying is applied to any matter 
appearing difficult of solution. " Nether Lochaber " attributed it 
to the said Colkitto on giving up a seagull he had abstracted 
from the said Hector, on finding it uneatable (see Celtic Magazine, 
Vol. Vn., page 3 1 4 — note). The fat of sea-fowls, though not perhaps 
the common gull, is made into a pudding in the stomach of the 
fowl and named " giben " or " gibean." This is said to be a sure cure 
for wounds and bruises. The common gull leads a hard life, as 
it is not reckoned particularly dexterous or clever m pursuit of 
prey, patience and watchfulness being its chief characteristics. 
The glaucus or white gull is, however, a perfect ocean tyrant, 
dreaded by all other gulls, as is also, perhaps still more, the 
skua (faisgeadair), which is noted for living on the produce of other 
sea birds alone, by causing or " squeezing " them to drop or dis- 



GULL 283 

gorge their prey, which they seize dexterously ere fallen. Martin 
describes the " gawlin " as less than a duck (it prognosticates the 
weather by uttering peculiarly musical cries or notes, upon which 
a piper of St Kilda composed a tune), and the " geylir " (supposed 
to be Mother Carey's chicken, as called by Southerners) as being 
the size of a swallow, and called " malifigies " — a bad sign. The 
gull's egg varies much in colour. 

Many places in the Highlands, especially the Hebrides, are 
called after the seagull, among which may be mentioned — though 
not purely Celtic — " Scarrabus," seagull farm or steading ; Skairibost 
and Skjarinish, seagull promontory or island. It is estimated that 
there are about two million seagulls in the United Kingdom. 

A few proverbial sayings are : — 

Biodh mionach ar n-eisg aig ar n-eoin fhein. 

Oor ain fish guts to oor ain sea-maws. This may be a 
translation merely. 
Faoileag an droch chladaich. 

The seagull of a bad shore. Poor — attached to " home." 
Faoileag manadh an t-sneachda, scaragan an t-uisge. 

Seagulls prognosticate snow, kittiwakes, rain. When they 
appear in fields. 
Faoileag na h-aona chloiche. 

The seagull of one stone. A common thing, but fruitless. 
" Gliag, gliag," ars an fhaoileag, " 'S e mo mhac-s' an daobh- 
gheal donn." 

"Glig, glig," says the seagull, "that whitey-brown chick is 
my son." 
Guth na faoileig 'am bial na sgaireig. 

The seagull's voice in the kittiwakes (or young scart), unreal 
— a lesser imitating the voice of a greater. 
Is namhaid an lach an fhaoileann. 

The gull is the duck's foe. 
'S iomadh farspag 'rinn thu 'mharbhadh, is sulair garbh a 
rug thu air. 

Many a seagull hast thou killed, and many a large gannet 
hast thou caught. Said of a noted St Kilda fowler and 
daring cragsman. 
Theich an fhaoilean gus an traigh agus chuir i mach boll' 
eorna agus da fheanain barraich. 

The seagull fled to the shore and put out a boll of oats 
(barley), and two firlots of tow. This seems a mistransla- 
tion, but is given as found. 
Uibhean fhaoileag a's t-Earrach. 

Seagulls* eggs in spring. Out of season, a sign of the impos- 
sible. This it is thought should read — 
Uibhean fhaoileag a's t-Fhoghar. 
Seagulls' eggs in autumn. 



284 HAWK 



H 

HAWFINCH, or GROSBEAK (see Finch). 

HAWK. — An t-eun fionn (hen-harrier); Aracos (Etr. Celt.); 
Bainspeireag, spiorag or spireag, bealbhun or beilbhean or beilea- 
maii-ruadh, bod-chearc, breid-air-toin (ringtail) ; Cabar, cabhar, 
caubar (Old Ir.), clanihan-fionn or croman loin or Inch (marsh- 
harrier, mouse hawk), clamhan-gearr or gearra-chlanihan (broad), 
crom-nan-cearc, cubhar, cufar (Old Ir.) ; Darcan, dt- arcan (sparrow), 
Erreg-lannerich (falcon) ; Fionn (hen-harrier) ; Gabhar, glas or 
gos-sheobhag ; Hara cos (Etr. Celt.); Lamhraidh, lamhraig, lamh- 
ruidh (alien) ; Meirneal (merlin — Lat. merula), meir illiun (gos — Ir.) 
mona or munabhuachaill (alien) ; Puthaig (marsh-harrier) ; Uuadhan- 
aille (sparrow) ; Seabhac, seabhach (Ir.), seabhag, seig, seigh, 
seighen, seobhag, seog, seothag, seothig, etc. (sparrow), spearag, 
speireag, speirsheog, spiorag, spiorsag, spireag, spirseog (sparrow), 
spuillire-buidhe (marsh-harrier). 

Aichee, akee, alet (falcon), alman, aspere (sparrow — lit. a spere 
hawk) ; Bawrell (male), bawret, blood, blue gled Isaac kite merlin 
or sleeves (hen-harrier), bluey, bockerel (long-winged), bog-gled, 
boughrell, brown, brown-gled ; Carvist (young), castrell (cowardly), 
eland, cres, cress, kress or cris-hawk (kestrel) ; Duck ; Eglehorne, 
emerlon (fern, merlin — Chaucer), entermewer (Skinner), eyas (young 
or nestling) ; Falcon (female), fieldy, flein-gall, furze kite ; Gastrel, 
gleg (sparrow), goose, gos, gos-hafuc, goshal (A. S.), grey Peter 
(honey buzzard) ; Haggard (Shakesp.), harpy, harrier, harrower, 
hauk, haveke, heafuc, hedgey, hen-driver or harrier, hobby (merlin), 
honey or moor buzzard, hostour, hover ; Jack (male) ; Kattabella 
or kattabelly, keelie (young), kestrel, kistress (Blome) ; Laneret 
(fem.), lanior (male), lannard (peregrine — male); Maalin, marlin, 
marlion, marsh-harrier, martelet, martin, martinet (ringtail), merlin, 
mittale, mittan, mittane, mitten, mus-hafoc, musket, muskett, 
muskytt (male — A. S.) ; Nias (young), nine-murder (a kind of 
— Cotgrave) ; Owl ; Peerie (merlin — fem.), peregrine (wandering), 
pot-hawk ; Ringtail ; Seagull, smokey, smotty, snipe, spar, 
sparrow, spear-hafoc, sperk-halk, spowey, spur (sparrow), 
stanchel, starbird, starnel (base), stein gale, stongall swallow ; 
Talenter (Middleton), tercell (gos) ; Vanner, varmer (large — I. of 
Wight), white, white-aboon-glade or gled, white kite, windaiffer 
bibber, fanner, hover or sucker. 

From Teut. " hab," to seize, hold ; hobby, from Old French 
" hobei," to stir, to move from place to place — lit., a restless one. 

Much lore exists, and many books have been written about 
hawks and hawking (helfa). Hawks are frequently referred to in 
Ossian's poems, and other collections of Celtic poetry, iyiter alia, 
Ossian makes one of the Scandinavian chiefs say, "the hawks rush 



HAWK 285 

from all their winds, they are wont to trace my course, we 
rejoiced three days above the dead, and called the hawks of 
heaven, they came from all their winds to feast on the foes of 
Annir," King James the Fifth was passionately fond of hawking, 
and Stewart of Appin held certain lands in Duror and Glencoe in 
consideration of his having built Castle Stalker, or Caisteal an 
Stalcaire, the falconer's castle, for that king's accommodation and 
use; one of the terms of holding, or tenure, of the M'Neills of 
Barra, off Sir Donald Macdonald of Sleat, was "a hawk if 
required." The old Egyptian name for a hawk is " Bai," and 
signified the soul, this the Egyptians used as a symbol. In Petrie's 
Egyptian Tales, 1895, in the tale of Anpu and Bata, the idea of the 
soul of the dead being thought to fly away in the shape of a hawk 
is exemplified, as in that tale they are said to "fly away as to meet 
the sun," or " the hawk has soared." As has been shown, there 
are many different kinds, and also many different spellings ; the 
foregoing, it is believed, are only a few of both. A hawk's age is 
estimated at 162 years; the first year it is called a "soarage," the 
second an "interview," the third a "white" hawk, the fourth, a 
hawk of the first coat. A saying exists, that the eagle, the vulture, 
and the merloun are for an emperor ; the goshawk for a yeoman, 
and the sparrowhawk for a priest. An Irish king, going a-hawking, 
is thus described: "A chu le na chois, a sheabhac air a bhois, a's 
a chapuU breagh dubh d' a iomchar," his dog at foot, his hawk on 
fist, and his handsome black mare (or horse) bearing him. The 
sparrowhawk or merlin was usually carried of old by ladies of rank, 
while a falcon was carried, in time of peace, by a knight or baron. 

The various hawks, or other birds, connected of yore with 
particular ranks, were as follows : — 

1. For an emperor, an eagle, vulture, or merloun. 

2. For a king, gyr falcon and tiercel. 

3. For a prince, a falcon. 

4. For a duke, a falcon of rock. 

5. For an earl, a falcon, peregrine. 

6. For a baron, bustard. 

7. For a knight, sucre and sucret. 

8. For an esquire, lanere and lanerd. 

9. For a lady, merlyon. 

10. For a young gentleman, hobby. 

11. For a priest, sparrowhawk. 

12. For a clerk, musket. 

13. For a yeoman, goshawk. 

14. For a poor man, goshawk's tercel. 

15. For a knave or servant, kesterel or kestrel. 

A couple of hawks is called a brood or flight, a cast or caste, 
while an old term for a hawk's nest is "lairie" ; the keeping-place 
is termed a "mew." The term " pot-hawk " (put) was found in an 
official Government document. The saying "to know a hawk 
from a handsaw " should be " from a hernshaw." The back part of 
a hawk is known technically as the " brael." Hawks, though so 



286 HAWK 

much thought of in days of yore, eventually came to be considered 
as noxious vermin and marked out for destruction, as may be 
gathered from the fact of 462 kestrels or red hawks having been 
destroyed in one place, Glengarry, between Whitsunday 1837 and 
Whitsunday 1840, while, of other six kinds, 340 were slaughtered, 
but the process of extermination is gone about in a still more 
wanton manner in Sweden and Norway, where, at the instigation 
of the State no less, over 13,000 were destroyed in one year. The 
ger-falcon was once general in the Highlands, but is now destroyed 
by senseless gamekeepers, etc., while the peregrine still survives. 
Macnaughton frequently refers to this latter bird in his poems. 
The hobby is a special enemy to the lark. The merlin is thought to 
be the smallest hawk existing. The sparrowhawk is also named 
"claw-hawk," from the length and sharpness of its claws. The 
kite or salmon-tailed gled ranks among the most graceful of birds ; 
though rare, it is frequently refeiTcd to in Celtic poetry and 
proverbs. The buzzard again is a lazy, cowardly, foul-eating bird, 
while the rough-legged buzzard is proverbially clumsy. Rob 
Roy, among other loving Highland epithets, was called the hawk. 
" Bu tu seabhag an t-sluaigh ris an cainteadh Rob ruadh," thou 
wast the hawk of the people, who wast called Rob Roy. It is 
thought that this was the origin of the saying by Sir Walter Scott, 
as found in his Marmion : — 

" When the gled's in the blue cloud. 
The laverock lies still. " 

The idea of might and destruction conveyed in above is 
excelled by the account, found in the Rennes Di?msenchus by 
Whitley Stokes, of a hawk that ate up the horse herds, and the 
flocks and the human beings by twos and threes, eventually 
devouring its own fosterer. 

In regard to the preceding description of the wanton destruction 
of hawks and other birds of prey, an interesting account is given 
of the discovery of a license by no less a personage than the 
Duke of Hamilton (Douglas) to a Hugh M ^Galium, gamekee[)er, 
Arran, of date 16th September 1779, wherein the "premiums 
for destroying birds of prey in Arran " is as follows : — 

Arrant Castle, 15th September 1779. 

Premiums for destroying birds of prey in Arran :— 

An eagle ...... 

For the nest of an eagle .... 

A game hawk ..... 

For the nest of a game hawk, the young ones alive 
A white kite ..... 

For the nest of a white kite 

A common kite ..... 

For the nest of a common kite . 

A raven ...... 

For a raven's nest ..... 

A hooded crow . . 



7s. 


6d. 


. 10s. 


6d. 


2s. 


6d. 


. 10s. 


6d. 


2s. 


Od. 


5s. 


Od. 


Is. 


Od. 


2s. 


6d. 


2s. 


Od. 


. 10s. 


6d. 


Os. 


6d. 



HAWK 287 

For a hooded crow's nest ..... Is. Od. 
For a cat shot on the muir . . . .Is. Od. 

On 17th February 1801, another hcence, signed by the factor this time, 
where the gamekeeper's name is not given, but the premiums are no less 
and the injunctions quite as stringent. 

On the fly-leaf the following is written:— One shilHng will in future be 
given for every hooded crow and magpie, and Is. 6d. for every hooded crow's 
nest. 

It is thought lucky in some places to see a hawk the first thing 
in the morning. A saying exists in the West Highlands when a 
person has been particularly fortunate any day, that he or she has 
seen the clamhan-luch — mouse-hawk. The screaming of a hawk 
is said to be a sign of a change in the weather. The plant hawk- 
weed bears the Gaelic name of " lus-na-seabhag " (Cameron). 
Of the gos or goshawk Mrs Grant, in her essays on the super- 
stitions of the Highlanders, etc., says, that "on the summit of 
Craigow (creag dhubh), black rock, scarce approachable by human 
foot, is the only nest of the goshawk now known to remain in 
Scotland," and, in the memory of the author, the nearest farm to 
this awful precipice was held by the tenure of taking down, every 
year, one of the young of this rare bird for the lord of the soil. 
This hawk is referred to by Dante. 

Abhsadh a chromain luch. 

The lowering of the kestrel. Clumsy sail-shortening. 
Cha deanar seobhag de'n chlamhan. 

You cannot make hawks of kites (buzzards). 
Cha d'thainig ian glan riamh a* nead a chlamhain. 

Clean bird never came out of kite's (? buzzard's) nest. 
Said of children of questionable parentage. 
Cha ghlac dorn duinte seobhag. 
Closed fist won't catch hawk. 
Cha'n ann gun fhios carson ni an clamhan fead. 

'Tis not without a reason the kite (? buzzard) whistles. He 
is generally silent when hunting. 
Faire (or gleidheadh) a chlamhan air na cearcan. 

The watching or keeping of the kite (buzzard) of the hens. 
Destruction. 
Ge h-uasal an seobhag 's trie a gheibhar le feall i. 

Though proud be the falcon, there are deft hands can bind 
her, or though noble is the hawk, 'tis oft got by treachery. 
Is beo na h-eoin ged nach seobhagan uil' iad. 

The birds live, though not all hawks. 
Mar is airde theid an calaman 's ann is docha an seobhag 
breith air. 

The higher the pigeon goes (flies), the more likely 'tis for 
the hawk to catch it. 
Mar sheobhag gu ian sleibhe tha bean mic gu 'mathair-cheile. 
Like hawk to mountain bird is the son's wife to his mother. 



288 HAWK— HEN 

Tha' clamhan-^oblilach nam meas|T. 

The fork-tailed kite is among them. Said of frightened 
folk. 
Tha suilean nan seobhag an ceannaibh nam ban a' taghadh 
nam fear. 

The hawk's eyes are in the heads of women when choosing 
a husband. Sometimes. 

HEN. — Cearc, cere; Eir, eireag, eren, erun (pullet — Ir.); 
iar (Old Gael.). See Part I. 

Biddy ; Chekon, chick-a-biddy, chike, chuck-a-biddy (chicken), 
chuckie, cicen, cycen (A. S.), claag, claager, clatch, clatching, 
cleckin, clockin (brood, brooding), cubadee (chicken) ; Dandy 
(bantam), doll-popper (water), ducker (fighting cock) ; Earock, 
eirack, erack, errack ; Faizart, fesart (hermaphrodite), fluckern 
(white-speckled), fuddie (tail-less), gallinule (water); Hawk-hen, 
how-towdy (never laid) ; Ingaby (defeated cock) ; Klaager ; 
Mabiar, mabier, mabyear, mabyer (chicken), moory (water) ; 
Poult, pout, powt, powte, pullet, pullity ; Raumer (fighting cock), 
reek or reik-hen (kain), Richard (cock), roblet (large chicken), 
rooster, rucking (clucking — Eng.) ; Shake-bag (large game-cock), 
spatch cock (quickly killed), stag (game-cock), stane-hen (water) ; 
Tawpenny (tufted) ; Yearock. 

Etymologies differ on this word — one or two are selected and 
given. From Old Teutonic "hana," lit. singer; from Ind. Eur. 
base, the Gaelic, from " Kark," to sound, to laugh ; a noise- 
making bird or fowl ; the Old Gaelic word for a cock was 
" cailech," from root " Kal," to call ; the Old Celtic word " eir " 
or "iar" gives rise to the word "iris," a hen-roost, also called 
"eireas," i.e., eir seas, eir sheas or seasaidh, hen stand. The 
above word ban, hana or hanna was used for a cock as well as a 
hen ; the germ is "hahn," Persian "Kauk," and back to Sanscrit 
"Kanaka," which originated, it is alleged, in imitation of the 
grumbling cluck or cry of this fowl, " Kukuta," from same reason 
being the Sanscrit for cock. The word "ore" in Old Irish is 
given for " egg." 

The different names or terms given above, both in Gaelic 
and English, do not, it is thought, by any means exhaust the 
various names for this fowl and its varieties, but sufficient are 
given to show this. The word " cleckin," as is known, is used 
from the sound uttered by the hen when brooding, and is also 
called decking, clocking ; cletch or clutch signifying a brood of 
chickens. 

As may be surmised, various superstitions and sayings exist 
in connection with this domestic fowl, both male and female, 
to give the latter the priority ; a crowing hen as is commonly 
known is thought uncanny by the most matter of fact person, 
by others not so strong-minded, she Q) is looked upon with great 



HEN 289 

suspicion, and thought to bode ill-luck to the possessor or family, 
if not speedily disposed of, or pending that, some feathers should 
be pulled from the tail. It is said to be a bad sign to see hens 
without a cock in their midst. A hen cackling, after laying, is 
supposed to say : — 

" Gog gog, gog gog, gog gog, aodh 
Beiridh mise h-uile latha 
'S cha bheir a bho laogh." 

Gog gog, etc. I'll lay every day, and the cow won't calve 
(lay a calf). 

Henbane in Gaelic is '^^ caoch-nan-cearc," that which blinds 
the hen ; deadly to poultry. 

While a body lies unburied all the hens should be shut up 
closely in case of one getting into the house, and leaping or 
flying over the corpse. If such were to happen, the first person 
such a hen met thereafter would become blind sooner or later. 
When a farm stocking is sold, the hens should be excepted and 
given away. Eggs should be set under hens during ebb-tide 
for heji birds, and during flow for cocks. May is a bad month 
for hatching, March is preferable. The black cock of the spring 
— March — is specially lucky, while the red ccck of autumn is the 
reverse. When hens are seen to preen themselves extra carefully, 
look out for foul weather. An ancient tax imposed on vassals 
was called a reek or reik hen, being a hen from every house in 
which there was a reek or smoke from fire therein — every dwelling- 
house. In Gaelic a certain fat fowl exacted from sub-tenants 
was called " cearc-fearain." A henhouse is '^ cearc-lann," a 
roost " cearc-loch," spar, spardan, or spiris, a hencoop is " cearc- 
mhanrach," etc. 

The cock commands much attention in mystical lore and 
otherwise, North and South. Superstitions surround him ; he can 
hardly move without cause, real or imagined. If he crows in the 
morning, with his head in at the door, then a stranger will arrive 
there that day, and it is well for one to be seen the first thing of 
a morning, looking towards you. Not only is he thus a prophet 
but a wizard, for in Arran and elsewhere, a superstition is said 
to exist that an ^gg was laid systematically by a cock, called " ubh 
maol na feannaig," the smooth (or bald) egg of the raven, whence 
a creature called a cockatrice was hatched. A cock crowing on 
his roost shortly before midnight indicates "coming news," and 
is said or thought to have a "tale to tell," sgeul ri inns' aig a 
choileach, whereupon it should be caught and his legs felt : if 
cold, it augured a tale of woe, even of death, if warm, the news 
would be good. Particular notice should be taken, ere catching 
the fowl, in which direction he was on the roost or spar, as the 
news might be expected from the direction the head points. In 
the Highlands, St Bridget's day, 13th February, was called "la 

T 



290 HEN 

cath choileach," day of cock-fighting, victors hiing called " coilich 
buadha," and vancjuished or cravens *' fuidsidli." In Shakespeare 
we find this coward called " coystril." This day in the Lowlands, at 
least latterly, was Candlemas day, or 2nd February, in Ireland on 
St Stephen's day. This practice is thought to have come from 
the East whence the common barn-door cock came, along with 
the Celts themselves, between 2000 and 3000 years ago. A 
dance used to exist called "cath nan coileach," or the combat 
of the cocks. A cock crowing is supposed to speak or crow 
in Gaelic, and say : " Mac-an-righ a' ruamhar 's Mac-Cailein a 
cliathadh," the king's son delving, and Mac-Cailein (Argyll) 
harrowing. 

Cameron calls red campion "cirean coilich," cock's comb. A 
saying exists that "As long as there is a cock i' the North, there'll 
be a Fraser in Philorth." This family should be pretty secure. A 
cock is said to be able to see evil spirits, and, if black, he can cure 
epilepsy by being buried alive under bed of patient. This seeing 
of evil spirits refers to the well-known belief that spirits must 
flee at cock crow. The Irish Gaelic name for acock, "cailech," 
was an epithet — like our own "Cock o' the North" — of a King 
of Connaught, his real name being "Art Ua Ruaire," 1084 {Chron. 
Scot.); but though "cailech" is given there and elsewhere as a 
word in Irish Gaelic for cock, according to Reeve's Adnmimn 
that word stands for " calix," as in the term " calix offertorii," in 
Irish cailech or coilech na-aiffrind, the chalice or offertory cup. 
Another familiar port-beoil or mouth tune chanted by us in our 
childhood was this somewhat ridiculous doggerel rhyme, whence 
drawn we know not : — 

Bha tri chasan deiridh air a choileach bh' aig nigh 'n Fhearchair. 

(Repeat twice) 
Sgiathan 's itean buidhe air a choileach bh' aig nigh 'n Fhearchair. 

Three hind-legs had the cock belonging to Farquhar's daughter. 
Wings and yellow feathers, etc. 

Dr Keith N. Macdonald in his collection gives another version 
as follows : — 

Tha tri chasan deiridh aig na h-eireagan aig Cearara. 

(Repeat twice) 
Tri chasan deiridh, 's ceithir chasan dearg oirr. 

Three hind-legs had the hens of Kerrera, 
Three hind-legs, and four red feet. 

Also the same as regards a cock belonging to one MacCormaig. 
In Campbell's Talcs, Vol. III., p. 93, the story of how the cockj 
took a turn out of the fox is told, and on p. 94, one as to a hen.j 
A young game-cock, under one year, is called a "stag" in] 
Ireland. On St Martin's eve, as is referred to under article 
Cow, some blood must be shed, so where parties are poor a cock 
is, or was, selected as the victim. 



HEN 291 

In addition to proverbs, there are familiar sayings, etc., more 
or less apposite, in regard to this domestic fowl. Some are : — 

Ite na circe brice fachiste mo shean-mhathair. 

A feather of the speckled hen 'neath my grandmother's 
chest. 
Tha nead na cearca breaca ann an ciste mine mo shean- 
mhathair. 

The speckled hen's nest is in the meal-chest of my grand- 
mother. 
Chleachd a chearc dhubh 'bhi breith anns a chliabh, agus 
chleachd a chearc liath 'bhi breith anns a chro. 

The black hen used to lay in the creel, and the grey hen 
used to lay in the fold. 
Baine cioch circe ann an adharc muice 's ite cait ga shuathachadh. 
The milk from a hen's teat in a pig's horn, rubbed on with 
the feather off a cat — an infallible cure for some evils, 
or indeed, for all sores. 
Bean bheag a' tighinn do'n bhaile so, 's creagada creag air a 
muin, casan urra (orra), 's i gun lamhan, 's ultachan cathadh 'na 
h-uchd. 

A wee wife coming to this town, a little rockity rock on her 
back, with feet but no hands, and a fluffy burden in her 
breast. 
Am fear a ghoideadh ubh circe ghoideadh e 'n t-ubh geoidh. 

Who would steal the hen egg would steal the goose egg. 
An gog mor 's an t-ubh beag. 

Loud cackle, little egg. 
An t-ian a thig e ubh coilich sgriosaidh e 'n saoghal. 

The bird (chicken) that will come out of a cock's egg can 
destroy the world. Yes, when ? 
Aon de thriuir nach fulling an cniodachadh — cearc. 
One of three that won't endure caressing — a hen. 
B'ainnrig leis a chirc aghartan a bhi aice. 

'Tis not common for hens to have pillows. 
Beiridh cearc dhubh ubh geal. 

A black hen will lay a white egg. 
Be sin a chearc a gairm roimh 'choileach. 

That were the hen crowing before the cock. Against 
nature. 
Be sin trial 1 nan cearc gu h-Eirinn. 

That were the hens' march to Ireland. Talking, not acting. 
B'fhialaidh an coileach (no an cearc) mu chuid an eich. 

The cock (or hen) was very bountiful with the horse's corn. 
Bidh an coileach-circe 'g obair fad an latha, ach cha bhi ni 
'n a sgroban 'am bial na h-oidhche. 

The barn-door cock works all day long, but his crop is 
empty at night. 



292 HEN 

Bu cheannach learn d' iibh air do ^hloc. 

Your egg is dear for so mueh caekling. Said when a 
person descants largely when making a gift. 
Bu mhath impidh a choilich mu shiol 'thoirt do na eearean. 
Well pleaded the cock for corn to the hens. Disinterested- 
ness. 
Cas ceura coilich feasgar fann fogharaidh agus a sgroban Ian. 
The footstep of a cock in a declining autumn evening, and 
his crop full. Slow and majestic. 
Cas circ an criathar. 

A hen's foot in a sieve. A bad or unpleasant fit. 
Cearc a' dol a dh'iarraidh geoidh. 

A hen going in quest of a goose. Impudence. 
Cearc reamhar a choilich chaoil. 

Fat hen and lean cock. Applicable to some households. 
Cearcan a' glaodhaich. 

Hens crowing. An unnatural thing. 
Cha bhi sgroban Ian aig cearc na linne mhoir. 

A hen with a lot of chickens (a large brood), will never have 
a full crop. This is a fair argument against large families. 
Cha choilich a mhealladh a mholl mi. 

I am not a cock to be caught with chaff. Knowing to a degree. 
Cha 'n ann gun fhios c'airson a bheireas a chearc ubh. 

'Tis not for nothing the hen lays an egg. The husband 
knows the cost, the wife the value. 
Cha 'n 'eil leigheas air leighis clach-ghluin a choilich. 

There is no healing or cure better or more effectual than 
the healing by, or of, the kneestone of a cock. A stone 
said to be in the cock's knee (wherever that is), 
supposed to be an infallible cure for various troubles or 
diseases — when found ! 
Cha robh gur riamh gun ghoirein. 

A brood was never soundless — some survived. 
Cha trom leis a choileach a chirein. 

The cock feels not the weight of his comb. 
Cho bochd ris a chirc. 
As poor as the hen. 
Cho dudach ri cearc. 

As noisy (horny) as a hen. This has also been translated 
"thin-skinned." 
Cio'd e bhun da ? an rud a bha'n cas na circe — mi-adh. 

What happened to him? That which was on the hen's 
foot — bad luck. 
Cirean a choilich air a chirc. 

The cock's comb on the hen. Unnatural. The woman 



wearing the 



Cnamhag na circe reamhar. 
The fat hen's refuse. 



HEN ^93 

Coileach a mhairt bidh e 'n a thrathadair daonnan. 

A March (born) cock is always the best watchman. 
Cridhe na ch*ce an gob na h-ah'ce. 

A hen's heart in the beak of want. Said of one who fears 
to struggle or strive against staring starvation. 
Cromaidh an coileach-circ a cheann 'an dorus an tigh mhoir. 
The cock bows his head at the great house door. Referring 
merely, it is thought, to his habit of bending cautiously 
ere entering any enclosure. 
Failte na circe mu'n ard dorus. 

The hen's salute at the lintel or threshold. 
Far am bi cearcan bidh gracan. 

Where hens are will be cackling (querulous noise). 
Far nach cinnich an sparr cha chinnich na's fhearr. 

Where the hen-roost thrives not, neither will what's 
better. If a housewife neglects her hens, she will 
neglect her house. 
Gairm chearc, ni toirmisgt'. 

Crowing of hens, a forbidden thing. 
Al. Gairm circe ; neo cearcan a glaodhaich. 
Ge be ghoideadh an t-ubh ghoideadh e chearc nam faodadh e. 

Who would steal the egg would steal the hen — if he dared. 
Ged is iosal an coileach cromaidh e 'cheann. 

Though the cock be humble, he bends his head. 
Gheabh cearc na sgriobain rud-eigin, 's cha 'n fhaigh cearc 
a chrubain dad idir. 

The scraping hen will get something, but the crouching 
hen will get nothing. Good advice to the indolent. 
Is coma leam an rud nach toigh leam, eireagan a' dol 'nan 
coilich. 

I care not for what I like not, pullets becoming cocks. 
Appropriate to exaggerated "women's rights." 
Isean deiridh linne, cinnidh e no theid e dholaidh. 

The last chicken of a brood comes to either grief or good. 
Generally the weakest. (See Nicolson's note.) 
Is ladurna coileach air otrach fhein. 

A cock is bold on his own midden. Offensive indeed. 
Is math an t-uaireadair an coileach. 

The cock is a good time-piece. Almost the only one indeed 
in the days of yore. 
Is olc a sgrioban nach lion a' sgroban. 

It's poor scraping that won't fill the crop — of a hen, etc. 
Is seasgair samhach a chearc air a h-iris fhein. 
Quiet and snug is the hen on her own roost. 
Mar a ghairmeas an t-sean choileach 's ann a dh' fhoghluimi- 
cheas an coileach og ; or. 

An uair a ghlaodhas an t-sean choileach foghlumaidh an t-og. 
As the old cock crows the young one learns. 



294 HEN— HERON 

Mar gu 'ra biodh cearc air toir nid. 

Like a hen in search of a nest — restless. 
Modh na circe, gabhail ealla rithe. 

Hen politeness, letting her alone. 
Na abair '*diug" (neo "big") ris an ian gus an tig e 'mach 
as an t-ubh. 

Don't say " chuck " to the chick till it be out of the egg. 
Hurry not. 
Na doirt e ; cha tog na cearcan e. 

Don't spill it ; the hens won't (can't) pick it uj). Drinl 

This was said by some Lochalsh or Kintail men aboul 

or to men of Sleat, Skye, who are dubbed "hens." Thi 

saying provoked a fjital fight. 

Nadur circe, gabhaidh i a rathad fhein. 

A hen's nature, she'll take her own way. 
Ni cearc an aon coin uiread sgriobaidh ri cearc an dusan. 
The hen of one chicken will scrape as much as the hen 
a dozen. 
Oran na circe beadaidh. 

The song (?) of the pert hen — irritating. 
Ruaig coilich air dunan. 

Putting to flight a cock on a dunghill. 
Thoir do " Gu-robh-math " do 'n choileach. 

Give your thanks to the cock. The early riser. 
Tuarasdal na circe, Ian a sgrobain. 

The hen's wage, the full of her crop. For which she works. 
Tus mi-rath, an coileach a bhi na thamh 'us a chearc a bhi 
a* gairm neo dha ghairm. 

The beginning of misfortune, the cock doing nothing and 
the hen crowing. 
Ubh aig eireig. 

A pullet (young hen) with an egg. An important event, in 
its estimation. 
Ubh na circe 'dol a shireadh ubh a gheoidh. 

The hen's egg going to seek the egg of the goose. Pre- 
sumption — giving little for much. 
Ubh na circe duinne *dol do 'n tigh mhoir gun ubh a gheoidh 
a thoirt as. 

The brown hen's egg going to the big house without 
bringing back the goose's egg. Failing to get a great 
gift for a small. 
Uibhean chearc aon de thri rudan 's daoire th' ann. 
Hen eggs one of the three dearest of things. 

HERON (see also Crane). — Bonnan, bonnan-liona, bunnan, 
bunnan-buidhe ; Cas-crefoy (Ir.), corr, corra, corra-ghlas, corra- 
chrithich gribheach griobhach riabhach riathach sgreachag and 
sgriach, corr-iasg (Ir.), curr, curra. 



HERON 295 

Black-bellied egret, boomer ; Craigie, crane, crawn, crue ; 
Egret ; Frank (Suffolk) ; Gray night-heron ; Haigrie, hahnser, 
hahnsey, hancer, handsaw, hansa, hanser, hansey, harn, harnsa, 
harnsee, harnser, harnsey, hayron (A. S.), hearnshaw or shrew, 
heerringseugh, heerinsew, heggrie, hegrie, hegrils-skip, herald, 
herle, hern-cran or crane, heme, hernshaw-sho-shrew or sue, 
herny, heronseugh-sew-sue or sueff, heronshaw-sheugh-shew- 
shrew or shuf, hernseugh-sew-sey or shaw, herrensue, herring- 
sew-shaw-sho or sue, herrinsue, heyrune (A. S.), hornsey, hurie, 
huron ; Ibis ; Jack-hern, jammy, jammy-crane, Jemmy long- 
legs or neck, Jennycrow or heron, Joan, John-na-ma-crank or 
croak ; Krean, kren, kron ; Lang-craiget heron, longie crane, 
long-necked heron (Warw.) ; Molhern, moUern, mollerne, moll- 
hern, mollyern, molly-hern, mollyheron (female) ; Night-heron 
or raven ; Siege (covey) ; Tammie-herl ; Willick (young) ; Yron. 

The above are only a few of numerous names found in old 
works on hawking and articles thereon, etc. The word is said 
literally to mean a screamer or laugher, from old root " Kar," to 
scream, to laugh ; the Gaelic " corr-gribheach," etc., is said to be 
derived from its having feathers on the legs. 

This is a well known and much discussed bird, very lonely 
and patient ; its patience indeed is proverbial, it waits for the 
fish to come to it as a rule. In Ireland the fat of a heron slain 
at full moon is said to be a good cure for ••heumatism ; in the 
North it is supposed to wax and wane with the moon. Eels are 
its choicest diet, to which it is devoted, and spares no trouble in 
endeavouring to keep down, swallowing the same one industriously 
several times. 

A prophecy runs " When the heron leaves the tree, the laird 
of Gight shall landless be." Whether this is, or was, true cannot 
be vouched for, but in 1785 it is said certain falcons, to which 
bird the prophecy was said to apply also, actually left the district — 
or were destroyed. 

Athais an darna curra air a chorr eile. 

The reproach of the one heron against the other. Both 
the same. 
Cha shuaicheantas corr air cladach. 

A heron on the shore is not peculiar — lit. not an ensign or 
escutcheon. This is worth the attention of the Lyon 
Office. 
Is sealgair mhath a mharbhas corr. 

He is a good sportsman who kills a heron. One of three 
particularly wary birds. 
Mhealladh e 'n t-ubh bho'n chorra-ghlais, ge d' bhiodh a da 
shuil a' coimhead air. 

He w^ould cheat the heron of her ^gg, though her two eyes 
were fixed on him. A keen, grasping, and greedy man. 



296 HOBBY— JACKDAW 

HOBBY. — Gearran-ard ; Seorsa seal)hai<^. 
Fan-wiii«j ; kind of hawk, (j.v. 

HOOPOE. — Calaman or calman-cathaich^ cathaiche or cAthaidh ; 
Eala, ealadh 

Moulting-dove ; Pu-pu ; Stinker ; Up-up ; Whooper, wikl 
swan. Ancient name, " Upupa." A German name is " wedhop " 
or " wedehope." 

This bird is to be found frequently mentioned in Celtic poetry 
— at least <jua swan. As to the alleged singing of the swan, that is, 
like mice, attributable, it is now known, to a disease in the throat, 
which causes the pitch of its usual call or cry to be prolonged and 
varied ; this is more noticeable when tlie poor bird is dying from 
such disease and struggling for breath. The hooj)oe is said to 
very filthy in its eating, and to emit an offensive odour, whenc 
one of its names. 

The only proverb apparently applicable is — 

Gob a chalmain-chathaidh, bidh tu slan mu 'm pos thu. 

Beak of the moulting-dove, you'll be well before you man 
(See Nicolson's note hereto as to meaning.) It is coi 
eluded that as " cath " means " fan." the meaning shouk 
be " Fantail pigeon." 

HUMMING-BIRD.— Drannd-eun. 



I 

IBIS — Corr, etc. (see Heron). — Glossy Ibis. 

This bird is very rare in Scotland, being merely the blue, 
brown, buff-backed, and white herons ; the latter'is the one chiefly 
called the Ibis, and is found in the Jordan valley. 



JACKDAW. — Cabhag, cabhog (Ir.), caboge, cadhag, cathag, 
cathag-fhiorionn, ceath, coc-bhran, coileach-cathaig, corrachan 
(lona. Mull) ; Glaisean-coille ; Parr, parra, parrachan, pioghaid, 
preachan ; Screachag, sgriachag, sgriachag-cpiUe, sorachag. 

y // Ca, caddaw, cadder, caddow, caddy, cadess, cadesse, cadowe, 

carder, caw-daw, chank, chank-daw, Cornwall kae ; Dag-daw, 
daw-cock ; Gae, gekgo ; Ja, jack-craw, jacker-daw, jacko, jauner, 
jay, jay-pie or piet, jecko, joy-bird or pie ; Ka, kae, ka-waltie or 
wattie, kay, keaw, keo, killigrow, koo ; Leaper or lipper-jay ; 

'oA^ Market-jew crow ; Night^jar, nothag, nothagge, nothak, nuthage 



/^r/A>i^w^ Palsgrave) ; Red-legged crow ; Showhe. 



JACKDAW— KITE 297 

This pert bird is well known north and south. One proverb 
runs — 

Guth na cubhaig 'am bial na cathaig. 

The cuckoo's voice in the jackdaw's mouth. Deceit. 

K 

KESTREL (see also Hawk). — Clamhan-ruadh ; Dearcan, dear- 
gan, deargan-allt. 

Castrel, creyer ; Gastrel ; Hover-hawk ; Kastril, keelie^ kestril, 
kistril ; Peep-hawk ; Stanchell^ stand-hawk, stannell, steingall, 
stonegall ; Willie-whip-the-wind, wind-cufFer or hover. 

KINGFISHER. — Ale ; Bior-an-t-uisge, biorra, biorra-cruidein 
or cruitein ; Cairneach, coirneach, cruidein, cruitean, cruitein; 
Gabha, gobha, gobha-dubh-nan-allt, gobh'uisge, gobhachan-uisge ; 
lasgair-cairneach ; Murlach. 

Bessy - blue - back, bluebird ; Dipper, ducker ; Ess - cock ; 
Gaudnie; Halcyon; Kings-fisher, kittie-neetie; Longbill; Shagarack, 
shagarak, spit-of-the-fisher ; Water-craw or ouzel. 

Cleland says the name "halcyon" is derived from "hal, 
lig-y-un," hal, fine or calm, and lig-y-un, lying or breeding on the 
water. A general belief existed that it was always calm when 
this bird was breeding. The Gaelic name "biorra" comes from 
"bir," an old Gaelic word for water. The "halcyon" or calm 
breeding days are said to be seven, and occur in mid-winter, 
called St Martin's summer. If a dead kingfisher be hung up by a 
string, it is said that its beak will always point in the direction of 
the prevailing wind. No moth will come near it. The kingfisher, 
like the cuckoo, is said not to make a nest for herself, but to lay 
her egg or eggs in the first convenient cavity. A writer of an old 
essay to the Highland Society says it is very destructive to salmon 
spawn. 

KITE. — An t-eun fionn ; Clamhan, clamhan-gobhlach, cos- 
garrach (lit. conqueror), croman, croman-gobhlach (swallow-tailed), 
croman-lachaidh-lachduinn-lochaidh or luch, crom-reoch or 
riabhach ; Earfhiach ; Parr or parra-riabhach-nan-cearc, preachan, 
preachanach, preachan-ceirteach or nan cearc (ring-tailed) ; 
Seanan. 

Crotchet-tailed puttock, crotch-tail (Essex), cyta (A. S.) ; 
Faller, fork-tailed gled ; Glade, glaid, glead, gled, glede, gleead, 
gleed, gleid, glid, glida, grey buzzard ; Hendriver ; Jack-e-stop ; 
Katabella, kestrel ; Melle (A. N.), miller ; Potok, puttock ; Red 
gled, ringtail; Salmon-tailed gled. 



298 KITE— LAPWING 

This beautiful bird of prey derives its name, "glede," etc., 
from its graceful «^liding motion ; the word " kite " is claimed to 
come from Teut. "skut," to shoot, to fly quickly; "puttock" 
from preying on "pouts or poults"; "put" is the Gaelic word, it 
may be added, for young moor-fowl, hence also "poot or put- 
hawk," for kite. 

A remorseless war has been waged generally against this 
bird, as, in common with hawks, etc., they are counted vermin, 
and no less than 275 were destroyed at Glengarry alone in three 
years. Cameron informs us in his Gaelic names for plants, etc., 
that the plant "flax-dodder" is called "clamhainin lin" in Irish 
Gaelic. 

Abhsadh a chromain-luch. 

Shortening sail, kite- fashion. A Hebridean phrase, applied 
to awkward handling of a sail, letting it down suddenly, 
like the descent of a kite. 
Be sin fair 'a chlamhain air na cearcan. 

That were the kite's watching of the hens. Al. Gleidheadh, 
etc. Destruction. 
Cha deanar seobhag de 'n chlamhan. 

You cannot make hawks of kites. The kite is of a carrion 
nature, for 
Cha d' thainig ian glan riamh a nead a chlamhain. 

Clean bird never came out of kite's nest. 
Cha 'n ann gun fhios c'air son a ni an clamhan fead. 

It's not for nought that the kite whistles. 
Cha 'n iognadh an clamhan a dh' fhalbh le aon isean circe 
doille. 

No wonder if a kite takes a blind hen's only chicken. 
Tha 'n clamhan gobhlach 'n am measg. 

The fork-tailed kite is among them. Said when sauve qui 
petit appears rampant among any gathering. 

KITTIWAKE.— Eigir ; Faireag, fairleag; Ruideag; Seagair, 
seigire, sgaireag ; Tarroch. 

Annet ; Cackareen, chitterweek, craamaa ; Keltic, killy weeack, 
kishiefaik, kittie, kitty weak ; Petrel ; Tarrock ; Waeg, weeg. 

KNOT (see Sandpiper, Curlew). 



LANDRAIL (see Corncrake). 

LAPWING. — Adharcag, adharcan, adhaircean, adhaircin- 
luachrach ; Crann-lach, curacag, currachdag, currucag ; Daorgan, 
dirid, doireagan (Badenoch) ; Faireag, fairleag, fairleog, faithir- 



1 



LAPWING— LARK 299 

leog (Ir.), feadag-riasgach, filbin ; Oirc ; Pibhinn, pilbin (Ir.) ; 
Sadharcan, saoragan^ saorgan, saotharcan. 

Cappie, collared turnstone, common tm-nstone, corniwillen ; 
Dix-huit; Flap-jack (Suffolk), flopwing ; Green or grey plover; 
Happinch, hleape-wince (A. S.), hoopoe, hornewink, horniwink, 
hornpie, hornywick-wig-wink-winky, horrywink ; Lap-winckle, 
lipwingle (Beds.), lymptwigg (Exmoor) ; Nicket ; Old maid 
(Wore.) ; Peaseweep, peesie, peesweep, peeweep, peeweet, pee- 
wyt, pewit, phillipene (Ir.), piewipe, pilbin, puet, puit ; Teeou, 
teeuck (Orkney), teewheep, teuchet, teuchit, tewfet (North), 
theuis or thevis-nek, tieves, touchet, tuchit, tuquheit, turnstone ; 
Wallack, wallop, wallop-a-weep or weet, wallochie-weet, wype. 

The above Anglo-Saxon word "hleape or hleape-wince supposed 
to be the origin of the name of this well-known bird, it means 
"one who turns about in running," from "hleap-an," to run, and 
" wince " to turn. 

This bird is well known in the Highlands, especially where 
bare short-grassed moors prevail ; it is thought much of in some 
parts of the north, though disliked, it is believed, in the south — 
except for food. The Irish also are said to hate it, as the saying 
runs, it gave its eggs to Scotland, and its dirt to Ireland. The 
lapwing lays four eggs. 

In the Highlands the lapwing is thought to say "'Mhurchaidh 
bheag na creach mo nead." Little Murdoch, do not harry my 
nest. A storm called "Tuchet's storm" heralds the arrival of 
the lapwing, about the middle of March. If lapwings nest and 
lay on the slope of a hill, it is always on the east side thereof if 
at all feasible. 

LARK. — Bigean-mor (lit. little-big bird), boag, bodhag, bothag, 
bualainde (sea, sandy laverock) ; Ciabhag-choille (wood) ; Fosg, 
fosgag, fuiseag, fuiseog (Ir.) ; Gleorag, gulnag (sea) ; Iseag ; 
Luatharan ; Reamhag, reubhag, riabhag, riabhag-coille, riabhag- 
monaidh, riubhag ; Uiseag, etc. 

Backie, baukie ; Common lark ; Dilser, dulser (rock or field) ; 
Field-lark ; Horned lark ; Lady hen, laeverik, lairag, lairock, 
lalock, larick, larock, larrock, laverack, laverc (A. S.), laveree, 
laverick, laverock, laverok, laveruck, lavrick, lavroc, lavrock, 
lavrok, lawerce, lawrook, layrock, layruck, layruk, learock, lereke, 
lerock, lerruck, leverock, levrick, lint- white (Suff.), loch-learock ; 
Our Lady's hen ; Queen-of-Heaven's-hen ; Ring dotterel or plover, 
rising-bird or lark ; Sandy larick, lerick or leverick, sandy-loo, 
shore-lark, short-heeled lark, sky-lark, stinte (sea-holme) ; Whey- 
bird (wood), whistler, wodewall wood, woodweele (wood), etc. 

In Irisleabhar na Gaidhlige, the well-known Celtic scholar who 
writes under the name " Iain " says — " Cha 'n 'eil eun anns an 
ealtuinn air an robh uiread de mheas aig luchd-aiteachaidh nan 
Eileanan-an-iar 's a bha air an uiseag. Ri mo cheud chuimhne 



300 LARK 

fhein, blia meas nior aig daoine oirre. Ach tlia leithid a dh* athar- 
racliadh iar tighinn air beachdan agus air clcachdaidliean dhaoine 
's gu bheil moran dhe 'n t-sluagh os ceann a bhi 'toirt fainear 
eunlaith an adliair. Tha eagal mor orm nacb 'eil daoine a bheag 
air thoiseacb ami an gliocas agus ami an tuigse, no idir ann an 
caoimhneas agus ann an caranas, air na daoine bh' ann 's an aimsir 
a dh' fhalbh ged a tha lad 'gam meas fhein moran na 's glice na 
na daoine dh' flialbh. 

An uair a bha mi og bha *n uiseag air a meas na h-eun 
bcannaichte. Cha chreachadh duine sam bith a thainig gu 
gliocas an nead aice air son rud sam bith. Bha moran eadhon a 
meas gun robh e' na pheacadh nead na h-uiseig a chreachadh. 
An am an treabhaidh na 'n tachradh gum biodh nead na h-uiseig 
ann an talamh a bha gu bhith air a threabhadh, rachadh am ploc 
de 'n talamh amis am biodh an nead a thogail leis a chaibe agus a 
chur an aite sabhailte air uachdar an treabhaidh. Na 'm biodh 
an uiseag iar toiseachadh ri gur air na h-uigheaii, cha 'n fhagadh 
i uaip' idir iad, ach mur bitheadh cha rachadh i 'nan coir tuilleadh. 

Is e ceithir uighean a bhios aig an uiseag mar is trice. Ach 
uair is uair bidh a coig aig te is te dhiubh. Is e an Uiseag Mhuire 
a theirear ris an uiseag aig am bi na coig uighean. 

Gu math trie bidh fear dhe na uighean anns nach bi eun. An 
uair a thig na h-eoin as na h-uighean eile, theid an t-ugh anns 
nach robh eun a chur as an t-sealladh air dhoigh eiginn, agus 
theireadh daoine o shean gur e a chur anns an deachamh a rinn 
an uiseag air. Tha so a nochdadh gu soilleir dhuinn gun robh an 
uiseag air a meas 'n h-eun beannaichte aig an am ud. 

Is e an t-aobhar sonruichte air son an robh meas cho mor air 
an uiseig a chionn gu robh i a toiseachadh ri gairm anns a mhaduinn 
Latha Fheill Bride. Bha i mar so ag innseadh gun robh an 
t-Earrach iar tighinn. Tha daoine gu nadurra toilichte an uair a 
thoisicheas an latha ri fas fada. Aig toiseach an Earraich tha 'ii 
Cruthachadh gu leir mar gum biodh a' dusgadh as a chadal agus 
a' teannadh ri cumhachdan naduir a chur an ceill. Tha cuimhne 
gle mhath agam an toileachadh a bhiodh air scan is og an uair a 
chluinneadh iad an uiseag a' gairm. Ach ma bha an uiseag a' 
failteachadh an Earraich le oran binn, bha na daoine bh' ann 
o cheann da cheud 'bladhna a' failteachadh na h-uiseig mar 
an ceudna le briathrau cho math agus cho freagarrach 's a 
b' urrainn daibh a chur ann an altaibh a cheile. Bheir an rami 
alcanas gne de bheachd dhuinn air a mhor-mheas a bh' aig daoine 
air an uiseig. Tha dearbhadh agam gum bheil dluth air da chead 
bliadhna o 'n a rinneadh an rann so. Bha e mar chleachdadh aig 
daoine bhi ga ghabhail anns a mhaduinn Latha Fheill Bride an 
uair a chlumneadh iad an uiseag a' gairm. So mata an rann. 

Air sgiathaibh siubhiach an aird nan speur 

Tha 'n uiseag bheusach, bhrea-bhallach, chliuteach 

A' seinn a ciuil dhuinn le deagh ghleus 



LARK 301 

A toirt sgeul an Earraich as ur dhuinn 

An deigh a ciurradh le fuachd breun 

A taisbeanadh maise agus umhlachd 

Do 'n Triuir a tha 'n aird nan nearah 

Mar fhianuis an aghaidh nan slogh 

'S mar dhearbhadh air gloir nan neamh 

Tha ribheid a cleibh a' toirt urraim air gach ceol 

Truailleachd naduir no gniomh lamh 

Cha chuirear mar thair air a h-eoin 

Craobh mheangannach dhosrach 

O dhuslach na talmhainn 

Mar sin an t-uine 's e falbh ann an ceo 

Gun subhailc neo-bheusach Ian truailleachd 

Tha 'n duine fo bhuaireadh mar sgleo 

A Thi phriseil nam buadhan caomha 

Ceadaich dhuinn aomadh gu ceol 

A sheinn do na naomhaibh 

Tha 'comhnuidh an saoghal nam beo 

Far nach fuaraich an gaol, 

'S am maireann an ceol. 

Muire nan gras, 

Peadair is Pol agus Eoin. 

Amen. 

The foregoing is not translated, brevitatis causa. 

The Irish are by no means behind their neighbours — Celtic or 
others — in their admiration and praises of the lark, one saying 
being — 

Mo run geal thar eun thu 

Mo sgiath ar leun thu. 

My pure choice of birds thou 

My wing upon meadows thou. 

It is hardly necessary, it is hoped, to add that it is a heinous 
sin to rob a lark's nest, and to see one even is reckoned a good 
sign, even though once it was supposed to be a bird of evil omen. 
It is said that the lark has the power to utter as many curses on 
the stealer of her eggs as there are spots in or on her tongue. 
Generally the lark is considered sacred, and often called " Mary's 
bird or lark." Ossian's grave is called " Carn-na-h-uiseig," the 
lark's cairn, and this bird is frequently referred to in Gaelic 
poetry. Wordsworth calls it '^ethereal minstrel pilgrim of the 
sky," and Shakespeare says, " Like to the lark at break of day 
arising from sullen earth sings hymns at heaven's gate." The 
lark sings strongest while ascending, probably because more force 
is necessary to raise him or herself, and thus the notes are made to 
gush out more freely. So soon as the lark begins to sing, so sure, if 
wet, will the weather clear up. The rock or field lark is fond of 
feeding on the shore on sea-weed, especially dilse or dulse, whence 
one of its names. In Irish Gaelic, according to O'Reilly, the word 
"uiseag" is akin to the word "uisi," humble, whence probably 
the other word "uisiarach," a petitioner. In Eriskay it is called 
"uiseag Muire," where it is plentiful, though the island of Lewis 



302 LARK— MAGPIE 

boasts of containing the greatest numbers. This name was given 
specially when five eggs were found in a lark's nest, four being 
the normal complement. The word " lark " itself is a contraction 
of " laverock," possibly " luatharag." A Scottish proverb has it 
that, as long as the laverock sings afore Candlemas (2nd February), 
it greets after it. February is the usual time when it begins to 
sing. 

Cha 'n 'eil deathach an tigh na h-uiseige. 

There is no smoke in the lark's house. A pretty saying. 
Gach eun mar oilear e, ars' an t-uiseag, agus an t-ui.seag thun a 
mhonaidh. 

Every bird as he has been reared (as the lark said), and the 
lark to the moor. 

LINNET. — Bigean-baintighearna (mountain), breacan-beatha 
or beithe, bricean, bricein, buidheag, buidhean ; Diodaig ; Gealan, 
gealan-lin, gealbhan, gealbhan or gealbhonn-lin (green), glaisean, 
glaiseun ; Reabhag, reabhag-monaidh or fraoich, reafog, reallog. 

Birch bird, blood linnet, brown linnet ; Chaffinch, cove-o'-lintie 
or linty ; Flax finch, furze linnet ; Gold finch, gorse bird-hatcher 
or linnet, greater redpoll, green linnet or lintie, lintwhite finch or 
grosbeak, grey heatherling or linnet, gunner (grey) ; Heather 
lintie, hedder grey ; Joey ; Lemon bird, lenget, lennert, lennie, 
lennow, lesser redpoll or linnet, linet, linet wige (A. S.), lin or 
linnet finch, linhay, linney, linnit, linnow, linny, lintie, lintie or 
linty white, lintwhite, little speckled bird of the birch, longtail ; 
Mealy redpoll, mountain linnet ; Red or red-breasted linnet, rose 
linnet, sheriff's man (seven-coloured), shilfa, shoulfall, snowfleck ; 
Thorn grey, twite (Uist) ; Whin or whun, grey or lintie. 

Name derived from feeding on lint seed. 

When the mountain linnet is seen, perched and singing, on the 
cliathaich or side of a house, a tree, or dyke, cold w^eather, even 
snow, may be soon expected. 



M 

MAGPIE. — Aaid, agaid ; Breac-mhac-rahuc-mhuch ; Cadhag ; 
Fileab-a-chleite, frangach ; Piaid, pighaid, pighe, pigheid, pigheann, 
pioghaid (Ir.), pithean ; Snag-breac. 

Chatter-pie ; Eggiste ; Hagester, hagister, haggister ; Madge, 
mag, magot-pie, Margaret, marget, miggy, meggatapy ; Nan-pie 
(North), nappie, ninut ; Peg-pie, pianate, pianet, pie, pie-mag or 
nanny, piet, piot (North), pyannat, pyardie, pye, pyenate (North), 
pyet, pyot. 

Pie or pye supposed from word " pot," or rather from Gaelic 



MAGPIE— MARTIN 303 

"pige" or "pighead." The word "Breac-mac/' etc., means the 
son or child of spots, or " speckled child or son." 

The magpie is said to have been the only bird that did not go 
into the ark with Noah, as it preferred to sit outside on the 
roof. 

The magpie is called " Gille-ruith nan Caimbeulach," the 
messenger, or running-boy of the Campbells, and, except to 
individuals of that name, it is unlucky as a rule, though the 
seeing one is bad or good according to circumstances : if it jumps 
on to the road before a traveller it is good, also if seen to one's 
right hand, bad to the left, in front fair ; if seen before breakfast 
as the first living thing for that day, it is unlucky, if seen hopping 
near a dwelling then good news may be expected. It is very 
unlucky, indeed a sure presage of "little happiness," to shoot 
or kill one. On account of such unluckiness various sayings and 
rhymes are current, the well-known one that "one is a birth, two 
sorrow, three a wedding, and four a death," the preponderance 
being evil. Comneach odhar used this bird's name in one of his 
prophecies as to the church of Ferrintosh, which prophecy nearly 
came true. The saying in Gaelic as to above is : — 

Chunnaic mi pioghaid is dh' eirich leam, 
Chunnaic mi dha 's gum b' iarguin iad 
Chunnaic mi tri a 's b' aighearach mi, 
Ach ceithir ri m' linn cha n' iarain iad. 

I saw a magpie, to me then luck did hie, 
I once saw two and they troubled me, 
Great joy was on me when once I saw three, 
But four forever let me not see. 

Eating the leg of a magpie is said to be a cure for one bewitched. 
This bird is said to have assumed the form of a Mull witch — or 
the witch to have assumed the form of a magpie. The witch was 
named "Dodiag," to whose evil agency the wrecking of a ship 
on Morven was attributed. Dodiag had the help of eleven other 
witches, all also in the shape of magpies. 

Pigheid Clachain, aon de thriuir a's coir a sheachnadh. 
A village magpie, one of three to be avoided. 

MALLARD (see also Duck). — Bardal ; Mullard ; Rac. 
Grey duck ; Mire-duck, moss-duck^, muir-duck ; Sore (flock), 
stock-duck. 

MARTIN (see also Swallow). — Fallag, fallaig (sand) ; Gobhlan- 
dubh (black), gobhlan-gaineacha-gaineimh-gainmhich (sand). 

Bank-martin, biter, bitter, bitter-bank, bitterie, butterie (sand) ; 
Easin-swallow, eaves-swallow ; Godon (common) ; House-martin ; 
Martern, martin-swallow, martlet, martyn, morton ; Pit-martin ; 
River-swallow ; Sand-backie, sand-swallow, sandy-swallow, shore- 
bird, swallow ; Window-swallow, witch-chick, witchuck. 



304 MAVIS— NIGHTINGALE 

MAVIS (see also Thrush). — Cullionag (lit. holly-bird) ; 
Smaolach, snieol, smeolaeh, smeor, smeorach ; Truideag. 

Common thrush ; Garden-thrush ; Linnet-ousel or ouzle ; Mavie, 
mavish, mawish, mawysse (A. S.), mevies, missel-thrush ; Ousel, 
ouzle ; Song-thrush ; Thristle-cock, throstle, thrush. 

Ousel or ouzle is from " Ansala." 

The mavis or thrush is supposed in the Highlands to sing in 
Gaelic. It was said by some ardent seceders in or after 1843 to 
have been heard saying or singing : — 

An eaglais shaor 's i 's fhearr, 

An eaglais shaor 's i 's fhearr, 

Na * moderates,' na ' moderates,' 

Cha 'n fhiach iad, cha 'n fhiach iad ! 
The Free Kirk's best by far, the Free Kirk's best by far. 
The Moderates, the Moderates 
Are worthless, are worthless ! 

Many Gaelic or Celtic songs to this bird and also personifying 
it are extant ; among the most notable of the latter are the well 
known Smeorach Chlann Raonuill ; Thorra Ghoill, etc., etc. 

Cha dean aon smeorach samhradh. 

One mavis makes not summer. 
Cha 'n 'eil port a sheinneas an smeorach *s an Fhaoilleach, 
nach caoin i mu'n ruith an t-Earrach. 

For every song the mavis sings in February, she'll lament 
ere spring be over. 
Cho binn ri smeorach air geig. 

As tuneful as a mavis on a bough. The ne plus ultra of 
sweetness. 
MERGANSER (see also Duck).— Crann-lach ; Tumaire. 
Bar-drake ; Diving-goose ; Earl-duck ; Grey-diver ; Harle, 
harle-duck, herald, herald-duck ; Land harlan, lesser-toothed 
diver; Popping wigeon ; Sawbill, sawbill wigeon, sawneb, scale- 
duck. 

MERLIN (see Falcon, etc.). — Meirneal. 
Rock-hawk ; Sparrow-hawk, stone-falcon. 
MISSEL-THRUSH (see Thrush). 



N 

NIGHTINGALE. — Beul-bhinn or binn; Eosag; Lon (Dean 
of Lismore) ; Ros-an-ceol ; Seiniolach, smileach, smileag, smiol, 
smiolach, smoltach, spideag. 

Barley-bird ; Nightgale (Morte d' Arthur) ; Rosignell. 

From '*niht," night, and ^'gale," a singer— a night singer. 

Not heard much — if at all— in either Scotland or Ireland. 



i 



NIGHTJAR— OUSEL 305 

NIGHTJAR (see Snipe), — Gabhar or gobhar-adhair. 

Air-goat ; Churr-owl ; Dor-hawk ; Eve-churr ; Fern-owl ; 
Gnat-hawk, goat-chafFer, owl or sucker ; Jar-owl ; Moth-hawk ; 
Night-churr, crow, hawk or swallow ; Razor-grinder ; Scissor- 
grinder, screech-hawk, spinner ; Wheel-bird. 

The above names are derived from strange, whirring, jarring, 
goat-like sounds emitted or, uttered by it ; also like a spinning- 
wheel. 

NUTHATCH.— Gobach, gob-sgoltan ; Sgoltan. 
Jobbin ; Nutcracker, nutjobber or tapper ; Woodcracker. 
The name is derived from this bird's habit of striking or 
splitting and hacking nuts, etc. 



OS PREY. — An t-eun fionn ; Cairneach, coirneach, cnaimh- 
bhristeach ; Griobh (Dean of Lismore) ; lasgair-cairneach, iolair- 
mhara-uisg* or uisge ; Preachan-ceannan. 

Bald buzzard, bearded vulture ; Eagle fisher ; Fish or fishing 
eagle or hawk ; Mullet hawk ; Ospray, ospring (Palsgrave), 
ossifrage ; Water eagle. 

This bird holds its own, and is said to be on the increase, 
Lochiel and Grant of Rothiemurchus both encouraging nesting. 

Contraction of "ossifrage," or bone-breaker, from bird's strength. 
The skin of this bird, with feathers on, applied warm to the 
abdomen, is said to help to cure colic. 

OSTRICH. — lasgair-cairneach ; Oistric ; Sruth, struth, struth- 
chamhuU. 

Astridge, austridge, estridge (Shakesp.) ; Hosterage ; Ostridge. 

Two ostriches, with a horse-shoe in each of their bills, appear 
in the arms of Maclean of Duart. 

OUSEL (see also Blackbird). — Druid-dhubh or mhonaidh, 
dubh-chraige ; Gobha-dubh or gobha-dubh-nan-allt, gobha-uisge ; 
Lon, lon-cheilearach (ring), lon-mhonaidh ; Rear, rear-gagan (Ir.), 
reasg ; Smaolach. 

Blackbird-chacker or smith ; Cowboy, crag ouzel ; Dipper, 
ditch blackie ; Flitter or flitting chack ; Gaudnie; Hill chack ; 
Michaelmas-moor-mountain blackbird, coUey, ouzel or thrush ; 
Ouzel, ouzle ; Ring blackbird, ouzel or thrush, rock blackbird, 
ouzel or starling, roundberry bird ; Tor ouzle ; Water-craw or 
woosel, whistler. 

The ouzel or flitting-chack is looked upon in Orkney, when 

U 



306 OWL 

seen near a dwelling-house, as a portent of death to some of the 
inmates. 

OWL. — Alchaochan ; Bodach-oidhche (tawny) ; Cailleach-bhan 
(snowy or barn), cailleach, cailleach-oidhche, cailleach-oidhche- 
gheal, cailleach-oidhche-mhor (eagle or tawny), coileach or coileach- 
oidhche, comhachag, cumhachag, etc., corr or corra-sgreachag or 
sgriaehaig (screech); Eun-foghladh (Ir.); Manadh, meanadh, 
minidh, molcha, mucha, mulcan, mulcha, mulchan, muUach 
(homed); Olcadan ; Sean-eun, sgreachag-oidhche, reilig or reilge, 
sgreachoge (Ir.) ; Tulcliabhachan ; Ullchabhagan, ulacan, 
ulchabhchan (Ir.), ullaid. 

Beech owl, billy, billy-wix, brown yogle ; Catogle, catyogle, 
catyool, cherubim, corpse-bird (tawny) ; Eagle owl ; Fern or ferny 
owl (night-jar) ; Gil, gill, gilly-howlet, gilly-hooter-houter-howler- 
howlet or howter, gilly-owlet (young), grey yogle, grand duchess 
or duke ; Hawk owl, hewlet, hill-hooter, hissing owl, hiulet, hobby 
owl, hoolat, hoolet, hoolit, hoot owl, horn-coot, hornie howlet or 
owlet, houlat, houlet, houlert, houlit, howlat, howlet, howlit, huf, 
huhole, hule (A. S.), hulet, hull, hullart, hullat, hullert, bullet, 
hullot, hulote ; Ivy owl ; Jack-baker, Jenny-hooker (North), 
Jenny-howlet, jill-hooter, jilly ; Katogle, kat-yugle (Danish) ; 
Lamenter, little horned owl, little owl, long ears, luggie (horned) ; 
Madge-howlet, Margery (barn), moss owl, mottled tufted owl, 
mouse hawk or owl; Nowle, nowlle ; 'Ollering owl, oolat, oolert, 
oolet, oolud, owlard, owlerd, owlert (Salop), owlet, owlud ; Padge, 
passerine owl, povey (Glouc), pudge or pudge-owl (Leic.) ; Red 
owl, roarer ; Scops-eared owl, scratch owl, stock owl, streak-tufted 
owl ; Uf, ule, uUard, ullat, uUert, ullet, ullot, ullyet ; White (church 
or churchyard), Will-a-wix (East), woodcock owl, wood owl, woolert, 
wullerd (Salop) ; Yogle, yuggle. 

From *' ul," to howl, hoot, screech. 



Bain, in his etymological dictionary, says the word " comhachag " 2| 
,n onomatopoetic word originally, the " poetic " part is partly "I 

" I 



is an 

given hereafter. The word " alchaochan " occurs in the Irish 

version of Psalm cii. 6. 

The owl is almost too well known to expatiate upon ; its 
antiquity as a bird which has got itself directly or indirectly] 
brought into prominence is unquestionable. A drawing of the I 
owl stood for our letter " M " in the ancient alphabet of China 
latterly the mark was said to be like waves of the sea, whence it 
was called "Mem," which meant "water," that is why we call 
it " em." 

Our classical readers need not be reminded how the owl is, or 
was, the bird of Pallas, and represents wisdom — of a kind; or 
how the cause of its sorrowful sound is generally believed to be 
owing to its continually lamenting its fall from "better days," 



OWL 307 

Ovid telling us how it once boasted the human form, but lost it 
for a very small offence. " Owls to Athens " is a saying somewhat 
akin to "Coals to Newcastle." 

In connection with this " Bird of Pallas/' so well known in the 
Highlands of Scotland as elsewhere, many references are to be 
found in Celtic song and story ; in Sean dana one reference is 
'^ Mu thim chioll mo ghlas chiabhan, ag iadhadh tha 'chomhachag 
chorr/' Around my grey locks the dismal owl hovers. The most 
important, especially in point of length and historical interest, is 
"The Song of the Owl," of which several accounts are given by 
different individuals. Professor MacKinnon says : "In 1776 Ronald 
Macdonald, son of Alexander Macdonald the poet, published a valu- 
able collection of Gaelic poetry ; the ballad entitled ' Oran na Comh- 
achaig ' was printed for the first time in this collection. Domhnull 
Mac Fhionnlaidh, who is said to have lived some three hundred 
years ago, is generally believed to be the author. Interesting 
reminiscences of this old poet and huntsman are given in The 
Gael, Vol. V., page 328." The ballad, as printed by the Professor, 
extending to sixty-seven verses, is quoted here, with the transla- 
tion given by Mrs Grant of Laggan. (See Mackenzie's Beauties, 
p. 17, for his account, also Vol. II. of the Lays of the Deer Forest, 
by the Sobieski Stuarts, appendix.) 

Another account I have come across says : " ' Oran na Comh- 
achaig, or Song of the Owl,' was made by a well-known Lochaber 
hunter of the deer, when he and the owl, with whom he communes in 
the song, were both old and both suffering from the termagant wife 
the old hunter had foolishly married. This song describes Lochaber 
scenery with almost the realism and beautiful word-painting of 
Scott and Maclntyre, the former of whom refers to it in the 
Antiquary, where he says, ' Elspeth sitting ghastly on the hearth, 
like the personification of old age in the hunter's Song of the Owl.' 
The old hunter who made the song died about 1590, or perhaps 
some years earlier. When the Comhachag bard was still young, 
Duncan Leodasach Macgregor was the great ' Cattle Lifter ' and 
disturber of the Highlands from Lochaber to Perth and Lennox. 
The song is not generally known." 

Mrs Grant's account is as follows : " A solitary hunter, unable 
to pursue the chase any longer, on account of old age, lived in 
Strathmashie in a small house, to which in 1772 or 1773 (?) some 
cattle drovers came, and for reasons of their own turned the 
hunter out of doors. He took shelter in a barn, and while lying 
meditating, saw an owl seated (or perched) on one of the spars 
or beams, to which bird he, to while away the time, etc., commenced 
to compose a long poem containing the sketch of his former life, 
describing his sensations, opinions, and recollections, and introduces 
an eulogium on the companions of his youth. The poem is peculiar 
from its length and originality, and being evidently produced by 
individual feeling — a feeling in which neither the tenderness of 



308 OWL 

love, the ardour of heroic enterprise, nor the joys of convivial 
intercourse have any share." 

The late Professor Blackie published (says Dr Keith Norman 
Macdonald) "a very good translation of the celebrated poem 
" An seal/^air 's a Chomhachag, the Hunter and the Owl," in 
the Celtic Magazine for September 1885, Vol. X. There are 
sixty-seven stanzas of four lines in each in the original, sixty-three 
of which have been translated. The Rev. Maclean Sinclair in his 
Gaelic Bards from 1411 to 1715, gives his version of this poem 
which differs from those above given. 

Another account, written in Gaelic, says : " Oran na Comh- 
achaig, a rinn Domhnull Mac Fhionnlaidh nan Dan, sealgair 'us 
bard ainmeil Abrach, mu thiomchioll 1590, 'nuair a bha e na 
sheann duine, tha 'g innseadh mu am na h-iorghuil agus an deigh 
sin. Bha seann chu agus bean og aig Domhnull, agus bha a 
bhean co spideil air an t' seann duine agus a mhadadh 's gun tug 
i dhachaidh seann chomhachag a chumail conaltraidh riutha. An 
sin rinn Domhnull Oran na Comhachaig 'an riochd comhradh 
eadar e fein agus an t-eun aosmhor." 

It will be seen that this last account also differs from the 
foregoing. 

A full description will also be found in Vol. V. of the Gaidheal, 
where it is stated to have been composed, or at least begun, by 
the author while on the road to Fearsaid, while returning from 
a wedding at which he was too late in arriving. Hearing an owl 
hooting from a thickly wooded part of the way called the "Sron," 
he addressed "Ian maol a mhothair choir" to the tune of (as 
given in the Gaidheal) seventy-two verses. 

The music will be found in the " Gesto " collection by Dr 
Keith N. Macdonald, under the heading " Creag guanach." 



ORAN NA COMHACHAIG. 

A Chomhachag bhochd na sroine, Oh wailing owl of Srona, 
A nochd is bronach do leabadh. Mournful is thy bed this night. 

Ma bha u ann re linn Donnatjchail, If thou hast lived in the days 

Cho n iunadh ge troin leat t aigne. Donnagal, 

No wonder thy spirit is heavy. 

'S co-aoise mise do'n daraig, I am coeval with the ancient oak 

Bha na fhaillein ann sa choinnich. Whose roots spread wide in yonder 

'S ioma linn a chuir mi romham, moss, 

Many a 

And still I am the lonely owl of Srona. 



'Sgur mi comhachag bhochd na sroine. Many a race has past before me, 

■ ;lo 



Nois o'n a thi u aosda. Now since old age has overtaken thee, 

Deansa t aoisid ris an t shagairt. Confess as to a priest, 

Agus innis dha gun earadh, And fearless tell to me 

Gath ao:i sgeula ga bheil agat. The tales of days long past. 



OWL 



309 



Cho d' roinn raise braid no breugan, 
Na claodh na tearmad a bhriste. 
Air m fhear fein cho d' roinn mi 

iumluas, 
Gur cailleach bhochd iunraig mise. 

Chonnacas mac a Bhrithe chalma, 
Agus Feargus mor an gaisgeach, 
Agus Torradan liath na sroine, 
Sin na laoich bha domhail taicail. 



O'n d' thoisich u re seanachas, 
A's eigin do leanmhuinn nas faide, 
Gu 'n ra 'n triur bha sin air foghnadh. 
Ma 'n raibh Donnaghail ann san 
Fhearsaid. 

Chonnaic mi Alastair carrach, 
An duine is alloile bha 'n Albainn, 
'S minig a bha mi ga eisteachd, 
'S e aig reiteach na'n tom sealga. 



Chonnaic mi Aonghus na dheag- 
haidh, 
Cho b' e sin raghuinn ba taire, 
'S ann san Fhearsaid a bha thuinidh, 
'S roinn e muileann air allt Larach. 

Ba Uonar cogadh a's creachadh, 
Bha 'n Lochabar ann san uair sin, 
Caite am biodh tusa gad' fhalach, 
Eoin bhige na mala gruamaich. 

A's ann a bha cuid do m' shinsridh, 
Eadar an Innse a's an Fhearsaid, 
Bha cuid eile dhiu' ma'n deathagh ; 
Bhiodh iad aig eabhach san f heasgar. 

'N uair a chithinnse dol seachad, 
Na creachan agus am fuathas, 
Bheirinn car beag far an rathaid, 
'S bhi'inn grathunn sa chreig ghua- 
naich. 

Creag mo chroidhe-se a chreag 

ghuanach, 
Chreag an d' fhuair mi greis do m' 

arach, 
Creag na'n aighin 's na'n damh siubh- 

lach. 
A ehreag aidhireach urail eanach. 

Chreag ma'n iathadh an fhaoghait, 
Ba mhiann leam a bhi ga taoghal, 



Repine or falsehood I knew not, 
Nor grave nor sanctuary did I violate, 
To the mate of my youth I was 

faithful, 
I am old and forlorn, but guiltless. 

Yet, I have seen the valiant son of 

Britta, 
And Fergus, the powerful champion. 
And the grey-haired Torradon of 

Srona, 
These were the heroes mighty and 

faithful. 

Thou hast weU begun and must not 

cease. 
Relate what further thou hast seen. 
These had passed away 
Before Donnagal abode in the Fersaid. 

I saw the mettled Alexander of the 

spears, 
The most renowned chief of Albin, 
Often have I listened to his voice 
While clearing the hills of the chase. 

I saw after him the gallant Angus 
Scarcely inferior, 
In the Fersaid was his dwelling 
And his work the mill of Altlaraich. 



Many battles and inroads 
Came then from Lochaber, 
Where, bird of the gloomy brow, 
Was the place of thy concealment ? 

Some of my kindred dwelt 
Between the Inch and the Fersaid, 
Some on the sands by Loch Laggan 
Where their evening cries were heard. 

When the sounds of terror were heard, 
And plundered herds were passing, 
I turned aside from the sight 
And dwelt in the Craig Guanich. 



Rock of my heart, the secure rock, 

That rock where my childhood was 
cherished, 

The joyous rock — fresh, flowery- 
haunt of birds. 

The rock of hinds and bounding stags. 



The rock encircled by the sound of 

the chase 
Which it was ray delight to frequent, 



310 



OWL 



*N uair ba blnnn guth gallain gaodh- 

air, 
A cur graigh gu gabhail chumhaion. 



'S binn na h iolarain ma bruachabh, 
'S binn a cuachaii 's binn a h eala, 
A's binne no sin am blaoghan, 
Ni an laoighein mean-bhreac ballach. 



A's binn leam toraman na'n dos, 
Re uilinn na'n corri-bheann cas, 
'San eilid bhiorach is caol cos, 
Ni foise fuidh dhuilleach ri teas. 



Gun do ch^il aic ach an damh, 
'S e 's muirae dhi ftbur a's cneamh, 
Mathair an laoigh mhean'-bhric mhir, 
Bean an fhir mhal-rosgaich ghlain. 



'Siiibhlach a dh' fhalbhas e raon, 
Codal cha dean ann san smuir, 
B' fhearr leis no plaide fui' thaobh, 
Bkr an fhraoich bhadanaich iiir. 

Gur h aluinn sgeamh an daimh 
dhuinn, 
Thearnas o shireadh na'm beann, 
Mac na h eilte ris an t shonn, 
Nach do chrom le spid a cheann. 



Eilid bhinneach, mheargannt, 

bhallach, 
Odhar eangach uchd re h ard, 
Damh togbhalach croic-cheannach 

sgiamhach, 
Cronanach ceann-riadhach dearg. 



Gur gasda a rithe tu suas, 
Re leachduinn chruaigh a's i cas, 
Moladh gach aon neach an cu, 
Ach molaras 'n tru tha dol as. 



Creag mo chroidhe-se a chreag 
mhor, 
'S ionmhuinn an 16n tha fuidh ceann, 



Where melodious rose the cry of the 

noble hounds, 
Driving the herds of deer in their 

fastnesses. 

Loud were the eagles round its preci- 
pices. 
Sweet its cuckoos and swans. 
More cheering still the bleating 
Of its fawns, kid-spotted. 

Sweet to me as the murmurs of the 

tufted wood 
At the elbow of the steep craggy rock. 
And the light -formed hind, with 

slender limbs 
Reposing under the foliage, in the 

sultry heat 

She is nursed by the herbage of 

hart's tongue. 
The stag is her beloved and only 

mate — 
Mother of the sportive, small-spotted 

fawn — 
Spouse of him that abides (or stands 

firm). 

Swiftly he scours the plain — 
He makes not his bed in the dust. 
The top of the fresh-tufted heather 
He prefers to the softest couch. 

Graceful is the beauty of the brown 
deer 

Descending from searching the moun- 
tains. 

The son of the hind, and the excellent 
one 

That bent not his head in disgrace. 

The hind sharp-horned, of quick 

movement. 
Dun- speckled, of nimble step, her 

breast mountainwards. 
The hart spirited, antler-headed, 

majestic. 
Murmuring, as it were, an indistinct 

song — red, of brindled head. 

Admirably wouldst thou course it 
Up against the hard and steep 

declivity. 
Let every one praise the swift pursuer 
Be mine to praise the speed and 

beauty that escapes. 

Rock of my heart ! the great rock ! 
Beloved is the green plain under its 
extremity. 



I 



OWL 



311 



'S annsa an lag tha air a cul, 
Na machthir a's mur na'n gall. 



M' annsachd beinn sheasgach nam 
fuaran, 
'N riasgach o'n dean an darah ranan, 
Chuireadh gadhar is glan nuallan, 
Feigh na'nruaig gu hjinbhir-mheorain. 



B' annsa leara na durdan bodaich, 
Os ceann lie aig eararadh sil, 
Buireinan dairah'mbighnedhuinned, 
Air leacainn beinn e 's e ri sin. 



'N uair bhuiris darah beinne bige, 
'S a bheicis damh beinn na craige, 
Freagraidh na daimh ud da cheile 
'S thig feigh a' coire na snaige. 



Bha mi o'n rugadh mi riabh, 
Ann an caidribh fhiagh a's earb', 
Cha n fhachda mi dath air bian, 
Ach buidhe, riadhach, a's dearg. 



Cha rahi fhin a sgaoil an comunn, 
A bha eadar mi 's creag ghuanach, 
Ach an aois ga'r to'irt o cheile, 
Gur grathunn an fheil a fhuaras. 



Si creag mo chroidhe-se chreag 

ghuanach, 
A chreag dhuilleach, bhiolaireach, 

bhraonach, 
Na 'n tulach ard, aluinn, fiarach, 
Gur cian a ghabh i o'n mhaorach. 

Cha mhinig a bha mi'g eisteachd. 
Re seitrich na muice mara, 
Ach 's trie a chuala mi moran. 
Do chronanaich an daimh allaidh. 

Cha do chuir mi duil san iasgach, 
Bhi ga iaraidh leis a mhadhar, 
'S mor gu'm b' annsa leam am 

fiaghach, 
'S bhi air falbh na'n sliabh is tfhaghar. 



More delightful is the deep valley 

behind it 
Than the rich fields and proud castles 

of the stranger ! 

my delight ! thou reedy mountain 
of springs ! 

The rushy bog, whence the stag roars, 
The hound of clearest cry, who was 

wont to chase 
The deer to Invermearin. 

More pleasant to me than the hum- 
ming song of the rustic 

Over the quern, as he grinds the 
crackling corn. 

The low cry of the stag, of brownish 
hue, 

On the declivity of the mountain in 
the storm. 

When roars the stag of the little hill. 
And bellows the stag of the rocky 

height. 
These stags answer each other. 
And the deer ascend alarmed, from 

the corrie of retreat. 

From my birth I have ever sought 
The society of deers and roes, 

1 never bestowed a look on a skin of 
any other colour 

Than yellow, red, or brindled. 

I broke not the band of kindness, 
Which held me to the Craig Guanich, 
But old age has separated us. 
Long, however, was the festival I 
enjoyed. 

Rock of my heart ! thou rock of refuge. 
The rock of leaves, of water-cresses, 

of freshening showers, 
Of the lofty, beautiful, grassy heights. 
Far distant from the shelly brink of 

the sea. 

Seldom did I listen 

To the spouting tumult of the whales, 

But much have I heard 

Of the murmuring of the wild harts. 

I placed not my confidence in 

searching 
For the swift-gUding fish with the 

baited hook — 
Far more delightful to me was the 

rapid chase 
Traversing the purple mountains in 

autumn. 



312 



OWL 



*S aoibhinn an obair an t shealg, 
'S hit a cuairt ann airde beachd, 
Gur binne a h aidhir *s a funn 
Na long a's i dol fiii' beairt. 



Fad a bhithinn beo na mairiunn« 
Deoth dheth 'n anani ann mo chorp, 
Dh' fhanainn am fochar an fheigh, 
Sin an spreidh ann raibh rao thoirt. 



C*^ite an cualas ceol ba bhinne, 
Na mothar gadhair mhoir a' teachd, 
Daimh sheanca na'n rith le gleann, 
Miolchoin a' dol annta 's ast . 



^N uair a bha mi air an da chois, 
'S moch a shiubhlain bhos a's thall, 
Ach anois on fhuair mi tri, 
Cha ghluais mi ach gu min mall. 



Tha blaigh mo bhogh' ann ai 

uchd, 
Le aogh maol odhar is ait, 
Ise geanail 's mise gruamach, 
'S cruaigh an diu nach buan an 

shlat 



A joyful task is the chase— 
Cheering are its circuits on the heights. 
There is more delight and melody in 

the sound of its song 
Thjin in that of the mariner when 

loosing the rattling sail. 

As long as I beheld the light, 

And the bretith remained in my body, 

I would continue within sight of the 

deer. 
These are the herds in which I take 

pleasure. 

Where were heard sounds more 

melodious 
Than the cries of the gallant hounds 

approaching ? 
The slender stag rushing through 

the valley. 
And the greyhounds mingling with 

the herds. 

When I had only two firm legs. 
Early did I wander on this side and 

on that. 
But now that I have acquired a 

third. 
My motions are stiff and slow. 

The strength of my bow lies useless 

on my breast. 
To the joy of the dun harmless 

fawn. 
They sport secure and joyous, while 

I am gloomy and forlorn 
Alas ! to-day my power continues 

not. 



'S truagh an diu nach beo an 

fheoghain, 
Gun ann ach an ceo do'n bhuidhinn, 
Leis 'm ba mhiannach gloir na'n 

gadhar, 
Gim mheoghail gun 61 gun bhrithinn. 



Bratach Alastair na'n Gleann, 
A strol faramach re crann, 
Suaitheantas shoilleir shiol Chuinn, 
Nach d' chuir suim ann clannabh 
galL 



'S ann an Cinn-ghiubhsaich na 
laidhe, 
Tha namhaid na graighe deirge. 



Alas ! that this day they do not 

live ! 
That the mist only remains of the 

social band ; 
Whose joy was in the voice of the 

hounds 
Witiiout riot, without drinking, 

without clamorous talk. 

The banners of Alexander of the 

glens 
Its splendid streamer waving from 

the standard. 
The bright ensign of the race of 

Cona, 
Who regarded not the children of 

strangers. 

Low is laid in Kingussie 

The foe of the red and dusky herd, 



OWL 



313 



Lamh dheas a mharbhadh a bhradain, 
Ba mhath e 'n t shabaid na feirge. 



Dh' fhag mi san Ruaidhe so shios, 
Am fear a b' olc dhorasa bhas, 
'S trie a chuir e a thagradh an cruas, 
Ann cluais an daimh ehabraich ann 



Raonull Macdhomhnaill ghlais, 
Fear a fhuair foghlum gu deas, 
Deagh Mhac Dhonuill a chiiil chais, 
Ni'm beo neach a choraig leis. 



Alastair croidhe na'n gleann, 
Gun e bhi ann mor a chreaeh, 
'S trie a leag u air an torn, 
Mae na sonn leis a ehoin ghlais. 



Alastair Mac Ailein mhoir, 
'S trie a raharbh sa bheinn na feigh, 
'S a leanadh fad air an toir, 
Mo dhoigh gur Domhnullach treun. 



A's Domhnullach u gun mhearachd, 
Gur tu buinne geal na cruaghach, 
Gur cairdeach u do Chlannchattain, 
'S gur a dalt u do chreig ghuanaieh. 



An arm dexterous to pierce the 

salmon 
And powerful in the strife of wrath. 

In that shealing below I have left 
Him whose death was woeful to me, 
Often did he fix his shafts 
In the ear of the brown-antlered 
stag. 

Ronald, the son of the hoary Donald, 
Who knew all that the schools could 

teach. 
Excellent Macdonald of the clustering 

locks. 
He lives not who can compare with 

him. 

Dear loved Alexander of the glens. 
Desolation remains where he is no 

more. 
Often did he lay prone on the hills 
The son of the stag, with his dark 

grey dog. 

Alexander, thou son of the mighty 

Allan, 
Fatal to the deer of the mountain. 
Long persevering in the chase, 
My hope is still in the brave son of 

Donald. 

A Macdonald thou art without fail, 
A stream of glittering steel 
Allied to the Clan Chattan 
And a nursling of the Craig Guanich. 



Here follows a verse said by Mrs Grant to be "scarce 
intelligible, and untranslatable. The bard seems entering on 
an enthusiastic reverie." It may, however, be given as follows: — 



Ma dh' fhagadh DomhnuU a 
muigh, 
Na aonar a' tigh na fleagh, 
'S gearr a bhios gucag air bhuil, 
Luchd a chruigh bioidh iad as tigh. 

Mi'm shuidh air sioth bhruth na'm 

beann, 
A coimhead air ceann loch a treig, 
Creag ghuanach am biodh an t 

shealg, 
Grianan ard am biodh na feigh. 



Chi mi na dubh-lochain uam, 
Chi mi chruach a's beinn bhreac, 



If Donald was left outside 
Alone in the house of the feast. 
Hardly will a flower have formed 
Before the cattle raiders will be in. 



On the turret of fairies I sit, where 

the retiring sun 
Points his last beam upwards to the 

summit of the hill, 
I look on the end of Loch Treig, 
The sheltering rock where the chase 

was wont to be. 

I see the dark lakes dim at a distance, 
I see the mighty pile, and many 
coloured mountain, 



314 



OWL 



Chi mi srath Oissian im'm Fiunn, 
Chi mi ^liriun air incull nan leac. 



Chi mi Beinniobhais gu &rd, 
Affus an ct^rn dearg re bun, 
A s coire beag eile re biobh. 
Chit a's munadh faoin as muir. 



Gur riomhach an coire dearg, 
Far 'm ba mhiannach leinn bhi sealg, 
Coir' na'n tuiachanan fraoich, 
Innis na'n laogh 's na'n damh garbh. 



Chi mi braidh bhidin nan dos, 
'N taobh so bhos do sgura lith, 
Sgura choinich na'n damh seang, 
lonmhuinn leam an diu na chi. 



Chi mi srath farsaing a chruigh, 
Far an labhar guth na'n sonn, 
A's coire creagach a mhaim, 
A' rainig an tug mo lamh toll. 



Chi mi garbh bheinn na'n damh 
donn, 
Agus slat bheinn na'n torn sith, 
Mar sin agus an leitir dhubh, 
'S trie a roinn mi fuil na' fri. 

Soraidh gu beinn allta uam, 
O'n 'si fhuair urrara na'm beann, 
Go slios Loch-eireachd an fheigh, 
Gu'm b' ionmhuinn leam fein bhi ann. 



Thoir soraidh uam thun an Loch, 
Far am faicte 'bhos a's thall. 
Go uisge Leamhna na'n lach, 
Muime na'n laogh breac 's na meann. 



'S e Loch mo chroidhese an Loch, 
An Loch air am biodh 'n Lach, 
Agus iomad eala bhan, 
'S bhiodh iad a snamh ma n seach, 

Olaidh mia' Treig motheann-shath, 
Na dheidh cha bhiodh mi fui' mhulad, 
Uisge glan na'm fuaran fallain, 
O'n seang am fiagh a ni 'n langan. 



I sec in the deep vale, the last dwell- 
ing of Ossian of Fingal, 
I seethe hill of flat sepulchral stones. 

I see the towering Ben Nevis 
And the red cairn at its foot. 
And the deep and secret corry behind 

it, 
I see the lonely western mountains, 

and the sea beyond them. 

Precious is that red corry 
Where we delighted to haunt, 
The corry of fresh, heathy hillocks. 
The nightly abode of fawns and 
stately stags. 

I see the spiry heights of the woods 
On this side of the forest of Leita 
The part where the slender stags 

meet. 
The nightly abode of fawns and 

stately stags. 

I see the wide strath of the cattle 
Where the voice of heroes was wont 

to resound. 
And the wild corry of the rocky strait 
Where my hand oft inflicted a wound. 

I see the rough heights of the brown 

stag. 
And the ridgy mount of the fairy hill, 
These, and the black mountain side, 
Oft have I shed blood in its forest. 

Once more I hail the streamy hiU 
Honoured as it is above the hills 

around. 
Hail to Loch Eroch side, haunt of 

many deer ! 
It was my happiness to be there. 

Carry my blessing to the Loch 
Extended far and deeply shelterecl,^ 
To the water of Lemina of the wile 

ducks. 
Nurse of the spotted fawn and kid. 

Loch of my heart art thou ! O loch 
Where played the shy waterfowl. 
And many a white and stately swan 
Did swim slowly amid their sport 

I shall drink of the Treig my fill. 
That I may not any longer be 

sorrowful, 
Clear water of the wholesome spring. 
Drunk by the deer of graceful 

movements that bell round its 



OWL 



315 



'S buan an comunn gun bhristeadh, 
Bha eatar mise 's an t uisge, 
Sugh na raor bheann gun mhisge. 
Mise ga 61 gun traisgeadh. 



'S ann a bha an comunn bristeach, 
Eatar mise 's a chreag sheilich, 
Mise gu brath cha dirich, 
Ise go dilinn cha teirinn. 



Lasting was the connection, unbroken 
Between me and this pure stream. 
The juice of the lofty hills, that re- 
freshes without intoxication, 
Which I drunk in abundance without 
satiety. 

Alas ! the communication is now 

broken off 
Between me and the beloved rock of 

willows, 
To it I can no longer rise — 
To me it will never bend. 



O labhair mi umaibh gu leir. 
Gabhaidh mi fhein dibh mo chead, 
Dearmad cha dean mi san am, 
Air fiaghach ghleann na'm beann 

beag. 



Cead is truaighe ghabhas riabh. 
Do 'n fhiaghach ba mhor mo thoil, 
Cha 'n fhalbh le bogha fui' m' sgeth, 
'S gu la bhrath cha leig mi coin. 



Haunts of my youth, I have now 

addressed you all, 
UnwilHngly do I take my leave of 

you— 
Of you and your swift inhabitants — 
The deer of the deep glens between 

the little hills. 

The most sorrowful farewell that ever 

was taken 
Of the deer in whom was my great 

dehght, 
I shall never go with bow 'neath my 

shield. 
Or ever more direct the hounds. 



Mise a's tusa ghadhair bhain, 
'S tursach ar turas do 'n ealain. 
Chain sinn an tathunn a's an dan, 
Ge d' bha sinn grathunn re ceanal. 



Thug a choiUe dhiotsa an earb', 
'S thug an t ard dhiomsa na feigh, 
Cha n eil naire dhuinn a laoich, 
O'n laidh an aois oirnn le cheil'. 



Aois cha n'eil u meachair, 
Ge nach feadar leinn do sheachnadh, 
Cromaidh tu 'n duine direach, 
A dh' fhas gu mileanta gasda. 

Gearraichidh tu a shaoghal, 
A's caolaichidh tu 'chasan, 
Fagaidh tu cheann gun deadach, 
'S ni u eadunn a chasadh. 



A shine chasaodunnach, pheallach, 
A shream-shuileach, odhar, eididh, 
Cia ma 'n leiginn leat a lobhair. 
Mo bhogha toirt dhiom air eiginn. 



I and thou, my white dog. 
Mournful are our steps in the wonted 

track. 
We have lost the bay and the song. 
Though we were once most cheerful. 

The thick wood has taken from you 

the roe — 
The steepy height has taken from me 

the stag. 
Yet are we not disgraced, my hero ! 
For age has fallen upon us both. 

Unkind art thou. Old Age ! 
Though we cannot avoid thy grasp. 
Thou bendestthe man erect in stature. 
That grew stately and warrior-like. 

His days thou shortenest, 
His limbs thou les'senest. 
His head thou deprivest of teeth, 
His countenance thou changest with 
wrinkles. 

Thou spectre ! wrinkled, tattered, vile. 
Blear-eyed, dun-coloured, listless. 
Why, thou leper ! should I permit 

thee, 
To take away my bow by violence ? 



316 



OWL 



O'n 's rai fhin a b' flicarr an airidh, 
Air mo bhogha ro in hath iubhair. 
No thusa aois l)liothar Sfjjallach, 
Bhios aij^ an teallach ad shuidhe. 

Labhair an aois a rithis, 

*S mo 's righinn tlia thu leantiil, 

Ris a bhogha sin a ghiulan, 

'S giir mo ba chuibhe dliuit babi. 



Gabh thusa uaimsc 'm bata, 
Aois ghn\nda cliairtidh na pl6ide, 
Cha leiginn mo bhogh' leatsa, 
Do mhathas na d*ar, eiginn. 



'S iomadh laoch a b' f hearr na thusa, 
Dh' fhag mise gu tuisleach an-fhann, 
'Ndeighfhaobhachadh as asheasamh, 
Bha roimhe na f hleasgach meamnach. 



I am myself more worthy 
Of my excellent bow of yew 
Than thou, dciif, bald-pated age ! 
Who sittest ghastly upon the hearth. 

Age again answered. 
Too obstinately dost thou continue 
To bear that tough and stubborn bow. 
More seemly for thee were a knotted 
staff. 

Take thou from me the knotted staff. 
Feeble coward, old age, thou 

mendicant, 
Shalt thou deprive me of my faithful 

bow ? 
Offer not your bounty, O distress. 

Many a hero thy superior 
Once bold and vigorous in youth 
Have I left nerveless and feeble 
Despoiling him of stature, strength, 
and courage. 



Five verses of " Oran na Comhachaig," from the Dua?iairc, 
being numbered there 44, 45, 46, 55, and 56. 



Bu mhath mo bhuachaile cruidh, 
B' e sid uasal nam fear, 
Bu deacar dhomh tarmus air d' fhuil, 
Cha bu dubh, ach aobharrach glan. 

Bu mhath mo bharanta-cogaidh, 
Ge do thogair rai tigh 'n uaithe, 
(Gure Eoin a Taigh-na-creige),* 
Bho 'n a bhagair e mo bhualadh. 

'S o'n a bhagair e rai gu teann, 
Cho fad 's a rahaireas crann, no clach, 
Cha tog mi h-uige mo thriall, 
Ni mo dh' iaraim dol 'no theach. 

Soiridh uam gu Coire na cloich'. 
An Coire 'm bu toigh learn 'bhi 

thamh, 
'S gu Uisge-Labhair nara faobh, 
Cuilidh nan agh maol 's nam mang. 



,fe 



Gu da thaobh Bealach-nan-sgurr, 
'S dh' fhios an Eadar-bheallaich 

mhoir. 
Far nach cluinnear gloir nan GaU. 



Good was my herder of cows. 
Highest was he among men, 
I could not belie thy blood. 
Black was it not but pure and clean. 

Good was my war-pledge 
Tho' I elected to leave it 
('Twas John of Rock-House) 
Since he threatened to assault me. 

And as he threatened me mostdirely, 
So long as lasted tree or stone ; 
I'll not direct ray way to him 
Nor seek to enter his house. 

Bear my blessing to the Corry of 

stones 
The Corry where I loved to dwell. 
And to the sounding Lavar water 
The hiding place of the deer and 

hinds. 

Another blessing to " Bac-nan- 
craobh,** 

To both sides of " Bealach-nan- 
sgurr," 

And tell them in great " Eadar- 
bheallach," 

Where the Lowland speech is not 
heard. 



The site of Maclan's castle, Glencoe. 



OWL 317 

In reference to the English translation of above, there appears 
in the Edinburgh Review for August 1811, a review of Mrs Grant's 
essays on the Superstitions of the Highlanders, where the reviewer 
says " All, we think, will be struck with the tone of enthusiasm 
and pathos which the untutored bard has contrived to communicate 
to an effusion, which treats neither of love nor of battles, nor 
of any of the subjects which address themselves to the greater 
passions of our nature. . . . This (the ballad) is certainly of a 
loftier mood than we should expect from a huntsman or whipper- 
in of Saxon breed, and would have appeared still more heroical 
if we (the reviewer) had been able to make room for ^the banners 
of Alexander of the Glen,' and the commemoration of various 
other worthies of high rank and powers. All this inspired by an 
old owl." 

The first verse of Professor Blackie's translation is as follows : — 

" O poor old owl of the Sron 
Hard is your bed this night in my room. 
But that if you be as old as Clan Donald, 
You had cause enough in your day for gloom." 

The italics are added to note ichere they icere. 
The following notes refer to the versions : — 

Alasdair carrach. — B'e Alasdair carrach brathair Dhomhnuill duibh, 
Haria ; dh' eug e mu 'n cuairt do 'n bhliadhna 1440, bha mhac Aonghas 
agus ogha Domhnull mac Aonghais ann an ceannairc Shiol Chuinn an aghaidh 
an treas agus an ceathramh righ Seumas. 

Alasdair nan gleann. — B'e Alasdair nan gleann mac Raonuill mhoir chaidh 
'ghlacadh airson a bhi 'am Blar-na-leine, agus 'am iomadh creachadh, agus 
a chaidh 'dhith-cheannadh aig Eilgin comhladh ri Lochiall 's a bhliadhna 
1547. Tha coltas gun do theasd Alasdair a mhac roimh bas athair. 

Raonull mac-I\aonuiU-mhic-DhomhnuiU-(/hlais. — Bha 'n duine 's an sar 
laoch ainmeil so beo anns a bhliadhna 1578. Thog na chairich 'us a mheud- 
aich an Raonull so Tigh-nam-fleadh, is e sin pubull fiodha agus fraoich, 
aig ceann Locha Treig. B'e mhac Alasdair-nan-cleas, agus is ann mar so 
thug Macmhurich clar-sloinneadh Alasdair anns a bhliadhna 1616, Alasdair 
MacRaonuill mhic Raonuill mhic Dhonuill-ghlais mhic Aonghais mhic Alasdair 
charraich mhic Eoin mhic Aonghais oig. 

The owl, being very fond of fish, often dips into a loch or 
stream, or even the sea, in pursuit thereof. The common barn- 
owl foretells rain by a peculiarly weird hooting, a saying in 
reference thereto being "Tha chomhachag ri bron, tha na tuiltean 
oirnn," when the owl mourns, the rain comes, or the owl is lament- 
ing the floods are upon us. In the woods at night chiefly are 
heard the dolorous notes of the tawny owl, with, occasionally, the 
hawk owl, which latter, however, is a rare and not altogether a 
night bird. The snow or snowy owl is the finest of its class. The 
owl has also a very acute sense of smell, scenting its prey often 
where it is thought non-existent. 

The short-eared owl is also called the woodcock or hawk owl 
from the nature of its flight and habits, it being a day owl and 
frequenting open moors, etc. It is a dire foe to the vole, which is 



318 OWL— PARTRIDGE 

so injurious to trees and grass. Tlie owl is said to have been 
considered from time immemorial the liarbinger of disease and 
death. Tlie Fern owl is called "Puck" or " Puck-bird," an old 
word or term for the devil. 

The only proverbial saying known, in addition to that given, 
is — 

Tha mi na*s eolaiche air coille na 'bhi fo eagal na caillich'- 
oidhche. 

I am more accustomed to a wood than to be afraid of an owl. 

OYSTER-CATCHER (or eater). — Bigean or bigein-bride, 
brid, bridean, bridein, brid-eun ; Drilleachan, drilleachan-traghaid ; 
Gille-bride ; Riabhan (Ir.); Trileachan, trilleachan-traighe ; 
Uiseag-mhara. 

Chalder, chaldrick, choUdrick ; Dickie-bird; Knocket; Melder, 
mussel-pecker or picker ; Olive, oyster plover ; Pienet, pyanet ; 
Sceolder, schalder, scolder, sea-pie, piet, pilot or pyot, sheldrake, 
skeldrake, St Bridget's bird or servant ; Tirma, trillichan. 

Supposed to be under the special protection of St Bridget. 
Their cry sounds, or is said to sound, like " Bi glic, bi glic," be 
wise, be wise. In "Failte na morthir," that district is said to be 
"Cho Ian rioghalachd a's dillseachd ri ubh bridean samhraidh." 
As full of royalty and relationship as a sea-pie's egg (is of meat) 
in summer. It lays three eggs. 

Cho eolach 's tha 'm bridean 's an traigh. 

As well acquainted as the oyster-catcher is with (or in) the 
shore. Few sea-fowl excel it in minute and painstaking 
research there. 
Cho luath ri brid-eun san traigh (E. M'D.). 

As swift as a sea-piet on the shore. 
'Ill 'acha Bride breac, ca'n na dh' fhag thu 'n rac } 

Speckly Bride-boys, where have you left the drake ? This 
is a saying by children on seeing the oyster-catchers fly 
past. 



PARROT. — Eun-bruidhne (speaking-bird) ; Parracait, parrocait, 
pigheid, pioraide, piorraid. 

Pape-jay, papingoe or gay, papinjay, popinjay, parroquet. 

The name thought to be derived from " Pierrot," French for 
" Peter." 

Some apology is due for introducing this word here at all. 
It is merely so from the Gaelicised names having been found 
elsewhere. 

PARTRIDGE. — Cearc or coileach-tomain ; Pairteag, paitrisg. 



PARTRIDGE— PETREL 319 

parraist, patraisg, patrisg, pearslag, peatraid, peirleog, peirsteag, 
peirsteog, perdris or pertris (Old Celt.), peurdag, peurlag, piaghaid- 
thruisg, piothruisg. 

Englishman ; Frenchman or French partridge ; Gast (? Cast) 
bird (single), Guernsey partridge, gyrgirik, gorgark (old — obs.) ; 
Parthyrd (A. S.), pairtrick, paitrick, partreck, partrick, patrick, 
pattheridge, pertryche ; Red-legged partridge, rudge (Cornw.). 

The Sanscrit name for this bird is " tittira," from the similarity 
to its cry or call. It is pre-eminently a bird of the low grounds, 
where the " portly " sportsman can, with some assistance, slay it. 
The hill partridge is a more beautiful bird, less sought after and 
less known. A covey is generally called a "clutch." A saying 
exists " cho domhail ri paitrisg no peatraid," as firm as a partridge, 
probably "as plump as a partridge." This bird was one of the 
" wildfowl " against the sliooting of which an act was passed 
specially in 1551, the penalty being death. 

PEACOCK, etc. — Cearc-pheucaig (hen), coileach-peucaig or 
pheucaig ; Eucag ; Geasadach, geasdach ; Padghal, paideal, 
paidgheal, peabh or peubh-chearc-choileach or eun, peabh- 
shaileach, peacag, peucag, peucagach, peuchdag. 

Maycock (hen) ; Pacok (A. S.), pae (Ritson), papynge, pavone 
(Spenser), pawa, pawe, pawcoke, pea (Nares), peanie (hen), pecoke, 
pocokk, pohen (Skelton), pokok, pown (male). 

No Highland bird this, still the above terms in Gaelic therefor 
have been found. It is a living superstition in the Lowlands, etc., 
that feathers of peafowl mean sickness so long as kept. The 
month of March should proverbially go out like a peacock's tail. 
In Lightfoot's Flora Scotica, Colonsa is said to have been a place 
where the peacock succeeded notably. The Irish — or ancient 
Celtic — name, " Gerachdach," means literally "the screecher." 
The saying as to the month of March is, " EarbuU peucaig air 
an Earrach " — Spring with (or goes out with), a peacock's tail — 
gorgeously sunny weather. 

PELICAN. — Eun-mor-an-fhasaich ; Pelag, pelicein, peliocan. 

So called from its large bill. This bird, like the parrot, is 
merely given from having been found worthy of appearing in 
Gaelic dictionaries, etc. 

PENGUIN (see Auk). — Said to be from " pen," a head, and 
" gwyn," white. This bird's head, however, is black. 

PEREGRINE (see Hawk). — Coigreach; Seabhag, seabhag- 
gallda. 

Blue, grey, hunting goshawk, common falcon. 

PETREL. — Aisileag, asaileag, assileag ; Eun gur-le-gug ; 
Fainleag, fainleog, falmair, falmaire, famhlag-mhara, fanlag. 



320 PETREL-^PHEASANT 

fulmair, fulmaire ; Goillir, ^ui-lc-^iig ; Loireag, luaireag, luair- 
ea^an, luaiseagan, luclia-fairge ; IValaracli, peitearacli. 

Allamotti, all.irmotli, alinonti; almouti, Alnmotti, assilag ; 
Fork-tailed petrel, fulmar; (Jawlin (St Kilda), f^ourdel, gourder 
(Ir.) ; Hatch-with-a-song, horii-finch ; Layer, little petrel, lyar, 
lyre, lyrie ; Malduck, mallduck, mallemock, inallie, mallimauk, 
inallimoke, mallimunk, malmock, marauk, Martin-oil, mithy, 
mitty, Mother Carey's chicken ; Sea blackbird or swallow, shear- 
water, speikintare, spencie, spency, storm finch or petrel ; Water- 
witch, witch. 

Named or called after St Peter, from seeming to walk on the 
water as he did till his faith failed. " Asaileag " or " Assileag" is 
alleged to be from "easchal," a storm. "Fulmar" is just foul 
mar or fugl mar, seagull or fowl in Icelandic. 

Though called " fulmar," the petrel is a far smaller and lighter 
bird, in fact the smallest of sea or aquatic fowls ; an able ocean 
wanderer, and seen far from land, where it comes only to breed, 
the fulmar being, on the other hand, about the size of a moor-hen, 
with a strong beak, and intensely oily and fat. A piper of St 
Kilda composed a tune on the notes of the gawlin or petrel, 
which tune is to be found in a volume of poems by the late Rev. 
Mr MacCallum, Arisaig, to whom the world is much indebted 
for this and other Celtic lore, etc. The fulmar is much sought 
after, nay, almost worshipped, by the St Kildians, furnishing as 
it does so much flesh and oil. The St Kildian maid's song to 
this bird (the fulmar) will be found in the Gaidheal, Vol. VI., page 
125. When the St Kildians hear the fulmar coming, they say 
" Paisg mo chaibe, faigh mo ribe, chuala mi gug-gug 's a chuan." 
Lay by my spade, get me my rope (snare), I heard goo-gook on 
the sea. The " ribe " here means a hair rope once used for rock 
climbing, or rather lowering ; now it is made of hide thongs 
three-ply or fold, covered with sheep-skin or some similar 
covering or material to prevent chaffing. This is a very valuable 
and scarce possession, and has been known to form the dowry of 
a bride ; it is also called " Ion " and " ball " — " Lon laidir na feuma," 
the strong rope of need, being a St Kilda saying. 

The fulmar has been described or referred to as "half angel, 
half bird," and more prosaically as " half fish-oil, half bird." 

PHALAROPE. — Deargan (red-necked); Glasan (grey). 
Brown phalarope ; Coot-foot ; Grey phalarope ; Half- web red 
phalarope, hyperborean phalarope ; Jacu. 

PHEASANT.— Easag ; Coileach-feadha (Irish). 

Ephesian, eye (brood) ; Jo-cock (male) ; Ni, ny ; Phaisian ; 
Swish-tail ; The long-tailed one. 

The name of this beautiful and select fowl is derived from 
being a Phasian bird, that is, having come from the district or 



PHCENIX— PLOVER 321 

neighbourhood of Phasis in Colchis. In addition to the word 
"eye" for a brood, we find "Nide, nje, and Nythe." 

PHGENIX. — Ainneamhag ; Teare-eun. 

This fabulous bird — or corra-chagailte — is so named from 
Phoenicia. 

PIGEON (see Dove). 

PIPIT. — Bigean, bigean-beag, bigein, bigeun (rock); Craobh- 
bhigein ; Glaisean ; Snathag. 

Bank-sparrow; Cheepart, cheeper, cheepuc, cuckoo's Sandie 
or titling ; Dusky lark ; Earth titling ; Field titling ; Gutter- 
teetan (Orkney); Heather lintie, hill-sparrow; Ling-bird, lingy 
(meadow), lintie-cock (rock); Meadow lark or titling, moor tit, 
titling or tablet, moss cheeper or cheepuck ; Peep-teetan ; Rock- 
lark ; Sea-lark, shore-pipit or teetan, short-tailed field lark ; 
Tang-sparrow (rock), teetick (meadow), tietick, tit, titling, 
titlark, tree-pipit; Wekeen. 

PLOVER (see also Stilt). — Boag, bodhag, bothag (ringed) ; 
Creagag (grey), crotag, cutag ; Eanag ; Faideag (green), faithir- 
leag, feadag, feadog (golden — Ir.), feideag, fuisleach ; Peatag ; 
Reirceire ; Trigleachan, trilleachan, triollachan ; Uiseag-riasgach. 

Austrian pratincole ; Bennet (bastard), black-bellied, black- 
breasted, bullhead ; Cawilly, chuse-it, collared pratincole, common, 
cream-coloured courser ; Dotterel, dulwilly (ringed) ; golden, great, 
green, grey, groundling, grundling ; Hill ; Kentish ; Lapwing, 
little ring dotterel, little ringed plover ; May or meycock, mud ; 
Norfolk ; Peewit, plevar, plowere (A. S.) ; Rain-piper, ring or 
ringed dotterel or plover, rock plover ; Sand lark or piper, sandy 
laverock or loo (ringed), sanlon (Ork.), sea bellek cock or plover, 
scanderling, stone-hatch (Norf.), stone-curlew, plover or thick-knee, 
strand plover, Swiss sandpiper ; Tewit, thick-knee, thick-knee'd 
bustard, trill ; Wandering Jew, whistler or whistling plover ; 
Yellow plover. 

Supposed to be from the Latin " pluvia," rain ; original root 
" plu," to swim — a wading bird. 

The well-known cry of this bird is as familiar in the Highlands 
as elsewhere, the whistler or feadag having furnished a cry for 
many a raider and smuggler. If heard at night, it was said to 
portend the near approach of death, or some other evil ; this, 
doubtless, used to frighten feeble folk from frequenting fastnesses 
thirled to secret stills, etc. In Aberdeen the cry or whistle is 
construed as " Pleugh weel, shaave {i.e., sow) weel, harrow weel." 
Its flight is proverbially swift, a familiar saying being : " Cho luath 

X 



322 PLOVER— PUFFIN 

ris na feadagan," as swift as the plovers (or whistlers). Another 
proverbial saying is : — 

Feadag, feadag, mathair faoillich fhuair. 

Plover, plover, mother of cold month of storms. 

Thuirt an Fheadag ris an Fhaoileach, 
"C'ait' an d' fhag thu 'n laoighein bochd ?" 
" Dh' fhag mis' e aig cul a gharaidh, 
*S a dha shuil 'n a cheann 'nam ploc." 

Said the Plover to the Stormy, 
"Where did'st leave the poor wee calf?" 
" I left him behind the wall, 
With his eyes like lumps of turf." 

The Feadag is severe as shown by — 

Is mis* an Fheadag lom, luirgneach, luath, 
Marbham caora, marbham uan. 

I am the bare, swift leggy plover, 
I can kill both sheep and lamb. 

For a full and interesting account of the foregoing, see Nicolson's 
Gaelic Proverbs, Appendix IV. 

POCHARD (see Duck and Wigeon). — An lach-lachduinn. 
Dunbird, duncur, dunker; Gold-head, great-headed poker or 
wigeon ; Poker ; Red-headed poker. 

PTARMIGAN, — Abhal ; Eun-an-sneachd ; Gealag-bheinne ; 
Sneacag ; Tarmach, tarmachan, tarmonach, tar-monadh. 

Gor-cock, grey ptarmigan ; Moor or muir cock, hen, or fowl ; 
Red game, grouse or ptarmigan, rock grouse ; Tanmerack, terma- 
gant, termigame ; White game, grouse, or partridge. 

The name is of Gaelic origin, viz., "tarmach," to originate, be 
the source of, gather, collect, dwell, settle, produce, beget. The 
letter p was added by the French. The term " Abhal," is given 
on the authority of the work, "The Lays of a Deer Forest," by 
Iain agus Tearlach na h' Albainn, where it is said " Caisteal-abhail, 
a name given to a mass of rock on Goatfell, Arran, from its simi- 
larity to the ruins of a castle — the ptarmigan's castle." 

This fine bird is as " Highland as peats," and frequents the 
tops of the highest available hills ; its size is about that of grouse, 
of a light grey colour, in winter pure white. It is a very shy and 
timid bird, but stupid to excess; it has been named "lagopus," 
because it has a foot or leg like a hare, being covered or feathered 
far down. 

PUFFIN (see also Coulterneb). — Boganach (young), boigear, 
budhaigir, bugaire, bugire, builg-ean, buthraigear; Calcach, cannog 
(Ir.), colcoch, colcair, colgach, colgaire, coltair, coltair-cheannach. 



I 



PUFFIN— RAIL 323 

coltrachan, comhdachan, crossan ; Fachach, faobach ; Peata-ruadh ; 
Scraib, Seumas-ruadh. 

Ailsa, cock or parrot ; Bass cock, Bill, bottlenose, bouger, bowger, 
buiker, bulker ; Cailin-shean, cockandy, collin or collinheen (Ir.), 
coulterneb ; Fooran ; Greenland dove, guldenhead ; Helegog or 
helegug (Wales) ; Marrot, muller, mullet ; Norie ; Old wife ; 
Pickternie, pipe. Pope, puffinet ; Scout, scraber, sea coulter or 
parrot, shearwater ; Tammie-cheekie, tammie or taminorie, tom- 
noddy ; Wilcock, willick ; Yarn, yern. 

This bird has been described as " half fish half flesh," and said 
to be an enchanted Manxman, a questionable compliment, as it 
presents a most singular appearance as regards beak or neb, at 
any rate. The race is very numerous in the Highlands, as else- 
where, and valuable from their plumage ; the eggs form no incon- 
siderable supply of food to the St Kildians. According to a Lowland 
rhyme, this is a bird whose sad fate it is to be for ever incapable 
of amorous dalliance, for many generations we have been told how 

" Tammie Norie o' the Bass 
Canna kiss a bonnie lass ! " 

Edie Ochiltree, in the Antiquary, speaks of "the skreigh o' a 
Tammienorie." 



QUAIL. — Garra-gart, gartan or gort, garraidh-guirt (Ir.), gart- 
eun, gearra, gearra-goirt or gort ; muir-eun. 

Arseene ; Caile, caille ; Quailye, qualye, quick-me-dick ; " Short 
famine " bird ; Wet-my-feet or lip. 

So named from its call. 

This is a very shy bird, and thought to be extinct in the 
Highlands. It masses frequently for, or previous to, migration. 
It derives its name, "Muir-eun" because in Numbers xii. 31, they 
are said to have come from the sea. 



RAIL (see also Corncraik). — Caidhlean (water), caidhlin (Ir.) ; 
Dubhsnagan ; Gearradh-dubh-nan-allt ; Snagaire-nan-allt ; snagan- 
allt, snagan-dubh ; Tradhna (Ir.), trean-ri-trean or trian (land). 

Bilcock, bilter, brook ouzel or runner ; Darcock ; Grey skit, 
gutter cock ; Kitty coot (water) ; Land drake (land-glover) ; Runner 
(West) ; Sgaragrice (water), skiddery or skiddy cock (West), skit, 
skitty, skitty cock or coot ; Velvet runner ; Water-rail. 



324 RAVEN 

This bird or waterfowl is seldom seen, being so shy and 
cautious ; a Lowland saying, arising from this, expressing impossi- 
bility of performance is "herding a water-rail." It derives its 
name from its harsh cry. 

RAVEN. — Biadhtach, biatach, bran, bran-fhitheach, bran- 
orgain; Cnaimheach, cnaimli-fliitheach or fliich, cnaimh-lithgheach, 
craimheach, creumhach ; Tang, fiacli, fiachdab or fiach-dubh (Ir.), 
fidheach, fitheach ; Gair-fhitheach; Neabhan, neamhan; Preachan, 
preachanach, ])reachan-cnHimh-fhithe.'ich or cnaimheach ; Teathra, 
trodhan, troghan. 

Cockrel (young male), corbei, corbie, corbie-craw, corby, croaker, 
croupy-craw ; Feeder ; Glutton (Skye and Uist) ; Hraefu, hraem, 
hrefu (A. S.), hremu (Old Eng.) ; Lichfoul (night) ; Rabin, Ralph, 
ravven, ravvin (Yks.), remm, rewin. 

The origin of the word is said to be " kravn," from " krap," to 
make a noise, a far root being, "gra, gera," cry. " Branu " is the 
Slavonic word. The word " Biadhtach " just signifies provider, 
farmer, (lit.) "fooder." 

The raven was believed to live nearly thirty times the 
age of a man, or, say, two thousand years. Three times is, 
however, nearer the mark, or about two hundred years. It was 
in a raven's second nest that Coinneach odhar, the famed seer 
of Brahan, found the magpie stone which conferred the jirophetic 
gift on him. The Evil One was supposed to assume the shape 
(cruth) of this bird, it being reported that he came thus from 
the East to carry off Michael Scott, or at least his heart, but was 
frustrated by a white dove which came from the West. The 
spirits of the departed are reported to have taken also the form 
of ravens, as when St Columba, being once at sea, saw a vast 
number of these birds flying overhead chasing another of extra- 
ordinary size, at once told of the death of the son of Connal. 
In Adamnan's Life of Columba mention is made of Artbrannan, 
and Art Bran is found as an Irish name in Celtic writings, "art" 
signifying, of old, "priest," and "bran" a raven, the raven priest. 
King Arthur is supposed to be changed into a raven, which still 
survives ; one of the questions put by Fingal to Halba, the daughter 
of Cormac, King of Ireland, was " Ciod is duibhe na'm fitheach } " 
the answer being " An t-eug." What is blacker than the raven } — 
Death. "Glengarry" was called the black raven, nevertheless 
in the district of that name, no less than 475 ravens were killed 
by gamekeepers in the period from Whitsunday 1837 to Whitsunday 
1840. It is unlucky to see one the first thing of a morning — or 
indeed any time ; if seen by more than one person at the same 
time, death prophesied to one in the company. A white raven 
was one of the four signs heralding the misfortunes of Uist, killed 
by Angus Airidhmhuillin ; a crow being the second. A legend 
also exists in Germany, that the ravens have to forsake the Hartz 



I 



RAVEN 325 

mountains, before a certain Emperor Barbarossa awakes from a 
700 years' sleep, and brings back golden days to Germany as it 
now exists. The eggs of the raven are speckled grey and green, 
and are twice the size of an ordinary r(jok's egg, and a third 
larger than a crow's. By the aid of the stone Coinneach odhar 
discovered as above stated, he prophesied that this bird was to have 
three days' drinking of the blood of the Mackenzies. The raven 
has been a soothsayer time out of mind ; the Roman augurs depended 
greatly on its notes, of which they were said to distinguish sixty- 
five, the Druids also made a similar distinction. Professor Newton 
gives the raven the ^r.st place among birds. Highlanders never 
willingly kill a raven, hence the above mentioned slaughter must 
have been done by Lowlanders or Englishmen. In a folk-lore tale 
the raven is supposed to speak, and say by way of warning to a 
prince, " Cas air a criomagachadh, cas air a gomagachadh, full 's 
a stocaidh, fuil 's a stocaidh" — A foot bitten, a foot pinched, blood 
in the stocking, blood in the stocking. People's hair is frequently 
compared to the raven : in a fifteenth century ballad, for instance, 
a young girl describes her love, " than raven's hue more dark his 
hair, redder his cheeks than blood." A " raven's messenger " is 
applied to one sent on a message, who is slow in returning, or 
does not return at all, of course this refers to the time of the 
flood, and the ark incident, as given in Scripture. For the first 
seven days after hatching, the ravens are said to neglect and 
forsake their young entirely — they get food " otherwise." Ravens 
pair for life, repair their old nest in January, lay in February and 
liatch — or ought to — in March ; they are thought however to be 
on the decline in numbers in the Highlands, since the immigration 
of the alien. 

Fitheach was in old times a man's name, so also was its 
diminutive "fitheachan," for we have MacFhitheachan, son of 
little raven. Alasdair MacMhaighstir Alasdair gives the name 
Dughall, Dugald, to the raven. Many places are named from 
this bird, which are more or less vague, " Nednaveagh," a place 
in Roscommon, Ireland, standing for Nead na fitheach, the raven's 
nest. The word ^^baobh" for raven appears in the following 
verse of a poem which predicted the death of a cruel chief, or 
petty king, who had killed the only cow of a poor leper. 

" Ro dao (or la) baobh bel-dearg biorach 
lolach im cenn Fergaile." 
A red-mouthed sharp-beaked raven 
Croaked over Fergal's head. 

In Irish mythology, a sort of fairy goddess of war was named 
Badhbh or Baobh, raven, royston, or carrion crow, as they appeared 
on battlefields attracted by the dead bodies. They scent carrion 
afar off. This witch or war-goddess (in Irish Badb) was the wife of 
Tethra, and is referred to by Whitley Stokes in the second battle 



326 RAVEN 

of Moytura. The word " fitheach " is applied to birds of prey in 
general, as will be gathered from the following verses which arc 
given here. They are all we can recollect of a long string of 
descri])tive and humorous versifications, by one of the many 
minor bards of Skye. 

** 'S ann tha 'n comhradh binn aig na With clangour and shriek and loud 

fithicli refrain 

Air mo lothan duinn thug mi dhaibh Are gathered together the birds of 
an itheann (? sithionn). prey» 

To pick the bones of my dun colt's 

frame 
Of which I gave them the eating. 

Man, addressing the corpus delicti 

" Chuir mi null thar sail' thu " I sent you out on the wide salt sea, 

'Dh' fhaicinn do chairdean, Your friends and neighbours per- 
Nach do mheal thu do shlainte chance to see, 

Bho 'n a thain' tu 'rithisd " ! But here you're back again to me, 

'S ann, etc. You surely have been ailing " ! 

Birds, loq. 

Sin mar thuirt an iolaire spogach First spoke the eagle swooping free 

'S e 'nuas troimh na rahointich, O'er moor and moss-hag airily, 

•' Gheibh mise mo leoir dhi, " I'll get the most, for he's to me 

Tha i dhomhsa dligheach.*' A perquisite unfailing." 
'S ann, etc. 

Sin mar thuirt an corra-ghriobhach, Thus said the handsome heron then, 

'S e teannadh ri sgriobhadh, About to write with ready pen ; 

Tri fichead 's a tri orr' bho 'n 's mi " Sixty- three of us are in the ken, 

fhein is breitheamh. For I'm a judge unerring." 
'S ann, etc. 

Sin mar thuirt an calaman The pigeon then with plaintive 

'S e 'crioraadh na h-eanchainn, maens 

" Sguiribh dhe 'ur mealagan Said softly, as she picked the brains, 

'S an t-sealgair a' tighinn." "You'd better cease these noisy 

'S ann, etc. strains 

For see, the hunter's coming." 

As to proverbial sayings the following may suffice : — 

Am fitheach a' cur a mach a theanga leis an teas. 

The raven putting out his tongue for (or with) the heat. 
Am fitheach a dh' eireas moeh 's ann leis a bhios suil a 
bheothaich a tha 's a pholl. 

The raven that rises early gets the eye of the beast in the 
bog. A dainty. 
Aon de thri subhailcean a bhaird. 

One of three gifts of the bard. Only applicable to mock, 
and some modern bards. (See Nicolson's note hereto.) 
Bas an fhithieh ort. 

The raven's death to you. It was a jiopular belief among 
the Gael that the young raven kills the old one. This is 
not compatible witli its alleged long life. 



RAVEN 327 

Ceist an fhithich air an fheannaig. 

The raven's question to the crow. (See Nicolson's note 
hereto.) 
Cha toir am fitheach an t-suil dha isean fhein. 

The raven won't give the eye to his own chicken. Too great 
a dainty. 
Ciod a b'aill leat fhaighinn 'an nead an fhithich ach am fitheach 
fhein ? 

What would you expect in the raven's nest but the raven 
itself.^ Said of^ or to, those who express astonishment 
at finding things in their appropriate places. 
Cruinnichidh na fithich far am bi a chairbh. 

Where the carcass is the ravens will gather. (See Matt, 
xxiv. 28.) 
Feumaidh na fithich fhein a bhi beo. 

Even the ravens must live. 
Fios fithich gu roic — no, a ruith gu roic. 

The ravens' notice to, boding of, or bidding to a feast. 
Fitheach dubh air an tigh, fios gu nighean an dathadair. 

A black raven on the roof, warning (or notice) to the dyer's 
daughter. A death omen. Probably the dresses had to 
be dyed black — for cheapness. 
Fitheach dubh a's t-Fhoghair agus feannag Earraich. 

A black raven in autumn and a scald-crow in spring. Signs 
of good weather. 
Gaol an fhithich air a chnaimh. 

The raven's love for the bone — great. 
Goiridh am fitheach moch am maireach air do ghruaidhsa anns 
an arach, cuiridh e do shuil e glaic. 

The raven shall croak early to-morrow on thy cheek, he 
shall put thine eye out of its socket. A grim prophecy 
to one going to battle. (See Campbell's Tales, Vol. III., 
p. 306 — Laoidh Osgair, for another rendering.) 
Ge dubh am fitheach, is geal leis 'isean. 

Black as is the raven, he thinks his chicken fair. Love of 
what is one's own. 
" Groc, groc," ars' am fitheach, " 's e mo mhac sa 'chrimeas na 
h-uain. 

" Croak, croak," says the raven, " it's my son that will pick 
the lambs." 
Is ann 'n nead am fitheach a gheibhear am fitheach. 

'Tis in the raven's nest the raven is found. (See ante, 
" Ciod," etc.) 
Is leis an fhitheach a's moiche dh' eireas suil a bheothaieh 
anns an fheith. 

The raven that rises first (or earliest), will get the eye of 
the beast in the bog. (See ante, ''Am fitheach a dh' 
eireas," etc.) 



328 RAVEN- REDWING 

Ma's olc am fitheach, cha 'n fhearr a chomunn. 

If bad be the raven, his company is no better. A man is 
known by the company he keeps. 
Meallaidh am biadh am fitheach bho 'n chraoibh. 

Food will lure the raven (even) from the tree. A most 
suspicions and wary bird. 
Nead air Brighdc, ubh air Inid, ian air Chaisg, mur bi sin ai^ 
am fitheach, bithidh am has. 

Nest at Candlemas, egg at Shrovetide, bird at Easter, if 
the raven have these not, death then is its lot. 
Sasad (Sasachadh), fiach, fithad (? biathachadh) 'm bran. 

Sating of ravens, feeding of crows. An Irish saying. 
Tha fios fithich agad. 

You have the raven's knowledge. More than natural. (See 
Nicolson's note hereto.) 
Tha gliocas an ceann an fhithich, or Fios ceann na fithich. 
There is wisdom in the raven's head, or the knowledge of 
the raven's head. 

RAZORBILL. — Coltraiche; Dubh-eunach, dui'-eineach ; Falc ; 
Lamhaidh ; Sgrab, sgrabail, sgrabaire, sgrapaire. 

Ailsa-cock, alk, auk ; Bass-cock, baukie ; Cockandy ; Faik, 
falk, fauk, fealty ; Greenland dove, gurfel ; Hellejay, hrogga ; 
Marrot, murre ; Oke ; Pope, puffin ; Scout, sea-crow or parrot ; 
Wil or willcock, wilkie, willick, willock. 

REDSHANK.— Bodda, bod-fili (Ir.) ; Camghlas, ceann-dearg 
or deargan, clabhais-feach or fiach, cois-deargan, cosgach, cosgoch ; 
Deargan, deargan-seilich ; Earr-dhearg ; Fili (Ir.) ; Gob-cabharrta, 
gobharta, gob-labharta, gobhlan-bharta ; Maor-chladaich ; Raill- 
each, ridgileanach, righguileanach or righuilleanach ; Tondhearg. 

Bessy, blue-throated redstart, brandtail, brantail, branter ; 
Cambridge godwit, chevil hen, chevy linnet, clee ; Deers'-horn, 
dusky redshank, sandpiper or sni})e ; Fiery or fire brantail, firetail, 
frenchy (lesser) ; King, kitty brandtail ; Pellile, pool snipe ; 
Red-leg, red-legged godwit horseman or snipe, red-pole, redstart 
or tail; Sandcock, shake (Ir.), spotted redshank or snipe; Tatler, 
teuk ; Watery pleeps, whin-grey, white-fronted redstart. 

This bird is among the most faithful to certain localities, the 
male generally arriving a few days before the female, its bright 
red tail being very conspicuous. The eggs are generally six in 
number, and of a pale blue colour. A deer-warner. 

REDWING. — Deargan-sneachda ; Scraicheag, scraicheag-glas, 
sgrath-dheargan, smeorach an-t-sneachda. 

Chywollock ; Felt ; Hen-felt ; Jackshowall, jannerd ; Little 
felty-fare ; Pine redbird, pop ; Redling, red thrush, redwing mavis 
or thrush, rudling ; Snow bunting, swine pipe (Pegge) ; Windle 
(Corn.), wind thrush, winnard. 



RINGDOVE— ROBIN 329 

RINGDOVE (see Dove). 

A correspondent writes lately (1902) : — 

The prolonged storm occurring at the end of a severe winter is (a 
correspondent informs us), proving very hard on the birds, and numbers are 
being found dead in the country through cold and starvation. It is somewhat 
strange that the redwing, which only arrives in this country for the winter 
months, and departs again in spring, should be the greatest sufferer, while 
some of our smaller native birds are not affected. The Bediving is often 
mistaken for the common thrush, which it greatly resembles, but from which 
it may be distinguished by the orange red of the flanks and under feathers of 
the wings. 

ROBIN. — Broinn-dearg or deargan, broidileag, broinileag, 
bru-dearg or deargan, bru-dhearg, bruindeargan ; Pigidh ; Roban- 
roid, rob-ruadh ; Spideag, spideag-mhuire, spideog (Ir.) ; Ruadhag, 
ruadhan. 

Bob, bob-robin ; Reddock, Richard, robinet, robin-redbreast 
reddock or ruck, ruddock, ruduc (A. S.) ; Salt-haga ; The red 
bird. 

This bird is almost too well known to give particulars of, in 
addition to the many already given elsewhere. It is thought, 
however, to have originally come from Lapland or Greenland. 
It is almost omniverous, and may be said to invariably catch the 
early worm, as it is the first bird to start singing — or warbling — 
in the morning, though the lark certainly makes a good second. 
St Mungo is said to have once restored the head of a robin torn 
off in play, by one or more of his fellow disciples ! The name 
^'^ Richard" appears among the English words so unfortunately 
introduced by Alasdair MacMhaighstir Alasdair in his Ode to 
Summer. The bird which appears portrayed in the Glasgow 
city arms is said to be the robin, being the above-mentioned 
robin, a pet of St Serf's, and which Kentigern restored to life. 
A short account of these Celtic arms is, that the tree is tl.e 
bough which Kentigern caused to burst into flame, in order 
that he might light the monastery lamps ; the ring is the one 
Rhyderch gave to Langneth, and which he found on a soldier's 
finger, and threw into the river (Clyde) ; the fish is the one 
Kentigern caused to be caught, in which the missing ring was 
found ; the bell is the one Kentigern brought from Rome. Of 
course our readers need hardly be reminded that Kentigern, 
or Ceann Tigherna — Head lord — was called by the pet name of 
"Mungo, mungan, munghu," said to be "British," and to mean 
" dear one," but evidently Gaelic, i.e., "M' aon ghuth," my only 
voice or speech. Whether owing to the above or not, it is still 
thought a "peacadh mor," heinous sin to kill one, or even to 
harry its nest. A drop of God's blood has even been said to run 
in its veins. It is one of the boldest or most fearless of birds for 
its size, at all times in fact quarrelsome, though an arrant coward 
if faced up to. In this country, in the Lowlands, it has received 



330 ROBIN— ROOK 

the very prosaic name of the " painter's ghost," as it is mucli in 
evidence when painters cannot work from the inclemency of the 
weather. In Brittany, a fitter sense of things exist, the legend 
going that the robin was once a mere sparrow, but it tried to 
pluck a thorn from the crown placed on our Saviour's brow, and 
in doing so got her breast dyed with blood ; it is the male alone 
which has the red breast. Tennyson's natural history seems at 
fault when he says, " in the spring a fuller crimson comes upon 
the robin's breast " ; the spring is the very time the robin's breast 
is least red, it is then buff. 

As an augury of coming storm, the following lines may 
quoted as having proved perfectly true : — 

A Rabairt leis a broilleach dhearg Robert with the ruddy breast 

Cha d' thainig thus' an diugh le In anger thou comest not toK3ay, 

fearg, But to let us know of wintry blasts 

Ach' dh Mnnseadh gum bheil doinnion With blood of Macintoshes on snow 

'teachd down-pressed. 

Le full nan Toiseach air an t-sneachd. 

When robins sing cheerfully on summer evenings, it is a surt 
sign of fine weather ; it may be quite unsettled looking and 
even raining when heard, it is sure to clear up in the night, 
and be fine next day. On the other hand, when it is going to be 
wet weather, robin will be found in a hedge or bush chirping in 
a melancholy way, or possibly not chirping at all, but looking 
miserable, and that even though the weather is not yet wet or 
perhaps threatening. So sacred is this bird held that a decoction 
of the very bark of a rose-brier in which a robin's nest is, is said 
to be a cure for some ailments. 

ROLLER. — Cuairsgean. 
The garrulous one. 

This is a rare bird both in Highlands and Lowlands. It has 
been seen, and shot, near Inverness, and also Dunkeld. 

ROOK (see also Crow). — Cnaimh-fhiach or fhitheach, creum- 
hach ; Rocas, rocuis, rocus. Irish, preachan. 

Carnell, era, craw ; Fleak, flick ; White-neb (old). 

The etymology is from "hroc" (A. S.), Croaker or Norse 
"hrokr," rocas, from "roc," hoarse. 

Cho garbh ri rocas. As rough as a rook, seems the only proverb 
procurable. As to rooks being always black, the following is some of 
the latest evidence to disprove the assertion. A writer in the Edin- 
burgh Evetdng Dispatch of June 1903 says that he shot a pure tchite 
rook at Balmuto, Fife, on the 2nd of that month, while next day 
another writer testifies to having shot two white ones in the spring 
of 1898, they being nearly full-grown and of a creamy white colour. 



RUALL— SANDPIPER 331 

not a vestige of black being distinguishable in either of the latter. 
In 1424 an act was passed specially ordering the destruction of 
rookeries, as the birds had become so injurious to grain, etc. 

RUALL. — Sruall (Dean of Lismore). Nothing can be 
discovered as to this bird. 

RUFF. — Gibeagan, gibodan. 

Oxen and kine ; Reeve (fern.). 

This bird is akin to the sandpipers, and is so named from a 
frill of feathers on its neck ; it is among the most quarrelsome 
and pugnacious of birds, especially the males. 



SANDERLING or SANDLARK.— Eun-bochuinn or buchuinn ; 
Farmachan-traghad. 

Curliwet, curwillet ; Melodious bird ; Ocean bird, ox bird ; 
Ruddy plover ; Sand martin, sea lark, shore bird, stint ; Tow-willy. 

SANDPIPER. — Boag, bodhag, bog-an-loin, bothag ; Cam- 
ghlas (purple), cama-lubach, crithein, curacag, curcag (Ir.) ; 
Earrghainmhich ; Gobadail-iri ; Ladhran, ladhran-traghaid, luath- 
aran ; Scrilleag, sgrailleag ; Trilleach-an-traghaid, trilleachan- 
traighich, trilleachan. 

Bundle ; Dickie-di-dee, dunling (red-backed), dunne ; Fiddler ; 
Grey sandpiper ; Heather peeper, horse-gawk, gouk, or gowk 
(green) ; Iceewillee ; Killieleepsie, killieleepsy, killyleepsie or 
leepsy, kittieneedie, knet, knot ; Landtripper ; Martin snipe ; 
Pectoral sandpiper, pigmy curlew or sandpiper, purple sandpiper ; 
Red-breasted sandpiper, red sandpiper, reeve, ruff; Sanderling, 
sandie, sand lark, sandie laverock, sandling, sand snipe, sandtripper, 
sanny, sea snipe, shad bird, shore snipe, skirl crake, skittery deacon, 
stanepecker, steeniepouter, stint, summer snipe ; Tattler, tripper ; 
Water junket or laverock, watery peeps or pleeps, weet-weet, 
willywicket. 

The Gaelic name Gobadailiri is from Ross-shire (Loch Broom), 
and means Goba-dath-li'-thraigh, the nebbed one of the colour of 
the sea-shore, li, it will be known, is Old Celtic for sea. Another 
form of this word " Gobarleery," is found in Sutherland, meaning, 
it is thought, the "sea-coloured shore goat." The spelling in 
Gaelic of neither is vouched for. 

SCOTER (see Diver). 
SEA-GULL (see Gull). 
SHAG (see Cormorant). 



332 SHEARWATER— SNIPE 

SHEARWATER.— Fachach (fatling) ; Sgrab, sgrabail, sgra- 
baire, sgrapaire, sgriob. 

Booty ; Cockathrodon, crew ; Hackbolt, hagdown (greater) ; 
Layer, lyar, lyre, lyrie ; Mackerel cock, Manx shearwater ; Night 
bird ; Saraber, scrabe, sea maw, shookie. 

This bird is so called from shearing or skimming the water. 
It is thought to have given way to the puffin in certain places. 
It is, or was used, salted in barrels for winter consumpt. It used 
to be very plentiful off the Calf of Man, hence one of its titles. 
The fat young (fachach) used to be given in payment of rent 
annually to a landlord, and that in great quantities. 

SHELDRAKE (see also Goose). — Cradh-gheadh, cra-gheadh, 
cra-gheal. 

Bardrake, bargander, bargoose, bayduck, burranet, burrough 
or burrow-duck ; Ganner, gargander ; Links goose ; May duck ; 
Piedent, pied-duck, pirennet ; Scald or scale drake, scale or skail 
draik or drake, sheld fowl, shell duck, shield drake, skeel duck 
or goo, skeeling-goo or goose, skeldrake or goose, sly goose, St 
George's duck, stockannet or ent. 

Called " sheld," from being parti-coloured. 

They are very numerous in Uist, which is spoken and sung of 
as " Uithisd nan cra-gheadh " ; they are also plentiful all over the 
West Highlands. 

SHOVELLER (see also Duck).— Gob-leathan. 
Blue-winged shoveller, broadbill ; Red-breasted shoveller ; 
Shovel-bill. 

SHRIKE. — Buideir, buidseir ; Piaid or pioghaid-ghlas (grey). 

Butcher bird ; Cuckoo's maid ; Flasher, flesher, flusher (red 
backed), French magpie; Garrotter; Jack baker; Mattages, 
mountain magpie, murdering pie; Nine killer; Pope; Strangler ; 
Wariangle, weirangle, white-wisky-John, wood shrike. 

From Icelandic " shrikja," shrieker ; called butcher bird, from 
its habit of impaling its victim on a thorn or prickle. 

SISKIN (see Finch). 

SMEW (see Goosander). 

SNIPE (see also Nightjar). — Amadan-mointich ; Baothair, 
bocan-loin, boc-sac or saic, bog-an-loin, budagoc, budagoch, 
butagochd ; Croman-beag (Jack), croman-loin, cubhag ; Ean or 
eun-ghabhrag ghobhrag or ghurag, eunarag, eunorag, eunrag ; 
Faosg ; Gabhar-adhair, gabhrag-bheag (Jack) ; lanrag ; Lean- 
ghobhrag, leon-dhrag ; Meagadan, meannan-adhair, meantan; 
Naosg, naoisg, naosga, naosgamh ; Trag. 

Bog-bleater ; Caprimulgus, common snipe ; Dame-ku (Jack), 
dor-hawk, double snipe, dotterel ; Earn or ern-bleater or bliter. 



SNIPE 333 

everjar ; Gabbleratch, gaber-ratchet, gabriel-rache or ratchet, 
gaverhale (Jack, Devon), gid, gillsnipe, gnat-hawk, goat-daffer or 
sucker, gobble-ratch, gowk, great snipe ; Haeferblaete (A. S.), 
half-snipe, harpleat, heatherbleat or bleater, hedder-bluter, hedge- 
spar, heron-bluter, hoarsgouk, horse-cock, gawk, gouk or gowk, 
horsguik ; Jack snipe, jed, jid or jud-cock, jill snipe, juggy (Jack) ; 
Lile-jack}^, long-neb, neck or nex, long-necked damy heron or 
nanny; Moth-hawk, myre-snipe ; Naoske, night-crow, hawk or 
jar, nyuckfit ; Plover-page (Jack) ; Ratcher, ratchet, retchet, 
ringed plover (?), rude-coce (A. S.) ; Scanderling, scaping, screech- 
hawk, snabe, snebbe, snite, snuta (Old Dutch — Teut.), snippack, 
solitary snipe, summer snipe; Walk (a flock of), wheelbird, wind 
(Eng.), whole snipe, woodcock snipe, wren ; Yern-bliter or bluter, 
youkfit, yuckfit. 

Carmichael states that there are thirteen names for the snipe 
in Gaelic. The number is proverbial. One of the English names, 
strange to say got in Devon, is derived from the Gaelic word 
"gabhar" and '^hal," said to mean a moor or salt marsh. The 
word "snipe " is derived from the long beak of the bird, or snout ; 
" dotterel " means " doited one," or, as named in Gaelic, the peat- 
hag fool ; its folly permits of its being easily slain and affords little 
sport. The nightjar was supposed to be the cause of a distemper 
in weaning calves, possibly being frightened. In Mull the 
term "gudabochd" occurs in a song, entitled " Oran seilg a 
dhudabuichd," composed, it is said, by " some one " in the Ross 
of Mull. One verse is : — 

" An gudabochd a bha 's a chlais 
Gu 'n d' fhuair e fras a bhrist a chas. 

(Repeat). 
Gu 'n d'fhuair e fras de 'n luaidhe, 
Chuir iad air a Mhullan i 
A' losgadh air a dhudabochd, 
'S e Tearlach 'chuir an cuifean innt' 
'S e Uilliam las a chluais ris. " 

Not worth translating. 

It is thought a lucky omen for a snipe to rise before cattle 
when being driven to a sheiling. The saying, " Is ann romhad 
a dh' eirich an naosg," it's before you the snipe rose, refers to 
people, and is also generally supposed to be a good omen, though 
some have thought it the reverse, and to be little else than a 
"Will-o'-the-wisp," from its swift and erratic flight, and the 
difficulty in " spotting " it. Two other proverbial sayings are : — 

Cho fad's a bhios naosg air moin, cleit' na toin, na gob orra. 

So long as there is a snipe on a bog, a feather in her tail, or 
a beak on her. That means " always." 
Tha uiread do dh' ainmeanan air ris an naoisg. 

He has as many names as the snipe. 



334 SOLAN GOOSK— SPARROW 

A saying, found in Turner, runs : — 
'S nach fearr iad na'r coinneamh na cromanna-loin. 
And they are not more fit to oppose us than snipes. 

SOLAN GOOSE (see also Goosp:). — Amhas, amhasag, amhasan, 
amhsainn, amhsan, ansa, asan ; Kun ban an sgadain ; Fachaich 
(fatlings) ; Goug, guga (young) ; Macfraoir ; Sulaiche, sulair, 
sulaire. 

Basser, bass-goose ; Channel goose ; Gannet, ganot (A. S.) ; 
Herring-gant ; Soland-goose, spectacled goose. 

Said to be from either Icelandic " sulan," the gannet, or Gaelic 
" an sula or an sulaire." 

This bird or fowl is very keen of sight, and rises to a great 
altitude to discern its prey, whence it darts with the greatest 
certainty. St Kildians hold it in great respect, and preserve the 
young as food or"annlan." "The gannet's bath" is a |)oetical 
term for the sea from this habit of the bird diving from a great 
height. 

Bhiodh an t-amhas leis fein While the gannet by itself 

Ann an uighe nan speur, In the space of the skies, 

A shuil gheur air an doimhne mhoir. Its eye on the mighty deep. 

Archibald MacDonald, the Uist bard, refers humorously to a 
certain Dr MacLeod as being extra fond of the fat of this bird, 
which, by the way, is considered a specific remedy for man or 
beast, especially in St Kilda. This, or the oil therefrom, has been 
called " Gibanirtick " (Gioban lortach), it is said even to heal 
cancer. The foregoing word giban or gioban is derived from 
geuban or giaban, the craw or crop of any bird. See ante, at 
Birds. In Scott's Antiquarif, a solan-goose appeared at Oldbuck's 
table, " the relishing solan-goose blood ran." 

SPARROW. — Baois ; Ciolag, ciolachaire, ciolog (Ir. — hedge) ; 
Donnag, donnan, donneun (brown one or bird) ; Gallan or gallun- 
strathaire (Old Ir.), gealbhan, gealbhan-sgiabail or sgioboll, 
gealbhonn, gealbhonn-garaidh glas or nam preas (hedge), gealbhan- 
garrdha (Ir.), glaisean, glaisean-coille (wood), glaiseun (greybird) ; 
Riabhag (Ir.) ; Sporag (house). 

Aichee ; Billy cuddy, black wren, blind dunnock, blue dickie 
Isaac Jaunie sparrow or Tom, bush-sparrow ; Chummy (house), 
cosal (Forfar), craff (Cumb.), creepie, cudgy, culfer, culfre (A. S.); 
Dickie, donck, doney, donnock, dunnock, dykesmowler ; Easing, 
easing-bird ; Fieldie, field-sparrow ; Greybird ; Hatcher, haysuck, 
hay sucker, hayzick, hayzock, hazeck, hazock, hedge accentor 
chanter chat, mike, spick, spurgie or warbler, heisugge (Chaucer), 
hempie, hempling, heysugge, hizac, hoosie ; Izaac ; Mountain- 
sparrow ; Pin nock, pynok, Philip, phip ; Reefouge Q riabhag), 
roo-doo, row-dow ; Segge, shufflewing, spadger, spalliard (Devon), 
spargie, spearewa, speuk, sprauch, sprig, sproug, sprug (i.e., sporag). 



SPARROW— STARLING 335 

spug, spur, spurd, spiirdie, spurg, spurgie (hedge — Keith), spyng ; 
Thack or thatch-sparrow, titlene, tree-sparrow ; Whin-sparrow. 

Supposed 'from Icelandic word "sporr," lit. a flutterer. The 
terms Baois and Gallan or gallun-strathaire — or strathaire alone — 
are neither complimentary to the sparrow, the former signifying 
lust, lechery, which is applicable, this bird being proverbial for 
lewdness ; the other term signifies an idle fellow (which, by the 
way he is not, in his own way), gallan struidhear, a wasteful or 
prodigal stripling seems the origin however. 

North or South the sparrow ranks somewhat low among the 
feathered tribe; the very term "ciolachaire," implies picking and 
stealing, while among numerous descriptions given in Lowland 
works on ornithology, etc., his character is to say the least of it 
"shaky." The following description is a fair sample: "A low 
cunning fellow with many bad habits, persecuted and held in con- 
tempt, the Holy Scriptures assessing his market value at two for one 
farthing, or five for two. Dirty, rusty-coated, stumpy-shaped, hurried 
ungraceful flight, tuneless voice, a mere metallic chink aggravat- 
ingly persistent, all betray his mean origin. Nothing is sacred 
from him — a housebreaker, a thief and greedy glutton, even 
suspected of picking holes in cro]is of young pigeons to get at 
the corn within ; a noisy braggart and a cowardly vagabond." 

Despite all this, he is useful too, destroying myriads of insect 
pests, and though not held very lucky, if seen the first bird of a 
year, indeed even supposed to foretell the death of a child in the 
house — if such there be — he has had the attribute of actual 
blessedness attached to him. Despite his hardy habits, he takes 
ill with captivity, and requires much manipulation ere consenting 
to partake of food, such as being bobbed on or pulled by the tail ! 
Sparrows have three broods a year and lay six eggs each 
brooding. 

Be sin na glaisein ri gloir thar cairbh na speirige. 

That were the sparrows' praise (or noise) over the hawk's 
carcass. Exulting over a fallen foe. 

SPARROW-HAWK (see Hawk). 

SPOONBILL (see also Duck). — Gob-cathainn or spaineach. 
Blue-winged shoveller, broadbill ; Kirk-tuUoch ; Maiden duck ; 
Sheldrake, shovelard, shovel-bill, shoveller, spoonbeak ; Whinyard. 

STARLING. — Druid, druid-bhreac, druid-dhubh, druideag, 
druidean ; Stalag, stalog, stale ; Trodan, truid, truideag, truidean. 

Black-star or starling ; Chepster, chepstow, cow-bird ; Dow- 
breck; Gyp, gypstarnel or starnill ; Jacob, joey, johanner ; Sheep- 
rack, shepstare or starling, shepster, shepstert (North), solitary 
thrush, staer (A. S.), stare, starenil, starn, starnel, starnil (North), 
steare, steer, Stirling. 



336 STARLING— STONECHAT 

This bird will be found frequently referred to in Gaelic poetry, 
«and 'nuair 'bha Gaeli^ aig na h-coin, held forth in s|)eech with 
the best of them. In the folk-lore of Shakespeare Pliny records 
that this bird was taught to speak Latin in the time of Caesar. 
In some parts of the Hebrides it is thought by natives tliat poison 
lurks specially in the blood of the neck, and if they kill one, at 
once twist off the neck. The flesh is not very edible. Where 
trees are scarce the starling is content to build its nest and 
haunt in deserted buildings, whence it levies toll from the 
neighbouring sheep, on the backs of which they may be seen 
pecking insects, etc., and this the sheep seem not only to endure 
but to like. Starlings are said to be unusually ])lentiful in the 
island of Lewis. Cameron says that the crowberry is also called 
"lus na stalog," the starlings' plant. 

STEANCHEL (see Hawk). — Criochran (Dean of Lismore); 
Deargan. 

STILT (see also Plover). — Corrachan; Fadchasach; Lurganach. 
Long-legged plover, longlegs, longshank, stilt-shank. 
Very rare and almost extinct in the Highlands. 

STONECHAT or CHATTERER — Caislin-clach or cloch, 
clacharan, clachlain, claibhrean, clochlainn, clochlan, cloichearan, 
cloichrean, criochran ; Fraoichean (heather) ; Gobair. 

Blacky-cap or top ; Chackart, chackie, chapper, checker-stane, 
click-stone, cloacharch, clocharet, clochret, cloughret ; Fallow- 
smich, furze-chitter or hacker ; Jack-straw ; Little mason ; Moor 
titling ; Quay ; Schaker-stane, stane-chack, stone-chappie chat 
checker clink clocharet pecker or smith ; Wheatear, whinchat, 
white-bellied stonechat, white rump or tail. 

It is thought in the North that a toad or frog attends to the 
eggs of this bird when it leaves its nest for food, and that it is not 
"lucky," in fact untoward or rosadach. 

Chunnaic mi clacharan air creag lom, 

'S dh' aithnich mi nach d' rachadh am bliadhna leam. 

I saw a stonechat on a bare rock. 

And knew that the year would not go well with me. 

A frequent occurrence — in fact, this bird is more often seen on 
a bare rock or stone than otherwise. 

Cloichearan spagach, ogha na rauile-mag. 

The waddling stonechat, the frog's grandchild. Darwinian- 
ism rampant, or has the toad watcher above referred to 
anything to do with this saying ? 
Tri la sgathaidh an clachairean — no an claibhrein. 

Three days of punishment of the stone-chatterer (April 
borrowing days — O.S.). 



STORK— SWALLOW 337 

STORK. — CoiTj corra-bhan. 
Black or white stork. 

From "sta," to stand, lit. the tall stander. 

This bird is very rare, but has been shot in Shetland, and 
elsewhere in Scotland. 

SWALLOW. — Ailleag, aimhleag, ainleag, ainleag-mhara or 
mhor-dhubh (sea or black martin — petrel), ainleag-mhonaidh 
(Alpine swift), ainlinn, amhlag, amblag-mhara ; Bruilin (Ir.) ; 
Fainleag, fainleog, faireag, fairleag, famhlach, famhlag, fandli, 
faulag, faunal (Old Ir.) ; Gabhlachan, gabhlan-gaoithe (Ir.), gealbh- 
roc (sea), gobhlan-gainmhich (sand-martin) gobhlachan, gobhlan- 
gaoithe ; Stearnall, steirneal (sea). 

Arrondell ; Bank martin or swallow, brown dove, bucharet ; 
Chelidon, chelin (A. S.), chimney swallow, chitterling ; Easing, 
easing-bird ; Gluck ; Martin; Progne ; Red-fronted swallow; 
Screamer, screech-devil, swalewe, swalwe, swealewe, swift ; Team, 
tern (sea) ; white-rumped swallow, witch-hag. 

Said to be from Teutonic "swalwa," tosser about, mover to and 
fro. The old Irish word "fannal" has for its genitive "faindle," 
sometimes given as a nominative. 

Among Celtic races generally, it is said the reverence and 
respect with which this bird is regarded proceeds or arises from 
fear, and its influence upon mankind, instead of being propitious, 
is sinister and diabolical. In Ireland it is actually called the 
"devil's bird." In some parts of Scotland it is indeed said to 
have a drop of the devil's blood in its veins, from which it gets 
the name " witch-hag " in Caithness. In the Book of the Dean of 
Lismore, however, a sentence occurs, comparing a king to a 
swallow, " Ach righ na Frainca mar e ainlinn 's e breth air an ail." 
Except the King of France alone, who like a swallow as it grasps 
the air. In France, accordingly, the swallow is spoken of highly, 
thought of as a lady, and styled the " Messenger of Life." Among 
our migratory birds it is thought to be among the first we may 
look for, a peculiarity in the Roman Calendar being a special and 
solitary reference to the item of natural history that the swallow 
appears on 24th February. This is thought somewhat premature. 
(See Longfellow's poem of " Evangeline," beginning " Oft in the 
barns," etc., as to the swallow stone, said to possess wondrous pro- 
perties, restoring sight to the blind, etc.) It is thought a lucky 
omen to a house when a swallow builds its nest in the corner of 
one or more of its windows, but it is death — or some calamity — to 
one tearing or breaking them down, and that within a twelvemonth. 
Cameron, in his Gaelic names for plants, tells us that the celandine 
is a corruption of " chelidon," the Greek for swallow, now Angli- 
cised, and is called " lacha cheann-ruadh " in Irish, or the red- 
headed duck. Swallow wort in Welsh is "llysie y wennel." 

y 



338 SWAN 

Cha dean aon ailleog samhradh (Ir.). 

One swallow makes not summer. 
Cho luath ri aigne nam ban baoth. 

As swift as the thoughts of the foolish woman. 
Is tuar fearthuinn ealt ailleag. 

A flock of swallows is a sign of rain. 

SWAN. — A, ai (H. S. Diet.), airmid, ala, alunn, aoi ; Ceis 
(Dean of Lismore), corra-ghrain, creadh, creath, cyn or cin (Old 
Celt.) ; P2ala, ealadh, ela, elae (Old Celt.) ; Gall, gaod, geine, geis, 
geiss ; Lon (wild) ; Searpan, soma (flock). 

Cob (large) ; Elk (wild — North), eyrar (brood) ; Hooper ; like 
(Drayton) ; Whistling-swan, whooper. 

Said to be from Teutonic ^'swanna." The word "geis" or 
"geiss" is just goose, and has as plural "geissi." 

In an old Celtic legend, now well known, the account is given 
of how the children or daughters of "Lir" were turned into swans 
for nine hundred years by enchantment, till they were released 
therefrom by hearing the sound of a certain consecrated bell. 
In another account (Irish) in " the three sorrows of story-telling," 
it is stated that they were changed by the incantation of their step- 
mother, and the children's names are there given as Conn, Fiacra, 
Finola, and Aedh, or Conn, Aid,a, Finola, and Fiach ; in this poem 
" Lir " is spelled " Lear." These four children (one girl, Finola, her 
tvVin brother, Aed, and other twin boys, Ficra and Conn), had to 
live three hundred years in each of three places, one being the 
open sea near our Mull of Cantyre ; a peculiarity of their condition, 
fortunately, was the privilege of retaining their own Gaelic speech, 
and the power of singing such sweet and plaintive fairy music, 
excelling all the music of the world. Thus they remained for the 
nine hundred years, undergoing many trials, till 

*' When Faith shed her heavenly rays. 
They heard St Patrick's song of praise 
And the voice of the Christian's belL" 

They then resumed their human shape, but alas ! not as when 
changed, young and fresh, but old and shrivelled. They, how- 
ever, were baptised by a monk, St Kennog, died immediately, and 
winged their way aloft amidst strains of the sweetest music. It is 
satisfactory to learn that, for her cruel act of transformation, the 
stepmother was changed into a demon of the air (the worst con- 
ceivable thing known to the ancient Celt), w^hich she still is. 
In Ireland, it is said, a law was passed, in consequence of the fore- 
going, prohibiting the killing of swans. The word " MacLir or 
MacLear " means "son of the sea." 

In Chronico?i Scotorum we find the word "ges" for a swan, 
describing the whiteness of the person of a huge woman cast ashore 
in Alba, in the year a.d. 900, "fuan ngeissi" being found as an 
Old Celtic term for swan's raiment, or plumage. In "Miann ^ 



SWAN 339 

bhaird aosda," the swan is poetically described as "Nighean 
aluinn an uchd bhain/' fair maid of the white breast. A name 
" Guleesh or goilios " comes from the words '^Goil-gheis or gall- 
gheis," foreign swan. Muirgheis is a sea swan, generally termed 
a "blackfoot." As before stated, the enchanted children of Lir 
were privileged to retain their speech, and that Gaelic ; in many 
other tales are they referred to, and this fact is always dwelt on. 
They are also described as being "the spirits of human beings 
under an enchanted spell," Clann righ fo gheasan, king's children, 
and the enchanter is named as " Eachrais blair." Various " swan " 
songs are extant ; one mournful, strangely wild and plaintive air 
and ditty runs : — 

Guileag i, guileag o, sgeul mo dhunaigh, guilleag 1 
Rinn mo leire, guileag o 
Mo chasan dubh, guileag i. 

A ditty entitled " Luinneag na h-eala " is, or was, lately known 
it is said in Cowal, as a favourite air for lulling children to sleep. 
Mr A. Carmichael got a version in the Outer Hebrides, which 
will be found in the Highlander of 1881-2. 

Some ornithologists deny the musical powers of the swan, so 
often mentioned by the Greek and Latin writers, as well as by 
the Celtic poets, but if their (the swans) singing is to be reckoned 
among the vulgar errors, it has been a universal one, and of great 
antiquity ; among others Dr Smith says in Sean dana, page 33, 
" over the west of Scotland it is frequently affirmed as a fact, that 
the swans which frequent these parts in winter are heard to sing 
very melodious notes, when wounded, or about to take flight." 
Jacob Bryant in his Analysis of Ancient Mythology, has a long 
dissertation on the prevalence of this belief among the classic 
poets. In Sean dana we also read, "mar ealadh air cuan 
na Lanna," as a swan on the lake (loch) of Lena ; and " mar 
bhinn guth ealadh 'n guin bais, no mar cheolan chaich mu 'n 
cuairt di," as the melodious voice of the swan in the pain of 
death, or the faint melody of her companions around her 
(sympathising); "bhinn guth," is an example of the adjective 
preceding the noun here. This points to two things or facts, 
viz., that the voice of the swan is melodious, especially (and 
plaintively so) when dying, and also that the others are 
sympathetic (also melodiously so) when one of their number 
is dying. This again seems to be only partially so, as in 
a more modern song a maiden bewails her lonely fate, and 
compares herself to a dying swan, "agus each uile 'n deigh a 
treigsinn," and all the others having left or forsaken her. The 
sweetness of the swan's note is also referred to in the lines : — 

'Nuair a theannas iad ri luinneag When they engage in singing 

'S binn' iad na guileag na h-eala. They are more melodious than the 

lamenting note of the swant 



340 SWAN— TERN 

Such "scientific" scepticism exists as to this alleged dying 
note, that one feels inclined to question everything nowadays, 
and even the references (of very respectable anticjuity), as for 
instance where iEschylus says, " Like the swan expiring, dies in 
melody " ; while our own Ossian says : — 

*• Sweet was her song as the voice of the wounded swan, 
When she sings away her soul (breath) in death. 
And feels in her breast the fatal dart of the hunter." 

A more prosaic reason for this alleged mourning sound made 
by swans, is because they think their black feet ugly. 

Cameron informs us that the "stinking goose-foot" plant is 
called in Irish " Elefleog," from el or ela, a swan, and fli or 
fleadh, a feast (eala, a swan, and fliodh, chickweed) ; the latter is a 
favourite food of the swan, while yellow celandine is "eala- 
bhidh." 

The white swan was the impresse of Edward III., and he swore 
by it, as well he might, for the swan is a bird of good omen. 

SWIFT. — Aigne, an gobhlan-siubhlach ; Clisgein ; Gobhlan, 
gobhlan-monaidh, gobhlan-mor, gobhlan-nan-creag. 

Black martin or swift, brown swallow, bucharet, bullfit ; Cran, 
crane ; Devil (black), devil-bird, deviling, devil-screecher or 
shrieker ; Flapwing ; Harley, hawk-swallow ; Jack-squealer ; Long- 
wing ; Martin ; Screamer, screecher, screech-devil-martin or owl, 
shriek owl, skee/, squealer, swallow, swine or swing-devil (North) ; 
Whip. 

The swift, though of stronger build and more powerful flight, 
is about three weeks later in making its appearance than the 
swallow, for which it is frequently taken. The swift is more a 
town than a countrv bird. 



TEAL (see also Duck). — Ateal ; Crann or crion-lach or lacba ; 
Dartan ; Siolta. 

Common teal, cricket ; Gadwall, gangle, garganey, green- 
winged,' grey ; Jay ; Pied wigeon or wiggon, pintail ; Summer 
duck ; Tael or tael-duik, teling ; Winter duck. 

From *' telen," to breed, to produce. 

In summer the teal is called the "ateal." 

TERN. — Geabhrag or geabhrog ; Steardan, stearnal, stearnan, 
steirneal-M hic-Dhughail. 

Black or black marsh tern, blue-darr ; Car swallow, chit-perl 
(lesser), clett, cloven-footed gall (black) ; Dar, darr, daw, dip-ears, 
dippurl, dorr ; Fairy bird ; Great purl or tern, gull-billed tern, 
gull teaser; Hooded tern; Jourong (Ir.); Kingfisher, kip, kir or 



MRN— THRUSH 34l 

kirrmaw or mew ; Little dan or pickie ; Marsh tern, maw, miret ; 
Noddy ; Pease crow, picket or picket — a' piccatarrie, pickaternie 
(greater), pickitar (lesser), picktarnie (greater), pictar, pirr, purre ; 
Richel-bird, rippoch (com.), rittoch (greater), Rixy (com.), roseate ; 
Sandwich, scraye, sea swallow, sheartail, shrimp-catcher, skirr, 
small purl, sparling, speikintare, sjmrling, spurre, starn ; Taring, 
tarney, tarnie, tarret, tarrock, tirrock ; Willie fisher. 

The word " jom'ong " in Irish is said to arise from their cross 
nature. 

THRUSH (see also Mavis). — Cearsach (missel), ciarsach, 
cuireag, cullionag (holly) ; Scric, smeorach, smeolach, smolach (Ir.). 

Big felt or mavis, bull thrush, butcher bird ; Chercock, churr- 
cock (missel), crakle, corney ; Dirsh (Somerset), drish (Devon), 
drossel ; English fulfer (missel) ; Felfit, feltie, feltiflyer, fen 
thrush, fulfer ; Gar or gaw, gizer, gore-thrusher (missel), grey bird 
chacker or thrush ; Highland, hielan' or hillan piet, holm cock 
screech or thrush, horse thrush, hunting thrush ; Ichala pea ; Jay, 
jay pie, jercock; Keevor ; Marble thrush, maire, mavis, mevy 
(Browne), mezel, misler, missel mistle or mistletoe thrush, mizzly 
dick, moor blackbird, mountain ouzel, muzzel ; Norman gizer or 
thrush, rassel, rattle (missel), ring, rock ouzel ; Screech, sed, sedge 
or set-cock, sedge-singer (missel), shreitch, shrike, shirl or shrill- 
cock (Derby), skirlcock, skrite, solitary, song, squawking, stone, 
stormcock, sycock ; Thirstle (Devon), thrice cock, throstel (North), 
throstle, throstle cock, thrushel, thrusher, thrushfield (Salop), 
thrusshe, thru stell (Palsgrave), thryrsty lie ; Whistling-dick or thrush, 
white-breasted black-ila bird, white-mouth (Wilts), wood thrush. 

Supposed etymology "turdus." The original form appears 
to have been star-da. 

The mavis or thrush is the first in the field everywhere, both 
in the Highlands and Lowlands. He always sings his song twice 
over. In April it sings all day and night nearly. The thrush lays 
five eggs. One of Macmhaighstir Alasdair's best songs, inter alia, 
is the well-known Smeorach Chlann Raonuill, while many other 
bards and inferior poets have sung its praises. Iain mac Raonuill 
og says : — 

'S binn leara an smeorach a sheinneas Delightful to me the mavis that sings 

Gu loinneil 'an coille nan crann. Her sweetly musical lay in the multi- 

Smeorach a bhroillich bhric riabhaich tudinous wood, 

'S mil air ghob dhi 'n am feuchainn The mavis with its brown and speckled 

nan rann ; breast, 

'S math sheinneas i oran. And with honey on its bill what time 

'N am do'n ghrein 'bhi 'g oradh nam it lists to sing ; 

beann. Full well can it trill forth its lay, 

'S an oidhche cha stad i What time the sun is bathing the 

'Chuir na smuid dhi feadh bhadan uplands with gold ; 

nan gleann. Nor will she, even in the night-time. 

Cease to sing in the wooded glenlets 
among the hills. 



342 THRUSH— TITMOUSE 

The translation is given as found. It has the merit of being 
pretty Hteral. 

Proverbs and sayings as to the thrush are, as may be expected, 
in existence. A thrush entering a house voluntarily is a decided 
emblem of good luck. The term missel or mistletoe thrush has 
been variously accounted for, one being that the bird is particularly 
fond of the berries of the mistletoe, though birds, as a rule, shun 
that parasite from the sticky juice which exudes from it. Another 
meaning is derived from its well-known solitary habits, the word 
"misslie" meaning solitary; a third is from " mizle, mizzle or 
misle," to speckle, etc., hence " misle-shinned," having speckled 
legs (as boys have that sit much at the fireside), ergo, mizzle or 
misle-thrush, speckled thrush. This bird is said to be particularly 
plentiful in Morayshire. 

TITMOUSE or TIT. — Cai, cailleach, cailleachag-cheann-dubh 
or duibh, cailleach-cheann-gorm (blue), ceann-dubh or dubhag 
(marsh), ciochan, ciochan-fada (long-tailed), currag-bhaintighearn 
(great) ; Gabhagan, gaistean-cloich, gobhagan, gobhlacan, gobh- 
lagan, gocan ; Miondan, miontan ; Reabhag, reabhag-monaidh or 
fraoich, reafog, reallog ; Smulag, smutag, snoileun (grey or blue). 

Ackmal, ackymal, allecampagne ; Bag, bearded pinnock or tit, 
bee-bird, bell-ringer, bettytit (Suffolk), big oxeye (great), Billy, 
Billy-biter, black-cap hed or redstart, black-capped lolly, black- 
headed Bob or tomtit, black oxeye, blue-bonnet cap mope spick 
tomtit or yaup, bottle-tit or Tom, bum-barrel or towel, bumo- 
towel, bush-oven ; Cambottle, caton, coal, coalhooden, coal-tit or 
coalyhood, cole, colebood, hooding mouse, tit or titmouse, cuckoo- 
bird ; Effie (marsh), ekkymal or mowl, elicompagnie (Cornw.) ; 
Feather-poke, French magpie, fuffit ; Great tit ; Hackmal or 
mull, hackymal, hackkimal, haemal, heather-lintie, heckamall, 
heckanoddy, heckenal, heckmall, heckymal, hedge-jug, hekkymal, 
hickmall, hickymal, hockymal, huckmuck ; Jack-in-a-bottle, Jack- 
noup, Jack-saw (great), Jenny-tit or wren, Joe Ben, jonnker, 
jorinker, jug-pot ; Lady's night-cap, lesser butcher bird, little 
old wife, little pednpaly (Cornw.), long-pod, long-tailed capon 
mag muffin pie or tit ; Marsh tit, meadow pipit, miller's thumb, 
millothrum, milly-thoomb or thumb, moss cheeper, mumruffin 
(hedge — Wore.) ; Nimble tailor, nope or noup (Salop), nun or 
nunnie ; Oven-bird (long-tailed), oven's-nest, oxee, oxen-bird, 
oxeye (great tit) ; Pednpaly, pheasant, pack-cheese, pinchem, 
pinnock, poke-bag or pudding, pole-pudding, pridden-pral, prin- 
priddle, pudding-bag ; Ragamuffin, red or reed bunting or pheasant, 
rockpipit ; Saw-sharpener or whetter, sharp saw, sit-ye-down, 
snorter, stonechat ; Taffit, teetick, tidife, tinnock, titlark, titling, 
titmal, titmose (A. S.), tittymouse (Baret), Tom nope, nouf, noup 
or tit, tree babbler, tytmase ; Uckmaul ; Wagstert ; Yaup, yaupit. 

This bird of the many names is peculiar for a cat-like habit of 



TITMOUSE— WAGTAIL 343 

spitting and puffing. In a singular work, issued by the Gaelic 
Society of Dublin in 1808, the following epigram, illustrating a 
"flimsy pretender/' introduces this little bird as follows: — 

" This little man's for learning fam'd, 
The speckl'd sprat is called a fish, 
Each bird's nest a nest is nam'd 
And so's the grass-moth's if you wish." 

The grass-moth is said to be the literal English translation of 
the Irish name for the little bird, commonly {inter alia) called the 
tomtit, which lays eight eggs. 

TURKEY. — Cearc-fhrangach, coileach-fhrangach, pulaidh, or 
turcach ; Turcaire. 

Bobble-cock, brasil, brazil or bresil-fowl, brissel-cock, bubbly- 
jock ; Cobbler ; Ganny - cock, gobbler ; JoUoper ; Lolly-cock 
"(Devon), lubber-cock or leet ; Moure (Somerset) ; Poe (North), 
Polliecock, poney-cock, poune or pounie-cock, powie, powne or 
pownie-cock, pullie-hen ; Snotergob, stag (two-year cock). 

TURNSTONE (see Lapwing). 

TWITE (see Linnet). 



VULTURE.— Amac, amach, amhach ; Badh, badhbh (Ir.), 
bodh ; Coin-fhuadach ; Fang, fionnag (Ir.), fitheach-garbh ; Gair- 
fhitheach, gup (Old Celt.); Lachar ; Preachan, preachanach, prea- 
chan-craosach or ingneach ; Seaghmhor, seig, sgriachan-craosach, 
criosach, or ingneach ; Trodhan, trodhain, troghan. 

Earngeap (A. S.) ; Fang ; Graip, grap, grape, grip ; Pharaoh's 
chicken; Vulturina; Wltur. 

The words or names given for vulture in Gaelic are applicable 
to, and indeed generally used for, any ravenous bird, or bird of 
prey. In common, it is said, with other birds of prey, the vulture 
has no sense of smell, depending on sight alone. 



w 

WAGTAIL. — Breacan-buidhe, breacan or bricein-baintigh- 
earna, breac-an-t-sil, bricein-ban or buidhe, bricein-ceannghlas 
or glas, bualainde, buicean-baintighearna ; Cumhag-bhogadh-toine 
(water), cuthag ; Glasag, glasog (Ir.), glaisean-seilich, gluasag. 

Barley or barley-seed bird, bear-seed bird, blue-headed ; 
Cinereous, cow bird klit or kloot ; Deviling, devil's bird (Ir.), 
dippity washty, dishlick, dishwasher ; Green-headed quaketail, grey. 



344 WAGTAIL— WAXWING 

grey and white, grey-Iieaded ; Moll-washer, niolly-washdish, moll- 
washer, niollswaslier ; Nannie wagtail or washtail ; Oat-seed bird ; 
Peg«jy-dishwasher, Polly-washdish ; Quaketail ; Scullery maid, 
seed fowlie lady or laverock, spotted lady, spring, stainyell, 
summer; Waggie, washerwoman, water, waterie, water-swallow, 
wattie (pied), Willie-wagtail, winter ; Yellow molly, waggie, or 
wagtail. 

Formerly called " wagstart or wagstert," start, signifying tail. 

This pretty bird is hated in Ireland, and thought always to 
presage some evil, according to Lady Wilde, because it plucked 
away the moss with which the robin had covered and hidden our 
Saviour from His enemies. In Highlands of Scotland his coming 
near the doors of houses and among hens, etc., is a sure sign of 
bad weather. If seen between a person and his or her house, it is, 
or was, a sign of eviction to follow, previous to the Crofters Act 
designated " Call na laraich." 

WARBLER. — Ceiliriche (blue-throated), ceolan, ceolan-cuilc, 
cuilceag, cuilcean (reed) ; Loiliseag ; Oranaiche ; Uiseag-oidhche 
(sedge). 

Bank-jug, beardy, bee-bird, Billy whitethroat, black-cap, 
black-capped warbler, blethering-Tam, blue-throated warbler, 
brake-hopper ; Chan-chider, chancider, channy (sedge), charly- 
mufty, chat, chatter-hi-ti, churr, cricket-bird ; Dartford warbler ; 
Fauvette, feather-bag bed or poke ; Garden fauvet, whitethroat or 
warbler, golden wren, grasshopper, chipper lark or manruffin, greater 
petty chaps, green oven, ground-Isaac oven or wren ; Hay-bird or 
tit, huck-muck ; huzzer (grasshopper); Irish nightingale; Jan or 
Johnny-chider (sedge) ; Leg-bird, linty-white ; Marsh reedling, 
mealy mouth, miller's thumb, milly thoomb or thumb, mocking 
bird, mock nightingale, muffie wren, mufty ; Nettle creeper, night 
singer; Oven bird or tit; Peggy or Peggy-whitethroat, Provence 
furzeling ; Reedling, reed warbler or wren ; Sally picker, Scottish 
nightingale, sedge bird marine warbler or wren, sibilous brake- 
hopper, small straw, smeu, smooth, smouth, strawsmear or meer, 
streasmear, sweet Billy ; Tom thumb ; Water sparrow, whattie, 
wheetie, whey-bird, whiskey, white wren, why, Willie muftie, 
willow sparrow warbler or wren, wood warbler or wren ; Yellow 
wren. 

WATER-HEN (see Coot). 

WAXWING. — Canranach-dearg. 

Black-throated, Bohemian chatterer. 

This is a rare bird in Scotland, and is said to be a native of 
Lapland now, though once plentiful ; very fond of rowan berries 
and haws. In the policies of Duff House, Banffshire, a specimen 
of the hen waxwing was lately shot. This bird resembles the 



WAXWING— WIGEON 345 

starling in size and flight, and gets its name, in English, from the 
bright red markings or horny appendages on the tips of the wing- 
feathers, which have the appearance of red sealing-wax. Another 
characteristic is the "topan," or crest formed by elongation of the 
crown feathers. Its colour is inclined to brown or chestnut. A 
Mr Peter Galloway, South Street, Musselburgh, caught one there 
in November 1903, and on 1st December of same year, one was 
shot at Cramond, in the neighbourhood of which place they were 
reported to be numerous. 

WHAUP (see Curlew). 

WHEATEAR. — Bogachan, bog-an-lochan, brugheal ; Caislin- 
cloch (Ir.), crithneachan. 

Chack, chackeret, chacks, chat-chock, chatterer, check, chick- 
chack or chacker, chickell (Devon), chicker, chickin, chickstane, 
chock, chuck, clocharet, clodhopper, coney, cooper ; Dyke-hopper ; 
Fallow-chat finch lunch or smich ; Horse-musher or smatch ; 
Jobbler, jocktibeet, jocktie ; Ortolan ; snorter, stane-chacker or 
pecker, steinkle, stinkle, stonechat (err.) ; Underground jobbler ; 
White-ear rump or tail, whitease, wittol. 

Peculiar superstitions are said to surround this bird, one being 
that if seen for first time perched upon a stone, storms may be 
looked for, if upon the sod, offer praises to God. As is evident, 
its name arises from arriving or being more in evidence when 
wheat is in the ear. 

WHIMBREL (see also Curlew). — Eun-bealltuinn ; Guilb- 
inneach ; Leth-ghuilbinneach. 

Beltane bird, brame ; Curlew jack or knot ; Half-bird or curlew ; 
Jack curlew or curley ; Lesser curlew, little curlew or whaup ; 
May bird curlew fowl or jack ; Peerie whaup ; Tang whaup. 

So called from its whimpering cry or call. It is very rare in 
Scotland, and almost extinct in the Highlands. 

WHINCHAT. — Conasag, conasan, conasgag, conasgan; Gocan- 
conuisg, gochcan, gochdan ; Ultag, utac, utlag, uttag. 

Barley-ear, black-headed bush-chat, blacky-top, bush-chat; 
Chackart ; Fern-chackert lintie, furr-chuck, furze-chat or hacker ; 
Gorse-chat hatch or hopper, grass-chat ; Horse-smatch, hutic 
(Salop) ; Snac, stonechat chatter or smich ; Tick ; Uhage 
(Shropsh.), utick ; Whin bushchat chacker chackeret chackert 
check clocharet or lintie. 

WHITETHROAT.— Gealag, gealachag, gealan-coille. 
Beardie, bee-bird ; Caper-linty, churr-cock ; Fitin' ; Hay-jack ; 
Jack-straw ; Maggy ; Whey-beard, whittin. 

WIGEON or WIDGEON (see also Duck).— Aiteil ; Glas- 
lacha. 



346 WIGEON— WOODPECKER 

Bald Pate, black wigeon ; Common wigeon, cracker ; Diver ; 
Freshwater; Easterling (male) ; Goldenhead ; Half-duck, harlaii ; 
Ladybird or fowl (fern.) ; Pandle or pandle whew, pied, pochard ; 
Red-headed pintail or wigeon ; Smee duck ; Vare ; Whew, whew- 
duck, whewer, whim, whistler, winder, winter-duck ; Yellow-poll. 

In some places every wild duck is called a wigeon. 

WOODCOCK.— Budagoc, budagochd, butagochd (err.); Coil- 
each-coille, corr-chaoch (Ir.), creabaire, creabhar, creathar, 
creobhar, creothar, criodhar, croman-coillteach, crom-nan-duilleag, 
cubhalag, cuUagh-ceach (Ir. — Connemara) ; Filbin, fudagag ; 
Grailbeag ; Udacag, udagag, udarag. 

Becasse ; Muckle snippack ; Longbill ; Quis ; Snape ; Widcok, 
wodecoc ; Yar whelp or whip (a kind of). It is also termed owl, 
snipe, and sea-woodcock. 

Well known and numerous in West Highlands, etc., where it 
is seen about November. This bird is noted for carrying its 
young between its claws. The Irish Gaelic names are given to 
it from the uncertain " blind " manner in which it first flies out 
of cover. 

The " flesh " of the woodcock is termed " searcoil " or " searcoll," 
as given in Diarmaid's remarks to Granine on returning from the 
hill :— 

Is math do chuid a Ghrainne, Good is your provisions, O Granine, 

Carna tuirc le taobh tire, A lump of boar's flesh of the country- 

SearcoU na coilichea-fiodha, side 

Le bainne miath mine. Flesh of wood cocks, 

With soft smooth (creamy ?) milk. 

In the south a saying is current, " 'Tis winter amaist — when 
the woodcock comes." 

Tha gob fad air a bhudagochd ; tha 'm budagochd gun ghob. 
The woodcock has a long beak ; the woodcock has no beak. 
This saying is " dark." 

WOODPECKER (or Pine grosbeak).— Cnag, cnagag-choille, 
crag ; Lair-fligh, lairigidh, lasair-choille (green) ; Parr, parra, pic 
(Old Celt.) ; Snag, snagaire-daraich, snagan and snagan-daraich or 
mor. 

Acle, awl-bird (green) ; Barred, black and white poker, brown ; 
Catbill, crank-bird, creeper, cutbill, cutter ; Daniel, dirt-bird ; 
Eacle, eakle, eaqual, ecall, ecalle, eccle, eckle, eckwall, eeckw^all, 
eecle, eekle, English parrot (green), equal, equaw, eqwal, etwall ; 
French galley -bird or pie ; Great spotted or pied, green, green peak 
or peck ; Haihow, hakel, hecco, hechele, heckle, heckwall, hecle, 
hefFald, hefful (Craven), heighhaw (Salop), hew-hole, hickwall, 
hickle, hickel, hickol, hicwall, hickwall, hickway, highawe-hoe or 
hole, hoodall or awl, hufil ; Iceol, ickle, ickwell, icwell ; Jack-ickle, 
jar-peg, jay, Jewell ; Knag ; Laughing bird, lesser spotted, little 
wood pie ; Mick-mick ; Nicker, nicker-pecker, nickle ; Pick-a- 
tree, popinjay, pump-borer ; Rain-bird fowl or pie ; Snapper, 



WOODPECKER— WREN 347 

Speight (large — Cotgrave), sprite (small), stockeikle, storm cock ; 
Tabberer, tapper, tapperer ; Varfiler ; Wariangle, whetile, whit- 
wall, wodake (A. S.), wodewall, wood-awl chuck hack hock knacker 
knocker pie spack spite sprite sucker tapper wall or weale ; Yaffil 
(Heref.), yaffingale, yaffle, yaffler, yappingale, yockel, yuckel 
(Wilts). 

The green woodpecker is said to be almost extinct in Scotland, 
another example of the survival of the fittest ; its name in Sanscrit 
is "piki." The woodpecker, like the cuckoo, does not make a 
nest of her own. 

WREN. — Ballan-oir, ball-oir (lit. gold spot), bigean, etc. ; 
Conan, conan-coille, conan-conuisg (willow), conan-crion, crianag 
or cricnag-ghiubhais (willow), crionag, crionag-bhuidhe, crionag 
ceann-bhuidhe (golden-crested), crionan ; Drathan, drathan-donn, 
dreadhan, drean, dreathan, dreathan-donn, dreathain, dreollan, 
dreollin, drethein, driu (Welsh); Fridean-fionn, fridein; Guradnan ; 
Troichilean (Ir. — willow). 

Bee-bird (willow), Bobby or Bobby-wren ; Crackety, crackil, 
cuddian, cuddley (Devon), cut, cuttely, cutty or cutty-ran ; Doddy, 
druid or druid-bird ; Giller, gilliver, golden-crested, ground- Isaac 
or wren ; Hay-bird or tit (yellow), huck-muck, humming-bird ; 
Jeannie (Keith), Jennie-crudle, Jenny ; Katie, Kitty ; Mary gold 
finch, mite ; Our Lady's bird or hen ; Pale bird ; Ran, reed, 
robin redbreast ; Sally, scutty, smouet (willow), stag ; Tiddy, 
tidley, tintie, titty, todger, tomtit, tope ; Wrannie, wrannock, 
wranny; Vran; Willow or willow warbler, w^ood ; Yellow wood wren. 

Said to mean literally " the lascivious bird." The Celtic word 
or term *' drean," etc., is said to come from "draoi-eun," druid- 
bird, the wren being said to be a healer and a prophet. This 
word therefore accounts satisfactorily for our common saying, 
"a little bird has told, or whispered it to me." In W^elsh the 
word "dryw" signifies both a druid and a wren, while the bird's 
nest is called the house of a druid. Also given as drea en, drea 
or dear, small, and en, a bird. Much mystery attaches to this 
little bird in the Highlands of Scotland, and elsewhere ; in the 
Isle of Man it is, or was, hunted on St Stephen's day, which 
some say points to a relic of Baal worship, others that this '"' round- 
bird," is a female fairy enchantress. When so hunted and killed, 
the unfortunate little sinner is carried round by the hunters who 
sing, "we hunted the wren for Robert the Bobbin, we hunted the 
wren for Jack o' the can, we hunted the wren for Robert the 
Bobbin, we hunted the wren for every one." This is, or was, 
also done in Ireland, at least politically, as they (the wrens) are 
said to have given the alarm to Cromwell by pecking or tapping 
on the drums, and thus gave notice to him of the approach of the 
Irish army, hence the hatred by the Irish to this bird. 

As to this hunting it is alleged now to be largely without 



348 VVUKN 

foundation, the Isle of Man Examiner newspaper states at least 
that "like Hamlet with Hamlet omitted, the carcass of the wren 
is absent from the hunt, though not alicaijs absent from the chase." 
The persecution of the wren owed — we regret to say — its origin 
to the Christian clergy in their over-zeal against all things or 
beliefs pre-existent to theirs, this bird being a druidical bird, and 
sacred to the rites which these great teachers of men, the Druids, 
solemnised in their groves, as is surmised. The St Kilda wren 
is thought to be a Jocal and separate species. 

In " Death of Bran," the wren or dreolan is called the " king 
of birds" everywhere, and is there called " Finn's doctor." 

The wren is to be met with frequently in Gaelic poetry, and 
a folk-lore tale goes greatly to the credit of this mite-bird. The 
following version, as it differs somewhat from others which have 
appeared, may be given. It was furnished by Alexander MacKay, 
author of Sutherland Reviiniscences'. " Mar thug an dreathan-donn 
an car as an t-sionnach," or how the wren outwitted the fox — 
Sutherland version. It happened one day in early spring, when 
the wren was busy searching for materials suitable for nest- 
building, that he discovered some beneath a superincumbent 
matted mass of other material which he was powerless to remove. 
As he was striving to get something out, the fox passed by. 
When he heard the wren's tale, he said, " What will you give me 
if I will assist you ? " " Oh," said the wren, " when I've threshed 
out my grain in autumn, I may be able to pay you something." 
" How much will you give me } " said the fox. The wren thought 
a while, and then said, " Peic 'us ceannan," a peck and two pecks. 
Of course they were conversing in Gaelic. The fox agreed to the 
terms, assisted the wren, and went on his way. Towards the end 
of the year the fox remembered his engagement with the wren 
and thought he should be looking him up, which he duly did, and 
found him in his barn threshing busily, along with his twelve 
sons. Being desirous of reminding him of his promise, he went 
to the door of the barn, but for the life of him he could not 
distinguish father from sons. At last he hit upon a plan by 
saying, " What a different stroke the father has from the sons " 
(Al. 'Tis easy to recognise the old hero's stroke). Stepping forward 
proudly the old fellow said, " 'Tis well, you've said, 'tis well, you've 
said " (Al. There was a day for that), whereupon the fox reminded 
him of his promise made in early spring. " Certainly, certainly," 
said the wren, coming out of the barn. Jumping up on a dyke and 
looking towards the house, he shouted, " It was Peic 'us Ceannan, 
was it not, Peic 'us Ceannan, Peic 'us Ceannan," whereupon two 
dogs so named came rushing out, and the fox found he had been out- 
witted, and left hurriedly. Another version is that the fox wished 
to identify the old cock-wren first, and then he would secure the 
eighteen sons. As may be inferred from the foregoing, this dear 
little bird is one of the boldest for its size. It is vulgarly supposed 



WREN 349 

to lay exactly — or, at least, retain — twelve eggs in its nest, that 
they are all hatched, but that only one survives. The wren also 
is said to retreat into a hole on the approach of rain, but this is 
merely in pursuit of flies, which, as is known, retire into holes and 
crannies before rain. An English saying puts it prettily as, "The 
robin and the giller wren are God Almighty's cock and hen." 
The Scottish also say, " Malisons, malisons mair than ten, that 
harry Our Lady of heaven's hen." The wood wren is about ten 
days later of arriving than others. A proverbial saying exists to 
the effect that no house or " family " becomes extinct which a wren 
haunts. The tale goes that the eagle and the wren once had a 
trial who would soar the highest, and after a considerable amount 
of upward space had been traversed, the eagle said, " C'aite bheil 
thu 'dhreathainn-duinn ? " "Tha mis an so os do chinn," answered 
the wren. " Where art thou, O wren." " I am here, above thee." 
The wren had perched itself on the eagle's back surreptitiously, 
was able to respond as above, and win the contest. A story 
entitled "Rann na meacann," tells how a wren and his twelve 
children attempted to pull up a meacann (a parsnip or turnip), 
elsewhere called burdock, the Gaelic for which, however, is 
" mac-an-dogha." 

Cha d' thainig (cha tig) ubh mor riamh bho'n dreathainn-duinn. 
Large egg never came (or will not come) from the wren, 
i.e., small gifts from niggardly persons. 
Ged is beag an dreathann is mor a theaghlach. 

Little as the wren is, its family is large. The mother wren 
alone knows. 
Is bigid e sin, is bigid e sin, mar a thuirt an dreathann, an 
uair a thug e Ian a ghuib as a' mhuir. 

'Tis the less for that, 'tis the less for that, as the wren said, 
when it sipped a bill-full out of the sea. 
Is farsuing a sgaoileas an dreathann a chasan 'n a thigh fhein. 

The wren spreads his feet wide in his own house. 
Is farsuing tigh an dreathainn. 

The wren's house is wide — for him. Even the most in- 
significant may loll in his own house, as well as the 
greatest. 
Is fhurasda buill' an treun-fhir aithneachadh. 

The mighty man's stroke is easily known. (See Nicolson's 
note hereto), as also version given above as to the fox 
and wren. 
Is moid i sin, is moid i sin, mu'n dubhairt an dreathann-donn 
'n uair a rinn e 'dhileag *s a mhuir mhoir. 

It's the bigger of that, it's the bigger of that, as the wren 
said when he added his drop to the great sea. 
Is trom buiir an t-sean laoich. 

Heavy is the old hero's blow. This may be construed 
literally, but see " Is fhurasda," etc. 



350 WRYNECK— YELLOW-AMMER 

WRYNECK. — Cam'aich, cam-mhuin or mhuineal ; Geocair, 
geochd, gwas-y-gog (Welsh). 

Barley-bird ; Cuckoo's-fool footman knave leader marrow 
mate messenger or whit ; Dinnick ; Emmet-hunter, eten-bird ; 
Hobby ; Jack-squall ; Long-tongue ; Mackerel-bird ; Nile-bird ; 
Pea-bird ; Rind or rinding-bird ; Slab (North), snake-bird, summer- 
bird ; Tongue-bird, turkey-bird ; Weet-bird, wrythe-neck. 

The frequency of names in connection with that of the cuckoo 
is a justification for the supposition by some that it is the cuckoo's 
leading companion, though not the cause of that appearance on 
herbs, etc., called "cuckoo-spit," said to be cast at it from vexation. 
The herb called "cuckoo's shoe" has, inter alia, its own share of 
that "spit," or more properly exudation from the aphis which 
infests it. 



YELLOW-AMMER or HAMER.— Buidheag or buidheann- 
luachair, buidhein, baidheog or buidheog (Ir.). 

From " Am," a word signifying to chirp, lit. a chirper. 

A little bit o' bread an' no cheese ; Basky-bird, Bessy, black- 
smith, blakeling, bread an' cheese, bunting ; Cheeser, coldfinch ; 
De'il, de'il, de'il tak' ye, devil's bird ; Gladdie, goldfinch or spink, 
goldy, gooldie, gooler, gooly, gouldy, gowdie, gowdy, guler ; 
Johnny-ring ; Molly ; Owl ; Plover, Poll, pretty pretty jiretty 
creeture ; Scottish canary, scribbling lark, skite; Waggie, wagtail, 
wren, writing-hawk lark or master ; Yallackie, yeldock or 
yeldrock, yeldrin, yellaieckie, yellow amber or omber bunting, 
yarlin yite or yowley, yeorling, yirlin, yoit, yoldrin, yoldring, 
yolling, yorlin, youlring. 

This bird is said to be held in detestation from having half a 
drop, a drop, or three drops of the devil's blood in it. The terms 
" writing hawk," etc., arise from the similarity of scrawling marks 
on its eggs to some people's writing ; an additional term is 
" Grecian," as the marks were supposed to resemble Greek 
characters. Some people say that this bird brings ill-luck if it 
nests near a dwelling-house, which it frequently does, so it is 
industriously persecuted and its nest destroyed. A boys' rhyme 
runs : — 

*' Whittletae, whittletae tee whee, 
Harry ma nest an' the de'il tak yee." 

or, " Deil, deil, deil tak' ye," which is now refined down to " A 
little bit of bread and no cheese." 

A superstition also exists — or existed — that jaundice could be 
cured by merely looking at this bird, but if the person was cured 
the bird died. 



ENGLISH-GAELIC 
NAMES OF FISHES 

The ancient Celts, according to York Powell, never loved the sea, 
and had a prejudice, some even say a contempt, for fish. This has 
been accounted for by a supposed veneration paid by them to the 
waters, which it will be said appears somewhat paradoxical, though 
it is supposed the knowledge that the fish-god "Dagon," being 
half man, half fish, had something to do with it, though generally 
asserted to be the god of the Philistines only. If such did exist, 
civilisation overcame it, and the Celts and Highlanders of the 
present day are as fond of fish as others, if not fonder. There are 
some kinds, however, they will not eat willingly still, such as the 
skate, the eel, turbot, and flat fish generally ; from our own experi- 
ence of the West Coast, the eel and the dogfish were the only two 
fish disliked. As to above, it is alleged that a proverb exists 
implying the contempt of the Celts for fish-eaters, which we have 
not come across however. Turbot is said to be, or to have been, 
disliked in Fife, which at one time was pre-eminently Celtic. 

As regards the cases where the same names or terms, in 
Gaelic or English, are given for fishes entered herein under 
separate headings, it has to be stated that all are given as obtained, 
or found in the various works, etc., consulted; and for what they 
are worth. 



ANGLER (see also Gobie). — Carrachan (small), carran, clabaran, 
clab or clar-cioch or cich, corran, corran-greusaiche, cuman 
(Caithness) ; Garran or garrangainmhich, garrochan, greasaich, 
grealsaich, greusaich, greusaiche, griasaich, gubarnach ; lasg-an- 
Donais ; Lon-chraois ; Mac-lamhaich or lathaich, mersgirra ; 
Pleaich (Ir.). 

Armed bullhead ; Briarbot, bullhead ; Carling, catfish, cobbler ; 
Devil-fish ; Fishing-frog, friar, frog-fish ; Keddle-man or jnaul, 

351 



352 ANGLER— BREAM 

kethrie, kettacli, kilmaddy ; Mareillen, inarmaid, marool, marsgum, 
raasgum, meermaid, merlin-fish, miller's thumb, molly gowan, 
monk-fish, mulrein, murrowell ; Nass-fish, nodle ; Pleech, plucker 
or great j)lucker, pogge ; Sea-Devil or stanger, shoemaker ; Toad- 
fish ; Weever, wide-gab, wolf-fish. 

The Gaelic term "Carrachan," is derived from "carr," a rock 
which this weird-looking fish haunts. 

The name weever is misapplied it is thought. (See that fish.) 

ANIMALCULE. — Brionain, buinnean (sea); Coille-bionan ; 
Giolcam-daobhram ; Meanbh-bheothach or bhith ; Sgeith-an-roin 
or na-muice-mara (large), sgiddair, sgiodair. 

Jelly-fish ; Live-drops ; Medusae ; Phosphorescence. 



B 

BAIT. — Madhar, maghar, maodhar ; Soil, sonn. 
Krugie (Shetland) ; Spawn ; Young. 

The word " maghar " is used in the West Highlands, and 
elsewhere, for fishing for the young saith, etc., by a fly — iasgach a 
mhaghar. Trolling again for lythe is by aline and sinker dragged 
astern of a boat, as in former case, and is called " fuaidearag," 
iasgachadh le fuadearaig. In " Oran na Comhachaig " the hunter 
says — 

Cha do chuir mi dull 's an iasgach, 
Bhi 'g a iarraidh leis a mhaghar. 
I relished not (the sport of) fishing. 
Nor to seek it with a bait-fly. 
He preferred hunting. 

BANDSTICKLE (see Stickleback). 

BARBEL. — Breac-feusach ; Mial, miol-gaileach. 

The name comes from the four beard-like appendages. 

BARNACLE. — Bairneach, bairneag, bairneag-cathan or 
coidhean ; Cathan ; Gidhrean, giodhran, giodhrnan, giodhrsian, 
giuran. 

Bernak, bernicle, bernicle-limpet ; Scaw. 

BASS (see Perch and Bream). 

BLENNY (see Gunnel-Fish and Catfish). 

BRAISE (see Bream and Roach). 

BREAM. — Briantach, briantadh ; Carabhanach, carbhanach, 
carmhanach; Deargan ; Garbhanach ; Roisteach ; Shude (Ir.). 

Barse, barwin, bass, becker, braise, brasse, brazier (sea), 
bream-flat, breira, brone (A. S.) ; Carf, carp, carp-bream, chad, 



BREAM— CLAM 353 

cresser; Gilthead (young), grobman (two-thirds grown — Cornw.), 
gunner ; Hen-fish ; King-bream or of the breams ; Lump-fish ; 
Murran, nmrranroe (ruadh) ; Pandora ; Red gilthead (full grown) ; 
White bream. 

One of the most lively sea-fishes caught. Its colour is very 
beautiful, and a loch in Sligo, Ireland, derives its name from 
"deargan," now corrupted into "Dargan." 

BULLHEAD (see Goby). 



CARP. — Carabhanach, carbh, carbhanach, carmhanach-uisge, 
carranachaich. 

Bream ; Lump-fish ; Red-eye, roud, rudd ; Shallow, seizling 
(young), sprall (Holme, 1688); Tinscale. 

Supposed to live to nearly the age of two hundred years. 

CATFISH. — Cat-dubh (Lewis), cat-mhara, ceitleag. 

Bagaty, baggety (fem.) ; Cum ; Rabbit-fish, ravenous wolf-fish ; 
Sea-cat, devil, owl or rat, stane or stein-biter, or steen-bider, 
swine-fish ; Wolf-fish. 

The catfish feeds largely on shellfish, of which its flesh tastes 
in a marked degree. 

CHAR. — Tar, tar-dearg, targach, tarragan, tarragheal, 
Cardui, cudding ; Gaily trough, gereltroch, gerletroch, gerling ; 
Red-belly or wame. 

Supposed to be found only in Loch Lubnaig, Perthshire. 

CHUB. — Pluicean or am pluicean. 
Knob ; Skelly. 

CLAM (see also Scallop). — Bainteag (small); Clab-a-dubha or 
dudaidh, creachan ; Eachan, eisirean. 

Clame ; Fleming (soft). 

The clam-shell is more than historical. Our Celtic ancestors 
held it in the highest veneration on account of its utility. The 
following verse by Alexander MacDonald shows the special use 
to which they put it : — 

" Fair a nail an t-slige-chreachainn Pass o'er to me the shell of scallop, 

O'n 's ann aisd' is blasd' an dram ; From it the whisky tastes the best ; 

'S math an t-ainm dh' i an t-slige Well named it was the shell of 

chreachainn scallop, 

'S i 'n t-slige 'chreach sinn bh' ann ; As it has " scalped " us to our rest ; 

Or, Or, 

Cha 'n ion' a seachnadh gu dram ; Not suited is it to shun the dram ; 

'S i 'n t-slige 'chreach sinn th' ann." Well has it been named the 

*' spoiler." 

Z 



354 CLAM— COALFISH 

Cleland, in his etymological vocabulary of 17G8, observes that 
from the word concha, a shell used by the Northerns for a drinking 
cup in their "sligacrechins or compotations," the modern Italians 
took their word concare for carousing, and the English to junket. 

A Gaelic satire has the following verse : — 

** Casan caola, cama, gobhlach, tana. Slender legs and crooked, bandy, 

cruaidh, thin and hard, 

Bru mar shlige-chrcachainn Paunch like shell of scallop 

Air an nighinn ruaidh." Has the red-haired jaud. 

The clam is heritably fixed as a name in Creachan, which 
indeed occurs in many places ; the name of an island in Loch Erne, 
Fermanagh, Ireland, now corrupted into craghan. 

It is unnecessary to remind our readers how the " shell " is 
referred to in Ossian's poems and elsewhere. 

COALFISH. — Ceideanach, ceiteanach, cudag, cudaig, cudaige, 
cudainn ; Glaisean, glasag ; Piccach, piocach ; Saidh, saidhean, 
saodhan, saoidhean, saoithean, smalag, sodhan, steinloch, suian, 
suidhean, suidhean-dubh or mor, suithean, suitheon ; Ucas, uesa, 
ugs, ugsa. 

Badock, haddock (immature fry), bellaes, bib (young), bil, 
billets (one year), billard, black-jack mouth pollack salmon, bleck, 
blockan (mid-sized), blue backs ; Coalman, coalmie, coalsay, coalsey, 
coal-whiting, colack, colefish, colemie, colfisch, colman's seeth 
(Fife), Colmey, colmic, commie, commonie (young), cooth, couth, 
couthioc, cudden, cuddie, cuddin, cuthin (young), cyth ; Dargie, 
druillins ; Gerrack, gerroch, gilpin, ginkan, glashan, glassan, 
glassock, gleshan, glosong, glossan, glossin, golack, green cod or 
pollack, grey fish ling or lord (fully grown), guildee, guldee, 
(young), gull fish ; Hallan, harbin, harbine (two years), hoal- 
piltock ; Kede, kethe, kuth ; Leure, lob, lob-keeling, lord (fully 
grown) ; Miller's thoomb, moulrush ; Pennock, pickies, pickock, 
picky (young), piltack, piltock, podler, podley, podlie, podling, 
poUachie, pollack, poodler, poodlie, prinkle ; Queeth, quith ; 
Ranning, rigs, rock salmon ; Sae, saed, saet, said, saithe, say, 
sea-minnow (young), seath, sede, seelock, seeth, seil, seithe, seth, 
sethe, sey, sillock, silluk, skoorie, skrae-fish, smelt, spillyar, spilyer- 
staneloch, stanlock, steinlock, stenloch, streamer, syes, syth ; 
Tibric, tibrick, etc. 

This fish, next to the herring, is the best known, and perhaps 
the most useful of all the fishes caught on the west coast, etc. As 
will be seen it goes under a great variety of names in Great 
Britain, and in Ireland its names are said to be legion. The 
various stages of its growth known to us are as follows : — Siol or 
siolagan, cudaige or cudain, smalag or ceiteanach, saoidhean or 
j)iocach, saoidhean dubh or mor, and ucsa or ugsa. They rank 
under the general term " Glas-iasg," or grey fish ; the term 
piocach or piocaich was, it is said, given them because they 



COALFISH— COCKLE 355 

arrived on the coast in such hordes or shoals as, at one time it 
was alleged, did the Picts among or on the ancient Gael, giving 
rise to a familiar ejaculation, viz., "O Thi' nam Piccach or na 
Piocaich," O Lord! the Picts. One way of cooking these fish, 
the piltocks or sillocks, in Shetland, is by roasting them with their 
livers inside, the result being termed moogildin, mooguildin, or 
nougildins. Another favourite mode of cooking piltacks is by 
half splitting and roasting them with liver as above, they are so 
called " Liverflackies." We cannot refrain here from reminding 
our readers of the poorly educated minister's mistake in praying 
for piocaich chruaidh shaillte, hard salted saithe, for peacaich 
thruagh chaillte, miserable lost sinners. We are not sure whether 
it was not the same minister who urged his hearers to be up and 
doing as " the foal is at the door," tha 'n searrach aig an dorus, 
instead of 'n t-earrach, the spring. A saying is attributed to the 
West Highlander, showing the value attached to the saithe, viz., 
"Is math an sgadan 'nuair nach fhaighear an suidhean," 
the herring is good when the '■■ saithe can't be had. This is 
substantiated (says the Northern Chronicle) by an old MS. relating 
to the Hebrides, where it is stated that the poor people observe 
that when they live upon any other fish than saithe without bread 
(i.e., oatcake), which is often the case, they are never sufficiently 
nourished, but a weakness of their whole body ensues ; when, 
however, they feed upon saithe, whether with bread or not, it 
proves equally healthful and nourishing. 

COCKLE.— Aichean ; Breallach (large shell) ; Claba-dudaidh, 
coilleag, coilliog, cuach ; Gailleag ; Scriobag, sgriobag, srabag, 
srubag, sruban — Irish Neaghan. 

Achen, aichan, aiken ; Cochilt, cockobillion, cokill, commercial 
Venus, cullock, cullyac, Gakie, gawkie (horse) ; Neayghen (Ir.) ; 
Oyster cockle ; Popple (North) ; Sae-snaeglas (A. S.) ; Wampum. 

From cuach — cochull, a husk, etc. 

The west coast generally, with the exception of perhaps Barra 
and the Long Island, are not favourable for cockles, though they 
are familiar everywhere. The largest and best, however, are said to 
be found in Barra, and in regard to their origin a superstition 
exists as to their having been formed in embryo in a certain well 
on the top of a hill, whence they were ejected, or somehow or 
other found their way to the extensive sands of the seashore, where 
they grew big and fat as now. Their existence is very noticeable 
on a clear day by a peculiar glowing of their bubble in the water. 
A certain bay in Barra indeed is called " cockle bay," according to 
Dean Munro. The cockle is the badge or insignia of the Order 
of St Michael. Huntly, Argyll, and Angus are Knights of the 
Cockle, the Order being instituted by Louis II. of France in 
146L The robes of these knights have to be embroidered with 
the cockle insignia. 



^50 COD-CUAB 

COD. — Bod.uh, bodach-ruadh ; Cilean, c\]\^; Feilteag; Glas- 
iasg; Trosg. 

Bil, blen, brazier (Ir.), brodie (fry) ; Chelynge, codlin, codling ; 
Doondie (lean), dorse (Baltic), droud, duncan ; Greenfish ; 
Habberdyn or habberdine-fish (salted), bettle codiin ; Kabbelow, 
keelin, keeling, keiling, keling, killin (large), kleg ; Peerie codiin, 
pootie, pooty, poullach (balf-grown), pout, purr (young) ; Redware 
or rock cod, ruggie (small, worthless — Ork.); Scots Willie, 
skinners, staiblins (half-grown), stuckie, sweltin-cod (poor) ; 
Tamlin (salted), tangle or tanny-cod, thick codiin (good), etc. 

The term " kabbelow " applies to codfish half dried in the sun. 
The dorse or Baltic cod is said to have a peculiar chink at back of 
head. Though generally a deep swimmer, rock cod is known to 
have been caught with fly when fishing for saithe. The cod is 
among the most prolific of fish, 9,384,000 eggs having been counted 
in one female fish. The milt of the cod is called " hum " in 
Angus. 

CRAB. — Creuben (Ir.), crubag, cruban ; Mioliognach or 
iongach or spagach ; Partan, parrstan, portan, portan-tuathal or 
tuaitheal ; Ruadhag, ruathag, ruthag ; Sine-bhog (shell-less) ; 
Tarpan, tor pan. 

Ancar, anker (hermit), armett, armyte ; Bash (soft), bauldster 
(fem.), bean (fem.), blackclaw, buckie-ingram, bon (fem.), butcher ; 
Canker, carl (male), cleanser, clepaspur (hermit), conker, corwich, 
counterfeit (hermit), crabalorgin (thornback), craner (dog), 
creuben, cruden ; Deep sea, dog crowler ; Fiddler ; Gaberick, 
gaverick (red spider), grample, grit (Line); Haefern (A. S.), 
hairy bummle, harper, havel, haver, haviler, havill (small), heaver 
(Kent), hog; Junker; Kanker (Cornw.), keavie, kirssan, kittywitch 
(small), krank (Welsh) ; Lobster toad, lupik; Mare crab (harbour) ; 
Ochidore ; Partan, peelan, peeler (soft), poo, pow, pullach, 
pullawawa, jmllen (small baiting — North), punger (small — Kent) ; 
Ringer ; Saftick, saan' or sand louper or lowper, scrawl (young — 
Line), shear-crab keavie or pillans, sodger, soger, souldier (hermit — 
I. of Wight), spider, synabhug, synavug (Ir.); Tammie-harper. 

Sine bhog (soft teat) is the name for the crab in a soft state ; 
the Irish form is synabhug. The green crab is nothing but an 
ordinary crab in this state, i.e., while casting its shell, and called 
peeler or peelan. This crab is good for bait, but its real name, 
'^ green crab," must not be pronounced while baiting with it. In one 
place, if it had to be named, it was called "sniffltie fit." The 
Scottish (Banffshire) term for the abdomen of a crab is aparan or 
aprin, the apron. The north side of Lochmaddy is called Loch 
Partan ; some rocks there are famous for crabs. Crabs vary in 
size throughout the British Isles, the record one, caught lately, 
being upwards of two feet broad. I n India they measure sometimes 



CRAB— DOGFISH 357 

two feet. A favourable or good time for catching crabs is termed 
"partaii-haar." In Scenes and Stories of the North of Scot/and, by- 
John Sinclair, a portrait appears of a poor, witless being, John 
McLean, whose eke-name is there given as " Peelans," the origin 
or meaning of which the author was unable to explain; the 
similarity of the poor being to a shell-less crab, however, is the 
origin. The word " partan " is only applicable, it is said, to a 
boiled crab, as it is then red, the word " partain " or " partaing," 
meaning some red or scarlet substance, coral, ruby, or rowan berry 
(Whitley Stokes). 

Maorach caillich Mhic Artair, partan 'us da fhaochaig. 

Old Mrs MacArthur's shellfish, a crab and two wilks. 
Na dean siubhal cho tuathal, mar an d'thubhairt an t-seana 
chruban ris a chruban og. Le m'uile chridh ars' a chruban og, 
rach fhein romham. 

Do not walk so crookedly, said the old crab to the young one. 
With all my heart, said the young one, go you in advance. 
Note. — Precept and practice. 
Roinn Mhic Cruislig air na crubain. 

MacCruislig's dividing of the crabs. (See Nicolson's note.) 

CRAMP-FISH. — Cnaimh or craimh-iasg; Gon-iasg ; Orc-iasg. 

Torpedo. 

CRAW or CRAY-FISH. — Gabhar, gabhar-mor, giomach-cuain 
or spainteach ; Sion, sion-giomach. 

Cravaise, crevice, crevise, crevish, crevisse ; Gaver ; Long 
oyster ; Red-crab ; Seagar, seegar, soger, Spanish lobster. 

A corruption of "ecrevisse" (Fr.) ; from "krebs" (Ger.), a 
crab. 

CUDDIE (see Coalfish). — This term applies equally to the 
young of the coalfish, codling, lythe, etc. 

CUTTLE-FISH.— Cudal, cuiteal ; Fadhbhag, faobhag ; Gib- 
bearnach, gibneach ; Suil-an-toin (Lochcarron). 

Anchor-fish ; Catfish (Ir.), codulle, coil, coodle, cudele (A. S.) ; 
Flosk ; Hosefish, hosie ; Ink-fish; Man sucker; Octopus, O or 
Oo-fish ; Sea-sleeve slieve or slieve-fish, skeetack ; Wase-scite, 
whaal or whaal-skate (large). 

The cuttle-fish is believed to be the fish of the razor, spout, or 
hosefish detached from its shell and grown large. 



DEVIL-FISH (see Angler). 

DOGFISH. — Bearach, beerach, biagaish, biorach, boc-glas 
(large, overgrown), buraghlas ; Cu-mara ; Dallag, dallag-na-h- 



358 DOGFISH— EEL 

urlaic'h, dulla^; Fio^ach ; Goba«r, ^oibean ; Learg or lear-mliadadh 
or mhadaidh ; Morgan, murgan, inurlacli, murloch, mur-laoch 
(young). 

Basking shark, bastard-rig, Heaunmris shark, blin* e'es, blind- 
fish, bone-dog, bounce, bull-lmss (spotted) ; Catfish, counce, culver- 
hound, cur-fish ; Daggar, dawfish, dogga (piked), dogger-fish, 
doke-fyche (A. S.), dolfish (lesser) ; Fox-shark ; Gabbuck, 
gobbock (piked); Heckla, ho, hoe, hoe-fish (piked), hull-cock, 
hund, hund-fish, huss ; Kennett, king-fish ; Land-dog, long-tailed 
shark ; Miller's dog, morgay, morgy, morgye, morse hound, 
inurgy ; Nurse-hound (large spotted) ; Penny-dog, picked or piked 
dog, pricked or prickled dog; Ray-mouthed dog; requiem, requin 
(white), robin-huss, rochier, rock-dog, rough-hound, row-hound ; 
Sail-fish, sea dog fox or nurse, skittle-dog, smooth hound, hound- 
fish or murloch (unprickly), spear, spined dog, spur, spotted dog 
or bounce, sun-fish, suss (1. of Wight) ; Thresher. 

The English terms procured for this scourge of the seas are, 
to say the least of it, varied, and seem to be misplaced. They 
have all been got as bona-fide names, however, and are given for 
what they are worth. A quondam superstitious cure for toothache 
was a piece of the backbone. See Campbell's Tales, Vol. II L, 
pages 344, etc., for the tale as to how the dogfish (dallag) came 
to be called the king's fish. This fish, also called by sailors and 
fishermen the Nurse, used formerly to be much esteemed : a laird of 
Clan Ranald indeed kept a man whose only duty it was to catch 
them. 

Cho dall ri dallag. 

As blind as a dogfish. All dogfish are not blind, though 
certainly dull-sighted. 

DORY (see Haddock). 

DRAGONET (see Gurnard). 



EEL. — As-chu (conger) ; Bior-bhuafan bhuasach or bhusan, 
bullach ; Cairbeil, carran, carran-creige, carnag, creagag, cullach ; 
Deal, deala, dealan, deal-tholl (?) ; Eas, easan, easann, easca, 
eascann, eas-con, eas-cu or chu, easga, easgan, easgann, easgann- 
faragaidh, easg-shuileach, easgunn, easgunn-mhara, easmunn ; 
Gealag, gealog, gioban (sand), gobag, goibean, goibin (sand) ; 
Siolag, siolagag, siolagaig, siol-ghobach (sand). 

Ael (A. S.) ; Brawat, brawet, bulloch (connor), bumble-bunner 
(conger) ; Clizzard, collach (broad-nosed), conger, connor, cullach, 
cunger (A. S.), cungyr, cungyre ; Eelat, eelator (small — North), 



EEL 359 

eeleite, eelen (young), eel fare (brood), eelver, eely-eely-ator, 
elevene, elver (young), eve, evil-eel (conger), ey-eel ; Fansen, 
fausen, fazen (very young) ; Giddack (sand), gill-towal, gloat, glut, 
glutinous hag, gorb, grig ; Haaf, heawe, heevil (conger), hornel, 
horner, hunter ; Kinger, kornel ; Lance, launce-eel or fish ; Milwel, 
milwyn, myxine ; Needle-fish, neele, nele; Oliver (Devon); 
Pintill-fish, pipe-fish ; Saan', sand, sandele, sand or sandy-geedack 
giddack giddick giddock or lance, scaffling, sea-adder (Cornw.), 
seaner (young), sing, skull, smuggar, smuggart; Tammy-yaa or 
yea, tangle-fish ; Wattie, whifFer, whufFer ; Yel, yelver (young), 
yle, etc. 

The term "gill-towal" is a corruption of deal-thoU, general 
term for leech. "Collach" or " cullach," is used most in Ireland 
and south-west Argyllshire, and is said to mean wicked hunter 
— lit., boar. 

A " band " of eels is 250, a "stick," 25. 

The conger has no scales and takes the colour of its habitat or 
surroundings, being black among rocks, and white or ash-coloured 
among sand. Its digestion is powerful, and it rapidly dissolves an 
iron or steel hook. Its movements, as a rule, are speedy in the 
extreme, rotating rapidly on its own axis. Soup of its flesh is said 
to be an efficient cure for many internal complaints, while a piece 
of the skin tied round the leg or arm is, or used to be, 
thought a specific against cramp when bathing, though possibly 
any other ligature might be equally efficacious. The skin applied 
even is said, however, to cure the most stubborn cramp, while the 
oil is a sovereign remedy for many ills. The conger is familiarly 
known as the " true " eel, and is very sensitive to cold. In some 
parts of the Highlands the belief that eels can be generated from 
horse hairs, still lingers — a hair freshl}' pulled from a mare's tail 
for preference. In Shakespeare, Antomj and Cleojmtra, we find the 
term " courser's-hair," which meant that a "courser's" or horse's 
hair dropped into corrupted (.^) water will turn into an animal. It is 
said in Eriskay to be dangerous to eat the head of an eel, as this 
fish is at times subject to madness, which is contagious. They are 
said not to be in season when beans are in flower. At one time it 
was supposed there were no males, eels being spoken of as the 
" female race." 

An easgunn ag ith' a h-earball fein. 

The eel eating her own tail. Speaking evil of one's own 
relations. 
Is sleamhain an greim air an easgunn a h-earball. 

A slippery hold on the eel is the tail. 
La Fheill Math-Cheasaig bidh gach easgunn torrach. 

On St Kessock's day every eel is pregnant. (See note by 
Nicolson.) 

EEL-POUT (see Whistle-fish). 



360 FISH 



FISH. — Bean-iasg (fem.), bior-iasg (prickly) ; Ca|)alan-a-clunn- 
mhoir (kind of) (E. M'D.), car, ciolach (fry), cliath (shoal); 
Doirbeag (little) ; Eise, esse ; Farasg (drill), fear-iasg (male), 
fleogaii (flat), frith-iasg (fry) ; Gealag, gealagan ; lasg, iasg-air- 
chladli (spawning), iasg-dubh (salmon from sea), iasgeigir 
(small, dwarf), iasgan (little), iuchairneag, iucharag, iuchrag 
(spawner) ; Langan (shotten), lapadan, loisdin ; Magar (Ir.), 
maghar, maihe (Ir.), meas, mion-iasg (small) ; Soil, sonn, etc. 

Bait, bated (full — Sussex), but, butt (flat) ; Conners (ground) ; 
Fiche, ficsa, fisc, fisca (Old Eng.), fish fry, flaag (shoal), fyche (A. S.) ; 
Gilligan (little) ; Jabart (foul) ; Keilling (white) ; Loer (big, sea) ; 
Mild, milwyn (green — Lane.) ; Peijailack (roe), poor John (salted) ; 
Scag (putrid), scull (a shoal), spawner, spawning fish, etc. 

The word "roe" is said to be from the Gaelic word "righinn," 
tough, adhesive, viscid; the Scottish word is "raun"; "ruchair" 
is, however, the recognised term. " Rath eisg " signifies a shoal 
of fish; salt dried fish are "scalpions," sun-dried, "scral." A 
fishing or fishery is "achladh," a fish-pond "eisgin or eisglinn," 
while a fish's gills are termed "garbhan, gial, giall, giuir or giuran." 
"Achladh" signifies fisherj-^ or the art of fishing, while "tochar 
eisg " signifies a causeway of (dead) fish. 

The science of evolution had faint dawnings among the ancient 
Celts, as the belief existed that birds were once fish. As to fish 
mythology, see Campbell's Tales, Vol. III., pages 338-9. It has 
been remarked that of all the dwellers in the waters, the whale 
alone is mentioned in Ossian's poems, the reason sometimes 
assigned being the fact that the ancient Celts, like the Homeric 
heroes, ate no fish. Modern Gaelic or Celtic poetry, it has to be 
observed, abounds with descriptions of the salmon, "the monarch 
of the flood " (Clerk). 

The following part of a parody on an old song, composed by 
a well-known writer, may be given : — 

*' Ged tha mi gun bhreac gun sgadan Though I am without trout or 
Gun mhac-lathaich gun chnudan herring, 

agam, Devil-fish or prickly gurnet, 

Ged tha mi gun bhreac gun sgadan Though I am without trout or 
Gheibh mi fhathast bodach ruadh. herring, 

A codling red I yet shall catch. 

Fhir a dh' imicheas do'n ghealaich Thou who to the moon progresses, 

Feuch gu'ntillthuruinnguh-ealamh. Return as quick as lightning flashes, 

'S feuch gu'n inns' thu do na balaich And tell to all the lads and lassies, 

Sgadan salach 'bhi 's a chuan. That there's foul fish in the sea. 



FISH 



361 



'N uair a chaidh sinn thun a 

chnudain, 
Righ ! gur mise nach robh surdail, 
Bha na musgan na mo shuilean, 
Chaidh mo dhusgadh tuille 's luath. 

'Nuair a ruig sinn sgeir-na-cruban 
Bha mi 'm shineadh air a h-urlar 
Anns an taoim am measg nam 

musgan, 
Agus murlach fo mo chluais. 

Ged tha mi gun slat gun mhaorach, 
Chaneil mi gun ramh gun taoman, 
Gheibh mi slat 's a choille-chaorain 
Agus maorach taobh nan stuadh. 



When I went a-gurnet-fishing. 
Lord ! 'twas I that did feel squeamish, 
A mildew in my eyes was seeming, 
I'd been waked too soon for me. 



When we reach the rock of partans. 
On the floor I lay athwart her. 
Midst the hosefish and bilge- water, 
And a dogfish 'neath my head. 



Though both rod and bait's awanting. 

Oars and laver I've in plenty, 

The rowan-wood has rods not 

scanty. 
The bait I'll get beside the sea. 

As the foregoing may not have left the most pleasant impression 
of the power of poetry on the reader, let us give the following 
extract from "Birlinn chlann-Raonuill/' by the famous Alasdair 
MacMhaighstir Alasdair : — 

The sea was churned and mixed up 

through other. 
Seals and whales in dire distress. 
Waves raging and roaring ; the ship 

going, and 
Dashing spark-like their white 

brains on the flood. 
Their howling was high-sounding 

and sad as they cried 
"Abject ones are we, drag us 

aboard." 
The smallest fish that's in the sea, 
White belly uppermost 
By the fierce force of the tempest 
Dead in their thousands ; 
The shellfish and stones of the deep 
Came to the surface. 
Plucked from their iastnesses 
By the sea's awful raging. 



An fhairge 'g a maistreadh 's 'g a 

sloistreadh 
Roimh a cheile. 
Gu'n robh roin a's mial-mor 
Am barrach eigin, 
Onfhadh is confhadh na mara 
'S falbh na luinge 
Sradadh an eanchainnean geala 
Feadh gach tuinne, 
lad ri nuallanaich ard uamhannaich 
Shearbh, thursaich, 
Ag eubhach " is iochdarain sinne 
Draghaibh chum buird sinn " 
Gach mion-iasg bha 's an fhairge 
Tarr-gheal tionndaidht, 
Le gluasad confhach na gailbhinn' 
Marbh gun chunntas, 
Clachan a's maorach an aigeil 
Teachd an uachdar, 
Air am buain a nuas le slachdraich 
A' chuain uaibhrich. 

As a set off against the above, we may mention that the word 
" spreidh " is made use of in a certain Barra fisherman's hymn 
of prayer, where he says : — 

Drive towards them (the nets or 
lines) as is meet 

The flocks (shoals) that are grazing 
or feeding in the deep. 

Loch Lomond has, or had, the solitary reputation of having 
"fish without fins," thought, however, to mean vipers which were 
wont to swim to and from the islands, but South Uist is also said 
to have finless trouts. The island of Lewis boasts just of seven 
species of land mollusca. 



" lomain thuca maris iomchaidh 
Spreidh tha 'g ionaltradh 's an 
aigeann." 



362 FISH 

Amon^ fish, as among animals and birds, as we are tohl in 
Skene's Celtic Allmn, there are leaders, and the term applied to 
such is " ceann-snaoth," which refers particularly to the salmon, 
"ceann-snaoth an eisg," leader of the fish, and " righ nan iasg," 
king of the fish. A proverb or saying runs, " Chuir e'n car geal 
dheth," he turned up his white side, as a fish does when he's 
played out — this is said of a person dying. Fish hung exposed to 
the light and influence of the moon acquire poisonous properties. 
In addition to our own intimate acquaintance with this, " Nether 
Lochaber " vouched for it as regards herrings. 

Numerous superstitions as to fishing luck, etc., it is generally 
known, exist among Celts and Saxons. In Skye, for instance, it 
is said that in river fishing, which is confined to the district north 
of Broadford, if a woman crosses the water during the fishing the 
luck is doomed. Some youngsters use certain expressions to tempt 
luck when fish are not taking well, such as putting out their line in 
the name of some particular person, generally, strange to say, a 
woman, with the saying after referred to of " Ceann dearg air na 
bheil a muigh," etc. It is thought unlucky to count a catch of 
fish, or to take away any fish found dead upon the sea or seashore. 
Herring fishers are said to be very superstitious ; they consider it 
unlucky even to mention the names of certain people, when fishing 
or going a-fishing, notably the name " Ross." This, it is surmised, 
is the origin of bye-names, or as they are called in English tee or 
to-names, so common in fishing settlements or villages. Such an 
unlucky named individual is called in the north-east of Scotland 
a " ChifFer-out." In Aberdeen the name Whyte lies under the 
same ban or stigma. In a certain loch in Ireland, called " Lough- 
a-dereen," the fish are held sacred, and fed formally on Whitsunday. 
At Applecross there is a place called " AUt-na-raealg," where 
large quantities of fish used to be gutted and cleaned. To dream 
offish means a birth, or as grandiloquently put by a writer, "a 
signal portent of the arrival or advent to this sublunary sphere of 
an addition to the human species." The catching of fish in the 
Highlands, as may be presumed, was followed out in the best and 
readiest available way, but no record exists of foul means being 
adopted. In Ireland, however, the natives were wont to poison 
fishes by means of the sea-spurge or Buidhe-na-ningean, the 
yellow (plant) of the waves — 7iin being an old Celtic word for 
wave. 

From resemblance of name, crests have been granted to or 
otherwise acquired by many families, inter alia, the following : Barbel, 
Breame ; Chubb, Codd, Crabbe ; Dolphin (though not a fish) ; 
Eales ; Fish, Fry ; Gougon ; Haddock, Hake, Herring, Hogan or 
Hoggan (from " ugan," throat or gills) ; Karpfen ; Loach ; Mackerel, 
Mullet ; Pike ; Roach ; Seal (not a fish) ; Shelley, Smelt, Spratt, 
Sturgeon ; Tench, Troutbeck ; Whalley (mammal). Whiting ; while 
the following are from local names : Butt (flounder) ; Carter (carter 



FISH 363 

fish or sole) ; Chabot (miller's thumb) ; Cobbe (herring fry) ; Dare 
(dace) ; Garvine (garvie — small herring or sprats), Geddes (pike), 
Gobyon (gudgeon) ; Lucy (pike) ; Sparling (smelt) ; Tubbe 
(gurnard) ; others again from proximate resemblance, viz., Bar 
(barbel) ; Conghurst (congers) ; Ellis, Elwes, Elwis (eels) ; Garling 
(gar-fish) ; Herringot (herring) ; Piketon (pike) ; Sammes (salmon), 
and so forth. According to the Revue Celtique, the fish in the 
Glasgow arms (notwithstanding the fish and ring story) is the 
salmon. (See Art. Salmon.) 

Proverbs as to fish generally are not numerous. The following 
is a fair example : — 

An t-iasg a chriomas gach boiteag, theid a ghlacadh uair- 
eigin. 

The fish that bites every worm (i.e., bait) will be caught 
some time. 
Beag agus beag eisg so, ach tuilleadh agus tuilleadh as an t- 
seilbh chiadna. 

Little fish this, but there's more and more in the same 
store. Said when one gets or catches a small fish to 
begin with. 
Breac (or iasg) a linne, aon de thri meirle as nach do ghabh 
duine riamh naire. 

A trout (or fish) from pool, one of three thefts no man ever 
was ashamed of. 
Ceann dearg air na bheil a muigh. 

Red head (bloody) on all that's out. Said for luck when the 
first fish is caught. 
Cha dean brogan tiorain iasgach. 

Dry shoes won't get fish. One must not be too particular 
when fishing as to getting wet. 
Druim an sgadain, tar a bhradain, 's cul-cinn a bhric dhuibh. 
Back of herring, tail of salmon, and the back of the head of 
the bhick trout. The three choice bits. 
Far am bi an t-iasg 's ann a bhios na h-eoin. 

Where the fish is the birds will be. A well-known fact. 
Fuil air iasg, mharbh mi sgioUag. 

Blood on fish, I've killed a minnow, or sand-eel ; i.e., almost 
worthless — but always something. 
Is fearr iasg beag na bhi gun iasg idir. 

A little fish is better than to be without fish at all. 
Na aireamh a chaoidh an t-iasg gus an tig e as a mhuir. 

Never count the fish till they come out of the sea. 
Na beannaich an t-iasg gus an tig e gu tir. 

Do not bless the fish till it is landed. 
Rug iasg orm. 

A fish has caught me. Sickness. (See Nicolson's note 
hereto.) 



364 PISH— GOBY 

Tha iasg 's a chuain cho math 's chaidh a ghlacadh fhathasd. 

There's as good fish in the sea as has been caught yet. 
Tha 'n t-iasg 's a chuain mar tha 'n sluagh air tir. 

The fish in the sea like us mortals be. Nicolson says, 
somewhat cynically, easily taken with bait, and generally 
going in shoals. This proverb has been thought to 
mean as regards numbers and changes, etc. 

FLOUNDEK.— Anbac-car (Ir.); Fleogan ; Garbag, garbling 
(rough) ; Leabag, leathag, leathag-dearg or fior-uisge, leitheach, 
leitheag, leobag, liabag, liadhbhog, libeag. 

Bannack or bannock-fluke, bannet, bare-back, bastard turbot 
(brill), black-back, black hairy fluke, bonnet-fluke, borhame, brett, 
brill, brit (brill), butt ; Common flounder, craig-fluke ; Dab, deb- 
flook ; Flat, fleuk, fleuke, floe, floke (A. S.), flook, floundab, fluke, 
fluttock ; Gunner ; Kite ; Lantern, long-fluke, lug-a-leaf (brill) ; 
Mayock-fleuke or flook, miller's topknot, mud-flounder ; IVarl, 
pearl-flook or fluke, podloche, podlock, pole-dab or fleuke ; Rannok- 
flook ; San' or sand-fleuk, sandsucker (long, rough), salmon 
flounder (fresh water), saltie, salt-water fleuke, sea-bague, siller- 
fluke (brill), skatt, smear-dab, sble-flook ; Turbot, turbot-flook. 

The word "fluke," etc., is from the Icelandic "floki," a kind of 
halibut. "Liabag," etc., is from "li," Old Celtic for sea; Anpac- 
car is not so easily analysed. Car means fish, lit., am pac or am 
pacach car or perha})S cearr. 

Some of the names given to flounders are also found in use for 
turbot and halibut. A saying, by way of reprisals, is " Bithidh 
leapagan aig Bhuille fhathasd," but we have no explanation. 

According to a vulgar but widespread belief, the flounder is 
supposed to have got its crooked mouth from " making faces " up 
at the rock cod. Also said to have been caused by Saint Columba 
in retaliation (which saints were not above indulging in), for being 
called " Cama-chasach," or crooked-legs, which was a gross 
misnomer, the saint having been a noble and perfect specimen of 
physical humanity. 

Cuir do lamh 's a chliabh 's thoir do rogha liabaig as. 

Put your hand into the creel and take your choice of flounders. 
Thought to refer to the chances of matrimony, flounders 
not being esteemed so much as most other fish. 



GOBY (see also Angler). — Buidhleis, buillis ; Greusaiche ; 
Lon-chraois. 

Angler ; Baggaty, battle-head, berguilt, bergwylt (black) ; bib, 
black devil or goby, bluid, bubby or bullhead or knob (armed). 



GOBY— GURNARD 365 

buUycods, byt^shki (Russian) ; Caboche (A. S.), cabot fish, carling, 
club bock, cobbo, cock-paddle, cod-pole, comper, corbeau, cull, cun- 
tack, cur (East); Doulie, dumphead; Fatherlasher ; Groundling, 
grundling (slender), gundie ; Hardhead, hornbeam, hush, hush- 
baggaty or paddle; Jura sucker; Lasher, luckyproach, lump-fish 
or sucker, lyre, lyree ; Meermaid, miller's or milner's thumb 
thume or topknot (?), mole (rock), muUygranoe ; Noble, noggle- 
head, Norwegian haddock ; Paddle, paddle-cock, padle, pluck, 
plucober, poacher, pogge, polewig, poUy bait, puU-cronack ; Rock 
goby or fish ; Sea-cock gudgeon owl poacher raven or scorpion ; 
Toad-devil, tomcull, tommylogge, etc. 

An ally of this fish is the dragon et or lyra. This curious httle 
fish is rarely landed, the last reported catch being in December 
1901 at Stromness. This specimen was the gemmeous, the other 
kind is termed the sordid. The dragonet has large dragon-fly- 
like wings. The name lyra or lyre is derived from the great 
length of the first fin on the back. It runs from eight to twelve 
inches. The Welsh call it Pentarw, also Bawd-y-melmydd. 

GUDGEON. — Bronag, bronnag; Guda, gudda, guisdean. 
Gobie, gogion, googon ; Lob-loache. 
From gobis (Lat.) and gougon (Fr.). 

GUINIAD. — PoUag, poUag-seirc, pollan ; Tulag. 

Cunn ; Denneck ; EUeck (red) ; Fresh-water herring ; Gwyniad ; 
Hick, illeck (red) ; Juvangis ; Pollac, pollack, pollan, pooan, 
powan ^ Schelly, skelly, soldier ; Vendace ; White-pate. 

From "guin or gw^yn," white, i.e., white fish. 

This fish is said to be found only in Loch Lomond and Loch- 
maben in Scotland, and Lough Neagh in Ireland. 

GUNNEL.— Deilean. 

Barber-eel, bib, bib-fish, blenny, blons, bluids, borrbut, bothock, 
brassie, brazier (Ir.), bulgard, butter-fish ; Clavin, clubbock, cod- 
lick, codling, codlocks, crow-fish, cussells ; Deillion, dornicle ; Eel- 
pout ; Flutterick (spotted) ; Garpike, greenbone, guffer ; Hen-fish, 
hungell, hurkie ; Jackie doronis ; Kleg ; Large eyes, leaf, lug ; 
Mailed ; Nine eyes ; Pouter ; Sea needle, shan, smeltie, smooth 
shan (blenny), spotted blenny, stonechecker, stone-fish, swar-fish, 
swordick ; Thorny, tompot ; Whiting-pout. 

This fish derives its name " butter-fish " from its extreme 
slipperiness. 

GURNARD or GURNET. — Ceann-troman, cnodan, cnudan, 
crodan, croitean, crotan, crottan, crudan, crunan ; Gabharag, 
goirn, goirnead. 

Balleerie, bridegroom, bullhead ; Captain, chanticleer, crointer, 
croonack, crooner, croonyal, cuckoo ; Dennick, dragonet (yellow), 
dusky skulpin ; EUeck, ellick ; Gaberick, game-fish, garnet, gaskin, 



366 GURNARD— HAKE 

gaverick, gawdnie, gawrie, girnat, girnet, girnot, goldfish, goniuit, 
goukney, gowdie, gowkney, grey crooner, grumbler, gurnaid, 
gurney; Hardhead, horn-back beak or fish, hump-back; Knowd ; 
Lantern or lanthorn, long-finned captain, lyra fish ; Noud, nowd ; 
Peeper, pied-annech, piper; Rabbit-fish, red gurnard or tubs, 
rochet (A. S.), rotchet (red) ; Sea-crow or hen, shiner, skulpin, 
smoothsides, soldier, sooter (dragonet), sordid dragonet ; Tub or 
tube-bat or fish ; Windy sparl, woof; Yellow skulpin. 

Said to be from an ancient British word, signifying firm or 
rugged structure. " Crooner," etc., is a name given from the 
crooning or grunting sound the fish emits ; in Gaelic this sound is 
interpreted "na bruth," squeeze not. This fish is of the " Piper " 
species. 

By gourmands this fish was supposed to be poor eating, and had 
to be pickled in vinegar to give them a taste, when they were 
called "soured" gurnets. This term in Shakespeare is said to 
mean " gudgeon," a term of reproach. 

Ceann cnodain, aon de thri cinn nach fhiach itheadh. 
A gurnet's head, one of three heads not fit to eat. 



H 

HADDOCK. — Adag; Codag, codog, cudag ; Garbhanach 
(silver), glas-iasg ; Suil-charbh (silver). 

Attac ; Bergylt (Norwegian), buckthorn (hard dried) ; Cameral, 
cawmril (spawned), Crail capon (dried) ; Finnan (Findhorn), 
fintrum-speldrin ; Gamrel (spawned), gilp (large), golden haddock ; 
Haadie, haddag, haddie, haddo, harrowster (sjiawned); Jaune 
Jean or John Doree or dory (golden yellow) ; Kameril (spawned) ; 
Mulvell ; Nockie (dried), Norwegian ; Pow-ee ; Smokie, speldrin. 

Ball dubh air an adaig or thada bhall dubh air an adaig, a black 
spot (or two) on the haddock ; iasg Pheadail, iasg Pheadair runaich, 
Peter's, loving Peter's fish, two terms used to this fish. The 
two black spots are said to have been caused by Christ having 
taken one in His hand. Another, from the miracle of the loaves 
and fishes, is that the two jawbones, the older the better, cure 
toothache. The haddock called Norwegian or Bergylt is alleged 
to be a kind of gurnard. Eribol in Sutherland used to be 
proverbially famed for haddocks. Scott, in the Antiquari/j speaks 
of "Crappit heads," which are the heads of haddocks cooked with 
a stuffing of oatmeal, suet, onions, and pepper ; he also refers to 
"reisted " haddocks, i.e., smoke dried. 

HAKE. — Colamoir ; Falamair, falmair. 

Cornish salmon; Forked hake; Haering (A. S.), hakes-darae, 



HAKE— HERRING 367 

haket, herring-hake ; Merluce ; Poor John ; Sea-hice or pike. 
(Welsh, Cegddu.) 

So called from having a hooked under jaw. The term "Poor 
John " is hake, dried and salted (Shakesp.). 

HALIBUT. — Bradan-leathan ; Paeach-cearr. 

Baldin, birdie (young), blacksmith (old) ; Holybut ; Laager, 
lieger ; Molebut, moonfish ; Nyagir ; Sun-fish ; Turbot-flook ; 
Workhouse turbot. 

From "hali," holy, and " butta," a flounder or plaice; the 
Gaelic means broad salmon. 

Cowper, the poet, composed twenty-seven lines to the 
"immortal memory " of a halibut he dined on (or off), on April 26, 
1784. This fish, inter alia, may have come, he says, from "where 
Caledonia's rocks beat back the surge, and where Hibernia shoots 
her wondrous causeway far into the main." 

HERRING. — Garbhag (small) ; Sgadan, sgadan-bha bleac or 
bleachd (shotten), sgadan-garbh (large), sgadan-gearr (sprat), 
sgadan-goile (gutpock), scuddawn (Ir.), suit (fat). 

Black, bloater, blown; Cob, cobb (young), corphun, craig 
(shad), crown-full, crue (small), cuddyleg ; Dunbar wedder (salted) ; 
Egyptian ; Gandanook (Egyptian), garvie, garvock (young), 
goureen, Gourock ham (salt), green, guimad (Dee), guiniad (white), 
gutpock, gyte (spawn) ; Haering (A. S.), harein ; Joalies (young) ; 
King o' the sea, kings, kipper ; Loader ; Matfull, matie, matje, 
mattie (maiden), maz ; Norfolk capon ; Overday taris ; Powan 
(freshwater) ; Queens ; Ramprow goose (Yarmouth), red, red-finned ; 
Sea-beef, shad, shotten (spent), sile, sill (very young), silk shad, 
skedan, sodger, soger, sojer, soldier, sprat, stay-hook (dried) ; 
Tow-blowen, twaite-shad or mother of herring, two-eyed beefsteak ; 
White (freshwater, also pickled — North), wine drinkers ; Yawling, 
Yarmouth capon (red), etc. 

From German Herr, or heer, a host, or an army. A place at 
Loch Seaforth is called "Buaile Shildinish," and said to be 
derived from Norse term for herring, viz., " sild." 

The herring is said not to have been known to the ancients. 
The earliest record of herring fishing is 978, though O'Connor 
makes out the word " sgadan "to be the root of Zidon, Sidon, or 
Sidonia. The herring disputes the title of " king " with the 
salmon, being styled "king of the sea" as against "king of the 
fish." Martin makes mention of a certain big herring which is 
said to lead the shoal, and is thence called " ceann snaoth " or 
sgaoth, also king-herring, as kings used of old to lead their armies ; 
the term " king of the sea " has been applied to this famous fish 
historically, politically, and economically. Qaint ceremonies are 
performed, it is said, at Fraserburgh and elsewhere to "raise" the 
herring, and the belief holds good that a l^te harvest portends a 



368 HERRING 

late fishing. Numerous are the superstitions and superstitious 
practices in vogue among herring fishers all the country over. 
A Manx fisherman, for instance, is said to take a dead wren in his 
boat to ward off storms when going a-fishing. Herring are said 
to leave the coast where a bloody (juarrel takes place, in addition 
to its gastronomic qualities, the following is said to be an infallible 
medical cure : when suffering from a stye, repeat the following 
lines without drawing breath : — 

Thainig cailleach o Loch Abair A carlin came from Lochaber 

'Shireadh sgadain o Loch Bhraoin Seeking herring from Loch Broom, 

Cha d'iarr i air peighinn She asked not for a penny 

Ach na chunntadh i gun anail. But as many as she could count 

without drawing breath. 

Seidear sgadan aon seidear sgadan Seidear herring one, seidear herring 

dha, two, 

Seidear sgadan tri . . . seidear Seidear herring three . . . seidear 

sgadan gu ceud. herring to a hundred. 

There are said to be 130 varieties, with 70,000 eggs in one 
female. St Kilda gannets alone are estimated to consume 
105,000,000 herring every year. If a herring is caught on a line 
by hook, it lives as long as a trout or a salmon does ; it dies in a 
net merely from being drowned. Herring taken in May and 
June are called "maties." The gutpock herring is frequently 
caught by the rod and fly. The freshwater herring is also found in 
Loch Eck. The Loch Lomond herring are generally called 
'^ pollac." The craig herring, shad, or mother of the herring is of 
the size of four ordinary herring, with large sharp scales. Some 
names, such as the shad, are found, as given to either or both the 
herring and the mackerel, q.v. " Shotten " herring are worthless 
for eating, having spent their roe. Tlie brine containing the 
oily residue was much used in olden times for dressing leather, 
and was called "sayne," as given in an old charter dated between 
l.*J88 and 1440, ''Item VI. lagene de sayne, precii iijs." The 
herring called "loader" is noted for its special beautiful tints. 
Another superstition is that herring fishing is always a failure if 
a salmon or trout be caught in the net. The herring is prominent 
in the arms of the town of Inveraray. It hangs in a net, with the 
motto " Semper tibi pendeat halce." A " royal " herring is one 
only in first brine or salt. A measure used in counting herrings 
is called a mais, maise, maize, maze or mese. The number is five 
" long hundreds " or six hundred ; a handful of three is called a 
" cast," forty casts being a " long hundred." 

Sayings, etc., as to the herring are : — 

Bas air a' sgadan. 

Death to the herring. A fisherman's toast. 
Ceann sgadain acm de thri cinn nach fliiach itheadh. 

A herring's head, one of three heads not fit to eat. 



HERRING— LAMPREY 369 

Cha 'n ioghnadh boladh an sgadain a bhi de 'n t-soitheach 's 
am bi e. 

'Tis no wonder that the herring vessel smells of herring. 
(See Nicolson.) 
Cho coltach ri cheile ri da sgadan. 

As like each other as two herrings. 
Cho marbh ri sgadan. 

As dead as a herring. 
Cho sumhail ri sgadan. 

As close packed as a herring. 
Druim a' sgadain. 

The herring's back. The choice part. 
Is math an sgadan 'n uair nach fhaighear an saoidhean. 

The herring is good when the saithe can't be got. 
Sgadan gearr, gun mhealag, gun iuchar, 's mairg am bru 's an 
teid e. 

A short (?) herring, without milt or roe, pity the stomach it 
goes into. 
HOSE-FISH (see Razor-fish). — Bod-dubh-a-mhusgain, breal- 
lach, brollach (small) ; Donnag; Musgan. 
Biack-skinned spout-fish ; Gaper. 

J 

JELLY-FISH (see Medusa).— Muirtiachd, etc. 
JOHN DORY (see Haddock). 

K 

KELT (see Salmon).— Cealt. 
K ING-FIS H (see Dogfish). 

L 

LAMPREY (see also Eel). — Beidheidli, beididh, buarach- 
bhaoibh na baoibh or baoidhe ; Cloidheag, cloimheag, cloitheag, 
creadhal, creathail ; Deal ; Easgunn-breac ; Gioradan ; Langar- 
ileach ; Naid ; Rochaid, rochnaid, rochnaidh, rochuaid, ruashual, 
rua'shuil ; Uile-bheisd. 

Bayrn (Manx) ; Brennic (Corn.) ; Brenig (Welsh). 

Argoseen, Argus-eyes ; Barling, blind lamprey ; Cunning : 
Fyke ; Geyes ; Horse-eel ; King-fish ; Lamper, lamper-eel, 
lampern, lamperne, lampray, lampre, lamprei, lampren, lamprie, 
lampron, lamprone, lamproon, lamproun, lamprun, lampry, 
lampurne, laumpray, laumperey, laumpron, lawmperowne, 
lawmpery, lawmpron, lumper-eel, lumping-eel, etc. 

From lambere, to lick, and petra, a rock, a licker of, a cleaver 
to rocks — lit., a stone-licker or sucker ; the term " naid " means 

2 A 



370 LAMPREY— LING 

also a leap. The Cornish and other names are derived from its 
breast-like shape, while the Gaelic term " Buaraeh-na-baoibh " 
means literally the wild or wizard shackle, bein^ the gymnotus or 
electric eel, having nine eyes. The horse-eel again is said to be 
found only in Loch Awe, and to have twelve legs! The appear- 
ance of this fish is so fierce-looking as to give it the name " Ulla 
or uile-bheisd," or monster ; another name given it is " Biasd-an- 
da-shuil-deug," the beast of the twelve eyes ; it is also said to have 
a hole right through its head. The "niney" is vulgarly supposed 
to be the one originating from a horse-hair. The fish of the small 
lampern is said to be much loved by epicures, and to have proved 
fatal to a certain king who ate too much of it. 

LIMPET. — Bairneach, bairneag, barnuigh (Ir.), bearnach, bren- 
nig, bullach ; Cas-bhairneach ; Liathgad-mara ; Sgorag (roasted). 

Connor, cunner, crogan, crogen, croggan ; Flidder, flither, 
flitter; Lampet, lampit, lerapet, lempit, lompe, lomped, lompet ; 
Sea-ear, sheep's-eye. 

Limpets are good all the year except during the month of 
June, when they are so poor and bitter as to induce sickness, 
when eaten, which they frequently are. This sickness culminates 
sometimes in jaundice. There are worse foods than limpets, and 
when roasted are called "sgoragan," though perhaps not "select" 
food. In reference to this, an Irish bard satirises a certain person 
called Savadge, who was chief or head of the family Mac-an-t- 
Sabhaosigh, as being so hard up, or hard put to for hunger, as 
to "slaughter" limpets with his scraper, "fear casgaire bairneach 
tre h-uirchinn " ; this was in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. Broth 
or soup made from limpets is good for nursing mothers. The 
limpet eats seaweed only, rasping it down with its long tongue 
and numerous teeth, of which latter it has about two thousand. In 
Harris a plain pillar of rock which stands in the sea, eleven feet 
high, is called "An t-ord-bairneach," the limpet hammer, which a 
witch, who was going to the shore for food or bait, threw at some 
person, with or at whom she was enraged. In Eriskay a certain 
kind of limpet is called " Coparran Muire," and another " Maorach 
Muire," Mary's little cup, or shellfish. 

Be sin cead iarraidh ord a bhualadh air bairneach. 

That weve asking leave to lift a limpet — lit., to strike a 
hammer on. (See note by Nicolson.) 

LING. — Donnag (young) ; Glas-iasg ; Langa, loenge, long. 

Bawd, brown whistler, burbot (fresh water) ; Doggie (young), 
drizzle (small) ; Gade, gild (a full sized) ; Keilling, kellin, kelva, 
kelvick (young) ; Lahan, limp, limpin, ling-drizzle (small), loenge 
(A. S., etc.) ; Mackerel-midge, niamok (with roe) ; Olie, olik 
(young); Pettifogger; Rock-ling (small), ronstdrone (Ir.); Sea- 
loach, skoodra, spotted-ling, stake ; Three-bearded cod ; Whiteling. 



LING— LOBSTER 371 

The name of this fish is said to be derived from the Northern 
words laenga, loenge, long. 

The ling, as is generally known, is in season during winter and 
spring, and a fish caught before 12th August is called a "winter 
fish." The liver is not good eating. Small fish caught under stones 
on the seashore are called "donnag" in Gaehc, "rock-ling," in 
English, and are supposed to be embryo ling. 

The duckweed is called "abhran donog" in Irish, meaning 
the ling's eyelash. 

LOACH. — Breac-beachdaidh, beadaidh, or beididh. 

Beardie, bessy-lorch ; Fag ; Gobbly, ground-bait or gudgeon, 
groundling ; Jowrie ; Lie-loach, lie-still, her, liggy, liggy-hoddam, 
lob-loach, loche, loich, loitch, loytch, lyar ; stone-loach ; Tommy- 
loach or lurker. 

From locha, loche. 

LOBSTER. — Balloisgteach ; Cliamach, cliomach ; Gabhar, 
gabhar-mor, gimmagh (Ir.), giomach, gliomach. 

Crevice, crevish, crevisse ; Fisobrowe; liapster, legast, legster, 
long-oyster (small), loppestre, lopstere, lopust; Nancy (small), 
ninny or nintycock (young). 

Lobster is just locuster or long-oister ; it is called " gabhar " 
from its long feelers or horns. 

Despite its hard crusty shell the lobster is very sensitive to 
heat or cold, from keen frost to a cold wind, or even a shower of 
cold rain is injurious. The shooting course of a lobster in the sea 
is proverbial for speed when retiring backwards in alarm into its 
hole, crevice, "aice, faice or faichd." In Reliquiae Celticce, a fearful 
spectre called the muileartach, therein described, is said to have 
been swifter than any lobster ever spawned, " 'S bu luaithe e na 
giomach maothair," and swifter w^as it than a limber lobster. 

As has been testified to by many, the lobster in common with 
other Crustacea are most indigestible, especially if indulged in at 
a late supper. A rather comical account in Gaelic appeared in the 
Oban Times in 1902, of a certain Highlander's imaginary experiences 
of nightmare — trom-lighe — after such a feast. The following verses 
are an attempt to embody the prose account : — 

TROM-LIGHE.* 

Thar gach iasg 's a' chuan, Sheallainn ort 's an traigh 

Thug mi speis do'n ghiomach, No air bord na ceannaich', 

'Nis bho'n dh'ith mi m' shath Agus sin le baigh— 

'Chaoidh cha bhi mi gionach. Ho, mo run an giomach ! 

Seisd.— Hu o tha mi tinn, Ach 'nuair fhuair mi 'n de 

Tha mi 'caoidh mo stamaig. Coir ort fhein bho charaid, 

Bho'n a dh'ith mi'n raoir, Leum mo chridhe 'n am chom, 

Moran de dheagh ghiomach. An iochdar mo stamaig. 

* The verses have reference to an article entitled "Trom-Lighe" which 
appeared in a recent issue of the Oban Times, 



372 



LOBSTER 



Ars' mo cheile coir — 
A da sluiil mar rionnaig — 
*' 'Nail dhuinn a' phoit inhoir 
'S bruichidh sinn an gioinach ! 

Bhruicheadh e fa-dheoidh — 
ir fhada leams' am fuircach — 
Gus a bhi 'an sas 
'S a' chuirin ud— an giomach. 

Chaidh mi ris le li-ord, 
Spain is gobhlai? iongach, 
Gleadhar is ceol mor 
Surd is fonn m'an ghiomach. 

Dh'ith mi an da spoig 
Is pairt de chleibh-na-broinne, 
Ach rinn mi mearachd mhor — 
Cha d' ol mi leis ach gloine. 

Chaidh mi 'n sin a laidhe 
Gus treis a thoirt air cadal. 



Ach ma thug, a ghraidh ! 
B'e sin an busal fhadal'. 

Chunnaic mi 'am shuain 
Keachd de dijuoinc borb' ; 
lad 'g am ruith gu dian, 
'S a' leantuinn air mo lorg. 

Ged a rinn mi spairn, 
Thar chnuic is sluic a' teichcadh. 
Slid ! chaidh dul m'am chtann 
G' am tharruinggus mo chrochadh. 

Ach cha b' ann 'n am dheoin, 
Oir dubh-leum thug mi asam, 
'S dhuisg mi gun aon Icon 
'S an leapaidh , 'n am leth-sheasamh ! 

Thainig crioch mo sgeoil, 
'S b'e sin sgeul na dunach. 
So dhuibh comhairle mhor — 
*' Gu brath na ith de ghiomach ! " 



The lobster, somehow or other, is not considered a reputable 
fellow. To add insult to injury, the an ti- Jacobites procured a medal 
struck, showing Prince Charlie in the arms of a Jesuit astride a 
lobster. The lobster is said to be a deadly foe to serpents, though 
how, it is not recorded. Two lobsters fighting are held emblematical 
of sedition. Among the satirical sayings of Rob Doiin, an unshapely 
person was compared to a lobster ; he said, " 's coslach ri giomach 
do chom," your body's like a lobster. Sayings as to lobsters are — 

An giomach, an ronach (rionnach) 's an ron, tri scoid a chuain. 
The lobster, the mackerel, and the seal, the three heroes of 
the sea. The lobster, it will be observed, comes first. 
Is fhearr an giomach na bhi gun fhear-tighe. 

Better a lobster than no husband. Said by a woman who 
placed a live lobster in her bag of })otatoes to detect a thief. 
Cho cairdeil ri giomach 's gibneach 'm faich. 

As friendly as a lobster and cuttle-fish in a cleft. The 
cuttle-fish is a deadly foe of, and very destructive to, 
lobsters and other Crustacea. 
Is luaithe giomach na ron. 

A lobster is swifter than a seal — in the sea. 
Sitheadh giomaich aon de na tri sithidhean a's luaithe air bith. 
The shoot, or rush, of a lobster is one of the swiftest rushes 
soever. 
Sith giomaich, rionnaich agus roin, ge fad' am giomach 's 
fhaid' an rionnach, 's ge fad' an rionnach 's fhaid' an ron. 

The dart of lobster, mackerel, and seal, though far the 
lobster, farther the mackerel, and though far the mackerel, 
farther the seal. As regards distance the lobster land$ 
last here. 



LOB— MACKEREL 3^3 

LOB or LUG-WORM.— Biathainn-traghaid; Lobach, lubach, 
lugas, lugais, lungacli, lupach. 

Caddis, cade-worm, cock-paddle (male), cod-bait; Hush (fem.); 
Lump-sucker; Sand-worm, sea-owl, shaw-worm. 

Much in demand everywhere for baiting purposes, especially 
short lines. 

LUMP-FISH.— Murcan. Eng. Runkar. 

This fish is found in all the VV^estern Highlands and Islands. 
Lightfoot refers to it specially as being found in Jura, and that 
it adheres firmly to stones, etc. This name is also given, singularly 
enough, to the bream, q.v. 

LYTHE. — Caileag, camusfliliuch ; Liudh, liudhag, liuth, 
liuthag ; Pullag. 

Agerever ; Blockin ; Callag ; Greenling ; Laid, lait, laithe, 
leeat, leet, lewre, lewse (A. S.), lob, lure, ly, ]ye-fish ; Pollack ; 
Skeet ; Whiting-pollack. 

The lythe is supposed by some to be merely a more lively or 
" lithe " variety of our friend the coalfish. They, as a rule, swim 
deeper, and afford good sport; the name "caileag" is given from 
its shapely form. 



M 

MACKEREL. — Breac-mara; Cnaimh-rionnach, crea'-rionnach 
(horse) ; Gobhachan, gobhar, gobhlachan ; Macrail, macreil ; 
Reannach, rineach, rionnach, rionnach-uaine. 

Alewife, alley, allice or allis-shad ; Blue-mackerel, bone- 
mackerel ; Coly-mackerel, cordly (tunny) ; Daming-herring ; 
Great-mackerel; Herling, herlyn, horse-mackerel; King-of-the- 
herrings ; Mackerelsture, mackrel-stor or sture (great), mother- 
of-the-herring ; Opah ; Rock-herring, rulie ; Scad, scalpeen 
(pickled), shad, shiner (young), soddina, Spanish-mackerel, stoer 
or storr-mackerel ; Tunny, twaite. 

From "macula," a stain or spot; the name scad or shad from 
Gaelic word "sgadan," a herring. The word "rionnach " is said 
to be from, or cognate with, "ronach," but this is given for 
wliat it is worth. Some ardent etymologist of Irish place-names 
alleges that the place called Stanagomar should be spelled Stana- 
gowar, and means " house of the shad-fish," from " sta or teach," 
a house, and "gobhar." 

The mackerel (or brill) are "little spotted fishes," from 
"breac," spotted. The mackerelsture, or great salmon — as they 
are sometimes termed — attain great size, known to be eighteen 
cwt., but this again is thought to be the halibut. The Romans 
esteemed the blue mackerel merely for the pickle or relish called 



374 MACKEREL— MINNOW 

garum it furnished. The opah, tunny, or storr-mackerel is beauti- 
fully coloured. The late Rev. Arch. Clerk said that (Jod created 
all the fishes except the mackerel. The devil, or " Muisean," wished 
to try his hand at fish-creating, and so formed the mackerel ; hut 
he had after all, as might be expected, to apply to God to put life 
into it. This may have given rise to the belief, as stated in 
" Folk-Lore," that a Celt will not eat mackerel, as it turns into 
"mauchs," i.e., maggots, en route to his stomach or in the alimentary 
canal. The stomach of a mackerel seems always clean, which 
gives rise to the saying : — 

*' Cho glan ri goile rionnach." 

As clean as a mackerel's stomach — i.e., perfectly clean. 
Glacar rionnach 'us boirionnach le dearg. 

A mackerel and a woman are caught by red (the latter by 
the " redcoats "). 
Sitheadh rionnaich aon de na tri sithean a's iuaithe 's a chuan 
mhor. 

Rush of mackerel, one of the three swiftest rushes in the 
great ocean. 
Tha rionnach air an athar, bidh latha math am maireach ann. 
There's a mackerel-sky ; 'twill be a fine day to-morrow. 
Clouds like variegated streaks on real mackerel called 
^' breacadh-rionnach." 

medusa: or JELLY-FISH.— Beothachan, beothaichean, 
buinne-beo ; Muirtiachd, muirtiughachd ; Sgeith-an-roin or na 
muice-mara. 

Blovers, blue-slutter ; Cruden ; Donal' blue ; Follieshat, fyke ; 
Galls; Loch-liver; Morge ; Roother ; Scadder, scalder, schnap, 
scoudre, sculder, sea-anemone, blubber, nettle, paps, sealch's 
bubble, stinging blood-sucker ; Whale-blubs, whale's food. 

Muirtiachd is said to be from muir and tachd, sea choke, but 
it is thought more correctly to be muir tiughachadh, sea thickening. 
Coille-bionain is the term for the minute life in the sea, which 
produces the well-know^n phosphorescence. 

A saying is attributed to a mermaid, whose sealskin dress or 
covering had been stolen from and recovered by her. It had been 
.stolen by an admiring youth, who surprised her with it off, and 
who married her. The remark or saying was made by her to him 
as a farewell gift, and warning against swallowing foreign bodies 
which might prove hurtful. 

" Na h-ol an saile 'm feasd gun sioladh 
'S ioma biasd tha 's a chuain. " 
Never drink sea water without filtering. 
There's many a beast in the ocean. 

MILLER'S THUMB (see Goby). 

MINNOW. — Bioran-deamhnuidh or donais, burdag ; Dairbeag, 



MINNOW— OCTOPUS 375 

doirb, doirbeag ; Gobhaclian, gobhlachan ; Mion-iasg ; Sgildaimhne, 
sgiollag. 

Baggie, bag-menon (large), bagrel, banty, bennick, binnick 
(Somerset) ; Cock-chuck or fiery ; Gutty ; Jack-a-barnell ; Manner 
(Yorksh.), meaker (Devon), menawe, menem, menen, mengy 
(Devon), raenin, menon, menoun, menowm, menuse, menys, 
mennant (North), mennard, mennem, mennent (Cumb.), menner 
(Craven), mennim, mennin, mennon (Dur.), mennot, mennum, 
minim (Som.), minnon ; Nipisset ; Pink, push-padle. 

From Gaelic word "meanbh," small. 

MULLET. — Bradan-sligeach (MacD.) ; Cearbhanach ; lasg- 
driomman or driumanach ; Muilleid. 

Atherine; Marled salmon, mowel (A. S.); Red-mullet; Sur- 
mullet. 

MUSSEL. — Feasgan, feasgand, feusgan, fiasgan ; lasgan ; 
Madadh, maideog, musgan (large black) ; Sliggaun, sliogan (Ir.). 

Burnfoot ; Clockie or clokie-doo (pearl or horse), crocklin, 
cussy ; Horse-mussel ; Maddie or maddy mucxle (A. S.), muscul, 
museld, muskylle, muxle (A. S.) ; Pearl-mussel ; Widow's lust 
(horse) ; Yoag. 

From musculus, a small fish — of old spelled muscle. 

Maddies are large mussels, which grew and bred plenti- 
fully on three rocks, on the south side of Lochmaddy, whence 
the name of this loch. The pearl mussel which, in Irish, is 
called "closheen," has two cartilages, one at each end, while the 
oyster and the scallop have only one. A familiar saying in the 
Western and Northern Highlands is " Goil gu leth do'n fhiasgan," 
a boil and a half to the mussel — i.e., they should be well boiled. 
Other shellfish, such as the oyster, cockle, spout-fish, etc., are 
rendered tough and indigestible by much boiling. 

N 

NEEDLE-FISH. — Brod-iasg ; Snathad mhara, stiom-eisg, 
stiomaire. 

Gar-fish, gaugnet, greenbone ; Horn-fish ; Pipe-fish ; Sea- 
needle, stang, sting. 

It is thought that the ribbon or oar fishes are the same. One of 
these was caught lately, while trawling in the Firth of Forth, 
which measured sixty feet in length (^Weekly Scotsman, 29/^ August 
1903). 



OCTOPUS. — - Gubarnach - meurach ; Laimhinneach ; Ochd- 
bhallach. 



376 OCTOPUS— PKHIWINKI.K 

Devil-fish. 

Off the coast of Ireland it is recorded that this monster " some- 
times seized a ciirach," i.e., hide boat or boat made from hides 
stretched on a frame-work. Small specimens of this monster are 
met with frequently on the coasts of the Western Highlands and 
Islands, and are vulgarly believed to be the " muirsgian," razor or 
spout-fish, grown large. 

OYSTER. — Eisir, eisire, eisirein (pi.) ; Oisir, oisire, oistein ; 
Slige-neamhuin (pearl) ; Uisir, uisire. 

Ester ; Hoster (Line.) ; Nostyre (A. S.). 

Akin to o.t, a bone. 

At Lochmaddy, the oysters were said to be at one time so 
large as to require to be cut into four pieces before being eaten, 
which may explain the armorial bearings of the borough of Sligo, 
being an oyster holding a hare fast by the foot ; as also the finding 
of a rat caught fast by one and drowned. 



PARR. — Bricein ; Gille-ruadh, gobhachan, gobhlachan. 
Brandling, branlie, branlin, brannock ; Fingerling ; Gamlet. 

PEARL-FISH.— Slige-neamhnuinn. 
Mother-o'-pearl. 

PERCH (also Bass). — Creagag, creagag-uisge, creigeag ; 
Forrach ; Muc, muclocha or lochaidh ; Orair; Sgorrach. 

Bace, barse (Westmor.), bascinat, base, bass, bassinat, bassinate ; 
Cockwing ; Egling (two years) ; Franling, frasling (one year) ; 
Gapemouth, grunt ; Hackley, hurling (young); Jew-fish; King of 
the mullet ; La vive viver or weever ; Old wife ; Rock-fish ; Sea- 
dace perch or wolf, stickling (third year), sting-bull, stone-basse ; 
Weever, white mullet, wreck-fish. 

From Latin, pcrca, from its black colour. 

This fish, in an old treatise, is called bass, and described as 
"like unto a man's shape." The bascinat has — like the species 
generally — a black skin capable of being pulled over the head of 
the fish, whence the Gaelic name "lasg-na-curraichd," the cap- 
fish. 

PERIWINKLE. — Cnocag, cnogag, cnomhag, cnomhagag, cnom- 
hagan, cogarn, crogan ; Daoch, daochag ; Faoch, faochag, faochan, 
faoch-mor ; Gairidean, gairidin, gilleacha or gioUacha-fionn, gille- 
fionn, gille, gilleach or giullach-fionn, fiunbrinn or bruin or truim, 
gille-fiunnd, gioradan, giorradan, gnamhan ; Paiteag ; Turcarmara. 
Fughage (Manx) ; Krogen (Welsh) ; Krogan (Corn.). 



PERIWINKLE 377 

BuckiC; buckie-prins ; Coven, covin, cowrie, croglin, cuin, 
cuvvin; Dead-man' s-eye, dog; European cowrie; Fiese wilk, 
frese ; Gooyan, gowrie, great or waved whelk, groglin, grotie ; 
John o' Groat's buckie ; Kewin, kinkling (Dorset) ; Loon ; Massy 
whelk ; Pennywinkle ; Roaring buckie ; Sea-snail, siller-sawnies, 
silver-willie, striated whelk; Tutson; Water stoups, whelk, white 
buckie, wilk, wink. 

Prop winkle, also pinewinclan, from Latin pinna, a mussel. The 
real etymology of " periwinkle " is " cannibal " borer, as it bores 
or files its way through the shell of a neighbour, though it is 
retaliated upon by the hermit-crab which, failing to find a suitable 
empty shell, often eats out the inhabitant. The kind of periwinkle 
called " siller-sawnie or " silver-willie " is supposed to be the shell 
most preferred by the hermit-crab, at least it is often found in such. 
A large kind, with a hole bored in the small end, makes a fairly 
good trumpet, like the conch. 

Ossian — Fingal, 6-90 — speaks or sings of "traigh na faoch," the 
shore of the periwinkles or buckles, but the learned translator of 
Ossian's poems, the late Rev. Dr Clerk, said it should read 
"traigh nam faobh," the shore of spoils. The yellow or large 
white periwinkle furnishes a purple dye, now superseded by 
cochineal; the fish, however, is uneatable, from its bitterness — 
experto crede. The broth or soup made from periwinkles, both 
black and white, Martin says, is good for nursing mothers. Such 
soup when made is called '^sliabh"; also, when broken up, 
pounded small and boiled, the broth or soup, when strained and 
drank, is said to be a good cure for gravel and stone. The porous 
honeycomb-substance so often found on our seashores is merely 
the tough shell or cells in which the young buckies are born. This 
honeycomb is called, in Galloway and Shetland at any rate, 
though possibly elsewhere, the mermaids' or trowies' gloves or 
purse ; each capsule of this contained four or five fish (^spondia 
palmala). Another name is " bogie or bogie-man's gloves." The 
above " sliabh " is a favourite drink in the Hebrides. From 
living in close proximity to the shore, it is said the clean-blooded 
Clan MacKinnon have been spoken, sung, and written of as 
" Buidheann nam Faochag," the buckie people, and the natives of 
the parish of Strath, Skye, the MacKinnons' country, where wilks 
are plentiful, are called "na Faochagan," the Buckies. The above 
epithet referring to the MacKinnons is to be found in "Blar 
sliabh an t-Siorraim," by Sile na Ceapaich, viz. : — 

" Clann Fhiongain, bu luath ar ruaig Clan Fiongan so swift in your 

le gealtachd ; cowardly rout, 

Theich buidheann nam Faochag The race of the buckies fled home, 

gun aodach dhachaidh." garments without. 

There is, as is well known, a plant also called periwinkle, which 



378 PERIWINKLE— POUT 

in Gaelic bears the name of Faochag or Gille-fiunbrinn — as given 
above — both in Scottish and Irish Gaelic. 

Burn teth do 'n fhaochaig. 

Hot water to the buckie. Never boil them. 
Clann Fhiongain nam faochag. 

Clan Fingan of the wilks. (See above.) 
Cunntaidh iad na faochagan. 

They will count the buckies. (See "Oran do'n lubliir.") 
This saying applies to extra penurious persons. 
Is cruaidh an t-Karrach anns an cunntar na faochagan. 

It's a hard spring when the wilks are (or can be) counted. 
Al. Is lom an cladach air an cunntar na faochagan. 

It's a bare shore on which the wilks can be counted. 

PIKE. — Ceann-barr or barrach ; Gail-iasg, geadas, gead-iasg, 
giread ; Mor-madaidh. 

Dadey (large) ; Egypt or Egyptian herring (saury) ; Fresh- 
water shark or tyrant, frie; Gade, gar-fish (sea), gaud or gawd- 
flook, gaufnook, ged, gedd, gid, gidd, gore-fish, gosnick, gowdanook, 
gowdnook, greenbone, guard-fish (sea), gullet ; Hacod (O. E.), 
haked (large), halion, horn-eel, hungell ; Jack or Jack-fish ; Lesser 
weeber, luce, lucie, lus (A. S.) ; Mackerel-guide scait scent or 
scout, morris ; Otter-pike ; Pacod, picche, pickerel (young), 
pickwell, pod ; Saury, sea-pike or stanger, skipjack, skipper, 
skopster, snipe-fish. 

From the Gaelic word "pic," a pike or sharp-pointed weapon, 
this fish having long, sharp-pointed jaws and snout. 

PILCHARD. — Geilmhin, geilmin ; Pillsear ; Seirdean, seirdin, 
sgadan mhorlannach. 

Fair maid ; Gipsy herring ; Hern, hernan ; Looe trout. 

The origin of this word has been given as " l*iltzer," a Northern 
word, but it is truly of a Celtic origin, pilseir or peilig. 

PIPE-FISH (see Eel). 

PIPER-FISH (see Gurnard). 

PLAICE. — Garbag; Leathag, leitheach, leitheag, leubag or 
liabag-mor. 

Fleuk ; Place, plash-fleuk, plays, playsse (A. S.), pless ; Splash- 
fleuk. 

The term " liabag-mor " is from " le or li," the sea. Called 
plaice from its flatness, " plat," flat. 

POLLARD-FISH.— Pronn. 

POLLACK (see Lythe, etc.). 

POUT (see Gunnel). 

This word is sometimes also applied to a well-filled codling. 



PRAWN— SALMON 379 

It is so called^ however, from the {:ower it has of inflating (or 
pouting) a membrane which covers the eyes, etc. Of Celtic 
origin. 

PRAWN. — Carran, carran-creige, cloidheag, cloimheag, 
cloitheag. 

Prane (Palsgrave). 

PUFFIN or PUFFING-FISH.— Builgean, bulgan. 

PURPLE-FISH.— Murag; murex. 



R 

RAY (see Skate). 

RAZOR-FISH. — Breallach ; Muirsgian, mursaig, musgan (large 
black) ; Stealladair. 

Caper-longer, cuttle ; Dob ; Great plucker ; Har-fish, horse-fish, 
hose-fish ; Kalega ; Marool, marsgam, marsgum ; Ras-ower (A. S.) ; 
Sea-devil (cuttle), sheath, spout-fish. 

This very useful and edible fish is well known all over the 
Western Highlands and Islands, etc., and is thought to leave its 
shell and grow into great cuttle fishes and the octopus itself. 
There is a large and a small variety of the musgan, the former a 
bivalve about the size of a man's hand, oval in shape, tapering to 
a point at one end and rounded at the other. It sinks into the 
sand to the depth of about a foot. The small kind is called 
breallach, and is not more than a third of the size of the other ; 
they are both edible. 

ROACH. — Breac-mara or mhara ; Roisteach ; Talag, talog. 

Braise, braze (Scot.) ; hiver sheep. 

The proverbial saying "sound as a roach" is now supposed to 
be a mistake for "sound as a rock." The roach is thought akin 
to and sometimes put for ray, skate, or thornback. The term 
" river sheep " is given to it on account of its stupidity. 

ROCK-FISH. — Ballach, ballach-muir ; Carragan, creagag. 



8 

SAITHE (see Coalfish). 

SALMON. — Aillinbhus, ailliubhar, allibus ; Banag, bradan, 
brudanog (young), broinnfhionn ; Candaraig (foul), cealt (Kelt), 
ceann-dubh dubhach or dubhag (fresh-water), ceann-snaoth-nan- 
iasg, colagan, colgan ; Eagan, earc, ecne, eigne, eithre, eo, eog ; 



380 SALMON 

Fara-bhradan (spent), feannaiir, fioniia<r (youn^), ffarthuinn ; 
Gadluinii, <raclluinne (spawned), gill' o<(, gille-ruadli (parr), glasag 
(fern.), glas-bhreac, gobhachan, gobhlachan (yountr), grealnach, 
grealsach ; lacb, ia<j^, iasg-druimein ; Liathag (young) ; Maighre, 
raaighreadh (shoal of), maireun (small), mairneach (full), nieas 
(Old Ir.), moghna, mugna; Ore; Kac-mhara or mhaighreadh, 
righ-nan-iasg ; Sarach ; Toinneamh. 

Baggit (fern.), beikat, ben-salmon, blackfin, blaege (A. S.), 
blay, bleak, blue-fin, botcher (two years), bramlin, bramling, 
brandlin, brandling, branlie, branlin, brannock, brood, bykat ; 
Candavaig (freshwater), cocksper ; Esling (young); Fingerling 
(very young), fork-tail ; Gaurel, gerling (returned from sea), 
gerrat, gerrit (young), gibfish, gilling, gilloge (Ir.), gilse, ginkin, 
girling, girlss, girsill (young), graulse, gravel, graveling, gravelling, 
grawl, grilse (spawned) ; Half-fish, hepper (young), hirling 
(young); Jerkin, judy ; Kelt, kipper; Laspring, lax, leax, lex 
(A. S.), ligger (foul) ; Marten (young), milter (male) ; Parr, pink 
(young), pug (three years) ; Rauner (fern.), red or rede-fish 
(spawning), romal, ronnal, ronnel (fem.) ; Salmon fry peel or 
spring (young), samlet, scad (fry), shad (small), shedder, sile, sill 
(young), simen (North), sked, skeggar, skegger, skerling, slat, 
smelt, smolt, smoult, sparling, sprag, sprint (young), sprod-mort, 
summer-cock ; VVhiteling, whiling (spawning), etc. 
Cawg, Hwddell, semyw (Welsh). 

This word is supposed to be derived from the Latin salire, to 
leap; there is an old word "sar" to go. Kipper means primarily 
a spawned salmon, secondarily one preserved thus, though in the 
Lothians, etc., it applies to a male. Beikat or bykat are so named 
from the beak or underjaw of the fish. Salmon-peel are the salmon 
on their first return from the sea ; smelts, smoults, or samlets, the 
second season after hatching or being hatched. Ben-salmon 
applies to a kind said to be smaller, darker in back, and whiter 
in belly, weighing from seven to ten lbs. ; black-head is a salmon 
that has lain in fresh water till well on in summer — a foul salmon. 
The term iasg-druimein or iesg-druimin means speckled or marled 
fish or salmon, and is less than the ordinary salmon, as described 
by Martin, having strong large scales, swimming high or near the 
surface of the water. It is, or was, plentiful in Benbecula. Another 
fish called "lochebe," is said to be like a salmon, but without 
scales, or at best very small ; this, however, has been thought to be 
the "coalfish," being very black on back, and white on belly. 
The term "calvered," is used in regard to a particular way of 
preparing a fresh salmon, while the word mairneach or maireunach 
is used to express "salmon full"; "shad" salmon are so called 
merely because they arrive at a certain place at the same time as 
the shad. 

Every Scot is familiar with the appearance of the fish (a salmon) 



SALMON 381 

in the arms of the city of Glasgow^ helping to keep alive, as it 
does, the myth of the recovery by Ceann-tighearn (Kentigern) 
of a ring thrown into the Clyde. Notwithstanding this story, 
according to the Revue Celtiqne, the salmon seems to answer 
to the Irish salmon of knowledge (Eo fesa) — Eo fiosa — see after 
this. This fish also appears in the coat of arms of our Lords of 
the Isles, "Loug, lamh-dhearg us bradan " ship (or galley), scarlet 
hand and salmon. When an angler speaks of a "fish," he means 
a salmon ; even a grilse is not honoured with that title. In the 
river Shin, Sutherland, the salmon is said to be much larger 
and coarser than any other in Scotland. Apparently the river Ewe 
in Ross-shire produced the record salmon of 1902. It weighed fifty 
lbs., and was caught with an artificial fly. One reason for anglers 
calUng salmon alone '^fish," was the belief that it was unlucky 
to say "salmon," it was even in preference called the beast or 
the Spey codlin. The salmon was not always held everywhere 
in the highest estimation, such, for instance, as originated a certain 
Act of the legislature in 1424, where death was the penalty for a 
third conviction for killing one out of season. A Kintail bard, J. 
Macrae, or Iain MacMhurchaidh, says : — 

" Gheibh sinn bradan agus ban-iasg. We'll get salmon and white-fish, 
'S glas-iasg ma's e 's fhearr a And grey-fish, if that is so preferred, 
thaitneas. " 

"The salmon of knowledge," eo-fiosach, is an expression 
derived from an Irish fairy tale, where this fish is said to have 
swallowed certain nuts, which caused people eating of such salmon 
to be inspired ; it was also averred that these nuts were the cause 
of the red spots on the salmon. The size of ordinary salmon is 
well known, but in the Yellow Book of Lecan, in the voyage of 
Mael Duin, we read of salmon, each of which was bigger than 
a bull-calf. Bu mho na cobhthaigh-firionn gach eicne dhiubh. 
{Revue Celtique, Tome IX.) The word "eo" for salmon was also 
applied to a hero, probably on account of the salmon being pre- 
eminent among fish ; while in the second supplement by Whitley 
Stokes to the Rennes Diunsenchus it is rendered "tree," Eo Rosa 
or Rossa, the tree of Ross — a yew. At Ballyshannon, Ireland, 
there is a famous salmon leap called "Eas Aodha ruadh," red 
Hugh's cataract or waterfall, now corrupted into " Assaroe." It 
is generally spoken and written of by the Irish as "7 he Cataract." 
In County Kildare there is another called " Leixlip." In Iceland, 
be it here noted, lex selo is the salmon river, lex or lax being the 
Scandinavian word for salmon, and enters largely into Scottish 
and Irish place-names. Salmon is often spoken and sung of as 
the " venison of rivers." Numerous, as is well known, are the 
modes in vogue for catching this fish. The oldest mode is thought 
to have been that in use in the Western Highlands and Islands 
called "An Garadh " or The Dyke, but which came to an encj 



382 SALMON 

sometime in the end of the eighteenth century, by the strict work- 
ing of the salmon acts making it illegal. This dyke was built out 
into the sea at the mouth of a river, or where salmon frequented, 
and then along the coast for a certain distance, the salmon being left 
high and dry at ebb-tide in the bend of the dyke, which they were 
unable to surmount by leaping. A weir or wicker net was another 
old mode, the battle of Clontarf having been called "Cath coradh," 
or the battle of the weir, from "coradh," about which it is believed 
the battle originated. Cora or coradh uisg' signifies a fishing 
weir, and the jiame Cora Linn is just the linn of the weir changed 
into a proper name. The phrase "ore breac broinnfhionn," 
speckled, white-bellied salmon, is used by O'Clery. A "Shath- 
mont's length," or a salmon's length, was, as Scott in the Antiquary 
informs us, the space allowed for the passage of a salmon through 
a weir. Salmon leaping is well known and familiar to many, but 
it may not be so well known that the word or term " summersault " 
is neither less nor more than " salmon-sault " corrupted, a champion 
feat of this nature of old being called "Cuir 'n iach 'n erred 
(earraid), the put or elastic leap of the salmon." In O'Donovan's 
Annals of Ireland the salmon is termed "Brecc baoi," in the 
following lines : — 

" Ue iar fir on the gabhta is in lin 
He brecc baoi i ra-Boinn. " 

This is from a song by Fedelim on the death of Columcille in the 
seventy-sixth year of his age, in the year a.d. 594. Elsewhere we find 
the expression " bradana taidlecha tairrghela," irridescent, white- 
tailed salmon. Bradan taidhleach, tarra-gheal means literally 
splendid white-tailed. That famous Irish monarch "King 
Cormac mac Art" is said to have come to his end by 
choking on a salmon bone which he attempted to swallow ; this 
was supposed to be the devil's revenge for his (Cormac) having 
become a convert to Christianity. The singular term runs " Cnaimh 
inn iach snamha," the bone of a swimming salmon! 

Aon de thriuir marbh 's boidh'che air bith, breac geal. 

One of the three prettiest dead, a salmon — lit., a white 
trout. 
Bidh sar-bhreac srutha a sior leum. 

The prime stream salmon ever leaps. Elsewhere we find 
this given as glas-bhreac. 
Cha *n 'eil bradan gun a leth-bhreac. 

There's no salmon without peer. Salmon fishers would do 
well to remember this. 
Breac thig bho 'n t-sail', agus bradan nan dearrs-bhallan 

dluth. 

A trout from the sea, and a salmon with close shining 
spots. Both the best of their kind. 



SALMON— SCALLOP 383 

Cho fallain ris a blireae. 

As healthy as the salmon. This does not always hold good. 
Cho glan ri goile bradain. 

As clean (empty) as a salmon's stomach. A river salmon is 
said never to eat, or at least nothing is ever fomid in its 
stomach. 
Is math thig am bradan an aigeal na h-aimhne. 

The salmon suits well the river pool. 
La Fheill Phadruig bidh breach air gach linne. 

On St Patrick's day there M^ill be a salmon in every pool. 
The word "breach " or "breac," it will be observed, used 
to mean a salmon — lit., the speckled one ; now, however, 
generally applied to a trout. 
Tarr a bhradain. 

The salmon's tail. The choice part. 

SAND-EEL. — Ceannan-siolag (Tiree); Nathair-thraghad ; 
Sachasan, sanndag, sgiolag, siolag, siolagag, siolagaig, siolghobach. 

Lesser launce ; Snedden (large). 

The names ceannan-siolag and nathair-thraghad are, it is 
thought, given in mistake for another sand-fish or worm, which 
often stings or wounds the feet when people are digging for the 
real sand-eels. 

Fuil air iasg, mharbh mi sgiolag. 

lUood on fish, I've killed a sand-eel, or diminutive fish. Said 
by boys when fishing is slack. 

SAND-WORM.— Lungach ; Nathair-thraghad. 
SARDINE. — Sardail, sardan, sairdeal. 

SCALLOP (see also Clam). — Creach, creachag, creachag-seis- 
reach, creachan ; Eisirean ; Mac-muirigheach, maighdeag, maigh- 
deag-thraghad ; Slige-chreachan (shell), sliog, sliogan. 

Clam, cockle ; Escallop ; Large-ribbed shellfish ; Partan clam ; 
Scallop-shellfish. 

The shell of this bivalve was, and is, a favourite drinking-dish, 
and is frequently referred to in Gaelic prose and poetry ; in a 
verse of the latter we are told : — 

'* B' iomad slige 'del mu 'n cuairt Many a shell went round, 

Is oran nuadh ga chuir an ceill. Many a sweet song sung, 

Ag caitheamh nam fleagh san tur While joyous faces beamed around 

B' ait an gnuis le gean gu leir. " From feasting— none were " sprung. " 

Sean dana has " Chaidh an t-slige 's an t-oran mu'n cuairt," the 
shell and the song went round. In Fingal is " Tha solas slige 
na feile mu Thriath Eirinn a's guerme suil," the joy of the 
generous shell is around the Chief of Erin of bluest eye. " Slige 
na feile " is more properly the shell of, belonging to, or appropriate 
to, the feastt 



384 SCALLOP— SEA-SERPENT 

The scallop-shell attracted the attention of the Christians, who 
decided that it, or a sembhince thereof, should be worn by those 
who had made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. It was the cognis- 
ance of St James. 

When this shell was used as a drinking vessel, the hin^e was 
frequently bound with silver, with a projecting ridge to hold it 
by. The mode of progression of this fish in the water is singular, 
being by "shooting" water through two orifices at each side of 
the hinge. May this not have suggested the turbine ? Maighdeag 
properly means the empty shell. 

SEA-LOUSE.—Mial-mara. Eng. Mary-floo. 

SEA-MONSTER.— Bladmall, bladmhial or mhiol, bledmall, 
bledmhial or mhiol ; Mial, mial-mor-mara. 

Nikir (A. S.). 

Though sea-monsters, etc., are generally regarded by the 
hard-headed sceptic as more or less mythical, the belief in them 
is very ancient and difficult to kill — if it deserves such a fate. 
The above word " bladmall " and its variants has been come 
across in several publications taken from very ancient sources, 
among these being " Saltair na Rann," as so ably rendered by 
Whitley Stokes, in which it is referred to no less than three 
times, as follows : — 

*' Ocus lonas fiadcach clainn 
Diatanic abru bledmaill. " 

*' Nuall nam bledmall m-beccedach 
Nam biasta m-belderg m-birach." 

*' Biasta bledmaill beccaichfit 
Tochiret gaire garga. " 

The first of the above quotations apparently refers to Jonah, as 
having come out of the belly of the bledmall. Here it falls to be 
statedithat "blad" means a mouth, and "mall" or "mial," any 
animal ; the second quotation may be rendered " the roar of the 
bellowing bledmalis, the horned, red-mouthed beasts " ; while the 
last seems to say, " Note, or lo ! the bledmall beast raising, or 
uttering, a fierce roir (laugh)." " Birach," of course, means sharp- 
pointed, but also means horned. Though horns on a sea-monster 
are, so far as we know, not recorded as being common to 
any of the kind, it is given on the off-chance of its being 
correct ; the " mouth-animal " seems a meaning of this word, and 
answers closely to the whale. Whitley Stokes supplies us also 
with a name for a water-sprite, viz., ludcorp or luchorpan, likely 
lugh or luth chorp, strong body. 

SEA-SERPENT. — Cirein-croin, craigean, cuartag-mor-a-chuain; 
Mial-mor-a-chuain ; Nathair-thraghad ; Uile-bheisd-a-chuain. 

Deal-fish ; Krakenback ; Lath-fish ; Needle-fish ; Pipe-fish ; 



SEA-SERPENT— SHARK 385 

Red snake-fish, riband-fish, ribbon-fish ; Scabbard-fish, sea-adder, 
sea-horse. 

The classical name means a " needle "-like or sharp fish, like a 
snake in form, with the maternal characteristics of the kangaroo, 
the young being hatched and preserved in the pouch, and follow 
the male. A larger size has the above name of " cirein-croin," and 
is said to be capable of devouring seven ordinary whales at a 
meal, at least according to the following saying — 

" Seachd sgadain sath bradain, Seven herrings a salmon's meal, 

Seachd bradain sath roin. Seven salmon a seal's meal, 

Seachd roin sath mial-mor-mara. Seven seals a whale's meal (or lit. 

Seachd mial sath Cirein-croin. " a great sea animal). 

Seven whales the meal of a Cirein 
croin. 

Another version has the first two lines the same, and then 

" Seachd roin sath muice - mara Seachd muice-mara-mhor sath ciona- 

bheag, rain cro, 

Seachd muice -mara bheag sath Seachd cionarain-cro sath mial-mor- 

muice-mara-mhor, a-chuain. " 

The cionarain-cro here is substituted, as will be seen, for the cirein- 
croin in the former saying, and ranks second to the " great sea 
animal." (See also " needle-fish," which may have been mistaken 
for above.) 

SEA-SNAIL. — Turcan or turcar-mara. 

SEA-URCHIN. — Conan-mara, cragan or crogan-feannaig, 
crogan, crogan-traghad, cuan-mara ; Garbhan (Lochcarron), 
gibneach. 

Canniber, cauniber ; Echini ; Ivegar, ivigar ; Piper ; Sea- 
cracken, egg or hog. 

The sea-urchin used to be esteemed by the Romans as a whet 
or sauce, which they compounded of vinegar, wine, honey, parsley, 
and mint mixed up with the contents of the urchin. The Epicene 
Lentullus had this at the supper held when he was made and 
installed as Priest of Mars. The Celts, so far as we can discover, 
made and still make no use of it beyond a plaything or house 
ornament. It derives a Gaelic name from the habit the sagacious 
crow has of dropping them on a stone or rock, so as to get at 
the contents. 

SHAD (see Mackerel). — This perhaps should be ranked 
more correctly under " herring," as the word is said to be derived 
from " sgadan," the Gaelic for herring. The word " Stanagomar," 
referred to under article Mackerel, is said by another authority 
to be more correctly " Strangawr," the stream of the shad, frona 
stran or sruthan, stream. 

SHARK. — Boc-glas ; Cairbean, cairbein, cairbhean, cearban 
(basking) j Dallag, dallag-na-h-urlaich (the detested one). 

2 B 



386 SHARK— SHELLFISH 

Baskinfr shark, blue shark, bragda, bripfda, brigde, brigdie, 
brugda ; Cairban, carf, carfin ; Fox shark ; Hobriii (bhie), hoe- 
mother or tuck (basking), homer, hound-fish ; Jerusalem haddock ; 
Mother of the dogfish; Nautilus; Opah ; Pricker; Sailfish, sea-ape 
fox or pert, slasher, sunfish ; Thrasher, thresher. 

Supposed to be derived from Latin carcharus, a kind of dogfish, 
so called from its sharp teeth. The dogfish is vulgarly supposed 
to be nothing but a small shark. Indeed the shark is well known 
under the title of the huge dogfish, etc. Lightfoot gives it as 
being named in Skye " Bluid-hive," and says it is supposed when 
eaten to be a great restorative. Nowadays, at any rate, it is 
only eaten in extreme cases, though quite edible to a strong 
stomach. 

SHELLFISH. — Balloch, biorasg (bait), blaosgan, bollogiasc 
(Ir.) ; Caochag (spiral), carrachan ; Da-mhogullach (bivalve), 
donnag ; Garroclian ; lasc-bollog (Ir.), iasgan, iasg-sligeach, 
maighdeag, maighdealag (cowrie), maora, maorach, maorach-ban, 
moireag, moirneag (teredo), muasgan (boot); Nasag (empty); 
Paiteag (small) ; Sparnag, spairneag ; Tuarasgar, turasgar, 
turasgair. 

Aikens (small white spiral) ; Cockspur (small) ; Ministers, 
myatruncata ; Roother ; Screwbox, smircelin, smurlin, smuthlin. 

The above term " maighdealag " really means small assorted 
shellfish, smaller far as a rule than winkles. The empty shells are 
often cast ashore. They correspond with the small cowrie or 
kouri shells of India, which are, as told us by Lieut.-Col. J. 
MacGregor, still used in the remoter villages as the equivalent of 
the smallest coins. The term " blaosgan " for shellfish seems far- 
fetched. It may be, of course, traced to the word "blaosg" or 
plaosg, a shell, a husk. It is spelled bloesc in Irish. We have an 
obsolete word blaosg for skull, which certainly is a shell ; the 
Irish word bollog or ballag also signifies a skull. A term 
" murroch " is used in Ayrshire, which is, of course, a corrupted 
form of the Gaelic word "maorach." In Folk-lore we find reference 
made to a shellfish under the name "fuoitrag," as being thought 
in the Hebrides lucky to possess. This word is new to us and we 
cannot trace it. A word similar is "fuidearag," which, however, is 
a term for trolling for lythe, etc. Shellfish are always in better 
condition during the increase, ^' fas," of the moon than at the 
decrease, " earradhubh " or wane, and also during a south-west 
or north-east wind. Shells or shellfish are said to have given its 
name to County Sligo, from the Gaelic word "sligeach," shelly, 
i.e., the river bed. 

An uair a bhios sinn ri maorach, bidheamaid ri maorach. 

When we are gathering shellfish let us be gathering shellfish. 
That is, attend to the business in hand at the time. 
This saying is attributed to MacLeod's fool. 



SHELLFISH— SKATE 387 

A's t-Earrach 'n uair a bhios a chaora caol bidh am maorach 
reamhar. 

In Spring when the sheep is lean, shellfish are fat. A 
dispensation of Providence. 
Cha dean eas luath maorach. 

A hasty foot won't get shellfish. One must travel slowly, 
and peer carefully. 
Is e an aon chladach th' ann, ach cha'n ionann am maorach. 
It's the same shore, but the shellfish are different. Change 
in feelings of an old friend. 
Is lom an leac air nach deanar (nach fhaighear) maorach. 

It's a bare stone where no shellfish are to be found. 
Maorach cailleach 'IcArtair, crubag 'us da phortan. 

Mac Arthur's old wife's shellfish, a crab, and two partans. 
Rinn e maorach fhad 's a bha'n traigh ann. 

He gathered shellfish when the tide was out. 
Al. Dean maorach, etc. 

Make or gather shellfish, etc. Seizing the opportunity. 

SHORE-FLEA. — Deargad-traghad. Sand-hopper or louper. 

These fleas are adepts at making perfect skeletons of fishes, 
crabs, etc. 

SHRIMP. — Burdag ; Carran, carran-creige, cloidheag, cloim- 
heag, cloitheag. 

Arnet, arnit, arnot ; Bunting ; Scur (fresh-water). 
So called from its cramped, pinched appearance. 

SKATE. — Beithir, buachaill-an-sgadain ; Roc, ruth, rutha (Ir.) ; 
Scarrag, sgait, sgarrag, sgat, sgata, sgite (maiden), sgith, soman. 

Angel-fish ; Blue-skate, Burton-skate ; Cramp-fish, cuckoo- 
skate ; Dinnan or dinnen-skate (young), doctor, dun cow, dunny ; 
Fire or fiery flair, flaire flare or flaw, flaine (ray — North), flaire, 
flan, flanie, flapper, flathe, friar-skate, fuller-ray ; Grey-skate, 
gunnack ; Hommelin (rough ray), horse-ray ; Kevelling, king- 
fish ; Large ray ; Maid, maiden ray, mary mavis or may-skate, mill- 
skate, mongrel-skate, monk-fish ; Northern Chimera, numb-fish 
(torpedo) ; Ox-ray ; Ray, reigh, roker, rough flapper ; Schate 
(A. S.), sea-eagle, shark-ray, sharp-nosed ray, skatt, skeut, skidder 
or skider (Northumb.), sleatric-ray, sting-ray ; Tinker, thornback, 
thornback-ray ; Whip-ray, white-horse or skate. 

The ^^ other names" given for skate are applied equally in 
many instances to the ray. A specimen of the " angel-fish " was 
caught lately on the Balmeanach (Braes) fishing-ground, Sound of 
Raasay, and measured four feet six inches by two feet six inches. 
The tail resembled that of a shark or a large dogfish, and the 
wings the fins of the skate. The spine of tail of skate or thornback 
was once used to point spears and darts among the Celts. 



388 SKATE— STICKLEBACK 

Cho neo bhlasda ri sf^rait. 

As tasteless as a skate. A skate affords very fair feeding. 
Two Gaelic sayings, apparently contradictory of each other, 
are — 

Ma cheannaicheas tu iasg, ceannaich iasg sgait. 

If you buy fish, buy skate fish. 
Ma tha iasg a dhith orm, cha 'n iasg learn sgait. 

If I desire fish, I do not consider skate fish. (See Nicolson's 
note hereto.) As to the first of the above, if quantity or 
weight in preference to quality be desired, the skate 
stands high. 
Tha mheoir an deigh na sgait. 

His fingers are after the skate. An indifferent piper's excuse 
once. 

SMELT.— Dubh-bhreac; Smalag. 

Black-trout ; Cherry-of-Tay ; Pincher, portaferry chicken ; 
Quid ; Sand-smelt, silver-sides, smout, spurling. 

Thought to mean " smooth " ; it is a general name for the 
young of several kinds of fishes, salmon, coalfish, etc., etc. 

SOLE. — Bonnan (little) ; Corachshuil, corashuil ; Leabag or 
liabag-chearr, leathagban. Irish, Anpac-car (am pac bac bacach 
or pacach cearr). 

Bastard-saithe ; Carter, common dab ; Dab ; French sole ; 
Greyback or fluke ; Kit ; Lantern, lemon, lemon-dab or sole, little 
sole, lobster (young), long-fleuk ; Mary or merry-sole, megrim ; 
Ox ; Pole-dab ; Queen-fish ; Red-back flounder, red sole ; Sail- 
fluke, salt-water fluke, sand-fleuk sole or sucker, scald-fish, she-sole, 
smear-dab (smooth), sole-fleuk ; Thickback, tongue (Suffolk), toron- 
dab ; Variegated sole ; Whiff (fem.), white-sole; Yellow-dab. 

SPONGE.— Spong. 
Mermaids' gloves or purse. 

SPRAT. — Bricein ; Garbhag ; Sardail, sardan, sairdeal, sgadan- 
gearr ; sprodh, sproth. 

Garvie ; Picker ; Sprott (A. S.). 

Literally a sprout, from Teutonic sproat or sprut, the young 
of any fish or thing, supposed chiefly of herring. 

STARFISH. — Crois-na-traghad, crosgag; Reult-iasg ; Solaslar. 
Cross-fish, cross-fit ; Scoscie, sea-star, slob (North). 
Very destructive to shellfish ; have generally five limbs or 
rays, the sun starfish having from nine to thirteen. 

STICKLEBACK.— Biorag or bior-lodain ; Carran ; Gobhachan, 
gobhlachan ; lasg-deilgneach ; Sronachaidh (sea), stangarra. 

Bandy, bainstickle, bamstickle, bane-prickle or stickle, banner. 



STICKLEBACK— THRESHER 389 

bannis, bannistickle, banny stickle or rickle, ban skittle, banstickle, 
bantickle, banty, baree, barnacle, beardie, beardie-lotch or lowie, 
benticle, bismore, boneticle, bonyprick, bottle-nose, bramstickle, 
bulgranade ; Cannel, cockband ; Duckins ; Enemy-chit ; Firey-loch ; 
Great sea-adder ; Heckle harry or hurry-banning, heckleback 
(fifteen-spin ed) ; Jack-bandy bannell or sharp ; Little gurnard ; 
Pinkeen, pow (Somerset), prickleback, pricky, prigge-trout ; 
Robbie-wan-berd or berg ; Scorpion-fish, sea-adder, sharplin, 
spricklebag or beg, stanstikel (A. S.), sticklebag, stickling, 
stinger, stronachie, stuttleback, stytling (A. S.) ; Tan, tantickle 
or stickle (SufF.), thornback, tinker (lesser) ; Willie-wan-beard 
(fifteen-spined). 

The stickleback is noted for being able to swim swiftly straight 
backwards. 

STURGEON. — Bradan-bacach pacach or sligeach ; Cana, 
canach ; Priogga-breac ; Stiornach, stirean, stirrin. 

Sture, sturgiun, sturjoun. Literally " stirrer," from its habits. 
One of Coinneach odhar, the Br ah an seer's prophecies, is as 
follows : — 

'Xuair a thraoghas abhainn na Mhanachain tri uairean, agus 
a ghlacar bradan-sligeach air grunnd na h-aibhne, 's ann a sin 
a bhios an deuchainn ghoirt. 

When the river Beauly (Monastery) is dried up three times, 
and a "scaly salmon," i.e., royal sturgeon, is caught on 
the ground (or bed) of the river, then will be a time of 
great trial. 

SUCKER (see Cockle). — Sruban, srubaire— " Jura" sucker. 

SWORD-FISH. — Bior-iasg ; lasg-a-chlaidheamh ; Luin-iasg, 
lunasg. 

Blue-cock or poll ; Chine (kind of) ; Ehog (Old Brit.) ; Gar- 
pipe, gerrick, gore-bill, green-back bane ben or bone, guard- 
fish ; Horn-eel fish or kecke ; King or leader of the fish ; Long- 
nose ; Mackerel-guide or scout ; Needle-fish ; Rasour ; Sea-needle ; 
Spanish mackerel, spearling ; Whaup-fish. 

This fish is a species of mackerel (Xiphias) and is fully as 
swift ; it attacks anything for sheer fighting sake. 



TEREDO. — Boireal ; Moireag, moireagan, moireal, muragan. 
Borer. — This is a species of worm, but is included here as 
being found at sea. 

THRESHER. — Buailtear, bualadair, bualtan, bualtar. 



390 TORPEDO— TROUT 

TORPEDO— Orc-iasg. 

TROUT. — Ala, aladh (Old Ir. signifying speckled); Banag, beil- 
geag (small), breac, breac-gheal (salmon), breachd, bric-dheasg 
(ruddock), bricein (small or burn) ; Cainreach (small), ceann-dubh, 
colagan, colgan (salmon) ; Dubh-bhreac, dubhlochan, duileachan ; 
Farabhreac (spent), feannag, fionnag (white); Gabhlachan (young), 
geadag (large), geala-bhricein (sea-trout), gealag (white), glas- 
bhreac, gobhachan, gobhlachan (young) ; I.iathag (salmon) ; 
Maighre, maighreulan, mairerralan (Ir.), maireulan (salmon) ; 
Samhnachan, samhnag, samhnan (large river), etc. 

Alderling, allerfloat, allertrout (lurker 'neath alder-tree roots) ; 
Beeran (bioran small), Berwick, black, black-head, boddomlier, 
botcher (salmon), buddagh (Ir.), bull ; Candue, candul, case-charr, 
cendue (Loch Leven) ; Dolachan, dolaghan, dolochan, dowbreck ; 
Feannog, finnack, finner, finnock, finnog, finnor (white) ; Gairun 
(sea), gerron, gillaroo (Ir.), gilt-charr, grey, grilse, gull (large) ; 
Hardhead (loch), herling, hirling ; Lammasmen (large loch), lin- 
keeper (stationary) ; Peal (Devon) ; Phinnick, phinnoc, phinnock 
(white) ; Rack-rider (North), red-belly or charr, round-tail, ruddock 
(grey) ; Salmon, scurfe (salmon), sea, sewin (Wales), shot (west), 
silver charr, smelt, Sperling, spirling, spaithie ; Torgoch, triotht, 
troyte, truht (A. S.) ; Whiten, whitling (salmon), etc. 

From Teutonic " tru," etc., to gnaw, to nibble, to bore. The 
Welsh name for the bull-trout is brech-y-dail, the fall of the leaf, 
breacadh na duilleige, the browning or speckling of the leaf — 
autumn tints. The Loch Leven trout is, i?iier alia, called gelletroch 
or red-womb trout ; bull or bill-trout are also called cendue or 
camdue. For many names given to the salmon-trout see Salmon. 

In a certain loch near Pitnain, Inverness-shire, a small deformed 
or malformed trout exists, and in Loch I slay, a tailless trout. 
Goodrich Freer tells us that the trout in South Uist are finless, 
having lost them by a niggardly man saying " Devil a fin " had 
he taken, when his creel was full of trouts. Every loch or stream 
indeed may be said to have its own peculiar kind of trout, at least 
in outward appearance. When trout are found in a loch without 
inlet or outlet, they are vulgarly supposed to have fallen from the 
sky. This is the origin of the name of a loch in Gairloch called 
lochan-nam-breac-adhair, the lochan or little loch of the air-trouts. 
The trout called dubhlochan or dolochan is a large loch-trout, or 
the salmoferox; the gillaroo trout is said to have a gizzard like a 
fowl. R. McDonald describes the trout as follows: "Na brie 
tharra-ghealach, earr-ghobhlach. shliom," the white-bellied fork- 
tailed, sleek trouts ; while another writer speaks of them as : " Na 
brie le 'n cladh luaineach," the trouts with running spawning. 

Brie a beadagaig is a saying meaning trouts leaping. 

In Lightfoot's Flora Scoiica it is stated that the phinoc is 



TROUT— WEEVt:tl 391 

supposed to be the young of a great grey trout weighing thirty 
pounds. Gillaroo is merely gille ruadh, red boy. 
Cho sona ri caimeach an sruth. 

As happy as a trout in a stream — Skye. 
Cul-cinn a bhric dhuibh. 

Back of head of black trout. The choice part. 
Fear beag dubh a mireag ris an t-sruth. Cha 'n 'eil an He 
no'n Eirinn a leumas air a mhuin. 

A little black one playing with the stream. There's no one 
in Isla or Ireland that will leap on his back. A trout. 
Ni dubh-bhreac a' loch suain. 

The loch-trout sleeps, i.e., not lively like the burn or river 
trout. 
TUNNY (see Mackerel). 

TURBOT. — Bradan-brathainn, bradan-leathan, breac-ceannpac, 
buddagh (Ir.) ; Leapag-brathainn, leathag-mara ; Pacach-cearr ; 
Turbaid, turbuit. 

Bannock or bunnock-fleuk, barncock, birt, bradcock (young), 
brat, breat, brett, bugatee, byrte-fish ; Gunner-fleuk or flook ; 
Mill-fish ; Quern-shaped flounder ; Raan rannock rawn or roan- 
fleuk or flook, rod, roddams, roddan-fluke, rowan ; Talbot, turbrat. 

From word signifying a rhomboid, from shape of this fish. 

The turbot used to be very plentiful off the coasts of the West 
Highlands, if not so still, as at one time no less than 133 are 
said to have been caught in one fishing near the island of Sanda. 

TUSK. — Tosg, torsg, traill, traille. 

Brismac, brismak (young) ; Catfish ; Hoe-tusk, huUcock ; 
Olick ; Smooth-hound. 

The tusk is almost the size of a ling, brown and yellow, with a 
broad tail. It is supposed in some places, Orkney for one, to be 
a kind of cod ; the Gaelic name for cod, " trosg," bears this out 
so far. 



URCHIN (see Sea.-urchin). 



VENDACE (see Guiniad). 



u 



V 



w 



WEEVER.— Tarbh-shiolag. 

Adder-pike ; Black-fin ; Common weever ; Otter-pike ; Poison- 



392 WKKVEll— WHl i 1N(. 

j)ate; Sea-stanger or stranger, stang, stangster, sting-fish, stony 
cobbler ; Viper-fish ; Weaver. 

The liabit of this fish is to bury itself in the sand, whence it 
inflicts a severe wound on the bare hand or foot which may 
come into contact with it, cxpcrlo crcde. It is full of i)oisonous 
prickles, and the part stung should be bathed with warm, or even 
hot water, as speedily as j)ossible. 

WHELK. — Cnocag, cnocan, cnogag, cnomhag, cnomhagag, 
cnomhagan, conachag (dog) ; Faocli, faochag, faochag-mhor. 

Buckie ; Deep-sea buckie, dog-wilk or whelk ; Frese or friese- 
whelk (striated) ; Great whelk; Long wilk ; Periwinkle; Roaring 
buckie ; Sceel (A. S.) ; Weluc, weoluc (A. S.), wilk. 

From Teutonic " wiloc " ; the correct sj)elling is thought to be 
welk or wilk. The pale wilk or white buckie (gille fionn), when 
crushed, pounded, and boiled, is said to be a famous specific for 
the stone. A belief holds that wilks should not be roasted on the 
fire as famine is sure to follow, as they are very tasty when roasted. 
The danger can be avoided by roasting them on a stone in front 
of the fire, or among the embers. The reason is obvious, viz., to 
avoid risk of the whelk getting burned and lost. The acorn-shell 
wilk is that from which the " claik " goose is supposed to come. 

Beathaichidh na faochagan duine gus am bi e cho dubh ri 
sgall fhein. 

The whelk (or buckie) will sustain a man till he is as black 
as its own scale. 
'S beag an sonas a gheibhear anns na faochagan falamh. 
There's little good in empty buckles. 

WHISTLE-FISH.— Burbaigh. 

Aelputt ; Bards, bird-bolt, blobskite, bourbee, burbot, burbotte ; 
Coney-fish ; Eelpout ; Fishick ; Greenbone, guffer, guffer-eel ; 
Muraena-eel, mutton-fish ; Red-ware fishick ; Sea-loach or loche ; 
Three-bearded rockling. 

This is a small lively fish, generally found under stones of 
seashore. The term aelputt or eelpout is derived from "ael," 
an eel, and purt or pud, a frog. 

WHITING. — Blaghan, blaoghan, blocan ; Caiteag, caoiteag, 
cuideag, cuiteag, cuitshach (Ir.) ; Feannag, fionnag ; Mangach. 

Baivee (large), blin (rock) ; Darg ; Fitan, fithin, fitin ; Glower 
(coarse and flat), gobon ; Kellat ; Mop (young) ; Pollack, pollock ; 
Stuffin (fry) ; Wytyng (A. S.). 

A tribute to the whiting is made in the saying that " it is never 
heavier in the stomach than when suspended to the waist." A 
rough and ready saying in Gaelic is " Gob fad' air chuideig," a 
long snout on the whiting, A pun upon a certain name (Fitan) 
for the whiting runs — What is the difference between a black doo 



WHITING— WRASSE 393 

and a fitan (i.e., white one). In addition to the above sayings we 
have also in Gaelic, "Earball fad air a ehuiteig," a long tail on the 
whiting, which is thus long at both ends. This tail, however, 
distinguishes it from the haddock. 

WOLF-FISH (see Catfish).— Faol-iasg. 

WRASSE. — Blalaoghan ; Creagag ; Gregagh (Ir.) ; Muc-creige, 
muc-ruadh. 

Ancient; Ballan, bavin, bear-fish, bergell, bergle, brasse, 
bressie ; Cook Conner or wrasse, cuckoo-fish, golden maid, green 
old wife, gregach (Ir.), gwrach (Welsh — old woman) ; John-rad ; 
Kingervie ; Morrian, murranree or roe ; Old ewe or wife ; 
Rath-raagh, red old wife, rock cock or fish ; Sea-parroquet 
partridge sow swine or tod, servellan, sweet-lips ; Yellow old 
wife. 

This beautiful scaly fish is called Blalaoghan in Skye, and very 
like the creagag, which is also called muc-creige, but more 
beautifully-coloured, and differs in the colour of the eye. They 
are, undoubtedly, allied species. 



ENGLISH-GAELIC 
NAMES OF INSECTS AND REPTILES 



ADDER (see also Asp and Viper). — Arcan-luaclirach, arpag, 
asc, asp, aspic, athair-nei ; Beithir, buafair, buafaire, buaf-athair 
or nathair, buaf-bheisd ; Esp ; Gille-neamhag (water) ; lol-bheisd ; 
Na'r, nathair, nathair-nimh (poisonous). 

Addick, ather; Eddre, einatter (Cumb.) ; Heddie, hether 
(Salop) ; Naedre (A. S.), neddar, nedder, neddir, neddre, neddyr, 
needer, nether, netter. 

The only poisonous snake in Great Britain. 

The Old Irish name, "snaithe," was given to the adder or 
serpent from its thj^ead-like shape. The adder is believed to be 
stone deaf, in fact the deafest creature known, and an old rhyme 
says, " If the adder could hear and the blind-worm see, neither 
man nor beast would ever go free." This may be true as regards 
the adder, though we very much doubt it, as these reptiles, like 
most others, are by no means aggressive, and only sting — when 
they do sting — in self-defence. Every one knows the old saying, 
still applicable, that March should come in like an adder's head. 
Adders are plentiful, and indeed numerous, over most of the High- 
lands, though the island of Lewis is free of them, and are reported 
as frequently found in Strathnaver, out on sunny days in February, 
as many as twenty-seven being killed in one day in that month by 
one boy — bonnie Strathnaver. They are from twelve to twenty- 
five inches in length. Adders bite or sting cattle more readily 
than human beings, owing, it has been alleged, to their dread of 
the clothes; but we venture to say that cattle are not sufficiently 
aware of their danger, and do not avoid it as well as humans can. 
Adders will always be found on the warmest and dryest side of a 
hill or slope. The adder is said to partake of the serpent's dislike to 
the ash-tree, also, it is said, to the birch and the fir ; the spikes of 
the latter may account for its dislike to at least the neighbour- 
hood of that tree, being doubtless painful, or at least inconvenient 
to wriggle or crawl over. Black-faced sheep and deer destroy 

894 



ADDER— ANT 395 

adders, as do also goats, which are their inveterate enemies. Struan, 
in Athole, is, or was, also noted as being a special haunt of the 
adder. The slopes of Goatfell, in the island of Arran, are also 
well stocked with adders. The coat-of-arms of the Clan Donna- 
chaidh bears the representation of an adder, perhaps in conse- 
quence of that reptile being so plentiful in the old country of the 
Clan. The sting of an adder is said to be cured by rubbing its 
own skin over the wound or punctured place; this is seldom 
required as the adder is always more anxious to escape than 
attack, and is easily alarmed. They are known to swallow their 
young even on a sudden alarm. The glass balls or amulets 
possessed by the Druids, either for mysteries or ornament, or both, 
were called "adder stones" or "the glass of the serpent," gloine 
nathair. Some adders, in Sutherland, are reported to be very 
poisonous, from twenty to fifty inches in length, of various colours, 
some quite black, others beautifully marked, striped, and speckled, 
some of a reddish and light hue ; sheep stung by them die in a 
very short time. Adders have been known to feed on young or 
newly-fledged birds, mice, beetles, flies, etc., etc., indeed almost 
all kinds of insects. Their fangs are long and sharp with a hole 
through, and with a small globular receptacle for reddish or 
blueish matter underneath, which is a deadly poison and flows 
through as they bite. They appear wise and cunning, very wary, 
and sham death admirably when detected. 

ANT. — Deangan, dibheach ; Earc-luachra or luachrach ; Moirb, 
moirbh (Ir.) ; Seangan, sneadhan (Perth). Mor-grugyn (Welsh). 

Aemet, aemete (A. S.), ammat, ampt, ampte, anaky ; Bishimer, 
black-horse (large) ; Eemock, eemuch, emattie, emerteen, emmack, 
emmak, emmet, emmis, emmock, emmot, emmut, emock, emote, 
emothee, enanteen, enemy ; Fishimer ; Immick, immie, immis, 
inaky ; Jack Camal (Campbell) ; Merratoo, mooratoig, mooratow 
(Welsh) ; Pisimire, pissmote, pysmyre ; Scotch, semette ; Termite ; 
Yam met. 

The word "ant" is merely a dowling or softening of the word 
"emmet" by contraction; pismire is so called from acrid urinous 
smell of an ant-hill ; the Welsh terra supposed to be from root 
" mur," to swarm. There are black, brown, and red ants in the 
Highlands. In the voyage of Mael Duin as given in Tome IX. of 
Revue Celtique, " a great swarm of ants, each of them the size of a 
foal," is mentioned. "Ealta mor de seanganaibh agus meud searr- 
aich gach fear dhiubh." Ants are generally, some say always, 
found in old land or soil, hence the designation " seangan sean- 
talmhain." 

Cha n'eil aig seangan ach sealltuinn air iolaire gu fios fhaotainn 
air cho suarach 's tha e. 

An ant has only to look on an eagle to know its own insig- 
nificance. All things hang on comparison. 



396 ASP— BRK 

ASP (see also Adder).— Aithid, as^, asp, aspic, ardfliear-nimh 
or gionach, atliair-nei ; Dearc-luachuir or luachrach ; Foileasan, 
fuil-eacan or easan ; Na'r, nathair, nathair-nimh. 



B 

BALM-CRICKPn\ — Buail-a-chiiag or chrag; Fiimein-fioiin or 
feoir. 

BASILISK. — Righ-nathair ; Suil-bhalair, suil-mhalair. 

Bablatrice (Loerine), basilicop. 

These are said to be dwellers of the most impenetrable woods 
and shades. The name suil-bhalair or mhalair is also given to that 
fabulous creature, the cockatrice, and derives its origin from the 
belief that a certain Fomorian pirate or viking had one eye in 
his forehead and one behind ; the latter, like a basilisk's, could 
strike people dead. 

BEE. — Ainbheach (drone), aire, arc; Beach, beathag, beath- 
mhan, blarag (large — Tiree) ; Ciaran (brown), coineachan (foggy) ; 
Earc ; Gleithre (gad) ; Ladron (drone) ; Meach ; Proimbeallan, 
proimsheillein (drone); Saith, scann, sgann (swarm), seillean, 
seillean-diomhan (drone), seillean-lunndach (drone), seillean-mor 
(humble), smeach, smeachann (Ir.). 

Beo, beo-moder (A. S.), bumble (humble) ; Cephens (young 
drones) ; Doombledore, dor, dory, drane, drumbee, drumble, 
drumble-done dore or drane^ drummer, drummle-drone, dumbledar, 
dumbledary, dumbledor dore or dory (humble) ; Foggie, foggy- 
bummer, fogie ; Gairie, glez (swarm) ; Hum-a-bee, humble 
(humming), humble-dad or dore, humber, hummabee, hummobee 
(Lane.) ; Queen ; Redarsy ; Schadon (young — N.) ; Todler-tile ; 
Ummabee. 

The word " ciaran " is descriptive of a mottled, large, wild 
kind of bee, while " coineachan " is derived from the moss-nest, 
formed by the kind called coineag or coinneag, called " foggies " in 
Scottish ; a hive is coirceag. The word for bee in Sanscrit is 
"bha," while bumble or humble-bee is "bambhara." The word 
'* dory " for drone signifies sleepy, useless. " Beichairc " means a 
a bee-hive — lit., a bee-ark, though both beich and aire or arc 
mean bee also. " Teillinn " is a name given for the harp in the 
Welsh language, and is merely a corruption or shortening of 
*^ an t-seillean," the bee. This is first referred to as a Celtic term 
in an ancient topographical tract called the " Dinnseanchas " or 
sean seanachus, old old history. It moreover describes, and is 
supposed to stand for, the feeble humming sound of an imperfect 
harp. (See O'Curry's Customs of Ancient Ireland, Vol. III.) In the 
Rennes Dinnsenckics we meet with " bech-teilleoin," a swarm of bees. 



BEE 397 

See also the fable by Mandeville, 1670-1703, being a satire where 
bees are compared to men. Bees hate frogs. 

Bees were known to, and kept by, the ancient Britons. In 
Ireland the Brehon Laws provided for their careful protection. 
In the Isle of Man it was a capital crime to steal bees, which, 
no doubt, was the origin of the superstition there, that it was 
unlucky if a stray swarm settled on one's premises unclaimed by 
their owner. The best time for swarming may be gathered from 
the following rhyme : — 

" A swarm of bees in May is worth a load of hay ; 
A swarm of bees in June is worth a silver spoon ; 
A swarm of bees in July is not worth a fly. " 

It is generally considered very lucky for a swarm to settle on one's 
property. Ireland was celebrated of old, if not so still, for its 
swarms of bees and abundance of honey. In Devonshire bees are 
never paid for in money. They should never be bought, never 
moved but on a Good Friday, and, on the occasion of a funeral, 
the hives carefully turned round. Here it is worth remarking 
that the writer or compiler hereof found the superstitions of 
Devonshire and Somersetshire strikingly similar to those of the 
Western Highlands. Another superstition, thought to be pretty 
general, is that a bee flying straight in one's face boded important 
news. Bees are not extensively kept or cultivated in the High- 
lands, though there are exceptions. In some places where so kept 
it is thought that they did not thrive with any one who lived an 
unchaste life. The female or queen bee lives four years, the 
worker six months, and the drone four months. 

A finely descriptive poem by Neil Macleod, the Skye bard, 
consisting of sixteen double verses in Gaelic, on the "better be a 
bee than a fly " princi})le, is well worth perusal and committing to 
memory by those who have not done so already ; it is in that sweet 
singer's happiest vein. A colloquy between a bee and an ant runs 
as follows — bee speaking first : — 

" Thuirt an t-seillean ris ant-sean^-an Said the bee to the ant 

Teann a nail 's gun tog sinn tigh. Come and let us build a house. 

Am fear do'n tug do mhil shamhradh, Said the ant to the bee, 
Togaidh e tigh geamhraidh dhuit, He to whom you gave your summer 

Tha sin agams' fo thalamh tigh honey- 

Air nach ruig gailhonn no gaoth, Will build a winter house for you. 

'S bidh tusa na d' dhilleachdan lacunn, I have there beneath the earth a house 
A' streapadh ri gasagan fraoich." Where wind or storm cannot reach. 

While you a dun (houseless) orphan 
Are a-climbing up of heather tops. 

In Sean dana the following line occurs : — " Mar chagar beacha 
na bruaiche," as the hum of the bee of the bank. And in 
Ossian's Fingal — " Mar sheillean ag iadhadh mu chloich," as a bee 
hovering round a stone. 



398 BEE— BEETLE 

A Gaelic riddle runs — 

Bean bheag a tighinn do'n bhaile so A little wife to this house comes 

'S gur matli a ni i dranndan. And well she makes a hum-hum. 

Currachd de'n chochallainn orra A cap of the cochullain on 

'S cota buidhe plangaid. And coat like yellow blanket. 

A proverbial saying in Gaelic, with a hidden meaning, is ''Bheir 
seillean math e sin," a bee will take good out of that. 
Another riddle is — 

Bodachan beag an taigh m'athair A wee carl in my father's house 

'S bitheas e trie a' dranndan. That's frequently heard a-humming, 

Currachd air 's e dol a laidhe He goes to bed with cap on head, 

'S cota fada Frangach. And long French coat depending. 

When catching bees for the sake of the honey (a cruel practice), 
children hum this saying, " Ol an fhuil, fag a nihil," drink the 
blood, leave the honey, in the belief, apparently, that this serves 
as an efficient incantation. 

BEETLE. — Beisteag (dung), biathainne, biathairne (earth), 
bunnan (black) ; CapuU-lin (lint), carnabhan, cearduman (dung), 
cearran-cre (clay or earth), ceard-dubhan (sacred), ceard-fhiollan, 
cearnabhan, cearnallan, cearnan, cearradan, cearrallan, cearraman, 
cearr-dubhan cearr-daolan or daolag (dung), cearr-fliiollan, ciarag, 
cuileag-dubh, cuil'-theallaich ; Daol, daolag, daolag-bhreac, daol- 
caoch (stag-beetle) or bhreachd-dhearg (lady-bird), dar-daol (veno- 
mous), dealb, deilb (water), dubh-chuil' or dhaol (black) ; Fairche, 
farachan (death-watch) ; Gearr-daolag, daolan or dubhan, giurnan 
(horned) ; Lon-craois (water) ; Proimbeallan ; Simid ; Tabh or 
tamh-ard (flying), etc. 

Baby-bot, barnaby, barney, barney-bee, benebee, benetree, 
beogle, Bessy-clocker (black), bisby, Bishop-barnabee or barnaby 
(Suffolk), bittle, black-bat bob clock Bess or worm (Salop, etc.), 
bob, brow, bryanstone-buck (stag), burn-cow, burne-bee, bushey, 
bushy, bushy-bandy-bee, bytylle (A. S.) ; Chafer, chovee, chovy 
(small), clay, cloc-a-leddy, clock, docker (black), clock-bee lady or 
leddie, clocke-lady, clok-leddy, coach, coachy, cock-clock or roach, 
crawly-whopper, cushie or cushy-cow, cushi-coo-lady ; Dandy-cow 
(ladybird), devil's-cow, door or dor-clock (dung), doy, dronny 
(dor — Skelton), dumbledore (Devon) ; Fern-wed (apple — East), 
fleein' golach ; Gabloo, God Almighty's cow (ladybird), golach, 
golden bug or knop, goolabee ; Hamdy-cloek, hang-kleek, horny- 
bug, humming-clock (flying) ; Jew ; King, king-coll-awa (large lady- 
bird) ; Lady, ladybird coo or cow, lousy-clocker ; May-beetle, 
mum, mynte ; Scaern-wibba (A. S.), scar or scarnbude, scarab 
(Lat.), scarbot, scarnbee (dung — Westmor.), scearn-fifel (A. S.), 
sharnbude (Kent), sittie-fittie ; Turdeevil (dung) ; Wattir-cow 
(water), wode, etc. 

The "biting" insect is said to be the etymology of this name. 



BEETLE 399 

The word " beisteag " used for a dung-beetle has been found 
in the following lines, from a poem by A. McDonald : — 

" Tuitidh tusa mar a bheisteag Thou wilt fall like the dung-beetle 

'Na t-ionad fein am buachair mart, " (beastie) 

Into thine own place, the cow's dung. 

There are 3300 different kinds of beetles in the British list alone. 
The gaily-coloured ladybird beetles, it is to be noted, are all 
rejected by insectiverous animals. The dor-beetle is so named 
from the sleepy hum it emits in its flight, and on that account is 
called dronny (Skelton). 

The burying-beetle is to be handled with great caution owing to 
its most offensive smell (see " Nether Lochaber " as to this). It is 
called cancer, from the Latin name for crab, but a belief is said to 
exist that it is so called because its bite produces that terrible 
disease. The dung-beetle is spared by boys, but the clock or 
black beetle is mercilessly killed, the alleged reason being that the 
former met those who came to seize the person of our Saviour, 
and was asked how long since He had passed, when it answered, 
"twenty days ago yesterday," fichead la gus an dechaidh Mac Dhe 
seachad ; but the latter said, " an de, an de," yesterday, yesterday, 
hence when boys kill a " docker " they repeat these words — 

" Air a bho'n de a bhradag 
Air a bho'n de. " 

A beetle called "Gooldie," which has a beautiful bronze- 
coloured back, is a great favourite with and pet of children ; it is 
considered lucky to possess one. On the other hand, the black- 
jet or jet-black beetle is thought unlucky to appear in the house. 
Though not considered a sign of dirt, this beetle should always be 
thrown into the fire when it does appear, despite the belief that 
rain is said to follow the day after killing one. The old rhyme 
addressed by so many south-country children, etc., to the 
ladybird is : — 

" Lady, Lady Landers, Lady, Lady Landers 
Take up yir cloak about yir heid 
An' flee awa tae Flanders. 
Flee ower firth an' flee ower fell, 
Flee ower pule an' rinnin' well. 
Flee ower muir an' flee ower mead, 
Flee ower livan' an' flee ower deid. 
Flee ower corn an' flee ower lea. 
Flee ower river an' flee ower sea ; 
Flee ye east or flee ye west 
Flee till him that loes me best. " 

Among place-names derived from beasts, birds, etc., we find 
the following in a note to O'Donovan's famous rendering of the 
Annals of the Four Masters, 1595, " Beal-atha-slisen or slissen," also 
" Atha-slisean," which is said to mean, mouth of the ford of the 
beetles. 



400 BEETLE -BUTTERFLY 

Sayings proverbial or otlierwise are, " Kill a ciarag burn a dar- 
daol " (Ireland), while in the Scottish Highlands it is, "Is fearr 
dhuit Aoine 'thrasgadh na 'n dar-daol a losgadh," a Friday's 
fast is better than burning a dar-daol. 

That pride will have a fall is told by — 

" Falbh ard coltach ris a cheard-daolan 
'S tuiteam 's a ghlar." 
Flying high like the dung-beetle 
And falling in the dirt (glaur). 

Al. Falbh ard 's tuiteam 's a bhuachair. 
Flying high and falling in the dung. 

A saying attributed to Fearchar Leigh, or Farquhar the 
physician, is "An daol dubh ris a chnaimh gheal," the black 
beetle to the white bone. This is thought to have been a 
discovery made by him that a patient was being kept ill by some 
evil-disposed person having applied a beetle to a sore to keep it 
open, and prolong pain. 

Tha frithealadh fa leth aig daol 'us feallsanach. 
The beetle and the sage have each their duties. 

BELLY-WORM (for this and other kindred words see 
Worm). 

BUG. — Bogus; Carran (field), ciarag; Daol, daolag, deagha ; 
Feileacan, foileacan (May); Leoraan-fiodha (wood); Mial-fiodha 
(wood). 

Bouge ; Nid, nidge t, nit ; Tick. 

BUTTERFLY. — Amadan-de leigh or leithe, anaman-de; 
Calman-de; Dallan-de, dealan, dealan-de, dealbhan-de, dearbadan, 
dearbadan-de ; Eunan-de; Feileacan, foileacan; Giurnan; Leamhan, 
leoman, leomann (night) ; Tarmach, tarmachan-de, teine-de or 
dealan, teinidh-de, toirmeachan-de (Arran). 

The following are Gaelic names for a few varieties, the English 
of which can be found in any English book on butterflies : — 

An t-Ailean donn, Ard-seoladair ban, Argus beag, donn, 
Albanach ; Am Baintighearn dreachar ; A Chore' rach no an t- 
lompaire corcurach ; Dealbhan gorm-airgiodach, fad-earr, gearr- 
earr mor an fhraoich beag an fliraoich breac a choille ; Diuc 
bhurgundi, an Donnag-bhallach no donnag a bhalla, an Donnan 
tuathach, Arranach ; Am Faineag, Faineag a mhonaidh, feithe ; 
an Glaisean, an gorman, gorman a chailc, an gorman beag, 
Masarinach mor nan creag, an Grisionnach geal ; An Leumadair 
beag, breac-bhallach, lachdunn, leusach, Lileworth mor Shasun- 
nach, an Litir bhan ; An Roine donn-stiallach, dubh-stiallach, 
stiallach, stiallach-chorcurach, stiallach-uaine ; an t-Umhach-beag. 

Butter-fleoge (A. S.), butterfle, butturflye ; Cut-throat ; Flinder, 
Frenchy (admiral) ; Lea-low, leel, lee-laa-let, lile ; Slip (Somerset). 



BUTTERFLY— CATERPILLAR 401 

The famous Mull doctor Farquhar Beaton's soul was said to 
go on aerial journeys, and on these occasions to take the form of 
a butterfly, which insect was often thought to contain the soul or 
ghost of the departed. It is said that there are more white than 
dark-coloured butterflies, or more pure than defiled souls. It is 
even thought lucky to catch and preserve alive a white butter- 
fly. Indeed dark, brown, or spotted ones are actually detested in 
some places in the above belief, and called witches or evil spirits. 
These should neither be caught nor kept alive, they are unlucky 
to keep, and worse luck befalls the killer of one — ergo, they are 
best left alone. A certain kind of butterfly, called " Arran brown," 
is considered a rarity by entomologists, a specimen having been 
known to fetch £5. The "tortoise-shell" variety is the variety 
which is called " cut-throat " in Pitsligo at anyrate. 

The following rhyme used to be chanted by children in the 
Highlands, when idly whirling a burning stick at the fireside : — 

Dealan-de duthachan, Butterfly so friendly- like 

Thug am feidh am bruthach orr', The deer to the hill did take, 

Chaidh Mac Shimidh as an deigh Maciramic pursued them in their 
'S cha d'thug fiadh dhachaidh flight, 

'nochd. But took no deer home to-night. 

We are not quite sure of the accuracy of this version of the 
above. 

" Mac Shimidh," as is well known to Celts and Highlanders, is 
the patronymic for the chief of the Clan Eraser, Simon or Simidh 
being the "chief" name. Another derivation has been given, 
viz., Mac Simide, son of the black beetle, but unfortunately for 
this contention, though duthachan comes in, it does not mean 
black one, but comes frora"duth," friendly, etc., while "simid" 
means a beetle for hammering, not the insect. 



CADDIS (see Worm). — Caiteas, catus ; Durrag, durrag- 
chonlaich ; Stiomag. 

C ANKER-MAGGOT.— Cnuimh-lobhta ; Durrag ; Meas-chnuimh 

(tree). 

Crump. 

CATERPILLAR (see also Chafer and Cockchafer). — Ailseag, 
aoilfeog (Ir.), aoilseag ; Bob, bolb, bratag, builb, burrais, burras, 
burris, burruis ; Cnuimh-chail ; Daol, daolag, daol-bhuidhe, duill- 
mhial Or mhiol ; Liubh or luibh-bhiast, lus-chuach. 

Black-canker, blight, bowbet ; Caddis or caddy-pillar, cling- 
finger (large), cob-worm, cockchafer, connough-worm ; Granny's- 
needle (hairy) ; Hairy-worm; Log; Mahiscrall, maishrag (Yorks.), 

2 C 



402 CATERPILLAR- COCKATRICE 

ni;ile, malli, malt or moleshag (Glouc), malscrab, maltscale, marly- 
scrawly, mascal or scale, maskel,iiiaskell or kill, inaulscrawl, mawl- 
scrawl, may-beetle, muskel (Devon) ; Oak-web, oubit ; Pig's-snout 
(Topsell) ; Spinning-drone (cockchafer), stepmother's bairn ; Tiger- 
moth ; Vowbet ; Wobat, woubat ; Youbet, youbit. 

The term "lus-chuach" comes from the habit the caterpillar 
has of making cups of the leaves of plants, i.e., making the leaves 
curl up or become cup-shaped. " Chate-peluse " is the cat-furred 
worm or hairy caterj)illar. A Gaelic term also for the caterpillar 
is "am fear romach," the hairy, rough, or clothed one, from its 
appearance ; the common wormwood is called " burramaide," in 
Irish " borramotor," from "burras" and "maide," wood. The 
hairy worm is said to be eaten inadvertently sometimes by cattle, 
causing swelling, intense pain, and death. A superstitious cure 
for toothache is said to be still existing, viz., to wrap up a cater- 
j)illar in a rag, and place it under or close to the affected tooth. 

CENTIPEDE. — Ama or ana-bhiorach ; lol or miol-chosach. 

Jenny-hun'r-legs ; Meggy-monny-legs (North), millipede, 
minniminny-monifeet ; Thrush-lice (North), twenty-fot wurme 
(A. S.) ; Welbode. 

CHAFER (see also Caterpillar). — Ciarag; Daol, daolag, 
deagha, doel (Old Ir.). 

Blind-buzzart (Salop), brown-clock, buzzy ; Centipede, cock- 
chafer ; Furze-owl ; Humber, humbuz or buzz, huzzy-buzz ; Lochy, 
locust ; Oakem, oak-web, ocub (Somerset), old-witch. 

CHESLIP. — Cailleach-chosach, corra-chosach or diosag ; 
Sgliatair. 
Slater. 

COCKATRICE.—Nathair-nimh ; Righ-nathair ; Suil-Bhalair 
mhalair or mhala-righ. 

The name "Suil-mhala-righ " is from a famous Irish king of 
the Fomorians, named Balar, Balor, or Bolor, also called " Biruderc " 
(Bior dearc), piercing eye. This king had an "evil" eye which 
never opened save only on a battlefield, when it took four men 
to lift up the lid with the hafts of their spears ; if an army of 
men looked on that eye they had all to yield, as it had a poisonous 
power. This monster even had a wife and daughter (see Whitley 
Stokes on second battle of Moytura). 

COCKCHAFER (see Caterpillar). 

COCKROACH (see Beetle). 

CORAL-INSECT (see Insect). 

CORN-INSECT (see Insect). 

CORN-WORM (see Worm). 



CRICKET— DRAGON 403 

CRAB-LOUSE (see Louse). 
CRANE-FLY (see Fly). 
CROCODILE.— Corcardull. 

CRICKET. — Buail-a-chnag or ehrag (balm); Cuil'-theallaich ; 
Finnein-fionn, fionnan-feoir ; Gabha or gobha-dubh, gobhachan, 
greollan, griathran, grillus, griuUus, grollan, grullan ; Leumadair- 
feoir, leumadair-uaine (green) ; Teine-chiarag ; Uirchir (fen), 
urchuil. 

Bruck (field) ; Charker, cheiper, crackel, crekytt (A. S.) ; Grig ; 
Hama ; Knid (Somerset). 

In the Highlands, as well as elsewhere, crickets are believed 
to be enchanted, but not evil; indeed, they are considered to bring 
good luck to the house in which they are. They are supposed to 
live for hundreds of years. The term " buail-a-chnag " is from the 
sound the insect makes recovering its position if laid on its back, 
incited thereto by a boy or girl saying — 

Buail an t-ord a ghobhachan Strike the hammer, little smith. 

No buailidh mi 's a cheann thu. Or I'll strike you on the head. 

Crickets singing or chirping on the hearth is said to be a good 
omen, and the token of coming riches to the family. This is subject 
to much latitude like other similar beliefs. Cowper calls the cricket 
"always harbinger of good." 



DRAGON. — Arach Dragon, draig, drauch, dric; Nathair- 
sgiathach ; Tentide (Ir.). 

The etymology of this word conveys the idea of a winged 
serpent, the seeing one, the sharp-sighted one. 

The dragon was not unknown in some parts of the Highlands. 
In Sutherland, for instance, it was famous and called there " Beisd- 
a-ghiubhais duibh" or " Beisd-an-dubh-ghiubhais," the beast of 
the black firs. It was shot by St Gilbert who was termed " An 
gobhain saor," the free or noble blacksmith, with the first of five 
arrows. The stone of the beast " Clach-na-beisde " is said to be 
on the moor between Skibo and Dornoch. This creature is also 
thought to be a salamander, " Corra-chagailt," it having been born 
from a fire, which lasted seven years. It is chronicled that in the 
year 1500 one of the Lovat family shot a dragon in Glenconvinth 
which was more than "tue elis of lenth." The dragon on the 
Culloden medal is said to commemorate (among Englishmen) the 
overthrow of the Jacobites. 

DRAGON-FLY (see Fly). 

DRONE (see Bee). 



K^l EAUTH-WOKM— FLY 



EARTH-WORM (see Worm). 

EARWIG. — Collag, coUag-liu or lion, corr or corra-ghablian, 
corr or corra-gobhlach, cuileag-lin ; Fealan, fiolan, fiolar, forchar- 
gobhlach ; Gabhlachan or gobhlachan, gobhlag. 

Alliwig, arrawig, arrawiggle, arry wiggle, arry winkle, arwygll, 
ary wiggle ; Battle-twig ; Clepshires, olipshears, coach or coch- 
bell or bill, cock-tail, codge-bell, cody-bell, coffin-cutter; Devil's 
coachman ; Earvrig, earwag, eor-wiega (A. S.), earwiggle, earwike, 
earwrig (Somerset), earywig, ermit, errewig, erriwig, erriwiggle ; 
Firkin or forkin-robin, forkit, forkit-tail, forky-tail, furkin, furkin- 
robin ; Gailick, gallacher, gavelock, gelick, gelloch, gewlick, golach, 
golack, gollach, goulock, gowlick, gowlock ; Harrywig, horn-golach 
or goUooch ; Narrow-wriggle ; Pincher-wig ; Reox ; Scotch-bell ; 
Touch-bell or spale, twitch-bell, twinge (North); Yarwig, yerri- 
wig, yerwig. 

The word "golach," etc., is from the Gaelic word "gobhlach," 
forked, the termination " wig " from A. S. " wieg," a horse. 



FLEA. — Conasrach ; Deargad, deargann, deargant, dearnad — 
deargad, etc.^— traghad (shore), dreangad, dreangcuid ; Mial- 
nihonaidh. 

Black-boy ; Fauf, fla, flae, flaes (pi.), flaich, flay, fleach, fleak, 
flee, fleea, fleeag, fleighk, fleik, flek, fleugh, flough (Chesh.) ; Vlaa, 
vlay, vlea, vleer (Som.). 

Deargan, etc., just mean "the red one," dearg aoii. 
Cho duilich a bhuachailleachd ri deargann san osan, no ri 
osan Ian dearganta. 

As ill to herd as a flea in a stocking, or as a stocking full of 
fleas. Very difficult to mind, or not to ! 

FLY. — Ainle (green) ; Beach, beachan-chapull, beach-each 
(horse); Car-chuileag (humming), cleabhar, cleithir, cleod 
(horse), cloidhe, cloidheag, conachuileag (murrain), creabaire 
(gad), creadhal (horse), creithleag, cuil, cuileag ; Fal-cuil (breeze 
— Jr.); Gath-dubh (midge), giuban, giubhan, gleithire (gad), 
goblachan or gobhlachan (crane), guiban; Lon-craois (May), 
Meanbh-chuileag (midge or gnat), mialtag, mioltag ; Smugaid- 
na-cubhaige (iphis) ; Tabhul (horse), tarbhnathrach (dragon). 
Adder-bolt, boult, f