Document 480

A Small Book of Translations: 32 - Glossary & Notes

Author(s): Alexander Hutchison

Copyright holder(s): Alexander Hutchison


2. Furi qui neque: Loon is a lad; bawbees are coins, small change; gweed: is good; jaas are jaws; buckies are whelks (buccinum undatum); winner is wonder; deein is doing; wame is belly; reef is roof; taen is taken; pooshent is poisoned; maet is meat, or food generally; swite is sweat; fussle is a whistle; saat is salt; twal-month is a year; bool is a marble; blaud is to soil, besmirch; tak tent is take heed; sub is a loan; seekin is asking; athoot is without; graun is grand, perfectly fine.

Salve, nec minimo: Pirn taes are turned in, or pigeon, toes; glaikit is vacant; moo is mouth; denner is dinner; braggit: is boasted; reputed; piece is a snack; mealie: is a rustic or yokel; nae wyse is nonsensical; crazy.

Alfene, immemor: Freens are friends; breethers are brothers; wye is way; fit is what; pooers abeen are the powers above; fowk are folk; dee is do; faa is who; A wis is I was; bit is but; ween is wind; tee is too: dinna is don't; mine is remember or mind or take heed.

Amabo, mea dulcis: Priggin is pleading, beseeching; bawsey is strapping; Bellickie is a by-name for Isabella: ma is my; gowpin is double handful; wid is would; yett is gate; ging fidgin is get restless or eager; dauner is stroll; bide is stay; spunk for a lowe is a match for a fire or flame; dirl is quiver or pierce or resonate; dreel is a drill or row; canty is cheerful, comfortable; cooch is a couch; breeks are trousers; heich is high or elevated.

Quintia formosast: Pints are points; puckle is a few; beezer is a beauty, or generally something bigger and better; braw is brave or fine; bien (rhymes with been) is in good condition; gowans are blossoms, or daisies; deems are dames, women; gaithert til is gathered to.

Lesbia mi praesente: Back-hashin is criticising; abusing; douf is dull, slow-witted; nivver in't is disregarded; bubblin is blubbering; girnin is complaining; fashed is annoyed; bletherin is talking nonsense; bleezin is furious.

Adeste, hendecasyllabi: Farivver: is wherever; fae: is from; hale is whole.

Non (ita me di ament): Lats flee is lets fly; sotter is a mess; atween is between; a sicht is somewhat or considerably; thole is bear or tolerate; trap is a mouth; cuddie is a horse or a donkey: blaegart is a blackguard; hud him tee is hold him close; limmer is a slut; glaums is grips, catches; sook is suck; plooks are pustules; scaffie is a scavenger or refuse collector.

Caeli, Lesbia nostra: Yon is that; wynds are alleys; pilks is peels or strips; nevvies are descendants, grandsons.

Disertissimi Romuli nepotum: Catullus addressed this poem to Cicero.

Noli admirari: Oxters are armpits.

Vivamus, mea Lesbia: Lat's is let's; tak wir taik is go our way; maik is a halfpenny; havers means nonsense; coorse is ill-willed, severe, unkind; aal is old; sclim is climb; peerie is little, brief; flichter is a glimmer or flicker; tint is gone or lost; sweven is a dream; streks is stretches; smoorichs are kisses, caresses; syne is next; forby is in addition; fan is when; dicht the sclate is wipe the slate; or is lest; golach is an insect, and an odious person; gaurs is causes, does; gin is if; jaloust is guessed or suspected; aft is often; clapt an cleikit is kissed and embraced.

4. Ces longues nuicts: Dreich is dismal; traichlin is slow-moving ungainly; traal is a sloven; sweir is unwillingly; bantie is a bantam; blate is loath, spiritless; mirk is dark; sair-deen is sore-done-by; rax't is stretched; dwined is wasted or pined away; athoot is without; unco is uncanny, extraordinary; swage is assuage; stoonin is aching with pain or thrill; lees are lies; coorse is unkind, rough or fierce; tween is a twin; caal is cold or unfeeling; bogle is a ghost, spirit, phantom; coories is snuggles; swack is limber; chaets is cheats; dool is grief or distress.

Chacun me dit: Funcy is fancy; smitten is infected; loon is a lad or boy; bap is a plain bun; glyte is cock-eyed; chiel (like childe) is a chap, a lad; doazent is stupid, dopy; feel is daft or idiotic; thristle is a thistle.

A mon retour: Fan is when; neep is a turnip; caal is cold; haun is hand; quine is girl; gane is gone; cra is crow; doos are pigeons; boos are boughs, branches; slabbery is slobbery; jine is join; alane is alone; marra is marrow; wither is weather.

Puis qu’elle est: Bit is but; birsels is bristles; ataa is at all; fit wye is what way, how, why; clim is climb; laft is loft; bairn is a child; loo is love.

7. The dinnle o bells: Fan is when; gloamin is twilight; toonlan is townland; raivelt is confused, uncertain; mine (or mind) on is remember; puddocks are frogs; meen-bow: the moon sometimes has a bow or aureole; trist is sad, crickets are crickets (but in Scots they're grasshoppers too); rigs are ploughed strips of land; dinnle is a peal; ootlan is a stranger; feart is afraid; canny here is steady, gentle, pleasant; skelp is a long stretch or expanse of ground; fidgin is excited, eager; hyne awa is far away.

Swank as a shalt: The aul man here is father; gien's is given me (though it refers to the plural form "us"); a hunner tackets – a hundred hobnails – turns out to be ten pounds; swank is lithe, agile, strong; shalt, sheltie or shaltie is a Shetland pony, stocky and full of vitality. Pasolini's horse in "Bel coma un ciaval" conveys something of Whitman's lines: "Stout as a horse, affectionate, haughty, electrical – I and this mystery here we stand". However, the Scots "cuddie" or "horsie" don't quite fit, and I opted for the spirited "shalt", accepting the difference in scale. Oot blin billy is a mix of things, but blin is blind, billy can be a lover, a term of endearment, and the phrase suggests being out on a spree; crouse is confident, spirited; curcuddy is a low crouching dance; ee is you; lowse is loose; big eens are big ones; keckle is cackle, laugh loudly: haffets are side locks of hair; reid een are red eyes; rantin is partying; wytelessness is innocence, blamelessness; pownie is a pony; aa is all.

Reivers: Reive, herry, rype, pike and sneck are all words meaning to sneak, rob or steal; in ticht is in tight – with the sense of close or snug; fin is to feel or sense; mirk is dark; meadie (or meedie) is meadow; streckit is stretched out; yon is that; tattie-poke a sack or bag; shadda is shadow; roddens are rowan trees; fother is fodder (grass is used in the original); the nicht is tonight; preed is pursed for a kiss; til is to; starn a star.

Furth an awa: Furth an awa is out, or outside, and away; quid is could; richt fleg a real fright; gawkin is peering, staring; ahint is behind; fan is when; birkie refers here to a smart, well-built youth or boy; virra loon is the very boy; houlet (or oolet) is an owl; spirkin is sparking, lively; laun is land; skellich is a shrill cry; caain t' mine is calling to mind, remembering; fit is what; ill t' kinnle is hard to light; een are eyes; faa is fall; glee is a sport or entertainment; bummin is ringing, echoing; nae ma ain is not my own; deid-chack here is a noise as the premonition of death; leesome is bright, fine, pleasant; caller is fresh; caa'd thegither is mixed or brought together; tint is lost, or gone beyond recall; oors aither is ours either; scuddie is naked; yokin is a yoking, joining together; also a stint, or shift of work; soonless is silent, soundless.

The rose lintie: The rose lintie is the male linnet in bright red plumage (Pasolini's lújar is a siskin – close enough); bleed is blood; jo is love or sweetheart; chirmin is warbling, chittering; deein is dying; wyve is the weave of a net; greetin is crying, weeping; murnin is mourning; skirlin is laughing, or crying out shrilly; lift is sky.

8. The daftie names his tunes: ken is know, recognize, acknowledge; flees are flies; jaickit is jacket; hamely is homely, plain; quine is a girl; yoakit is yoked; engaged, working; quidna is couldn’t; pit is put; masel is myself

Zebranie: Clanjamfrie is a crowd, a press of people; mair is more; faa in wi is fall in with, consort with; fly is surreptitious, sneaky; gabbin is talking, gossipping; a puckle and a curn are a few, a handful; syne is then or next; gaffit is burst out laughing; clockit doon is settled down; fasht is angry, upset; raise up is rose up; miscaa is insult, abuse; steer o aul lichties is a crowd of old believers; breengin is barging or bustling around; fushionless is weak, useless; spurtle-shanks are legs as skinny as wooden spoons or porridge stirrers; wifies are women; canny is astute; richt ill-trickit is malevolent; slap dab is right or straight.

Deef the mirk: Deef is deaf; mirk is dark or night; shadda is a shadow; haar is a mist off the sea; birk is birch-tree; cassay-stane is cobble-stone; houlat is an owl; his lane is on his own; blin is blind; bumlick is a pebble; girse is grass; mowdie is a mole; aneth the grun is underneath the ground or earth; roddan is a rowan; dool is pain or grief; laich is a stetch of low lying land; lift is the sky; wid is a wood; craik is a harsh cry; hale hypothec is the whole of everything, the works; baists are beasts; tee is too; yaff is an ignorant or useless person; glisks is sees, catches sight of; kens is knows; spiks is speaks.

Un éclair au hasard: Fire-flaucht is a lightning strike, (fire-flake); heezed is raised or hoisted.

The waukrife oor: Waukrife is disinclined or unable to sleep; vigilant; oor is hour; blae is blue; fell is mighty; finner is a whale, like a rorqual; birlin is whirling; stottin is springing, bouncing; dingin is driving; unkent is unknown, unfamiliar; mair is more; wir is our; hinmaist is hindmost; hunkered is crouched, squatting; shaws are stalks; qweets (cf cuits) are ankles; glaur is mud; plaistert is plastered; puggelt is at a standstill, exhausted; virry is very; taigelt is entangled, confused; hamesucken dool is nostalgia, home sickness; clockin doos are roosting pigeons; aye is always; gey is quite or very; dandrum is a whim; ettlin t' eild is expectation or intention to age; smittin is an infection; dirlin is a thrilling or desire; lat lowse is release, let go; blithe is happy, content; bumbazed is perplexed, stupified; douce is sweet; dindill (or dinnle) is a reverberation; sough (or souch) is a sound, a sigh, a rustling; swalm is a swoon, insensibility; dwaum is a reverie, brown study; nae scowf is no scope or clearance; yett is a gate or door; smaa bit bleeze is a blink of flame; fankle is a tangle; waverand is wavering, tremulous; hine awa is far away, distant; richt is right, just; fan is when; flichert is flickered; dowie lift is the gloomy or overcast sky; sair-forfochten is hard-pressed; exhausted; freen is friend; retrait an faa is retreat and fall; mekill-bowkit corpus is the huge body; hurlt is thrown, flung; ootby is beyond, at some remove; ahint is behind; tulloch is a hillock; tak wir taik is make our way, proceed; aathin is everything; kythit is shown or revealed, made manifest; undeemous is extraordinary, unpredictable.

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Information about Document 480

A Small Book of Translations: 32 - Glossary & Notes


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General public
Audience size 1000+

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Method of composition N/A
Year of composition 2004
Word count 1973

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Part of larger text

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Other Literature in translation/poetry

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Prose: nonfiction


Author details

Author id 420
Forenames Alexander
Surname Hutchison
Gender Male
Decade of birth 1940
Educational attainment University
Age left school 17
Occupation Writer / Senior Lecturer
Place of birth Buckie
Region of birth Banff
Birthplace CSD dialect area Bnf
Country of birth Scotland
Place of residence Glasgow
Region of residence Glasgow
Residence CSD dialect area Gsw
Country of residence Scotland
Father's occupation Medical Practitioner
Father's place of birth Spey Bay
Father's region of birth Moray
Father's birthplace CSD dialect area Mry
Father's country of birth Scotland
Mother's occupation School Meals Supervisor
Mother's place of birth Buckie
Mother's region of birth Banff
Mother's birthplace CSD dialect area Bnf
Mother's country of birth Scotland


Language Speak Read Write Understand Circumstances
English Yes Yes Yes Yes Generally/work/home etc.
French Yes Yes No Yes
Italian No Yes No No translation
Latin No Yes No No
Scots Yes Yes Yes Yes Socially/home/writing