Two Ancient Scottish Poems: The Gaberlunzie Man and Christ's Kirk on the Green, with Notes and Observations
Author(s): Callander, John
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ANCIENT SCOTTISH POEMS;
CHRIST'S KIRK ON THE GREEN,
WITH NOTES AND OBSERVATIONS.
JOHN CALLANDER, ESQ OF CRAIGFORTH.
By ſtrange chanellis, fronteris, and forelandis,
Uncouth coiſtis, and mony vilſum ſtrandis,
Now goith our barge — G. DOUGLAS
PRINTED BY J. ROBERTSON.
SOLD BY J. BALFOUR, W. CREECH, AND C. ELLIOT;
EDINBURGH; DUNLOP AND WILSON, GLASGOW;
ANGUS AND SON, ABERDEEN;
W. ANDERSON, STIRLING; AND
A. DONALDSON, LONDON.
TO THE HONOURABLE
SIR DAVID DALRYMPLE; BART.
ONE OF THE SENATORS OF THE COLLEGE
IN addreſſes of this ſort, it is almoſt equally
difficult to avoid the ſervile tone of flattery,
as to ſuppreſs the honeſt feelings of the heart,
while we ſpeak to thoſe we love and eſteem.
Happily for me, the public and private character
of LORD HAILES will ever ſecure the author
of the following obſervations from an
imputation he diſdains, while he gladly embraces
the opportunity of preſenting this little
tract to the perſon who can beſt judge, whether
an attempt to replace the Etymology of
our ancient language on a rational and ſtable
baſis, deferves any attention from the public.
Your Lordſhip has permitted me to look
to you, as the patron and guide of my reſearches;
and it is a poor return to this condeſcenſion
I now make, in ſubſcribing myſelf,
Your Lordſhip's much obliged,
And moſt faithful humble ſervant,
CRAIG-FORTH, April 2
WE have publiſhed theſe little poems,
which tradition aſcribes to James the
Fifth of Scotland, with a few notes, as a ſpecimen
of the advantages which Etymology may
derive from comparing thoſe called original,
and ſiſter languages, and their various dialects.
The ſcience of Etymology has, of late years,
fallen into diſrepute, rather, I believe, from
the ignorance or negligence of ſome of its profeſſed
admirers, than becauſe it is of little utility
or importance to the Republic of Letters. But
many attempts, and ſometimes with ſucceſs,
have been made in this kind of inveſtigation.
The Dutch has been illuſtrated by the Friſian
and Teutonic; the Engliſh by the Anglo-Saxon;
and the German has been explained, with much
labour and care, by Wachter, and others, from
the ancient monuments of the Francs, Goths,
and Alamanni. The learned Ihre, Profeſſor at
Upſal, has illuſtrated the ancient language and
laws of Sweden, in his Lexicon Swio-Gothicum,
a work that will ever be regarded as a noble
treaſury of Scandinavian antiquities. Men of
learning need not be told how much Britain
owes to the labours of Hickes, Junius, Spelman,
and Lye. Theſe writers have followed, with
indefatigable pains, the faint and almoſt vaniſhing
traces of our ancient language; and have
ſucceeded, as far as it was poſſible for men to ſucceed,
without the knowledge of thoſe principles
which alone form the baſis of true Etymology.
Not attending to this great truth, which we
have recorded in the ſcriptures, that the whole
race of mankind formed at Babel one large family,
which ſpoke one tongue, they have conſidered
the different languages now in ufe all
over our globe, as mere arbitrary ſounds, —
names impoſed at random by the ſeveral tribes
of mankind, as chance dictated, and bearing no
other than a relation of convention to the object
meant to be expreſſed by a particular ſound.
They were ignorant that the primæval language
ſpoken by Noah and his family, now ſubſiſts
no where, and yet every where; that is to ſay,
that at the diſperſion of the builders of Babel,
each hord, or tribe, carried the radical words
of the original language into the ſeveral diſtricts
to which the providence of God conducted
them; that theſe radical words are yet, in a
great meaſure, to be traced in all the different
dialects now ſpoken by men; and that theſe
terms of primary formation are not mere arbitrary
ſounds, but fixed and immutable, bearing
the ſtricteſt analogy to the things they deſcribe,
and uſed, with very little material variation, by
every nation whoſe tongue we are acquainted
with. The proofs of this great etymological
truth riſe to view, in proportion to the number
of languages the reſearches of the learned, and
the diaries of the traveller, bring to our knowledge;
and we hope, by the ſmall collection we
have been able to form, and which, at ſome future
period, we propoſe to lay before the public,
to ſet the truth of our aſſertion beyond the
reach of cavil. But this is not the place to enter
further into the arguments by which we propoſe
to elucidate our hypotheſis, and therefore we
ſhall preſent to the reader a word or two, ſelected
from a vaſt number of others which
might be produced, as a ſpecimen how far our
principles are juſt, and conſonant to analogy.
MOON. — Goth. mane. Ulph. mana, A.S. Mona.
Iſl. mana. The primitive is the Oriental mun,
enlighten, advertiſe. Hence Lat. monere, Engl.
moniſh, admoniſh. Perſ. mah, the moon. The
Turks write it ma. Gael. mana. Gr. μηυη, and
Æol. μαυα.. Dan. maane. Alam. mano. In the
ancient Arabic manat. Hebr. meni, in Iſa. 66. ii.
and the Americans of Virginia ſay manith, and
in the Malabar dialect mena, a month. From
man the Greeks formed μαυια, madneſs, ſuppoſed
to be occaſioned by the influence of
the moon. Hence our maniac, a madman;
Menuet, minuet, ſacred dance, and of
very high antiquity, repreſenting the movements
of the ſun and moon. The primitive
mun, pronounced man, ſignifies the hand and a
ſign. Hence mon, men, man, are applied to ſun
and moon, alſo to denote every thing relative
to ſigns. Hence Lat. manus, and our month,
Inſtead of carrying on our reſearches into the
many other collateral meanings of this word,
we ſhall amuſe our readers with another, ſhewing
that the ſame principle of univerſality in
language prevails in all.
MALADY.— Hebr. malul, evil, chagrin, grief;
moul, patience. Perſ. mall, evil. Hebr. mulidan,
to ſuffer. Arab. mel, patience. Celt. mal, bad,
corrupt. Hence Lat. malum; Fr. mal; malade;
maladerie, an hoſpital; the malanders, a diſeaſe
to which horſes are ſubject; malice, malignity.
Lat. B. male-aſiroſus, ill-ſtarred, as Shakeſpeare
has it, Othello, Ad V.
Had the laborious Johnſon been better acquainted
with the Oriental tongues, or had he
even underſtood the firſt rudiments of the
Northern languages from which the Engliſh
and Scots derive their origin, his bulky volumes
had not preſented to us the melancholy truth,
That unwearied induſtry, devoid of ſettled
principles, avails only to add one error to another.
Junius, Skinner, and Lye, though far ſuperior
to Mr Johnſon in their knowledge of the
origin of our language, yet, in tracing its foundation,
ſeldom go farther back than the Celtic,
and Ulphila's Gothic verſion of part of the New
Teſtament. Nay, the elegant and learned Ihre
tells us plainly, that it is unjuſt to demand any
thing further. But ſtill the queſtion recurs to
an inquiſitive reader, Whence were theſe Celtic
and Gothic terms formed? Every ſmatterer
in Etymology knows that the Greek and Latin
are modern tongues, when compared to the
Oriental and Celtic dialects; and the blundering
attempts of Euftathius, the author of the
Etymologicon Magnum, Varro, and Feſtus
prove, beyond a doubt, that theſe writers were
equally ignorant of the true meaning of their
mother tongues, and of the originals from
whence they were derived. Miſled by thoſe
blind guides, we.find Voſſius and Skinner very
gravely aſſerting, that Venus is formed a veniendo,
quia omnibus venit; vulgus, a volvendo;
malus, from the Greek μελας black, and μαλαϰος;
manus from munus; and mons, a mountain, a
movendo, quia minimè movetur; mare, quod
amarum ſit; muſcle of the body, from muS; and
muſquet, from the Greek μοσχος, a calf.
It were eaſy to ſwell this catalogue, which
any of our readers may augment at their pleaſure
from every page of every Lexicographer,
ancient and modern.
Of all the Nothern dialects none has been
more neglected than the Scotch, though it
tranſmits to us many works of genius both in
poetry and proſe; and alſo ſome gloſſaries,
which are not unuſeful in pointing out the
affinity of the ancient Scotch with its kindred
dialects. Of theſe, the largeſt is that annexed
to Biſhop Douglas's verſion of the Æneid.
But it wants many words which actually exiſt
in that tranſlation, and a great many more
are fo diſtorted by falſe derivations, that they
only ſerve to multiply our doubts.
Our language, as it is at preſent ſpoken by
the common people in the Lowlands, and as it
appears in the writings prior to the ſeventeenth
century, furniſhes a great many obſervations,
highly deſerving the attention of thoſe who wiſh
to be acquainted with the Scandinavian dialects
in general, or the terms uſed by our anceſtors
in their juriſprudence and poetry, in particular.
Many of thoſe ſerve materially to illuſtrate the
genius, the manners, and cuſtoms of our
forefathers. In Scotland, the Old Saxon dialect,
which came over with Octa and Nebriſſa, the
founders of the Northumbrian kingdom, has
maintained its ground much longer than in
England, and in much greater purity. This
muſt be owing to the later cultivation of this
part of the iſland, and its leſs frequent communication
with ſtrangers. In South Britain, the
numerous ſwarms of Normans and French, who
followed William, and the Plantagenets, ſoon
made their language that of the bar, and of the
court. At the ſame time, the long wars with
France, and the extenſive poſſeſſions of the Engliſh
on that part of the continent, entirely changed
not only the orthography, but alſo the pronunciation
of the original Saxon; nor do we heſitate
to ſay, what we ſhall ſoon endeavour to prove,
that we, in Scotland, have preſerved the original
tongue, while it has been mangled, and almoſt
defaced, by our ſouthern neighbours.
It is an undoubted fact, that the original language
of this whole Iſland was the Celtic, now
ſplit into the ſeveral dialects of the Gaelic, Welch,
and Armoric. In the preſent Scotch, we ſee indeed
a few traces of this ancient tongue, which
the inhabitants left behind them, when they
fled for refuge to the mountains of Scotland
and Wales; but theſe are very eaſily diſtinguiſhed
from the now prevailing language of
the country. In like manner we diſcover to
this day, in the German, many marks of the
ſame original, which were infuſed into it by the
neighbouring Belgæ and Gauls, the poſterity of
the ancient Celts, by whom this Iſland was originally
peopled. Suſmilch has proved this from
the likeneſs of many German and Armoric
words. Many more examples might be adduced
from the Gaelic, in which the radical word
is often preſerved, though loſt in all the dialects
of the German language. Of this number is
the word ſchleufe, the root of which is only to
be found in the Welch Llaw, the arm, or the
hand. From this word was formed Llawes,
which has been adopted into all the German
dialects, in the ſame manner as manica from
manus, or the Iriſh word braccaile, a bracelet,
from brac, the arm, and caile, an ornament or
covering. The word treten, has alſo greatly
puzzled the German etymologiſts, though it
ſeems naturally derived from the Iriſh troed, the
foot, whence alſo comes our word tread.
The intimate connection of the Scots with
the Teutonic, German, Iſlandic, and other
northern dialects, appears, firſt, from the ſimilarity
of ſound, and enunciation. This is
principally to be remarked in the ſound of the
vowels, which retain the ſame uniform tones
in the broad Scotch, that they do in the languages
above mentioned; whereas the ſingular
caprice of the Engliſh pronunciation has varied
and confounded them beyond the comprehenſion
of rule. The German guttural pronunciation
of ch, g, gh, is quite natural to a Scotchman,
who forms the words eight, light, ſight,
bought, &c. exactly as his northern neighbours,
and as the Germans do. How much the Engliſh
have deviated from this, we may ſee from
the few following examples.
German. Scots. Engliſh.
Beide, Baith, Both.
Eide, Aith, Oath.
Kiſte Kiſt, Cheſt.
Meiſte, Maiſt Moſt.
Brennen, Bren, Burn.
Gehe, Gae, Go, &c.
We have to obſerve, in the ſecond place, that our language contains many words which were never admitted into the Engliſh dialect. Theſe,
a few excepted, which are derived from the
Gaelic, are either pure German, or Scandinavian.
We have annexed a few examples from
our Scoto-Gothic gloſſary as a ſpecimen.
Scots. German, &c.
Blate, Bel. Blode.
Barm, yeſt, B. Barm.
Kail, G. Kohl.
Bikker, G. Becher.
Haus, G. Hals.
Mutch, G. Mutz.
Skaith, G. Schade.
Slough, ſkin, B. Slu.
Spill, B. Spillen.
Red, adviſe, G. Rathen.
Lift, ſky, G. Luft.
Tig, touch gently, B. Ticken.
Forloſſen, G. Weglaufen,
Bruick, G. Brauchan.
Bouk, G. Baugh, the belly.
Fie, cattle, G. Vieh.
Kummer, G. Kummer, ſorrow.
Krummy, crooked, G. Krumm,
Scots. German, &c.
Fremd, G. Fremd, ſtrange.
Low, flame, G. Lohe, flame.
Leglen, G. Leghel, a milking-pail.
Win, G. Wohnen, to dwell.
Yammer, G. Jammern, to complain.
Keek, B. Kieken.
Girn, Iſl. Girnd, deſire, anger.
Muil, Iſl. Molld, pulvis.
Egg, Iſl. Egg, acies.
Awn, Goth. Aigan, to poſſeſs — Aigin, my own.
Elden, Iſl. Eldur, fire.
Etter and ettercap, Iſl. Eitur, poiſon, venom.
Dill, Iſl. Dil, to conceal.
Ern, Iſl. Ernur, large hawk.
Theſe may ſuffice, though it were eaſy to add
The uſe of inveſtigating our Scottiſh dialect,
will alſo appear from its retaining many radical
words, which are either totally loſt in its ſiſter
languages, or which are no longer enounced in
the primitive ſounds. In this number is gear,
or gier, which ſignifies dreſs, furniture, wealth.
This word, like the Greek ά́ιγις, denoting originally
a goat-ſkin, afterwards a ſhield, and laſtly
the ſacred ſhield of Minerva, has greatly enlarged
its primitive ſignification. From the original
meaning of the Iſlandic gera, a ſheep-ſkin, this
word came to ſignify covering, dreſs, ornament,
goods, riches; cattle being all theſe to the
moſt ancient nations. Now this word is uſed
by our writers, in all theſe acceptations; and,
though no longer found in the German, yet it
is the fruitful mother of many ancient and
modern words in that language. From it are
evidently derived hauſegeraeth, the Saxon gerada,
and the Swediſh gerad and gerd, tribute paid
both in goods and money; the etymon of
which neither Spegel nor Ihre underſtood:—
(Vide Ihre, Lex. in gerd, utgerd). The word
graith, in our language ſignifying utenſils and
furniture of all kinds, is from the ſame origin;
as alſo the German gier, a miſer; gieren, to deſire
anxiouſly; geirig, covetous; gern, willingly;
whence. our yearn, with many others of
the ſame family, the ſignification being changed
from the object itſelf to the deſire of poſſeſſing it,
and afterwards enlarged to expreſs any deſire in
general, in the ſame manner as in Engliſh the
word liquoriſh, from liquor, in its primary ſenſe
firſt denoted the deſire of drinking, and afterwards
any luſtful deſire. Our word gar, make,
prepare, is another word not found at preſent
in the German language, in its original meaning.
But from it come the words gar, ready ; garven,
to prepare and curry leather; with a great many
more in the old and pure German dialect; and
In the Alammanic garuuin, garuuen, whence
garue,- ready, prepared ; the Iſlandic giorwer;
ready made; and in the ancient Runic Inſcriptions,
gjarva, kiarva, whence our carve, to cut
up, i. ;e. prepare meat for eating. The, Welſh
ſay kervio, and the Gaels corrbham. Caſaubon
and Stephanus were certainly driven to the laſt
extremity, while they bring in this word. from
the Greek εγϰδϱα, or ϰδϱα, a picture. But with
theſe writers, the moſt extravagant conjectures
often ſupply the want of ſolid principles.
To mention only one inſtance more; our
word grean, the muzzle or upper-lip of cattle,
is the only root from whence the German grynen,
to laugh, can be derived, the etymology
of which has given riſe to a variety of conjectures.
Our girn, and the English grin are from
the ſame root.
Theſe few remarks may ſuffice to ſhew the
great uſefulneſs and importance of inveſtigating
the terms and phraſes of our ancient language,
ſince theſe not only tend to elucidate the ancient
manners and cuſtoms of our remote anceſtors,
but alſo throw much light on its ſiſter-dialects
of the North; by which we mean all thoſe
ſpoken from the heads of the Rhine, and of
the Danube, to the fartheſt extremities of Scandinavia
It is high time that ſomething of this kind
were attempted to be done, before the preſent
Engliſh, which has now for many years been
the written language of this country, ſhall baniſh
our Scottiſh tongue entirely out of the
We cannot conclude theſe curſory remarks
without congratulating our readers on the
eſtabliſhment of a Society, which promiſes to
revive a taſte for the ſtudy of national antiquity.
The worthy nobleman to whoſe truly
patriotic ſpirit it owes its inſtitution, and the
gentlemen aſſociated for ſo laudable a purpoſe,
it is hoped, will look with indulgence on this
poor attempt to ſecond their endeavours, in reſtoring
and explaining the ancient language of
THE pauky auld Carle came o'er the lee,
Wi' mony gude eens and days to mee,
Gaberlunzie] This word is compounded of Gaber, Gabber,
a Wallet or Bag, and Lunzie, loin, i.e. the man who
carries the wallet on his back, an itinerant mechanic, or
tinker, who carries in his bag the implements of his trade,
and ſtrolls about the country mending pots and kettles. In
ſuch diſguiſes as this James V. (as is ſaid) uſed to go about
the country, and to mingle, unknown, with the meaneſt of
his ſubjects. Theſe frolickſome excurſions often gave birth
to little amorous adventures, which our witty Monarch made
the ſubjects of his ſong, as he was ſecond to none of his age
in the ſciences of poetry and muſic.
The root of the word gab is the Celt. cab, ſignifying to contain.
Hence Scot. gab, the mouth, which contains Our food;
Engliſh gobbet, a morſel ; the French gober, to ſwallow, and
goſier, the throat. The large barks on Loch-Lomond for
carrying wood, are called gaberts. From gab, and gab, come
Engliſh gabble; and gabbing is uſed by Douglas for idle
talking, Prologue to I. Æn. p. 6. v. 43. Rud. Edit. — and
laſt line of leaf 3. Lond. Edit. 4to, 1553.
"Quhilk is nae gabbing ſouthly, nor no lye."
In the ſame ſenſe, Iſl. gabb; Ludibrium, gabba, to deride;
A. Sax. gabban, and many more words of the ſame import,
gaggle, gaffer, and Old Fr. gaber, gabbaſſer, to mock ; gabatine,
mockery; Iſlandic gamman, drollery; Gal. geuhbeth,
falſehood; and gaw, caw, gab, cheating; Old Fr. ganelon,
a traitor. We have collected theſe words from various languages,
as they not only explain the primitive idea of the word
gaber, which none of our Etymologiſts have done, but prove
what we ſhall every moment have occaſion to ſhew, that the
radical term once aſcertained, throws light on all its derivatives,
which are eaſily reducible to it, though ſcattered far
diſtant from each other, among the various dialects uſed by
different nations. To this family belongs Lat. capio, whence
our capacity, capture; the Scots cap, a drinking veſſel;
cab, a meaſure, mentioned in the Verſion of the Old
Teſtament; and many more, all including the idea of capacity,
or content; as cabin, Belg. kaban; Welſh, cab, caban, all ſignifying
the ſame thing; Gr. καπαυη; Lat. cabana, cabbage, from
the form of its top, reſembling a baſon or large cup, which has
much puzzled Junius; Lat. cavus, our cave, and the Fr.
and Engl. cabinet.
Lunzie] We have elſewhere obſerved, with Mr Ruddiman,
that the Z, by the old Scots writers, is always uſed
the beginning of the ſyllable for the Engliſh Y. The reaſon
is, that the figure Z much reſembles the Saxon G, which the
Engliſh often charge into Y, as yard from geard; yea from gea;
year from gear, &c. Thus Yetland is by us written Zetland,
and ye, year, young; ze, zere, zyng; ranzies, fenzies, fur
reins, feigns, and the like. This we remark once for all.
In other ſiſter dialects Z has the force of S. Thus Bel.
zour, ſour; zuid, ſouth; zon, ſun; Slay. zakar, ſugar; Ital.
zanni, Gr. ςαςυοι, and in the Bar. Gr. Ιςανοι, buffoons,
whence our zany.
Lunzie] Lung, loin, lunzie ; bene, the thigh bone. In
Swed. lend, land, the loin. In the Laws of Gothland, cap.
23. 4. Synes lend oc lyndtr ; ſi appareant lumbi et pudenda.
They alſo write it Ljumske ; Ihre, in voce. Iſl. lend, bob, ledwi.
Ger. lender and lanken, and hence our flank. Welſh, Llwyn;
and in Finland, landet, the loin. Ital. longia; Fr. longe;
Scot. lend. Vide Not. S. Kirk. St. From the ancient
Goth. Ljumske ; the Lat. lumbus ; Dan. ljuſke ; whence our
lisk. The primitive is Lat, Let, broad, extended; whence the
Gr. πλατυς, and the Latin latus.
Thus the Gaberlunzie-man literally ſignifies the man who
bears a bag, or wallet, on his back or loins; a pedlar;
Scot. a pack-man.
VER. 1. Pauky] Sly, cunning, Bel. Paiken, to coax or
wheedle. Douglas, p. 238, v. 37.
Prattis are repute policie, and perrellus paukis.
Auld] Old Ger. alt, as eald. Iſl. aldradur. Dan. Eeld.
Scot. eild. Caſaubon brings this from ,εωλος, vetus, and Lye
from αλδεω, augeo; as if our anceſtors had no word to expreſs
old age, till they got it from the Greeks. But this is
indeed an old wife's tale. The primitive E denotes exiſtence;
every thing that lives. Hence Eve is called emphatically, the
mother of all living. Lat. eſt. Fr. etre, being, eſſentia, whence
our eſſence, what conſtitutes the being of that thing. Hence
Hebrew hei, life, and God emphatically; i.e. He who lives.
heie, to live, life itſelf. Arab. hei — hi, to live, to be glad.
In Zend, gueie, ſoul, life. This word furniſhes a remarkable
example of the truth of our general principle, explained in the
preface, and therefore we hope the reader will allow us to
trace it a little further. The aſpirate H, in the northern dialects,
is changed into W, and Qu, and hence Swed. weet,
wight, living animal; Engl. and Scot. wight; Goth, qwick,
lively ; ewicka, quicken, quick-ſilver, from its lively motion.
In Sued. qwick-ſilſwer. The Latins uſed the V, and ſo
formed vita, vivere, vivax, victus, victo, vis, vigor, vigeo, and a
thouſand more; as alſo the derivatives we have adopted from
that language, vivacity, violent, vivid, &c. Voſſius, able to
get no further than the Greek, deduces vita from ϐιοτη: but
ϐιος, life; ϐια, violence, ϐιαχοπαι, ϐιοω, all come from
one primitive, as alſo Gr. ις, the vis of the Latins, ιςχυς,
ιςχυα, ιςχυρος, only by ſuppreſſing the aſpirate. In the
more ancient dialects of Scandinavia, we find the ſame word
denoting the ſame objects; Teuton. vuith. Iſl vætir. a Sax.
vught, vight, all ſign. animals, living creatures; and the
Alam. quick, quickr. Old German queck. Dan. queg, living,
animal, every thing alive. Suab. vich, viech, animal. From
the ſame ſource we formed wife. Bel. ,wyf. Swed.
Suab. wib, all ſignifying woman, mother of a family.
Thus we have followed this word from the remoteſt Eaſt,
to the fartheſt extremities of the Weſt and North. Such coincidences
of ſound and meaning, demonſtrate that language is
no arbitrary thing, nor etymology that fallacious ſcience it
has been called, by thoſe who find it more eaſy to decide in
haſte, than to examine at leiſure.
Carle] The true ſpelling is karl in all the Scythian dialects,
in which it denotes a man, or warrior. The primitive
is car — kar, ſtrong- This root we have preſerved in the Armenian,
in which car, poſſe, valere, et carol, potens. Not
attending to the univerſality of language, the learned Ihre
did not ſee the juſtneſs of this Etymology. From kair, kar,
the Meſogothic, vair, a man; whence the Lat. vir, vira, a
woman, as from the Gothic kas, they formed vas, which
Voſſius could make nothing of, though he has flung together
every paſſage almoſt, where this word occurs. From karl are
formed the Alamm. karl; Ger. kerl; A.S. ceorl; Iſl. karl; L. B.
Carolus, karlus. Vid. Cange Gloſs. in V. From kerl, Sued.
karlklader, men's clothes; karlſmather, and karlſwag, the highway;
and in the old Gothic laws karlſbo, man's habitation. The
word karl is oppoſed to gaffe, a youth; the former denoting a
man of ripe age. We find that of old, in the Gothic, as now
with us, karl, and carl, were uſed to ſignify people of a low
rank, ſuch as farmers, mechanics, &c. In the old laws, (ap.
Ihre gloſs. Vol. I. P. 1033,) karl oc konung, plebs et princeps;
and in Gothr. Saga, cap. 86, opter that I karls huſi er
ej er in congs ranni, oft do we meet in a cottage, what we
ſeek in vain in the palaces of kings. In general, karl is uſed
to ſignify a husband; and in Sweden the country-women call
Their huſbands min-karl. In the Swediſh tongue the gander
is called gas-karl. So in Engl. a carle-cat, is the male of
that ſpecies. The Anglo-Saxons ſay ceorl, for a huſband,
and ceorlian, to marry.
As this word was commonly uſed to ſignify ruſtics, the Enliſh
from it formed churl, churliſh. In the A.S. ceorlborin
is a man meanly born; ceorliſe, a ruſtic; ceorliſe hlaf, loaf
made of the ſecond flour. In Dutch, kaerle a ruſtic ; whence
the Italian phrafe, a la carlona, like a ruſtic, ill-bred. The
Welch carl has the ſame meaning. As karl, all over the
north, denotes an elderly man, from it we have formed carling,
an old woman of the loweſt caſt, a word which occurs in all
Saying, Gudewife, for zour courteſie,
Will zee ludge a ſilly poor man.
The Bar. Lat. Carolus, and our Charles, come from the
ſame origin, a name of high antiquity among the Germans,
from whom we borrowed the name of the conſtellation
Charles's wain, in Gothic Karlwagn, and in Sax. Carleas
wagn; Dan. Karlvogn. This proves the ignorance of thoſe
who will have this name given to theſe ſtars in honour of
Charles the Great, which was in general uſe many ages before
Charlemain was born. The Welch alſo call this conſtellation
VER. 1. Lee, or lea] An unplowed field, or a field formerly
under corn, and afterwards laid down in graſs. Primitive
la, and le, ſignify broad, extended. A.S. lea, leag,
leah. Old Ger. la, lo, lohe. Goth. lee, which Ihre explains,
locus tempeſtatibus ſubductus ; whence our lown, calm. In
the northern parts of Germany, we have it in many names of
places, as Oldeſloh, Kartla, Lohagen, &c. vide Grupen Antiq,
Van Den Bonnen. P. 556. Iſl. logn, and Goth. lugn,
ſign. calm. The Hebr. lech, denotes a meadow, green, verdure;
and the Poliſh leka is the ſame, for all theſe are derived
from the ſame root, la. The Celtic and Gallic las, ſign.
graſs. Welch Llys; bas, Brett. luzavan. Hence Lucern,
a ſpecies of graſs growing abundantly in Switzerland. The
Canton of Lucern has its name from this plant, not the
plant from it, as the high antiquity of the word proves.
VER. 3. Gudewife] Properly the mother of a family;
Goth. wif, a woman, a married woman. A.S. id. Ger.
weif: This by ſome has been derived from wifwa, to
weave; by others from wif, or hwif, a woman's head-dreſs,
in the ſame way as the Swedes ſay gyrdel and linda, the belt,
and girdle for the man and the woman. They alſo uſe hatt
and hætta, the hat and cap, in the ſame ſenſe. But the true
primitive of this word is E, life, exiſtence; whence Eve, the
general mother of mankind; Arab. heih, the female ſex,
alſo modeſty. This word heih, pronounced hai, gave birth
to the ancient formulary of marriage among the Romans, Ubi
tu eras Caius (ſays the woman) ego ero Caia. None of their
writers tell us any thing of the origin of theſe verba concepta.
Caia was in reality a title of honour given to the Roman
matrons, anſwering to that of Thane, uſed by the Etruſcans;
whence, it would ſeem, the Italian Donna came. So Pliny,
l. 8. cap. 48. tells us that Caia Kaikilia, wife to the elder
Tarquin, was called in the Hetruſcan, Thana Quilis. He
and hei, the primitive, with the change of the H into G, the
eaſieſt of all tranſpoſitions, formed in Greek γαω, whence
γεγαω, to generate, γενεςις, γενος, race, family; γονευς,
parent; γυνν, a wife; Lat. genus, gigno, gens; Chin. gin;
Celt. gen, a man; Greenl. kora; Iſl. Teut. Dan. kona; Cuen.
quin, woman; and our quean and queen; Gaelic, quenaſt, to
marry; Slav. ſyena, a woman; and Fr. guenon, the female
From the ſame root the Earth, the nouriſher of men and
animals, is, in every language, called by the ſame appellation.
Chinefe chi; Gael. gwe; Zend gweth, enanm; Pehlvi gue,
ha, the world; Gael. gwaed, riches, goods produced by the
Earth; Celtic, gueth, a poor man, one deſtitute of theſe
goods, compoſed of gue, the Earth, and the negative termination
th; Ancient Gr.Αια, γαια, γεα, and γη, the Earth.
Hence we can eaſily trace the origin of the Latin egeo and
egenus, which literally ſignifies to be without ground, to be
deſtitute of the fruits of the Earth. Inops, from the negative
in and ops, the ancient appellative of our common mother, as
in that verſe of the old poet Accius, Ay. Priſc. Lib. 7.
"Quorum genitor fertur eſſe, ops gentibus."
"Itaque me ops opulenta illius avia, imo mater quidem."
How little Voſſius and Iſidorus knew the real origin of the
Latin words, may be ſeen, apud Voſſ. Etym. in Egens.
Nor has Feſtus ſucceeded a whit better, when he ſays, Egens,
velut exgens, cui ne gens quidem ſit reliqua; and yet theſe
writers are called Etymologiſts. We leave them amidſt theſe
futile derivations, and proceed to obſerve, that from this primitive
he, life, nouriſhment, are derived a number of Celtic
words, all of the ſame import; as hei, our hay, food of animals
produced by the Earth; heize, barley; hai, trees, a
foreſt; hei, wei, paſturage, hunting; he and kai, habitation,
literally the place where we live. And as theſe who abound
in goods are, or ſhould be cheerful, hence Gr.γαω rejoice;
Chineſe, gao, to laugh or be glad; Celt. gae, id. Latin,
gaviſus, gaudere; the French and our gay, and Scot.
We have extended our remarks on this word, as it ſtrongly
confirms our hypotheſis relating to the univerſality of the primitive
language, and the exiſtence of its elementary parts, in
every dialect ſpoken by men, even at this day, from the remoteſt
parts,of the Eaſt, to the fartheſt limits of the North
and Weſt. In all theſe languages, we have ſeen that this
root, exceedingly ſimple in itſelf, has proved the fruitful
mother of many families in every quarter of the globe. Theſe
may ſhew, that the primeval language was not eradicated at
Babel, but only ſplit into a great variety of dialects, as the
ſacred Hiſtorian informs us; and that the ſeveral languages
now in uſe, are ſo far from being formed by the tribes who
The night was cauld, the carle was wat,
And down azont the ingle he ſat;
ſpeak them, that they are only branches of that primæval tree,
which flouriſhed long before the deluge.
We might eaſily accumulate more proofs of the truth of our
leading principle, were we to add the Hebr. eia, being; Indian
he; Perſ. aiſt; Gr. ες; Lat. eſt; Baſq. iſan; Celt. es;
Teuton. iſh, ys; Ital. e; and Engliſh is: But theſe we ſhall
reſerve for our Gloſſary, in compiling of which we have already
made ſome progreſs.
VER. 4. Silly. — Simple, without guile. In old Engliſh ſely,
felie. So Chaucer, Miller's Tale, and Reve's Tale, v. 992.
The Sely Carpenter, and elſewhere ſelie-man. This is quite
different from Sely, ſign. holy, from Goth. ſalig, A.S. ſæl.
VER. 5. Cauld. — In this word we have an inſtance of
our following the original orthography. Ulphila writes calds;
A.S. ceald; Iſl. caldur and kulde; Alam. kalt; Dan. kuld;
all ſignifying cold.
Wat. — Engl. wet; Prim. u, au, water; Ulph. wato;
Goth. watn; Pol. wat, humid; A.S. water; Alam. wuaſzar;
Ger. waſſer; Pol. wæda; Gr. ι̒́δωρ, which Plato (in
Cratylo) allows to be a barbarous word; and he is in
the right, for the Greeks had it from the Celtic. Iſland.
udr is water. Hence Goth. wattu-ſiktig, the dropſy,
literally the water-ſickneſs. From the Iſl. watſka, the Engliſh
waſh. From the ſame origin comes the Swediſh O, an
Iſland, becauſe ſurrounded with water; Aland, Æland, an
Iſland in the Baltic; Ho-lland, literally a land of waters.
There is a diſtrict in Normandy called Auge, for the ſame
reaſon. Eau has the ſame origin.
We ſhall add ſome other coincidences of language here, in
ſupport of our general principle, that the radical words of the
firſt tongue are to be found in dialects ſpoken by nations, who
never had any connection with each other ſince the diſperſion
at Babel. Theſe are ſo numerous, and deviate ſo little both
from the original ſound and ſenſe, that it can never be ſuppoſed,
without the groſſeſt abſurdity, to be the effect of chance. Thus
the Chineſe ho—hu, ſigniſies water in general, a lake, and hai,
the ſea. The Tartar Icho, a river in Siberia; and in the ſame
language, O-mo, a lake, literally a great water, for mo is
great. Greek ύ̒ς, water; whence ύ̒ω, to rain, ύ̒δωρ, ύ̒δροςm,
ύ̒δρια; yet Stephanus and Scapula tell us, that ύ̒δωρ and
ύ̒ω are radical words, not knowing that no radical word ever conſiſted
of two ſyllables. Indeed, we may venture to aſſert, that
no example can be produced of a true radical word having more
than one. The public has lately been told, in very pompous
terms, that the Greek language is the work of philoſophers,
complete and perfect in itſelf. We can moſt eaſily ſhew, that
this wild aſſertion is ſo far from being true, that no perſon, but
one utterly devoid of all ſkill in Etymology and the analogy of
language, could have hazarded an hypotheſis ſo replete with
abſurdity. So far is the Greek tongue from being the work
of philoſophers, that one of their beſt philoſophers, in one of
his (beſt) dialogues, ingenuouſly confeſſes, that he is quite ignorant
of the origin of many of the moſt common words in
the language. Such is the word ύ̒δωρ mentioned above, and
a vaſt number of others, which he, with a true Attic ſupercilious
air, allows to have been borrowed from the Barbarians.
True it is, theſe terms do derive their origin from the Scythians,
Thracians, Phrygians, and Celts, whoſe language exiſted
many ages before Athens was even a poor village. The
very meaneſt of theſe people, whom he ſtigmatiſes with the
name of Barbarians, could have informed him of the origin of
ύ̒δωρ as well as of many others of which he owns himſelf
equally ignorant. After Plato, it is almoſt needleſs to obſerve,
that thoſe who were far inferior to this Athenian in the knowledge
of language, were ſtill more unfortunate in their explications.
Let every page of Heſychius, Euſtathius, Suidas, the
Etymologicon Magnum, Tzetzes, Harpocation, and the whole
herd of their commentators and lexicographers, bear witneſs
to their ignorance, and account for the diſgrace into which the
uſeful ſtudy of Etymology has, by their means, fallen among
thoſe who have raſhly concluded, that becauſe nothing good
was done by theſe Scioli in the profeſſion, therefore nothing
better could be done. Let us leave this language of yeſterday,
ſaid to be formed by philoſophers, to the admiration of thoſe
profound philoſophers, who have told us, that, in certain
Iſlands in the Eaſtern Ocean, the human race have tails, and
whoſe credulity can digeſt the account the natives of Attica
gave of themſelves, pretending that they ſprung, like muſhrooms,
from the very ſoil on which they dwelt. All theſe
pretenders to the higheſt antiquity, were outdone in Grecian
rhodomontade by the Arcadians, who aſſerted, that they inhabited
their mountainous diſtrict long before the moon appeared
in the heavens.
We haſten to return from a digreſſion, which, we are
afraid, many of our learned readers will deem unneceſſary;
though perhaps others may think, that the hints here thrown
out, concerning the Greek tongue, may help to looſen the
college-fetters of thoſe, who, from their early youth, have been
accuſtomed to look upon nothing as genuine and valuable, unleſs
found in ſome of the writers of claſſic authority; nor any
thing expreſſed with elegance and propriety, unleſs written
in Greek. The chronological blunders of thoſe, who are perpetually
deriving Scythian, Tartar, and Celtic words, from
a language which did not receive its preſent form, till many
centuries after the others were ſpoken and cultivated, deſerve
nothing but contempt.
We have ſaid that ύ̒δωρ comes' from the primitive Celtic
A—U, water, liquid. From the ſame origin the Latins formed
udus, humidus, humeo, humor, hyems, literally the ſeaſon of
rains, concerning which, ſee the nothings of Voſſius,
Humor and Hyems. From the ſame cauſe the ΄Υαδες,
Hyades, derived their name. The primitive au was ſometimes
pronounced oua; whence Fr. eau, the Lat. aqua, and,
with the termination ter, ouater, water.
VER. 6. Azont. — Beyond. A.S. begeond, begeondan.
The primitive is ga—ge, to go, and on, forward, or beyond the
place one ſtood in. Ulphila, ganga, to go or walk; whence
our gang, gae, and gete, way, as in S. G. it is written ga. From
ga, written ba, the Greeks formed ϐαω, ϐαινω, and all
their derivatives. The Engliſh gad-about is from the ſame
origin; and Ihre explains the S. G. gadda, capita conferre,
ut ſolent novas res molientes. The ſame idea is found in the
A.S. gaderian, gadran; Bel. gaderin; whence Engl. gather;
the Ger. gatten and ehegatten, married pair. Ulphila, Mark
3. V. Ja ſah gaiddja ſitt mangeei, the people were gathered
together. Wherever in the Mæſo Gothic we find the prefix
ga, it always denotes a gathering, or going together. So
gaſinthja, comitatur; garanznans, vicini, from razn, a houſe;
gadailans, partaker, from dail, a part; galhaiba, contubernales,
from illaibs, bread; Alamm. caleibo, literally Eaters of the
ſame bread, whence Ihre deduces Fr. compagnon, companion.
The Iſl. kuon gaudur, married, is from the ſame origin, as
Wachter rightly obſerves, though Ihre does not approve of
VER. 6. Ingle. — This word is commonly derived from
ignis. In our language it denotes a fire on the hearth, or in
My dochter's ſhouthers he 'gan to clap,
And cadgily ranted and ſang.
kilns and ovens, and is uſed by Douglas in many places. It
is likewiſe preſerved in Cumberland, as Ray informs us.
VER. 7. Clap. — From the Iſl. and Goth. klappa, to clap
the hands. Dan. klappe. Belg. klappen, cloppen. This word
is plainly an onomatapæa, formed from the ſound made by clapping
the hands. Hence too was formed the Greek χολαπτω,
tundere. Whence Junius idly derives our word clap. The
ſpeaking by the fingers was an art well known to the ancient
Iſlanders, who called it clapruner, or letters formed by the
motion of the hands, vide Worm. Litt. Run. p. 41. The
watchmen in Holland carry a wooden inſtrument with two
leaves, which, by clapping together, produce a great noiſe;
whence theſe night-guardians are called klappermen. In the
ancient Alammanick, the tongue of a bell is called clepl;
whence our Scots word to clep, or talk idly, repeating the
ſame thing over and over. The Dutch uſe the verb klappen,
in the ſame ſenſe. Goth. klæk, infamy, diſhonour; klæknamn,
klækord, opprobrious language, nicknames. The ingenious
and learned profeſſor Ihre takes klæpa, with great probability,
from the primitive laf; the hand; Suiogoth. lofa, lofwa;
Welch llaw; whence Scot. lufe, the palm of the hand; and
the Latin vola; Welch lloffi, dyloffi, to ſtroke with the hand.
To ſtricke, from the ſame origin, as alſo colaphus, and
alapa, Bar. Lat. eclaffa. In a charter of the year 1285,
"Si mulier det ei unum eclaffa, non debut bannum." Cange
VER. 8. Cadgily. — After the manner of the cadgers, or
thoſe who carry about goods for ſale in cages, by us called
O Wow! quo' he, war I as free,
As firſt whan I ſaw this country,
How blythe and mirry wad I be!
And I wad never think lang.
creels, on horſes backs, who uſe to ſing, in order to beguile
the tediouſneſs of the way. Prim. ca, cad, cap, any thing
made for containing, as we have already obſerved. Some
think it comes from the Gad. cadhla I.
VER. 8. Ranted. — Made a noiſe. Prim. Hebr. ran, to
cry. Hence the Latin rana, a frog, and French grenouille,
its diminutive. From hence Gr. γερανος, which Stephanus
in Βιδυνια explains πικρος ϐατραχος; alſo written γυρινος,
γερινος, as Euſtathius obſerves.
VER. I. Wow. — Interjection, from Ger. weh, alas; Iſl.
warla, with difficulty; Snorro, Tom. 2. P. 102. Swa ,warla
feck. Brætit ut ægre dirui poſſit; written alſo valla, verkunna,
to have pity; and S. G. warkunna, id. Douglas p. 358.
"Ut on the wandrand ſpreits wow thou cryis."
VER. 3. Blyth. — Glad. A.S. blythe; Belg. bly, id. Ulphila
bleithe, pitiful. Lucke 6. 36. Jah Atta iſwara bleiths
iſt, as your father is merciful. In the A.S. it denotes meek,
placid, ſimple; Iſl. bluthor, bludur, bland, affable. Hence
the A.S. blithſan, bletſian, rejoice ; whence our bleſs. In
Douglas it is written blyith.
He grew canty, and ſcho grew fain;
But little did her auld minny ken
VER. 5. Canty. — Cheerful. Belg, hantig, merry. Een
cantiqer karl, a gameſome fellow; and, as cheerfulneſs attends
good health, the Cheſhire-man ſays, very cant, God yield you,
i.e. very ſtrong and luſty. To cant too, is uſed for recovering
or growing better; Yorkſhire, A health to the goodwife
canting, recovery after child-bearing. Douglas, cant, merry,
cheerful; cant, the language of gypſies, vid. Spelm. in Egyptiani.
Gaelic, caint, diſcourſe; canteach, full of talk. From
this Celtic origin comes Lat. cano, to flog; Fr. chanſon,
chanter, &c. Lat. occento, de qua voce vide Feſt. It would
have ſaved Voſſius much labour, had he known the true
VER. 5. Fain. — Full of wiſhes. Douglas writes it fane,
glad; Ulphila faginon, id. Iſl. feigin; A.S. wægn, ſægn.
Ulphila thus tranſlates the Angel's ſalutation of Mary, Luke
1. xxviii. Fagino anſtaiaud akafta, "Rejoice, thou full of
"grace ;" correſponding exactly to the Gr. χαιρε; Iſl. fognudur,
VER. 6. Minny — mother. This word belongs to the Infantine
Lexicon, being uſed by very young children to their
mothers. The prim. is min, little, beautiful, pleaſant. Hence
Goth. minna, to love; Alamm. minnon; Fr. mignon, and
mignard. From hence mama; Scot. mamy; Fr. maman;
Goth. mamma; "vox" (ſays Ihre) "qua blandientes in"fantes
matrem compellant." Welch mam; Armor. mammaeth,
a nurſe. Gr. Μαμμα. Avia. Helladius (apud Phot.
in Bibl.) informs us, that in ancient Greece the mothers
were called παππαι. Confer Cange in Gloſſ. Graec who
alſo obferves that, in the middle Latiny, the pap was called
mamma; and hence comes Fr. mammelle. Pelletier. in LexiWhat
thir ſlee twa togidder war ſayen,
Whan wooing they war ſae thrang,
And O! quo' he, ann zee war as black,
As evir the crown o' your daddy's hat,
co Brit. p. 570, juſtly obſerves, "Ce mot eft peutetre un des
"plus anciens du monde, car c'eſt apres les cris, la premiere
"ouverture de la bouche du petit enfant, a qui in nature dicte,
"qu'il a beſoin de nourriture, qu'il ne peut recevoir que de
"la mammelle, de cello qui lui a donne la vie." The Hebr.
em ſignifies mother. From the Prim. min, little, is formed
the Lat. minor, (the or being the mark of compariſon), and
minimus. When we come to the Eighth Stanza of this Ballad,
we ſhall explain the connection betwixt this and winſome.
VER. 2. Wooing. — A.S. wogere, lover, whence our wooer.
It has been thought, and with probability, that this word
was formed from the cooing of the dove, as Douglas ſays, p.
I mene our awin native bird, gentil Dow,
Singand on hir kynde, I come kidder to woo,
So prikking, her grene curage for to crowde
In amorus voce, and wowar foundis lowde.
This is, at leaſt, a better conjecture than that of Junius,
who deduces it from woe. The A.S. wogan, ſign. to
VER. 2. Daddy. — Engl. dad, father. The prim. is da,
di, every thing elevated in dignity and power, and being
formed by a ftrong preſſure of the tongue againſt the teeth, it
comes to be a part of the child's firſt language, addreſſing him
whom he is taught to look up to with reverence. Hence this
radical word has given riſe, in every language, to thoſe which
denote elevation. Such is the Celtic Di, God, the Supreme
Being; dun, a hill; dome, dum, din, a judge. Hence too
the Gr. δυναςης, δυναμις, power; and the Lat. dominus,
dominatio; the Greek δαμαω, to tame, i.e. bring into ſubjection;
our dame, miſtreſs.
In many dialects the d is changed into t, and moſt often,
in thoſe ſpoken in the North, though we alſo find it in the
Weſt, as in the Lat. totus, totality; Fr. taſſer, entaſſer, to
heap up. Ta, tata, father. From the idea of fatherly protection,
were formed di, ti, prince or protector; and the Lat.
tego, tectum, whence the Engl. protect, pro-tec-tion; and
We ſhall here collect a few more infantine words, plainly derived
from the ſtructure of the vocal organs, and the moſt eaſy
movements of their ſeveral parts. Such are, pappa, mamma, dad,
atta; Fr. bon; bobo, bibbi, puppet; Fr. poupee ; buſs. Thus
Cato, de Lib. Educand. talking of this part of language, "cum
"cibum et potum, buas et papas, vocent; matremq; maman,
"patrem, papam." We may add to theſe, pap, baba, and even
the ancient ſtory of the word bek, pronounced by two children
educated by Pſammytichus king of Egypt, remote from
all commerce with mankind, as Herodotus informs us. Confer.
Preſident de Broſſe's Mechaniſm du Language, tom, 1. p.
231. feqq. To evince the univerſality of this truth, we
might cite the Hebr. phe, and Chula. phum, mouth. Whence
the fari of the Latins; the Hebr. phar, or par, ornament.
Whence Latin paro, and Fr. parer, parure; Hebr.
herbage. Whence the Lat. puls ; the Gr. ϐοα, and ϐοσκα,
to feed; ϐορα, meat; Lat. voro, devoro, and our devour;
'Tis I wad lay thee be me bak,
And awa wi' thee I'd gang,
ϐαιος, little; and the Ital. bambino; the Hebr. bag, nouriſhment,
from the Prim. bek; from which is derived the Teuton.
and Ger. becken, a baker; Babble, Ger. babbelen.
But how happen all theſe coincidencies? To this vain queſtion
we will only anſwer, in the words of the learned Preſident
laſt quoted, "L' homme parle, parceque Dieu l'a
"creé etre parlant." The vocal organs are conſtructed alike
in every tribe of mankind, and all children pronounce
thoſe ſounds firſt, which are moſt eaſily formed by the motions
of theſe wonderful inſtruments. The ſounds they vary,
and multiply in proportion as practice makes them better acquainted
with the organic powers, and more ready in the application
of them. For the ſame reaſon, too, we find all the
radical words in every tongue we are acquainted with, to be
monoſyllables, theſe being the firſt eſſays of man in uſing the
To the lift of languages, in which dad, tat, ſignifies father,
let us add the Gael. daid; Welch dad; Corniſh tad;
and Armorick tat.
Verſe 4. Awa] Engl. away; A.S. an wæge, from
wæg, a way. Douglaſs, p. 124. l. 4.
"And the ſelf hour mycht haif tane us awa."
Gang] From gae, to go. This is an inſtance where
our ſouthern neighbours have vitiated the true old pronounciation.
The primitive letter G, being a guttural, is therefore
painted in all the ancient alphabets like the neck of a camel, or
with a remarkable bending in its figure, as in the Gr. Γ; the
Hebr. נ. Hence it neceſſarily denotes every thing in the form
of canal or throat, and every thing that runs or paſſes ſwiftly.
We hope to produce many examples of this in our Scoto--
Gothic Gloſſary. Mean while, we only obſerve the likeneſs
in the following inſtances. Ulphila ſays gaggan, to go; and
gagg, a ſtreet or road. Though this word occurs very often in
the Codex Argenteus; yet Junius has omitted it in his learned
gloſſary on Ulphila's verſion of the Goſpels. Ger. gechen;
Belg. gaen; Dan. gaa. From hence comes the Lat. eo,
without the G; and the Gr. ϰ-ιειν. Plato (in Cratylo, P.
281, Fic.) owns that ϰ-ιειν is a barbaric term. The other
correſponding word έω, is undoubtedly Celtic; and here Voſſius
(in eo) ſtops, being quite ignorant of the primitive word,
and that no true radical term has ever more than one ſyllable.
Ihre's deep reſearches into ancient languages enabled him to
diſcover this truth; "Lingua" (ſays he, Gloſs. Vol. I. Col.,
646.) "quo antiquior, en monoſyllabicarum vocum ditior
"eſt." Pity this very ingenious Etymologiſt had not carried
this obſervation more into practice. The Armor. for ga, ſay
kea, ker. The Goths call rogation days, gandagar; literally,
walking days, from the proceſſions that then were uſually made
round the corn-fields, during the darkneſs of popery. Ihre
juſtly terms theſe ambarvalia chriſtiana. Rolf, the firſt who
led the Scandinavians into Normandy, being a man of great
ſtature, could find no horſe ſtrong enough to carry him. Being
therefore always obliged to march on foot, from that circumſtance
he was ſurnamed Ganga Hrolf; by the Iſlandic
ſtorians. Gangare, in the old Gothic laws, is "equus tolu"tarius
qui tolutim incedit." In one of the reſcripts of King
Magnus, anno. 1345, the bridegroom ſends to his future
ſpouſe, en gangare ſadul, betzil, armakapo, och hata, a horſe,
ſaddle, bridle, cloak, and head-dreſs. Money of allowed
currency is called gangſe ; and gangjarn, hinges: and hence
And O! quo' ſho, ann I war as Whyte
As er the ſnaw lay on the dyke,
the Fr. gond. Perhaps our old word ganze, in Douglaſs, a
dart, or arrow, comes from the Prim. ga, p. 461. 48.
""So thyk the ganzies and the flanys flew."
And p. 343. 46.
"Als ſwift as ganze or fedderit arrow fleis."
VER. 6. Snaw] Snow; another inſtance of the Engliſh
perverſion of our ancient language. Ulph. ſnaiws; A.S.
ſnaw; Allam. ſne Iſl. ſnior; Swed. ſnio; Prim. aw;
water, ever ſoft and flowing gently. Hence Gr. ναυειν;
Heſich. , fluit, manat; A.S. ſniwan, to
ſnow. How ridiculous are Junius, and the other lexicographers,
who deduce our ναυει, ΄ρεει, ϐρυσειword from the Greek? Surely our
anceſtors had ſeen ſnow long before they ſaw Greece. The
ancient Goths were fond of prefixing ſ to many of their
words; and hence the Prim. aw, water, became with them
ſnaw; Sclavon. ſneg; Pol. ſnieg. When the ſ is taken
away, it became niv with the Latins, and neve with the
Italians; ſo the Gr. νιρας,, denotes a thick falling ſnow.
Dyke] This has been prepoſterouſly derived from
τειχος, a wall. The true primitive is the Celtic digh,
ſolid, ſtrong, powerful ; applied particularly to every rampart,.
whether to keep off enemies, beaſts, or inundations. Hence
the τειχο of the Greeks; Ger. teich; Belg. dyke; French
digue ; the Ger. dick, ſolid; whence our word thick. The
other German word dight, ſign. ſolid, connected; A.S. dic,
rampart; dician, gedician, to build a rampart. Hence our
I'd cleid me braw and lady like,
And awa wi' thee Ild gang.
ditch; A.S. diker, a ditcher; the Gr. δικελλα, a ſpade;
δικελλιτης, a digger, one who uſes the ſpade.
VER. 7. Cleid] Engl. clothe. Our claith is the true
pronounciation, not the Engliſh cloath, our word being immediately
formed from the Goth. klaede, clothing, and klaeda,
to clothe. Prim. kla—kle, covering; A.S. clath. Obſerve,
that the ancient Scandinavians ſaid, Eff par klæder, a pair of
garments, for a complete ſuit of clothes; the one formed the
breeches, and the troja, or veſt, the other. The old Teutonic
Verſion of the Goſpels (app. Ihre, vol. I. col. 1076.) Luke
xv. ver. 22. "Hemtin mik fram thet baſta par klæder jak
"hafwer;" Bring forth a pair of the beſt garments I have.
Chron. Ryth. p. 121. "Eff hofweligt ors, ok klæder ett
"par;" An excellent horſe, and a pair of garments.
The Iſlanders pronounce it klæde; the Germans kleide,
arm; arm klade, a ſcarf worn on the arm; jaga klader, a
Braw] Handſomely, elegantly. Prim. Celt. bra,
ſtrength, might, elegance; every thing having theſe
qualities, Goth. braf; honeſt; Scot. bravery, ſumptuous
apparel. In the Bas—Bret. braw, arm, id. Hence the
Fr. and our brave; Ital. bravo. Hence too the Goth. brage,
a hero, and Brage, the name of one of the companions of
Odid, of whom Edda, Agietus ad Spæki, &c. He was very
elegant, and wiſe, and a great poet; ſo that from him all perſons,
both men and women, who excelled in theſe arts, were
called Bragmadur. From the ſame ſource the bragebækare,
or large cup, drunk off by the new King, juſt before he aIV.
Between the twa was made a plot,
They raiſe a wee befor the cock,
ſcended the throne, while he ſolemnly vowed to atchieve ſome
great deed in arms, of which many inſtances occur in Snorro,
and the other hiſtorians of the North. This ceremony gave
riſe to the uſage, according to which the knights, in ancient
times, made vows of the ſame kind at their ſolemn banquets.
The learned and accurate Annalift, to whom Scotland owes
the elucidation of many hiſtorical difficulties, obſerves (ad an.
1306) that Edward made a vow after this form, by which
he bound himſelf to puniſh Robert Bruce. — See alſo St Palaye
Mem. De l'ancienne cheval. tom. I. p. 584, and 244.
VER. 1. Twa] Ger. twee; A.S. twa; Welch dau,
dwy; Armor. du; Cimber. tu; Sued. twa; Celt. id.
Whence Gr. δυα, and Lat. duo. Hence our twin; Dan.
twilninger; Alam. zuinlinge; A.S. getwinn. Douglas
calls ſheep of two years old twinleris, p. 130, v. 34.
"Fyfe twinleris Britnyt he, as was the gyis."
Confer page 202, ver. 16. as being two winters, i.e. two years
old; Ulphila twai, two. Hence to twinne, uſed both in
And wylily they ſhot the lock,
And faſt to the bent ar they gane.
Scotland and England to ſignify, to ſeparate, divide into two
parts. Chaucer, l. 518.
"The life out of her body for to twyne."
Pard. Prol. 167:
—"He muſt ytwin
"Out of that place."—
VER. 2. Wee] Little. This is an infantine word, denoting
every thing little. Ger. wenig. Hence our wean,
i.e. wee-ane, a little child. Of the ſame family, as I conjecture,
is the word weaena, which the learned Lord Hailes
ſhewed me in an Engliſh book, where it denoted a ſimpleton,
or unlearned man; little of underſtanding, as the Dutch ſtill
ſay, Klein van verſtanda.
VER. 3. Wylily] Cunningly. A.S. wile, whence our
guile, the W being often changed for G. Belg. gylen, and in
the Lower Germany they ſay begigeln, to beguile. Dan. adwilla,
to deceive. Iſl. viel, deception; hence Willurunnur,
Runæ deceptrices. Sax. Chron. ad an. 1128, Thurh his
micele wiles, "Through his many wiles, or tricks." In a
church-yard in Scotland are the following lines on the tombſtone
of a Magiarate:
"He was baith wyss and wyly,
" For which the town made him a bailey."
Upon the morn the auld wyf raiſe,
And at her leiſure pat on her claiſe,
Syne to the ſervants bed ſcho gaes,
To ſpeir for the ſilly poor man.
Under-waiſtcoat is by Douglas called the wylie-coat, p. 201,
"In doubill garment cled, and wyle-cot."
As this inner-veſt (ſays Ruddiman) cunningly, or hiddenly,
keeps us warm.
VER. 4. Bent] Properly a marſhy place, producing the
coarſe graſs called bent, from its ſmall limber ſtalk eaſily bent,
ſays Minſhew; but may it not be rather derived from ben, a
hill, as this coarſe graſs is common on the ſides of hills, and
on the riſing ground on the ſea-ſhore, or ſandy hillocks, in
Scotland? In Gaelic ban ſignifies wild or waſte ground, on
which this ſpecies of graſs is generally found.
VER. 6. Claiſe] Vide Note to Stanza III. Ver. 7.
VER. 7. Syne] Afterwards, then. Douglas writes ſen,
p. 100, v. 1.
"Sen the deceis of my forty huſband."
Senſyne, ſince that time, id. p. 44, v. 26.
— "Senfyne has ever mair
"Backwart of grekis the hope went."
Teuton. G. .ſyn and ſindes, whence our ſince. Alum. ejnzen
and Otfrid, Lib. 3. cap. 26. ſindes.
Joh tharbetin then ſindes,
"And were deprived of their country from that time." Ulphila,
Luke 17. v. 4. Sintham. Ubi confer Jun. Suio-Goth.
naganſinn, and more ſhortly nanſin; ſometimes;
hwatſin, how often ; ſinnam oh.ſiinnom, by degrees, gradually.
Whence the Lat. ſenſim, underſtood by none of their
As particles in general form a difficult part of language, a
philoſophical enquiry into the origin of theſe might highly
deſerve the attention of the critic. It is thought that many
of them, being monoſyllables, will be found to be radical
words. Such are, Engl. if; Scot. giff; A.S. gif, gyf; Gr.
ει, enlarged by compaſition to ειπεε, and ε̒́ιπδ; and many
others might be named. To derive if from giff, as fome have
done, is ridiculous, and ſhews that ſome writers will rather
adopt the moſt futile conjectures, than ingeniouſly confeſs their
ignorance. The limits we have preſcrib'd ourſelves in theſe
notes, do not permit us to enlarge on this at preſent.
VER. 8. Speir] Prim. is pa—fa, the mouth. Hence
ſpeech; Germ. ſpuren, to enquire. The learned and ingenious
Mr Gebelin, to whom we confeſs ourſelves indebted for the
only rational principles of Etymology we have ſeen, in his
Monde Primitive, tom. 5. p. 790, has ſhewn, that the P,
in all the ancient alphabets, figures the mouth opened, viewed
in profile; and, by neceſſary conſequence, all the anions of
that organ, as ſpeaking, eating, drinking, &c. And this poſition
he has evinced to demonſtration, by innumerable examples.
We confine ourſelves here to what regards the word
ſpeir. We have already obſerved, that the general meaning
relates to ſpeech; Lat. fari ; Fr. pa-rler, fa-ribole, vain and
idle talking. Afterwards it was uſed in the North for wiſdom,
prudence. Hence Iſl. ſpakr, a wife man; in Goth.
ſpak, the ſame; ſpakum banda, a prudent man; Iſl. ſpakmæle,
the ſayings of the wife; Alam. ſpaker. and ſpeke, wiſdom.
She gaed to the bed whir the beggar lay,
The ſtrae was cauld, he was away;
Tatian, cap. 12. Fol ſpahidu, full of wiſdom. Iſl. ſpeja, to
ſpeculate, or conſider. In reſtricting the general meaning, it
came to ſignify only, to divine, prophecy. Iſl.ſpa, to prophecy;
whence our ſpae, to foretell future events. From
this the Latins have formed ſpecio, auſpex, aruſpex, and the
like. Douglas, p. 105. 50:
"O welaway, of ſpaimen and divines
"The blind myndis."—
And p. 80. 26 :
— "The harpie Celeno
"Spais unto us an fereful takin of wo."
The Voluſpa, containing the theology of the Scandinavians,
has its name from thence, and literally ſignifies a poem artfully
contrived, or with much wiſdom, compounded of wola,
wool, art, and ſpa, poem or ſpeech. Hence Iſl. wolundr,
artificer; and ,wolundarhus, a labyrinth.
VLR. 2. Strae] Engl. ſtraw; A.S. ſtreow, ſtrew; Al.
kiſtreiew, to ſtraw ; Mæſo-Goth.ſtrawan; A.S. ſtreawian.
The chamber furniſhed in Mark xiv. 15. is called in Gr.
εςτρωμενοι and by Ulphila gaſtrawith. The ancients not
Scho clapt her hands, cry'd, dulefa-day!
For ſome o' our gier will be gane.
only filled their beds with ſtraw, but on ſolemn days the
floors were covered with it; and we remember to have read,
that Queen Elizabeth's ſtate-rooms were ſtrawed with green
graſs or hay. It was alſo a part of the holding of ſeveral
manors, both in England and Scotland, to furniſh ſtraw for
the Royal apartments, when the King made a progreſs. In
the Scandinavian writings, the ſtraw uſed at the feſtival of
Yule, was called Iulhalm, vide Ihre in V. So in Olaf's
Trygwas. Saga, p. 1. p. 204. it is ſaid of Thorleif, Seeft han
nither utarliga utarſiga i halmin, He ſat down on the
furtheſt part of the ſtraw. Snorro tells us, tom. 1. p. 403.
That when Olaf, ſon of Harald, came to ſee his mother,
Tweir karlar, baro halmin i golfid, Two ſervants brought ſtraw
into the apartments; and, in the Hiſtory of Alf, p. 41. one of
the Princes in the Court of King Hior, Their voru i halminum
nidur a golfinu, They ſat on the ground on the ſtraw.
It would appear, that this was commonly done in winter;
for the ſame reaſon we uſe carpets to keep the feet warm:
For it is remarked of Olaf Kyrra, that he had his apartments
covered with ſtraw, winter and ſummer; han let giora ſtragolff
um vetur, ſem um ſumur. The ſame mode was obſerved in
France. In a charter of the year 1271 (ap. Cange in Jonchare)
"Item debet et tenetur dictus Raulinus pro predictis, Jon"chare
domum D. Epiſcopi quando neceſſe eſt." Vide
Junkus. Confer Spelm. in Straſtura.
VER. 4. Gier, or gear] Clothes, furniture, riches. To
what has been ſaid in the preface of this word, and in the
notes to Stan. 4. ver. 5. we have little to add. The prim. is
Sume ran to coffers, and ſume to kiſts,
But nought was flown that cou'd be miſt;
Ge; Gr. γη, the earth; ſource of all our riches. Hence
uſed by the Scots indiſcriminately, to ſignify every thing we
value, goods, tools, apparel, armour. So Douglaſs ſays,
graithed in his gear, armed at all points. Gear, in ſome of
our old poets, is uſed for the membra viri genitalia. A.S.
gyrian, to clothe. Cædmon, 23. 7. gyred wædum, put on
his weeds or garments.
VER. 5. Kiſts] Engl. cheſts. The primitive of this is
found in the form of the letter c, (for which the northern
dialects generally uſe the k) ſignifying every hollow, like the
hollow of the hand; as cavus, cavea; Gr. ϰοιλος; cavity,
cave, &c. This obtains in every language, as we ſhall prove
at ſome length in our Scoto-Gothic Gloſſary. With reſpect
to this word, we formed it from Goth. kiſta, a cheſt; whence
kiſtaſæ, precious goods which are kept in kiſts; Iſl. kiſtu;
Welch ciſt, cyſt;; Ger. kaſten; Fr. caiſſe; Gr. ϰιςτη; Lat.
ciſta, the origin of which ſimple word is not to be found in
the many Greek and Latin Dictionaries we have. Hence
too ciſterna, our ciſtern. The etymon of this word by Feſtus
is too curious to be omitted; ciſterna dicta eſt, quad cis ineſt
infra terram. Such are the reveries produced by ignorance
of firſt principles. We add further, that the Perſians call a
cheſt, or kiſt, caſtr. In the north it ſignifies a priſon where
thieves are confined; teif kiſta. The Latins uſed a ſimilar
phraſe, In arcam conjici, vid. Cic. pro Milone, cap. 22. The
Iſlanders call a coffin leikiſtu, as we alſo do, and the Anglo--
Saxons. Luke 7. 14. lha cyſte æthran, He touched the
She dancid her lane, cry'd, Praiſe be bleſt!
I have ludg'd a leil poor man.
VER. 6. Stown] Engl. ſtolen; Prim. ſtill, tacitly, hiddenly;
Goth. ſtilan; A.S. Alan; Swed. ſtiala, to ſteal;
Tueton. ſtille, quiet, fecret. Hence our Scots ſtowth, ſtealing,
which we find applied to amorous pleaſures, as being ſecret,
by Douglaſs, p. 402. 52.
"Hys mery ſtowth, and paſtyme lait ziſtrene."
So the Latins, Veneris furta. Stiala is uſed by the Northerns
in the ſame ſenſe as we ſay, to ſteal away; ſo ſtiala ſig
bort; and komma ſtialandes uppa en, to come privately upon
one. They alſo uſe it to denote hiding, concealing, the meaning
of the primitive. Hiſt. Alex. M. Apud Ihre, v. 2. 267.
Jordan kan eij gullit ſwa ſtiala.
The earth cannot ſo hide the gold.
Ulphila's hliftus ſignifies a thief; from hliftan, to hide.
Hence our Scots to lift, to ſteal. From the primitive
ſtill is the Gr. ςειλαϑαι, to hide; and the Lat. celo,
the ſt being often added in the Scythian words; as
ſtrafwa, for rofwa, ſpoliare; ſtræcha, for ræcka, tendere,
&c. The Iſlandic ſtiarlare is a thief; a ſtealer; and hence
the Latin ſtellio, ſtellionatus, ſtellatura, occult fraud, as the
ingenious Ihre has juſtly obſerved, and thereby unfolded the
true etymon, about which all the Latin Lexicographers were
VER. 7. Praiſe be bleſt] God be praiſed. This is a
common form ſtill in Scotland with ſuch as, from reverence,
decline to uſe the ſacrced name.
Since nathing's awa, as we can learn,
The kirn's to kirn, and milk to earn,
VER. 8. Leil] Loyal, honeſt, truly. Dougl. p. 86. 46
"The ceremonies leil, i.e. holy ceremonies."
And p. 43. 20.
"— by the faith unfylit, and the lele lawte."
VER. 1. Awa] Engl. away. Angl. Sax. an wæge,
from wæg, a way. Dougl. p. 124. 4.
"And the ſelf hour mycht haif tane us awa."
VER. 2. Kirn] Churn. This is the ſame with the
Ger. and Scot. quern, a hand-mill for grinding corn, butter
being produced by the continued action of turning round. In
the A.S. quearn, or cwyrn; Dan. handquern, hand-mill. The
prim, is gur, kyr, any thing circular; Arab. kur, a round tower;
ma-kur, a turban; Hebr. gur, to aſſemble; and ha-gur,
a belt; Iſlland. gyrta; whence our girth, and the verb to
gird. Hence too Gr. γυρ-ος; Lat. gyrus, and girare. The
Fr. ceinture, and our girdle are from the ſame root, and the
Gaelic cor, whence cord; Ger. gurt, a belt; and gurten, to
gird about; Welch gwyr, bent; Bas. Bret. ‘gouriſa, to begird;
Baſq. gur, around; girata, to roll about; gurcilla,
chariot wheel; guiroa, the ſeaſons, i.e. the revolutions of the
heavens. The Gr. ϰυρδος, vaulted, and ϰιρϰος, round, have
the ſame origin; alſo ά́γορα, a glace of public aſſembly where
Gae butt the houſe, laſs, and waken my bairn,
And bid her come quickly ben.
the people ſtood round the orators. In Varro we find the ancient
Latin guro, to make round; and the common words,
circus, circulus, circum, circuit circuitus, and many more, all deduced
from the ſame root. The gier-falcon has its name from
the circular flight he makes; and the Ger. kurbis, a gourd;
and the Lat. cu-cur-bita, cucumber; Gr. Γορυγος, a quiver.
It were eaſy to add ten times this number of words, all taking
their origin from gyr; but we only further mention gir,
the Scots name for the hoop the boys drive before them with
a rod along the ſtreets.
Our pronounciation of this word kirn,, is more correct than
that of the Engliſh; for the Gothic verb is kernais, to churn;
Fenn. kirnun; and the churn itſelf is called in Eſthonia kirnu,
and in Iceland kernuaſk. The round Tower of Stockholm
is called Keerna by the ancient writers, as the learned
Ihre informs us (Gloſſ. vol. 2. p. 1057.) to which we only
add, that the Gr. ϰιρναω miſceo, has the ſame origin, though
it has not been obſerved by Junius, or any other.
VER. 2. Earn] To thicken or curdle milk. Ger. gerinnan,
to coagulate. The root is only found in the Armorick,
in which language go ſign. fermentation; goi, to ferment.
Hence the Goth. gora, efferveſcere; drinkat gores, the ale
ferments, or works; Ger. gærung, efferveſcence; and the
Swed. gorning, whence our earning, rennet.
VER. 3. Butt] From Belg. buyten, without; oppoſed to
binnen, within. Thus Douglas uſes it, p. 123. 40.
"In furious flambe kendlit, and birnand ſchire,
"Spredant fra thak to thak, baith butt and ben."
The primitive is found in the Goth .bur-ho, habitation; Ancient
Goth. bua-bù, to inhabit; whence bur, and Iſl. byr and
bycht, habitation. A.S. bur, a chamber; and Ray ſays,
that in the North of England it is ſtill pronounced boor, and
bor. Swed. burtont, floor of the houſe; iung frubur, apartment
where the daughters of the family ſleep; βυριον, οιϰημα
habitation. From the Goth. byr, we form byre, a cow-houſe.
This primitive is alſo found in the Hebr. beth, and Perſ.
bat, a houſe; Teuton. bod, whence the Eng1. abode; Gael.
bwth, bottega, a ſhop; Fr. boutigue. That part of Edinburgh
where the merchants have their ſhops, is called Luckenbooths,
rather Lockenboths, from the booths, or ſhops, being
locked up at night.
VER. 3. Waken] To a-wake. Prim. wak, watch. Hence
Ulph. vakan, to awaken; vaknandans, vigilantes. All
the Nothern dialects uſe this word. Goth. and Iſl. waka;
Ger. watchten; Alam. uuachan. The Goths ſay alſo wakna,
to watch; Iſl. wekia, watch, and Goth. waht, id. Ulphila
ſays, wahtus; Alam. uuaht; B. Lat. wacta, cap. 3.
an. 813. c. 34. "Si quis wactam aut wardam demiſerit."
Vide Cange in Wactæ. Hence in our old Scots Laws, to
watch and ward, duty of citizens to defend their town, and
for which they often obtained ſingular privileges from the
Crown. Wactar, a watchman: It ſignifies alſo to beware;
Wacta ſig for en, to be upon one's guard. From this, too,
come the Lat. vigilo, vigilium; the Fr. guetter, and garder,
our guard. The waiting a dead body before interment, is called
in Sued. wahſtuga. Hence our phraſe to wake a corpſe, and
leikwake, compounded of the two words Goth. leik, a dead
body, and wakna, to watch.
Bairn] Child. Prim. Gad. bar; A.S. bearn; Alam.
barn. Hence comes Gaelic beirn, and Goth. baera, both
ſignifying to bear, We find our primitive in the Hebr. Bar,
The ſervant gaed quhar the dochter lay,
The ſheits war cauld, ſcho was away,
Creator, and Bara, creare. In the fragment of Sanchoniathon,
Beruth, or Berut, is called the ſpouſe of El-ion, or the
Moſt High, becauſe God alone creates; and hence allegorically
Creation is called the ſpouſe of God. In the Syriac, bar
ſignifies a ſon. We ſay bairn-team, brood of children, from
the Saxon team, progeny; hence a teeming-woman. In our
old poets, bairn is often uſed to ſignify a full-grown man,
So Douglas, p. 244. 33.
"Cum furth quhat e'er thou be, berne bald."
--"And that awfull berne,
"Berying ſchaftis fedderit with plumes of the erne."
The ſame author uſes barnage for an army, or troop of warriors;
but Mr Ruddiman was far miſtaken in deriving it from
the Lat. baro. We find the ancient Engliſh poets uſed child
in the ſame ſenſe. See the ballad of the Child of Elle, in
Percy's Collection, vol. 1. page 107.
"And yonder lives the childe of Elle,
"A young and comely knight."
Vide ibid. p. 44. where two knights are called children.
VER. 4. Ben] The oppoſite of butt, in the former verſe,
ſignifying the inner-part of the houſe. From the Dutch
binnen, within, oppoſed to buyten, without; A.S. buta and
binnen, butt and ben.
VER. 5. Gaed] Vide Note to Stanza 1. Ver. 6.
And faſt to her gudewife 'gan ſay,
Scho's aff wi' the Gaberlunzie-man.
O fy gar ride, and fy gar rin,
And haſte ye find theſe traiters agen:
Dochter] Engl. daughter; Ulph. dauhtar. We here,
obſerve how cloſely our ſpelling agrees with the Anglo--
Saxon, in which it is wrote dohter, dohtor, and dohtur;
Alam. dohtor, dohter, and thoher; Belg. dochter. The Gr.
Θυγατηρ has a manifeſt affinity to all theſe.
VER. 6. Cauld] Another inſtance of our care in following
the original orthography. Ulphila writes, calds; A.S.
ceald; Iſl. kaldur and kulde ; Alum. kalt; Dan. kuld; all
VER. 7. Faſt] Quick or ſwift. Prim. Welch fleſt, agile,
haſty. This is a quite different word from the Engliſh faſt,
fixed or ſtable, which comes from the Mæſo-Gothic
to keep or hold faſt.
'Gan] For gan, began; and thus Douglas elſewhere uſes
it, as well as our more ancient poets.
VER. 8. Aff] Off; but all the other Northern dialects
write this word with an a. Ulph. af; Dan. aff; Belg. af.
The Lat. ab, and the Gr. απι, are quite ſimilar, eſpecially
when we obſerve that the Greek word, before another beginning
with an aſpirate, is written αφ.
VER. 1. Fy] Fy -upon. Prim. Welch fy, and hei,
whence hiadd, abominable; Iſl. fue, rottenneſs; Belg. foey;
hence the Lat. vah, Ital. vah, Fr. fi. The Gr. φεν is by the
Grammarians called φωνη χετλιαςιϰη, Vox ejus qui ſe indigna
pati conqueritur. In old Engliſh this particle always
denotes averſion. Chaucer, La. Prol. v. 80.
"Of ſuch curſed ſtories I ſay fie."
And N. P. T. v. 73.
"Fie ſtinking ſwine! fie foul mote the befall."
From hence the Scots formed Fyle, to foul; and the Engl.
Defile. We alſo ſay Fych, on feeling a bad ſmell, or ſeeing
any dirty object, from the Celt. cach, kakoa, and caffo,
ſtinking. Hence our kakie, ventrem exonerare. From
this origin, too, comes the old French appellation cagots,
cacous, cakets, given to lepers, who being conſidered as abominable,
were ſhut out from all ſociety in the middle ages.
Theſe miſerable wretches were found in great numbers about
the 12th and 14th centuries, ſpread over Gaſcony, Bearn,
and the two Navarres, on both ſides the Pyrenean mountains.
Theſe were not allowed to traffick with their fellow citizens;
had a ſeparate door to enter into the churches, and a holy
water-font, which they only uſed; were forbid the uſe of
arms; nay, ſuch was the univerſal horror of mankind againſt
them, that the States of Berne, anno 1460, applied for an
order to prohibit their walking the ſtreets bare-footed, leſt
others might catch the infection, and to oblige them to
wear on their garments the figure of a gooſe's foot,
which, it would appear, they had neglected to do for
many years paſt. In the ancient For. de Navarre, compiled
about the year 1074, we ſee them called Gaffos and
Cakets at Bourdeaux. We find, among the Laws of the
Dukes of Brittany, anno 1474 and 1475, orders given, that
none of the Cacoſi-caquetr, or Cacos, ſhould appear without
a bit of red cloth ſewed on the outer-garment. They were
forbid even to cultivate any land but their gardens, and were
confined to the ſingle trade of carpenters. Bullet (Diction.
Celt.) gives the following account of the riſe of the public
hatred againſt theſe poor people: "Cacous (ſays he)
Nom que les Bas Brettons donnent par injure aux Cordiers et
aux Tonneliers, contre leſquelles le menu peuple eſt ſi prevenu,
qu'ils out beſoign de l'autorité du Parlement de Bretagne
pour avoir le ſepulture, et la liberté de faire les fonctions du
Chriſtianiſme avec les autres, parce qu'ils ſont crus ſans
raiſon, deſcendre des Juifs diſperſês apres la ruine de Jeruſalem,
et qu'ils paſſent pour lepreux de race. — Les Cacous ſont
nommés cacqueax dans un arret du Parlement du Bretagne."
Here we have a people, living in the moſt deplorable ſtate of
ſlavery, from age to age, like the Gibeonites ſubjected to the
Jews, and treated in the ſame manner as the Gauls were, after
being conquered by the ancient Franks of Germany; the
very name they went by, implying the moſt rooted averſion,
though nobody ever gave any account of the reaſon of this
appellation; for the frivolous diſſertations of Marca and
Venuti leave us quite in the dark as to this, as well as to
the cauſes of this extraordinary hatred againſt a devoted race
from age to age. We therefore adopt the account of it given
by the learned and moſt ingenious Gebelin, (Monde Primitif,
tom 5. p. 247) that they were the ſcattered remains of the
original inhabitants of Gaſcony and Lower Brittany, who, being
conquered by thoſe now called Bretons, and the Cantabri,
who invaded Brittany and Berne, were reduced to this miſerable
Plate by their Lords, in order to leave them no means of
revolt, and to render them uſeful as ſlaves. Du Cange informs
us, that the celebrated Hevin firſt obtained, from the
Parliament of Rennes, a repeal of thoſe cruel and ridiculous
conſtitutions againſt the Cacous. But the word Cagot ſtill remains
a term of reproach, and now ſignifies a hypocrite. Had
we leiſure, it would be amuſing to compare the miſerable date
of the poor Cagots, with that infamy which is entailed, in
Hindoſtan, on the caſ or tribe of the Sooders. But we have
already made this note too long; and all the apology we can
offer is, that we flatter ourſelves the reader will be glad to find
here an account of a ſet of men, whoſe very name is little, if
at all, known in this Iſland, and againſt whom far more intolerable
ſeverities were exerciſed, than by our anceſtors againſt
the lepers, who abounded both in England and Scotland
during the middle ages.
Gar] Force one to act, to conſtrain. Prim. Celtic gor,
gar, force, ſtrength, elevation, abundance; vide Dict. Celt.
de Bullet in Gorchaled, and Gor. Hence Breton. gor, tumour,
elevation; Gaelic gorm, nobleman, grandee. In the
language of Stiria and Carniola, mountain; gora, in Sclavon.
id. Polon. gora-hegy, a cape or promontory; Lapland, and
Finland, kor-kin, high; Hebr. gor, to heap up; Arab.
ghurur, pride, ambition; whence Gr. γαυρος, proud, elated;
Old French gaur, id. Celt. gorain, to cry out with vehemence,
which greatly illuſtrates the primitive ſignification of our gar;
Welſh, gorchfygiad, to force or conſtrain; Suio-Goth. gora,
antiq. gara, facere; vide Ihre in gora, where this elegant etymologiſt
has obſerved the agreement betwixt this word and
our gar. Adde Lye addit. Etymol. Junii; but none of theſe
writers have gone back to the Primitive Celtic; Aremor.
gra, facere. From this root, too, comes the Latin gero, applied
ſometimes to war, gerere bellum; vide Livy, 1. 39. c.
54.Iſl. giora, to act; Alam. garen, garuuen. The reader
may turn to our Introduction, where he will find ſome other
obſervations on this word, to which we only add, that carve
comes from this root.
For ſcho's be burnt, and hee's be ſlean,
The weirifou' Gaberlunzie-man.
Some rade upo' horſe, ſome ran a-fit,
The wife was wude, and out o' her wit;
VER. 3. Scho's — Hee's] She ſhall — He ſhall; a contraction
frequently in the mouths of our country people.
VER. 4. Weirifou] Fou for full, it being cuſtomary in
Scots to change the l into w, as roll, row; ſcroll, ſcrow;
tolbooth, toubooth ; pol, pow, &c. Ruddiman. From fou, we
form ſouth, plenty, abundance. So Douglaſs, p. 4. v. 6.
"That of thy copious fouth or plentitude."
Thus from deep, depth; rew, reuth, &c. This is alſo remarked
by Mr Ruddiman, Gloſſ.
VEa. 6. Wude] Mad. Ger. wuth, rage; A.S. wod,
mad; Teut. uueuten, to be mad; A.S. wedan, id. Whence
perhaps the Scandinavians called their Mars Woden. Doug.
p. 16. 29.
"The ſtorm up bullerit ſand, as it war wod."
And p. 423, 16.
"Wod wroith he worthis for diſdene."
Dutch woed, fury; Ulphila, Mark v. 18. wods, poſſeſſed
with a Devil; A.S. wod, mad; Iſl. æde, furor; Alam.
unatage, furious. From this root the Gr. ό̓υταν, vulnerare,
pugnare; and ό̓ιδαινειν, to ſwell with anger.
Scho cou'd na gang, nor yet cou'd ſcho ſit,
But ay ſcho curs't and ſcho bann'd.
Mein tym far hind out o'wr the lee,
Fu' ſnug in a glen whar nane cou'd ſee,
VE R. 7. Gang] Mæſo Goth. gagga, pronounced ganga;
as in the Greek when two gammas follow each other. Vide
ad Stan. I. v. 6.
VER. 8. Ban] To curſe. Goth. banna, ſign. ſimply to
forbid; forbanna, Divis devovere. The primitive Celt. ban,
a tie; whence our bond and band. Hence marriage banns.
The Iſl. forbanna, ſign. to excommunicate or put out of ſociety.
Hence our ban-iſh, and the Ital. bandito, our banditti;
a-ban-don, to give up our claim to any thing, to
looſen our tie to it. The bond by which the king's vaſſals
are obliged to follow their ſovereign to the field, is, in France,
called. the ban, and arriere ban. Thus to bann one, literally
ſign. to put him under the bond of a curſe. Hence Gael. bana,
tied; Fr, bande, bander, our band or company, perſons
linked together by one common tie, or bond; bandage, to
bend; Fr. ruban, whence ribbon, literally, a fillet of a red colour.
Hence, too, in the French, the barbarous droit d'aubaine,
by which the lord of the ſoil inherited all that a ſtranger died
poſſeſſed of in his territory. We find, in the Bar. Lat. albani,
and aubani, a ſtranger; concerning which word many
idle conjectures have been publiſhed, as derived from advena,
and Albanus, a Scotſman. But it is compoſed of al, another,
and ban, juriſdiction, literally a perſon living under other
laws. The Iſl. bann, to curſe, is ſtill uſed in the north of
VER I. Hind] This is the primitive of behind, hindermoſt;
Scot. hindmoſt; and is found in all the ancient dialects of the
north; Ulphila, hindar, hindana, back, after; hindumiſts,
hindermoſt; A.S. hindan, behind. Hence comes the verb to
hinder, to impede; Dan. hindre, forhindra; Belg. hinderen,
verhinderen. From this root comes the A.S. hinderling,
propelly one who comes far behind his anceſtors, familiæ ſuæ
opprobrium. In Ll. Edw. Confeſſ. c. 35. Occidentales Saxonici
habent in proverbio ſummi deſpectus, hinderling ; i.e.
omni honeſtate dejecta et recedens imago; the ſcandal of his
VER. 2. Snug] The primitive of ſeveral northern words,
all ſignifying hiding, concealment; Dan. ſniger, ſubterfugio;
ſnican, to crawl about hiddenly; whence Engl. ſneak, a
ſneaking fellow. Lye was miſtaken in deriving it from Iſl.
ſnoggur, celer. The Gael. ſnaighim, is the ſame with the
Saxon ſnican; Dan. ſnige ſig aff veyen, to ſneak away. The
Scots ſnod, neat, trim, may come alſo from this ſource, as it
is evidently the ſame with the Gothic, ſnug, ſhort and neat;
en ſnug piga, a neat girl; Iſl. ſnylld, elegance. Ray ſays,
that in the north of England, they pronounce it ſnog; ſnogly
geard, handſomely dreſſed.
Glen] Old Engliſh glin, or glyn; Gael. gleann. It
denotes a large, level tract of ground, bounded on each
ſide by ridges of doping mountains. Hence we have in Scotland
Strathmore, Strathſpey, Strathern. There is this difference
between the Saxon Dale, and the Gaelic Strath. The
former denotes a narrow valley, bounded on each ſide by a
Thir twa, wi' kindly ſport and glee,
Cut frae a new cheeſe a whang.
ridge of ſteep mountains, commonly with a river running
through the middle; the latter anſwers the above deſcription,
which needs not to be repeated.
VER. 3. Twa] Ulphila twai; A.S. twa; Welſh
dau; Gael. do; Swed. twa; Iſl. tueir. Hence the Gr. δυω,
and twain; our Scot. twin, literally ſign. to ſplit into two
parts, to ſeparate. It is alſo uſed by Chaucer in this ſenſe, R.
"Trowe nat that I woll hem twinne."
And Troil, 4. 1197.
"There ſhall no deth me fro' my ladie twinne."
From this root, too, is formed twine, thread, i.e. to double
it; A.S. twinen; vide Exod. c. 39. 29. Sued. twynna;
Dan. tuinder, to ſpin; tuinde trade, twined thread;
tweyn draed. In Teutoniſta, twern yarn, duinum tuinum;
A.S. twinne, to twine.
Glee] Mirth, gladneſs; Iſl. gled, gladde, I have made
glad; mig gladur, it is a pleaſure to me; Sax. glæd,
and our glad. With Chaucer glee denotes a concert of vocal
and inſtrumental muſic. Sir Top. R. v. 126.
"His merie men commanded he
"To maken him both game and glee:"
Fa. Lib: 3. 161.
"There ſaw I ſitt in other ſees,
"Playing on other ſundrie glees."
The A.S. Verſion of Paſtor. 26. 2. David defeng his
hearkan, and geſtilde his wodthraga mid tham gligge. David
took his harp, and ſtilled his madneſs with muſic. Gligman,
mimus, ſcurra; Gligmon, id. Junius rightly conjectures, that
glig was firſt uſed to denote instruments inflated by the breath,
though afterwards indiſcriminately applied to every muſical
ſound. This is confirmed by the Iſlandic gliggur, flatus,
breath. A certain ſpecies of catch is ſtill called a glee. A.S.
gle, joy, and without the g the Goth. lek, to laugh; we ſay
gaaff; to laugh loudly, and with the open mouth. From the
idea of joy, gle and gla came to ſignify every thing bright,
ſplendid. Hence a multitude of words, Iſl. glaumur, joy;
whence our old Scots glamor, often employed to ſignify incantations,
becauſe, by ſuch arts, the mind was thought to
be greatly moved, and to look on things indifferent as of great
conſequence. Goth. glans, and Alam. klanz, ſplendour
whence our glance, from gla, light; gloa, to ſhine. From
this laſt the Eng. glow, glow-worm ; A.S. glowan, to glow;
Swed. glod; Gael. glo ; A.S. gled; Ger. glut ; all ſignifying
a live coal. Iſl. glia; Friſl. glian, to ſhine; Sax. gleij,
ſplendidus; and hence the Gr. αιγλη, ſplendour; which none
of our Lexicographers have been able to explain. Hence,
too, Engl. glitter, by Ulphila written glitmunjan ; Iſl. glitta;
Ger. gleiſſen; Swed. gliſtra, gniſta; Sax. glinſtern, and the
Gr. αγλαιζεϑαι; Iſl. gliſt, and glaſt, nitidus. So Snorro,
v. 1. Glaſt med gulli, och ſilſri, ſhining with gold and ſilver.
Gr. γελειν, ſplendere; and Heſychius explains γελας.
αυγην ήλιδ, a ſun-beam; αγλαος, fplendidus; γλϰυςςω,
fplendeo; γλαυϰος, γλαυρος, ſplendidus; Goth. glaſſa, and
our glaze ; Iſl. glas, our glaſs. We call the ſlipperymucus,
growing on ſtones in the river, glitt ; and glatt in Gothic is
nitidus, lævis. Hence Engl. gloſſ; Goth. gles, Succinum.
Vide Tacit. Mor. Ger. cap. 45. Plin. H. N. lib. 26. c.
From the ſame root are derived Goth. glimra, glindra, to
ſhine, whence our glimmer and glimpſe; Engl. gleam, a ray
of light; Iſl. glimbr, ſplendour. Taking away the g, we have the
Gr. λαπτω, to ſhine; Iſl. liome, light; Ulphila, lauhmon, lightning.
And with the g, Swed. glo, to ſee; Gr. γλαυςςω;
Sax. gloren, ſplendere; hence Scot. glowr, to look intently at
any object. So in the old Ballad:
"I canna get leave
"To luke to my luve,
"My minny's aye glowring owr me."
Iſl. gloggr, and Goth glau, ſharp-ſighted; Gr. γληνη, pupil
of the eye; Fr. glaire, the clear or white of the egg; Iſl. glæ,
the ſhining of the ocean in a calm. Hence Gr. γαληνη, ſerenitas;
γαληνοω, ſereno; γληνεα, res nitidæ, prætioſæ;
γληνος, a ſtar ; Swed. gran, ſhining; whence the Apollo
Gryneus, literally the Splendid Sun. We are much deceived.
if the many coincidences we have here thrown together, (and
to which more might eaſily be added) do not prove very
ſtlrongly, a primitive and univerſal language. We have not
room to alledge the many examples the Eaſtern dialects furniſh
to us; — theſe we reſerve for a larger work. Mean
while, the reader may look at Ihre, Lex. voce Gloa and
VER. 4. Frae] Engl. from. But we have kept the
true orthography. Swed. fram, prorſum, adverbium motus
de loco poſteriori in anteriorem. The pro of the Latins is
from this root, and has the ſame meaning in prorſum, procedere,
prodire, profferre; and the Swedes ſay ga fram, gifwa
fram; Ulphila, iddja fram, proceſſit; Luke xix. 28.
framis leitl, a little further. So, too, in the compounds,
fram-wigis, ſemper; and Luke i. 18. fram-aldrozi, ſtricken
in years; Alam. frampringan, producere. Tatian, cap. 73.
v. 1. franor, further. We find in Wilking. Saga, p. 3:
Hugprydiac ſpæki,, oc framwiſt, a genius wife and prudent;
from fram and wis, wiſdom; and hence framvis, a diviner,
conjurer; Iſl. ſramygdur, a wife man; Goth. framſus,
petulant fellow, ever putting himfelf forward; whence Engl.
frumpiſh. To return to the Scots word frae, as correſponding,
to the Goth. fram, from. Chron. Ryth. p. 444.
'"Huar monde fram androm ſly.'
Qui ab altero ſeceſſit, aufugit.
Framgangu, going from, departure; Swed. fran. From
fram the ingenious and learned Ihre derives framea, a dart
uſed by the ancient Germans, mentioned by Tacitus, M. G.
cap. 6. Haſtás, vel ipſorum vocabulo, frameas gerunt; from
fram and frumen, mittere, jaculari. Hence, in Ulphila, we
find, Joh. x. 5. Framthjana ni lajsjand, a ſtranger will they
not follow. Alam. framider ; Ger. fremd, a ſtranger; and
Scot. fremdman, one come from far.
Douglas writes this word fometimes fra and fray.
Whang] Prim. tan, a binding or cord. Hence every
thing of a long narrow ſhape. Whang, a ſlice of cheeſe, cut
in a long narrow form. Ulphila, twang; Iſl. tange, vinculum;
Swed. tang, a ſtrap hanging at the handle of a knife.
They alſo call an iſthmus tang, and we ſay a tongue of land.
Iſl. thuing, a band; A.S. twang, whence our whang.
The primitive tan is found all the Scythian dialects, and
thoſe derived from them. Swed. tan, nerve. Leg, Goth. cap.
22. Thau en ſundr er than hels edanacca; Si abſciſſus fuerit
nervus colli. Welch tant, chorda; Ger. id. Alam. than, a
leather ſtrap; A.S. tan, vimen, virgultum; and hence tanblyta,
fortilegus. Swed. tanor, filaments in fleſh. The Gr.
τενω, is formed from tan, ſign. a nerve. — Odyſſ. 3.
The prieving was good, it pleas'd them baith,
To lo'e her for ay, he gae her his aith,
"—πελεϰυς διεϰοψε τενονδας
Securis abſcidit nervos cervicis. The Iſlanders call the
nets for catching birds thaner; and hence Latin tenus, tenoris,
in Nonius; and Plaut. Bacchid. v. v. 6.
"Pendebit hodie pulcre; ita intendi tenus."
It is needleſs to obſerve that our tendon is derived from
the•ſame ſource. The Goths call the twaddling bands of children
tanom; Chron. Rythm. p. 561. Barn then ſom an i tanom
lag, Children that lay yet in their ſwaddling bands. The
Greeks called them τενια, τενιδια. Vide Jun. Gloſs. Ulph.
VER. 5. Prieving] The proof, the firſt taſte of any thing.
Primitive is por, pro; Celt. por, what is before; as por ſignifies
alſo face. Hence porro, probo, probation; Fr. preuve,
eprouver, the prow of a ſhip; Gr. πρωδος; Lat. primus,
prior, princeps, and a vaſt number of other words. At preſent
we confine ourſelves to the northern dialects, where we
find, in the Celtic, prid; whence our price, or value of any
thing; Ger. preis; Lat. pretium; Italian apprezzare; Goth.
pris, id. and metaphorically, glory, honour, high eſteem;
whence Engl. praiſe. The truly learned and elegant Ihre obſerves,
that, in the old Swio-Gothic, they uſed priſhet in the
ſame ſenſe. In Chron. Ryth. p. 442.
"Och innan ſtrid ſtor priſhet ,was."
In war he was greatly prized.
Quo' ſhe, to leave thee I will be laith,
My winſom Gaberlunzie-man.
With them priſa, ſign. to prize, apprize; and theſe words
clearly indicate their northern origin. Hence, too, Fr. priſer,
mepriſer; winna priſet, to win the prize. In our dialect
prif, prieve, is proof, or trial, as here; and in Douglaſs, p.
"Thus rude examplis may we gif,
"Thocht God be his awin Creauture to prieve."
We alſo ufe the verb, to prie, to taſte.
VER. 5. Baith] Engl. both, by a faulty pronunciation
for the primitive is found in Ulphila's, ba, bai, i.e. baith,
not both. So Luke 5. v. 7. Ba tho ſkipa gafullidedun, they
filled both the ſhips; and Luke 6. v. 39. Bai in dalga driuſand,
both will fall into the ditch. A.S. ba, butu; Alam.
bedu, beidu; Iſl. bathur. It is diverting to ſee Junius gravely
ſuppoſing that our word comes from Gr.αμφω, as if our anceſtors
could not reckon two, till the Greeks taught them.
The ſavages of Kamſchatka do more than this; for they follow
the number of their fingers and toes up to twenty, and
having got thus far, they ſtop, and cry, Where ſhall I find
more? See the account of this country, publiſhed at Peterſburg,
and tranſlated by Grieve, p. 178. We juſt add, that
the ſame obſervation may be applied to the words, aith, oath,
laith, loth, which occur in the verſes immediately following,
and which have been equally vitiated by our ſouthern neighbours,
as this word baith.
VER. 7. Laith] Loth. But ours is the true pronounciation,
as derived from Al. leid, luad; Alam. lath; Belg.
leyd, odious, ugly, troubleſome; Old Daniſh, tha the læwas
and lædedon iuch, who hate and perſecute you. The primitive
of all theſe is found in the Celt. lad, loc, to cut, pain, or
wound; Baſg,. laceria, misfortune. We cannot deny ourſelves
the pleaſure of following this original through ſome of
its many deſcendants; hence come Gr. ληδειν; Fr. lacerer;
Lat. lacerare, our lacerate ; Fr. logueté, cut out in ſlices
whence our lock of hair, or wool; Celt. laza, to kill; and
hence lay, a poem on any tragical ſubject; ſo Dougl. 32i,
"The dowy tones, and layes lamentabil."
Ital. lai, and our lament, the true Scots appellation of Elegiac
ſongs; A.S. ley, id. which neither Menage, nor even
Skinner underſtood; Ger. lied, a ſong, but properly a melancholy
ditty; as the B. L. leudus alſo ſignifies; Fortunat.
Epiſt. ad Gregor. Turon. ad Lib. 1. Poemat. Sola fœpe bombicans
barbaros leudos harpa relidebat. Id. Lib. 7. Poem 8.
"Nos tibi verſiculos, dent barbara carmina leudos."
Hence, too, Lat. leſſus, and the Baſ. Bret. lais, a melancholy
ſound or cry; e-legia, e-legy, leſion; and the Fr. leze
majeſteè, high treaſon. We could eaſily bring many more
proofs of the truth of our account of the term elegy, as that
paſſage of Proclus, in Chreſt. ap. Phot. Bibl. Το γαρϑρηνος
έλεγιαν έ̓λεγαν ό̓ι παλαιος, veteres luctum vocarunt ελεγον.
Ovid gives us the ſame idea, Ded. de Lib. 3. Eleg. 1.
"Flebilis indignos elegia ſolve capillos,
"Heu nimis ex vero nuns tibi nomen ineſt."
Voſſius (in Elegia) has quoted theſe paſſages, but gives no
Etymology, as indeed the root is loſt both in the Greek and
Roman languages. But we muſt ſtop, after obſerving that the
O kend my minny I war wi' you
Ill-fardly wad ſhe crook her mou',
Fr. words læid, (which of old ſignified, offence, injury, and
now uglineſs,) laideur, laidron, and the Gr.λοιδορεω, to defame,
are all of this family.
VER. 8. Winſom] We have have already ſhewn the meaning
and origin of this word, in the note on Stanza II. ver. 6.
In the old ballads we find it often uſed; ſo in the old ſong of
Gilderoy, (Percy, vol. I. p. 324, 325.) My winſom Gilderoy;
Ger. minneſam, from minne, love, which we have already explained;
Alam. wino, a friend; A.S. vine, beloved.
VER. 1. Kend] The primitive kan-enen, ſignifies art,
knowledge, dexterity. Hebr. gwanen, an inchanter, and the
verb gwenen, to divine; Gr.ϰονεειν; Gaelic kann, I know;
kunna, kenning, knowledge; kennimen, knowing, learned
men, prieſts; Ulphila, kunnan, Mark 4. v. 11. Iſwis attiban
kunnan runa thiud angardjos Goths, — To you it is given
to know the myſtery of the Kingdom of God. Iſl. kunna
Alam. kennen, chennen ; from kunna, the Engliſh cunning;
in ſea-phraſe, to cunn a ſhip, is to direct her courſe; in Fr.
maitre gonin, a ſharper. See the poor efforts of Menage to
explain this word. Heſych. ϰοννειν, ςυνιεναι, επιςαϑαι, to
underſtand. We ſay here kenſpeckled, eaſy to be known by
particular marks. The Goths uſe a ſimilar phraſe,
qui alios facile agnoſcit; Ihre in kenn
VER. 2. 1ll-fardly] Ill-favouredly, in an ugly manner.
In Engl. well-favoured, handſome, well-looking; and thus
our tranſlators of the Bible uſe it, Gen. xli. v. 3. 4. Primitive
is fa, to eat, to feed on good things, as deſcended from
the family of fa, denoting every action belonging to the mouth,
as eating, ſpeaking, &c. So the Latin fari, whence Fr.
faribole, idle tale, and the like. From fa comes Latin favus,
honey-comb; favere alicui, to favour one; our favourite,
favour; Fr. favoriſer, fauteur, and the Latin fautor. The
common word infant, Latin infans, comes not from in and
fari, one who cannot ſpeak, as our herd of Lexicographers
ſay, but from fa, to nouriſh, to feed, whence fari itſelf is derived,
which being a diſſyllable, can never be a primitive,
thoſe (as we have elſewhere obſerved) being all monoſyllables,
in every language. From this root, too, we have fawn, a
young deer. N.B. The animals do not ſpeak, therefore it is
impoſſible that fawn can come from Latin fari: but we muſt
ſtop here, leſt we offend thoſe who hold, that the Ourangoutans,
a ſpecies of the monkey, belong to the human race;
and that, though they have paſſed above ſix thouſand years
without framing a language, it is ſtill very rationally expected,
that they will yet form one, (vide Origin and Prog. of Lang.,
vol. I. p. 189. 272). Whenever we are happy enough
to poſſeſs a Dictionary, collected by ſume learned Ouranoutang,
and a Grammar of this new fpeech, we nothing doubt,
but we fhall diſcover many primitives of language yet unknown.
But this by the bye.
We find favour, in the Welch, fleafor, flawr, and in the
Greek,φαω, φημι; and in what Feſtus writes, faverentia,
bonam ominationem ſignificat; favere, enim, eſt bona fari.
Hence the ſolemn form, Favete linguis. Voſſius has ſaid
much, to no purpoſe, about this, in Favere; but he had no
principles. We ſee new proofs of the truth of our Etymology
in the hinnuleus of the Latins, and the Gr. ιχνος, ſig. παιδος, a
boy or young one. Vide Salmaſ. Plin. Exercit. p. 106. and
Spelman, in Fenatio and Foineſium. Lye mentions fauntekin
as an, old Engliſh word, ſignifying an infant or little boy, which
he rightly derives from the Iſlandic fante, a young man;
whence the Italian fante, a page or ſervant, and the French
fantaſſin, a ſoldier who ſerves on foot, and of thoſe whom we
VER. 2. Crook] Prim. Celt. Crok, ſignifies every thing that
takes hold; and as nothing can take hold but what deviates
from the ſtreight line, this word has formed a very numerous
family: Goth. krok ; the Gael. krock, kruick, an earthen
pot or vaſe; Goth. kruka, id. We in Scotland call the iron
on which the kettle hangs a crook. Shepherd's crook, from
its bent form; and, for the ſame reaſon, crotchet in muſic ſignifies
a note, with a tail turned up. Hence, too, come the
French crotcheteur eſcroi, a thief who ſeizes every thing he
can lay hands on; croſſe, the ſheep-hook, with which biſhops
are inveſted; acrocher, to ſeize or lay hold of. Gebelin obſerves,
with his uſual acuteneſs, that the French peaſants
who revolted in 1598, were called Lea Croquans, becauſe they
plundered and carried off every thing wherever they came.
Mou'] Mouth. Prim. muth, mun; whence Ulphila
has munths, the mouth; Celt. mu, id. alſo the lips.
Hence Fr. mot, what is ſpoken with the lips; motet, Baſq.
motaſa, ſound of the voice; Gr. μυδυ, and mythology;
murmur, i.e. mu-mu, ſmall ſound made by the mouth.
Our old word mump comes from the ſame origin; alſo mant,
to ſtammer. From the ancient Celtic and Welch mant, ſignifying
the jaw-bone, comes the Latin mandibula, and the
ancient munio, munito, to eat; Feſt. munitio, mortificatio,
ciborum; alſo mando, manduco; the Fr. manger; Ital. mangiere;
Gr. μυδιζ, loqui. Ihre informs us, that the
mouths of rivers are called Mynne-a-mynne, and Iſl. munne,
from mun, the mouth. They ſay alſo, the mouth and lips of
Sic a pure man ſhe'd nevir trow,
After the Gaberlunzie-man.
a wound, as we do: Ll. Scaniæ, p. 22. Far man ſar gonum
lar, allar lag, allar arm, ſwa at that havir twa munna, If
any man's thigh, leg, or arm, be ſo wounded as that the ſore
ſhall have two mouths. In the ſame ſenſe the French uſe
balafre, a great wound, which Dutchat rightly derives from
the old French balevre, bilabrum: Ce qu'on appelle balafre,
eſt proprement une grande playe, qui fait une eſpece de
bouche, et par conſequent deux levres. The Gothic munhaſteis,
a ſet form of words, and uſed in their ancient Juriſprudence.
Vide Ihre, Lex. in voce, vol. II. p. 207.
We have in this word a clear example of the method the
firſt men took to expreſs oppoſite ideas, without multiplying
the primitive words. Muth firſt denoted the mouth and
ſpeech. They formed the negative by uſing the ſame word
in the oppoſite ſignification, and thus muth came to ſignify a
dumb perſon; Gr. μυδος; Lat. mutus, whence our mute;
The Hebrew muth, a dead man, one who ſpeaks not. In
another work we have collected many examples of this kind,
which we have no room for here. Such is the word alt,
high ; whence the Lat. altus, ſignifying high, and alſo deep.
VER. 3. Trow] The verb, to believe; Belg. truen, id.
Douglas uſes trueles, for faithleſs. Prim. Goth. troſt, truſt,
fidelity. Hence, metaphorically, a bold man, on whom we
may well rely. So Chron. Ryth. p. 311.
"Thet var en godn troſt man."
He was a good and truſty man.
Iſl. trauſtor, Alam. gidroſt, Engl. truſty. Otfrid, l. 5.
My dear, quod he, zere zet o'wr zoung,
An' hae na learn'd the beggar's tongue,
"Zi themo thronoſte,
"Sie ſint al gidroſte."
In their ſervice all were faithful. Germ. trieſt, and Swed.
driſtig; vide Ihre. in Driſtig. From this root, too, the
Greeks formed ϑαρςος and ϑαρρειν, to dare, or more properly,
to be confident, by a literary metatheſis of the ſame
kind as that uſed by the Goths, while they ſay toras, to dare;
jators, I dare, and then troſt, our truſt. So the ancient Greeks,
ſaid indifferently, ϑαςος, ϑραςυς, ϑαρςυνω, and
audacem reddo. Ulph. thrafftian, to confide or truſt, and
dauran, dare; Mark xii. 34. gawdsrſta, audebat, which
the Allemans pronounced gidorſta. In one of the Church
Hymns, n. 127, The lofwade Gud med gladje och troſt,
They praiſed God with gladneſs and confidence. We obſerve,
by the way, that our Scots phraſe of loving God, uſed
for praiſing him, frequent in Robert Bruce's Life, and other
ancient poems, is formed from the Goth. lofware, to praiſe.
In the Barb. Latin Laws, we find often the phraſes, Trvſtis
regius, Eſſe in truſte regia, Truſtinus; and the like; all denoting
loyalty. Vid. Cange in Truſtis. Marculf. For. l. I. 18.
Theſe men were alſo called Antruſtiones. Vid. Leg. Sal. Tit.
32. cap. 20. edit. Heroldi. Marculf. Lib. 1. Form. 47. ibi
Lindenbrog. Gloſſ. The Antruſtiones were of high dignity in
the King's Court, as we gather from the article of the Gaelic
Law laſt cited. We have the verb traiſt, to truſt, frequent in
Douglas. So p. 52. v. 25.
— "And there traiſt coiſtis nyce."
And p. 253. 37.
"His traiſty faith." —
To fallow me frae toun to toun,
And carry the Gaberlunzie on.
kauk and keel I'll win zour bread,
And ſpinnels and quhorles for them wha need,
VER. 7. Frae toun to toun] By toun here is not ſolely
meant city, in which ſenſe we now uſe it; but the Scots apply
this word to every little village, and even to a farm-houſe,
where there is an incloſed yard, after the manner of their
anceſtors, from the prim. dun, A.S. tun, Alam. zun, all
ſignifying an incloſure. Hence the Belgic tuyn, a garden,
literally an incloſure; Gael. dun-dunam, to incloſe; A.S.
tynan, betynan, id. The firſt cities of our Celtic and Saxon
anceſtors were only farm-houſes, or a few ſtraggling hutts,
incloſed with rails. Tacitus de M. G. cap. 16. Nullis
Germanorum populis urbes habitari notum eſt, nec pati quidem
inter ſe junctas ſedes, (forte ædes) vicos locant, non in noſtrum
morem connexis et coherentibus ædificüs. Theſe vici were
ſeparate houſes, like our farmers ſteddings, which we ſtill
call towns. In ſome diſtricts they are called mains, from
manſio, and the B. Latin manſus, a manfe, now reſtricted to
our parſons houſes.
VER. 1. Kauk] From the primitive cal, cel, every thing
hard and proper to incloſe with. Hence Latin celare,
cellarium, our cellar; French celer, our con-ceal; the Celtic
cal, a hut or ſtable. Hence kal came to denote the materials
for incloſing, viz. hones, and eſpecially that ſoft kind of ſtone,
eaſily divided into ſmall pieces, which the Engliſh call chalk, and
we, more properly, pronounce kauk. Iſl. kalk ; Gael. calch ;
Alam. calc; A.S. ceale, ceale, ſtan. From this root, too,
comes the Greek χαλιξ, explained by Suidas, μιϰρον
λιϑιδιον, a little ſtone, and more clearly by Hefych. χαλιϰες,
οί εις τας ό̓ιϰοδομας μιϰρος λιϑοι; of the ſame kind
was the χαλιξ, mentioned by Thucidides, in his Account
of the Walls of the Pyreus, built by the Athenians, in
lib. 1. We are indebted to the induſtry of Junius for this
remark; yet he does not even attempt an etymology of the
word χαλιξ, which has baffled all the lexicographers.
Keel] A red calcarious ſtone, uſed by carpenters for
marking their lines on wood. The promiſe here made by the
feigned Gaberlunzie-man, to get a livelihood for his ſweet-heart
by kauk and keel, alludes to the practice of fortune-tellers in
Scotland, who uſually pretend to be dumb, to gain credit
with the vulgar, and therefore have recourſe to ſigns made with
kauk and keel, to explain their meaning. The primitive is
plainly the ſame with that of kauk ; col, cel, a ſmall ſtone, (of
a red colour).
Win] In the more modern acceptation, ſimply ſignifies to
gain. So the Goths uſe vinna of one who wins at play, or
in making bargains, or by gaining his cauſe in a court of juſtice;
winna et kæromal, in cauſa ſuperiorem eſſe. Vide Ihre,
vol. II. col. 2020. But of old it ſignified to gain our bread by hard
labour, and induſtry. This is ſtill its common meaning in the
Iſlandic. So Exod. 15. Winna alladina winna, Thou ſhalt
work all thy work. Hence winnuhiu, a labouring man. Numbers,
cap. 30. A.S. vinnan. So the Dutch ſay land winnen,
to plough the ground. Winnende leeden, membra genitalia;
Iſl. vinna, labour; in the A.S. vinfull, induſtrious;
lagga, ſign. to give one's ſelf a great deal of trouble. Hence
it is uſed to denote ſuffering. So Ulphila, Mark viii. 35.
Skal ſunus mans filu vinnam, The ſon of man muſt ſuffer
many things: And Luke ii. 48. Sa atta theins, ja ik vinnandona
ſokidedum thuk, Thy father and I have ſought thee
ſorrowing. Hence it is transferred to child-bearing: Swed.
Hon har wunnet en ſon, She has born a ſon; and Belg.
Kinderin gewinnen, to bring forth children.
As the ancients knew of no other honourable gains, beſides
the ſpoils acquired in war, hence winna came to denote
conqueſt, victory in war; and hence our phraſe to win the
battle, to win the field. In Matth. xxiv. 7. Verſ. Ulph. Theod
vinth ongean theode, Nation ſhall fight againſt nation. Gevinn,
war; gevinne, battle. Tatian, cap. 195. 4. Mine ambathti
wunnin, My ſervants would fight. In an old Runic inſcription,
quoted by Ihre (in Winna), Vant Selalant ala, He conquered
all Seland. The moſt modern ſignification is that in
which it is applied to gain in general. From winna, applied to
war, comes the Latin vincere. Strange! that Voſſius did not
ſee the true etymon, though he has mentioned the Goth.
winnen, in Vinco. But he ſeldom or never looks further than
the Greek or Latin. Still more abſurd is Varro's etymon,
lib. 4. de L. L. Victoria, ab eo quod ſuperati vincuntur. Yet
this Varro pretended to give us the origin of language; and
he is generally called Romanorum Doctiſſimus; and ſo, perhaps,
VER. 2. Spinnels] Goth. ſpindel, Machina tornatorum,
in gyrum verſatilis, ſays the learned Profeſſor of Upſal.
Slenda, fuſus, ſpincok, fuſus, colus; and hence our rok, a
diſtaff. A.S. ſpinel; and from ſpindle the Greek ςπονδυλος,
as the ſpindle is of a long ſlender form; the Goth. ſpinkog,
ſig. ſlender; and, by a ſimilar figure, we ſay ſpindle-ſhanks,
of a man underlimbed. The prim. is ſpan, to extend, or draw
out to length, as the thread is extended from the maſs on the
diſtaff. Hence our ſpan, of the hand extended. Vid. Bullet,
Dict. Celt. in Span. We have much to ſay concerning this primitive,
which we reſerve for our Scoto-Gothic Gloſſary. Suffice it
to obſerve here, that the word ſpan, to extend, and hence to
meaſure, is found in all the dialects of the North. A.S. ſpan,
ſpon, ſponne; Alam. ſpana ; Iſl. ſpan, ſpon; Ital. ſpanna; Fr.
eſpan, empan. Vide Hicks, Gram. Franc. p. 98. The
Swed. verb ſpanna, to meaſure. Hence they call grain in
general fpannemal, as being ſold by meaſure. Of a young
Slender girl they ſay, Hon ar ſa ſmal, att man kan ſpanna om
benne, She is ſo ſmall, that with two ſpans you may encircle
her; ſpanna konut, mulieres contrectare. We are not ſure
whether we are to connect with this the Goth. ſpann, a
bracelet; Ger. ſpange, B. Lat. ſpanga, de qua Cange. From
this word comes Swed. ſpanna, to bind. Feſtus has ſpinter,
armillæ genus. Spannabalt was the ancient deſperate
mode of duelling, when the combatants, bound within the
narrow circle of one belt, which ſurrounded both, attacked
each other with ſhort daggers. From ſpin, ſpan, a number of
words have their origin, all denoting what is long, ſlender,
and ſharp. Such are Goth. ſpik, whence our ſpike and hand--
ſpike, the wooden leavers by which ſeamen heave at the capſtan.
The Lat. ſpica, ſpiculum; Gael. ſpeice; ſpoke of a
wheel; Ital. ſpighe, della rota ; Ger. ſpeiche. In the Armor.
ſpec and anſpec, ſign. a ſmall leaver. The Gothic ſpik,
a ſpear; whence the ſpiculum of the Latins. Confer Cange,
in Specillum, a probe.
Quhorles] A perforated piece of circular ſtone, fixed on the
ſpindle to give it weight in turning round; literally, whirlers,
to encreaſe the motion in whirling round. Scyth. whirra,
horra, wherta, turbare, tumultuari, ſurſum et deorſum ferri.
Whilk is a gentle trade indeed,
To carry the Gaberlunzie on.
I'll bow my leg and crook my knee,
An' draw a black clout owr my eye,
Goth. huirſwel, our whirlwind, from hwerſwa, Iſl. huerſa,
in gyrum agere. From the Goth. horra, the Engliſh hurry.
Prim. girwhir, circle. A.S. ymbbærtan, to be turned round.
Belg. werwen, wieren. Hence the ſea-phraſe, to wear ſhip,
to bring her round. Fr. virer and verve, by which they
denote the furor poeticus, which ſtrongly agitates the mind;
and this affection the Iſlanders, among whom of old it was
very ſtrong and frequent, call ſcaldwingl. From this primitive
the Greek γυρδν, and the Latin gyrare. It is remarkable
that the old Latins laid vervare, for circumagere; and
urvare, to draw the circular line with the plough, to mark
the boundaries of the future city. The word is pure Gothic;
but neither Feſtus, nor any of his commentators, underſtood
it. Confer Acta Sueciæ Litterar. vol. IV. p. 386. Junius
has given us no etymon of whirl. Vid. in voce.
VER. 6. Clout] Goth. klut, panni fruſtum, a rag. The
prim. is clo-clu, covered, ſhut up. Hence Lat. claudo, cludo,
in-cludo, and our cloſe, incloſe, diſcloſe. Douglas uſed cloys
for cloiſter, place where monks and nuns ar ſhut up. In
the Gael. cluff, in A.S. cleof; ſignify joining of a rent.
A.S. geclutad braegl, a clouted garment. "Ex his conjicere
licet (ſays Ihre) klut, prima et antiquiſſima ſignificatione
denotaſſe panni fruſta adſfarciendas verſtes immiſſa." In
Engliſh, a clouterly fellow, a mean man, a fellow in rags.
Belg. kloete, a fool; Swed. klutare, a botcher of old clothes.
A cripple or blind they will ca' me,
While we will be merry and ſing.
VER. 7. Cripple] Lame man. A word found in all the
Celtic dialects. Welſh crupl; A.S. crypl; Belg. krepel,
kreupel; Swed. krympling, paralytic, membris captus; whence
our cramp, binding of the ſinews. The primitive is craf,
crif; craw, to bind. Hence Gaelic crampa, French
crampon, cramponer. The ſhell-fiſh crab, from its claws,
and the French crapaud, are of the fame origin. Hence,
too, Greek γρυπαινειν, in-curvari, γρυπαλιον, a man bent
down or crippled with age. Gloſſ. Philoxeni ϰραιπαλοντες,
vacillantes. Junius odly deduces cripple, a ϰραιπαλη, crapula:
— But we are weary of his blunders; and ſo, perhaps,
is the reader of ours.
— Jam ſatis eſt, manum de tabula.
FOR the following elucidations of the general principles
laid down in the Preface, and exemplified in the
Notes on the foregoing Ballad, the Public and I are indebted
to a learned and worthy friend of the Author*, whoſe extenſive
erudition is only equalled by the modeſty and candour
conſpicuous in his whole deportment. I am ſure our learned
readers will regret with me, that he has not puſhed his reſearches
further than he has done. But, from the little he has
here given us, the general principle of Etymology I have endeavoured
to eſtabliſh will derive new force, and our readers
IN the following ſtrictures, I have, in a manner, confined
myſelf to the Oriental languages. My knowledge of the
Northern tongues is too much bounded to qualify me for purſuing
the coincidences of words through their various dialects.
I ſhall, perhaps, be blamed for terminating the origin
of too great a number of words in the Hebrew. This, however,
I did, from a conviction that their radical ſyllables and
ſignifications appeared moſt obvious in that language. In a
few inſtances I have taken the liberty to differ from the
* Mr David Doig, Rector of the Academy in Stirling.
learned and laborious Author of the Notes. I have not,
however, the remoteſt intention to detract from his well-known
abilities and merit. I imagined it might neither be diſpleaſing
to himſelf, nor his readers, to ſee, upon ſome occaſions,
the ſame individual term placed in various points of light.
If the unlearned philologer ſhall acquire one new idea by the
peruſal of them, I ſhall think myſelf abundantly rewarded for
the pains I have taken in throwing them together.
Before I proceed to the additional notes, I ſhall take the
liberty to preſent to the reader one ſingle word, which, in my
opinion, furniſhes a very ſtriking evidence of the truth of the
Author's leading principle, with relation to the exiſtence of
an original univerſal language.
Ur, aur, our] Theſe words ſignify fire, light, heat, and
ſeveral other things nearly connected with theſe ideas. They
occur frequently in the Hebrew, and its ſiſter-dialects. In
the Chald. we have Ur, the name of a city, where, it is
thought, the Sun was worſhipped by a perpetual fire. Alſo
Or-choe, the ſeat of the Chaldean aſtronomers called Orcheni,
Strabo, l. 16. p. 739. We find oreitæ., or oritæ, in
different parts of the Eaſt, the Chald. Atun B-ura, the furnace
of fire, occurs, Dan. chap. 3. ver. 6. &c. In the
Gentoo language war, which is only a ſmall variation, imports
day, light, ſee — Halhed's Pref. to his Tranſlation of
the Gentoo Laws. In the ſame tongue, the moſt ancient
Dynaſty of the Gentoo Princes were called Surage, from Sur,
a name or epithet of the Sun — See Halhed's Pref. and Col.
Dow's Introd. to the Hiſt. of Hindoſtan.
In the old Perſian, or Pehlvi, the word hyr ſignifies fire,
the ſame with ur, only with the aſpirate prefixed.
Hyr-bad, a fire, temple; Az-ur, Mars, i.e. the fiery
planet, compounded of Az, or Aſt, fire, and Ur, heat or
light. Hur, or Chur, is a common name of the Sun in that
language. Kur, Raſch, Horeſh, Κυρος, Gr. which laſt,
Plut. Vit. Artax. ſignifies the Sun. From the ſame word we
have the firſt ſyllable of Or-mazd, the God of Light, the
chief Divinity of the Perſians. Here, too, we find Purim,
Signifying lots, denominated from the ceremonies of fire employed
upon theſe occafions — Eſth. chap. iii. ver. 7. &c.
The Arabian Uro-talt, Herod. l. 3. cap. 8. is compounded
of ur, light, and jalath, high. In Egypt we find Orus,
or Horus, Apollo, the Sun, Herod, 1. 2. Diod. Sic. 1. 1.
Plut. Iſis and Oſiris, Horapollo, Paſſ. In the ſame language
we have Athur, the name of a month, partly anſwering to
our October, on the 17th day of which Oſiris was put into
the coffin, a word compounded of ait, or at, or ath, heat,
and ur, or or — See Plut. ubi ſupra. The particle pi was
common in the Egyptian tongue, ſee Kirch. Prolegom. Copt.
page 180, 297. Jameſon's Spicileg. cap. 9. parag. 4. Hence
pur, fire, and ſometimes the Sun. Of this word, and the
Hebrew chamud, or omud, columna, is compounded the
term πυραμις, pyramid, edifices, erected in honour of the
The πυρ of the Greeks, according to Plato (Cratyl.
410. Serr.) was borrowed from the Phrygians. Theſe laſt
had received it from the Perſians by the Armenians, who
ſpoke nearly the ſame language. The word πυρ produced a
numerous family, all deſcendants of the oriental term Ur.
Or] Another modification of the ſame word, produced
ώ̓ρα, tempeſtas, a ſeaſon, with a numerous train of connections.
alſo ώ̓ρα, beauty ; αορ, a ſword, from its glittering, by
the ſame analogy that the Scandinavians call it brandt: Alſo
όραω, video, and many others.
From aur we have the Eolic αυρα, αυρον, afterwards adopted
by the Latins. From our we have ουρος, ventus ſecundus,
with all its compounds and derivatives; alſo ϰυνοςδρα, the
North Pole-Star, which the Greeks have corrupted in a
ſhameful manner. It is really compoſed of the Hebrew or
Phœnician kanes, congregavit, and ur, light, i.e. an Aſſemblage
of Light. From the ſame root we have ουρανος, cœlum.
The laſt part is probably the oriental en, ſignifying an eye, a
fountain, the Sun being the eye of Heaven, or fountain of
In the Latin tongue we have a numerous tribe of words
deſcended from ur, or, aur; ſuch are uro, buro, burrum
ap. Feſtum pro rufum, purus, purgo. From the ſame root
we have furo, to rage like fire ; furia, a fury. Perhaps this
laſt word may be a native of Egypt, from whence the Greeks
derived their ideas of the infernal regions. See Diod. Sic.
I. i. juxta finem. The Latian Jupiter was called Jupiter
Puer. I ſuſpect this epithet is diſtorted from pi-ur. In ancient
times, it is probable, this Deity was no other than the
Sun. See Macrob. Saturn. cap. 17. His Miniſters were
called Pueri; and becauſe they were generally handſome
young men, ſelected for that office, in proceſs of time,
fancy, the word puer came to ſignify a young man in general,
At Preneſte, Jupiter Puer was in high veneration; he preſided
over the celebrated Sortes Preneſtini, deſcribed by
Cicero, de Divinat. l. 2. From or we have orior, ordior,
and perhaps oro; from aur we have aura, Aurora, aurum,
The words fire, air, &c. plainly deſcended of the ſame
ſtock, under various forms, and with new modifications, pervade
all the German and Scandinavian dialects; an aſſertion
which the Author of the Notes would certainly have demonſtrated,
had that term occurred in the text of the Ballad.
In the French we have jour, with all its compounds, from
the very ſame root. In the Celtic, ore, or aur, ſignifies gold,
concerning which, Voſſius (Etym. V. Aurun) has told a
heap of abſurdites. The name ore is given it in alluſion
to its ſhining quality, a word which we have adopted,
and applied to ſignify any metal before it is purified
and refined. Aur alſo in Celtic ſignifies yellow. Vid.
Bullet in Aur. Thoſe who are well acquainted with
the remains of the ancient Celtic, can, no doubt, produce
many other cognates of the ſame original term. If the above
detail ſhould be thought tedious, the beſt apology I can make
is, that I am confident I have, for the ſake of brevity, omitted
at leaſt one third of what I could eaſily have produced:
At the ſame time, all theſe analogies might have been confirmed
and elucidated by a variety of quotations from ancient
and modern authors, had the bounds I have preſcribed to myſelf
admitted ſuch enlargements.
Gaber] In ſome places of Scotland, this word, among the
vulgar, denotes an idea very different from that aſſigned by
the Author of the Notes. When a thing is daſhed to pieces,
they ſay it is driven to gaberts, or gabers. According to
this acceptation, the Gaberlunzie-man will imply a fellow
whoſe clothes about his loins are all rags and tatters, all
worn out, &c.
The character exhibited throughout the Ballad, ſeems
rather to be that of a common beggar than of a tinker, though
indeed both profeſſions were often united in the ſame perſon.
Gab ſeems originally to denote the roof of the month or
palate. In ſome of the Eaſtern languages it ſignifies an eminence,
a protuberance, gibbous, &c. Hence Arab. gebal, a
hill; alſo the Lat. gibbus, hump-backed. According to this
idea, it was appropriated to ſignify the roof of the mouth,
which, indeed, riſes in a gibbous form or arch over the tongue
and lower part of the mouth. From the notion of a riſing
protuberance, it was probably transferred to ſignify cabbage,
And whatever elſe imports eminence, elevation, or gibboſity.
Hence gabah, ſcyphus, a kind of cup, ſo called from its
gibbous protuberant belly, perhaps the origin of the Scotch
word cap, and of all its German and Scandinavian cognates.
Caph, Hebr. the hollow of the hand, or any other cavity
fitted for containing. By changing the ph but a very little,
we have cav, gau, cow, and gow, ſyllables which occur in a
number of compounds, both in the Eaſt and Weſt. Plut.
Alex. tells us that gau-gamela ſignifies the houſe of the camel.
It were eaſy to trace this word through many different languages.
It is the origin of the Engliſh word cave, Scotch
cove, and Welch cowe; Lat. cavus, a-um, hollow. Here,
I believe, we may diſcover a compoſition of the word cælum
very different from that uſually aſſigned. Co is a houſe, and
El, or Il, a Phnœician name of the Deity. Hence we have
Ennius's Alliſonans Coil, Annal. L. 1. and alſo the following
"Coilum proſpexit ſtellis fulgentibus aptum.
"Olim de Coilo laivum dedit inclytus ſignum,
"Saturnus quern Coilus genuvit.
"Unus erat quem tu tollas in coirila Coili
Hence it is probable that Co-il originally ſignified the Houſe
of Il, or El, which is perfectly conformable to the notion of
Heaven commonly exhibited in Scripture. The idea annexed
to this word carries us back to a very uncultivated ſtate of
Society. The ſame word being applied both to ſignify a cave
and a houſe, intimates that the original men often dwelt in
eaves. Vid. the Poems of Oſſian, paſſim.
"Domus antra fuerunt,
"Et denſi frutices, vinetæ cortice virgæ."
As gow, gaw, caw, cow, originally ſignified a houſe, in
proceſs of time it came to import a collection of houſes, a
village, a city. This was the caſe both in the German and
Celtic tongues. Thus we have Cra-cow, Tor-gaw, Wormes--
gaw, Nord-gaw, Rhin-gaw: See Cluv. Germ. Antiq. l.
cap. 13. p. 91. Confer Bullet in Gouri, and Gowrin.
In Scotland we have Glaſ-cow, or Glaſ-gow, Linlith--
gow, &c. In the old Britiſh dialect, gowe, or rather
cowe, ſignified likewiſe low, hollow; Scotch howe. From
gow, or cow, and ri, a river, we have Gowrie, a low fertile
tract of ground, lying on the north bank of the river
Tay. In ancient times, this diſtrict lay between the rivers
Tay and Erne.
Lunzie] We call a bulky parcel, which one carries on his
haunch, under his coat, a lunchick; perhaps the ſame with the
Engliſh luncheon, both derived from the word lunzie.
VER. 1. The] This particle has a moſt extenſive range
both in the Eaſtern and Weſtern parts of the Globe. Hebr.
zah, or zahah; Chald. da, di, dik, din. Arab. Syr. much
the ſame. Perf. di. From the Chald. da, the Greeks
formed their το, the article of the neuter gender. It is the
ſame with the Latin de, though of a different ſignification.
The ſame article runs through all the Gothic dialects, with
very little variation.
Over] This prepoſition, however meanly it figures in our
dialects, is, notwithſtanding, one of the terms which made a
part of the original language of mankind. In Hebrew we
have chabar, or, as ſome pronounce it, obar, tranſivit,
tranſgreſſus eft; heber, tranſitus; Chald. cheber, chiber, from
which word, ſome think the poſterity of Abraham were called
Hebrews, transfluviani, men from beyond the river. Syrian
chabara, or abara, whence Beth-abara, the houſe of the paſſage,
the ferry-houſe, John, chap. i. 25. Hence alſo chebar,
in Ezek. From Chabar, trans, over were denominated the
Chabareni, a people beyond the mountains of Armenia,
Steph. Byzan. in Voc.
From the Chald. Chiber, we have all the Iberi in the Eaſt.
In Spain we have Celt-iberi, i.e. the Celtæ beyond the
mountains; the river Iber, now Ebro, denominated,
I ſuppoſe, by the Gauls who ſettled in that country.
The word qber, ſignifying the mouth of a river, pervades
all the Celtic dialects, and differs almoſt nothing from the
Chabar of the Eaſt.
From the ſame word we have the Greek υπερ, and γεφυρα,
a bridge. Alſo the Lat. ſuper, ſupra, with all their connections.
Upon the whole, hardly any particle has pervaded a
greater number of dialects, both in Europe and Aſia.
Lee] Over all the North of Scotland they pronounce this
word ley, which comes very near the Greek λειος, λευιων,
VER. 3. Gudewife] Good, Scots gude, runs through all
the Northern dialects. Its primitive is found in the old Perſian
language, where it is gath, good. It is the root of the
Greek αγαθκ, good.
Wife] Of all the etymologies of this word, none ſeem to
me more plauſible than that which refers it to the very word
chevah. It is only changing the letter heth into w, and
throwing away the he at the end ; but the profound etymologiſts
will reject this derivation, were it for no other reaſon
but becaufe it is obvious.
Kaiu, Kaio] Theſe words are originally Perſian. Kai,
or Hei, was a title given to a dynaſty of their Kings. Hence
the Princes of that family were called Kaianides, which ſignifies
the ſplendid, or illuſtriouſ. The word hai, hei, ſignifies
fulgur, a flafh of lightning. Hebr. kai, or kei, uſtio,
aduſtio; Gr. ϰαιω, uro. From the ſame root the Latin
prænomen Caius, borrowed, I ſuppoſe, from the Etruſcans,
a colony of Lydians, which laſt had it from their neighbours
γεναω] From γνω, gigno, which laſt from γεα, Terra,
it being the opinion of the ancient uncivilized Greeks, that
the original men ſprung from the earth, according to the
doctrine of Moſchus, Democritus, and Epicurus, which was
introduced afterwards, and formed upon the ſame opinion.
The radical term is the Hebr. gia, vallis.
Gaudeo is, I believe, deduced from the Hebrew gaah,
ſuperbire; whence gavah, exultatio, which produces the Gr.
γαω and the Lat. gaudeo, originally gaveo. The Scots
word gaff, to laugh immoderately, belongs to the ſame family.
They ſeem to be originally onomatopæas, formed in alluſion
to the ſound of the human voice in an extaſy of joy.
VER. 4. Ludge] Celt. Lug, Log, a place; whence Lat.
Locus, and the Scot. Logie, the name of ſeveral villages.
Hence alſo Kil-logie.
VER. 5. Night] This word, in various forms, pervades
all the Northern dialects. With a ſmall variation, we have
Lat. nox, noct; Gr. νυξ; Hebr. Chad. Syr. nuch, quievit,
Wat] Perſ. ab, av, aw, a river ; the very ſame with
the Celtic word av, ſignifying the ſame thing. Of au and
phrat, the Greeks made Ευφρατης, Euphrates.
VER. 6. Ingle] The origin of this word is very obſcure.
In many places o Scotland they have no other fuel but peats,
furze, broom, heath, and bruſhwood. Fires conſiſting of
ſuch materials muſt be fed by continual ſupplies, which they
call beeting. The Welch vocable inghilſt ſignifies feeding;
this I take to be the origin of the word ingle, alluding to the
conſtant feeding of the fire. In like manner, Iſl. elldur is
fire; ellde, to boil with fire; both from el, ool, ela, to feed.
VER. 7. Dochter's] This word is purely Perſian, as is
VER. 8. Cadgily] The word cadge is probably derived
from the Sciavonian chodge, to trudge on foot; whence, too,
our ſcodgy, a little wench, who does the dirty work in a farmer's
kitchen. The word cadgy, in the preſent caſe, ſhould,
I think, be written cagy, or cagie, which would agree better
with the pronounciation. It imports merry, chearful, jovial,
and is, I believe, an abbreviation of the old French word
cagedler, the ſame with cajoler, to cajole, flatter, cox.
VER. 5. Canty] From Lat. canto, cano. Hebr. kanah,
canna, calamus, arundo, plainly alludes to playing on inſtruments
made of reeds, the reed being the firſt ſubſtance uſed
for wind muſic. The Hebrew chanah, among other ſignifications,
denotes to ſing, to ſay, to ſpeak to, to teſtify, to
atteſt. The Greek αιδω, in ancient times, implied both to
ſing and to ſpeak. By comparing theſe two ideas, it appears
that the ancients uttered their words with a canting tone of
voice, or in the recitative ſtile. From this circumſtance the
orations of the Greeks and Romans may poſſibly have derived
ſome part of that influence, which we ſtill admire, but have
VER. 6. Ken] This is another word of Perſian extraction.
In that language it denotes a learned intelligent man, eſpecially
in the Laws of Zerduſht. Hence all the deſcendants of that
word in Greek, Latin, Gothic, &c
VER. 2. Daddy] This word occurs, with little variation,
in many different languages; ab, ap, av-us, at, atta, tat,
dad, &c. and are all mere onomatopæas, fabricated from the
early prattle of infants. The ſound is formed by an application
of the point of the tongue to the roof of the mouth, one
of the molt natural efforts of the organs of fpeech. It was
probably caught by mothers and nurfes, and by them applied
to intimate the idea of fatter. This proceſs was natural.
The firſt articulate found enounced by the child was appropriated
to the idea of father, he being deemed ſuperior in digs
pity to the other parent.
Di] Mentioned in the notes on the preceding word, ſignifies
blight, luminous, ſplendid, glorious. It occurs in many
of the Eaſtern dialects, and from thence probably found its
way into the Weſt. Perſian div, a genius, whence Eol. Διβος,
Lat. divas, Hebr. zui, ſplendor; Lat. diu, in the daytime;
Gr. Δις, Jupiter, originally the Sun; Διος, divinus,
and ſo forth.
This word makes the firſt part of Διονυσος, the Greek
name of Bacchus, a word which has been ſtrangely garbled
by etymologiſts. In reality, dio ſignifies bright, and naſia,
princeps. The Eolians changed a into v. Hence Dionyſius
will ſignify the bright Prince, or the Prince of Light, i.e.
the Sun, who was indeed the original Bacchus of the Greeks,
and Oſiris-of the Egyptians.
VER. 6. Dyke] Heb. deik, munitio, propugnaculum; Gr.
τειχος, Hence all the progeny of that word throughout the
Greek and Gothic dialects. Hence, too, the Gr. δειϰω,
δειϰνομς, oſtendo, to point out, as from the top of a bulwark,
fort, or tower. This word may be compared with the Lat.
ſpecula, ſpeculor, to view from a watch-tower. In ancient
times it was the practice to erect watch-towers, or eminences,
round the frontiers of a country, and in theſe to place a man,
whoſe buſineſs it was to look out, and, upon the approach of
an enemy, to alarm the country by lighting up fires. Hence
the churim, vigiles, Hebr. Chald. alluding to the kindling
up firei; the Gr. φρδροι, from the ſame idea; the Lat.
ſpeculatores, and the Scandinavian gokeſmen.
VER. 7. Clead] To this family belong the Gr. ϰλωθω, neo,
and Κλωθω the eldeſt of the Deſtinies.
Braw] From brage, mentioned in the Note on this
word, we have the Engl. brag, braggodocio, importing originally
loud-talking. The Perſian word brag ſignifies ſhining,
ſparkling, and might be metaphorically applied to denote a
perſon of ſhining talents, which exactly ſuits the Scandinavian
Ladylike] Lady, compounded of Goth. lhaif, bread, and
dien, to ſerve, becauſe the miſtreſs of the family uſed to diſtribute
the bread to the gueſts and domeſtics.
VER. 1. Twa] Scots twa, Engl. two, Belg. twee,
Swed. twa, Dan. toe, Sax. twa, twy, Pal. dwa, Ruf. twa,
Lat. duo, Gr. δυω, Welch duy, Ger. zwan, Perſ. do,
Beng. dio, Malay duo.
VER. 2 Wee] Little. This word bids fair for being the
root of the Greek ύιος, a ſon. Hence, too, we have the
Spaniſh hijo, ſignifying the ſame thing. This is one of the
many Gothic terms ſtill ſubſiſting in the Spaniſh tongue.
Their etymologiſts tell us, that the word hidolgo, which, in
their language, ſignifies a gentleman, is compounded of hijo
and algo, i.e. the ſon of ſomething. I believe they are miſtaken.
The word is made up of the two Gothic terms hijo
and idelg, or idolg, which laſt, in that language, ſignifies a
gentleman. A.S. adel athæling, nobly born.
Cock] The Celtic word kok ſignifies red; whence Greek
κοκκος, and Latin coccus, purple. Perhaps this bird was ſo
denominated from the red colour of his creſt, or comb. Be
that as it may, the creature is a native of Media, and therefore
cannot endure the cold of theſe northern regions, without
ſuffering very ſeverely.
VER. 3. Shot] The root is the Scythian ſket, an arrow:
Perhaps it may not be amiſs to enquire ſomewhat minutely into
the origin and connections of this word, for reaſons which
will appear by and by. I ſhall not pretend to trace it through
the Gothic dialects, all which it pervades, with little alteration
of ſound or ſignification. From the numerous cognates of
this term, I ſhall ſingle out the word ſkeit, or ſkout, which is
nothing elſe but a modification of the original vocable. The
preſent meaning of this word is univerſally known; but, I believe,
few are acquainted with its original and primary acceptation.
The Celtic or Gaelic word ſcuta denotes a vagabond, a
reſtleſs; wanderer, one perpetually roving about, without ſettling
in any particular place, or fixed habitation. From this
definition it plainly appears that it is of the ſame family with
the word ſcout, mentioned above. This radical term, with
the definition annexed, I owe to the tranſlator of Oſſian's
Poems; and it enables me to aſcertain the original import of
two names, which have greatly embarraſſed a multitude of
critics, of different ages and countries. This word ſcuta is,
beyond all doubt, the original of the Greek Σϰυδα, Scytha,
a Scythian. The ſound and ſignification of the Celtic and
Greek word fix the analogy to a demonſtration. It was,
no doubt, applied to the Scythians, with a particular view to
exhibit the roving, reſtleſs diſpoſition of thoſe people, who inhabitcd
all the Northern regions of Aſia and Europe. Analagous
to this idea, the Perſians called the ſame people Σαϰαι,
Sacæ. Herod. 1. 7. cap. 64. Οιδε Περσαι παντας τας Σκυθας
ϰαλεαςι Σαϰας; "Now the Perſians call all the Scythians,
"Sacæ." The Perſian word ſack is plainly a cognate of the
Hebrew ſhakak, diſcurrere, diſcurſitare, &c. The monoſyllable
root of the word is ſhak, or ſheik, and alludes to the
very ſame reſtleſs, wandering diſpoſition, that the word ſcuta
does in the Celtic. Both the Σϰυδα of the Greeks, and the
Sacæ of the Perſians, were terms of reproach, impoſed by
hoſtile neighbours; and, of courſe, were never adopted by the
Scythians themſelves, who always aſſumed a more honourable
From the ſame word ſcuta, and for the ſame reaſon, was
derived the opprobrious name Scot; a name deteſted by the.
Aborigines of the country, who always call themſelves by the
Gentile appellation, Albanich. During the lower ages of the
Roman Empire, the Aboriginous Britons, whom the Romans,
upon their firſt invaſion, had forced to take ſhelter among the
faſtneſſes of the mountains, gradually recovered their courage,
and, ſallying from their ſtrong holds, harraſſed the Romans,
and Provincial Britons, without diſtinction. As theſe people
were perpetually roving about, and diſtreſſing the Province by
deſultory wars, the Provincial Britons, out of ſpite, branded
them with the infamous epithet of ſcuta, in alluſion to their
wandering migratory courſe of life. The Romans ſoon caught
the term from the Britons, and turned the word into Scotti,
In confirmation of this etymon, it may be obſerved, that,
not many years ago, the Scots borderers uſed to call themſelves
ſcuytes, and ſkytes, as we learn from Cambden. Indeed,
lets than a century ago, the term was current in the
North of Scotland. The Saxon-Scots readily adopted this
name, being ignorant of the original import of it; but the
Scoto-Brigantes, or Highlanders, have always deemed it a
term of reproach, and, conſequently, ſtill retain their original
From the ſame word Saca, or Sak, explained above,
the Saxons who ſettled in the North of Germany ſeem to
have derived their name. They were probably a colony of
Scythian emigrants, who ſettled in that country, and brought
with them the Gentile name Sak, which had become the
general denomination of theſe tribes of Scythians who lived
neareſt the frontiers of Media, and the other Provinces of
the Perſian Empire. Certainly the etymon aſſigned by Verſtegan,
Sir William Temple, and others, who tell us, that it
is derived from ſeaxen, or ſeaxes, is highly improbable.
Theſe ſeaxen, or feaxes, were weapons much uſed by the
Saxons. They were crooked after the faſhion of a ſcythe,
with the edge on the contrary or outward ſide. The plural,
formed by n, inſtead of s, made Seaxon, which (ſays Verftegan,
p. as.) the Latins turned into Saxons.
VER. 4. Bent] This ſpecies of graſs is ſeldom produced in
marſhy grounds. It appears in greateſt plenty on any ſandy
hillocks, eſpecially on ſandy grounds lying on the ſea-ſhore,
which we call links. In Erſe it is called iſnach, which ſignifies
ſhort, ill-grown; Scot. ſitten. Our anceilors uſed to
twiſt ropes of it, for ſeveral purpoſes; hence, perhaps, it
might be called bent, from Iſlandic band, Saxon bandan,
VER. I. Beggar] To beg, to aſk alms; from the Goth.
bidgan, Iſl. bid, Sax. biddan,. to pray; whence to bid beads.
Perhaps it may have originated from the practice of beggars,
who uſe to pray for alms. The Hebr. bag ſignifies meat, and,
is, perhaps, a cognate of this term.
VER. a. Strae] There is an obvious analogy between this
word and the Gr. ςρωω, ςροννυμι; Lat. ſtrao, ſterno, to
ſtraw, to ſpread, to level. In this laſt ſenſe, they ſeem to
coincide with the word ſtrath, level country, lying between
two ridges of mountains) ſo common in all the Celtic dialects.
Strath, and ſtraith are true Celtic words, a valley lying along
a river. Vide Bullet, Dict. Celt. in Strat and Strah.
To the ſame tribe belong Gr. ςρατος, ςραπα, ςρατοπεδον.
Theſe words were appropriated by the Greeks to ſignify
a camp, an army, an encampment, &c. becauſe the original
mode was to chuſe large level plains for encampments.
For the ſame reaſon, the word camp, from the Lat. campus,
a plain, is uſed by the French, Spaniards, Italians, and Engliſh,
to denote the ſame idea.
The Latin word ſterno ſignifies to make a bed, which was
done by ſhaking, arranging, and levelling the ſtraw; whence
appears the relation of the ideas. Both Greeks and Latins
call a bed-ſtead torus, becauſe it was formed of thongs of a.
bull's hide, employed in the ſame manner as we now do cords.
Thus Oſſian often mentions the binding of priſoners with
thongs. We learn, too, that in that Poet's time, thongs of.
leather were uſed aboard of ſhips for ropes. The Chald. thor
is a bull; whence the ταυρος of the Greek, and the taurus
of the Latins. From theſe two ideas of ſtraw, and thongs of
undreſſed leather, we may infer, that the ancients of every rank
ſlept not more ſoftly than our peaſants do at preſent.
VER. 5. Koffers] Iſl. kofe, domuncula; kofa, cavea, conclave.
Here again we may recur to the Hebrew kaph,
cavum, vola, manus, &c. Hence, too, we have the vulgar
term coſt, inſtead of bought, i.e. coffed, put into my coffer.
Kiſts] The root of this word is the Hebrew kis, loculus,
VER. 2. Kirn] To the Author's numerous collections on
the etymology of this word, we may add, that, agreeably to his
idea, the Hebr. geor ſignifies coire, convenire, in the ſame ſenſe
that the Latins ſay, in circulum venire. I cannot diſmiſs this,
word without venturing a few ſtrictures on the very different
ideas affixed to it.
Gur, a verb, ſignifies, among other things, to fear, to be
afraid, to dread. Gur, a ſubſtantive-noun, imports ſtranger,
an inconzer, a ſojourner. From the connection of theſe
two ideas, we are led to infer the inhoſpitable character of the
ancients towards people of a foreign tribe, or clan, who reſided
among, them. Their hoſpitality to travellers, or paſſengers,
was indeed almoſt unbounded; but with reſpect to
foreigners who ſettled in their country, the caſe ſeems to have
been widely different, as it ſtill is in many places of the
diſtant Highlands: Hence, I ſuppoſe, the many injunctions
we meet with in ſcripture, inculcating beneficence and
tenderneſs towards ſtrangers.
From magor, or megor, a compound of this word, we
have Mægara, the name of one of the furies of hell, importing
terror, diſmay, &c.
From another compound of the word magur, habitatio,
commoratio, we have the Greek μεγαρον, domus,
domicilium, any large repoiſtory, or magazine; a word very
common in Homer. From Megurah we have Megara, a
city of Greece, mid-way between Athens and Corinth. Garuth,
hoſpitium, is the very ſame with the Celtic ghwarth, a fort or
caſtle. The ſame word produced the Perſian ghert, guerd,
a city, from which we have a numerous family of deſcendants
in all the Gothic dialects. This word is likewiſe the parent of
the Lat. migro, to remove; or, as we ſay in Scotland, to flit.
In the notes upon this word, which indeed ſhew a vaſt extent
of etymological learning, the Author deduces the Greek
αγορα, from the the primitive gur: To me it ſeems rather to
be formed from the prefect. med. of the verb αγειρω, congrego,
which is derived from the Hebrew ager, collegit,
VER. 2. Butt] This word, with all its numerous progeny,
was imported from Perſia, where it appears nearly in the ſame
form, bad, bod, bud, ſignifying, in that language, a houſe, a
dwelling, an abode, the very ſame with the German and Scandinavian
word in queſtion. It is indeed the Hebr. beth, beith;
Chald. bith; Arab. bait; Egypt. but. In Egypt, the place
into which the initiated were put was called by this name.
See Heſych. in voce. Alſo, βατις, βωτις, and, without
the Greek termination but, bot, was a kind of ſhip, reſembling
a floating-houſe or booth. From the ſame word we have the
Greek ϰιβωτις, a wooden ark. Comp. of the Hebrew geb,
gibbus, and bot. This word might be traced through a multitude
of languages, and was, no doubt, a primæval term.
VER. 4. Ben] To the numerous etymologies of this word
traced by the Author, I ſhall preſume to add one more,
which will lead us back to the ſame original with but, of
which it is the oppeſite. In the Chald. we find the word benin,
benina, Ezr. v. 4. ſignifies ædificium, a houfe, a dwelling,
from the Hebr. bona, ædificavit. From benin we may, without
any violence, deduce the word ben, in the ſame manner
we do butt from beth.
VER. 8. Bann'd] This is another word of Perſian extraction.
In that language the word bend ſignifies a chain, and
metaphorically an obſtacle, a barrier, a wall.
VER. 4. Frae] The ſame nearly with the Gr. παρα. The
radix is the Hebr. pharad, or phrad, ſeparavit, ſejunxit. The
root is phar, phara; or, without the point, phra. It is certainly
connected with our words far, frae. Of this word phar,
and Chald. bara, is formed the Greek Βαρβαρος, a Barbarian.
In the oriental dialects it ſignified agreſtis, rufticus, a peaſant;
what idea the Greeks annexed to its derivative, is too
well known to need to be mentioned.
The Author has ſomewhere obſerved, that there is certainly
a very ftrict connection among the particles of almoſt all
languages. This obſervation is founded on fact; and I may
add, that the not underſtanding the nature, relations, ſignification,
and original import of theſe ſeemingly unimportant
terms, has occaſioned not only great uncertainty, but numberleſs
blunders, in translating the ancient languages into
modern tongues. The Greek language, in particular, loſes
a conſiderable part of its beauty, elegance, variety?
and energy, when the adverbial particles, with which
it is replete, are not thoroughly comprehended. An
exact tranſlation of theſe ſmall words, in appearance inſignificant,
would throw new light not only on Homer and
Heſiod, but even on poets of a much poſterior date. Particlies,
which are generally treated as mere expletives, would
often be found energetically ſignificant. It is, however, altogether
impoſſible to ſucceed in this attempt, without a competent
ſkill in the Hebrew, Chaldean, Syrian, Arabic, Perſian,
Phœnician, Gothic, and Celtic languages. Such an
extentſive acquaintance with languages is, it is true, ſeldom
to be found in one and the ſame perſon. I ſhall here take the
liberty to mention a few of the moſt familiar of theſe particles,
one or other of which occurs in almoſt every line of Homer,
and which, I am perſuaded, are generally miſunderſtood.
Such are δη, δα, μεν, ην, μα, τοι, γε, οχ, γαν, αρα, ρα.
All theſe particles are truly ſignificant, and, if properly explained,
would add conſiderable energy to the clauſes in which
they ſtand, but this diſquiſition muſt be left to the learned
Philologers of the Univerſities.
VER. 7. Laith] The Author adduces very plauſible arguments
to prove, that the Greek word ελεγος is derived
from laith. I ſhall, however, adduce another etymology, and
leave the choice to the judgment of the reader. In the Hebr.
and Chald. we have the word cheleg, plur. chelegim; or, as
ſome pronounce them, oleg, plur. olegim, liſping, ſtammering.
In ancient times, ελεγος ſignified the ſame with θρηνος,,
lamentation. Thoſe who lament uſe a whining tone of voice;
which circumſtance, perhaps, gave birth to the word.
VER. 7. Town] To the Author's quotation from Tacitus,
may be added another from Cæſar de Bel. Gal. l. 5. cap. 21.
VER. 7. Ca'] Few words paſs through More languages,
and with leſs variation than this. Its root is the Hebrew kol,
vox. Its-cognates and derivatives ſpread themſelves through
the Arabic, Syrian, Chaldean, Perſian,
Gothic, and are a ſtriking inſtance of the univerſality of the
It has been obſerved, in the courſe of theſe Notes, that the
German and Scandinavian tongues abound with vocables of
the ſame ſound and ſignification. There are only two ways
of accounting for this appearance: Firſt, by ſuppoſing that
theſe coincident terms were parts of the univerſal original
language ſpoken by Noah and his family on the plains of
Shinar, and preſerved after the confuſion of tongues at Babel:
Or, ſecondly, by granting, that Colonies emigrated from the
neighbourhood of Media and Perſia, and at laſt ſettled in Germany
and Scandinavia. Perhaps it might be owing to both
cauſes. Without entering into a minute diſcuſſion of this
point, which the bounds I hare preſcribed myſelf will not
permit, I ſhall only obſerve, that the Median and Armenian
tongues were different dialects of the ſame language. The
Armenians, Syrians, Chaldeans, reſembled one another in
features, language, and manners. Again, the Phrygian and
Armenian tongues bore ſo near a reſemblance, that many have
thought the former were deſcended from the latter. The
Thracians and Phrygians are ſaid to have been the ſame people,
and therefore ſpake the ſame language. The Thracians
and Getæ likewiſe ſpoke only different dialects of the ſame
tongue. The latter ſpread themſelves far and wide towards
the Weſt and North; probably they over-ran a conſiderable
part of Germany, and forced their way into Scandinavia.
Some have thought that the Goths and Getæ were the ſame
people. This, however, is a vulgar miſtake, ariſing from the ignorance
of the hiſtorians of the lower ages of the Roman Empire.
If the links of this chain ſhall happen to be firmly connected,
we need not be ſurpriſed at finding a great number of
words pervade all the dialects ſpoken by theſe different and
very diſtant nations,
TO THE READER.
IN the Preface and Notes to the Gaberlunzie-man, I have
endeavoured to make my Readers acquainted with the
true ſyſteM of rational Etymology, which conſiſts in deriving
the words of every language from the radical ſounds of the
firſt, or original tongue, as it was ſpoken by Noah and the
builders of Babel. Many of theſe are preſerved in the ſeveral
dialects now in uſe over this globe, and every day brings
more of thoſe roots to our knowledge, as we grow better acquainted
with the languages ſpoken by the ſeveral tribes of
mankind. But the large collection of theſe radical terms will,
one day, be laid before the Public, under the title of a Scoto--
Gothic Gloſſary, if Heaven ſhall beſtow health and leiſure to
complete the work.
Mean while, the Reader will be able to form ſome idea of
my plan from the Notes on the preceding Poem; and, in the
following obſervations, I ſhall confine myſelf to a more narrow
circle of inveſtigation, elucidating our ancient language from
the later dialects of the primæval one, the Gothic, Iſlandic,
Teutonic, and Anglo-Saxon.
To relieve the Reader from the tedious uniformity of
etymological diſquiſition, I have interſperſed ſome obſervations
on the manners and cuſtoms of our anceſtors, during the
middle ages, which, I hope, will prove not unacceptable to
the curious antiquarian.
Mr Ramſay has certainly departed very often from the
orthography of Bannantyne's M. S. As I have no opportunity
to conſult that book, I have given ſuch readings as appear
to me moſt- conſonant to the phraſeoiogy of the ſixteenth
The learned Biſhop Gibſon ſeems to have forgot that he
was publiſhing a Scottiſh Poem — his orthography and idioms
are quite Engliſh.
CHRIST's KIRK ON THE GREEN*.
WAS ne'er in Scotland heard or ſeen
Sik dancing nor deray,
Nowther at Falkland on the green,
Or Peebles at the pley,
Chriſt's Kirk on the Green] It is not eaſy to aſſign the
real name of the Author of this truly comic performance. —
Tradition gives it to one of the James's, Kings of Scotland;
and we find two of them named, James the Firſt, and James
the Fifth. In the Evergreen, it has the following note at
the end, Finis, quod K. James I. Drummond's Hiſtory of
the James's, p. 16. ſays, "This Prince was well ſkilled in Latin
"and Engliſh poetry, as many of his verſes yet extant do teſ"tify."†
While this hiſtorian does not tell us what poetical
* Kirk-town of Leſlie, near Falkland in Fife.
† Vide Joan. Majoris Hiſt. Britan. in vita Jacob, who mentions the
firſt two or three words of ſome of theſe Poems abruptly, but furniſhes
his Readers with no more; ſo it would appear theſe are all now
loſt. But Major is a trivial writer, devoid of all taſte.
performances the King left, we cannot, with certainty, aſcribe
this little poem to him; eſpecially as the language appears
rather more modern than he year 1430. James I. was
murdered Anno 1436. Maitland* talks as if many of James's
writings were yet extant; but, in his ufual way, he only
copies Drummond. Vide bottom of the preceding page.
Many different writers have ſaid that this Ballad was compoſed
by James V. and many arguments are advanced for this
opinion; ſuch as, the exact deſcription of the manners and
character of our Scottiſh peaſants, with which James V. was
intimately acquainted, as he delighted in ſtrolling about in
diſguiſe, among the lower people and farmers; in which excurſions
he ſometimes met with odd adventures, one of
which he is ſaid to have made the ſubject of his Gaberlunzieman,
which we have, therefore, prefixed to Chriſt's Kirk
on the Green; and, indeed, the ſtyle and ſtrain of humour in
both are perfectly ſimilar.
The poetical talents of James V. made him known abroad;
and it is to him the following verſes of Arioſ. do refer†:
"Zerbino di bellezza, edi valore,
"Sopratutti Signori era eminenti,"
And, in the following Stanza, we find what country Zerbino
"Pero, che data fine a la gran feſta,
"Ii mio Zerbino in Scotia fe ritorno."
Ronſard, who accompanied James's Queen from France, and
was his domeſtic ſervant, deſcribes him thus:
* Hiſtory of Scotland, p. 613.
† Orlando Fur. Cant. 13. Stan. 8, 9.
"Ce Roy d'Eſcoſſe. etoit en la fleur de ſes ans,
"Ses cheveux non tondus, comme fin or luiſans,
"Cordonnez et creſpez flottans deſſus ſa face,
"Et ſur ſon cou de lait luy donnoit bon grace.
"Son port etoit royal, ſon regard vigoureux;
"De vertus, et d'honneur, et de guerre amoureux;
"La douceur et la force illuſtroit ſon viſage,
"Si que Venus et Mars en avoient fait partage."
Maitland's Suffrage, concerning the taſte of James V. for
poetry, were it of any avail, might be added; but he only
copies ſervilely from others.
There have been a good many different editions of this little
Ballad, and the oldeſt I have met with is one printed at Oxford
in quarto*, and illuſtrated with Notes by the learned Biſhop
Gibſon, in which he has ſhewn much knowledge of the ancient
Northern languages. As the ſpelling, however, of his
edition is widely different from that uſed by the beſt of the co--
temporary authors, I have followed, in this one, the orthography
of the collection called The Evergreen, but much corrected,
as more truly correſponding to the Scottiſh idiom and
pronunciation. The Notes of the learned Biſhop are diſtinguiſhed
from thoſe of the Editor by the letter G.
In the edition by Biſhop Gibſon we find two entire ſtanzas
more than in that of Allan Ramſay, which, he ſays, were
copied from Bannantyne's M. S. Collection of Scottiſh Poems,
in Lord Hyndford's library, now in the Advocates library, to
whom his Lordſhip preſented it, written in the year 1568.
Theſe we have retained, as they are evidently in the ſame
ſtyle and manner as the others, and even appear neceſſary for
connecting the fury. They are alſo warranted by Gibſon's
edition, being printed thirty-three years earlier than that of
* Anno 1691
There are ſeveral variations in the reading of there two editions,
which we have marked in the Notes; but we have principally
followed the ſpelling of Ramſay's edition corrected, the
Biſhop having often adopted not only the Engliſh orthography,
but even the phraſes of that language.
We have only to add, that if the little ſpecimen now given
of our ancient poetry ſhall prove acceptable to the real judges
of good letters, and the public in general, it is deſigned to
print a full collection of all the Scottiſh Poems which appeared
before the ſeventeenth century, illuſtrated with Notes, in the
manner of thoſe that follow; in which undertaking we look for
the kind aſſiſtance of all who love the language and antiquities
of our country, and who wiſh to preſerve the poems of our
anceſtors from oblivion.
"Nobis pulchrum imprimis videtur, non pati occidere
"quibus æternitas debeatur," as Pliny the younger ſays,
L. 5. Ep. 8.
VER. 2. Deray] Jollity and merriment; feaſting and
frolicking, which are generally accompanied with riot and
diſorder. In this ſenſe G. Douglas uſes it*:
"Of the banket, and of the grete deray,
"And how Cupid inflames the lady gay."
And, ſpeaking of the diſorder in the enemy's camp, made by
Niſus and Eurialus†:
"Behaldand al there ſterage and deray."
* Virgil, p. 35. l. 12.
† Ibid, p. 288. 1. 16.
Ruddiman derives the word from the French deſroyer, which
Paſquier explains, tirer hors de voye, ou de roye. Hence
arroy, and our word array; and diſarroy, diſarray. From
deſroyer this critic alſo deduces the Scots word royd, or royet,
romping, frolickſome; taking away the firſt ſyllable, as in ſkirmiſh,
from eſcarmouche ; ſample, for example; uncle, from
avuncular; ſpittal, for hoſpital.
Thus far Mr Ruddiman, who, had he been better acquainted
with the Northern languages, would have known that the
origin of this word is of much higher antiquity than the old
French he quotes. Rud, in the Gothic, ſignifies line,
or order. Thus, in one of their old books*, Then kunungr
the hawær kuninglikt wald met arfde rad, That King who
ſucceeds according to the line of ſucceſſion. Iſlandic raud
and rada, to put in order; Saxon, na der radt, according to
order. In the Scythian dialects we find this ancient word
varied by many different terminations. Alam. ruava; Angl.
row; and the Scots, who, we ſhall often find, retain the ancient
Gothic pronounciation, ſay, raw; Welſh rigwun;
Fenn. riwi; Ital. riga. Hence the French raye, and, by
inſerting an n, rang, whence we form rank; Belg. rege,
rijge, whence the Scottiſh rig, a ridge of corn, from its
ſtreightneſs and regularity. In Ulphila we find, Rathjan†.
garathanu ſind alla izwara tagla haubidis, Numbered are all
the hairs of your heads‡. In Swed rakna, to reckon or number;
As the ancients generally uſed counters in ſumming up their
accompts, diſpoſed in rows, rad is the common phraſe on ſuch
occaſions in the dialects of the North. Hence Attrædur is he
* Kon. Styr. p. 24. apud ihre, Lex. in Rud.
† Job. vi. 10.
‡ Matth. x. 30.
who hath attained to the eight line, i.e. fourſcore years;
Nirædur, a man ninety years old; Tha var Haraldur Konung
aatradur at aldoi, King Harald was then eighty years old*.
And in the Iſlandic bible†, Abram hafdi ſex um attræt,
Abram was eighty-ſix years old.
VER. 4. Peebles at the pley] In the old writers we find
this word uſed in ſeveral ſenſes. To pley is to plead, carry on
a law ſuit; Belg. pleyten. In Welſh we find the word pleidio,
to act as advocate for any. Vide Jun. in Plead. Douglas,
Virg. p. 73.
"— Follow our chance bot pleys."
i.e. Without diſputing.
And p. 445.
"The auld debate of pley, or controverſy."
P. 3. 34. But pleid, Without controverſy. Now, as our anceſtors
always retorted to the courts of law, armed and attended
by their vaſſals and dependents, it often happened that
their differences were decided by ſharper weapons than lawyers
tongues. Hence the A.S. plegan, to ſtike, to wound
in war; plega-gares, the play of ſpears. Cædmon, 45. 11.
Heard hand-plega, The hard play of hands. Vide Lye, Lex.
Sax. in Plega. Hence Spelman in Archeol. derives plea from
pleah, damnum, periculum. Play, or pley, was hence uſed
to denote tilts and tournaments, as at theſe meetings it was
very frequent with the knights to give proof of their addreſs
and valour in mock engagements, which, however, often
terminated in blood. The ladies always were preſent at ſuch
meetings, and gave the prizes.
* Olaf Trygg. Saga. Part. 1. p. 11,
† Gen. xviii.
As was of wooers as I ween
At Chryſt's Kirk on a day;
There came owr Kittys waſhen clean,
In new kyrtills of gray,
Fow gay that day.
— "of wit and arms, while both contend
"To win her grace, whom all commend." Milton.
The town of Peebles was, in ancient times, a place of ſome
note. Here was a conſiderable Priory; and, being the largeſt
town in that diſtrict of Scotland, it is likely that frequent and
numerous meetings were held here. The open plains, too,
round this city, made it a very proper place for tournaments,
and other warlike exerciſes. Pley, the cuſtomary meeting.
Iſl. plaga, Goth. plæga, ſolere, alſo exercere. It is probable
one of theſe exerciſes gave riſe to a Scottiſh Poem ſimilar to
this, entitled Peebles on the Play, ſaid to be preſerved by the
Reverend Dr Percy of Carliſle.
VER. 5. Ween] Suppoſe; think. Sax. ,wenan, opinari;
Gosh. wenian, Gibſon. In the Alemanic it is wanen. The
root is in the Gothic wenian. Thus Ulphila, Luke iii.
At weniandein than allai managein, All the people thinking.
Confer Jun. Lex. Ulphil. Wende, in Chaucer, to think or
conſider. Tr. lib. 3. 1547.
"And in his thought gan up and down to wende."
VER. 7. Kittys] Either from Kate, Katie, the common
diminutive of Catherine; or from their playfulneſs as. kittens,
or Scot. kitlings, young cats.
VER. 8. Kirtle] Mantle. Iſl. kiortell. Of old we
find the ſame term applied to the gowns worn by the men.
To danſs thir damyſells them dight,
Thir laſſes light of laits;
Thir gluvis war of the raffal right,
Thir ſhoon war o' the ſtraits.
Thus Franco-Goth. Ung aultre lui veſtira un kyrtel du rouge
tartarin. Vide Cange, Gloſſ. Lat. vol. 4. p. 737.
VER. 1. Dight] Prepared, or made them ready. Sax.
Dightan, parare, inſtruere; vox Chaucero uſitatiſſima. Thus,
dighteth his dinner To bed thou wold be dight. His inſtruments
wold be dight. — Gibſon.
May it not rather be derived from deccan? Sax. Metaphor.
Excolere, ornare. Alam. Thecan. Perhaps, too, we are
hence to derive the word deck of a ſhip. Mr Ruddiman
(Gloſſ. to Biſhop Douglas) obſerves, that in Cheſhire the
word dight is uſed in the oppoſite ſenſe to foul or dirty; but
this is only provincial, like many other corruptions.
VER. 2. Laits] If this word is rightly copied from the
M. S. it may ſignify nimble, or light-footed. Goth. laiſtjan,
ſequi. Vide Jun. Gloſſ. Ulph. in voce. Thus Luke ix. v. 59,
Laiſtei mik, Follow me. Theotis. Gloſſ. Kalepodia. leiſt.
Dan. leſt; Angl. laſt, on which the ſhoe is formed. Hence
Sax. fotlæſt, veſtigium, footſtep. Vide Pſ. lxxxvi. v. 19.
Thir kirtles were of Lincome light,
Weel preſt wi' mony plaits;
they were ſae ſkych, whan men them nicht,
They ſqueil'd like ony gaits,
Fu' loud that day.
VER. 3. Gluvis] So our anceſtors ſpelled gloves. Sax.
glofes. Jun. in Etymol. obſerves, that in Daniſh they are
called haand-kloffuer, from haand and kloffue, to ſplit or divide,
which gives the true idea of the word glove. Hence
glofar, gloar, glofe, glove.
Raid] I don't well underſtand the meaning of this word;
but, from analogy, it muſt ſignify gloves of rough leather. Celt.
craf, nails of the fingers — a file — every thing that ſcratches.
Hence ſkins dreſſed in a rough manner, with coarſe instruments,
and not ſmoothed. Confer Bullet in V. Craf.
VER. 4 Straits] Quære, Is this what we now call Morocco
leather, from the Straits of Gibraltar?
VER. 5. Lincome] Is this rightly copied from the M.S.?
VER. 6. Plaits] Folds. Douglas, p. 298. v. 4.
"And he his hand plait on the wound in hye."
Plait, nectere, contexere ; Gr. πλεϰειν; A.S. plett, pletta,
a ſheep-fold, they being of old made of wicker work. The
Scots called them faulds, for the ſame reaſon, and the
VER. 7. Skygh] Shy. Skygg baſta, a ſhy horfe. — Jun.
VER. 8. Squeil'd] Shrieked. Sueo-Goth. ſqwallra,
blaterare; ſqwæla, incondite vociſerate; Angl. ſqueak,ſqueal.
Douglas, of cattle, p. 254. 40.
"Bayth ſqueil and low."
And p. 248. 36.
"With loud voce ſqueland."
It is uſed metaphorically to accuſe; Sqwallra uppa en,
aliquem accuſare; Vide Ihre Lex. Sueo-Goth. in Sqwallra,
Sqwalungar, crying children, ſqualing brats. Suio-Goth.
ſkall, ſound; Alam. ſcall; Germ. ſchall. "Uſurpa"tur
a nobis," ſays the learned Ihre, "vel pro ſonitu for"tiori
in genere, vel etiam in ſpecie, quum multitudo, edito
"clamore, feras in caſſes propellit." Hence ſkallalæghe, ſociety
of hunters ; ſkalra, to cry out; ſkalla, to bark or howl as a
dog. Hence ſkælla, a ſmall bell, which was hung to the robes
of men in power, that the paſſengers might make way for
them. Chron. Ryth. Min. in Præfat.
"Kunde han danza, ſpringa ok hoppa,
"Han ſkulle jw hafwa ſkallo, och forgylta klocka."
"If he only could dance and hop gracefully, he had immediate"ly
gilded bells given him." Confer Ihre in Skælla. The old
French Romance De la Viollette, ap. Cange in Mantum,
deſcribing a rich robe:
"Et of a chaſcune flourette,
"Attachic une campanette.
"Dedans ſi que rien n'en paroit,
"Et ſi tres doulcement ſonnoit,
"Quant an mantel frapoit le vent."
The antiquity of this ornament appears from the ſacerdotal
robes of the Jewiſh prieſts, and thoſe uſed by other nations.
Apul. Met. Lib. 10. Et pictilibus balthæis, et tintinnabulis
perargutis exornatum. Adde Eccard. ad LL. Salic. p. 151.
where he obſerves, that the Ital. ſquilla is of the Gothic family.
In the Latin of the middle ages we have
Of a' thir maidens, myld as meid,
Was nane ſae jimp as Gillie;
As ony roſe her rude was red,
Her lyre was lyke the lillie:
eſquilla, and ſquillare, for ſonare. It was alſo the cuſtom to
hang bells to the necks of cattle, that they might be more
eaſily found in the woods: And hence the penalty in the
Salic Law, cap. 29. againſt him, Qui ſkellam de caballis
furaverit. Confer Cange in Tintinnabulum.
VER. 8: Gaits] Goats. Sax. geit, gat; Iſl. geit, capra;
Goth. gateins, hædus. — Gib.
This is one of the many examples where the Scots have retained
the orthography and pronunciation of the mother language,
more exactly than the Engliſh.
VER. r. Meid] Mead, hydromel, a favourite drink of our
anceſtors, and alſo of the Scandinavians, as we learn from
Snorro, and all the Northern hiſtorians. Mead and ale, called
by them ol, were the conſtant beverage: uſed in their feaſts;
Cujus frequentiſſimus uſus eſt in frigidis terris, ſays Olaus
Magnus, lib. 13. cap. 21. where he has given us an account
of the different methods they uſed in preparing that liquor,
which may be of uſe to our modern brewers. Vide
cap. 22, 23. 24. It is called by the Icelanders miæd;
Fow zellow, zellow, was her heid,
And ſcho of luve ſae ſilly,
Thocht a' hir kin had ſworn hir deid,
Scho wald hae nane but Willie,
Alane that day.
Alam. mede; A.S. medu, meodu; Welſh, meddeglyn,
hydromeli; Gr. μεδυ, vinum.
VER. 2. Jimp] Slender, handſome, G. Gim, gimp,
complus, bellus, concinnus; Welſh, gwymp; Armor. coant,
VER. 3. Rude] Bluſh. Sax. rudu; Cimb. rode, rubor.
Properly complection, the verecundus color of Horace, Epod.
17. Chaucer, Sir Topas, v. 13.
"His rudde is like ſcarlet in graine."
"So that the rude did in her viſſage glow."
Jun. Etymol. quotes from Joſephus, the 'ροδανον τα ςωματος,
the roſeate colour of the ſkin, which perfectly expreſſes the
rude of our Poet.
VER. 4. Lyre] Biſhop Gibſon derives this from the Cimb.
hlyre, or the Sax. hleare, gena, maxilla, mentum, facies,
vultus, quoting that of Chaucer:
"Saturn his lere was like the lede."
But the learned annotator is certainly miſtaken; for it comes
from A.S. lire, which ſignifies (ſays Lye) Pulpan, quicquid
carnoſum eſt, et nervoſum in homine, ut earſlyre nates,
ſcanclira, ſura. Thus it means in general fleſh, as in Wallace's
Hiſtory, b. 7. c. 1.
— "Burnt up bone and lyre."
"Through bone and lyre."
Douglas, Virg. p. 19. 35.
"Syne brocht flikerand ſum gobbetis of lyre."
And p. 456. 1.
"Wyth platis full the altaris by and by,
"And gan do charge, and wourſchip with fat lyre."
VER. 5. Zellow] Thus our anceſtors uſed the z, though
they always pronounced the words ſo ſpelled as if they had
been written with the letter y. The reaſon ſeems to have
been, that the gh, to which y has ſucceeded in later times, had
been taken by ignorant tranſcribers for an z, as it bore ſome
reſemblance to it in the Saxon writing. This ſeems the more
probable, as we find the Anglo-Saxon character ſtill in uſe
after the conqueſt; and, even under Edward the Third, the
Monks blended Saxon letters with the Roman. See Mandeville's
Travels, printed at London 1725, and Robert of
Gloceſter's Chronicle in 1724, exactly after the original
MSS. Hence, too, we muſt account for the changes we
find in the names of many places. Thus, Yetland was the
original name of the iſland which, from the above-mentioned
miſtake, came afterwards to be written Zetland, and which is
now corrupted, by vulgar uſe, into its preſent form Shetland.
Though the z be uſed in the Gothic tongue, (Vide Ulphila's
Goſpels paſſim) yet it is not found in the Iſlandic
alphabet, nor is it much uſed in the Sueo-Gothic; ſo that the
learned Ihre calls it Literam Suecis peregrinam. The figure
ſcho ſkornit Jock and ſkrapit at him,
And murgeon'd him wi' mokks;
He wald hae luvit, ſcho wald not lat him,
For a' his zellow lokks;
z much reſembles the Saxon g, which the later Engliſh have
changed in moſt words into y; as geard, yeard; gea, yea;
gear, year; geong, young; and the Scots ſtill more frequently,
(as Ruddiman obſerves) even where the Engliſh retain,
g; as yate, for gate; foryet, for forget, &c. Junius has
ranged all the words in Douglas's Virgil, which begin with z
under g. Vide his Gloſſ.
VER. 1. Skrapit] So Ramſay's edition. Biſhop Gibſon
reads ſkripped, which he explains, "Made a courtſie to him
"in a mocking manner." "Vox deducenda videtur (adds
he) per metatheſin et ſyncopen a Cimbr. ſkapraunade, opprobrio
vexabat. Bibl. Iſland. 1 Sam. 1. 6.
Perhaps this word may be, with more facility, derived
from Sueo-Goth. ſkrapa; A.S. ſcreope, a ſcraper; ſcreopan,
radære, ſcalpere. Hence the ſaying, Fa en ſcrapa, to be
blamed or mocked. Perhaps our phraſe, To fall into a ſcrape,
may have originated from this. Shall we look here, too, for
the root of the Latin crepo, increpo, with the s prefixed, as
the Goths uſually do? Similar metaphor in the French, Etriller
We have further to obſerve, that the Goth. ſkrap properly
ſignifies uſeleſs fragments of any thing, which we call ſcraps.
Hence metaphorically a lazy uſeleſs fellow. Anſg. Saga cap.
Ihre Lex. in Skrap, Thu eſt meſta heims ſkripe, Tu omnium
bipedum ignaviſſimus es. As ſuch people are often vainglorious,
we have the verb ſkrappa. Jactare ſe, gloriari,
ſkrappa vet ſkryta. Hence Lat. crepare, in the ſame ſenſe.
Skræp, jactatio, oſtentatio.
VER. 2. Murgeon'd] Made mouths at him, G. The
A.S. murcnung, murmuratio, querela, querimonia; Goth.
and Iſl. mogla, murmurare.
VER. 3. Luvid] This may be underſtood in the common
acceptation of loving. But our anceſtors uſed it for praiſing.
Thus Douglas, Virg. p. 455.
"How Eneas, glaid of his victory,
"Lovit the goddis, and can them ſacrify.'
Bruce's Life, p. 248.
"They loved God, and were full fain,
"And blyth that they eſcaped ſo."
Perhaps from the French loner, ſays Ruddiman; but this word
is formed from Goth. lof, praiſe. The words, in that language,
loft, luft, lyfta, all denote ſomething high and lofty. Lofwa,
laudare; Iſland. leiva. In the Havamal, Atqueld ſkal dag,
leiva konu tha kender, mæke er reindur, is tha yfer um.
Praiſe the day when evening is come, a wife
when you know her, a ſword when you have tried it, and ice
when you have paſſed it. Loſlig, laudable; loford, commendation.
He cheriſh'd her, ſcho bid gae chat him,
Scho compt him not twa clokkis,
Sae ſchamefully his ſchort goun ſet him,
His legs war lyke twa rokkis,
On rungs that day.
VER. 5. Chat him] To go about his buſineſs, G. Properly
to take care of himſelf, and not attend to her, from the
Gothic ſkota, curare. Chron. Rython. apud Ihre, Lex.
"Han wille thet intet ſkota,
"Parum id penfi hahebat."
Iſl. ſkeita. Job 18. Thes ſem ecke ſkeita um gud, qui deum
non curant. The ſame learned and moſt ingenious etymologiſt
obſerves the correſpondence of the Fr. Il ne me chaut, I
care not; from the old chaloir. He adds, Credo noſtrum a
ſkot ſinus factum, ut a ſinus ſit inſinuare, adeoq; propriè uſurpatum
fuiſſe de infantibus qui in ſinu portabantur, unde
hodieq; ſkoting dicitur tenellus, quem nondum de ſinu deponere
licet. Hence applied to other things, Skota ſit ambele,
to look after his charge. Adde Douglas, p. 239. v. 30.
VER. 6. Clokkis] Beetles, ſcarabæi, G. True, the beetle
in the Scot. is clok; but perhaps it means here, ſhe valued
him no more than the cluk of a hen, which our anceſtors pronounced
clok, from the ſound the hen makes.
VER. 7. Schort Goun] Till the French taught us to wear
our clothes ſhort in the preſent faſhion, the gown, covering
the knees, was univerſally worn both in England and Scotland.
Hence Jun. derives it from γανα pro γανατα , genua.
But the etymon is from the Welſh gwn, a gown or cloak,
from gunio, ſuere. In the True Protraiture Of Geoffrey
Chaucer, the famous Engliſh poet, as it is deſcryved by Thomas
Ocleve, who was his ſcholar, and is generally put before
the title-page in the old editions of Chaucer, we find him
cloathed in the true Engliſh gown, cloſe gathered at the collar
and wriſts, and flowing looſely down from the ſhoulders
to the knees. The form of this garment we had from Germany;
and it ſeems to have been imported by the Saxons, as
it was worn all over Germany. Vide Spelman in Guna.
The opulent had their gowns lined with ermine, and other
rich furs; the poorer people with hare and ſheep ſkins. Boniface,
Archbiſhop of Mentz, epiſt. 89. Gunnam de pellibus
lutrarum factum fraternitati væſtrie miſi. Vinea Benedict,
cap. 5. Senibus noſtris gunnas pelliceas tribuimus. Sometimes
wrote gonna. Thus Gul. Major, apud Cange, in Gonna;
Canonici ejuſdem eccleſiæ in gonnis ſuis. In old French
Gonne. In the Romance of Guillaume del. Nez:
"Or feraigrè, ſil me tollent ma gonne."
And ibid. apud Cange ubi ſup:
"Laiſſa le ſiecle, pour devenir prodhom,
"Et priſt la gonne, et le noir chaperon."
As guna, or gown, denoted the men's garment, the women's
was called, in the barbarous Latin of the middle ages, gunella,
becauſe made pretty near in the faſhion of the men's robe.
Ital. gonella; Fr. gotillon, cotillon. Cluverius Germ. Ant.
l. 1. c. 15. derives gunam a gonaco, quod Varro majus ſagum
interpretatur, vocem Græcam eſſe ait. Hyfech. ϰαυναϰα,
ςρωματα, ή επιβολαια ετερομαλλα, ſtragula, altera parte
villoſa. We ſhall, in another work, prove evidently, that
numbers of the Greek words are formed from the Gothic, of
which this is one, the robe itſelf being of Gothic, and not
Greek invention. We find a Count of Angers ſirnamed
Griſe-gonelle, from his wearing a gown furred with that
colour. Vida. Cange Gloſſ. in Griſeus color. And we find
an Epiſtle of Pope John, ſolemnly addreſſed to him,
Goffrido Griſia-gonellas cognominato, nobilliſſimo Andegavorum
comiti. The men's gown is ſometimes called cappa.
Baldricus in Geſt. Alberonis, ap. Cange, ubi ſup. Clericali ſe
toga induit — et cappa de panno griſco ſe ſuper induit. Hence
the ſaying of Henry IV. of France: "Je ne ſuis q' un pauvre
"here. Je n'ai que la cappe et l'eſpée."
VER. 8. Rokkis] Rock, in Gothic and Iſlandic, properly
denotes a heap of any looſe things flung together. Thus rock
hoys, a heap or rick of hay; and thus it is ſtill uſed in Belg.
Hence transferred to a heap of lint or wool put upon the
ſtick for ſpinning. The tranſition was eaſily made, when
rock was uſed to denote the piece of wood to which the lint
or wool was fixed. Thus the Chron. Ryth. apud Ihre Lex.
in Roak, p.496.
"Quinnor tager theras hæſt ock harnijſk ifra,
"Ok monde them med rockin ſla."
"Women took the horſes and breaſtplates from the men,
"And beat them with their rocks."
Iſl. rock, and apud Kilian. Lex. Tuet. rocken, penſum colo
aptare. See the learned Ihre, Lex. Sueo-Goth. in voce.
Mareſchall Obſ. ad Verſ. Angl. Sax. 4. Evangel. informs us,
that in the times of Paganiſm, the belt of Orion was, by the
Scandinavians, called Frygr rock, colum deæ Fryggæ. Thus
the girl here compares Jock's gown to an ill ſhaped heap of
lint on the rock. Might not his ill-ſhaped legs, if ſlender,
&c. be compared to the rock or diſtaff? Another Scotin
Poem deſcribes the legs like barrow-trams. Perhaps,
too, rock may here be meant of the gown he
wore, which looked as if it had been hung on a pole;
for rock Goth. and A.S. rocc, ſign. toga, veſtis exterior;
Al. rokk. In the barbarous Latin, roccus, rochus.
Vide Cange Gloſſ in voce. Gall. rochet. Whence we call
the outer-garment of a ſucking-child a rochet, or rachet, and
the Engliſh, putting f before, have formed their word frock;
Gall. froc. Stadenius derives rock from rauh, rough, hairy.
Ulphil. rih, as our anceſtors firſt were clothed in ſkins, and
after wool came to be uſed, they continued to line their gowns
with furs of different kinds. The Finlanders ſtill call a furred
gown roucka, and the bed-coverings they uſe, made of
ſheep-ſkins, are named roucat; whence our rug.
From this origin conies rocklin, the linen veſtment worn by
the prieſts; the biſhops rocket. Thus Hiſtor. Sigiſmund. ap.
Ihre Lex. vol. 2. p. 450. Aflagges præſtens hwita rocklin,
abrogatur ſacerdotis linea toga. This word was uſed in the
ſame ſenſe by the ancient Latins, as we ſee from Feſtus;
veſtimentum quadratum, fimbriatum, purpureum, quo
Flaminæ pro palliolo utebantur — Titinius, Rica et lana ſucidei,
alba veſtitus. Our readers will find many learned and critical
miſtakes in the notes on this paſſage, which is quite plain to
thoſe who know that it is a Gothic or Scythian term, as many
more of the ancient Latin words are. Confer Jun. Etym. in
Rokette; Spelm. in Rocketum.
VER. 9. Rungs] Round and long pieces of wood. Vox
in uſu apud Anglos boreales, G.
Properly poles, or long ſtaves like hunting poles, frequent
in Douglas, and our old writers. Skinner ſays the carpenters
call thoſe timbers in a ſhip, which conſtitute her floor, and are
bolted to the keel, rungs.
Tam Lutar was thair minſtrel meet;
Gude Lord! how he cou'd lans
He playt ſae ſchill, and ſang ſae ſweet,
Quhyle Towſie took a tranſs.
VER. 1. Minſtrel] This term was indiſcriminately applied
to the harper, the fiddler, or the player on the bagpipe. Fr.
meneſtrier. It appears to be derived from A.S. minſter; and
thoſe called minſtrells were employed in the public worſhip of
the cathedrals as ſingers, (vide Jun. in voce) in the ſame way
the Welſh called muſicians cler, as employed in the ſame
way. Thoſe minarets, during the middle ages, united the
arts of poetry, inſtrumental and vocal muſic, their ſongs being
always accompanied with the harp. Thus, too, our
Poet repreſents his minaret, in ver. 3. below, as playing and
ſinging. They ſeem to have been the genuine ſucceſſors of
the ancient bards, who, under different names, were admired
and honoured from the earlieſt ages among the Gauls, Britiſh,
Iriſh, and Scandinavians; and, indeed, by all the firſt inhabitants
of Europe, whether of Celtic or Gothic origin. It
were eaſy to add many curious particulars concerning this once
famed race of muſicians and poets; but we refer our Reader
to the elegant diſſertation on the ancient Engliſh minſtrels,
prefixed to the Reliques of Ancient Poetry, where we find it
obſerved, that the light of the ſong (to uſe Oſſian's expreſſion)
never aroſe without the harp. Douglas, Virg. 250. 18.
"Syne the menſtrallis, ſingaris, and danſaris,
"About the kyndlit altaris."
Du Cange has collected a number of curious anecdotes concerning
theſe minſtrells, voce Miniſtelli. The dual theme of
their ſongs we may learn from an old French romance, quoted
by this lexicographer:
"Quiveut avoir des bons et des vaillans,
"II doit aler ſouvent a la pluie et au champs,
"Et eſtre en la battaille, ainſi que fut Rolans,
"Les quatre ſils Haimon, a Charlons li plus grans,
"Li dus Lions de Bourges, et Guion de Connans,
"Percival li Galois, Lancelot et Triſtans,
"Alixandres, Artus, Godefroy li Sachans,
"Dequoy cil menetriers font les nobles Romans."
VER. 2. Lans] To run or ſkip; metaphorically to dance.
Arm. Lanca, jaculari, lanceam vibrare. The minſtrels, in
general, could acquit themſelves as dancers, as well as fingers
and poets. Douglas, Virg. p. 297.16.
— "Turnus lanſand lightlie over the landis,
"With ſpear in hand purſewis." —
Some think the phraſe to launch a ſhip, comes from this word.
Vide Eſſay prefixed to Reliques of Ancient Poetry, p. 41.
This ancient Celtic word has pervaded many dialects. Baſq.
lancza; Gael. langa; Corn. lancels; Alam. lamze; Gr.
λογχη; Hung. lantſas, a ſpearman. Hence Lat lanceare,
lancinare. Confer Voſſ. Etym. Lat. in Lancea.
VER. 4. Tranſs] The name of ſome foreign dance, perhaps
then firſt uſed in Scotland, and oppoſed to Lightfute, a
ſpecies of the hayes, or, as the Scots call it, reel, a train.
Belg. trein, ingens eſſe clarûm numerus (ſays Jun.) qui
Auld Light-fute thair he cou'd fore-leet,
And counterfittet Franſs;
He held him as a man diſcriet,
And up the Moreis-danſs
He tuke that day:
ductorem ſuum comitatur; une queue trainante, une traine de
gens; of which train Towſie was the leader, or choragus, as
in this manner the Moreſco dances are ſtill performed, which
are mentioned below.
VER. 5. Fore-leet] To outdo, G. This is an error; for
forlata, Goth. ſignifies to leave off, to deſert. Job 4. 3. He
kan forlatat? Quis illud derclinquere poterit? Ulphil. traletan.
So Mark viii. 3. Jabai fraleta ins lauſqui thrans; If
I ſend them away empty. The Iſlanders write it firilata, and
fyrirlita. Vide Snorro, vol. 1. p. 503. The prepoſition
for, generally indicates a bad acceptation. Thus forhæda,
to contemn; and, where God is ſpoken of, to blaſpheme.
Forhala, to delay; forhægda, to deſtroy; forhalla, unjuſtly
to detain what is due to another. An hundred more examples
might be given: Thus Towſie here fore-leets, leaves off and
deſpiſes the dances of his own country, and betakes him to the
French and Moreſco tunes.
VER. 7. Up-tuke] He took up; he began. Phraſis eſt
Cimbrica. Etenim tafia, tafia till, et tafia upp, ap. Iſlandos
ſignificant incipere, ut, ogg drottins andetof ad vera med honum,
cæpitq; ſpiritus domini eſſe cum eo. Gib.
Goth. toga, in general, to take. Taga til lans, to take
on credit; taga arf-, to take or ſucceed to an inheritance; Iſl.
taka. The great antiquity of this word may be ſeen in the
Latin tagere, and tagax, ap. Ciceron. Qui lubenter capit,
rapax. Plaut. Milite:
"Tetigit calicem clanculum."
That is, ſtole or took it. Hence integer, from whom nothing
is taken. Taga alſo ſignifies proficere. Han tager ſik
wackert. Pulchre proſicit. He takes to it. Meric. Cauſaubon.
de Ling. Angl. Sax. p. 366. Ταω vel ταϰω, Aor.
2. Partic. τεαγων. Exponunt quidam τεινας, alii τιναξας,
alii deniq; λαβων, accipiens, prehendcns, quos Steph. ſequitur
— Certe. Τη imper. ex ταω — omnes exponunt λαβε. Cape.
Angl. take. It ſignifies alſo to chooſe. Taka konung, regem
eligere. Snorro, vol. 1. p. 65. Taga lag, legem accipere.
VER. 8. Morris Dance] Afric or Mooriſh dance. A la.
Moreſca, It. Fr. Moreſque: Hence corruptly Morris dance.
This kind was much uſed by our anceſtors, and is included in
the catalogue given by G. Douglas, Virg. 476. i.
— "Gan do double frangillis and gambettis,
"Danſis and roundis traſing mony gatis,
"Athir throw uthir reland on their gyſe,
"Thay futtit it ſo, that lang war to deviſe
"Thare haiſty fare, thare revelling and deray,
Junius explains it — Chironomica ſaltatio — faciem plerumq; inficiunt
fuligine, et peregrinum veſtium cultum aſſumunt qui
ludicris talibus indulgent, ut Mecuri eſſe videantur; — becauſe
this ſpecies of dance was firſt brought into Spain by the Moors,
and from the Spaniards it was communicated to other European
nations, together with the rebeck, or violin, which is a
Then Steen cam ſtappin in wi' ftends,
Nae rynk might him arreſt,
Splae-fut he bobbit up wi' bends,
For Mauſe he maid requeiſt;
VER. I. Stends] Long paces, or great ſteps. G.
In old Scots, to ſtent, to extend; a Lat. tendere.
glas p. 39.34.
"Cruell Achil here ſtentit his palzoun."
Ital. ſtendere. Hence ſtend. Douglas, deſcribing horſes
running off with the car, p. 338. 31.
"And brake away with the carte to the ſchore,
"With ſtendis fell."—
And p. 420. 53.
"Quhilk fleis forth ſae wyth mony ſtend."
VER. 2. Rynk] Sax. rinc. Homo robuſtus, fortis, præſtans,
G. And hence it came to ſignify, a man in general;
as wærcæſt rinc, fidus homo. Rinc, alſo uſed for huſband.
Vide Cædmon. 4. 22. Lye, Sax. Lcx. in Rinc. Here it
means a ſtrong man, or ſoldier, as it is alſo explained by Lye,
Gloſſ. Sax. in Voce.
VER. 3. Bobit up] Jumped, or danced, with many bendings
of the body. We find a ſet of men, in the middle ages,
He lap quhyle he lay on his lends,
But ryſand was ſae preiſt,
Quhyle he did hoaſt at baith the ends,
For honour o' the,
And dauns'd that day.
who, from the imperfect accounts given of them, appear to
have been a kind of itinerant dancers, and, like their other
wandering brethren, of no very good character.Urſtis ap.
Spelman. in bobones, bubones, lixæ, calones — Aliqando nebulones
et Furciferi. Ger. buben. Chron. Colmar. ap. Cang.
in Bubii. Servorum autem pauperum (in exercite) qui dicuntur
bubii, tanta fuit multitudo de bobinare. Conviciare,
clamare, ap. Feſt. ubi vide Scaliger.
Bab, bow often, or ſink low, apud Anglos occidentales, to
bob, or bob down. Gib.
VER. 5. Lap] Supped; lapt. A Cimbr. lepia. in Imperf.
lapte, linqua vel lambendo bibere. G.
Surely our learned prelate has not attended to the obvious
ſenſe of the paſſage: Our Poet deſcribcs a clown dancing and
leaping with ſuch violence as to fall. To loup is to leap; he
lap, he leaped. Thus the Biſhop of Dunkeld, p. 418. 47.
— "Some in haiſt, with an loupe or ane ſwak,
"Thamſelf upcaſtis on the horſis bak."
Iſland. ad bleypa, to run; Sax. hleapere, ſaltator. Confer
Jun. Gloſſ. in Leap.
Lends] Loins. Sax. lendenu, lendena, lendene; Iſl.
lender, Gib. From Iſl. leinge, to extend, this being the
length of the trunk of the body.
Then Robene Roy begouth to revell,
And Towſie to im drugged.
Let be, quo' jock, and caw'd him Jevel,
And be the tail him tuggit:
VER. 7. Hoſtit] Anglis Sept. to hoſt, eſt tuſſire. Sax.
hwoſta, eſt tuſſis; Iſl. hooſt ; Angl. occident. to huſt, i.e. to
cough violently. Gib.
Hoaſt, hoſt, cough; A.S. hwoſta, from the Iſl. hooſte,
tuſſis; Angl. Bor. hauſte, id. a dry cough, as Ray explains it.
Belg. hoeſt n to cough.
VER. I. Revell] To grow noiſy or troubleſome. Belg.
ravelen, raveelen, æſtuare, circumcurſare. Skinner's etymology
from Fr. reveiller, is ridiculous. We may here obſerve,
that of old the word revel did not ſignify, as now, riot and
diſorder, but decent mirth and cheerfulneſs. So G. Douglas,
p. 146. 48.
"With revele, biythneſs, and ane manere fere,
"Troyanis reſavis thaim."
Chaucer alſo uſes it in the ſame good ſenſe; as alſo riot, in
which he is followed too by the Biſhop, p. 37.
"The gild and riot Tyrrianis doublit for joy."
And p. 269. 46.
"The blisfull feiſt they making man and boy,
"So that thre hundredth rial temples ring,
"Of riot, rippet, and of revelling"
So the old French rioter, to feaſt and be innocently merry.
In this, however, they have departed from the original
meaning of the Goth. reta; Iſland. reita, ad iram concitare.
Rede, raide, anger. Inde Scot. rede; Angl. rate, et præpoſito,
wrath; Alam. ratan, irritare. It is more than probable
that the ancient Latins uſed ritare in the ſame ſenſe;
and hence the etymon of irritare and proritare, which the
modern etymologiſts can make nothing of. From riot the
Barb. Lat. has formed riota, uſed in its original or bad ſignification.
So Statuta Colleg. Coriſop. aped Cange, in Riotta:
Ab omnibus contentionibus, rixis, jurgiis, convitiis,
riotis. And ibid. Ad invicem tunc inceperunt magnam
riottam, et fugerunt hinc inde. Ital. riotta. Villani Hiſt.
1. 9. cap. 304. Venendo tra loro, a riotta. Fr. riote. So
Hiſt. de la Guerre Sacr. ap. Cange. Par cette mariage fut
faite concorde du Roi de France, et de celui de Caſtele, de
riote que eſtoit entre eux. And the Poet, (ibid.)
"A tant commencent environ,
"A rihotter tout li Baron."
We have in King Rob. Brece's Life, To riot all the land,
i.e. To plunder it.
VER. 2. Drugged] Came to him. Eſt phraſis Cimbrica.
At draga till, eſt venire ad, vel in. Deut. 1. v. 2. Draga
yfer, tranſire. V. 24. Draga ut, egredi. Deut. 3. t. Draga
fram, præcedere. V. 18. Gib.
We have little to add to the learned Biſhop's obſervation,
but to remark the analogy of the languages derived from the
Gothic. Thus A. G. dragan; Angl. draw. In the ancient
laws of Weſter Gothland, ap. Ihre, Lex. in Draga, it is
written Draha, Ar eig or huſum dræhit, ſi ex ædibus portatum
non fuit, in the ſame ſenſe as the Latin traho, Fr.
trainer. Draga wagnen, to draw a waggon. Aſthmatic
people are ſaid draga andan, in the ſame ſenſe almoſt as the
Latins, ſpiritum trahere. Vide Liv. l. 4. cap. 21 . Draga not,
to draw a net. Whence our ſmall net, thrown with the hand,
is called a drag-net. We may alſo hence derive the name of that
ſpecies of net, called by the Latins tragulæ, a trahendo, ſays
Turneb. Adverſ. l. 20. c. 14. Vide Plin. 1. 16. c. 8. lſidorus
calls it tragum. Metaphorically Draga ſin wæg, to go
away. Lat. viam ducere; Belg. trecken. Adde Cange in
Traho, where he notes the origin of the French tirer vers un
lieu. It is uſed alſo to ſignify doubting, the mind being
drawn hither and thither. Han nager vid ſig, deliberat de
hac re. We find quite a ſimilar phraſe, Salluſt. Bell. Jugurth.
cap. 93. Marius multis diebus et laboribus conſumptis, anxius
trahere cum animo ſuo, omitteret ne inceptum, an fortunam
opireretur. To deceive. Laur. Petri de miſſa, ap. Ihre,
ubi ſup. Chriſten almoga hafwær latit talje och dragha ſig.
Populus Chriſtianus ſe decipi paſſus eft. Franc. trahir, to
deceive or betray.
Vex. 3. Jevel] Vox blandientis, forſan idem quod
We cannot agree with the Biſhop in this interpretation.
Theſe people are about to quarrel, and therefore jevel muſt
here be a term of reproach; perhaps an evil-ſpirit or dæmon.
Goth. jette, giant; Iſland. gotun. The Saxons call a giant
Eten; and hence, perhaps, the Scots Redeten, the name of a
Giant or Dæmon uſed by nurſes to frighten their children.
Jettegrytor, ollæ gigantum, round holes in the rocks, in
which (ſay the vulgar) the Giants or Dæmons cooked their
victuals. Uncertain as we are of the true reading of the MS.
we only hazard this as mere conjecture.
VS x. 4. Tuggit] Drew. Scots tugge, to draw, from the
Goth. tahjan, lacerare, diſcerpere Ulph. Mark ix. 26. Filu
tahjands ina, Greatly fearing him. Adde Luke ix. 42.
Hence, as the learned Ihre obſerves, (in voce) tugga, to
The Kenzie clieked to a kevel,
God wots if thir twa luggit;
They parted manly wi' a nevel,
Men ſay that hair was ruggit
Betwixt them twa.
eat, to tear with the teeth, as in chewing. Iſl. toga; A.S.
teogan, trahere. Confer Ihre, Lex. 2. p. 973.
VER. 5. Kenzie] The angry man. A.S. Kene, ken wer,
Vir acer, iracundus.
Clicked] Catched up, or ſnatched. Gib.
Click, in old Engliſh, apprehendere, rapere. Iſland. kla,
frico. Ad klaa, fricare. Hence claw, and to claw. Sax.
clawan, ſcabere. Perhaps klick is only a contraction of the
Saxon gelæeccan, apprehendere.
Kevel, or Gevel] So it ſhould be wrote, and not erroneouſly,
as in Ramſay's edition, cavell. It is properly a long
pole, ſtaff, or ſpear. Goth. gafftack, jaculi genus, apud Vet.
Suio-Gothos, ſays the ingenious Ihre, in voce. Snorro, torn.
p. 367. Olafr K. ſcaut ſtundum bogaſcoti, enn ſtundumga
flocum, King Olaf ſometimes fought with the bow, and ſometimes
uſed the dart. A.S. gafeluca. Matthew Paris, ad
an. 1256. p. 793. Friſones — ipſum Williefmum cum jaculis,
quæ vulgariter gaveloces appellant — e veſtigio hoſtiliter inſequebantur.
Hence the French javelle, javelot, and our javelin.
Gaffel, Ihre explains, Quicquid bifurcum eſt, as a
hay-fork. Hence Scot. gavelok, an iron crow, or lever, as
it is generally divided into two toes at the lower end. Pelletier,
Dict. Celt. derives it from two Celtic words, galf,
Ane bent a bow, ſic ſturt could ſteir him,
Grit ſkayth weal to haif ſkard him:
He cheiſt a flane as did effeir him;
The toder ſaid, Dirdum, Dardum.
bifidus, and flach, ſcipio, ut adeo denotet baculum biſurcum.
Welſh gefa, il, forceps.
VER. 6. Luggit] Pulled each other about. Goth. lugga,
crines vellere; A.S. geluggian, vellere; Iſl. lagd, villum
notat; lugg, villus, ſign. any cloth or other thing which has
been made rough by carding. Hence, perhaps, the Greek
λαγος, hirſutus ; and the name of the hare in that language,
λαγωπος, alias δαςυπας.
It is not eaſy to give a reaſon for Biſhop Gibſon deriving
this Scots word from Cimbr. liuga, fingere ; Sax. leogan;
Goth. linga, mendacium. Nothing can be more foreign to
the obvious meaning of the paſſage. In old Engliſh, lug ſignifies
to draw or pull.
VER. 7. Nevet] Alapa, (ſays Gibſon, Not. in Polem. Middin.)
a blow or box on the ear, qua quis proſterni poteſt. Verb
nevel, to box. Cimbr. hneffe, pugnus. Scotis neaf, (rectius
nief, or nieve) et fella, proſternere. Angl. to fell. Dough
Virg. 123. 45.
"And ſmytand with nieffis her brieſt."
Bruce's Life, p. 431.
"And als their nives aft ſamen drive."
VER. 1. Sturt] Wrath, anger, deſpite. Sturt is uſed
actively by Chaucer, to ſtrive or contend. A.S. Alem.
Cimbr. ſtrid, and ſtrit. Gloſſ. apud Jun. in Strife, altercatio.
Strit, ſeditio. Heim ſtrit, dimicant, pugnant, ſtrident.
Iſland.ſtryd; Germ. ſtreiten, to fight; Iſl. ſtir, bellum.
In Suio-Goth. Storto, præcipitem agere, deturbare. Storta
en i olycka; aliquem in infortunium præcipitem dare.
Germ. ſturtzen, genſtortig, contumax; paſtorta, irruere. Iſl.
ſtyr, conflictus. Hence the old French eſtour, and our
ſtour, heat of battle, often uſed by the old poets: Douglas,
"The ſtoure cncreſſis, furius and wod."
Life of Bruce, p. 293.
"The ſtoure begouth."
He alſo uſes the word ſturt to ſignify vexation, 41. 36.
"Dolorus my lyfe,I led in ſturt and pane."
And p. 238. 21.
"Sturtin ſtudy has the ſtere." —
Confer Rudd. Gloſſ. ibid. in Sturt.
VER. 2. Skaith] Damage, hurt, loſs. In our old laws;
ſkaithleſs to keep, to preſerve from harm. Douglas, 72 23.
— "How grete harme and ſkaith, for evermair,
"That child. has caught."—
And. p. 41. v. 43.
"To me this was firſt appearance of ſkaithe."
A.S. ſkeathian, ſcaethan; Teuton. ſchaden, to hurt. Vide
Lye, Sax. Dict. Theot. Skadon, damnum, noxa; et Goth.
Skathjan, nocere. A.S. ſceathe Teuton.ſchade.
Skar'd] To have affrighted or hindered him, Douglas,
Through baith the chieks he thoch to chier him,
Or through the erſs haif chard him;
Be ane akerbraid it came na' neir him,
I canna' tell quhat mard him,
Sae wide that day.
"Ne ſkar not at his freyndis face, as ane gaiſt."
Uſed alſo actively, to ſcare, to terrify; ſcare-crow, a figure
uſed to fright away birds. Heſych. interprets ςϰαριζε αι,
ταρατ ε αι turbatur; and Euſtath. ςϰαριζσιν, palpitare.
VER. 3. Cheiſt] Or cheſid, i.e. chooſed. Thus Douglas
too uſes it. Alam. kieſen, eligere, from the Iſland. kiooſa,
Flane] Arrow, alſo written flaine. Angl. S. flan, flæx.
Perhaps (ſays Lye) from fleogan or fleon, volare. Iſland
flein, an arrow. Douglas, 387.
"Fleand with her bow ſchute mony ane flane."
Effeir] For this is the true reading; not as in Ramſay,
affeir. He choſe out ſuch an arrow as ſuited his hand. This is an ordinary term in old our laws: As effeirs, as belongs to,
as is proper and expedient. Efferand, or effering, conform to,
proper to. Vide Ruddim. Gloſſ. ad G. Douglas.
Efferis alſo ſignifies buſineſs. Douglas, p. 359. 48.
"The greateſt part of our werkis and efferis
"Ben endit now."
Unleſs this be only another mode of ſpelling affairs.
VER. 4. Dirdum dardum] Term of deriſion; a great
ado about nothing. Seems to be formed from the Iſland dyr,
pretioſus; or rather from dyrd. gloria. dyrka, glorifico. The
Wi' that a frien o' his cried, Fy!
And up an arrow drew;
He forgit it ſae forcefully,
The bow in flinders flew.
other word ſeems to be added only, euphoniæ gratiæ, unleſs
it be alſo from the Iſland. daare, raſh; whence our verb, to
VER. 6. Chard] This is another part of the verb cheir, in
the verſe before. Perhaps it may come from Goth. karfwa,
minutim cædere. Sax. ceorfan, beceorfan, amputare; ceorf-æx,
ſecuris. Hence char ſignifies to wound, or cut ; and our
carve, to divide or cut meat into ſmall pieces.
VER. 8. Mard] Spoilt his ſhowing; made him err ſo
wide. Sax. amyrran, diſtrahere, conſumere; Aleman.
merren, to hinder; Iſl. meru, minutim, diſſipare; marde,
VER. 3. Forgit] Preſſed. Iſl. fergia. In Præter. Fergde,
premere, compingere. G.
Farg, Preſſura, apud Verelium. Hence, perhaps, our
word fardel, burden. "Ferg," (ſays Ihre) "vocantur conti,
"qui ad continendum corticem, quo domus ruricolarum te"guntur,
faſtigio utrinq; dimittuntur." From this idea of
Sik was the will of God, trow I;
For, had the tree been trew,
Men ſaid, that ken'd his archery,
He wald hail ſlain enow,
Belyve that day.
preſſing, perhaps the name of a ſmith's forge is derived; at
leaſt, this etymology may be as juſt as thoſe mentioned by
Menage and Junius, in Forge. Biſhop Douglas calls a ſmith
forgeare, and a forge forgin.
VER. 4. Flinders] Splinters. Biſhop Douglas writes it
flendris, and Mr Ruddiman (in Gloſſ. ad Virg.) deduces it
from Lat. findere, Fr. fendre. But the true origin is the
Gothic flinga; fruſtum, utpote quod percuticndo rumpitur,
ſays the learned Ihre. Isflinger, pieces of broken ice. And
theſe from flenga, tundere, percutere; Gr. φλαω, ferio.
Hence, too, Germ. flegel, our flail, and the Fr. fleau. From
this idea, the Icelanders call a wedge fleigr, and the Suio--
Goths plugg, in the ſame ſenſe as we uſe it, viz. a piece of
wood driven into a hole. Vide Ihre, Lex. in Plugg. This
moſt accurate etymologiſt thinks that the ancient Iſlanders pronounced
flæc, ſegmentum, fruſtum, partem de toto demptam.
If this origin be juſt, we have here the real meaning of the
A.S. flicce, and our flitch, as expreſſing a part of the carcaſe
of the ſow. Iſland. ſlycke. In Trygwaſ Saga, p. ii. p. 23.
Fleickis ſneid, fruſtum lardi. Confer Ihre, Lex. in v.
Flaca, findere, partiri. Jun. in Flitch.
VER. 7. That kend] Scribe quha kend.
Kend, From kunna, Goth. ſcire. Ulphila, kunnan, to
know. Joh. vii. 27.. Kunnum. Adde John xiv. ver. 4.
Heſychius has κοννειν, ſcire-; kunniſt, ſcientia, now pronounced
konſt; kunnoga, notum facere; kunnog, ſciens,
peritus. Knytl. Saga, p. 4. "Harald K. baud cunnugum
"mannum;" "King Harald conſulted the Diviners;" or,
as we ſay, the cunning men. Hence, he who attends to the
courſe of the ſhip is ſaid to cunn the ſhip. Transferred alſo
to denote bodily ſtrength, if this be not its primary ſignification.
Al. chunnan, poſſe, valere, Germ. chonnen.
VER. 8. Enow] Enough, many. Sax. genog, genoh,
fatis; Goth. ganohs,multus; Iſl. gnoght, nogt, abundance;
gnogr vel nogr, abundantia. G.
In Ulphila, Joh. xiv. 8. Gana unſis, ſufficit nobis. Alam.
genuoh, any, enough.
VER. 9. Belyve] Senſus hujus vocis conſtat ex Verſione
G. Douglas, ubi ſic redditur hoc carmen.
"Extemplo Æneæ ſolvuntur frigore membra."
"Belive Æneas' members ſchuke for cauld;" Et iſtud,
"Ut primum lux alma data eſt."
"Belive as that the haleſum day wox licht."
"How Æneas in Afric did arrive,
"And that with ſchote ſlew ſeaven hartis belive." G.
Mr Ruddiman would derive this word from Teuton.
nictus oculi. We in Scotland ſay, A thing was done in a
blink, ſuddenly; from Iſl. blinka nictare; ogonblick, nictus
oculi. in the ancient Ballad of William of Cloudeſlie, (Rel.
of Anc. Poetry, vol. 1. p. 164.)
An haſty henſure, callit Hary,
Quha was an archer heynd,
Tytt up a taikel withoutten tary,
That torment ſae him teynd.
"The fyrſt boone that I wold aſke,
"Ye wold graunt it me belyfe."
Ibid. p. 91.
" He thoght to looſe him belive."
Biſhop Gibſon places here the Stanza beginning,
"A zape young man that ſtood him neiſt," &c
which is the XII. in Ramſay's edition.
VER. 1. Henſure] So Ramſay. Gibſon has here kinſman;
we know not on what authority. Hein, heini, Celt. ſtrong
young man. V. Bullet in Heini. It would ſeem that
copy followed by the Biſhop was very faulty; or perhaps he
left out this word, becauſe he did not underſtand it.
VER. 2. Heynd] Lord H. in his Gloſſ. to the Ancient
Scots Poems, explains it handy, expert. Douglas, p 363. 53.
— "Eneas heynd, curtas, and gude."
And p. 306. v. 3.
— "Clitius the heynd.''
Skinner writes hende, which he explains, feat, fine, gentle.
I wat na' quhidder his hand cou'd vary,
Or the man was his frien';
For he eſcapit, throw the michts of Mary,
As man that nae ill meind,
But gude that day.
VER. 3. Tytt up a taikle] Made ready an arrow. Chaucer:
"Well could he dreſs his takcle yomenly."
"The tackle ſmote, and depe it went." G.
Douglas uſes the ſame often: Thus, p. 300. v. 1.
"His bow with hors ſenonnis bendit has he,
"Tharin ane tackill ſet of ſouir tree."
And below, (ibid.)
"Quhirrand ſmertly furth flaw the takyll tyte."
Tackle, Goth. ſig. ornamenta navis, rudentes. Ihre, in Lex.
Tackle; and hence we ſay the tackles, the ropes of a ſhip.
VER. 4. That torment ſae him teynd] So Ramſay. The
"I trow the man was tien."
Not having the MSS. we cannot judge which is the true
reading. Torment is uſed by our old writers to ſignify wrath,
VER 4. Teynd] Tien, incenſed; Sax. teona, irritatio.
Teen, and, as Chaucer writes it tene, injury, vexation,
Sax. teonan, injuriæ, calumniæ; Belg. tenenn, tanen, irritare.
τεινεϑαι, vexare. Vide Junius, in Teen.
VER. 5. 1 wat na'] I know not. Goth. wetan, ſcire.
Ulph. vitan; Iſland. vita; Germ. wiſſen. The Latin, with
the digamma, hence forms video. The A.S. for vitan, put
often wiſtan. Hence our wiſt; I Wiſt not. Non multum
abludit ειδω, ειδεω, quæ de acie tammentis quam
oculorum uſurpantur; as the moſt ingenious critic Ihre obferves,
in Weta. The Goths diſtinguiſh betwixt bokwett,
artium ſcientia, and manweett, humanitas; and indeed they
are often found ſeparate.
VER. 6. Or the man was his frien'] Biſhop Gibſon reads
"Or his foe was his friend."
Which is ſcarcely to be underſtood.
VER. 7. Michts of Mary] Through the protection of the
Virgin. Every body knows, that the blind votaries of
Popery more frequently addreſs themſelves in prayer to the
Virgin Mary, than either to God or our Bleſſed Saviour.
The Scots ſay mights, power, from Ulphil. mahts, magan,
poſſe. Mark xiv, v. 20. Ni mag qwiman. Non poſſum
venire. Iſl At meiga.
VER. 8. As man, &c.] Biſhop Gibſon has it:
"As one that nothing meant,"
But I know not on what authority. He has either uſed unwarrantable
liberties with the text, or has been miſled by ſome
Then Lowry lyke a lyon lap,
An' ſone a flane can fedder;
He hecht to perſe him at the pap,
Theron to wad a wedder.
VER. 1. Lap] Run, a Cimbr. Hlaupa, in Imp. hliop currere.
Vel leapt, a Sax. leapan, ſaltare, currere. Imperf.
The laſt etymology is the true one; from laup we ſay,
to leap, to jump. Thus Douglas, Virg. p. 418.
"Sume in haiſt, with ane loupe and ane ſwak,
"Thameſelf upcaſtis on the horſis bak."
Goth. lopa, currere. Hence loppa, a flea. Ulphila writes
hlaupan, ſaltare. Mark, chap. x. ver. 5. Uſhlaupands, exilians.
Jun. in Gloſſ. Ulphil. thinks this has ſome connection with
λαυφϑαζει,, which Heſychius explains ςπευδει, haſtens.
VER. 2. Flane] Vide Note to Stanza VIII.
VER. 3. Hecht] Hoped. A. Sax. hiht, ſpes, G.
Hecht, he promiſed to himſelf, or vowed. So LL. Goth.
cap. 4. 1. (ap. Ihre in Heta) Engin ma haita a huathki a
hult epa hauga. Nemo vota nuncupabit, nec luco nec tumulo.
Ulphila gahaitan. Vide Mark xiv. 11. Al. heizan. Gloſſ.
Lipſii, Giheitan. Iſland. heita, undo heit votum. Streinga
heit, voto ſe obligare.
He hit him on the wame a wap,
It buſt like ony bledder;
But ſwa his fortune was and hap,
His doublet made o' lether
Saift him that days
VER. 4. Wad] Pawn. Goth. wad, pignus; A.S. wed,
wedde ſyllan, pignus dare. Fenn. weden. We muſt obſerve
here, for the illuſtration of this phraſe, that wad properly ſignifies
cloth; becauſe, in the ſcarcity of caſh of old, cloth was
given as ready money, and received as ſuch for other goods.
Hence, when any pledge was given, it was generally cloth,
wad; and from the frequency of this cuſtom, wad came to
ſignify a pledge. We ſtill ſay, the wadding of a gun.
By the common change of f and w, the Iſlanders
pronounce fat, and fot. Alam. pfand; Goth. pant,
pans; Lat. pignus. Hence the Goth. verb wadſætta, oppignorare,
and the Scots law-term wadſett, and to wadſet, to
lay in pawn. In the middle Latin we find vadium, guadium,
&c. Etrard in Græciſmo, ap. Cange in Vadium.
"Vado viam, vado quadrupedem, vadio, vadium do,
"Pro conſorte vador; ſonat hoc quod ſum fidejuſſor."
Hence vadimoniare: Vide plura ap. Cange in Vadium, et
in Plegius. Alſo called gagium, unde Fr. gage; and from
hence the gage, offered by the challenger, and taken up by
the perſon challenged, in ſurety that he was to fight the other.
VER. 5. Wap] A blunt or edgeleſs ſtroke, in oppoſition to
-one that pierces the ſkin. The elegant Editor of the Scots
Poems, printed Edinburgh, 1770, explains wapped, ſuddenly
ſtruck down, that is, by a blunt ſtroke, as of a cudgel.
VER. 6. Buft] Sounded; a dull ſound, ſuch as a bladder
filled with wind makes, when ſtruck. Puff of wind; flatus
venti. Fr. bouffeè de vent; Belg. boffen, to puff up the
cheeks with wind. Hence buffet, a blow on the cheek. Dan.
puff; plaga, ictus. Puffe, percutere malas inflatas. Hence,
too, vain-glorious boaſters are called by the Dutch poffen and
poechan. Gr. Ποιφυςςειν, vehementius ſpirare. Fr. piaffe,
pomp, vain glory.
VER. 8. Doublet of lether] Our anceſtors wore very commonly
clothes made of leather; and anciently the inhabitants
of this iſland uſed no other garments. But even long after
the uſe of woollens, thoſe who lived much in the woods, and
the yeomanry, were often clad in ſkins. Thus Guy of Giſborn
is dreſſed, Rel. of Anc. Poet. vol. 1. p. 83.
"And he was clad in his capul hyde,
"Top, and tayle, and mayne."
We in this iſland had this cuſtom from our German, and they
from their Scythian anceſtors, of whom Juſtin, l. 2. C. 2.
"Lanæ iis uſus, ac veſtium ignotus, quanquam continuis fri"goribus
urantur, pellibus tamen ferinis, aut murinis, utun"tur."
Adde Iſidor. lib. 19. cap. 23. and Cæſar of the
Suevi, lib. 4. cap. 1. Cluver. Geogr. l. 1. c. 16. We find
the Emperor Charlemagn clothed with a ſkin above his inner
garments. Eginhart, Tit. Car. cap. 23. deſcribing his dreſs,
"Veſtitu patrio, hoc eſt Francico utebatur, — crura et pedes
"calceamentis conſtringebat, et ex pellibus Lutrinis, thorace
"confecta, humeros ac pectus hieme muniebat." This garment
was by the ancient Iſlanders called felldr, being made of
ſheep-ſkin with the wool on, and ſerved them as a cover for
their beds at night, as well as a cloke, or robe, through the day.
Thus Ara Frode, Libell. de Iſland. cap 7. deſcribing Thorgeir
going to bed, "Oc bræiddi felld ſin a ſic, et explicabat
The buff ſae boiſt'rouſly abaiſt him,
That he to th' erd duſht down;
The ither man for deid there left him,
An' fled out o' the town.
"ſtragulum ſuum ſuper fe." It is ſtill cuſtomary in Greenland,
Iceland, Finland, and Lapland, to ſleep on ſkins, and
alſo in Norway. Vid. Buſſ. Lex. ad ara Frode in Felldr.
Even the women of diſtinction wore their feld in the day
time. So the Norwegian poet of Gudruna:
"Som det nu lakked till quelden
"Indkom Fru Guru med felden."
In the evening came in the Lady Gudruna clothed in her
We give this Stanza from Gibſon's edition. It is not in
Ramſay's, though by the ſtile it appears to be genuine.
VER. 1. Buff] Vide Supra, Stanza 11. Buff; ſays Gibſon,
a blow or ſtroke.
Abaiſt] Abaſed, aſtoniſhed, ſays Gibſon.
Perhaps it ſhould be abaſhed; conſternatus, ſtupefactus.
Suid. Αβαζος, ησυχος, ηγαν εςρημενος τα βαζειν, ό εςι,
λεγειν; ſilens, cui ereptus eſt uſus loquendi. Chaucer
has abawed for abaſhed. I was abawed for merveile.
The wives came forth, an' up thay reft him,
An' fand lyfe in the lown;
Then wi' three routs on's erſe they reir'd him,
cur'd him out a' ſoone,
Frae hand that day.
Jun. derives it from Sax. beap; de quo vide Lye, Sax.
Dict. Confer Jun. in Baſe.
VER. 2. Duſht] Fell down ſuddenly. Duſch, contundere,
allidere. Douglas, p. 225. 1.
"The ſharp hedit ſchaft duſchit with the dint."
And p. 296. 34.
"The birnand towris down rollis with ane ruche,
"Quhil all the hevynneſs dynlit with the duſche."
VER. 5. Wives] Women. Wif, ap. Sax. et twif, ap.
Cimbr. fæminam, vel mulierem ſignificat. Gib.
Thus, Gen. iii. 2. xx. 5. This wyf; This woman. Adde
Cædmon, 58. 9. Matth. ix. 20. An wyf, quædam mulier.
Jo. iv. 9. Samaritaniſce wyf, A Samaritan woman. Gen.
v. 2. Were and wif, Man and woman, male and female.
Vide plura ap. Lye, in Wif. Hence wiman, wimman, i. e.
wif — man, Mulier, fæmina. Alam. Uuib, Uuip; Germ.
weif. The learned Ihre mentions two derivations; firſt a
wefwa, to weave; or elſe from wif; or hwif; calantica, a
woman's head-dreſs, metaphorically, as the northern writers
ſay, Gyrdle oc linda, Girdel and belt, for man and woman;
and alſo hatt oc hætta, pileus et vitta, in the ſame ſenſe.
VER. 5. Reft him] Snatched. Sax. reafian, rapere. G.
Hence Douglas uſes it for robbed, pulled, or forced away,
"The rayne and roik reft from us ſicht of hevin."
Teut. rauben, ſpoliare; raffen, corripere. Hence bereave, bereft;
and the Scots, to reave ; and reaver, a robber, often
uſed for a pirate. Hiſt. of Wallace, p. 342.
"Upon the ſea yon reaver long has been."
And p. 343.
"At ilka ſhot he gart a reaver die."
Reif, rapine, robbery. G. Douglas, p. 354. 30.
"For na conqueſt, reif, ſtayt, nor penſioun."
VER. 6. Loun] Rogue, raſcal. Alludit. Eng. clown,
Douglas, p. 239.
"Quod I, Loun, thou leis."
The old ballad of Gilderoy, Reliq. Anc. Poet. p. 324.
"And bauldly bare away the gear
"Of many a lawland loun."
Lye Addit. to Junius deduces it from Cimbr. luin; ignavus,
VER. 7. Routs] Roarings, bellowings. Cimb. at ryta,
vel rauta; frendere, vel rugire belluarum more. Angli Bor.
dicunt, The ox rowts; et hinc ap. Scotos route, eſt idem as
to make a great noiſe. Ut habet Douglas:
"The firmament gan rummil, rare, and rout."
Hinc, oborto tumultu dicimus, What a rout is here? Item
orto ſtrepitu, What a rout you make? G. Dougl.
"The are begouth to rumbill and rout."
Sax. hrutan, to ſnort, to ſnore in ſleeping. This is Mr Reddiman's
etymon; but we imagine it comes more immediately
A zape zung man that ſtude him neiſt,
Lous'd aff a ſchot wi' yre;
He ettlit the bern in at the brieſt,
The bolt flew owre the byre.
from the Goth. hropian, clamare. Ulphila, Matth. xxvii. 46,
Ufropida ſtibnai mikilai, clamavit voce magna. Luke xix. 40.
Hropjand, clamabunt. Iſland. hroop, clamor; Alain. ruafan,
clamare, vociferare. Is roopy, hoarſe, derived from this?
VER. 8. Frae hand] Quickly, in a little time. Ang. out
of hand. G.
This is the 12th in Ramſay's edition, owing to the omiſſion
of the foregoing, which we give from the Biſhop's edition;
but this 13th Stanza is :omitted by Gibſon.
VER. I. Zaip, or Zape] Ready, alert. We have already
ſaid why our old writers always uſe the z for the y Engliſh,
when it begins the word, -as zeir, yeir — zour, your, &c.
Douglas, p. 409. v. 19.
"The biſſy knapis and verlotis of his ſtabil,
"About thyme ſtude, full zape and ſerviabil."
It may alſo mean vaunting, inſulting. Chaucer thus uſes it,
"And ſayd to me in great jape,
"Yeld the, for thou may not eſcape."
Iſland. geip, boaſting. Chaucer, Lucre. v. 18,
"Tarqinius the yonge
"Gan far to jape, for he was light of tonge."
Hence it came to ſignify jeſting, light talking., Id. Fr. lib.
"He gan his beſt japes forth to caſt,
"And made her ſo to laugh." —
Neiſt] Next. In Decalog. Angl. Sax. Ne wilna thu, thines
nehſtan yrfes med unriht; Ne concupiſcas bona proximi
tui injuſte. Neh, nigh; nehſt, neareſt. Hence neh-bur,
neighbour, from Ulphila's neguha, nigh. Mark ii. 4. Neguha
gwiman, To come near. Alem. nah; Bel. nae, naer.
Whence our Scots naar, near.
VER. 3. Ettlit] Deſigned, aimed, intended. Cimbr.
Atætla, deſignare, deſtinare.
"The goddes ettilit, if werdes were not contrare." G.
Ætla (ſays the learned Ihre) indicat varios mentis humanæ
motus, ut dum deſtinatæ ſibi proponit, judicat, ſperat, &c.
Iſland. id. Thorſten Wik, S. p. 10. Dat ætla eg. Id Spero,
vel animo concipio. Lex. Scanica, p. 16. ſect. 21. Ætla wider
frænda ſin; Conſultare cum cognatis, vel amicis ſuis. Conſonat
Gr. εϑελω, nec ſenſu longius diſtat, quum utrumq;
deſiderium voluntatis ad quidpiam tendens denotat.
Barn] The A. Sax. bearn; Iſl. barn; a bairan, beran,
It is is originally derived from the Goth. barns. Vide Ulphila,
Luke i. 41. and ii. 12. We find it even uſed to ſignify
a girl, Mark v. 39, 40. Hence barnilo, a little boy, an infant.
Luke i. 46• Jah thu barnilo, And thou child. Alam
barn, bern. Let us obſerve, by the way, that our old
authors often uſe bairn, to denote young men, full-grown
perſons, as the Engliſh do child. So Pallas, addreſſing Æneas,
ap. Douglas, p. 244. 33.
"Come furth, quhatever thou be, berne bald."
And p. 439. 22.
— "And that awfull berne,
"Beryng ſchaftis fedderit."
Bern time, the whole number of a woman's children. Id.
"Bare at ane birth —
"The nicht thare moder, that barn time miſerabill."
The ancient Engliſh writers apply child to knights. Thus
the Child of Elle, Reliq. of Anc. Poetry, p. 107.
"And yonder lives the Child of Elle,
"A young and comely knight,"
Warburton, Not. on Shakeſpeare, obſerves, that in the times
of chivalry, the noble youth, who were candidates for knighthood,
during the time of their probation, were called Infans,
Varlets, Damoyſels, Bacheliers. From this comes the Scots
word chiel, which is applied to a young man, full-grown.
VER. 4. Bolt] Arrow. Sagitta capitata, ſays Junius.
Cymbr. Bollt. Belg. bolt, bout. Non abludit βολις, jaculum;
βολιδες, miſſilia; a βαλλω, jacio.
Byre] Cowhouſe, Theotif. Buer eſt caſa, tugurium,
Item. byre eſt villa, ſiquidem bær eſt pagus, villa prædium.
In the old Gothic byr, pagus; a bo, habitare. Alſo by,
pagus. Heſych. βυριο, όιϰημα, habitatio. Etym. Mag.
ευβυριον pro ευοιϰον, and βυριοϑεν, Heſych. pro οιϰοϑεν.
"Qumque aliæ olim urbes non fuerint, quam grandiAne
cryd, Fy! he had ſlain a prieſt,
A myle bezond a myre;
Then bow and bag frae him he keiſt,
And fled as ferſs as fire
Frae flint that day.
"ores villæ, hinc etiam urbes quantumvis ampliores, idem
"nominis habuere, et etiamnum inter Danos habent,"
ſays the learned Ihre. Hence By fogde, Præfectus civitatis.
By lag, Jus civitatis, who fornandes de reb. Get. tranſlates
bellago, byſwen, city-officer, or conſtable. Byr, an inhabitant;
A.S. bure; Germ. bauer.
VER. 5. Slain a prieft] This was, in thoſe days of ignorance,
deemed the moſt horrid murder that could be committed,
and in a manner irremiſſible, the perſon of a prieſt being
held much more ſacred than that of any layman. Hence,
in the laws of the middle ages, we find the fine, or compenſation
for the murder of a prieſt, much higher than that of a
layman, of whatever high rank he might be. They were eſtimated
according to their ſeveral degrees; and hence, in the
laws of Kanute, p. 151. we find Tryhyndmon, Syxhyndmon,
i.e. Homo ducentorum, trecentorum, ſexcentorum ſolidorum;
every man's life, from the king to that of the cottager, having
a fixed price ſet upon it. This was generally called wiregild,
wergild, and manwyrd, the price of a man. By the laws of
King Athelſtan, the King's life is valued at 30,000 thrymſas;
an Archbiſhop's at one half of this ſum. A common man's
life is bought for 267 thrymſas; but a biſhop's at 8000; and
one in ſimple prieſt's orders at 2000. In the additions to the
Salic laws made by the Emperor Louis, anno 819, we find
Wi' forks and flails they lent grit flaps,
And flang togidder like fryggs;
Wi' bougars of barns thay beſt blew kapps,
Quhyle thay of berns maid briggs.
the compenſation for a prieſt always triple to that of a layman;
and if the offender had not wherewith to pay, he was ſold for
VER. 7. Bag] The quiver of arrows, which was often
made of the ſkin of a beaſt.
VER. 1. Flaps] Douglas writes it flappis, ſtrokes given
with a blunt weapon, ſuch as a flail. Hence Belg. flabbe,
colaphus, a ſono, ſays Ruddiman. Flap, ſays Jun. extremitas
cujuſq; rei mollis ac pendula, quæq; ad levem motum ſtatim
concutitur. Ita throat-flap, Anglis eſt epiglottis. Flye--
flap, muſcarium. Teuton. flabbe, libens, præfixo D. Hence,
too, Suio-Goth. flab, os, labium, de quo vid. Ihre, Lex. in
Flabb, who, with his uſual accuracy, obſerves the connection
betwixt the Greek and Scythian languages; riſum nempe, qui
patulo ore, et diductis labiis fit, perinde in illa (Lingua
Græca) πλαυν γελωα dici, ac a nobis flatt loje. We
ſay alſo, a broad laugh, a broad ftare. Perhaps flatter may
be alſo derived fro fat, de quo vide Jun. in Flatter.
VER. 2. Fryggs] Perhaps this is the ſame as freik, ap.
Douglas, a fooliſh impertinent fellow. Teuton. frech, protervus,
procax. Petulans, ſays Mr Ruddiman; unde Angl.
freik, whim or caprice. In the Jus Aulicum of King Magnus,
anno 1319. ſect. 9. we find ſome public game or meeting,
called frimark, prohibited on account of the miſchiefs and
wrongs they did to each on theſe occaſions. Framledis
forbjudher minne herre nokor frimark, &c. ulterius prohibita
eſſe vult dominus meus omnia ludicra, frimark dicta,
ſive equo peragantur, ſive alias. Confer Ihre in Frimark.
Theſe ſports were alſo called feylemarked, de quo id. ibid,
Vide Jus Aulicum, Dan. anno 1590. ſect. 25.
Friggs] Forſan eagerly, libenter, a Cimb. frigd, libido.
Gibſ. vide infra, Stanza 21. v. 4. Note.
VER. 3. Bougars] Rafters; probably from A.S. bugan
flectere, uncle boh, boga, a bough or branch.
VER. 4. Beſt] Beat. Thus the word is uſed by G. Douglas.
Blew kapps] Alluding to the blue caps or bonnets our
commonalty uſually wear on their heads.
VER. 4. Briggs] Bridges. The elegant etymologiſt Ihre
obſerves, that the original word is bro, ſignifying ſtratum aliquod
— Nunc obſervare lubet (adds he) ſeptentrionem noſtrum
ſolum eſſe, qui hoc primitivum retinuerit, dum cæteri dialecti
omnes diminutivum ejus adoptarunt. Such is brigga, from
bro; bygga, from bo; ſugga, from ſo, &c. Hence, too, the
Suio-Goth. brofjol, tabulatum pontis; brokiſta, fulcimentum
pontis; bookar, idem; brygga, a bridge; A.S. brigg, bryoge;
Germ. brucke. Obſerve here, that, as in many other words,
the Scots have kept more cloſely to the orthography and proThe
reird raiſe rudely with the rapps,
Quhen rungs war laid on riggs;
The wyfis came forth wi' crys and clapps;
Lo! quhair my lyking liggs!
Quoth thay, that day.
nunciation of the mother language, than moſt of the other
VER. 5. Reird] Or Rerde, for thus it ſhould be wrote;
not as in Gibſon's edition reir. Reirde is properly clamour,
noiſe, and ſhouting. Douglas, p. 300. 30.
"Bot the Trojanis raſit ane ſkry in the are,
"With rerde and clamour." —
And p. 37. 12.
"Syne the reird followed of the zounkeris of Troy."
Ruddiman derives it from Sax. reod, lingua, ſermo, as the
primary idea ſeems to have been that of ſhouting. Hence,
too, rede, council, advice. Tent. raad, concilium; raden
ſuadere; Angl. aread, to pronounce.
Rapps] Stroak; alſo the ſound made by a ſtroak. Dougl.
"On bois helmes and ſcheildis the werely ſchot,
"Maid rap for rap." —
And 143. 12.
"Als faſt as rane ſchoure rappis on the thak."
Alludit ‘ραπιζω, percutio, ſays Rudd. who derives this from
hreppan, tangere. But the truer etymon ſeems to be from
Goth. hropjan clamare, from the ſound made by the ſtroke.
In Suio-Goth. rapp, ictus giſwa en ett rapp, to give one a
blow; rappa, the verb, to draw or pull violenty. Ulphila,
Mark ii. 23. Raupjan ahſa, ſpicas vellere.
VER. 6. Rung] A rough pole; Iſlland. runne, ſaltus
Rigg] And riggin, the back bone. Goth. rygg; Ant.
rigg, dorſum; Iſland. hriggur; Goth. rigben, ſpina dorſi.
Notat etiam dorſum vel jugurn montis; Gr. ‘ραχις αρειος, the
ridge of a hill. In Scot. the riggin of a houſe; Goth. ryggknota,
ſpondilus, vertebræ; literally the knots of the back bone.
Vide Ihre, Lex. in rygg.
VER. 8. Likyng] My beloved. Theotiſ. likon, placere;
Sax. lican, licigian, gelecan, from Theot. guodlichan, lik,
properly corpus animatum. Ulphila, Mark x. ver. 8. Thanaſeiths
ni vind tua, ak leik ain, They are no longer two,
but one fleſh, or one body. Hence metaph, for a lovely girl,
Hawamaal Stroph. 84.
"Annad thotte mier ecke værna
"Enn vid thad lik liffa."
"Nil ego pulchrius cogitare potui,
Quam illo corpore (puella) potiri."
Hence Douglas uſes likandlie, for pleaſantly, contentedly,
p. 253. 14.
"Sae likandlie in peace and libertie,
"At eis his commoun pepil governit he."
Liggis] Lies on the ground. Ulphila ligan, to lie. Luke
ii. 16. Bigetan thata barn ligando in uzetin, They found the
babe lying in a manger. Iſl. liggia; Al. ligen; Bel. liggen;
Thay girnit and lute gird wi' granes,
Ilk goſſip oder grieved,
Sum ſtrak wi' ſtings, ſum gaddert ſtains,
Sum fled and ill miſchevet.
Suio-Goth. calls immoveable goods, as lands, houſes, &c. ligfa
; and moveable, gangande fa. In Scot. the immoveable
wood of a mill is called the lying graith, in oppoſition to the,
moving part, which we call ganging graith. Douglas, p.
"They laid this Pallas zing
VER. 1. Girned] Dentibus frendebant ut ſolent homines
dolore iraque perciti. A.S. gnirne, indignatio, mœſtitia.
Cædmon 52. 19. Mid gnirne, cum quærimonia, indignatur.
It is written alſo gnorne, mœſtus, dejectus, quærulus. Confer
Lye, Gloſſ. Sax. in voce. The Saxon plainly flows from
Goth. knorra, murmurare; Sax. gnarren, quod proprie (ſays
the elegant Ihre in Lex.) de canibus hirrientibus uſurpatur
Iſl. knurra, to murmur. Olafs Sag. cap 96. Buender knurudu
illa; ruſtici murmurabant vehementer. Knurla and
kulla denotes the murmur of the turtle dove. Vide Eſdr.
38. 14. Secundum hoc (ſays Ihre) knorra proprie erit,
malis ſuis ingemiſcere.
Gibſon for girned reads glowred, which he rightly obſerves
comes from Cimbr. Att glora, lippe proſpectare; but we know
not his authority here for this alteration. Adde Lye, in
Lute gird] Gave hard ſtrokes. Douglas uſes gird, the
verb, to ſignify ſtrike through. Throw gird, did thruſt
through. Sax. gird, virga. Vid. Exod. iv. ver. 2. Matth.
x. ver 10. Leg. Inæ. 67. Virgata terræ, hoop being made
of rolls, before they were formed of iron. Hence Scots
gird, ſig, a hoop; and from it comes girdle. Gird to deceive
or beguile, to go about one, to take them in. In this
ſenſe, Douglas, p. 219. 22.
"Was it not evin by ane fenzet gird;"
i.e. falſe ſtory, or trick. Alludit gyrus, gyrare, γυρος γυροω,
Granes] Groans. Douglas, granyt, groaned. The reader
will obſerve in this verſe the propenſity of our old Scots poets
to alliteration, a ſort of ornament they ſeem fond of adopting as
often as poſſible, and which was much in requeſt with our
Scandinavian anceſtors, as we learn from Wormius de Litterat.
Runica, and the poems of the ancient Skalds ſtill remaining.
VER. 2. Goſſip] Properly godfather, pater luſtricus; Sax.
godſibbe, cognatus ex parte dei. Vide Jun. in Goſſip. "And
"the child was called Godbearn," Godſon. Chaucer, p.
209. 6. "And certes parentele is in two manners, either
"ghoſtlie or fleſhlie; as for to dele with his godſib."
From the drinking on thoſe occaſions, the matres luſtricæ, or
godmothers, were called, in no very good acceptation,
Goſſips; and to go a goſſiping, denoted a drinking match.
And in this ſenſe our poet here uſes it of thoſe drunken
VER. 3. Stings] Poles, ſtaves. Cimbr. ſtaung; Plur.
ſteingur, haſta, contus, baculus. Angl. Bor. Stangs. Gib.
Hence nid ſtang, the ſpear or pole of infamy, erected againſt
thoſe who were called nidingr, infamous. In what this infamy
conſiſted, (nid, ſignifying infamy or reproach) ſee in
Ihre, Lex. voce Niding; and Jus Sueon. Vetuſt. p. 346.
which paſſage Dr Robertſon has tranſlated, Hiſtory of
Charles V. vol. I. chap. 5. p. 291. of the various ceremonies
uſed in ſetting up the ſpear or ſtang of infamy. Vide Bartolin.
Ant. Dan. p. 97. ſeqq. Steph. in Sax. p. 116. Egill
Skallagrim, the famous bard, deeming himſelf highly injured
by King Eric Bloddox of Norway, who had proſcribed
him, reſolved, before he left his dominions, to ſet up the
nidſtang, or ſpear of infamy, againſt him. Having ſurpriſed
one of his villas by night, and killed one of Eric's ſons, and
ſeveral of his friends, with his own hand, juſt before he ſet
ſail for Iceland, "Conſcenſa rupe quæ continentem ſpectabat,
"gerens haſtile corylinum," (ſays Torfæus, Hiſtor. Nor.
vol. II. p. 577.) "caput ei equinum affixit, formulam hu"juſmodi
præfatus; Hic ego haſtam infamiæ (nidſtang) ad"verſus
regem Eiricum et reginam Gunhildam ſtatuo. Tunc
"capite equino in continentem converſo, Converto, inquit,
"has diras, in Genios qui hanc terram incolunt, ita ut omnes
"incertis ſedibus vagentur, nec quiſquam eorum receptaculi
"compos fiat, donec regem Eiricum et Gunhildam tota hac
"terra ejecerint, et impreſſa ſiſſuræ rupis haſta, litteris Runi"cis
hanc formulam incidit." The learned reader will at
once ſee the analogy of this ancient Scandinavian curſe, and
that of the Romans, devoting others to the infernal gods.
We have tranſcribed this curious paſſage for two reaſons.
Firſt, It ſerves to explain a term in one of our Engliſh hiſtorians,
which our critics can make nothing of, though quite
intelligible to thoſe who know the meaning of the word
nidingr. Matthew Paris, in his Hiſtory of William Rufus,
p. 12. 34. "Rex ira inflammatus, ſtipendiarios milites ſuos
"Anglos congregat, et abſq; mora, ut ad obſidionem veniant,
"jubet; niſi velint ſub nithing nomine, quod latine, nequam
"ſonat, recenſeri. Angli, qui nihil contumelioſius et vilius
"æſtimant, quam hujuſmodi ignominioſo vocabulo notari,"
&c. It is entertaining enough to ſee Watts, the learned
editor of this Monkiſh Hiſtory, gravely deducing this word
from nidth, night. Nor has Spelman ſucceeded better (Gloſſ
in Niderling) deriving it from nid, a neſt, and ling, a chicken.
"Ac ſi ignavi iſti homines (ſays he) qui in exercitum pro"ficiſci
nolunt, pullorum inſtar eſſent, qui de nido non aude"ant
prodire." Would it not have been better for the learned
Knight to own, that he did not underſtand the phraſe?
We hence, too, explain the phraſe unnithing, in the Annals
of Waverly, anno 1088. "Rex Will. Junior miſit per to"tam
Angliam, et mandavit ut qui cunq; foret unnithing —
"veniret ad eum." Un, privative, and niding, infamous;
i.e. whoever was brave, and willing to fight.
The ſecond motive for quoting particularly the paſſage of
Torſæus above, was to explain a cuſtom ſtill prevalent among.
the country people of Scotland, who oblige any man, who is
ſo unmanly as to beat his wife, to ride aſtride on a long
pole, borne by two men, through the village, as a mark of the
higheſt infamy. This they call riding the ſtang; and the
perſon who has been thus treated ſeldom recovers his honour
in the opinion of his neighbours. When they cannot lay hold
of the culprit himſelf, they put ſome young fellow on the
ſtang, or pole, who proclaims that it is not on his own account
that he is thus treated, but on that of another perſon,
whom he names.
We may obſerve here how common and familiar the Gothic
was to the Engliſh, even in the eleventh century. Eric Bloddox
being driven out of Norway, came with his Queen and
Court to ſeek for protection from Athelſtan, who gave him
Northumberland, anno 935. He lived much at York; and
he and his people converſed familiarly with the Engliſh of
that age, without needing an interpreter, as did his cotemporary
Eigil Skallagrim, the bard, when in the ſervice of King
Athelſtan. A century and an half before this period, we
find the great Alfred entering familiarly into the Daniſh camp,
and diverting them in the feigned character of a bard, without
their ſuſpecting him to be a foreigner, which could not have
happened, had his language differed from their own.
VER. 3. Stones] Stones. Goth. ſtains; Sax. ſtan, lapis;
Angl. Bor. ſtean, G.
The Iſlandic Spelling is ſtain. Thus, in all the Runic
inſcriptions, N. riſta ſtain, N. erected this ſtone, viz. to the
memory of ſome deceaſed perſon. Sometimes they write it
ſtein. Worm. Monum. p. 245. Saſi ſati Runir Stein. Saſi
Runicum lapidem poſuit.
VER. 4. Miſchevet] The verb from miſchief. The Gothic
particle miſs, always implies defect, error, or ſomething bad;
as miſtruſt, miſlead, miſcall, miſapply, &c. So the French
mefiant, mecontent, mecompter, and the like. The Latins
uſed malè in the ſame manner; malèfidus, malèvalidus, effeminatus.
The Barb. Lat. Misfacere, malè agere, peccare.
Confer Jun. in Gloſſ. Ulphil. p. 256. Iſl. miſſater, people
who differ, among whom concord is wanting. Misfodſel,
The menſtral wan within twa wains,
That day fu' weil he prievit;
For he came hame wi' unbirs'd bains,
Quhair fechtars war miſchieved,
For evir that day.
an abortion. Vide Ihre, Lex. in Miſs. Miſſtyrma, malè
et ignominioſè tractare. Bibl. Iſl. Judg. xix. ver. 26. Og
peir kiendu hennar, og miſtyrmau henne alla pa nott. They
knew her, and abuſed her all the night.
VER. 5. Wan] Got within, or betwixt two waggons. So
Douglas uſes the phraſe, Wan before, He got before. Sax.
wendan, to go; wendan hidar ac thider, to wander hither
and thither. Vide Lye, in Wendon.
Wains] Contracted from waggon, as from the Sax. wægen
is formed wæn and weign. Alain. wagan; Iſland. vagn
alludit όχειν, ύχμηα, vehiculum.
VER. 6. Prievit] Proved, found. Iſland. profa, to examine
or try. Hence Sax. profian; id. prof, an experiment.
Hence Germ. prufen; Fr. preuve, eprouver;
Ang. proof. Kon. Styr. p. 14. Prowa med fullom ſkælom,
Prove by evident reaſons. Profshen, a touchſtone.
The pronunciation here belongs to the Scots; nor is it in
uſe in any of the filler dialects. Thus Douglas, Prol. to
Book 10. p. 309.
"Thocht God be his awin creature to prieve."
To prieve ſuch a diſh, i.e. to taſte it.
Heich Hutcheon wi' a hiſſil ryſs,
To redd can throw them rummil;
He muddilt them down lyk ony myce,
He was nae baity bummyl.
VER. 7. Unbirs'd] Unbruiſed bones. Birr, force, violence;
alſo the noiſe an arrow makes in its flight. Douglas
uſes thus the word birrand. Iſland. bir, ventus ſecundus;
mier biriar, oportet me. Hence Sax. me byriad, vel gebyriad;
all which include the idea of force and ſtrength:
And this is ſurely a more natural etymology than that from
vir, or vires, which the reader will find in Ruddiman's
Gloſſary. Confer Voſſ. Etymol. in Briſa. Cimbr. briſim,
bruiſe• Heſych. βριζει, πιεζει, ſtringendo premit.
VER. 8. Fechtars] Here is another inſtance of the old
pronunciation retained by the Scots. Alam. fehtan, vehtan,
to fight; and the Sax. feohtan.
VER. 1.Ryſs] Bough, twig, or flake. A. Cimbr. Hriis,
quod virgam ramum, vel virgultum, ſonat. Vil eg tyfta hann
med mannanna hraiſe; Caſtigabo eum cum virga virorum.
Bibl. Iſl. 2 Sam. vii. 14 Hinc hreifar apud Iſland. loco virgultis
obſita; et hreys, virgultis conſita domus, caſula. Danis
quoq; Hriis foſtr, eſt ſtrues e ramis arborum congeſta, et a
rice dyke. Aped Anglos Sept. eſt ſepes ex cæſis ramis et
virgis texta. Gib.
A.S. hris, vimen, frondes; Al. ris; Germ. reis;.
Hib. ras; Fen. riſu. Alludit ʽρϰιϕ vimen, ſays the learned
Ihre, in Ris. Ulphila uſes raus, to ſignify a reed, which he
and Wachter derive from riſa, ſurgere, in the ſame manner
as the Latin ſurculus. Suio-Goth. riſa, virgis cædere; riſbad,
VER. 2. Redd] We cannot gueſs the Biſhop's meaning in
his note on this word red; Sax. to rash, confeſtim, preſently.
To red, in Scots, ſig. to looſe, to unravel, or unfold. So
"This being ſaid, commandis he every fere,
"Do red thair takillis, and ſtand hard by there gare."
Confer p. 339. 44. where rede ſig. to make way. So we
ſay, To red the way; to clear the way. To rede marches,
ſettle boundaries betwixt contending parties; figuratively (as
Rudd. obſerves) to make peace. To redd a fray; to interpoſe
betwixt two combatants; and often thoſe who do get
the redding ſtraik, get a blow from one or other. Sax.
hreddan, liberare; hriddan, repellere. Hence Engl. To rid
one's hand of a thing. Riddance, raed, expedites; reyden,
parare. Hence E. ready. Suio-Goth. reda, numerare, ſynonimous
with rækna: Whence reckon, reckoning. Hence
our ready money; and the Goth. reda penningar, id. But
the Scots redd, as here uſed, comes immediately from reda,
explicare, expedire, ordinare. Reda ut ſit heir, to comb
out, or, as we ſay, to redd out the hair. Iſl. greida. Snorro,
vol. I. p. 99. Tha let Haraldur greida har ſit; Tum
Haraldus comam ſuam explicandum curavit; which, in
conſequence of a vow, he had worn uncombed, till he ſhould
become maſter of all Norway; Snorro, ubi ſup. Vide omnino
Ihre, in Reda. We ſay alſo, to rid one out of the world, i.e.
to kill him. So Knytling. Saga, p. 212. Han red ſwarba
Plog, He killed Plog the black. Snorro, voll. II. p. 245.
Ratha af lifi, to red one out of life: And hence rad;
VER. 2. Rummyl] Gibſon explains it of thundering;
but this is a miſtake, though he quotes that of Virgil, Inconuere
poli, tranſlated by Douglas:
"The firmament gan rummyl."
Properly it ſig. to rumble, grumble, roar, or bellow. Douglas,
p. 151. V. 7.
"Hillis and valis trimblit of thundir rummyl."
p. 200. v. 26.
"And landbirſt rumbland rudely with ſic bere,
"Sae loud nevir rummyſt wyld lioun nor bere."
Suio-Goth. ramla, from the Iſland. rymber, murmur. Rym,
verb, raucam voce edo.
VER. 3. Mudddilt] Or muddeled, i.e. threw them down,
ſays Gibſon. Iſland. mill, in minutas particulas divido.
Præterit. mulde, unde a mill, and to mull. Vide Hickes.
Dictionar. Iſland. in Mill.
VER. 4. Baity bummil] Effeminate fellow. Gib.
It should be wrote Batie, that being a name our country
people, in ſome parts of Scotland, give to their dogs. The
word bummil we remember not to have met with in any old
writer. Bulgia, Goth. ſig. intumeſcere; bula, tumor; bulna,
intumeſcere. If theſe have any affinity with this word,
the meaning may be, that he was no vain boaſter — that he
was not a baty, or dog, that would ſnarl, but durſt not bite.
Thocht he was wight, he was na' wyſs,
With ſic jangleurs to jummil;
For frae his thoume they dang a ſklyſs,
Quhyle he cried, Barlafummil!
I'm ſlain this day.
VER. 5. Wight] We imagine the learned Biſhop has miſtaken
the ſenſe of this word, explaining weighty, ſtrongi
ponderous, from Iſl. wift, libra, pondus, We rather deduce
wight from Goth. swig, pugna, certamen. Unde Sax. vig,
vige: hinc vigian, pugnare; vigend, bellator; Al. wigand,
id. We find vigan, pugnare, employed by Ulphila, Luke iv.
31. Iſland. wig, pugna; Celt. gwych, vir ſtrenuus, bellator.
The elegant and accurate etymologiſt Ihre, juſtly thinks he
has here found the root of the old Latin vicis, as uſed for
pugna; and that it was uſed in this ſenſe, we have the teſtimony
of Servius, in his Notes to theſe words of Virgil,
Æneid, 2. 433. Nec ullas vitaviſſe vices Danaum. Hence,
too, pervicax, quod contentioſum proprie notat. Iſidorus tells
us, that the old Latins ſaid vicam, for victoriam. The Goddeſs
of Victory was called Vica Pota. Suio-Goth. wega,
certare, cædere; enwig, certamen ſingulare.
VER. 6. Jangleurs] Gibſon reads jutors, (we know not
on what authority) which he explains from Cimbr. Jodur,
Titan, gigas, Cyclops. To jangle, is to quarrel, gannire, blaterare,
altercari, a Teut. jancken.
Jummil] Juſtle. G.
Jummil] Collidere, infundere, in ſe mutuo irruere; forte
a jump, inſilire, ſays Skinner. Chaucer writes jombre; Germ.
jumpen, micare, exilire. Sicambris, gumpig, laſcivus, ſportful
Sklyce] Oftimcs written ſlyce, from Iſland. ſlita, diſrumpere,
lacerare. Hence Sax. ſlitan, and Alaman. ſlizzen;
idem. Otfrid, lib. 4. cap. 19. 29. of Caiaphas, Sleizer ſin ginnati,
He rent his clothes. Tatian, cap. 56. 7. giſliz, ruptura.
Sax. flyten under, to ſlit and ſlice. Ulphila uſes
gaſleithjan, perdere, Mark viii. 36. Gaſleitheith ſik ſaivalai
ſeinai, perdit animam ſuam. Plura vide ap. illuſtriff. Ihre in
Slita. Iſland. ſlyſs, damnum, infortunium.
VER. 8. Barlafummil] Vox concertantium, nam in ſingulari
certamine apud Scotos, agoniſta, ictu gravi læfus, portinus
exclamat, barlafummel. Vox videtur deduci ex bardla,
ictus, verber, et fimbul, grande, vehemens quid. G.
The original ſignification of this word is to be found in the
Suio-Goth. famla, which the learned Ihre interprets, Manibus
ultro, citroq; pertentare, ut ſolent qui in tenebris obambulant.
The Iſlanders ſay falma, which is certainly the original word,
as Alaman. folmo, ſig. the palm of the hand; and thus, is
the paſſage of Eſaias (quoted by Ihre in Famla) Huner wak
himila ſinero folmo, Quis ponderavit cœlos palmo ſuo. Hence,
too, the Lat. palmus; Ang. palm of the hand. Goth. fumla,
manibus contrectare, attrectare; Fr. patiner, improbe
contrectare; Belg. fommelen. To fumble (ſays
Jun. in Gloſſ. Angl.) proprie dicitur de iis, qui rem aliquam
inſcitè, infabrè tractant, quod Suecis eſt fumla. Douglas
ſeems to uſe fumbler to ſignify a paraſite, p. 482. 34.
"I am na caik fumler, full weil ye knaw."
Ruddiman here ingeniouſly imagines caik fumler means a
cake-turner, a fellow that will do any mean thing to get a
bellyful; or an avaricious perſon, who whumbles, i.e. turns
and hides his cake, leſt others ſhould ſhare with him. But
Quhen that he ſaw his blude ſae reid,
To fle micht nae man let him;
He weind it had been for auld feid,
He thocht ane cry'd, Haif at him.
the firſt is certainly the beſt interpretation. The other word
barla is plainly derived from parley, a ſtop or ceſſation in
order to ſpeak. It was held ungenerous to refuſe this of old,
when demanded by one combatant of another. Hence we
uſe the word parley, and to beat a parley, i.e. to make a ſhort
truce, in order to propoſe terms of accommodation; and this
phraſe is often uſed even by boys in their games. Or may
we not ſuppoſe barla to be derived from, and a corruption of
Suio-Goth. barma, miſereri? Chron. Ryth. p. 165.
"Gud barme then omilde hempd
Deus miſereatur immitis vindictæ."
Ulphila has arman. Mark x. 48. Armai mik, Miſerere mei.
And this from barm, ſinus, ibid. Luke xvi. 22. quod quæ
nobis indeliciis ſunt, in ſinu ſæpe ſoveantur, ſays the elegant
Ihre (in Barm.) Hence Lat. inſinuare, and our inſinuate.
Hence we may explain that unintelligible paſſage in Auguſtin,
Epiſt. 178. Si licet, dicere non ſolum Barbaris lingua ſua, ſed
etiam Romanis, ſi hora armen, quod interpretatur, Domine
miſcerere, &c. Lege, Si Frauja (or Froja) armai, Domine
miſerere; Frauja ſignifying Lord in the Gothic. Vide Ulphila,
Matth. xxvii. 63.
VER. 2. Let him] Hinder or prevent. Sax. lettan, gelettan;
orig. from Goth. latjan, tardare, morari. Hinc
Iſland. latur; Al. laz; Dan. lat; and Angl. late. Alludit
(ſays Jun.) ληϑομαι, Dor. λαϑομαι, oblitus ſum. This
proves Junius's fondneſs for Greek derivations, where the
originals are to be fought and found at home.
VER. 3. Weind] Thought or imagined. Gibſon here
reads trow'd, which he rightly derives from the Sax. truwian,
credere. Ween comes alſo from the ſame ſountain; wenan,
exiſtimare; Al. wanen. The root of all theſe is found in
Ulphila's wennyan, or wenjan, or gawenjan, putare. Luke
iii. 15. Atwenjandein than alai managein, exiſtimante omni
populo. Adde Luke vii. 43. Confer. Jun. in Gloſſ. Ulphil.
wenjan. It is alſo uſed for expectation, becauſe this depends
on opinion; Thu is ſa quimanda, thau antharanu wenjaima?
Art thou he that ſhould come, or look we for another? Luke
vii. 59. Douglas, 222. 19.
"It ſtands not ſo as thou wenys."
i.e. thinkeſt. He uſes wenys elſewhere for tokens and
ſigns, as marks to point out the way, and determine our courſe.
p. 100. 6.
"I knaw and felis the wenys and the way."
VER. 3. Feid] Enmity. Cimbr.faide; Sax. fahth; Lat.
Barb. faida, feida, inimicitiæ; Angl. fewd. G.
Fec, Sax. inimicus; Iſland. faad. Hence foe, and feud,
enmity. Leg. Athelſtan, 20. Sij he fa wid done Cyng, Sit
inimicus regis. In the Saxon laws, fah properly ſignifies
that capital enmity that ſubſiſted on account of murder comHe
gart his feit defend his heid,
The far fairer it ſet him;
Quhyle he was paſt out of all pleid,
They ſould bene ſwift that gat him,
Throw ſpeid that day.
witted. Vide Jun. in Gloſſ, et Leg. Eccleſ. Canuti, 5.
Spelman obſerves the ſame in voce Faida. This ſavage cuſtom
of obliging the male relation to revenge the ſlaughter of
his friend, is as ancient as any thing we know of the uſages
of our Germanic anceſtors. "Suſcipere tam inimicitias (ſays
"Tacit. de Mor. Germ.) ſeu patris, ſeu propinqui, quam ami"citias,
neceſſe eſt." Obſerve, it was not left to their choice,
but under the moſt ſevere penalties they were obliged to proſecute
this vengeance, by every mean in their power. The
exceſs of this barbarity at laſt brought on a cure, though the
lapſe of many ages was neceſſary to ſoften the fierce manners of
our anceſtors. We find many laws among the Salic, Langobard,
and Francic ſtatutes, calculated to check this cuſtom ; and
King Edmund in England, about an. 944, complaining in one of
his laws much of this evil, and ſuggeſting ſeveral remedies for
it, and ordering compenſations to be made by the aggreſſor.
However, we find it ſtill prevailing even in the Norman times;
but how this inhumanity gradually loſt ground, and by degrees
was annihilated, would lead us into a hiſtorical deduction, too
extenſive for theſe notes, but we may perhaps give it in another
work. Confer. Cange in Faida.
The town ſoutar it grief was bowdin,
His wyfe hang at his waiſt;
His body was in blude a' browdin;
He grain'd lyk ony ghaiſt.
Our poet here mentions auld fied; for thoſe feuds of old
ſtanding, being ſharpened by their progreſs from generation to
generation, were, of all others, the moſt deadly.
VER. 7. Pleid] Gibſon has totally miſtaken the meaning
of this word, explaining it by reach; getting beyond their
reach. Pleid ſignifies here the quarrel, broil, or contention.
Thus Douglas, p. 111. v. 34.
"Bot gif the fatis but pleid,
"At my pleaſure ſuffered me life to leid."
Adde p. 454. 42. where it ſignifies oppoſition, controverſy.
In Suio-Goth. pleet, ictus lævis; Sax. plæt, handplætas,
ictus in viola. Plætan, ferire, unde Fr. playe; and the Bremen
pliete, vulnus. Iſland. plaaga, cruciatus. Alludit
VER. I. Soutar] Shoemaker. G.
The word ſhoe, now in uſe, is ſoftened from the ancient
Gothic ſko, which is properly tegmen, (ſays the learned Ihre)
id quod rem quamlibet tuetur — ſpeciatim uſurpatur pro eo
quod extremitates munit, et ſpecialiſſimè de indumento pedum.
Leg. Dal. p. 15. Skærper ſko a foti, ſi calceus pedem urit,
i.e. If the neceſſity be very preſſing: Ulphil. ſkote, ſhoes;
Mark i. 7. Sax. ſco, fchoh; Iſland. ſko; Aleman. ſcu.
May it not come come from ſkya, tegere? unde ſky.
"quod tegit omnia, cælum."
As the Latin nubes, a nubendo, i.e. tegendo. Iſl. ſkyla, to
cover; ſkyfwe, tegmen. Whence the Scots ſcoug, a fhade or
cover; under the ſcough of a tree. Be this as it may, we
find the Gothic ſkaud, a ſhoe, and fkauda raip, ſhoes ropes;
or, as we better pronounce, raips, i.e. ſhoe latchet. Skohe
is ſkaudaraip and bindan, calceamentorum ejus corrigia ſolvere,
Mark i. ver. 7. Alludit ςϰυος corium, ſays Junius;
as if our Scythian anceſtors had no name for a thong of leather,
till they got it from Greece. If there is really any connection,
the latter certainly comes from the former. Skotwange,
the thongs or whangs of the ſhoes. Gloves are called in
German handſchuk; and, in ſome parts of Denmark, boots are
called knæſko. Ihre obferves, that Harpocration has the word
ςϰυϑιϰος, which he explains ειδος τι ‘ιποδημαος, genus calceamenti.
We find here the origin of the title, Skofwen, an officer
in the courts of the ancient Scandinavian monarchs. He
was a kind of Lord or Gentleman of the Bedchamber, whoſe
duty it was to give the King his ſhoes; but being always
near his perſon, he was generally a rich and powerful courtier.
Thus, in Trygw. Saga, p. 2. p. 316. the rich Kali is called
Skoſvein Einars, though he was a man of great power, and a
near relation of Einars.
Bowdin] So we think it ſhould be read, and not as Gibſon
has it, bowen, which he ex-plains as if it had been boun,
or bown, prepared to go, from the Iſlandic bwen, contr. bun,
Bowdin ſignifies filled, ſwelled, from Goth. bulgia, intumeſcere.
Kon. Styr. p. 212. Ta wardir han giarnt trutin och
bulgin, Tum fere inflatur et intumeſcit. Bulgot, flaccidum.
Alludit Gr. βολοι, which the Gloſſographers explain by
φυμαα, tumores. Bulna, intumeſcere; bula, a tumor or
ſwelling raiſed by a ſtroke. A number of words are hence
derived, which include the idea of ſwelling; as bolde, ulcus,
our word bolſter; bolja, a wave. Bulla, a ſort of round bread
uſed in Sweden; whence the French boulanger, and our bowl,
bullet. The Latin bulla, hung about children's necks, is alſo
from it. Vide Juvenal Sat. 5. 164. Goth bulle, poculum.
Hiſtor Alex. M. ap. Litteratiſſ. Ihre in Bulle.
"Nappa och ſwa alla bulla."
Cyathos et omnia pocula.
Bullra, tumultuari, ſtrepitum edere. Hence, too, bolt, a
nail or pin, with a large round head. Ihre informs us, that
the large wooden or iron cylinder, or roller, uſed for breaking
the clods, is, in many places of Sweden, called bult.
VER. 3. Browdin] Browden, ſwelled, or embroidered.
We find browdin in Douglas, which Rudd. explains forward,
bent ; and alſo brudy, abounding with ; from brood,
broody. Perhaps it may come from the Scots bruche,
ſignifying a gold chain, or bracelet, as if his body, ſtreaked with
his own blood, had appeared as if adorned with gold chains.
Douglas, 146. 2.
"The bruche of gold or chene loupit in ringis,
"About thare hals down to the breiſt hingis."
Vide ibid. 215. 25. Chaucer writes it broche or brooch; or
Hir glitterand hair, that was ſae gowden,
Sae hard in lufe him laiſt,
That for her ſake he was nae zowden,
Seven myle that he was chaiſt,
And mair that day.
perhaps from Sax. brædan, aſſare, De quo Lye, in Lex.
VER. 4. Grain'd] Groaned. Douglas writes it granyt;
Sax. granan; Cimbr. grwn, gemitus columbarum; Hibern.
gearan, gemitus, querela. Alludit (ſays Jun.) γρωνας,
explained by Heſych. τας αϰαον ας, ϰαι τας μη λαλανας,
audientes, ſed non loquentes.
Ghaiſt] Sprite. Sax. gaſt, ſpirit. G.
Douglas writes it gaiſt, gaiſts, which is nearer the Saxon
orthography. Alam. geiſt. Hence Engl. gaſtly, αγαςος,
ειδος αγαςον, ap. Homer, which Euſtathius explains εϰπληϰ
ιϰον, ſpecies terribilis. Hence probably Scots gouſty,
uſed by Douglas, waſte, deſolate, and lonely places, becauſe
ghoſts were thought to haunt ſuch. Armor. goaſta, vaſtare,
to waſte. I find in Lye gaſtoine, ager incultus. Lat. Barb.
gaſtina, de qua vid. Cange, Gloſſ.
VER. 5. Gowden] Liqueſcente. l in w, ex golden. Hinc
rufum Scoti vocant gowdy locks, ſcil. pro more gentium ſeptent.
apud quas rutili et flavi capilli in maximo pretio habebantur.
Hinc Cædmon vocat Saram, Bryd blonden feax, ponſam
flavi comam. Lothum etiam appellat, Blonden feax; et in
Edda Snorronis legimus Saturnum in taurum rutilum ſe convertiſſe,
cujus pilus quilibet aureo nitebat colore, Var fagur
gulz litur a huortu har. Memnon etiam omnes anteiſſe pulchritudine
dicitur, utpote cujus cæſaries ſupra aurum nitebat,
Har hans var fegra en gull. Et uxor ejus fatidica, oinnium
formoſiſſima, dicitur habuiſſe capillos auro ſimiles, Hun var
alſtra Kuenna fogurſt har hennar var ſem gull. Cap. 3. Præfat.
Eddæ. Neq; mirandum quod ſeptentr. ſcriptores rutilum
cæſariem tot elogiis celebrant, cum multiplicem Gothorum
nationem, Vandalos, Wiſigothos, Gepidas, ipſoſq; Gothos
proprie ſic dictos comas rutilos eſſe ſcribit Procop. Hiſt. Vandal.
lib. 1. Gib.
All the northern nations were remarkable for blue eyes,
and yellow or fair hair. Of the Germans, Tacit. Mor. c. 4.
"Truces et cæruli oculei, rutilæ comæ." Juven. Sat. 13.
"Cærulea quis ſtupuit Germani lumina? flavam
Confer Cluver. Ger. Ant. p. 118. Ariſtot. Problem,
ſect. 14. 8. Conringius de Hab. Corp. Germ. p. 11. 12.
From this mark, Tacitus (Vita Agricolæ, cap. 2.) infers the
German origin of the Caledonians; "Rutilas Caledoniam
habitantium comas, et magnus artus Germanicam originem
adſervaſſe." Lucan, Pharſal. 1. 10. ſpeaking of Cleopatra's
"Pars tam flavas gerit altera crines,
"Ut nullus Cæſar Rheni ſe dicat in arvis
"Tam rutilas vidiſſe comas." —
So fond were the Germans of this colour of hair, that they
uſed different ointments, both to give and to preſerve this
ornament; as Plin. informs us, lib. 28. cap. 12.
VER. 7. Zowden] So it ſtands in Ramſay's edition, but
whether according to the M.S. we cannot ſay; nor is the
meaning of this word very eaſy to diſcover. In the Gloſſary
The millar was of manly mak,
To meit him was nae mows;
There durſt not ten cum him to tak,
Sae noytit he thair pows.
to Ramſay's edition, we find zolden, explained holden. In Douglas
we have zoldin, which ſeems to come neareſt the ſenſe
here, ſignifying yeilding, or yeilded. But we think it better
to own our ignorance, than to fill the page with idle conjectures.
VER. 2. To meit him, &c.] Gibfon reads this verſe,
"With him it was nae mows."
Mockery, or jeſt. Thus Lindſay of Pitſcottie,
of Sinclair, when the Lords ſeized him, "Is it mows, or earneſt,
my Lords?" Battle of Harlaw, ſtan. 19.
"Their was nae mowis there them amang,
"Naithing was hard bot heavy knocks."
The French ſay, Faire la moue, to laugh at one; and hence
Chaucer, Tr. lib. 4. 1. of Lady Fortune
"And whan a wight is from her whele ithrow,
"Than laugheth ſhe, and maketh hint the mowe."
Hib. magam illudere, deſidere; magadh irriſio, deriſus.
Mow alſo ſignifies properly the mouth. Gothmund. Thus
faire la mowe, is to diſtort the mouth, as is done in looking
contemptuouſly at any perſon. In Sui-Goth. mopa, illudere,
vexare, Chron. Rythm. (apud Ihre in Mopa.)
"Jak ſeer Erik will oſs mopa.
"Video Ericum nobis illudere
Our elegant etymologiſt remarks the affinity betwixt this
and the Engliſh mope.
Among the Ætolians, mova ſignified cantilena, a ſong;
and in Celtic, moues denotes the ſame thing. Hence Moſai,
the Muſes, who made and ſung verſes. Vide Pezron, Antiq;
p. ad voc. Μςαι. Μωϰος, a derider, comes from the
Celtic moch, a ſow, from the action of that animal in turning
his ſnout up into the air, and men doing ſo, as a geſture of
contempt; μωϰια, ſannia, deriſio; and the Celts ſay, moccio,
for deriding. Hence the French moquer, and our mock.
Again, the ancient Gauls ſaid gore, for a ſow. Hence
γορίαω, irrideo, ſubſanno; and from the ſame origin, Χοίρος,
ſus. The ancient Scholiaſts truly remark, that this word
was feminine, among the ancient Greeks; but they did not
know the reaſon, which is, that gore in the Celtic properly
denotes ſus fæmina, a ſow.
VER. 3. There durſt not ten] Gibfon reads the verſe
"There durſt nae tenſome thair him tak."
VER. 4. Noytit] Gibſon reads cowed. Goth. nod. neceſſitas.
Indc noda, cogere; nodde, coegit. Vide Gen. 33. v.
Ulphila, Nauthjan, uibi vid. Jun. Douglas uſes noy for
hurt, annoy, and noyſum, hurtful, noxious. Thus pag. 191,
"Sa fer as that thir noyſum bodyis cauld."
The buſchment hale about him brak,
And bikkert him wi' bows,
Sync traytorly behint his back
They hew'd him on the hows
Behind, that day.
Ray (Collect. of words) obſerves, that in Lancaſhire they
ſay note, to puſh, ſtrike, or gore with the horn, as a bull or
ram. This he derives from the Sax. Hnitan, to puſh or
gore, Exod. xxi. 28. Gif oxa hnite. And this from the
Iſland Hniota ferire, which is the true origin of our noyt.
Vide Hick. Diction. Eland. in Hnyt.
Pows.] So the Scots pronounce Poll, cacumen, vertex
capitis. Hence to poll at election, to have each head reckoned;
poll-money, capitation tax; a pole of ling, caput aſelli
piſcis ſaliti. Skin.
VER. 5. Buſchment] Contractè from Fr. embuſchement,
ambuſcade. We find buſchement uſed by Douglas. Ambuſh
may perhaps be derived from buſh; and in woody places
ambuſhes were generally placed. And this, too, is the opinion
of Jun. Gloſſ. in Ambuſhes. Hence the Italian imboſcate,
and the Lat. term ſubſeſſores, vid. Serv. ad .Æneid v.
VER. 6. Bikkert] Laid a load of rattling blows on him.
It would ſeem, that in this ſenſe the word is uſed in the old
poem of Chevy Chace. Reliq. of Ancient Poet. vol. 1. p. 5.
"Bomen bickart uppone the bent
''With tiler brow'd arras cleare."
Twa that war herdmen of the herd,
On udder ran lyk rams,
Then followit feymen, richt unaffeird
Bet on with barrow trams;
i.e. their arrows rattled in the quiver as they moved. In an
old tranſlation of Ovid, quoted in the Gloſſary on this poem,
we find theſe verſes:
"And on that ſlee Ulyſſes head
"Sad curſes down does bicker."
Hence it came to ſignify fighting or ſkirmiſhing; and here,
ſay our boys to each other, Let us bicker, i.e. ſkirmiſh.
VER. 8. Hows] The hams. How, from Angl. Sax. hog
and hoh ; and from this laſt the Scots ſay ſtill hoch, as in
Douglaſs. Belg. Haeſſen, verb to hoch, to cut the back ſinews
of the leg, ſuffragines ſuccidere. Hence Jun. derives the
phraſe, hoxing of dogs, genu ſciſſio canum. Adde Spelm. in
expeditare canem. Iſland. huka; incurvare ſe modo cacantis.
Perhaps, too, the huckle-bone had its name from hence. Belg.
hucken, deſidere, in terram ſe ſubmittere. Vide, Lye Addit.
to Jun. Gloſſ.
VER. 1. Herdmen] Headſmen, G.
VER. 3. Feymen] Lege faemen, i.e. enemies. Douglas
ſometimes writes it fa, which is nearer to the Saxon fah,
inimicus; as from feond, fiend. Leg. Athelſtani R. 20.
"Sy he fa with done lyng; Sit inimicus regis." Vide LL.
Edmundi R. 1. et Jun. Gloſſ. in Foe. From ſah comes
feehld, feud betwixt two families on account of the ſlaughter
of a kinſman; Angl. feud; Iſland. fead; Dan. feyd. The Latins
of the middle ages formed hence their faida, de qua
Spelman in Archæol. B. Rhenanus Rev. Germ. l. 2. p. 95.
"Faidam vocabant Franci ſimultatem apertam, qua unus aliquis
uni vel pluribus bellum denuntiat. Ab hac Gallicani
"ſcribæ faidoſum appellat, qui faidam exercet. Germanis
"notum nimis vocabulum eſt." Every difference, however,
was not called faida, but only that capital hatred which could
not be appealed, but by the blood of the malefactor. Hence
faida, vindicta mortis. Faidam portare alicui, to declare
private war againſt any perſon. The dreadful conſequences
of this right of private war, and the numerous ſtatutes
againſt it, are to be found in all the writers of the middle
ages. See many curious particulars concerning it, ap.
du Cange in Faida. Hence the poor Albigenſes, while
cruelly perſecuted and murdered by the Papiſts, were called
Faididi, quod profugi et exulantes erant.
Unaffeired] Unaffrighted, without fear, or as we ſpell it,
VER. 4. Barrow] From Sax. berewe, which comes from
Goth. bairan; Sax. bæran, beoran. Hence bier, on which
the dead are carried; and thoſe who carry them are called
bearers, and the ſpokes on which the coffin reſts, bear-trees.
Trams] Tram, or trum, is Gothic, and thus explained by
the elegant and learned Ihre: "Pars arboris longioris in
plures partes diſſectæ, ut commodius plauſtro injici queat."
Germ. trumm, fragorem; Iſland, trumba. With the German
lawyers, tramrecht, or traumrecht, denotes that right
which one neighbour has of letting the beams or joiſts of his
houſe into the neareſt wall. Bohem, tram, trabs. Stadenius
(Explicat. Vocum Bibl. p. 663.) obſerves, that the Germ.
thramen ſignifies beams, and the croſs joiſts on which wooden
ſtairs are ſupported, which leads us to the thramſteins of Ulphila,
Mark i. v. 6. by which he tranſlates the αϰριδες of
the Greek, which our verſion renders locuſts, the food of John
Baptiſt in the deſert. Many of the ancients, as well as the
Gothic Biſhop, underſtand this paſſage of the ſacred writer,
not of locuſts, but the tender tops of ſome ſhrub, or ſpecies of
plant, unknown to us; as Bengelius obſerves in his note on
this verſe; and therefore he deduces the laſt part of the word
from teins, virga, ramus tenerior. Adde Wachter in Tram.
May we not attempt, from what is ſaid of this word tram,
to explain the word ſtraba, uſed by Jornandes, when deſcribing
the funeral of Attila Getica, cap. 39. "Poſtquam
"talibus lamentis eſt defletus, ſtrabam ſuper tumulum ejus,
"ingenti commeſſatione celebrant." Wormius (Mon. Dan. p.
36.) quotes a paſſage from Plac. Lactant. ad Stat. Theb. lib.
22. in the following words: "Exuviis hoſtium extruebatur
"regibus mortuis pyra, quem ritum ſepulturæ hodie quoque
"Barbari ſervare dicuntur, quem ſtrabas dicunt lingua ſua."
Now we know that nothing is more common among all the
people of Gothic origin, than to put ſ. before their words.
The word trafwe, the learned Ihre ſays, "uſurpatur de
"rebus quibuſvis exaggeratis, wed trafwe, eſt ſtrues ligno"rum,"
a heap, ſuch as the funeral pile. Trafwe alſo denotes
a heap of corn cut down; and hence our thrave, conſiſting
of twenty-four ſheaves, as we ſhall more fully explain
in our Gloſſary of the ancient Scottiſh Dialect; vide Ray's
Collect. of Words, p. 75. Of this the barbarous Latin has made
trava, trava bladi, de quo Cange. The cuſtom of the Goths
But quhair thair gobs thay were ungeir'd,
They gat upon the gams;
Quhyl bludy barkit was thair bairds,
As they had worriet lamms
Maiſt lyk that day.
drinking largely at the funeral of their chiefs, is too well
known to need enlarging on in this place.
VER. 5. Gobs] Roſtrum, beak, uſed of birds of prey.
Celtic, gob, roſtrum. Hence our gab, uſed to ſig. the mouth;
and gobble, to devour greedily. Fr. gober. Junius obſerves,
that the Gr. Καβλεει has ſome affinity to our words;
and is explained by Heſychius, Κααπινει, devorat, obſorbet.
Ungeird] Unprepared. Sax. gearwian, præparare; and
this comes from the Iſlandic giora, parare, facere. Eg.
ſkal giora, or eg mun giora; faciam, vel facturus ſum.
Hickes (in Dict. Iſl.) thinks, that hence is derived the Scots
to gar, to oblige, or force one to do a thing. Gear, Scot.
furniture, apparatus. Iſland. gearo, gearwe, paratus.
VER. 6. Gams] The gumms; Teut. gaum, gum, palatum;
A.S. goma, gingiva. Douglas 345. 31.
"His gredy gammes bedyis with the rede blude!"
Iſland. gomur, palatum. Theſe ſtrokes they got on the mouth
explains what the poet adds, that their beards were all beſmeared
VER. 7. Bludy barkit] Gibſon, on what authority we
The wyves keiſt up a hideous zell,
Quhan all thir zounkers zokkit;
Als ferſs as ony fire-fiauchts fell,
Freiks to the fields they flokkit.
know not, reads bludy burn; the meaning of which we are
Barkned] Covered with congealed blood, as hard, and in
the ſame manner, as the bark covers the tree. Skinner derives
bark from Teuton. bergen, tegere.
VER. 8. Worried] Worry, vexare, dilacerare, vide Lye,
Gloſſ. Sax. in Worian. We find the original meaning of this
word in the following paſſage of Alfred's Verſion of Bede's
Hiſt. Eccleſ. l. 4. c. b. "Seo hreownes thæs oft ewedenan
"woles feor & wide eal weer worigende & fornimende; Sæpe
"tempeſtas dictæ cladis latè cunita depopulabatur." Such
was the general ſignification in the mother tongue; but in
Scotch it is always reſtricted to tearing with the teeth, as a
dog does. Ray informs us, it is uſed in the ſame ſenſe in
the north of England.
VER. I. Keiſt] Caſt. Gibfon reads gave.
Zell] A doleful cry, indicating deep diſtreſs. Sax. gealpan;
jactare, gloriari, exclamare. The root is the Iſland:
giell, vociferor; gall, vociforatus ſum. We find in the
ſame language yle, ejulo; ylde, ejulavi. From gielle the Danes.
ſay, at gielle, reſonare. Junius, in his idle fondneſs for
Greek derivations, would bring it from ηλεμος, or ιαλεμος
cantio funebris. In the old Engliſh we alſo find yawl, lugubriter
vociferari; Iſland. Gala, vociferari; Armor. jala, lamentari.
If we muſt have a Greek derivation) may we not
ſuppoſe it to come from αλαχαζω? but it is needleſs to go
from home on this occaſion.
VER. 2. Zounkers] Young men, a Cimbr. junkiære ſays
Gibſon) vel jonkiere, generoſus vir juvenis. Goth. jugga;
and Iſland. ung. Hence Sax. giung, jung; Welſh, jevange,
or jefange; Angl. young, inde younker.
Zokkit] Joined together in combat, as when oxen are joined
together by the yoke. Yoke, from Sax. geoc. joc.; and
this from Goth. gajuk, Alam. joch. We cannot gueſs what
the learned Gibſon was thinking of, while he explains yokkit,
ready to vomit. Yoake, in the north of England, ſig. to vomit;
the yoakes, the hiccup. But ſure this cannot be underſtood
in this paſſage, as the true meaning. Yex, Angl. ſig. ſingultire;
yexing, convulſio ventriculi; Belg. huckup ; SuioGoth.
hicka. Confer. Jun. Gloſſ. Hick.
VER. 3. Fire-flauchts] Fire flying. Angl. Bor. fulgura
fire-flaughts, vocant, G. And fo do the Scots. The origin
is from the Goth. fleckra and fleckta, motitare, from the
quick and verſatile motion of the lightning. Tobit. cap. 11
ver. 9. Ta lopp hunden framfor at, och fleckrade med ſin
rumpo; Then the dog went before them, wagging his tail,
Ezekiel xi. 22. Ta flecktade cherubim med ſinom wingom;
Turn cherubim alas ſuas motitabant. Hence the Engliſh
flicker, flickering, de quo vid. Jun. etymol. From this action
of a dog fawning on his maſter, we find fleckra, adulari. Kon.
Styr. p. 57. Han ſum ar falſkr. ok flikrar; Qui ſub dolus eſt,
et adulatur. Flikert adulatio, ibid. p. 53. Alaman.flechen,
adulari; flechara, adulatores. Hence Scot. fleech, to flatter.
Douglas has fleicband, flattering, which Ruddiman, for want
of a better etymon, derives from Lat. flectere.
VER. 4. Freiks] Bold, petulent fellows, who love to quarrel;
alſo fooliſh, and impertinent. Thus Douglas, Prol. to
Æneid 8. p. 239.
"Ha, wald thou fecht quod the freik."
Teuton. frech, protervus, inſolens, procax. Hence our freak,
frakiſh, capricious. Suio-Goth. fræk, tumidus, inſolens. En
freek uppſyn, Vultus inſolentiam præ ſe ferens. Iſland. fræckr,
inſolence. Hence in Scots fractious, troubleſome, quarrelſome.
Gud. Andreæ Lex. Iſland. They ſay alſo, frækur, ſævus.
Herraud's Saga, cap. I. Frækur i heimtum, ſævus in exactionibus.
Knitlyng. 5. p. 8. Oc var that ed fræknaſta, Erant hi
milites fortiſſimi. The learned and ingenious Ihre derives
the Latin ferox, from the Goth. fræks or fracks, with great
probability, in Lex. tom. 1. p. 585. This elegant writer alſo
aſſerts (in voce Frankrike) that the Franks were called in the
ancient language Frakr, from their ferocity. All the German
writers agree in this. Gothofred. Viterb. Chron. part
17. in Proem. talking of the origin of the empire of the Franks,
Germani adverſus Alanos movent exercitum, eos vincunt, "et
omnio extinguunt — et propter eandem victoriam a Valenti"niano
Imp. Franci, id eſt feroces ſunt perpetuo appellati."
Id. Catalog. Reg. Franc. "Poſt modum ab Imperatore Va"lentiniano
vocati ſunt Franci, i.e. Feroces." And Ricardus
Epiſcop. tit. de Leone 3tio Imp. "Sed quia tempore Valen"tiniani
Imp. ejus mandato vicerunt Alanos, vocavit eos Fran"cos,
id eſt Feroces." Rigordus in geſtis Philippi Auguſti,
p. 74. "Quos cum multis poſtmodum idem Valentinianus
attentaſſet. nec vincere potuiſſet. proprio eos nomine
The carlis with clubs did uder quell,
Quhyl blude at breiſts out bokkit;
Sae rudely rang the common bell,
That a' the ſteipill rokkit
For reid that day.
"Francos, quaſi Ferancos, i.e. Feroces appellavit." The reader
will find more to the ſame purpoſe in Cange, voce Francus.
Frekner, Iſland. ſignifies alacer, ſtrenuous. Olafr.
Tryg. S. p. 2. pag. 298. Tho at badi væri ſterker oc frekner,
Quamvis robuſti ſimul et ſtrenui eſſent. Freki, ferocia.
Confer Ihre Lex. vol. I. p. 586.
VER. 5. Carlis] Clowns; Sax. Eorl and Georl, Gib. The
true origin is found in the Iſlandic, not in the Saxon; for
corl properly denotes a nobleman, whence Earl; but in the
mother dialect, the Iſlan. Karl, ſig. a ruſtic, or man of mean
condition, as here. So too Alaman. karl. Voſſius in Etymol.
voce Androſaces, brings another etymology, but not a
probable one. The Germans ſay, Ein hapfer karl, a ſtrong
man. Hence too our churle, de qua vid. Jun. in voce, who
obſerves, that in the Sax. ceorelboren and thegeaborn are oppoſed
to each other ; the firſt ſignifying a plebeian, the ſecond a gentleman.
It is from this idea of ſtrength that the Engliſh ſay a
karlecat, carlehemp, &c. Carliſb is clowniſh, ruſtic. Thus
in the ancient ballad, the Childe of Elle, Reliq. of Anc. Poet.
p. 112. vol. I.
"And foremoſt came the carliſh knight,
Sir John of the north countràye."
Quell] Alam. quellen, Belg. quellen, domare, ſubigere.
Sax. cwellan. It is uſed alſo to ſignify killing. Thus Douglas,
"Thre vilis tho', as was the auld manere
"In wourſchip of Erix he bad doun quel."
and p. 263. 1.
"— with this ſamyn rycht hand quellit and ſlane."
Hence kweller, carnifex.
VER. 6. Bokkit] Burſt forth. Bock properly to vomit, and
ſo uſed by Douglas. "Vox agro Lincolnienſi familiaris" (ſays
Skinner) "alludit Hiſpan. boſſar, vomere;" melius a Belg.
booken, boken, pulſare.
VER. 8. Rokkit] Shaked. Rock a cradle; agitare, motirare
cunas. Douglas 157. 30.
"How that the ſchyp did rok and tailzeve."
He elſewhere uſes rokkand for rolling or toſſing. Junius
brings it from the Tuton. rucken, trahere, loco movere. But
the true origin is from the Iſlandic krocka, (as alſo Ruddiman
has obſerved in Gloſſ. to Douglas) cum impetu quodam
moveri. It is ridiculous enough to find Mer. Cauſaubon going
to the Greek οργαζειν ανοργαξειν, where there is not
the ſmalleſt affinity of ſound. Vide Hick. Dick. Iſland. in
VER. 9. Reid] I ſuſpect it ſhould be reird or rerde, noiſe
or clamour. Douglas, p. 300, v. 30.
"With rerde and clamour of blythneſs."
and p. 37. 12.
" Syne the reird followit of the zounkeris of Troy."
Confer ibid. 324. 25. Ruddiman brings it, with probability
Be this Tam Tailor was in's gear,
When he heard the common bell;
Said, he wald mak them all a' ſteir,
When he cam there himſell:
enough, from Sax. reord, lingua, ſermo, as originally it denoted
the clamour of tongues.
VER. I. Gear] Biſhop Gibſon obſerves, that gîor, in the
Iſlandic, ſignifies to prepare. True; but that has nothing
to do with the word here uſed. Gear, in our ancient language,
denotes all kind of goods and poſſeſſions, among which ,
arms were reckoned by our warlike anceſtors the moſt valuable.
Primarily it denoted a ſheep ſkin in the Iſlandic; and
as that was the uſual garment uſed by our forefathers, it was
afterwards uſed to ſignify cloathing in general; and hence armour,
as we ſtill ſay a coat of armour. Vide our remarks on
this word, Preface, p. 13.
VER. 3. Steir] The Engliſh ſtir, from the A.S. ſtyran,
movere. It is uſed here for violent commotion, as by Douglas,
p. 34• ver. 53.
"But ardentlie behaldis all on ſtere."
He went to fecht with ſik a fear,
While to the erd he fell;
A wife that hit him to the grund
Wi' a grit knocking-mell
Feld him that day.
Junius has obferved the affinity betwixt this and the ςυραϰιζειν;,
of Heſychius, to ſtimulate or prick forward. Ulphila
has a ſimilar verb, (only compounded) Mark xiv. ver. 5.
And — ſtauridedun tho, they murmured againſt her; where
ſee the Gloſſary of Juuius.
VER. 8. Knocking-mell] Mell, from the primitive mal, denoting
force, power; and hence metaphorically what occaſions
ſuffering, or evil. This is the meaning it carries in the oriental
dialects. Thus the Perſian mall, denotes anxiety, ſuffering;
moul, patience; malul, diſquiet; Arab. mell, patience; Celtic
mall, bad, corrupted. But this is not the place for theſe inveſtigations,
which we reſerve for our Scoto-Gothic Gloſſary.
Of the ſame family with our mell, is the Fr. mail, maillet;
whence the Engliſh mallet. The Latin malleus comes from
the ſame origin.
Our poet here alludes to the large wooden beetle, made
uſe of by our anceſtors, to bruiſe and take the outer huſk from
the barley, to fit it for the pot, before barley mills were invented.
This cuſtom of beeteling the barley, has not ceaſed
yet in ſome places of the Highlands; and many of the hollow
ſtones, uſed as the mortar, are ſtill to be ſeen about our farmers
yards, though they are no longer applied by them to the
When they had beirt like baited bulls,
And branewod brynt in bales,
They war as meik as ony mulis
That mangit ar wi' mails,
Mellie is, by our poets, uſed for combat, fighting. Life of
Robert Bruce, p. 121.
"That men may by this mellie ſee."
Douglas has it frequently. Fr. melée; whence the L. B.
melleia, and melletum; and, from the Fr. Chaude, mellée, the
barbarous writers of the middle ages formed their monſtrous
calida melleia, as Ruddiman has obſerved. Vide Cange in
Melleia. We have, too, in our old law books, chaudmella.
Skene de Verb. Sig. though he knew nothing of the origin of
the word, has rightly explained melletum, by ſtrife, debate;
as we ſay that ane has melled or tulzied with ane uther.
Mell is ſtill uſed in the north for a mallet or beetle, as Ray
VER. 9. Felld] From the Iſl. fella, to beat down. So
the Engliſh now apply it to trees, to fell timber. Alam. Fellen
befillan. Junius's derivation of this word from velt, a field,
is almoſt as ridiculous as that of Caſaubon, who brings it from
βεβλημενος; and yet theſe men were etymologiſts.
VER. I. Beirt] Roared and fought with noiſe, like to that
of bulls when baited with dogs. Douglas uſes the word bere
for crying or roaring. Bere and birr, according to Ray, ſig.
force or might ; and in Cheſhire they ſay, with aw my beer,
with all my force. In Scotland too we uſe this word birr,
for might or ſtrength. Hib. Baireadh, quod effertur baireah,
denotat fremitum, et bairim, fremere.
In the old Engliſh we find beray, berayed with blood or
dirt, befouled. Teuton. bern, merda. vid. Jun.
Baited] This word is ſtill in uſe, though its origin is not
ſo generally known. With Chaucer baye is the ſtake to which
the bear or bull is tied, in order to be baited. Plowm. T
"As boiſtious as is bere at baye."
They then pronounced baight, which is now corrupted into
bait. Chaucer, ibid. v. 588.
"He ſhall be baighted as a bere."
The root is the Iſlandic beita, agitare, incitare. Suio-Goth,
bekeya, irretire, impedire. "Proprie dicitur" (ſays Ihre) "de
"illis quæ cancellis aut caveis incluſa ſunt."
VER. 2, Branewod] Roaring like madmen. Braie, fremere,
vociferari, barrire, rudere. Hence Fr. braire. iβραυωςα
Heſych. exponit ϰεϰραγυια, vociferans. Lye deduces it from
Cambr. brevy, to cry out. Douglas uſed braithlie for noiſy,
Perhaps it ſhould be wrote braynewode, and then it will
ſignify mad. Douglas uſes brayne by itſelf in this ſenſe, p.
""Quharfore this Turnus half, myndleſs and brayne,
"Socht divers wentis to flie out throw the plane."
Brynt] From bræn, ardere; Goth. brinnan; Iſl. ad brenna;
Aleman. brennan; Sax. byrnan. Hence amber is by
the Dutch called bernſteen. Douglas uſes brent for burned.
Bales] Bale, ſorrow. Iſl. bal, bol, malum; bolua, maledicere;
boluan, maledictions. Douglas, 408. 2.
"Have reuthe and pitie of my wofull bale."
Chaucer, P. T. v. 68.
"Thou ſhalt be brent in baleful fire."
Gothic baldwyan torquere, Mark v. 7. Ni balweys mis. Do
not torment us. Matth. viii. 29. Quhampt hek faur mel
balwyan unſis? Art thou come to torment us before the
time? Now Junius (ad voc.) properly obſerves, that the torment
ſpoken of in the New Teſtament is always repreſented
as by fire; hence the origin of the Aſ beel, rogus; Iſland
baal, incendium. Had we room here, we could prove hence
the origin of Beltyne, the ſolemn fire kindled by our anceſtors
in May, at which time the Celts began their year. Vide
Macpherſon, Ant. p. 164. Smith Gaelic Ant. p. 31. Pennant's
Tour, p. 94. From tine comes tinder, ſomes; Alaman.
zundere, item tundre.
VER. 4. Mangit] Ramſay interprets it maimed with carrying;
Gibſon reads wearied for mangit; Douglas ſometimes
writes it menzeit, confounded, marred, maimed. Thus of
Andromache fainting, p. 78. 15.
"to the ground all mangit fell echo doun."
and 440. 27.
"Bot then Turnus half mangit in affray."
Ruddiman brings it from S. mangzie, or manzie; Fr. mehaign.
Hence, too, our maim, per contract. In our old law--
books it is written mainzie. Reg. Majeſt. l. 4. c. 3. "He
"quha is accuſit in ſic pleyes, may declyne battle, be reaſon of
"an manzie, or of his age." From mainzie, the writers of
the middle ages formed the barbarous Latin term mahamium;
For faintneſs thae forfochtin fulis
Fell down lyk flauchtir fails;
Freſh men cam in and hail'd the dulis,
And dang them down in dails
Bedeen that day.
though Ruddiman erroneouſly derives our word from it. Charta
Henrici 2do. "Hæc omnia conceſſi cum murdro, et morte
"hominis, et plaga, et mahaim, et ſanguine." Charta Philip 3.
Req. Fr. ann. 1273. "Quod percuſſus membrum amitteret
"ſeu vitam, vel etiam mahainium incurreret." Plura vide ap.
Cange, in Mahamium.
VER. 5. Forfochtin] Wearied with fighting. G. We
obſerve here, that in the Gothic dialects, and all its daughters,
the particle fore, or for, increaſes the ſignification. Thus
hindre, forhindra, impedire; minſka, forminſka, minuere; and
often imports a worſe meaning than the original word. Thus
rakna numerare; forakna, ſig. to err in the ſum. Gora, facere;
cforgora perimere. Arbeta, laborare; for arbeta ſig. to over--
labour one's ſelf. Hence too Engl. done, foredone; ſworn,
forſworn, In the Latin, per and præ have a ſimilar meaning.
So oro, peroro; facio, perficio; potens, præpotens, &c.
VER. 6. Flaughtir fails] Thefe are the thin ſod pared off
the green ſurface of a field, with the inſtrument now called a
breaſt plough, but anciently a flaughter ſpade, which, as it
were, flays the ſoil; from the Iſland. ad flàa, excoriare, cutem
detrahere; Dan flae; A.S. beflæ, excoriatus. Hence too
flakes of ſnow, from their broad thin ſhape. Sax. flacea, flocci
nivis. Alludit, Gr. φλοιος cortex, and φλοιοω, corticem
aut pellem detraho; Sax. flean, to flea. Confer. Jun. Etymol.
in fell. Ray ſays, that the ſurface of the earth, which they
pare off to burn in Norfolk, is called flags. This ſort of firing
is ſtill common in all the mooriſh countries of Scotland. The
word fale or feal, turf, ceſpes, is found in Douglas's Virgil;
and Ruddiman thinks that feal is only a contraction of fewel,
as being a common kind of firing, in Scotland.
VER. 7. Hail'd] To hail, Scot. is a phrafe uſed at football,
when the victors are ſaid to hail the ball, i.e. to drive
it beyond, or to the goal; and as they may thus be ſaid to
cover the goal, it may, perhaps, come from the Iſl. hill, tego;
hulde, texi; as this from the Gothic huljan, tegere, operiri.
Matth. viii. 24. Gahulith wairthan fram wegim, Covered with
the waves. Hence hell is called by Ulphila halje; as theol,
hell, from helen, tegere, occultare. Thus heal in old Engliſh
ſignifies to conceal, from Sax. helan celare. We call the
huſks of corn the hull, from the ſame origin. In Northumberland
a ſwine hull, a ſow houſe, or ſwine ſtye.
Duiles] The goal or boundary of the courſe. We imagine
it comes from the Iſland. duel, moror, the ſtopping-place
to which the ball was to be driven by the victorious party.
Dualde, moratus ſum; duel, mora. Hence to dwell, or make
VER. 8. Dang] Perf. from ding, cedere, detrudere, to
beat down, "Haud dubie," ſays Lye, "ab Hibern. dingim,
"pellere, urgere." Douglas 229. 52.
"— and with hir awin handis
"Dang up the zettis —"
Teaton. dringen, from ding, dint, a ſtroak or blow; Sax.
dynt. ictus. Infra St. ſeq.
The bridegrom brought a pint of aile,
And bade the pyper drink it.
Drink it (quoth he), and it ſo ſtaile;
A ſhrew me, if I think it.
"For he durſt ding nane addir."
Dails] In parties, eight or nine together; from Sax. dæls
a part or portion. Gib.
Vide Luke xv. 12. Be dæle, ex parte. Greg. Dialog. ex
Verf. R. Alfredi, 2. 23. Sume dæl. partim. Thus too Chaucer
uſes it, Prol. to W. of B. Tale:
"But ſhe was ſome dele deaf, and that was ſkaith."
Hence dælan, dividere, Luke xxii. 17. to give alms; dæled,
VER. 9. Bedeen] or bedene; for thus it is wrote by Douglas,
"Werpe all thir bodyis in the deep bedene." And
"How Æneas with the rout bedene."
This word is common alſo to the old Engliſh writers; Rud
diman brings it from Germ. bedienen, præſtare officium, q. d.
aſſoon as deſired.
VER. 4. A ſhrew me] So it ſtands in Gibſon's edition. It
ſhould undoubtedly be read beſhrew me, a very common
The bride her maidens ſtood near by,
And ſaid it was na blinked;
And Bartagaſie, the bride fae gay,
Upon him faſt ſhe winked,
Full ſoon that day:
When a' was dune, Dik with an aix
Came furth to fell a fudder.
Quod he, quhair ar yon hangit ſmaiks,
Richt now wald ſlain my brudder?
phraſe all over South and North Britain in the ſixteenth century.
Though I have-not Lord Hyndford's M. S. at hand, yet
I do take this whole ſtanza to be an interpolation. It is not
found in Ramſay's edition; and the language has ſomething
more modern in it than the reſt of the poem: Bartagaſie, a
name (as far as I can learn) unknown in Scotland, ſtrengthens
the conjecture I have formed, that it is ſpurious. Whence
the Biſhop got it, I cannot ſay ; but the whole of his orthography
is ſo faulty and modern, that it appears he was but
moderately acquainted with our Scottiſh idiom; and this has
probably led him to think this ſtanza genuine, and to commit
many errors in his notes on the poem itſelf.
VER. 2. Furth] Gibſon reads out ; but we judge this the
true reading, as it adds another letter to the alliteration of the
verſe; an ornament, or rather jingle, our old poets were very
Fudder] A load, a great heap. Gibſon writes it fother.
Ray ſays it is commonly uſed ſpeaking of lead, and expreſſes
8 pigs or 1600 weight. But fudder certainly means a cart
load. Germ. fader, et hoc fortè (ſays Skinner) a Teuton.
fuehren, vehere, ducere. And this ſeems the true meaning of
the word in this paſſage, though Ruddiman will have us to
ſeek it in Hib. fuidhre, a ſervant or valet. We find futhir
uſed by Douglas to ſignify a trifle, or thing of no value, p.
"I compt not of thir pagan goddis ane futhir."
But this has no connection with the other, nor are we to
confound with it foder, ſignifying beaſts meat, from foda nutrire;
nor the Gothic fodr, ſignifying the ſheath of a ſword, uſed
by Ulphila, John xviii. ver. 11. Hence A.S. fodder,
boge foddr, a quiver, perhaps, becauſe the firſt quivers and
ſheaths for ſwords were made of ſkins, as foder ſig. vellus,
pellis; Fr. feutre; Lat. barb. fodrum, de quo vid. Cange;
Germ, futher; Angl. fur; confer. doctiſt. Ihre Lex. vol. 1.
p. 511, 552.
VER. 3. Smaiks] Smaik, ſilly, pitiful fellow. Douglas,
"Quod I, Smaik, lat me ſlepe —."
From Teuton. ſchmach, contumelia. Belg. ſmade. id Teut.
ſchmachlich, contumelioſus. The root is the Iſl. ſmaa, to
contemn; .Eg ſmaae, I deſpiſe; ſmaa, ſmaar, little, ſmall,
better pronounced, and nearer to the original, by the Scots
ſma; Goth. ſmal, gracilis, tenuis; fmalna, gracileſcere.
Hence ſmale denotes the ſmaller cattle, as ſheep and goats.
Alam. call ſheep, ſmallfecho. The ingenious etymologiſt Ihre
His wyfe bad him gae hame, Gib Glaiks,
And ſae did Meg his mudder;
He tuned and gaif them baith their paiks,
For he durſt ding nane udder,
For feir that day.
thinks the Greek μηλα, ſheep, is nothing but the Gothic term
wanting the s. Smada, contumelia afficere; ſmædeord, convicia;
Belg. ſmaeden, ſmadden, deturpare. And hence the
words ſmutſa, ſmeta, ſmitta; unde Angl. ſmitch, and our
ſmit, to infect or defile. In the parent dialect we find ſmarede,
reculæ, minoris momenti res; ſmaher, vile, abject.
Alfred. lib. I. cap. 25. 10. Smaher ſcale thin, Vilis ſervus
tuus. Iſl. ſma hluter, res viles; ſmæcka, minuere. Findur
Norr. ap. Ihre in voce. Toku ſwa riki ad ſmæckaſt, Incipiebant
regna tum minui. Hence the true idea of the name given
to Magnus, ſon of Eric king of Sweden, called in deriſion
Smæk, not (as it is generally rendered) blanditiis delinitus,
flattered; but denoting a weak, contemptible fellow, who
allowed the whole province of Scania to be taken from him
by the Danes, and thereby ſmeckad, diminiſhed his hereditary
kingdom, contrary to the oath taken by the kings of Sweden
when crowned. Vide Locceni, Hiſt. Suet. p. 106.
From this word ſmæcka, the barbarous Latin writers formed
ſmaccare, to mutilate or maim, de qua vide Cange Gloſſ.
VER. 4. Wald ſlain] For would have ſlain. Gibſon reads,
that hurt my brother.
VER. 5. Glaicks] An idle ſauntering prattler. Glaffe, or
glave, is ſmooth, according to Ray. Hence glavering is uſed
for flattering. In the Cheſſhire dialect glaver, to flatter; A.S.
gliwer, ſcurra, paraſitus; a gliwan, ſcurram agere, ſmooth.
Iſland. glær mare, from its clearneſs; and gler, vitrum Hence
Fr. glaire d' un œuf, white of an egg; and Angl glare. Confer
Jun. Etyma in glayre.
VER. 7. Paiks] Blows, repeated ſtrokes. Angl. paice,
verbarare. I ſhall well paie him, I'll beat him. This is not
to be confounded with pay, ſolvere debitum. Jun. derives
paie from Greek παιειν, verberare; but the true etymon is
from Cambr. pwyo, ferire, pulſare, percutere. In looking
into the learned Ihre's Lex. we find pak, fuſtis; and hence
perhaps we have paik, to beat with a cudgel. Pezron Celt.
Ant. takes notice of bach in the Celtic, ſig. fuſtis. The
Ang. Saxons, changing c into t, ſay bat. Fr. baton. Our
moſt ingenious etymologiſt obſerves, that it is more than probable
that the ancient Latins uſed bacus for a ſtick or pole,
from the diminative baculus, ſtill in common uſe.
We have thrown theſe notes haſtily together, they being
only meant, (as well as thoſe on the Gaberlunzie-Man) as
a kind of ſpecimen to a Gloſſary of the ancient Scotiſh language
we intend, at ſome future period, to publiſh, provided thoſe
who are the proper judges of ſuch an undertaking, ſhall deem
ſuch a work uſeful for promoting the knowledge of the antitiquities
and language of our country.
Cite this Document
Two Ancient Scottish Poems: The Gaberlunzie Man and Christ's Kirk on the Green, with Notes and Observations. 2022. In The Corpus of Modern Scottish Writing. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved August 2022, from http://www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk/cmsw/document/?documentid=152.
"Two Ancient Scottish Poems: The Gaberlunzie Man and Christ's Kirk on the Green, with Notes and Observations." The Corpus of Modern Scottish Writing. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2022. Web. August 2022. http://www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk/cmsw/document/?documentid=152.
The Corpus of Modern Scottish Writing, s.v., "Two Ancient Scottish Poems: The Gaberlunzie Man and Christ's Kirk on the Green, with Notes and Observations," accessed August 2022, http://www.scottishcorpus.ac.uk/cmsw/document/?documentid=152.
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Two Ancient Scottish Poems: The Gaberlunzie Man and Christ's Kirk on the Green, with Notes and Observations
|Title||Two Ancient Scottish Poems: The Gaberlunzie Man and Christ's Kirk on the Green, with Notes and Observations|
|Year of publication||1782|
Author information: Callander, John
|Year of birth||1721|
|Place of birth||Craigforth, Stirlingshire, Scotland|
|Locations where resident||Craigforth|
|Other languages spoken||Greek|