SCOTTISH VOCABULARY - as listed from the novel 'Witch Wood' 1930,
by John Buchan (1875-1940 Baron Tweedsmuir)

compiled by Robert Priddy

The novel 'Witch Wood' (published by Collins, UK in 1930) is an exciting, authentically-based story about 17th century witchcraft in Scotland and the struggle between the Covenanters and the Earl of Montrose vs. the Kirk around 1640. Buchan uses many Scottish words, and transcribes dialect, much of which is obscure. The following list contains a number of possible (but often doubtful) meanings of words. All doubtful meanings are marked with a question mark (?), as are all words for which no meaning has been suggested. Some words are similar to the Norwegian, as indicated in brackets after the word

a hantle o' = a number of ?
abune = above
aiblins = perhaps
airn = iron (Nor. jern)
airt = quarter, direction
aith = oath (Nor. 'ed ')
aits = oats
ane = ain, own, one
aucht = eighth
auld = old
back-cast = setback ?
barley kail = kail, greens, broth
bauchle = shoe
baulk = stand back from, won¹t face up to
bawbee = money, coin (old Scots = 6 pence)
beal = fester
begowked = (stymied?)
bent = grass

bield (as in bield of the trees) = shelter
bielded = sheltered
bien = ?
bien doun-setting = good establishment ?
biggit = built
bit = nick of time, timeous
black-avised = ?
blate = bashful
blaw = blow (Nor. blåse)
blithe = glad
bogles = demons, goblins
bolls = (measure of corn?)
boskage = (Fr.bocage ?)
braid = broad
brandering = (roasting?)
braw = brave, fine, handsome
braw time = good time

breeks = trousers
brig = bridge
brock = badger
browst (of yill) = mischief, brew
bruit of it = (noise of it?)
buirdly chiel = ?
buts-and-bens = buts = kitchen, bens = room
byke = wasp¹s nest, crowd
caddis-worm = (glowworm??)
caller = cool, fresh
callout = ?
camsteery lad = ?
cantrip = spree?
canty = cheerful, jolly
carls = old men (Nor. Karl)
cartes = playing cards

caterans = kind of folk
cauld = cold (Nor. kalt)
certes = for sure
change-houses = ale houses, pubs
chief = friendly
chirugeon = surgeon (Nor. kirurg)
chuckie o' tipyet = mother hen of ²young²
clachan = hamlet
clamgamphried = made nonsense of
clamjamphrie = rubbish, nonsense, rabble

clary = ?
clatter-vengeance = revengeful talk?
clavers (old wives' clavers) = tales
cleading = clothing (Nor. kleder)
cleus = ?
clouts = bandages

clypes = telling tales (already told in confidence)
clyping with = chattering with
cockaree = person
chocket on a grossart =choking on a berry
colloque = confer
coup = (coups the crans) upset, knock over
couthy = loving, kindly
cowes =goblins, demons
cracks = talks, conversations
craig = crag
crans = tripods for cooking pots
craw = crow (Nor. kråke)
creel = basket
creepie = stool, chair, settle?
crouse = cocksure
crow a pyke = pick a bone
crusie = lamp/candle?

cupples = beans ?
cushats = cushant = wood pigeon
cutty-stool = stool of repentence (church)
daffin' = fooling about, flirting
dang down = overcame (did down)
daunder = stroll
deas = (as in 'turf deas')
deave with = unbearable noises - deafen
deid thraws = death throes
delations = deletions, removals
denty = ?
ding (out ) = knock (out)
dirl = shake (Nor. 'dirre')
dirlin' = rattling
dittay = reproof, ground of indictment
divot = piece of turf
doer = man of business
doit = small coin

doited = to be crazed, enfeebled, bemused
dook = duck (as to duck someone)
doomster = hangman
doorcheeks = cheek = side piece
doorstraw = door stone?
dorts = sulks
douce = sedate, sober
doucer = more docile?
dowie job = dowie = gloomy, sad
downsetting = a settling down
dowp = (body part)
dredgies = funeral feast
dreich = dreary
drumly = muddy
duds = old clothes
dwaibly = ?
dwam = swoon/ unconsciousness

dwine = ?
een = eyes (Nor. øyne)
eident = careful
eidently = prudently?
elbuck = elbow
engage = confirm
ensample = example
ettle (verb) = aim, purpoes (noun)
ettles = plural
ettling = intending ?
fand = found (Nor. fant)
fash = bother
fashious way = tricky, awkward
fause = false
fechting = fighting, quarrelling
feck o' = ?
ferlies = marvels
fernitickles = freckles

fickles = puzzles
fleyed = frightened
fleyed out 'o the shiels = ?
floorish & nesty green busses = buss = bush
flyte on = scold (fly at)
flyting = scolding
foumarts = polecats
fower-room = ?
frae that airt = from that direction/place?
freit = omen
fremd = foreign (Nor. fremmed)
froth on the pat =²head² on a beer (tankard)
fuff (noun) = puff of smoke
fushion = melting
gait = walk (a gait from a to b)
gant = yawn

gar (verb) = make, cause or compel
gardee (verb) = to put down ?
garred = forced
garrons = horses
gash = ghastly
gaun = going
gey gash = shrewd, witty
gey goods = ?
gillyflowers = ?
gilpie = young woman
girnel = (house? building? meal container?)
glebe = portion of land
gleed = squinting
gleg =sharp, smart (Nor. 'gløgg')
glegg as a maukin = smart as a hare
glisk of = glimpse of

gowk = dolt, fool
graip = fork (Nor. greip)
granin' = crying (Nor. grining)
grieve = farm manager
grippy =?
grosarts = gooseberries?
grue= grave (as in cauld grue)
guddle trout = tickle trout
guisyard = ?
gyte = deranged, daft?
hadden down = smitten by ?
haill = whole (Nor. hel)
hairst = harvest (Nor. autumn = høst)
hankin' = snagging
hantl = (collection?)
hauds to himself = keeps or holds to himself

haughs = river plains
haverel = halfwit, simpleton
havers = tales
hellicat = shrew
hirpling = limping, hobbling
hirsel = (hissel = flock of sheep)
hoast = cough (Nor. host)
hoastin' = coughing (Nor. hoste)
homologate = agree /endorse previous action
hooghed his shelty = ?
hoots, toots =
hotching = jerking, twitching
howdie = midwife
howes = howes
howkit out = dragged out, extracted
howns = (fields?)
hyperion of bourtree & rue = medicine

ilka = every, any
incomer = one from outside
ingeminating = repeating
inraxed = unstretched
islaff of = a touch of (eg. the sun)
jaloused = guessed
jauds = portions
jaw = throw, pour
jimp = scarcely
joe = sweetheart
jowk = dodge, duck, evade
kail = cabbage
kail-runt = cabbage stalk
kain meal = tax?
kebbuck = a cheese
keekit out = peered out (Nor. kikke ut)
kenna = know (Nor. kjenne)
kenspeckle = conspicuous
kerns = soldiers/troops/ fellows ?

kimmer = gossip
kirkton = church
kirn-milk = (kirn = a churn for making butter)
kittle = excite, tickle, tune-up
kittled = tickled
knowes= knolls
kyn = cattle
laigh = low
lameter (noun) = ?
lauch at = laugh at
lave = others/(the) rest
leal-hearted = loyal, true
lees = ?
lichtit = lighted
limmer = scoundrel, jade, whore
linns = waterfalls
linsey-wolsey = linen wool
lippen = listen
loan = lane

louping = leaping, jumping (Nor. løping)
loupit like the lave = jumped like the rest
lowe (noun) = flame, blaze
lown downsetting = ?
lown = mild (as of weather)
lugs = ears
lum = chimney
mailin' = small-holding, farm (mailin)
marmoreal =
marrow = mate
maud = plaid (man's garment)
maukin = hare
maun ye?= must you (Nor. De)
maut = malt, barley
mealark = ?
mense or sense = tact, good manners
messam = messan = cur, lapdog

messan duz = ?
michty = mighty
mimmou' = affectedly modest
mooles = (mool = earth, clod, grave)
muckle = much, many
muir fowl = moor grouse
mutchkin = quarter Scots pint (measure)
naut = ?
neb = nose (Nor. nebb)
neist = next to (Nor. neste ?)
nettie wives = ?
nievefu' = fistful (Nor. neve full)
niffer = bargain
nowt & wedders = ?
nutriment = nourishment
ongaein = goings on ?
ouercome = overcome

ower puir = overly pure
oxter = armpit
oy = grandson
paiks = punishment/desserts
pawky (pawky bodies) = pauky = cunning, sly
peesweeps = birds
phylacteris = (type of medicine?)
placks, doits, bodles = old coins
plashing bog = wet bog
plenishing = (supplies?)
plew = plough
pow (wags his pow) = head
preen = pin
press = cupboard
press-bed = cupboard or alcove beds
prickers = ?
prie = try or taste
prie = try
printit lear = pronted learning, lore

puddock = frog or toad
pyets = magpies
ran-dan = rangling (Nor. å rangle)
randan =
randies = ?
rax your legs = stretch
recusancy = refusal
redd up = clear up (Nor. rydde opp)
redd (verb) = right/save (Nor. å redde)
redder's straik = the peacemakers blow
reddings = ?
rede = advise (Nor. råd)
reek = smoke
rickle (mere rickle of bones)= pile of sheaves (corn)
riddled it out = figured it out
rig = ?
ripe (verb) = ?
roupit = roupet = husky, hoarse

rowk = fog
rudas wives = ?
run like jukes =
saft een = saft = soft, silly
saft = soft, silly, lax
sair = sore, very - satisfy
sair tuilzie = (sour ?)
sark = shirt?
sarkfo' = sachful
saugh = willow
saut = salt
scaith = ?
scart (with a pen) = stroke?, signature?
scaurs = scars
screed = tear, rattle off
scunner = take a dislike to
sea-maw = coastal bay?
sectaries & antinomians = secretaries? & ?
seisun of = knowledge of?
shaws = woods
sheiling = cottage

shilpit = ?
siccan = such an (Nor. 'slik en'?)
siccar = sure (Nor. 'sikkert')
skailed = spilled, poured?
skellies = squints
skellochs = yells?
skilly = skilled ?
smeddum = dust, fine powder
smoor (verb) = to smother
snaw = snow (Nor. snø)
sned them = lop off, prune
snell = keen, bitter wind
snowk up = breath in
sodgers = soldiers
sowens = sour pudding (oats and water)
speel a tree = climb
spleuchan = tobacco pouch (scrotum, vagina)
staunchtit oot = stretched out?
steekit doors = shut, (barred/locked) doors?
stench lees = ?
stound = thrill of pleasure

stoup (take a stoup) = tankard, measure
stour = dust
straucht = straight (?Nor. strak)
stravaiging = wandering (Nor. streife ?)
straw (verb) = sicken (one)?
strawsome = ?
swatch o' = sample
sweir = hard (Nor. svær)
syne = ago, since
tack = lease, tenure
take tent of = take note of
targes & spears = targets & shields/spears
teetotom = spinning top?
temd = fealty
tent = heed, care
teugh = tough, hardy
the bejaunts = ?
the feck of = the whole of

the get of = the way of
thirled = pierced, penetrated
thole = tolerate, endure
thrang = busy, crowd, jostle (eg.thrang body)
thrang , the Deil's = devil of a crowd
thrapple = throat
thrawn heids = unshaken, unchangeable heads (opinion)
thraws = pangs
threshes = thrashes, flails
thrissels = thistles
tirrivee = generally upset (various causes)
to lowse = to loose
to speir = to ask (Nor. spør)
tod = fox
toom = empty (Nor. tom)
tramash = confusion, likened to tirrivee
traunched by = ?
trokings = dealings (troke = to barter)

tykes = dogs, mongrels, curs
unco = strange
usquebaugh = whisky (Burns = usquabae)
wabster = weaver
wale = pick, choice, select
wame = belly, womb (Nor. Belly = vom)
wan = won
wanchancy thing = dangerous, unlucky
wastry = extravagance, wastefulness
wauf = feeble
waukrife = wakeful, vigilant
weans = children, infants
wedder = sheep?
wergh = ?
wershland = sour land, rank soil
whaup = curlew

wheen = many
whilk = which
whinstone screes =
whittle at the King's perogative = reduce it? whittle = knife
widdershins = anticlockwise
windy = window (Nor. vindu )
wirriecowgin =
wuddy = hangman's rope
wysed = deceived
wyte = blame
yestreen = yesterday
yett = gate
yill = ale (as of beer?)
yirth = earth