Monday, September 14, 2015

Catching Up with the Shetland Ponies

Lady Jaye joined me on the East Coast for the Summer, which was great. Unfortunately for you, the valued Operation Highlander readers, that sort of precluded me from doing much blogging. I'm going to be catching up over the next couple of months, and I wanted to start with some recent shenanigans from our good friends... The Shetland Ponies! When we last visited the lads, they were observing a loose bull in Lerwick. In this installment, they're joined by their friend, Ingrid, who just read a news story from May...

No installment featuring the Shetland Ponies would be complete without our intrepid curmudgeons, Sigurd and Thorfinn. There's been an unsettling story out of New Pitsligo in which a pony was sexually assaulted and stabbed, and had to be euthenized. (The reward for the apprehension of the perpetrator currently stands at £4000.) Unfortunately, the lads are familiar with the victim...

I'll wrap up with a story that didn't actually happen in Shetland, but given the popularity of the Unst Bus Shelter, one would be forgiven for thinking it had: Free travel pass for Aberdeen bus stop cockerel. That's right, not to be outdone by that Japanese cat that's a train station manager, some chicken in Aberdeen gets a free bus pass. I call shenanigans!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Separated by a Common Language: Orcadian Dialect Edition, Part 3

Earlier this year, I posted about Northern Isles evening radio programs. Once BBC Radio Orkney's Winter program season came to a close, I - no joke - went back through the six installments of Whassigo, recorded every word and its definition, and present them now in this latest edition of Separated by a Common Language.

November 2014
  • dillo - A small area of cultivated ground.
  • geskafoo - Pleasant in manner; old Norse for "full of pleasantness".
  • pulty - A short, stout person (or, to be short and stout), from the Norse "bult".
  • blooro - A passionate argument that could degenerate into a melee.
  • skafal - A shapely, well-built person (particularly in the face).
  • stram - A state of excitement.

    December 2014
  • chiggo - A well-built lass.
  • favillo - An idle, lazy person.
  • stunky - Slow-witted or stupid; also, a person who is not taking part in festivities.
  • limiter - A lame animal.
  • mittle - A serious injury, or to be "seriously mittled".
  • skint - An admonition to hurry up, from the Norse "skynda", "to hasten".
  • peltrie - A group of unwanted visitors.

    January 2015
  • sugg - A patch of hard skin on the hand (like a callus).
  • hingle - A bracket that holds a lamp.
  • jimp - A bit short, e.g., sparing or economical.
  • fest - To tether an animal, particularly in a field with a stake.
  • veeze - To grab something tightly.
  • skate-rumple - An inhabitant of Deerness.

    February 2015
  • ligny - A calm spot on the sea caused by an oil slick.
  • sivvet - Birsay word meaning a blow or a smack.
  • pangse - To walk as if walking through deep snow.
  • lotherfoo - Peaceful and amiable.
  • skiggan - Norse for clear, transparent, bright, and clean.
  • bugget - A large, clumsy person, from the old Norse "bugge".

    April 2015
  • darrowas - Rousay word for a good scolding.
  • baiver - To be blown about or struggling against the wind (Danish-Norse).
  • rink - A twist in one's neck.
  • dabal - A piece of wet land.
  • griminagerous - Hideous (referring to facial features).
  • rammelgoforth - A rash and hurried person.

    April 2015 #2
  • simean - Putting on aires or graces.
  • tud - A Marwick word meaning sudden changes in air pressure resulting from gales
  • glinted - Lightheaded, flirtatious, frolicksome.
  • vansome - A Norn word describing someone who is difficult to please and/or deal with.
  • varless - Awkward or clumsy in gait or movement.
  • boonie - A farmer.

    I'd be really tempted to use flash cards to memorize these and previous Whassigo words if I weren't reasonably sure that most Orcadians wouldn't actually recognize any of these words if they were to hear them in conversation!