Reminiscences of Scottish Life and Character eBook

Edward Bannerman Ramsay
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 542 pages of information about Reminiscences of Scottish Life and Character.

Edinburgh Street Cry:—­“Neeps like sucker.  Whae’ll buy neeps?” (turnips).

Petticoat-tails Cakes of triangular shapes " Petits gatelles
Ashet Meat-dish " Assiette. 
Fashious Troublesome " Facheux. 
Prush, Madame[190] Call to a cow to come " Approchez,
                     forward Madame

I dwell the more minutely on this question of Scottish words, from the conviction of their being so characteristic of Scottish humour, and being so distinctive a feature of the older Scottish race.  Take away our Scottish phraseology, and we lose what is our specific distinction from England.  In these expressions, too, there is often a tenderness and beauty as remarkable as the wit and humour.  I have already spoken of the phrase “Auld-lang-syne,” and of other expressions of sentiment, which may be compared in their Anglican and Scotch form.


[160] After all, the remark may not have been so absurd then as it appears now.  Burns had not been long dead, nor was he then so noted a character as he is now.  The Scotsmen might really have supposed a Southerner unacquainted with the fact of the poet’s death.

[161] Choice.

[162] A vessel.

[163] Juice.

[164] Broth.

[165] Rev. A.K.H.  Boyd.

[166] I believe the lady was Mrs. Murray Keith of Ravelston, with whom Sir Walter had in early life much intercourse.

[167] Disputing or bandying words backwards and forwards.

[168] In Scotland the remains of the deceased person is called the “corp.”

[169] Laudanum and calomel.

[170] Read from the same book.

[171] Sorely kept under by the turkey-cock.

[172] Close the doors.  The old woman was lying in a “box-bed.”  See Life of Robert Chambers, p. 12.

[173] Empty pocket.

[174] A cough.

[175] Shrivelled.

[176] Confound.

[177] Empty.

[178] It was of this minister, Mr. Thom of Govan, that Sir Walter Scott remarked “that he had demolished all his own chances of a Glasgow benefice, by preaching before the town council from a text in Hosea, ‘Ephraim’s drink is sour.’”

[179] Empty.

[180] Basket for fish.

[181] Well advanced.

[182] Wearied.

[183] I have abundant evidence to prove that a similar answer to that which Dr. Alexander records to have been made to Mr. Gillespie has been given on similar occasions by others.

[184] Oats heavy in bulk.

[185] This Marquis of Lothian was aide-de-camp to the Duke of Cumberland at the battle of Culloden, who sullied his character as a soldier and a nobleman by the cruelties which he exercised on the vanquished.

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Reminiscences of Scottish Life and Character from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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