VitaminQ - a temple of trivia lists and curious words
Email VitaminQ

RSS feed

Vitamin Q: the book!

~ Thursday, December 18, 2003

'The Blythesome Bridal' is an uproarious Scottish song probably written around 300 years ago. It tells of a wedding ceremony, the motley crew of guests and the food and drink they consumed. Here is a guide to the wedding guests and their feast:

Sawney the soutar (Alexander the shoemaker)
Will wi' the meikle mou (Will with the big mouth)
Tam the blutter (Tom the dirty, clumsy chap)
Andrew the tinkler (Andrew the vagabond)
bow'd-legged Robie (bow-legged Robert)
blue-cheeked Dowbie
Lawrie the laird of the land
sowlibber Paatie (Patty the pig-spayer)
plucky-fac'd Wat i' th' mill (pimply-faced Walter from the mill)
Capper-nos'd Francie (copper ie red-nosed Francis)
Gibbie that wons in the how o' the hill (Gilbert who lives in the dell)
Alaster Sibbie wha in wi' black Bessy did mool (Alastair Sibbie who slept with dark-haired Elizabeth. Sibbie, perhaps just a surname, has connotations of sexual disease)
snivling Lilly
Tibby the lass that stands oft on the stool (the girl who often does penance in church)
Madge that was buckled to Stennie and cost him grey breeks to his arse (ie spent all his money)
gleed Geordy Janners (squinting George Janners)
Kirsh wi' the lily-white leg, who gade to the south for manners
Juden Mecourie
blinkin daft Barbara Macleg (very stupid)
flea-lugged sharney-fac'd Lawrie (flea-eared, dung-faced Lawrence)
shangy-mou'd halucket Mag (hare-lipped, giddy Margaret)
happer-ars'd Nansy (Nancy with the scrawny backside)
fairy-fac'd Flowrie (fairy-faced Florence)
Muck Madie
fat-hippet Grisy the lass wi' the gowden wame (ie golden womb, probably a sexual slur)
girn-again Gibby (moan-again Gilbert)
glaiket wife Jenny Bell (meaning both ugly and stupid)
mealy-shin'd Mungo Macapin (dusty-legged Mungo McAlpine)

And the food:

langkail (unchopped cabbage) / porridge / bannocks of barley-meal (meal scones) / sawt herring / a cogue of good ale / fadges (flat wheat loafs) / brochen (honey porridge) / south of good gabbock of skate (best portions of skate) / powsowdie (sheep-head broth) / drammock (gruel) / crowdie (type of cheese) / caller nowtfeet (fresh calves’ heels) / partens (large crabs) / buckies (sea-snails) / whytens (whitings) / spaldings (dried fish) / singit sheepheads (singed sheep heads) / haggies (haggis) / scadlips (hot broth) / lapper'd-milk kebbucks (cheese made with curdled milk) / sowens (gruel of fermented oat husks) / farles (savoury scones) / baps (bread rolls) / swats (beer made from sowens) / brandy in stoups and in caps / mealkail (a dish of mashed cabbage and oats) / castocks (cabbage stems) / skink (beef soup) / scrapt haddocks / wilks (whelks) / dulse and tangles (seaweed)

Source: from the collection of Scottish songs by David Herd (a contemporary of Robert Burns)

Powered By Blogger TM