Cauld Blasts and Clishmaclavers: A treasury of 1,000 Scottish Words by Robin A. Crawford
The Scots language is an ancient and lyrical tongue, inherently linked to the country’s history and identity, its land and culture. In Cauld Blasts and Clishmaclavers, Robin Crawford has gathered 1,000 words from his native land – old and new, classical and colloquial, rural and urban – in a joyful and witty celebration of their continuing usage and unique character.
airt o’ the clicky – bawheid – carnaptious – dreich – eejit – forefochen – Glasgow kiss – haver – inkie-pinkie – jags – kelpie – loch-lubbertie – meevin’ – neuk – oxter – pawky – quaich – ramstam – simmer dim – tattie bogle – usquebaugh – vratch watergaw – yowe trummle
What a book to celebrate my 500th blog post, a book to celebrate words after all this is why I started a blog about books. Those of us who talk and write blogs about literature love to celebrate words and now released is a book about Scottish Words old and new. Cauld Blasts and Clishmaclavers: A Treasury of 1,000 Scottish Words (Elliott & Thompson) by Robin A. Crawford.
Across our lands and through history we have used words to as culture and identity and this is as true in Scotland as anywhere and in this wonderful book by Robin A. Crawford he delves deep into a joyful celebration of its usage. Set out in alphabetical format so it is very easy to use and also some delightful line drawings by Liz Myhill that just add to the book.
From Robert Burns to Billy Connolly and even Monty Python and even Twitter they are all here a living testament to Scottish words old and new. It is clear that Robin put in a lot of time and research into this project and deserves praise. Scottish language is part of their cultural history and should be celebrated. Just a few words that I have picked out
Ailsa Cock or Parrot: Puffin
Blaws Snell: A biting, chastening wind.
Inkie-pinkie: Weak beer.
Clootie Dumpling: Suet and dried-fruit pudding wrapped tightly in a cloth, or cloot and cooked by being boiled in a pan.
Haver/Haiver: Ramble, talk nonsense. As in the Proclaimers were happy to haver for 500 miles.
Silver Darlings: Herrings
These words hark back through Scottish history and Robbie Burns is at the very core of this book and rightly so as it speaks to the people of Scotland in everything they do no matter where they are around the world today.
Cauld Blasts and Clishmaclvers is a celebration of the richness of Scottish words, but in all of this we must remind ourselves that these words are now disappearing. Scotland’s favourite word as voted in a poll is Dreich (grey and miserable; usually applied to the weather.
As a lover of words I can only hope these words are not fading away confined to history. A beautiful book celebrating the best Scottish words many I have never before come across. There is so much to celebrate about Scotland the mountains and its islands and who can forget the Compton Mackenzie film Whisky Galore (1947) so let us celebrate the great Scottish words.
#CauldBlasts @RobinACrawford2 @eandtbooks
Thank you to Alison Menzies and Elliott & Thompson for the review copy of Cauld Blasts and Clishmaclavers by Robin A. Crawford.
Cauld Blasts and Clishmaclavers by Robin A. Crawford was published by Elliott & Thompson and was published on 20th August 2020 and is now available through Waterstones, Amazon and through your local independent bookshop.
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