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June 3rd, 2007

Fun with words

I have no doubt that you're all spending the first weekend in June doing just what I'm doing: Translating a 16th-century poem written in Scottish dialect.

Just in case you're actually doing something else, I thought you'd appreciate a few of the fabulous words I've come up with. I look forward to conversing with you in horrid fake Scottish accents next time we meet.

woubet - a hairy caterpillar
mowdewart - a deformed infant
glengore - syphilis
limmer - a rogue or scoundrel
hurcheon - a slovenly, uncouth person
tratling - prattling or gossiping
dube - a stagnant pool of water
dablet - a devil or imp
murgeon - a grotesque face, like a grimace
shearne - dung
vndought - an ineffective, worthless person
taidrell - a small toad
cammosed - pug-nosed
oxster - armpit

Sae, ye cammosed limmers, meik nae murgeon a' mesell!

(The poem, by the way, is popularly known as "Flyting Against Polwart", and, dating from 1584, is one of the earliest descriptions of fairies and witches holding their naughty revels on Hallowe'en night.)