Guid Gurden Words

Guid Gurden Words Glossary 


This Glossary of Gourdon (Gurden)/Scots words has been compiled using responses from a large number of Gourdon residents of different ages and extends the Guid Gurden Words Glossary compiled by P5 Pupils at Gourdon School, 2012/2013.  It also includes contributions from former Gourdon residents and other interested parties no longer living in Gourdon. 

Although a number of words may be termed specifically Gurden, many more are Standard Scots words, with Gurden pronunciation and spelling. Gurden words are Scots words and vice and versa. Both Gurden and Scots words have acquired several later alternative spellings over the years as Scots declined as the nation’s language – the language of the royal court, the law courts, of Scots poetry and writings, of legal documents, with the Union of the Crowns when James VI of Scotland became James I of the United Kingdom (1603) and with the dissolving of the Scottish Parliament, with the Union of the Scottish and English Parliaments (1707), among other factors.  Nevertheless Scots survived and lives on today though depleted.

I hope this Glossary will prove useful not only to pupils in schools for their writings in Scots and research into different aspects of Scotland for projects and other pursuits but also for the public in general who wish to see Scots continue and flourish.  I also hope that the contributors will enjoy tracking their words in the Glossary and reviving memories of the Scots of their youth.

My main source for checking the status of the different entries has been the invaluable electronic Dictionary of the Scots Language (DSL), comprising the original 12-volume Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (DOST) and original 10-volume Scottish National Dictionary (SND), the two major historical dictionaries of the Scots Language, the former covering the period from the twelfth to the end of the seventeenth centuries and the latter from 1700 – 1970s.  This online resource is an excellent reference tool for all who love the Scots language.   I am proud to record that I worked for one summer (1966) on the Scottish National Dictionary in Edinburgh under Editor, the redoubtable David Murison. 

This Glossary also identifies each word as a part of speech – noun, adjective, verb etc., the tense of the verb and offers some alternative spellings. It tries to differentiate between purely traditional Scot words and words that may be more specifically Gurden words or Gurden variations.

At one of the regular meetings in and hosted by Gourdon School, Senior Citizens were told of the planned Guid Gurden Words Glossary being complied as part of their Gourdon in the Past and  Gourdon and the Maggie Law Project by Primary 5, and were invited to contribute.  Word spread and contributions flowed in from young and old, past and present Gurdeners.  The P5 Booklet has aroused great interest in the Village, with people discussing different aspects of different words and suddenly remembering more and more words from their past usage.

Explanatory Notes

Scots Words – making up the Scots language, spelt in the traditional way, marked Sc or Ne Sc (North East Scots) – widely used in Gurden

Gourdon Words – part of the Scots language, considered to be unique to Gourdon, spelt to indicate the Gourdon pronunciation, marked G

Abbreviations – n- noun; v – verb – pt – past tense; pp – past participle; pres.p - present participle; adj.– adjective; adv.- adverb; pron. – pronoun; prep. – preposition; conj.– conjunction; dim.- diminutive; expres. – expression ; pl.- plural
Phrases and expressions appear under the main word.
Alternative spellings are separated by a /

Celia Craig
August 2013

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