Scotland Language and LanguagesEdit This Page

From FamilySearch Wiki

Revision as of 01:44, 4 August 2008 by Davide (Talk | contribs)

Most records used in Scottish research are in English. They may, however, be difficult to read because of unique Scottish words, Latin words, or different handwriting styles.

Contents

Unique Scottish Words

Some words you will see in Scottish records are not used in English. The following list contains some of the more commonly used Scottish words:

Scottish Words

English         Translation A                                                   A
aith oath
ane one, an
B B
bairne, bairn child or baby
bairnis baby’s
baptist baptized
beand being
befoir before
befeir before
burgh borough, town
C C
callit called
compear appeared
D D
deponit deponed (witness)
do ditto
doits money (coins)
F F
fay, fayr father
H H
haid had
I I
ilk ("of that ilk") having a surname of the same place
K K
kirk, kyrk church
L L
laird title of landholder
lawful legitimate offspring
M M
miln, myln mill
main bairn boy child
maid bairn girl child
mortcloth cloth covering body during burial ceremony
moy, moyr mother
N N
natural often refers to illegitimate off-spring but could be used for legitimate offspring as well
nevoy nephew
new born usually unbaptized child
P P
pns presence (of)
producit produced
putit presented
pwir poor
Q Q
quwh (such as who)
quha who
qlk, quilk, quhilk, quhilck which
quairfoir wherefore
R R
raiefeit ratified
relict widow, widower
resile, resiled withdrawn (such as an offer of marriage)
S S
schew show
seik sick
siclike, sicklike, syklyk likewise
stillborn born and died same day
U U
unquhile, umquil late, former, deceased
V V
varnit warned
vide see (such as, see page)
W W
wreitting writing
wmquil, umquil now deceased

Scottish Dictionaries

To find definitions for other words that are unfamiliar to you, you can use one of several Scottish dictionaries:

Craigie, Sir William A. A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue, from the Twelfth Century to the End of the Seventeenth. Chicago, Illinois: University of Chicago Press, 1937-. (FHL book 403.41 Sco87c.)

Graham, William. The Scots Word Book. 3rd rev. ed. Edinburgh, Scotland: Ramsey Head Press, 1980. (FHL book 427.9411 G76s 1980.)

Jamieson, John. A Dictionary of the Scottish Language. Edinburgh, Scotland: William Tait, 1866. (FHL book 427.941 J242j.)

Warrack, Alexander. A Scots Dialect Dictionary. London, England: W. & R. Chambers, 1911. (FHL book 427.9411 W25s.)

Robinson, Mairi, ed. The Concise Scots Dictionary. Oxford, England: Aberdeen University Press, 1985. (FHL book 427.9411 C748c.)

Latin

Some Scottish records may contain Latin. Knowing some Latin will help you read these records. For help with Latin words, see the Latin Genealogical Word List (34077).

Handwriting

Handwriting styles have changed over time. In early records, the handwriting is quite different from what it is today.  Visit Scotland Handwriting in  Research Topics.

Abbreviations

Abbreviations are common in early handwriting. When recorders left letters out of a word, they indicated the fact by using various marks, such as a period, a colon, a tail on the last letter of the word, a curvy line over the word, or a raised letter at the end of the word. Abbreviations can be indicated in many ways, and it is important to study individual writers to see how they made abbreviations.

In Scottish church records, ministers often used only the first letter of the words, for example:

L.S. = lawful son

L.D. = lawful daughter

N.S. = natural son

N.D. = natural daughter

ch. = child

Ch. N. = child named

N. = named

Instead of writing the words father, mother, witness, son, or daughter, the minister may have used f, m, w, s, or other letters.

Dates

Dates, instead of being numerical, are sometimes referred to by the name of the feast day or by one of the terms listed below:

Term Meaning current, instant Same month (Sometimes used to mean "within 30 days" or a month.)
proximo next month
ultimo last month
penultimate day, penult day the day before the last day of the month
jajvii, jmjvii, mvii indicates the century, such as 1700s
eodem tempore, eod tempore at the same time (the same date)
eodem die, eod die, E.D. the same day
Gods die God’s day, the Sabbath
Feb 1st Sabbath Exact day of month not stated
Feb 2nd Sabbath Event took place in Feb on the 1st, 2nd, or  (whatever) Sabbath in the month

 

Need additional research help? Contact our research help specialists.

Need wiki, indexing, or website help? Contact our product teams.


Did you find this article helpful?

You're invited to explain your rating on the discussion page (you must be signed in).