Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Sheu wis cheust gelderin' whayn way telt 'ur whit hid happened.

I didn't really get up to much on my last day in Orkney. I would have liked to have visited some of the northern islands, but the transport costs (plane or ferry) make it a bit unattractive, plus the timetables limit you to one small island per day. With Mainland being half closed for low season, I didn't really fancy 8-10 hours trapped on a sparsely populated island without at least a packed lunch.

I dropped into the Orkney Museum in Kirkwall, which covers island history from the stone age through to the present. I traversed much of it at speed as I'd covered the same material in (usually rather good) presentations at other sites. The museum has a collection of Orkney chairs or steuls such as the pair shown above. The straw hoods, designed to retain heat, are the most distinctive feature. A later development was to have a box base with a drawer in each side, one for the bible, and the other for the whiskey bottle.

There were a few charts of Orkney dialect, for example:

gelder: meaning: to laugh heartily or giggle

  • Examples: "Sheu wis cheust gelderin' whayn way telt 'ur whit hid happened."
    "She was in fits of laughter when we told her what had happened."
gyte: meaning: crazy
  • Examples: "He gaed clean gyte wae drinkin."
    "He became strange when drunk."
sirpan: meaning: soaking wet

  • Examples: "Me claes is sirpan waet."
    "My clothes are soaking wet."

blootered: meaning: drunk

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