Frae: R. De Bruce Trotter, Galloway Gossip (1901), p. 259-260

VERRA sune efter, the third dochter gaed tae Da’mellin’ton an biggit her castle there; an she wus dumb an her name wus Helen, they ca’t it “Dumb-Ellen’s-town,” or familiary, “Dum-ellen-ton,” only the vulgar native corruptit it inta “Dalmellington.”

Mr Train, hooever, improve’t this tradition a bit, for some o’ his stories lost naething in the tellin, an he said yt she wusna dumb ava, an the richt name o’t wus “Dame-Ellen’s-town,” for “dame” wus the name in thae days for a gran’ leddy.

Hooever, a hae a notion yt baith Mr Train an the authentic tradition’s wrang, for if A’m ony joodge, baith ”Dalmellington” an Maybole’s Gaelic, a verra little alter’t in the spellin. The aul’ name, an the or’nary name yet amang the country folk, for Maybole is “Minnibole,” and baith “Minnie” an “May” ‘s Gaelic for a Moss; an forbye there’s the rhyme :-

Minniebole’s a dirty hole,
It sits abune a mire,

an that fully explain’s its name, athoot inventin three dochters o’ a Scots king yt maybe never had nane, an if he had haen ever sae mony, neither him nor them durst ‘a’ shown their noses athin fifty mile o’t, or ony ither foreign country, far less biggit castles in’t.

Forbye that, the Strathclyde Britons wus atween him an Gallawa, an he couldna ‘a’ wun.



Partial Glossar

Definitions frae DSL (links are tae the relevant entries).

  • Big ‘To build, construct (in gen.).’ [BIG(G)]
  • Ava ‘At all.’ [AVA]
  • Moss. ‘A marsh, bog, a tract of soft wet ground.’ [MOSS]
  • Forbye ‘Besides, in addition, as well, what is more.’ [FORBY]
  • Abune ‘Above.’ [ABUNE]
  • Wun ‘To reach (a place), gain, arrive at.’ [WIN]