Frae: R. De Bruce Trotter, Galloway Gossip (1901), pp. 287-289

YE’LL be tire’t o’ thae traditions, sae A’d better gie ye something else.

There wus a doctor they ca’t John A’Cannan set up in Kirkcoobrie, but he didna bide lang.

He had been in the Isle o’ Man a while, an mairry’t an Englishwoman, an she was a fule, an thocht aboot little but gran dresses; an he wus sair try’t wi her; but whut could be expectit else, considerin.

There wus a young coonter-lowper they ca’t Murdoch McWhan cam an set up a draper’s shop richt fornent the doctor’s, an naething wud ser’ him but he bud hae a wife too. She wus an awfu pensy craitur, an she wus awfu for grandeur, an as she wore her goons verra side, an soopit the streets wi them, she wus unca kenspeckle. She wus lang an sma, an there wus room for a gey wheen flounces on her goon, an she didna forget tae pit them on. Deed, she wus joost a kin’ o’ advertisement for her man, an she wus ey on the street, daizlin everybuddy’s een wi her grandeur.

Lucky Cannan wus in a serious wey aboot it, an keepit harpin on at the doctor aboot keepin her sae shabby, an affrontin her in the een o’ a’ the toon; no fit tae be seen on the same side o’ the road wi the wife o’ a mere draper, yt wus onything but a leddy, an had nae position.

The doctor raison’t wi her a’ he could, an tell’t her yt he couldna afford tae keep her ony gran’er nor she wus, an try’t tae explain till her yt the draper’s wife’s goons wus joost sae mony adverteezements o’ his business; but it wus a’ nae use, she wudna listen tae reason nor nocht else, but joost keepit yammerin awa.

At last the doctor lost a’ patience wi her, an packit her aff for a week tae the Isle o’ Man, an whun she wus awa he got her gran’est goon wi the maist flounces on’t, an hung’t tae a click in the ceilin.

Than he got oot a’ the medicine bottles he had, an sortit them inta sizes,  — echt unce, six unce, fowr unce, twa unce, yae unce, an half-an-unce, an got some sma red threed an tie’t a bit roon the neck o’ every bottle, an than he took a darnin needle an steekit them on like fringes or tossils tae the edges o’ the flounces, — the half-unce yins up next the tap, an the echt unce yins next the buddum; an the wecht o’ the vials made the goon a gude deal sider nor it wus, an the hailwor glitter’t like it wus hung aboot wi diaments.

Whun the wife cam back she brung her mither wi her, tae lectur the doctor aboot keepin his wife sae puirly clad; but that wus tae be expectit.

The minute they sat doon tae their tea, the gude-mither begood her speech. “Dinna say anither word,” quo the doctor, “Jemima-Jane haes a gran’er goon nor ony the draper’s wife ever had; an it’s beautifully trim’t wi far mair expensive trimmins nor hers. A’ll be bound whun she gaes oot wi’t, a’ the folk i’e toon ‘ll be lookin at her, an the draper’s wife ‘ll never be thocht o’. Joost c’wa ben, hinnie, an hae a look at it,” say he tae the wife, takin her roon the waist, “it ‘ll be a gran’ adverteezement o’ my profession, forbye; an it’s that side o’ the tails, it ‘ll be fine for soopin the causey.”

Whun the wife gat a sicht o’t, she gied a scraich an fentit, an the gudemither gaed inta hysterics, but some saip-sapples brocht them baith to; an there wus nae mair fash efter that aboot grandeur, especially as it wusna lang or the draper broke, an wus sell’t oot; an a’ the wife’s gran goons wus roupit wi the lave.



Partial Glossar

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

  • Coonter-lowper ‘A draper’s assistant; a shopman; a “counter-jumper.”’ [COONTER-LOUPER]
  • Fornent ‘Opposite (to), in front of, over against, facing.’ [FORENENT]
  • Bud ‘Behoved. Still gen. used as a past, sometimes also as a present, but not so exclusively as in the case of ought and must. Bude is likewise used as a pa.p. and a pres.inf.. The word denotes logical, moral or physical necessity.’ [BUDE]
  • Side ‘Long, specif. of extension downwards, hanging low, reaching far down, trailing, esp. of clothes.’ [SIDE]
  • Soop ‘To sweep.’ [SOOP]
  • Unca ‘Very, exceedingly, extremely, to a marked degree.’ [UNCO]
  • Wheen ‘A few, a small number, several.’ [WHEEN]
  • Click ‘A hook or crook in gen., e.g. such as is used for hanging meat, a lamp, etc., from the ceiling, or suspending a pot over the fire.’ [CLEEK]
  • Steek ‘To close, shut, fasten an object, to close the door of or entry to.’ [STEEK]
  • Buddum ‘The bottom of anything.’ [BODDAM]
  • Wecht ‘Weight.’ [WECHT]
  • Hailwor ‘The whole of something, esp. of a company or of a number of things.’ [HAILWARE]
  • Gude-mither ‘A mother-in-law.’ [GUD(E)MODER; GUID]
  • Ben ‘Inside, indoors, within; further into an apartment, in or to the best room; in the direction of the speaker.’ [BEN]
  • Forbye ‘Besides, in addition, as well, what is more.’ [FORBY]
  • Causey ‘ A street or pavement laid with cobble-stones as distinguished from flagstones.’ [CAUSEY]
  • Scraich ‘A shriek, screech, shrill strident sound.’ [SKRAICH]
  • Saip-sapples ‘Soap-suds, lather for washing.’ [SAPPLE]
  • Fash ‘Trouble, pains; bother, annoyance; fuss, pother.’ [FASH]
  • Roup ‘To sell or let by public auction.’ [ROUP]
  • Or ‘Before.’ [OR]
  • Lave ‘What is left over, the rest, the remainder, the others, of persons or things.’ [LAVE]