GENTEEL NAMES [1]

Frae: R. De Bruce Trotter, Galloway Gossip (1901), pp. 70-71

A SEE they spell’t “Rerrick” noo in the books an newspapers. Aul’ Mr Tamson spell’t it that wey in the Statistical Account.

The wey the common folk pronounces’t ’s the nearest richt, —“Riddick,”  — that is Red Wick.” The aul’ name o’ the Parish wus “The Monklands,” but whun a new kirk wus biggit on the lan’s o’ Riddick at the Reformation, an Dundrennan Abbey was dung doon tae ser’ for a quarry, the ca’t the Parish efter the name o’ the Kirklands.

There’s lots o’ folk they ca’ Riddick in Gallawa yet, but nane o’ them haes cheinge’t their name tae “Rerwick” yet. Hoo the name got cheinge’t tae “Rerwick” naebuddy kens, but it wus aul’ Gutty Tamson yt cheinge’t it tae “Rerrick.”

He try’t tae alter the name o’ Bengairn inta “Ben-Cairn,” too, but he dina juist manage’t. Some o’ the Gazetteers spell’t it “Bencairn,” but it’s Bengairn yet for a’. Somebuddy tell’t him the name wus a Gaelic yin— “Ben,” a hill, an “Cairn,” a cairn, but that’s wrang; it wud ‘a been “Beinn-na-chuirn” if that wus richt, pronounce’t “Benwhurn.”

The richt wey’s “Beinn-na-gerran” — the hill o’ the montain hares; the same as Tom-na-gairn, Auch-na-gairn, Glen-gairn, Stron-gairn, an sic like in the Hielans. In Perthshire they hae Glencairn an Glengairn no verra far sinnery.

Ye see A leeve’t a lang time in the Hielans myself, an though A canna speak muckle Gaelic, A ken some o’t; forbye it wusna a’thegither deid in Gallawa in my young days. A wus a while in The Isle o’ Man, forbye.

GENTEEL NAMES [2]

ALTER’T DAYS

Note

Roibeard Ó Maolalaigh gies Bengairn as an ensaumple o /k/>/g/ eclipsis, frae Beinn na(n) gCairn (“Place-names as a Resource for the Historical Linguist”, in Simon Taylor (ed.) The Uses of Place-Names, 1998, pp. 12-53, at p. 29).

Partial Glossar

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

  • Big(g) ‘To build, construct (in gen.).’ [BIG(G)]
  • Ding (past participle dung) ‘To knock, beat or strike: to drive; to push suddenly and forcibly; to displace or overturn by shoving.’ [DING]