Frae: R. De Bruce Trotter, Galloway Gossip (1901), pp. 314-316

JENNY LAIDLEY the Gill-wife wus wi her whun her wean wus born, an it wusna lang or she wus aboot again, but the wean wus sair in the road. Hooever, she warsel’t awa wi’t as weel as she could.

Yae day she heard an English-Packman speerin at Rascarrel if he kent onybuddy yt could get him some passper tae tak back tae Englan wi him.

Rascarrel in a kin o’ joke, said, —“A couldna say, athoot it wus Peggy here.”

“A’ll be gled o’ the chance, sir,” says Peggy. “Hoo muckle ir ye wantin?”

“Whutever I can get,” says the packman. “Say half-a-crown’s worth.”

“Whaur ‘ll A tak it tae?” says she.

“Bring it tae the Stallage,” wus the reply.

Weel, Peggy borrow’t a stan o’ raips, an sett aff tae Balcary Heuch, laid the wean asleep in the heart o’ a whun buss, lookit for a gude bit for pasper, drave a stab inta the tap o’ the heugh, an festen’t yae en’ o’ the raip tae’t an the ither aneath her oxters, an awa doon the heugh, an in twa hoors had the poke o’ her plaid as fu as it wud stap, an than she liftit the raip an the wean an awa tae The Stallage.

It wus a McMinn yt The Stallage belang’t tae at the time, a kin o’ freen o’ her ain, an whun she tell’t him whut she wus there for, he took her intill a room an turn’t oot the passper on the table, an tell’t her it wus far ower muckle for half-a-croon, an loot her see hoo muckle she should gie for that. She took his advice, an there wus some ither strangers stoppin there, an he tell’t them, an they bocht it a’ frae her, an she got nine shillin for’t, an she wus quite rich wi’t.

Stallage tell’t every likely buddy aboot the passper, an she could sell a’ she could get, an by the time the saison wus ower, she had a perfet fortin providit for the wunter, an she took a bit hoose at a sma rent, for the sake o’ the wean, an flittit intae’t, an she wusna lang o’ gettin ‘t furnish’t, for maist mornins whun she gaed oot, there wus something sittin at the door for her, — a chair, or a table, or a pot, or some bowls, or some cups, or a dish-nap, or a stule, or a blanket, or some knifes, or spunes, or something; an as she couldna tell wha had putten them there, she had joost tae tak them an say nocht.

Yae morning whun she gaed tae the door, she couldna wun oot for three or fowr cairtfus o’ peats yt had been cowpit doon through the nicht, an whun she wus stannin glowerin at them, twa young fallas cam up an speer’t if they wud gie her a han’ wi them; an whun she said she suppose’t sae, there wus aboot a dizzen o’ them gether’t up, wi skeps, in twa-three minutes, an or lang she had a fine peat-stack biggit up again the hoose-en’, big aneuch tae do her ower the wunter, an her peat-neuk as fu as it wud stap.



Partial Glossar

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

  • Gill-wife ‘An ale-wife.’ [GILL] A wunner if GILL here could be ‘leech’ [GELL]. MacTaggart mentions a gill-wife in this sense in his Gallovidian Enclyopedia.
  • Or ‘Before.’ [OR]
  • Warsel ‘To wrestle; to labour, toil, strive, try hard, make strenuous efforts, exert oneself, both of physical and mental struggle’ [WARSLE]
  • Speer ‘To ask (a piece of information, a question), inquire, make inquiries.’ [SPEIR]
  • Pasperr ‘Samphire.’ [PASPER]
  • Athoot ‘Unless.’ [ATHOOT]
  • Stallage ‘A tax or toll for permission to erect a stall at a fair or market; the site on which the stall stood.’ [STELLAGE]
  • Stan ‘A complete set or outfit of various kinds of equipment, e.g. weights, ropes, knitting-needles, drawers, etc.’ [STAND]
  • Whun ‘The common gorse or furze, Ulex europaeus.’ [WHIN]
  • Buss ‘A bush.’ [BUSS]
  • Stab ‘A wooden stake, or post, an upright in a fence or palisade.’ [STAB]
  • Heugh ‘A crag or precipice, a cliff or steep bank, esp. one overhanging river or sea.’ [HEUCH]
  • Oxter ‘The arm-pit.’ [OXTER]
  • Stap ‘To push, thrust, cram, press, shove or poke.’ [STAP]
  • Flit ‘To remove, transport from one place to another, to shift.’ [FLIT]
  • Dish-nap ‘The vessel dishes are washed in’. [DISH]
  • Wun ‘= Eng. get: (1) to make or find one’s way, to proceed, pass on, to succeed in arriving at some destination, freq. with the notion of surmounting obstacles on the way.’ [WIN]
  • Cowp ‘To empty by overturning.’ [COUP]
  • Glower ‘To stare with wide-open eyes, to gaze intently and curiously.’ [GLOWER]
  • Skep ‘A basket of wickerwork or straw for carrying.’ [SKEP]
  • Big ‘To build, construct (in gen.).’ [BIG(G)]