Reply To: Boreland of Girthon

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John Shields

From Michael Ansell – 12 July 2020

Good morning Alan, thanks for these very interesting and thorough notes. Just a couple of comments:

Carraig, I think in Galloway at least developed a specialised meaning as a rock jutting out into the sea from which it is convenient to fish from, a fishing stance. That would surely be the case with Carrick Point?
Airds Fie. This looks to me like an alternative spelling of Scots fey, originally from faithche?
Syllodioch. As you say, very tricky one. I don’t think deagh would work, as you say it seems always to precede the noun it is describing, even in abstract senses like deagh bheachd (good idea or opinion). If I were to bet I’d implicate Sliabh as the generic (Ian Fraser I think has pointed out the multiple meanings Sliabh (eg mountain, moor, slope, moor-grass etc) can have so the location may not rule it out). As to the specific it looks a bit like G. deoch, drink, but the genitive form dighe takes us away from the current spelling/pronunciation. And ‘moor of drink’ would be an odd formation! I suppose Sliabh Dabhaich, ‘moor/slope or whatever of hollow’ might be possible, maybe from a conspicuous hollow in the ground?
But Nae is fascinating, have you contacted Gilbert about it? Why this should crop up in Borgue and Bute only in Scotland is really odd. I agree with your comment on gender fluidity in Galloway. Is there any explanation of this phenomenon (Joyce and Broderick also note it in Ireland/IoM respectively I think). Is it something that happens as a language is going into decline and grammatical conventions break down?
Kind Regards