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Etymology and the Scots Language

Etymology, the study of word origins, is an essential component of any dictionary project. In the years since the volumes of A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue and the Scottish National Dictionary were published, many new assessments of etymologies have been undertaken, and we aim to keep up-to-date with this growing body of scholarship so that we can incorporate new findings in the revisions to our dictionaries.

The following is a Bibliography of etymological and philological research relevant to the Scots language (and languages with which Scots is or has been in contact). We would like this to be as comprehensive as possible in order that it can be a practical resource for all Scots language researchers. If you know of other academic materials that could be included here, please contact us. We would also be delighted to receive donations of any relevant offprints. Spread the word!

Bibliography of Etymological Research

Breeze, Andrew (1994), "Middle English tod 'fox': Old Irish táid 'thief'", Scottish Language 13, pp. 51-3.

Breeze, Andrew (1995), "A Gaelic Etymology for gausk 'container' in the Scottish Lives of the Saints, Notes and Queries 240, pp. 434-6.

Breeze, Andrew (1998), "A Celtic Etymology for Maggle "To Spoil" in Dunbar and Gavin Douglas", American Notes & Queries 11, pp. 12-13.

Breeze, Andrew (1998), "Common Gaelic básaire 'executioner': Middle Scots basare 'executioner'", Scottish Gaelic Studies 18, pp. 186-7.

Breeze, Andrew (1999), "Gaelic Etymologies for Scots pippane 'lace', ron 'seal', and trachle 'bedraggle'", Scottish Gaelic Studies 19, pp. 246-52.

Breeze, Andrew (2003), "Scots shayth 'reason' and Gaelic seadh 'esteem'", Scottish Gaelic Studies 21, pp. 251-2.

Breeze, Andrew (2003), "Scots cumming 'tub' and Old Irish cummain 'container'", Scottish Gaelic Studies, pp. 253-4.

Cobby, Anne (2005), "An Old French source for modern Scots "wabbit"?", Neuphilologische Mitteilungen 2 CVI, pp. 131-7.

Dawson, Jane E.A. (2005), "'There is nothing like a good gossip': Baptism, Kinship and Alliance in Early Modern Scotland", in Christian J. Kay and Margaret A. Mackay, eds., Perspectives on the Older Scottish Tongue: A Celebration of DOST, (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press), pp. 38-47.

Gillies, William (1994), "The Celtic Languages: some Current and some Neglected Questions", in Margaret Laing and Keith Williamson, eds., Speaking in our Tongues: proceedings of a colloquium on medieval dialectology and related disciplines, (Cambridge: D. S. Brewer), pp. 139-47.

Lockwood, W. B. (2006), "On the philology of cod and stag", Transactions of the Philological Society, 104:1, pp. 13-15.

Maolalaigh, Roibeard (2006), "On the Possible Origins of Scottish Gaelic iorram 'rowing song'", in Michel Byrne, Thomas Owen Clancy & Sheila Kidd eds, Litreachas & Eachdraidh. Rannsachahd na Gaidhlig 2. Glaschu / Literature and History. Papers from the Second Conference of Scottish Gaelic Studies. Glasgow 2002, (Glasgow: Glasgow University, Department of Celtic), pp. 232-88.

Sayers, William (2005), "Middle English and Scots 'bulwerk' and some Continental reflexes", Notes & Queries Vol. 250 of the continuous series [New Series, Vol. 52], pp. 164-170.

Sayers, William (2005), "Scones, 'The Oxford English Dictionary', and the Celtic element in English Vocabulary", Notes & Queries Vol. 250 of the continuous series [New Series, Vol. 52], pp. 447-50.