Words I’m Going to Learn from Sir Walter Scott!

I finished reading Sir Walter Scott’s novel The Pirate in 2015. As I was reading, I made a list of all the unfamiliar words, allusions, and references I came across, with the intention of looking them up later.

Now that it’s 2016, later has arrived! I fully intend to look up everything on this list. Yay for New Year goals!

By the way, despite not knowing actual meanings of these words, allusions, and references, I still enjoyed the novel immensely and managed to get the sense of their meanings through sheer context alone. I imagine we all do this more than we think when we read fiction for pleasure—it just becomes more obvious when one reads a novel that’s 193 years old and contains a lot of dialect.

The List for The Pirate
Corporal Trim’s story
Ultima Thule
Norwood prophetess
Plight troth
Cup of Geneva or Nantz
Sillocks
Antithetical
Bonny voes and locks
Merk or ure of land
Udallers of Zetland
Allodial
Feudal tenure
Scarts and sheer-waters
Plantie cruize
A right in the scathbold
Governante
Flinch a whale
Scar, wattle, hawken, and hagalef
Ranzellaar
Saint Ronald
Saint Olave
Finners through a herring-net
Opium and bang
Samphire-gatherer
Welking and waving
Gue (instrument?)
Shelldrake
Bonxie
Windlestraw
Black Brunswickers 1815
Ferlies
Weather-gaws
Howf
Bonally
Rummer of brandy
Doited
Mearns
Young Norval, a warrior and a hero
Major and sui juris
Whigamore
Striddle
Coulters, stilts, and mould-boards (parts of a plow?)
Aigre
Bucolic of Virgil
De re rustica by Cato
Palladius I
Terentius Varro
Columellatusse, Hartlib, and rural economics
Lucubrations of the Shepherd of Salisbury Plains
Philomath
Stercorated or unstercorated
Battle of Pharsalia
Emathian
Democritus
Lea
Peghts
Plough-graith
Wind-bill
Eclat
Wakerife
Housewifeskep
Meltith
Crowdie
Vivers must thole fire and water
Deadthraw
Yett
Saint Ronan
Sealgh
Sorner
Thigger
Blate
Tocher
Jagger (peddler?)
Halse
Michaelmas
Scozvries
Ranzelman
Kittywake
Flitchering
Hallanshaker
Jougs at Scalloway
Yarn-windles
Malison
Thigging
Bonduca
Velleda
Aurinia
Guisards and gyre-carlines
Commoved
Bear-braird
Aroint ye
Reim-kennar
Quaigh
Subacud luquor
Serous
Hialtland
Haaf
Silly sumph
Tam o Shanter
Slaps and stiles
Toom pantry
Dowlas
Partan’s back
Back spauld
Spreicherie
Mense or sense
Hirple
A ship embayed
Daikering
Hirsel
Sonsy
Ten guns besides chasers
Tollsell
Scaw of Unst
Sir Arthegal
Bismars
Lipsund
Stillyard
Brigantine
Dogger
Galliot
Sloop
Gaff mainsail
Daffing
Braws
Skudler
Claudio man is sad because he lacks money
In a creel (temper?)
Wowf
Napery
Swabie or swartback
Tirracke
Kittiewake
Duergar
Chaffer whale, pett
Sea mew
Sandie lavrock
Nacket
Faded joseph
Contumacious
Bland (alcohol?)
Molendinary
Forpits
Thirl
Sucken
Nieveful
Bell the cat
Multures
Gowpen and knaveship
Lave
Fashery
Wheen
Hand quern
Trindle
Cog nor happier
Cussers from Lanarkshire
Abyssinian Bruce
Minstrels of Gondar
Ras Michael
Twiscar
Jack and topsail
Scat hold
Dultmalindie
Crown, Tate, Prior, Tom Brown
Pay the kain
John’s Wild Gallant
Tom Shadwell
Rochester, Etheridge
Amphitryon
Outis in the cave of Polyphemus
Dantzig skipper
Horse on errand pas
Sterritone
Awn
Scart the land
Ritt wirh teeth of reddingkame
Causeyed syver
Saint Magnus
Kyloes
Stots
Poltroonery
Gue and Langspiel
Amphitrite
Haaf and voe
Sinclair of Quendale
Farcie on his face
Eider duck and golden eye
Guillemot
Yawl full of punch
Battue
Ulzie
Graip
Bullion
Miching malincho
Faith in freits
Sour sillocks for stock-fish
Roose the ford
Swear donner and blitzen
Bonny-wallies
Pay scat and wattle
Clod compeller (classical reference?)
Stomacher
Urkaster stock-fish
Calcareous rock
Lawting
Raddman
Lawrightmen
Voluspae
Trolld
Haims
Race of Lochlin
Noup and voe
Helyer and gio
Dog-fish
Kiempe
Bourasque
Vuluspa
Unhalsed
Spaed out that ferly
Chapmen
Clashes and clavers
Imber goose
Vivers
Galdragon
Torsk
Skate
Claire obscure
My own dements
Reeve a rope to the yard arm
Caciques
Eace of Pirtland
Pentland Firth
Jhell
Riree’d
Menseful maiden
Grampus
Will D’Avenant
Hand of Chantrey
Plant-a-cruive
Landlouper
Stirrup-cup
Emperor of Ethiopia
Trinculo’s bottle
Emprise
Ground-baits
Barbadoes qaters (rum?)
Saint Ringan
Nae deaf nuts
Meed
Masking fat
Biggin
Yawl
Daft gowk
Saint Ninian
Cerements
Scouries
Vision of Mirza
Nantz
Stiver’s worth of trouble
Frawa Stack off Papa
Flax from the lowe
Demurrage
Bland and brandy
Scouric
Book of Valentine and Orson
Hagbut
Kempies, gall-dragons, and spae women
Well of Kildunguie
Dulse
Wilks, buckies, and lampits
Waws, wells, and swelchies
Cachination
Thairm
Vifda
Rorie Mhor of Dunvegan
Martinmas
Whitsunday
Funking and flinging
Skelping
Apicubus funs
Ugsome
Whomle a bowie
Swattered
Rusk
Paction
Asseveration
Carse of Gowrie
Infang and outfang thief
Petit maitre
Hurly house
Folk are grown very peery
Cleugh
Stroller on the land
Pipe of Trinidado
Cockloft
Saint Olla
English jack and pennon
Atock fish, ling, grampus
Moidores
Grenadoes
Prince Volscius
Playing Harry Glasby
Obi woman
Old mumping magician
Taits of wool
Gallanty Lambmas lads
Spruce beer
Vulnerary
Sixty four cut down
Daffed the world aside
Loblolly boy
Negers
Pro bono publico
Damask
Roadstead
Hellicat devil
Lapelle
Packing and peeling
Lucky Christie’s chickens
Eviting
Curtius
Cowpnf of cobles
Bilboes
Chili boards
Baittle grassland
Leaguer-lass
Grapnel
Scuttle your sconce
Old calabash
Boon topers
Mickle
Bummock
Cutty-axe
A new Timotheus
Play Cassio
Wittols
Bayes on the stage
Scipio at Numantia
Lighted linstock
Jack a lent
Roxalana
Statira
Bam ring with blood and blank verse
A-ranoth
Spanish xebeck
Snap-cholerick
Bearded man of Versailles
Imoinda
Capstern
Can of rumbo
Bullybacks
Daffandilly
Sucked the monkey
Kit Cat Club
Jaffier
Dutch dogger
Careened (something that happens to a ship)
Roscius
Meum and teum
Inanition
Pleonasm

Things I Learned from Sir Walter Scott: Opposites Attract!

I’m currently reading the Sir Walter Scott novel The Pirate, published in 1822.

At this point in the narrative, our hero, a young man named Mordaunt Mertoun, is wondering why his young lady friend, the gentle Minna Troil, is so taken with a newcomer to the islands of Shetland, the rough-mannered Captain Cleveland.

The chatty third-person narrator then breaks the fourth wall and swerves off into a self-admitted, tongue-in-cheek, paragraphs-long digression on the phenomenon of “opposites attracting” in love and marriage.

Some truths endure through time and remain ever humorous:

Had his knowledge of the world been a little more extensive, he might have observed, that as unions are often formed betwixt couples differing in complexion and stature, they take place still more frequently betwixt persons totally differing in feelings, in taste, in pursuits, and in understanding; and it would not be saying, perhaps, too much, to aver, that two-thirds of the marriages around us have been contracted betwixt persons, who, judging a priori, we should have thought had scare any charms for each other.

A moral and primary cause might be easily assigned for these anomalies, in the wise dispensations of Providence that the general balance of wit, wisdom, and amiable qualities of all kinds, should be kept up through society at large. For, what a world were it, if the wise were to intermarry only with the wise, the learned with the learned, the amiable with the amiable, nay, even the handsome with the handsome? and, is it not evident, that the degraded castes of the foolish, the ignorant, the brutal, and the deformed, (comprehending, by the way, far the greater portion of mankind,) must, when condemned to exclusive intercourse with each other, become gradually as much brutalized in person and disposition as so many ouranoutangs?

When, therefore, we see the “gentle joined to the rude,” we may lament the fate of the suffering individual, but we must not the less admire the mysterious disposition of that wise Providence which thus balances the moral good and evil of life;—which secures for a family, unhappy in the dispositions of one parent, a share of better and sweeter blood, transmitted from the other, and preserves to the offspring the affectionate care and protection of at least one of those from whom it is naturally due. Without the frequent occurrence of such alliances and unions—missorted as they seem at first sight—the world could not be that for which Eternal Wisdom has designed it—a place of good and evil—a place of trial at once, and of suffering, where even the worst ills are chequered with something that renders them tolerable to humble and patient minds, and where the best blessings carry with them a necessary alloy of embittering depreciation.

When, indeed, we look a little closer on the causes of those unexpected and ill-suited attachments, we have occasion to acknowledge, that the means by which they are produced do not infer that complete departure from, or inconsistency with, the character of the parties, which we might expect when the result alone is contemplated. The wise purposes which Providence appears to have had in view, by permitting such intermixture of dispositions, tempers, and understandings, in the married state, are not accomplished by any mysterious impulse by which, in contradiction to the ordinary laws of nature, men or women are urged to an union with those whom the world see to be unsuitable to them. The freedom of will is permitted to us in the occurrences of ordinary life, as in our moral conduct; and in the former as well as the latter case, is often the means of misguiding those who possess it.

Thus it usually happens, more especially to the enthusiastic and imaginative, that, having formed a picture of admiration in their own mind, they too often deceive themselves by some faint resemblance in some existing being, whom their fancy as speedily as gratuitously invests with all the attributes necessary to complete the beau ideal of mental perfection. No one, perhaps, even in the happiest marriage, with an object really beloved, ever found all the qualities he expected to possess; but in far too many cases, he finds he has practised a much higher degree of mental deception, and has erected his airy castle of felicity upon some rainbow, which owed its very existence only to the peculiar state of the atmosphere.