Not just Skye and Gaelic

Thought I would share with you a quick photo of some books on the dialects of Shetland and Orkney that have just come into stock.
shetland books I suppose that with my interest in Old Norse, it was inev­it­able that I would want these in stock. One of my abiding memories from first year Old Norse classes with Hermann Palsson in Edinburgh was the two Shetland Islanders in the class who recog­nised numerous words. I ended up feeling like they had an unfair advant­age! And of course, here on Skye we are sur­roun­ded by Norse place-names, though to the dis­ap­point­ment of the archae­olo­gists, only a couple of definite houses have been iden­ti­fied so far.

I’d love to find the other volume of Jakob Jakobsen’s Etymological Dictionary of the Norn Language in Shetland (1985 Shetland Folk Society ISBN 0948276002 is the volume we have, and an initial look at the web isn’t throwing up other copies).

Margaret Flaw and Gregor Lamb’s The Orkney Dictionary (2001 Orkney Language and Culture Group ISBN 0952932415) is also fas­cin­at­ing. How else would I have found out that the Orcadian word for a Manx Shearwater is a lyre.… or that there is a word for the ooze from a midden (iper in case you were won­der­ing)?


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