Wondrous Words

Each Wednesday Kathy (Bermuda Onion) runs the Wondrous Words Wednesday meme to share new (to us) words that we’ve encountered in our reading.

I’ve been reading and learning new (to me) words for a while but haven’t yet joined in. Here are my first “Wondrous Words”, taken from Ian Rankin’s Black and Blue, an Inspector Rebus book. I always come across words I’m not sure I understand but usually I’m so engrossed in reading that I don’t stop to look up their definitions. I’m reading this book for the second time, having raced through it recently and this time I’ve jotted down a few words to look up. Some of them I could guess the meaning from the context, others I couldn’t. As you can see they’re all Scots words.

  • Radge – ‘On dope, he was a small problem, an irritation; off dope, he was pure radge.’

‘Radge’ means a rage,  an unpleasant person.

  • Bridie – ‘He’d laughed again, bought her tea and a bridie at a late-opening cafe.’

‘Bridie’ is a minced meat and onion pie.

  •  Smirr – ‘Only it wasn’t real rain, it was smirr, a fine spray-mist which drenched you before you knew it.’

‘Smirr’, is defined in the text.

  •  Dreich – ‘It was all Rebus needed first thing on a dreich Monday morning.’

‘Dreich’ is tedious, dreary, long drawn out.

  • Stoor – ‘We had this lot stashed in a storeroom’, Ancram said. ‘You should have seen the stoor that came off when we brought them out.’

‘Stoor’ – is fine dust.

  • Broo – ‘The cabbies are all on the broo, claiming benefit.’

‘Broo’ – is unemployment benefit.

  • Stooshie – ‘Does that mean the stooshie’ll die down?’

‘Stooshie’ – is fuss, disturbance, ado.

11 thoughts on “Wondrous Words

  1. Oh, these are wonderful. I can’t wait to teach “stooshie” to my children. From Susan Hill’s “Howard’s End is on the Landing,” I learned “bumptiousness” and we’ve had a lot of fun with that one at our house. My youngest daughter has declared herself “bumptious” to all the grands in her letters to them (not sure that’s a good thing, but know it put a smile on their faces).
    Thanks to you, I now have “knots and crosses” by the bed queued up for a sooner-than-later read. I’ve been enjoying your blog for a while now, but not sure I’ve ever stopped to comment.
    Thanks for sharing with us – we all wanted to come play in your snow pictures! 🙂


  2. Olive Kitteridge (By Elizabeth Strout) had her own vocabulary. People she didn’t like (almost everyone) were flub-dibs. I can’t get it out of my head.


  3. All good words you’ve found. Radge is one I’m going to use here in the next few hours on a certain person. I’ll try not to make a big stooshie. I can see you are going to have me reading Ian Rankin before too long.

    I’m so glad you started playing the word game. I look forward to seeing more of your new words.


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