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Scots Language Centre Centre for the Scots Leid

The Language o Bools

The BoolerThanks to Bob Fairnie for giving permission to reproduce this article which appeared in Issue 28 of the Booler magazine


Efter readin the airticle aboot bools hivin been played at Haddington syne aroond 1662, it shuid come as nae surprise that the gemm in Scotland shuid be fu o expressions that’s taen direct frae the Scots language. Here a leet o some o the expressions that can still aye be heard on boolin greens aroond Scotland:-

The Jeck - The wee white bool yaised as a target.

The Shot - The bool lyin nearest tae the jeck.

The Heid - The airt roond the jeck whaur aw the bools is lyin.

In the coont - Aw the bools frae ane side that’s nearer the jeck nor the nearest ane frae the ither side an sae, coontin as shots.

Gaird or Blocker - A bool lyin forenent the heid in sic a poseition that it conters ony ither bool ettlin tae win tae aither the Jeck or the bool lyin Shot.

Road – The richt gate a bool haes tae tak tae win tae the jeck or ither target.

That’s the road! – Yer bool’s rowin alang the richt gate.

Gress – The distance oot frae the centre o the rink that a bool haes tae traivel afore it comes back in an feinishes on the centre line.

Guid Gress! – The bool haes been deleivert at the richt angle tae come back in tae the target.

Gie it mair gress! – Rowe the bool faurer oot.

Feed the cuddy! – Gie it mair gress.

Haud it in a blade! – Gie it a wee bit less gress.

Gaitherin gress – Whan a bool gauns faurer oot insteid o stertin tae come back in. Whiles this micht be bi wey o riggs in the green an whiles bi wey o the bool bein coggelt whan deleivert.

Ticht! – A bool that hisnae been gien eneuch gress.
Seturday nicht! – Ticht.

Ower ticht! – Ower ticht.

Ticht as a doo’s ee! – By-ordinar ticht.

Ower high! – Ower muckle gress.

Oot in the country! – Faur ower muckle gress.

Wecht – The strength a bool is hoven at. This gars hou faur the bool traivels.

Drawin wecht – The richt wecht tae gar a bool draw an rest bi the jeck.

Jeck high – Whan the bool draws up the same distance frae the mat as the jeck.

A yaird on! – Gie the bool eneuch wecht tae cairry on a yaird past the jeck.

Chap an lie – Gar a bool tae chap anither bool oot o the heid or awa frae the jeck an lie in its place.

Noo we lie! – Ane o oor bools is noo lyin shot.

Ye’re no here! – Yer bool haes stopped weel short o the target.

Happy holidays! – Wish ye war here!

Nae wicks – drawin’s the gemm! – Thare nae skill in dunchin aff ither bools tae get the shot. Guid boolers can draw the shot athoot touchin ony ither bools.

Coggelt bool – A badly deleivert bool that wobbles up the green like a deein haggis.

Robert Fairnie

Fisherraw Links Boolin Club