Scottish Genealogy

Monday, 25 June 2012

Old Scots Words - Bahuif or Bawhufe

Today's 'B' word is a truly strange looking one:

'Bahuif' (or 'Bawhufe')

I had never come across this one before, but found it when looking at a list of the items belonging to James V, King of Scotland (pdf available here).  It refers to a large chest or coffer or trunk and King James had a few of these:
ane greit bawhufe into the palzeon houses and ane bawhufe into the tapestry house and the third into the pantrie hous.

[a great chest in the tent house and a chest into the tapestry house and the third into the pantry house]

The Dictionary of the Scots Language has examples of its use dating mostly from the 1500s and quotes its use in the Treasury Accounts of 1535:

'for keping of the kingis gracis claithis, twa balhoyis'

[for keeping the King's graces clothes, two chests] 

It can appear in more humble settings too - but watch out for bizarre spelling variations - I have seen it as 'balhoy', 'bawhuvis', 'bahouuis', 'behewuis', 'balhuves' - you need your wits about you sometimes to spot this wee word!

Monday, 18 June 2012

Old Scots Words - Afaldly or Afauldly

Today is the first in what will be a (semi) regular look at some of the more unusual words that I have come across in my research.  It makes sense to start with 'A', so today we have:

'Afaldly' (or 'Afauldly')

An odd looking word to modern eyes, but it crops up quite often in some older texts.  It means something along the lines of 'sincerely' or 'honestly' or 'faithfully' and you might find someone swearing 'afaldly' to abide by something.

You might see it used in a sentence like the following from the Aberdeen Burgh Records from 1494:

'the aldirmane, balʒeis…schew that tha wald ayfaldly defende thair landis and heretage'

[the aldermen, bailies, that they would sincerely defend their lands and heritage] 

or in this example from a bond of manrent from the charter chest at Gask: September 5th 1471 (full extract available here):

'sal serf hym afauldy in peise and in vayr for al the tym and spaise befor vrittyn'

[shall serve him faithfully in peace and in war for all the time and space before written]

It might crop up in all sorts of places, especially in earlier documents.  The Dictionary of the Scots Language has examples of its use dating from the 1400s to the 1600s, so it is one to look out for in those early records.