Life in Newburgh on Ythan

By Talpa

An A to Z of the Doric: an occasional series. U

Doric, the dialect spoken in the North-East of Scotland is rich in words and phrases associated with the land and the sea. Over the next few weeks I will try to illustrate some of them in an A-Z using examples of their use taken mainly from Buchan Claik, The Saut an the Glaur o't written in 1989 by Peter Buchan and David Toulmin.

UGG-BANE: The bone behind the gills of a fish

This is a gar-pike, a fish that is highly unlikely to turn up in the nets of a North Sea trawler. Gar-pikes (Lepistosteus spp) are Northern American freshwater fishes, the last survivors of a group of primitive bony fish that flourished in the Mesozoic. There are several species of gar, including the alligator gar that can exceed 10 feet in length.

Gar is an Old English word meaning "spear" and Lepistosteus comes from the Greek lepis meaning "scale" and osteon meaning "bone".

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