August 8th, 2011

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Office du JerriaisMinority Languages, vocabulary

Faîs'sie d'Cidre 2009 69

  • graie (n) = harness
  • graie (v) = arrange; rig out; do

Chu mot graie nos vînt du Norrouais – et l’s Êcôssais ont héthité l’même mot étout. Lé Scots Language Centre l’explyique:
This word came to us from Norse – and it ended up in the Scots language as well, as the Scots Language Centre explains:

Graith comes from Old Norse. We find it occasionally used in English in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries but it is predominantly found in Scots, where it is still in use today, often in the sense of tools, hence this piece of practical advice from Neil Munro in The Looker-on: “A man should ha’e all his workin’ graith aboot him before he starts on a roof for a job o’ ony kind”. Quotations in the Dictionary of the Scots Language suggest that the word was used by all manner of tradesmen including tailors, skinners, barbours, smiths, ploughmen, miners, smiths, weavers, sailors and even felons, as explained by G. Mills in The Beggar’s Benison (1866): “the ‘graith’ – meaning the house-breaking implements”. Horse-graith, Walter Scott tells us in Heart of Midlothian, could be expensive, even in 1818: “A year’s rent o’ mony a gude estate gaed for horse-graith and harnessing”. Oxen’s, falcons’ and human trappings are also called graith.