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Sharing our love for authors, and the stories they are inspired to tell.

Wondrous Words Wednesday
New To Me Words

Wondrous Words Wednesday …

Is a weekly meme where we share new (to us) words that we have encountered in our reading

Image of an open book showing words, with a small purple sprig led across the pages - used for the meme Wondrous Words Wednesday

The first words come from a lovely book which I reviewed back in December 2020

Cover image of the book 'The Skylark's Secret' by author Fiona Valpy

Are you in for a busy day with the guests?’ she asked him, drying her hands on the pinny tied around her waist. His duties as keeper had been unofficially expanded to those of ghillie as well, but she knew he’d rather be out on the hills than standing on a river bank or rowing a boat while instructing inept guests how to cast for salmon

GHILLIE – (the first two definitions apply in this context)

(In Scotland) A man or boy who attends someone on a hunting or fishing expedition.

(In Scotland) A Highland chief’s attendant.

A type of shoe with laces along the instep and no tongue, used especially for Scottish country dancing.

A ghillie suit is a type of camouflage clothing designed to resemble the background environment such as foliage, snow or sand. Typically, it is a net or cloth garment covered in loose strips of burlap (hessian), cloth, or twine, sometimes made to look like leaves and twigs, and optionally augmented with scraps of foliage from the a

Cover image of the book 'The Skylark's Secret' by author Fiona Valpy

Tying her apron, Flora set to work, fetching the ingredients and utensils she’d need to prepare the meat first, a fine haunch from a stag that her father and Sir Charles had shot a couple of weeks ago, with Ruaridh along, as usual, to lead the garron”

GARRON – A garron or garran, from Gaelic gearran, is a type of a small sturdy horse or pony. The term occurs in Scotland and in Ireland, and generally refers to an undersized beast. In Scotland, a garron is one of the types of Highland pony. It is the larger, heavier type bred on the mainland. The Isles’ type of pony is generally smaller and slightly finer, but still within the breed standard. There is less difference today than there once was between these two types.

Cover image of the book 'The Skylark's Secret' by author Fiona Valpy

“Once Iain had deftly gralloched the carcass, leaving the innards on a flat rock where the hoodie crows would make short work of them, he resheathed his knife”

GRALLOCH – Disembowel (a deer that has been shot). Origin of word: Mid 19th century: from Scottish Gaelic grealach ‘entrails’.

Image of an open book showing words, with a small purple sprig led across the pages - used for the meme Wondrous Words Wednesday

The next couple of words I came across in this chilling horror story

Cover image of the book 'The House Of A Hundred Whispers' by author Graham Masterton

“The window depicted Walkham Valley under a dark blue sky, with a leat running through it. Beside the leat, with his back turned and his arms spread wide, was an impossibly tall man wearing a long black cloak with a high collar turned up”

LEAT – A leat (also lete or leet, or millstream) is the name, common in the south and west of England and in Wales (Lade in Scotland), for an artificial watercourse or aqueduct dug into the ground, especially one supplying water to a watermill or its mill pond

Cover image of the book 'The House Of A Hundred Whispers' by author Graham Masterton

“Oh, we’re still combing the moors. And if we haven’t found him by lunchtime we’ll have at least two dozen more volunteers out this afternoon, before it starts getting dimpsey

DIMPSEY – (Britain, West Country, Cornwall, Devon, Somerset) The time in the evening just before dusk.

Image of an open book showing words, with a small purple sprig led across the pages - used for the meme Wondrous Words Wednesday

That’s five new to me words this time

All the way from Scotland in the far north of the country, to Cornwall in the very south

How many of them do you recognise?

Wondrous Words Wednesday Meme Button by Mareli @ Elza Reads - New Host in January 2021

Wondrous Words Wednesday … Is a weekly meme where we share new (to us) words that we have encountered in our reading.

It is hosted by Mareli, over at ‘Elza Reads

You can either stop by and leave a link to your own ‘mystery’ words of the week, or just browse the eclectic mix of words that others have discovered, there is always a great selection.

Don’t forget that Mareli and the rest of us, all love to read your comments as well, so that we can visit and share your own words of the week, or simply say Hi!



Written by

I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

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  • You stumped me with all five the week, Yvonne! Granted, most of them are colloquial, but still…

    My favorite is the last one! Hopefully I can remember it and try to work it into conversation. Dimpsey. 🙂

    (Both books are waiting on my Kindle)

    • Hi Kelly,

      I do often wonder whether using colloquial words is a little unfair on overseas readers, however if they are also new to me words, I guess that makes a bit more of a level playing field!

      Anyway, all five of these definitions will help you when you come to read the books for yourself, if you have them both on your Kindle. I hope that my recommendations prove to be a success, I always wait with baited breath when someone reads a book off the back of what I have written in my review!

      I live in Somerset, where the word ‘dimpsey’ originates and I have certainly never come across it before. Mind you, our town is right on the eastern border of the county, so I can well imagine a true ‘Somerset Cuckoo’ using the word, as you work your way west and south into Devon and Cornwall.

      Thanks for stopping by, as ever I appreciate your support 🙂

  • Ghillie I did know, heaven knows how, too many documentaries about big estates in Scotland I suspect. And leat, blame books about rivers and docs about watermills. (I kid you not.) Other than those two the rest could be a foreign language! Dimpsey? Like you, I’m from the South West but have never heard that before. Well, well.

    • Hi Cath,

      Truth be known, I could probably have taken a good stab at ‘Ghillie’, although I didn’t realise there were quite so many definitions for it, and would never have known it was also shoes, or camouflage netting!

      The Scottish and Northern words always sound so strong, but come down this way a bit and by comparison a word like ‘dimpsey’, which I hadn’t got a clue about, sounds quite soft and weak by comparison!

      Thanks for stopping by and checking out this week’s words and I hope that all is well with you two 🙂

  • All these are new to me. You have a really interesting selection. I like garron, maybe because it regards the Highland ponies, which are so cute.

    • Hi Anca,

      I have featured words from both these books before, so you can tell just how many great ‘new to me’ words they had in them!

      I must do a bit more research, but I am wondering if the term ‘garron’ might also be used to describe the smaller ponies you find in the New Forest and down on Exmoor and Dartmoor. If so, that would make garron a countrywide wide word, which would be even better!

      Thanks for visiting today and I hope you have some great reading lined up for today 🙂

    • Hi Lynn,

      Thanks for stopping by today, it is great to e-meet you, I always like making new ‘virtual friends’ 🙂

      Garron is a ‘nice’ word, isn’t it and quite an easy one to drop into a conversation and maybe catch one or two people out!

      Enjoy the rest of your week and Stay Safe 🙂

  • I love all these words. We are watching All Creatures Great and Small, the original show, and the people there use lots of vocabulary, in Yorkshire, but fairly close to Scotland, that is unfamiliar to me. “Is there naught you can do?” is one expression. Nay. Thee. Lovely to my ears.

    • Hi Deb,

      Oh my gosh! I haven’t watched that show since it was first aired when I was a teenager in the early 1970s. They are planning a re-launch with a new cast in 2021 on PBS, with a whole new cast, but I’m not sure how that will work out, as re-launches seldom seem to work in the same way as the original, or have the same impact.

      The Yorkshire accent is definitely unique, as is some of the language and sayings they have. You haven’t gone truly Yorkshire unless one of your characters utters the phrase..

      ‘ee bah gum’ – Used to express a range of emotions, such as surprise or delight, or for emphasis.

      Enjoy the series and thanks for stopping by 🙂

  • Hi Yvonne! I always so love your choices. You do wonderful research!

    Interestingly, we have a word in Afrikaans called “ghallaghillie” and that refers to someone who is basically a Jack of all trades and master of none.

    I’ve actually heard of the word garron! So many kids at school are into horses and are doing horse riding in our area. So the lingo travels as well.

    Thanks so much for taking part in WWW! I appreciate it tremendously!

    Hope you are having a good week.

    • Hi Mareli,

      How strange that two of these words which have distinct Scottish origins, have travelled as far as SA and are used there today, that’s really interesting.

      At the moment I am right out of new to me words, so I might not have a post of my own next time, but either way I shall be sure to stop by and check out your post, you always link your words to a book feature so nicely.

      Thanks for hosting and Stay Safe 🙂

    • Hi Heather,

      I’m surprised you didn’t recognise the other two Scottish words, ‘garron’ and ‘gralloch’! Mind you, I live in Somerset (although I’m a Wiltshire ‘moonraker’ by birth) and I have never come across ‘dimpsey’ before!!

      My surname is Gill, so I’m nearly there, although we have no Scottish connections at all and most people can’t pronounce it anyway, always giving it a soft ‘g’ rather than a hard one!

      Thanks for stopping by and Happy Reading! 🙂

Written by Yvonne