Sunday, February 13, 2011

Twelfth Word: Scot

Scot: O.Eng Scottas (pl.) "inhabitants of Ireland, Irishmen," from Late Latin Scotti (c.400), of uncertain origin, perhaps from Celtic (but answering to no known tribal name; Ir. Scots appears to be a Latin borrowing). The name followed the Irish tribe which invaded Scotland after the Romans withdrew from Britain in 423 C.E., and after the time of Alfred the Great the O.Eng word described Irish who had settled in the northwest of Britain.

Rain. Gah. Sarah and Mike came for the weekend, and their trip coincided perfectly with the only rainy weekend in 2011. We had a marvelous time though and the rain just gave us an excuse to make homemade pizza and play a bunch of games. Of the touristy things, we did go to Calton Hill, the Parliament, the ruins on Arthur's Seat, through Princes Street Gardens and along Princes Street. It was wonderful to see family from home.

The previous week Alex and I went to a Robert Burns' dinner. Rabbie Burns is Scotland's national poet (a "Great Scot!" if there ever was one). Basically, the dinner is haggis, neeps, and tatties. But before digging in, the haggis must be addressed. Yes, you must address the haggis. Rabbie wrote a poem called "To a Haggis" which was sung before (for?) the haggis:

I have to add the first stanza here because it's just so funny:
Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,  (sonsie means pleasant)
Great chieftain o' the pudding-race! 
Aboon them a' yet tak your place, (aboon is above)
Painch, tripe, or thairm: 
Weel are ye wordy o'a grace (wordy is worthy)
As lang's my arm. 

This haggis was the mother of all haggises. Holy cow! (or whatever it's made of). It was over a foot long!

For reference, normal haggises are about 5 inches long and 3ish inches wide. It was very tasty though. Alex and I thought it would be funny if instead of saying there was an elephant in the room (something no one wants to talk about) that we would say, "Maybe we should address the haggis." :) I love language!

This week I attended proofreading training and am now a volunteer proofreader for the school. Undergraduates who aren't native English speakers can send in their essays to be proofread by one of us. Also, we've gotten the first round of essay assignments. I should be working on them but blogging is more fun. (oh yes, I've chopped about 6 inches off my hair too).

Finally, yesterday Jordan and I went on the trip with the International Student Center to Bamburgh Castle in England and Melrose Abbey in Scotland. The bus ride was through beautiful farmland lined by hedgerows and filled with sheep. The route hugged the coast so we had beautiful views of headlands and crashing waves. Bamburgh Castle is the last inhabited castle in the UK (I think). The inside wasn't as beautiful as the outside. I really enjoyed going down to the beach and smelling the refreshing sea breeze. It made me miss Lake Michigan! We had only a short amount of time at Melrose Abbey. As a result, there were 117 of us scrambling around taking pictures. The Abbey ruins were beautiful (check out the facebook pix)! The area around was so hilly and green. We passed manor houses set into the hills with four smoking chimneys and circular drives. Man, to be born into wealth in this country! It was a lovely escape for a day.

Say What?
I don't think I've told this story yet.
The background info is that Alex worked at The West Room for a week or so with Rory before he decided to take the job at Pierre Victoire. Well, Alex quit Pierre Victoire after having a terrible time with the other kitchen staff and after a confrontation arose one day. He sort of stormed out. Well, Al had mentioned quitting to his former boss at The West Room and that boss told Rory that Alex came to work drunk when he quit. We couldn't figure out why that guy would lie about Alex like that. That's when Al realized he told the boss that he was really pissed and decided to quit. We had a good laugh because over here pissed means drunk but in America it means really angry.


  1. Man, it's awkward when you're sitting there with someone, and you can't escape, and then they're like, "Dude, we really need to address the haggis..."