|| Stirlings - Starlings
|| Bluidy Puddings - Black Puddings
| St Andrews
|| Skerry Scrapers
refers to the practice of harvesting shellfish, seaweed and other foodstuffs from the shoreline.
|| Skate Rumples
Rumple means either the rump-bone or tail - an unused, or useless, part of the fish.
However, the name may stem from the fact that parish was the nearest landfall to a famous area of water for skate - known as the "skate-hole"
The origin of this name is obscure, although it is mentioned in an old ryhme.
This is the way the dogs o' Holm
Go runnan tae the mill -
Ae feet afore the ither,
Hobble, hobble, hobble.
|| Yirneens (Yernings)
The liquor prepared from the dried stomach of a calf and used to curdle the milk when making cheese. It was once thought that the name stems from an Orphir
woman who made rennet commercially.
Older names were Sheep-grippers and Sheep-binders.
|Orphir - Clestrain
There were excellent oyster beds in the Bay o' Firth until modern times. In 1595, three Firth farmers paid over a thousand oysters between them as part of their rent.
|| Assie Patties or Ash Patties
Assie patties are said to have been cakes baked in the ashes; and Sandwick was noted for its 'baking-stones'.
if this is connected to the Orcadian term "Assie Pattle"
which is used to describe a lazy or useless person - usually referring
to someone who sits by the fire, idly poking the fire. See also
the folklore tale of Assie
Pattle and the Mester Stoor Worm
|| Crabs or Sheep
Harray is the
only Orkney Mainland parish not to have a seaboard. The Harray men's
supposed ignorance of maritime matters was at one time much
ridiculed by the other islanders.
A local derivation is that it stems from an
Orkney proverb in which a Harray man, upon seeing a crab for
the first time, puts his hand to it. The irate crab seized the
unfortunate man's finger and caused him to yell: "Let be
and I'll let be!" - hence the proverb "Let be and
I'll let be as the Harra' man said to the crab."
Another story has it that a fisherman passing through Harray dropped a live crab. The men of the parish had no idea what the creature was, so sent for the oldest inhabitant, who was brought in a wheel-barrow. After gazing at the "monster" for a few moments he exclaimed: 'Boys, hid's a fiery draygon; tak' me hame!' "
A variant of this tale is that the crab was thought to be a scorpion, as mentioned in the bible, and attacked with hay-forks.
An older nickname was Sheep, as documented by Jo Ben: "Harray is another parish in which are many slothful drones, and on this account called the Sheeps of Harray."
|| Staigs, Kirn Lickers or Merry Dancers
A Staig is a stallion, while Kirn Lickers possibly refers to the practice of licking out the butter kirn after use - perhaps hinting at the meanness of the parishioners?
unsure of the reason for the Merry Dancers nickname. Within the islands,
the term Merry, or Mirry, Dancers is used for describing the Aurora Borealis.
|Stenness - Ireland
|| Dogs or Hoes
Dogfish were fished in great numbers to provide oil for the old koli and cruisie lamps.
|| Cauld Kail
Meaning "cold cabbage" this may cast aspersions on the hospitality of the folk of Evie.
|Evie - Woodwick
|| Sheep Thieves.