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EdinPhoto - Home Page  Please send me an e-mail ...  with your questions, comments, suggestions or news.   At any time, you can search for a word  -  perhaps a photographer's name or a photographic topic.  The search will produce a list of pages on the EdinPhoto web site where this word appears.     At any time, you can search for a word  -  perhaps a photographer's name or a photographic topic.  The search will produce a list of pages on the EdinPhoto web site where this word appears.  

Photographs and Other Images  -  These include portraits of photographers  -  photographic outings -  Princes Street views  -  Newhaven Fishwives  -  etc.  Early Photography in Edinburgh  -  Talbot, Brewster, Hill & Adamson, Early Professional Photographers in Princes Street, etc.  Professional Photographers in Edinburgh  -  1840 to 1940  -  Their names, dates of business and studio addresses.  The Photographic Society of Scotland  -  1856 to 1873  -  Lectures, Exhibitions, Outings, etc.  The History of Edinburgh Photographic Society  -  1861 to date  -  Lectures, Exhibitions, Outings, Poems, etc.  EPS Publications - EPS Handwritten Records  -  Photographic Journals  -  Trade Directories  -  Books  -  etc.  Thanks to all who have encouraged and supported me in creating the EdinPhoto web site  -  including descendants of photographers  -  researchers  -  providers of photographs and other material  Background notes on the research thal led up to the creation of this site  -   together with lists of new material added to the site since its launch.  Brief comments on how this site might be used  -  Just browsing?  -  Seeking specific information?  Please add your questions, suggestions or other comments to the Guest Book.  Links to other web sites  -  Photographic Societies  -  Photographic History  -  Family History  -  etc.  Click here to find the link to the Edinburgh Photogrpahic Society web site.

 

A selection of my photographs, many from Edinburgh throughout the year.   Also photos from Scotland, London, Iceland, Italy, Hong Kong and elsewhere    Many old maps of Edinburgh (Old Town, New Town, while City), Leith and Newhaven.  Includes several old transport maps and a comparison of old maps with recent aerial photos.   Old engravings, mailly of Edinburgh scenes.  Some from the 1820s, some from the 1890s,  some others - includes many hand-coloured examples from the 1820s.   News from Edinburgh today  -  Events, Collections, Buildings and Gardens, Transport   This site includes     1. Post card portraits taken in studios in Edinburgh:    2. Post card views either takeen/published by Ediburgh photographers or views of Edinburgh, or both.y Edinburgh    Views of Edinburgh, grouped into three sections:     1. Street views:    2. Buildings:    3. Around Edinburgh   Views of transport around Edinburgh  -  Horse drawn trams and buses, cable cars, electric trams, buses and a few railway photos.  Also several maps of Edinburgh's bus and tram routes.   Links to pages with Photos of Groups   Frequently Asked Questions

  Summary of the updates added to this site each month since the site was launched   Links to Dumbiedykes pages  Link to Granton pages  Link to Leith pages   Link to Newhaven pages   Links to Portobello pages   Link to My Recent Talks

 

Local Language

Edinburgh

Place Names and Speech

The colours in this index below match the background colours in the sections of this page.

Please scroll down this page, or click on one of the links below:

Index to Sections

1.

Edinburgh - Places and People

2.

Edinburgh - Words and Dialect

3.

Edinburgh -  Expressions

4.

Edinburgh - Sweets, Drinks, Snacks, Cakes

5.

Other Comments Received

6.

Questions

 

1.

Edinburgh and Leith

Places and People

and a few people's names

Here are colloquial names for some of the places in Edinburgh, many of them taken from emails that I have received, recording people's memories of growing up in Edinburgh.

Perhaps somebody will tell me more about some of these places.

Peter Stubbs:  October 8, 2008

A

Admirality Street

Looking to the west along Admiralty Street towards North Junction Street, Leith ©

This is how we used to pronounce Admiralty Street, Leith.

(Note the extra 'i')

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  March 15, 2010

Marc who moved to Cadiz Street (pronounced Kay-deez Street) in Leith around 2000 confirms that the locals pronounced Admiralty Street as 'Admirality Street.

Marc, Leith, Edinburgh:  April 20, 2012

Aggie Kate

The State Picture House

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  March 8, 2010

The Alabam

The Alhambra cinema

"The Alabam or Bam (Alhambra cinema) was on the corner of Springfield Street, now gone."

Pauline Cairns-Speitel, Old Town, Edinburgh;  October 3, 2008

Albert's

"A fish and chip shop at the top of Kirkgate, - black, green and white (I think) with a steady passage of customers.

A great place for the Teddy Boys to hang around.  The great thing is that it never stopped ordinary folk going in."

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  December 6, 2009

The backs of the homes at the south end of Beaverbankl Place  -  View from Logie Green RoadJune 2010 ©

The Allotments

Waste ground between Beaverbank Place, Broughton Road and Logie Green Road

"It was a great playground for kids, and I always remember a great big bonfire on Guy Fox Night which took weeks to gather all kinds of debris and wood that would burn.

Jim Calender, Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada:  June 17, 2010

Andy Dam

"This was the 'bridge crossing' section of Water of Leith at Anderson Place, a kids' fishing territory."

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Leith:  Sep 17 + Oct 2 +  4, 2008

Angelosantas

Was this 1 word or 2?

"This was the shop for ice cream - but where was it?

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  November 22, 2010

Thank you to Susan MacLeod who replied:

"There is an ice cream shop in Lindsay Road that we always called 'Angelosantos' when we were growing up.

He had really great ice cream, and I think the same family still own the shop now."

Susan Macleod, Leith, Edinburgh:
Message posted in EdinPhoto guest book: November 27, 2010

Annaker's midden

A meat shop on Leith Street.

"When the place was a mess, people would say that it looked like Annaker's midden."

Gordon Wright, Barnton, Edinburgh:  July  22, 2014

Antaygi Street

Antigua Street

"When I grew up, Edinburgh folk didn’t seem too keen on words ending in ‘-ua’ or ‘-ue’. Hence the pronunciations ‘Antaygi Street’ and ‘Montaygi Street’."

Kim Traynor:  Tollcross, Edinburgh:  September 27, 2009

Archers' Field

"An area in The Meadows fenced off for use by The Royal Company of Archers.  It was somewhere between Jawbone Walk and the Paddling Pool."

Peter Butler, Hennenman, South Africa:  February 25, 2011

Auld Foley

"He lived Granton Medway and  was a cairter for the Duke o' Buccleuch.

His daughter, Jean, made fish nets in the backgreen."

Dave Ferguson, Blairgowrie, Perth & Kinross, Scotland:  February 12, 2012

"Auld Foley wi' his horse an cairt, that's where oor journey ends."

From Dave Ferguson's poem:  'Summer Days in Granton"

"Auld Foley was definitely my great-uncle Frank.

When I got my memory working, I remembered he had a daughter named Jean, mentioned in the first poem, 'Guid Times at Granton.''

Uncle Frank was commonly referred to as Old Fritz in the family, and his son Francis as Young Fritz.  

I think Uncle Frank worked for Edward Ferry the Contractor.  His older brother, Peter, though definitely worked around the Middle Pier for the Duke of Buccleuch until into his seventies."

Archie Foley, Joppa, Edinburgh:  February 15, 2012

Auld Reekie

Edinburgh

Given this name from the time when the many crowded houses in the Old Town burnt wood and coal.

reekie = smoky

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  January 13, 2009

"I always thought the name referred to the reek from its many domestic chimneys as some early photographs would suggest.

It appears other authorities differ; they ascribe 'smell' (disgusting is implied) as its meaning from association with the insanitary practice of 'gardyloo!' when the cadgers (porters) had failed to call for the refuse"

George T Smith, Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada:  Jan 13, 2009

"It is said that the Fifers* could tell it was dinner time from the smoke or reek of Edinburgh as the fires were banked up for the evening meal."

* Fifers were people who lived in Fife, across the Firth of Forth from Edinburgh.

Stuart Burgess, Devon, England:  September 17, 2009

Auld Reekie could mean either 'Old Smoky' or 'Old Smelly'.  The comments above refer to 'Old Smoky'.  That's Edinburgh as I remember it when I first arrived here in the 1960s.

However, David Waddell  reminded me of why Edinburgh was known as Auld Reekie in the 18th century.

David wrote: "It was because there was no sewage system and people used to empty their chamber pots into the streets (Edina’s Roses*) at 10 o’clock in the evening."

Dave Waddell, Houston, Texas, USA:  December 29, 2010

* 'Edina's Roses' is how the  slops, tipped into the street, morning and nightly, were referred to in the poem, 'Auld Reekie' by Robert F Fergusson (1750-74).

This poem ends:

'Then, with an Inundation Big as
The Burn that 'neath the Nore Loch Brig is,
They kindly shower Edina’s Roses,
To Quicken and Regale our Noses.'

Aunties

"This was a shop in Viewforth frequented by Boroughmuir school pupils).  It sold Vantas, an aerated fruit-flavoured drink."

George T Smith, Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada:  January 13, 2009

B

Back Canongate

Photographs of the Dumbiedykes area of Edinburgh by Wullie Croal  -  mid 20th century ©

"Holyrood Road was always called the 'Back Canongate'."

Bob Henderson, Burdiehouse, Edinburgh:  October 7, 2008

The Balconies

Dumbiedykes Road  -  no traffic, just a pram. ©

The Balconies were houses with balconies on the west side of Dumbiedykes Road, opposite The Big Green.

Jean Rae, who has sent memories of Dumbiedykes to the EdinPhoto web site used to live in The Balconies, at 34 Dumbiedykes Road.

Jean Rae (née Aithie), South Side, Edinburgh:  April 2006

The Bam

The Alhambra cinema

"The Alabam or Bam (Alhambra cinema) was on the corner of Springfield, now gone."

Pauline Cairns-Speitel, Old Town, Edinburgh;  October 3, 2008

The Alhambra Picture House, on the corner of Springfield Street and Leith Walk, now demolished.

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  March 17, 2010

Banana Flats,

Banana Block

Cable Wynd House Leith

  A 9-storey local authority housing block in Leith:  204 flats, first occupied 1962 - so named because of its curved shape.

"Parliament Square in Leith used to be where the Banana Block is now."

John Stewart, Livingstone, West Lothian, Scotland:  Nov 16, 2009

"The Banana Flats at Leith won an award, albeit that it was the chunkies (toilets) that overlooked the Forth.  Could others please add to this?"

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  December 21, 2009

Barbary Coast

"This was the area of the Shore between the dock gates and Bernard Street Bridge - so called by seamen who'd visit the place of the same name in San Francisco."

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  March 15, 2010

"Yes indeed, the eccentric owner of Fairley's did have a puma during the pub's Go-Go dancing era of the 1970s.

Incidentally, that area of pub life on the Shore at Leith, was once known as the Barbary Coast (after a similar 'Red Light' nautical district in San Francisco) and/or The Jungle, a name that the old King's Wark pub acquired for many years."

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  June 10, 2008

Barrie's Trip

An outing from the Grassmarket Mission
(See below.)

"I'd like to find some photos of the Barrie's Trip.  This was an annual outing for 'pare bairns' (poor children) to Spylaw Park or Colinton Dell, run from the Grassmarket Mission.

We even had a song:

A'm no gaun tae Barrie's trip

A'm no gaun again

A'm no gaun tae Barrie's trip

Fur it ayways comes oan rain."

J Kelly:  March 28, 2009

Robert McGrouther also remembers chanting this song on Barrie's bus trips.

Acknowledgement:  Robert Mcgrouther, Munlochy, Black Isle, Ross & Cromarty, Scotland May 14, 2009

The Bassy

The Embassy Picture House at Pilton

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  November 29, 2009

The Bay of Biscay

The road across Leith Links.

Jean, who attended Links Primary School in the late-1950s wrote:

"The road that runs between the two halves of Leith Links was known as the Bay of Biscay - I don't know why. I remember when a whole fleet of dockers - seemed like hundreds - used come cycling up it at teatime on their way home from work.

Years later, I watched the men march in silence along Junction Street, drooping flags and slow drums, when they closed the docks. Very very sad."

Jean, Leith, Edinburgh:  August 31, 2013

The Bellsie

A small woodland area to the south of the water of Leith beside Rockheid Path that leads from Arboretum Avenue, Inverleith to Canonmills.

"At the foot of our street (Colville Place, Stockbridge Colonies) ran the Water of Leith, which, for some unknown reason, was always called ‘The Dam’.  It was called that in my mother’s day, too.

We kids would have great fun down the Dam in late spring or early summer: if we weren’t guddling for minnows, sticklebacks or tadpoles, we’d be building a makeshift dam ourselves, then using improvised rafts to cross the water. I don’t think we ever crossed without at least one of us falling in!"

Bob McLean, Buckinghamshire, England:  November 8, 2013

Bennetts'

"We had our bonfire too, and it was set up in Bennett's', a large bit of waste ground within Wilkie Place, Leith

David Barrie, Adelaide, South Australia, December 22, 2008

The Bev

The Beverley Picture House

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  March 8, 2010

The Big Canyon

"The Wee Canyon and the Big Canyon. These were shale bings (unofficial adventure playgrounds!) on the Lang Loan* and at Straiton."

* The Lang Loan ran from Straiton to Edgehead.

David Bain:  Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England:  September 21, 2009

The Big Field

Aerial View of United Wire Works + Legend ©

A field that used to be behind 'The Anchor Inn' at West Granton Road, Granton, shown on this aerial view.

"Davo and Mr Walker, his neighbour, made a huge kite taller than a man with a divot on the tail.  They flew it in the big field, as we knew it, right behind the Anchor Inn, it took three grown men to control it."

Dave Ferguson, Blairgowrie, Perth & Kinross, Scotland: March 3+5, 2012

"Happy times they really were fer men an' growin' laddies,

Fitba' in the big field then hame tae mince an' tatties."

From Dave Ferguson's poem:  'Sundays at Granton"

The Big Green

The Big Green, seen from the greens in front of 'The Balconies', Dumbiedykes Road ©

"The Big Green was the area in front of 'The Balconies' housing in Dumbiedykes Road"

Jean Rae (née Aithie), South Side, Edinburgh:  April 2006

The Big Hotel

Saughton Prison

"A facility where a number of persons whose behaviour had varied from the rules of society were housed, justifiably or otherwise."

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  January 21, 2010

The Big Mixie

Learmonth Avenue, Comely Bank, Edinburgh  -  1959 ©

See The Mixie

The Big Park

Inverleith Park

"As we got older, on those days when we couldn’t be bothered to go up toThe Big Park’ (Inverleith Park) to play football, we’d have a kickabout in the Bellsie, although if you ever knocked the ball into the water, you had to go in yourself and fetch it, no matter how far it had floated downstream. "

Bob McLean, Buckinghamshire, England:  November 8, 2013

Blackie

Photograph taken by Charles W Cushman in 1961 -  Blackfriars Street, Edinburgh Old Town ©

The 'Blackie Boys' from Blackfriars Street, Edinburgh ©

"Blackfriars Street was known as 'Blackie' to anyone who lived there or who had friends who lived there."

Bob Henderson, Burdiehouse, Edinburgh:  October 7, 2008

"You mentioned that Blackfriars Street was known to the locals as 'Blackie.  Well, here are the 'Blackie Boys'.'"

Eric Robinson:  December 19, 2010

The Blackies

Blackford Hill

Paul Anderson:  October 8, 2007I

Bloody Mary's Close

A long steep close behind Chessel's Court in the Royal Mile.

"When I lived at No 8 Chessel's Court, the only access to the rear was by a corner staircase between No 8 and the next house (I think, 8b) which led under the building to a long steep close known as Bloody Mary's Close.

This was about six or eight feet wide with high stone walls on either side and led all the way down to Holyrood Road.  When I attended St Patrick's School this was a short cut, rather than go by the main roads, up the Canongate and down St Mary's Street."

Tony Ivanov, Bo'ness, West Lothian, Scotland:  July 16, 2009

However, George T Smith tells me that he found an entry on the RCAHMS web site saying that Bloody Mary's Close was one of several alternative names for Plainstone's Close, the other names being:

-  Bonnie Mary's Close

-  Thomson's Close

-  Year's Close

George T Smith, Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada:  July 16, 2009

Blue Doos

"Blue Halls cinema, West Port"

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  April 20, 2012

The Bombies

An area between Couper Street and North Junction Street, Leith

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  December 31, 2011

Bonny

"Bonnington Road School, Leith"

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  April 20, 2012

The Botanics

The south side of the Palm House  -  Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh  -  October 2007 ©

Royal Botanic Gardens, Goldenacre

"We spent a lot of time in the summer at 'The Botanics'  having a roam around and a picnic for free, even although picnics were banned."

EdinPhoto Guest Book:  G M Rigg,  April 7, 2009

Bow Tow

A resident of Newhaven

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  November 27, 2009

"Although I am not a Bow Tow (Newhavener) as a resident of Newhaven, I have used Mr Crolla's store in Main Street for over 50 years."

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  March 6, 2010

The Brae

Arthur Street, Dumbiedykes

"My mates included guys from Eastie, Middle Arthur Place and the Brae."

J Kelly:  March 28, 2009

Breadalbaney Street

This is how we used to pronounce Breadalbane Street, Leith.

(Note the extra 'y')

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  March 15, 2010

The Brickies

The Big Green, seen from the greens in front of 'The Balconies', Dumbiedykes Road ©

"The Brickies were houses, made of bricks, beside 'The Big Green' in Dumbiedykes Road."

Jean Rae (née Aithie), South Side, Edinburgh:  April 2006

The edge of The Brickies can be seen on the extreme left of this photo.

Peter Stubbs:  April 2006

The Broad Pavement

"Parliament Square, Henderson St opposite The Vaults, at Leith"

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Leith:  Sep 17 + Oct 2 +  4, 2008

The Broadie

The Broady

Parliament Square (The Broady), Leith - 1950s ©

The Broad Pavement, Parliament Square, Leith

"To us, this was 'The Broady'.  We used this name as children, all those years ago, and took it from our parents."

John Stewart, Livingston, West Lothian, Scotland

Mary McLeod used to live at 'The Broadie'Please click here to read her

Mary McLeod (née Wilkie):  August 28, 2011

Brown Mountain

A mound in London Road Gardens

"London Road Gardens was also our playground.  The two mounds at the east end we called purple (the highest) and brown (the lowest) mountain.

I tried finding them a couple of years ago, but they were well and truly hidden. They were in fact gunnery mounds used by Cromwell when he besieged Leith and Edinburgh."

Ronald Stout, Denmark:  October 10, 2010

The Budgies

Shops at West Granton

"I lived in West Pilton Road from 1968 to 1979.  There were a lot of shops in these days.  The shops down West Granton were often nicknamed 'the budgies' because there was a back garden next to them with a hut where some man kept his budgies in."

David Blackburn, also known as Davy, Blackie and Tony,
August 14, 2011

The Bughouse

"Our name for The Blue Halls (later the Beverley picture house)

Others may have given the name to their local flea pit."

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  March 8, 2010

"The Bungalow ('The Bughouse') was directly opposite my House.  The first picture I saw there was John Steinbeck's 'Of Mice and Men' starring Burgess Meredith and, I think, Lon Chaney jun.  It was shown in sepia."

Jim Smart, Bournemouth, Dorset, England:  September 5, 2010

The Bunkey

The North British Rubber Co.  It used to be at Fountainbridge

Paul Anderson:  October 8, 2007I

Burry

Boroughmuir School

"I always thought I had missed the  photographic sessions at Burry, but there I am, large as life ..."

George T Smith, Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada:  May 17, 2010

C

Cadiz Street

"As an incomer to Leith around 2000, my street was Cadiz Street, which I presumed to be pronounced 'Kah-diz'.

But it had to be pronounced 'Kay-deez' if one was to be accepted as a local.

I soon amended my pronunciation."

Marc, Leith, Edinburgh:  April 20, 2012

Caley

Caledonian Place, Dalry

My grandfather had a garage in Duff Street Lane where I used to play.  Once, I was given a tyre to roll.  When I took it back to 'Caley' all my pals wanted a shot with it.

George Ritchie, North Gyle, Edinburgh:  August 21, 2014

Caley Station

Princes Street Station (built in 1893 for the Caledonian Railway) below the Caledonian Hotel at the West End of Princes Street.

"Till the day it closed, in 1965, I never heard the station referred to by its British Railways name  -  'Princes Street Station'."

David Scott, Doha, Qatar:  October 19, 2009

"On the way back from a visit to the Meedies (Meadows), I used to call in to the Caley Station for a bit of free entertainment."

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia,:  January 6, 2010

The Calties

Calton Hill

"After playing in the Dobbies, we'd head along to the Calties (Calton Hill) and climb up on Edinburgh's answer to the Greek Acropolis.

Tam McLuskey, Shannon Lake, British Columbia, Canada
Message posted in EdinPhoto guestbook:   April 6, 2012

Candles Close

Tolbooth Wynd

"Somebody remembered her grandmother calling it that."

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  March 8, 2010

The Cappi

The Capitol Picture House

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  March 8, 2010

"The Capitol Cinema, now a bingo hall at  Gordon/Manderson Streets.

It was famous in the 1950s for its Cappi Concerts and talent contests on a Sunday night, and Kiddies' Film Club on Saturday mornings."

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Leith:  Sep 17 + Oct 2 +  4, 2008

"On Saturday mornings, there was 'The Cappi', the cinema between Easter Road and Leith Walk.  You could get in with a jam jar, I think - or maybe it was tuppence.

The rowdy boys sat at the front, the rest of us behind.  I thought Flash Gordon was wonderful."

Jean, Leith, Edinburgh:  August 29, 2013

"The Cappi Club was the Saturday morning kids' cinema matinee, with its own song that the kids sang.  On their birthday, each child received a card giving them free admission."

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Leith:  February 22, 2011

The Cat's Nick

Rocks at Salisbury Crags in Holyrood Park

"The Cats Nick, which is immediately above The Giant Steps which are accessed just up towards Jimmy’s (James Clark School) about 200 yards from the Holyrood roundabout."

Jack Craig, Silverknowes, Edinburgh:  March 2, 2009

"We roamed over every inch of the park, the vast majority of times unaccompanied by an adult. We were really rather wild and adventurous pre-1950.

To be able to call yourself 'one of the gang' you had to scale the Crags at the 'Cats Nick'."

Bob Henderson, Burdiehouse, Edinburgh

The Channel

Kirkgate, Leith

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  March 15, 2010

Chippet Apple

The Chapel, St Patrick's school.

"I've just read about The Pineapple below.  At St Pat's we used to call the chapel the 'Chippet Apple' (Chipped Apple).

Bob Henderson, Burdiehouse, Edinburgh:  October 7, 2008

Chuckaboombas

Anthony White spoke of the time when he lived in Keir Street, Lauriston:

"Our bonfire (a bonny, in the vernacular) took place in a bit of wasteland known as 'The Lane' which included a ruined piece of property that looked a little like an old fort and was gloriously named 'Chuckaboombas' - I suppose because it was a good vantage for throwing (chucking) stones."

Anthony White, Edinburgh:  November 29, 2011

Cinder Mire

The old stone quarry behind Granton gas works.  It was used as a tip for waste from the gas plant.

"We used to glean the coke from the tip."

Dave Ferguson, Blairgowrie, Perth & Kinross, Scotland:  February 12, 2012

"Guiders strong, an barries tae.

We pulled them up the Eli Brae

fu' o' coke tae stoke the fire,

a' brocht hame frae the cinder mire."

From Dave Ferguson's poem:  'Summer Days in Granton"

Cinder Quarry

The old stone quarry the gas works used as a tip for waste from the retorts.

Dave Ferguson, Blairgowrie, Perth & Kinross, Scotland:  February 14 2012

"Doon tae the cinder quarry we’d aften gae
tae gether coke an’ sometimes play."

From Dave Ferguson's poem:  "When We Were Lads"

The Clanny

Clan House Dance Hall, Tollcross

"Across the road from the Clanny was a barber shop.  I think it was called something like Dino's.  Lots of us Teds used to go to get our DAs done."

Margaret Cooper, London, England.
Message posted in EdinPhoto guestbook: August 11, 2011

The Coalie

"Down Coburg Street, 100 yards on the right, formerly a coal yard used by a coal merchant.  It's now part of Water of Leith Walkway.

Locals still use the term."

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Leith:  Sep 17 + Oct 2 +  4, 2008

Cockie Dodgies,

Cockie Dudgeons

A yard at Broughton, approximately where Lothian Buses' Central Garage is now, at Annandale Street.

"It was a big yard off East London Street, always full of old vehicles, mainly army if I remember correctly."

Archie Bell, Broughton History Society (BHS) Newsletter, Summer 2009

"In my boyhood, it was occupied by a contractor called Cockburn, who gave his name to Cockie Dodgies."

Albert Mackie, Evening News, quoted in BHS Newsletter, Summer 2009

"In his poem, 'Fitbaw in the Street' written when he was a student in 1926, Robert Garioch* described boys, dodging away from the Police, going via Cockie Dudgeons, the Sandies and the Coup on their way to Puddocky."

* Full name Robert Garioch Sutherland

John Dickie, Broughton History Society Newsletter, December 2008

"It was Cockie-Dodgies to me.  I knew it because it was behind what was then Cramond's Garage, owned by a cousin of my father."

Ronnie Cramond, Broughton History Society Newsletter, Summer 2009

"No-one we've heard from recognised the name 'Cockie Dudgeons'."

John Dickie, Broughton History Society Newsletter, Summer 2009

The Collie

The coal yard off George Street at Leith.

"We went into the collie***, along the back of the posh Dudley houses, pinching apples.  We'd put them up ure jumper, then run for ure lives."

John Carson, Edinburgh:  February 27, 2013

The Colonies

Reid Terrace, Stockbridge, Edinburgh  -  an engraving based on a photograph by Ross & Pringle ©

The terraces of houses in Stockbridge built in up/down style with ground floor access from the street on one side and upper from the street on the other side of the houses.

To confuse non-residents, the Colonies are named as buildings, not streets.

David Scott, Doha, Qatar:  October 18, 2009

In fact, as well as the Stockbridge Colonies, there are seven other groups of colonies houses in Edinburgh.  They are at:

Abbeyhill
Leith Links
Lochend Road
North Fort Street
Shandon
-  Pilrig  (Shaw Colonies)
Slateford  (Flower Colonies)

Peter Stubbs:  October 18, 2009

The Commy

Roal Commonwealth Pool, a large swimming pool at Dalkeith Road, built for the Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh in 1970.

Paul Anderson:  October 8, 2007I  and
Danny Callaghan, Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland

Commando Buildings

"These buildings were in East Cromwell Street, off Coburg Street, which was blocked off at both ends by a high brick wall.

The the old disbanded tenements there were used during the war for war games by the Home Guard."

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Leith:  Sep 17 + Oct 2 +  4, 2008

The Coort

44 Bristo Street

"We lived at 44 Bristo Street, 'The Coort' a 4--storey tenement with open balconies.  We were all quite poor and most of our mothers went out to work as char-ladies, dinner-ladies, etc - but they were happy times."

Peter Butler, Hennenman, South Africa:  January 18, 2011

"Imagine walking down towards Chapel Street from Parkers Store.  Half-way down on your left-hand side (east) is where the coort was.

It had a proper name (something-Entry?) but I can't remember, what it was.  To us, it was always:  'Ah'm ower by the coort, playin.' "

Stewart Connolly, West Highlands, Scotland: August 21, 2011

The Coos' Lane

"This ran from Annandale Street to Macdonald Road."

Gordon Wright, Barnton, Edinburgh:  July  22, 2014

Copey's

Copeland's Restaurant, Portobello

"Copeland's restaurant was commonly called Copey's.    We used it more for the bakery which was wonderful.  It was just two doors along from 246 High St. where we lived.

...  If I recall, the baker was called ''Wee Eck' ..."

Sylvia (née Deffley), Ontario, Canada
Message posted in EdinPhoto Guestbook, March 1, 2013

Coppie

Sherriff Brae, Leith - 1982 ©

or

The Coppie

Corporation buildings OR a play area between Corporation buildings.

The 'coppie' in this photo was at Sheriff Brae beside Leith Hospital.  The photo was taken in 1982, prior to demolition of the housing.

John Stewart, Livingston, West Lothian, Scotland:  October 6, 2009

This referred to the Corporation housing at the foot of Mill Lane/ Sheriff Brae."

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Leith:  Sep 17 + Oct 2 +  4, 2008

“My mother's family, Jean, John and Janet (Nettie) Livingstone,  lived in the Coppie Buildings.  They went to St Mary's and St Anthony's schools."

Lynda Kelly, Leith, Edinburgh
Message posted in EdinPhoto guestbook:  September 16, 2011

The Corn Field

"The school that was at the top of Pennywell Road has moved and the spare ground looks like it looked in the 1950s.  The part where I played was called 'The Corn Field'.

Does anyone remember the RAF huts over the corn field?  When we were kids, we could see search lights, but they are gone now."

Maurice Dougan, Edinburgh:  September 11, 2009

Corny Lane

Cornwall Lane

"We used to sneak in to the seats in the side balcony of Poole's Synod Hall cinema in Castle Terrace, via the fire escape door in Cornwall (Corny) Lane after a game of 'shapes'** against the boiler house gate of the Lyceum Theatre.   Happy days!"

Sandy Cameron, Edinburgh:  May 9, 2013

** I asked Sandy how 'Shapes' was played.

 He provided the 2nd definition here:  Shapes

Thank you, Sandy.

Corry

Corstorphine

Maurice Dougan, Edinburgh:  September 11, 2009

Corrie Woods

"The 'Corrie Woods' at Corstorphine were great for adventures - no parental or adult supervision, so you could make fires and boil water for tea and climb trees and play soldiers or cowboys and indians."

Stuart Burgess, Devon, England:  September 17, 2009

Corstorphinny

See 'Pronunciations' below

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia,:  December 21, 2009

The Cut

From Trinity down to the back of the Peacock Inn in Newhaven.

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  March 8, 2010

The Coup

Somewhere in the Broughton area

"In his poem, 'Fitbaw in the Street' written when he was a student in 1926, Robert Gairloch described boys, dodging away from the Police, going via Cockie Dudgeons, the Sandies and the Coup on their way to Puddocky."

John Dickie, Broughton History Society Newsletter, Dec 2008

"This may be The Destructor - i.e. the Corporation Refuse Dept at Powderhall"

Alex Dow, Broughton History Society Newsletter, Summer 2009

Crummel Street

This is how we used to pronounce Cromwell Street, Leith.

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  March 15, 2010

The Cut

This is the name we gave to the section of Craighall Road linking Newhaven with Stanley Road.

It called 'The Cut' because the terrain was steep and had to be excavated to reduce the gradient prior to the road link.

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  March 17, 2010

D

Daft Kids

David Kirkpatrick's Secondary School, Leith

"After attending Dr Bell's Primary School in Leith, I was the only one out of a class of 35 who went on to Leithie (Leith Academy).  Others went to Bellvue or David Kilpatricks - aka DK or the Daft Kids !!"

Ian Smith, Ayr, Ayrshire, Scotland:  13+25 November, 2015

The  Dam

Part of the Water of Leith, close to The Colonies houses at Stockbridge.

"At the foot of our street ran the Water of Leith, which, for some unknown reason, was always called ‘The Dam’.  It was called that in my mother’s day, too. We kids would have great fun down the Dam in late spring or early summer.

If we weren’t guddling for minnows, sticklebacks or tadpoles, we’d be building a makeshift dam ourselves, then using improvised rafts to cross the water. I don’t think we ever crossed without at least one of us falling in!"

Bob McLean, Buckinghamshire, England:  November 8, 2013

Danger Woods
Craigmillar

Craigmillar Castle Estate  -   backgreens and open spaces ©

The Danger woods were in area 4 of this map of Craigmillar.  Johnni Stanton recalls when he lived nearby in the 1960s:

"Across from Craigmillar Castle Avenue, looking towards Craigmillar Castle, is the present Craigmillar Country Park.  This used to be the Danger Woods, where there were huts holding the last of the fireworks from the gunpowder factory that used to there. Hence the name 'Danger'.  We found lots of gunpowder and a Verey pistol there."

Johnni Stanton, Craigmillar, Edinburgh;  October 31, 2008

Dead Man's Run

Near St Leonard's Hill

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  December 31, 2011

The Deanies

Dean Woods, half way along the Lang Loan*

* The Lang Loan ran from Straiton to Edgehead.

David Bain:  Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England:  September 21, 2009

The Dell

Colinton Dell

Maurice Dougan, Edinburgh:  September 11, 2009

Diggers' Bar

"A popular bar at the point of Angle Park Terrace, Ardmillan.  Its correct name is 'Athletic Arms', also sometimes called 'The Sportsman Bar'  But, of course, a sports bar today is a bit different now, with non-stop football on TV."

Danny Callaghan, Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland:  November 4, 2009

"Diggers was the bar between two cemeteries, Dalry and North Merchiston.  It was a frequent haunt of the grave diggers."

Danny Callaghan, Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland:  November 8, 2009

Dirty Dick's

©

Dirty Dick's is now a pond at Straiton Local Nature Reserve.

"When I was a boy in the late-1940s and early-1950s, it was a working sandpit.

It had very steep high sides with a steep sloping mass of loose sand at the bottom of the sheer drop.  We used to jump from the top down into the slopes.  I sometimes wonder how we survived to tell these tales!"

Bob Henderson, Burdiehouse, Edinburgh:  August 12, 2011

The Ditch

The backs of the homes at the south end of Beaverbankl Place  -  View from Logie Green RoadJune 2010 ©

Waste land between Beaverbank Place and Logie Green Road at Broughton

"Looking at your photos of the land being redeveloped behind Beaverbank Place takes me back to my childhood years when I lived in Beaverbank Place

In the 1960s, we played on that wasteland which was dubbed, 'The Ditch'. it was also known as 'The Dump' because ash from the old coal fires was used as landfill, as you can see in the photo."

Donnie Graham, Zwickau, Germany:  June 14, 2010

The Dizzy

This was somewhere near Powderhall Stadium.  (See below.)

"Powderhall Stadium is where most boys who lived in the Broughton area went, to  watch the greyhound racing.  We did this, usually, by climbing the fence at St Marks park or at the bottom of the Dizzy."

David Flucker, Kirknewton, West Lothian, Scotland:  June 16, 2010

DK

DK's

David Kilpatrick's school, North Junction Street, Leith

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  April 20, 2012

David Kirkpatrick's Secondary School, Leith

"After attending Dr Bell's Primary School in Leith, I was the only one out of a class of 35 who went on to Leithie (Leith Academy).  Others went to Bellvue or David Kilpatrick's - aka DK or the Daft Kids !!"

Ian Smith, Ayr, Ayrshire, Scotland:  13+25 November, 2015

D Mains

"This was an Edinburgh expression for Davidson's Mains."

Malcolm Finlayson, Arbroath, Angus, Scotland:  November 29, 2013

"I prefer the earlier name  by which  Davidson's Mains was known  - 'Muttonhole'."

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  November 30, 2013

Doak Place

This is how we used to pronounce Dock Place, Leith.

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  March 17, 2010

The Dobies

The Dobbies

Regent Road Park

"Holidays were great times.  We played for hours in the Dobies (Regent Road Park) or the Lundies (London Road Park)I think we climbed every rock on the crags at some point or other."

John Welsh, Gracemount, Edinburgh:  September 5, 2008

"Kids would make their way through the bushes  in the Dobies, to a stone parapet overlooking the eastern end of the Calton Tunnel.

Steam locomotives leaving Waverley Station would suddenly emerge with their steam shooting upwards into the open air.

The driver or fireman would almost always wave to the watching youngsters. It seemed a secret place and, because of the drop, was more dangerous than any of us realised at the time."

Kim Traynor, Tollcross, Edinburgh:  September 24, 2009

"I remember many, many great times that we kids enjoyed playing in the Dobbies. We would go through the fence at the bottom of where all the nice grass grew and play hide and seek and cowboys and Indians, and of course roll the easter eggs in the nice grassy area."

Tam McLuskey, Shannon Lake, British Columbia, Canada
Message posted in EdinPhoto guestbook:   April 6, 2012

Kenny Robertson wrote:

"I was brought up in the Abbeyhill area and sometimes played in Regent Road Park in the 1960s.  We always called it Dobbies, but nobody can tell me why.

Could it have been named after the garden centre of the same name?  On a recent visit to the garden centre, I noticed a picture of a Dobbies building.  I did not recognise it, but the address was Edinburgh 7. 

Was there a Dobbies nursery at Regent Road Park at some time.

Kenny Robertson, Prestonpans, East Lothian, Scotland:  June 7+8, 2012

If you can help to answer Kenny Robertson's question, please email me.   Thank you.

Reply 1:

Mary Graham wrote:

"My own personal theory is that the name 'Dobie' came from the Indian word 'Dhobi' for a laundry person.  Regent Road Park was just across the road from the wash house."

Mary Graham, The Shore, Leith, Edinburgh:  June 28, 2013

Reply 2:

"Regent Road Park may have been called Dobbies after Dobbies' Nursery.  I think there was a Dobbie's Nursery down Portobello Road on the right hand side."

Lily Dunn, Edinburgh:  July 14, 2013

Comment:

"I've checked the trade directory for 1950-51 and found Dobbie & Co, seedsmen, nurserymen and florists listed with an address in Portobello Road, at 48 Moira Terrace.  But that's quite close to Portobello and a long way from Regent Road Park.

I was interested to read the company's contact details:  Telegraph: 'Pansies'."

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  July 14, 2013

Reply 3:

Kenny Robertson wrote:

"I've read 'Reply 1' above, but I must admit I am not convinced that there is a connection with the wash house. I still think that the name is connected to Dobbies nursery.

You were right.  Dobbies had a nursery on Portobello Road, where Moira Park sheltered housing is now.

I remember the nursery.  You could see the greenhouses from Fishwives Causeway."

Kenny Robertson, Prestonpans, East Lothian, Scotland:  July 16, 2013

Doekey

Dr Bell's school, Great Junction street, Leith

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  March 17, 2010

Docky Bell's

Dr Bell's school, Great Junction street, Leith

Bob Lawson, England:  May 26, 2012

The Dom

The Dominion Cinema in Morningside

Maurice Dougan, Edinburgh:  September 11, 2009

Doubties

Madame Doubtfire's Rag and Bone Shop

"Further up the hill at Stockbridge, was Doubties. It stank of cats' pee and wet old clothes !!"

Keith Main, London:  December 20, 2008

The Dough School

Edinburgh College of Domestic Science

"The Dough School was a fond name given to the Edinburgh College of Domestic Science which was at 1-4 Atholl Crescent, until it moved to Clermiston in the late-1960s and changed its name to Queen Margaret College."

Danny Callaghan, Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland:  November 11,2010

The Duke's Cottages

Edinburgh Marathon  -  June 2004  -  Lower Granton Road ©

Cottages built in the 1830s on the Duke of Buccleuch's land at Lower Granton Road, to the east of Granton Square, for workers building Granton Harbour.

John Stevenson, Trinity, Edinburgh:  November 20, 2012

The Dumbies

Dumbiedykes

"In 1951, we came to live in the Dumbies"

Vince McManamon, Darlington, Durham, England:  July 19, 2010

The Dumby

Looking down on Dumbiedykes and out towards Edinburgh Castle from Salisbury Crags  -  probably around the 1950s. ©

"The Dumbies is a shortened version of Dumbiedykes"

Bob Henderson, Burdiehouse, Edinburgh:  October 7, 2008

The Dummy

Edinburgh and Dumfriesshire Dairy

Paul Anderson:  October 8, 2007I

"We also knew the dairy as 'The Dummy D"

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  April 23, 2010

The Dummy D

See 'The Dummy' above
i.e.
Edinburgh and Dumfriesshire Dairy

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  April 23, 2010

The Dummy Steps

"This was the name for the steps going down from Saxe Coburg Street to Glenogle Road and Stockbridge Colonies.

They were called after the Deaf and Dumb school at the top of the lane  -  no longer politically correct.

A Fortune, North Berwick, East Lothian, Scotland:  May 16, 2010

Steps were immediately to the east of Glenogle Swimming Baths ('Glennies').

"On either side of Glenogle Swimming Bathss, there were routes up to  Saxe Cobourg Place.  The route on the west side of the baths was the ‘Dummy Steps’.

The route on the east side of the baths was the The Snakey’ - or The Snekkie’ as we tended to call it.

Bob McLean, Buckinghamshire, England:  November 8, 2013

The Dump (1)

Corporation Rubbish Tip

"In the 1940s and 1950s, 'The Dump' was a large hole filled in by the Corporation with the city rubbish, in those days mainly ashes from coal fires.

When it was completed, top soil was added and grass seed sown and trees were planted around the sides.  I was one of the many pupils at Broughton Secondary School who planted trees in 1953 to celebrate the Coronation.  It is now known as St Mark's Park."

Jim Suddon:  February 20, 2009

Waste land between Beaverbank Place and Logie Green Road at Broughton

The backs of the homes at the south end of Beaverbankl Place  -  View from Logie Green RoadJune 2010 ©

"Looking at your photos of the land being redeveloped behind Beaverbank Place takes me back to my childhood years when I lived in Beaverbank Place

In the 1960s, we played on that wasteland which was dubbed, 'The Ditch'. it was also known as 'The Dump' because ash from the old coal fires was used as landfill, as you can see in the photo."

Donnie Graham, Zwickau, Germany:  June 14, 2010

The Dump (2)

A Hall at Greenside

"I lived at Greenside until I was 10.  My Mum used to go to The Dump for Ladies' Nights.  It was a hall, run by the church, I think.""

Cathy Robertson, Brunstane, Edinburgh:  August 16, 2013

The Dungies

The Edinburgh Council facility at Gorgie used for stabling the horses and carts required to uplift the daily refuse collection.

This site has now become Gorgie Farm

Ian Harding, Gorgie, Edinburgh:  April 15, 2011

The Dungeons

The area around the front of the old Royal High School in Regent Road, that was generally forbidden to pupils

David Scott, Doha, Qatar:  October 18, 2009

E

Eagle Gates

These were gates close to the western end of West Granton Road.  They were at the eastern entrance to Muirhouse Mansion, a large house in Marine Drive.

They were gates with gate pillars surmounted by griffins.

See comments from several contributors in
Muirhouse Recollections

Eastie

Photograph of Tommy Valance, Jimmy Broadbent and Bella Gold (nee McMillan) in East Arthur Place, Dumbiedykes, 1958 ©

"East Arthur Place, Dumbiedykes."

Bob Henderson, Burdiehouse, Edinburgh:  October 7, 2008

Eckybank

  Engraving of old houses at Echo Bank, Newington ©

Newington Cemetery

Paul Anderson:  October 8, 2007I

An area to the side of Dalkeith Road at Newington

David Bain, Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England:  December 30, 2008

Edinbru

Portobello

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  April 23, 2010

The Edinburgh Riviera

The State Picture House

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  October 23, 2010

Eldo

The Eldorado Dance Hall, Leith

"The Eldo, as we knew it had dances and other functions, I think wrestling in more recent times."

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  November 29, 2009

Eldorado - a two-part auditorium in Mill Lane, holding wrestling and dancing functions, since demolished.

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  March 17, 2010

Eli Brae

A shortcut from West Granton Road to Shore Road

Dave Ferguson, Blairgowrie, Perth & Kinross, Scotland:  February 12, 2012

"Then, fleein' on another bit we passed the Eli Brae"

From Dave Ferguson's poem:  'Summer Days in Granton"

Emby

Embi

"This was our name for the Embassy Cinema in Boswall Parkway."

Dave Ferguson, Blairgowrie, Perth & Kinross, Scotland:  February 12, 2012

"Off tae the Emby we did go

tae see Roy Rodgers in a picture show."

From one of Dave Ferguson's poems:  'Summer Days in Granton"

"I remember re-enacting yesterday's 'pickchur' at 'The Embi'  on the green."

Peter Gallacher (formerly Royston Mains Green):  December 1, 2012

F

The Fence

"Opposite Towerbank School, at Portobello, there was an enclosed area.  This was our playground.  It was know as 'The Fence'.

There was a solitary tree there, which gradually died, as it was used for everything, including:

a goal post

-  a viewing platform for the Umpires for 'Cycle Speedway'."

Jim Smart, Bournemouth, Dorset, England:  September 5, 2010

The Figgy

Figgate Pond, Portobello  -  July 2008 ©

"Figgate Pond or 'The Figgy' as we used to know it in he 1950s, was the pond  down behind St. John’s school in Portobello."

Paul Anderson:  October 8, 2007I

The Figgie Burn

Figgate Burn, Portobello

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  March 8, 2010

Fire Brigade Street

Junction Place, Leith.  We called it Fire Brigade Street because the fire station was there.  It is still there now, but has been converted into housing.

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  March 17, 2010

Fishy Tamson

W Thomson's Shop and Van  -  St John's Road, Corstorphine ©

William Thomson, Fishmonger and Fruitier,
104 St John's Road, Corstorphine

Ian Thomson, Lake Maquarie, New South Wales, Australia:  March 23, 2009

Fit o' The Walk

Leith Silver Band, beneath the statue of Queen Victoria at the Foot of Leith Walk ©

The foot of Leith Walk.
i.e. the Leith end of Leith Walk, where there is a statue of Queen Victoria, and used to be a Woolworths

Peter Stubbs:  September 21, 2010

Flaggie

A large rock at St Leonard's Terrace

George Hughes, Edinburgh: Message posted in EdinPhoto Guest Book, May 15, 2007

Flea Pit

"The Salon on Baxter Place, we called it the flea pit but it could well have been known as Scabby Alan's as it's sort of rhyming slang with Salon. I spent many a happy time there watching cartoons."

GM Rigg, New Zealand:
message posted in EdinPhoto guestbook
, January 31, 2012

"I believe that 'The Flea Pit' was a name that was commonly used for several of Edinburgh's  smaller cinemas."

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:, January 31, 2012

Forbie

Forbes Street, Dumbiedykes, around 1956 ©

Forbes Street

"I could probably give you a yard by yard account of what was where in 'Forbie' and St Leonard's Lane."

John Preece:  July 21, 2010

The Forth

"The Firth of Forth, but usually just called the Forth"

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  January 2, 2010

The Foundies

"People who lived in East Pilton might know this better than others.  It was the foundations that were laid for the school which was eventually erected - Ainslie Park School or College. 

We used to leap from a single brick wall to another wall and think it was exciting. Not recommended."

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  November 27, 2009

Front Street

20-30 Nicolson Street, Edinburgh  -   Photograph  taken 2008 ©

"Nicolson Street was always called the 'Front Street'."

Bob Henderson, Burdiehouse, Edinburgh:  October 7, 2008

"The main road  from South Bridge to South Clark Street is known by  'Southsiders' as the Front Street."

Paul Anderson:  October 8, 2007I

G

The Gaff

The County (originally 'The Rio') Cinema and Bingo Hall, Wauchope Avenue, Niddrie.

Joe Currie, West Lothian, Scotland, 7+8 December 2007

Gampers

Those who attended The Gamp disco in the Royal MIle.

"Does anyone know Sanders, George Kelly, Graham Gourley, Black Eddy, Tommy or Big Davie who went off to India, all of them Gampers?

They all used to start from the Wee Windaes bar on the High Street before going to the Gamp."

Lyndsay (formerly Linda)  Montgomery, Old town, Edinburgh:  Oct 25, 2008

Gang Hut

Our gang hut was an Anderson Shelter which was built during the war to protect from falling bombs.  There were lots of places with them.

It was a place where you could meet in secret, away from parental view, and plan daring deeds.

Everybody tried to secrete things from the house, bits of rope or food and the like.  I think the gang hut sprang up from watching movies about  American youngsters.

 Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  December 7, 2009

The Garage Tip

"The tip at the bus garage in Annandale Street. This is where everyone went to get their prized ball bearings for their guiders>"

Gordon Wright, Barnton, Edinburgh:  July  22, 2014

The Garrick

Waste ground opposite Orwell Terrace, Dalry

"There was a large area of waste ground, about 100 x 200 meters, opposite Orwell Place, where there is a statue of two men rolling the whisky cask today. We called it the 'The Garricks'.

The older boys built a cycle speedway track there, and from time to time there were fun fares there.  It was not until many years later that I heard it was originally the site of a company, the Garrick Crane Works.  (Maybe this could be verified.)"

George Ritchie, North Gyle, Edinburgh:  August 21, 2014

Ghosty Valley

Rab Lettice wrote:

"Does anyone know where Ghosty Valley was?"

Rab Lettice, Leith, Edinburgh:  March 20, 2011

Reply from Rab Lettice

"The Ghosty Valley was a small bridge near to the Swedish houses in Ferry Road Drive at West Pilton.  Trains used to run under the bridge.

There was a short path from the Ghostly Valley to Ainsley Park School.  If you walked on, there was a scout hut then another bridge that you could go under to the school, but that's been filled in now.

If we were caught playing there, we were brought before Mr Murchison, our Headmaster as it was dangerous because of the trains."

Rab Lettice, Edinburgh:  March 21, 2011

The Giant Steps

Steps, close to James Clark School on the west side of Holyrood Park

"Many a time, while living in Montague Street, as a 10 year old, I and my friends would climb The Giant Steps then up The Cat's Nick.

If only Mother had known, she would have killed me."

Jack Craig, Silverknowes, Edinburgh:  March 2, 2009

Giant's Brae

The larger of the two small hills on Leith Links.

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  March 8, 2010

The Glassworks Stair

"The first tenements along Rossie Place was  'The Glassworks Stair', inhabited by staff of the Edinburgh Crystal Works in Edina Place."

Eleanor Dzivane,  January 27, 2009

Glennies

Glenogle Swimming Baths, Glenogle Road,
Stockbridge

"At the top of our street were 'Glennies' (Stockbridge Baths, later renamed Glenogle Baths).  Like almost all Colonies kids, I became a strong swimmer and I loved going to the baths, particularly in winter when it was virtually empty and you could go in at 7pm and stay until 10pm."

Bob McLean, Buckinghamshire, England:  November 8, 2013

Goodals

A place at Abbeyhill where items collected for bonfires were stashed.

"We used to collect all kinds of things for our bonfire on November 5.   We stashed them at the back of the greens in a place called 'Goodals'.  Then, we made the fire on the wall of the school."

Ella:  January 26+27, 2010

Granny Smith

©

She lived at 21 West Granton Road, most  older people will remember her from  her  hut shop next to  Sheriff's  chemical store on the shore road at Royston beach.

Auld granny Smith remember her?
A
vantis gie ye if she had any
an tak frae ye jist one auld penny.

From Dave Ferguson's poem:  "When We Were Lads"

The Grassy

Grassmarket

"I'm surprised no-one has given the colloquial name for the Grassmarket 'The Grassy' and  Tollcross as 'Toley'.  Surely we were not the only family to use them?"

Anita Razzell (née Canale), Qualicum Beach, British Columbia, Canada:
December 31, 2008

Grassy Green

Waste land where children used to play at Fort, Leith

"Further up from Jimmy Clark's was Doig's the Dairy and opposite that was a vacant overgrown site - a bombsite? - which we kids called the 'Grassy Green' which had the remains of an old sandstone wall"

Bob Leslie, Glasgow:  July 21, 2013

H

The Half Moon

"I lived at 36 Royston Mains Crescent from 1954 to 1979.   My house was in front of a grassy area that we called the 'half moon'.  We played a lot of games on that area."

David Aberdour, Message posted in EdinPhoto guest book:  November 26, 2010

The Happy Land

One of two tenement buildings down Leith Wynd.  (Leith Wynd used to be a street leading from the Canongate to Calton - the first part of the route to Leith.

"The Happy Land and the Holy Land were down Leith Wynd.  The latter, from what I gather, was a refuge for down and outs, rogues and prostitutes

Perhaps the Happy Land was for drunks. From what I can gather the two were tenement buildings."

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  April 10, 2012

Henny

Dumbiedykes Survey Photograph - 1959  -  Beside the steps leading into Holyrood Park ©

An area where hens used to be kept at the end of Heriot Mount, beside Holyrood Park.

"You asked the question: 'What is the ornate structure in the corner with four steps leading to it?'

Well, I'm happy to tell you, it led round to the back green, or the 'Henny' as we kids called it.  I believe it was called this because they used to keep hens there years before."

Joyce Ritchie, London, England, September 18, 2005

Hermie

Hermiston Park Primary School

"The Centenary of Hermitage Park Primary School comes up in May 2010 Does anybody know of any early photos of 'Hermie'?"

Brendan Pollitt, Edinburgh:  December 6, 2009

Hermie

Hermitage Place Stockbridge;  now re-named Raeburn Street to avoid confusion with Hermitage Place, South Leith..

"I was born in 1950 in a wee street off the main Raeburn Place in Stockbridge, Hermitage Place or 'Hermie', as we called it..

I was actually born in the front room of no 3 on top of some old copies of The Daily Mirror!   Lol !"

Liz Karr (née Elizabeth Henderson), South Africa:  August 12, 2015

Henner Bars

Looking down on Granton Square and across to Granton Harbour  -  possibly about 1950 ©

The railings beside the steps that led down to Granton Square.

Henner refers to the somersaults that the boys did as the swung on these railings.

Kenneth Williamson, Silverknowes, Edinburgh:  Discussion, March 23, 2011

High Street

Raeburn Place, Stockbridge

"Our family used to play a game whereby we tried to remember all the shops of Raeburn Place (the High Street to folk from 'Stockaree' as we called Stockbridge)"

Keith Main, London:  December 20, 2008

High Street Pictures

New Palace Cinema, High Street, Edinburgh - Late 1970s ©

"The New Palace, High Street, never got its full name.  It was always just 'High Street Pictures'."

Bob Henderson, Burdiehouse, Edinburgh:  October 7, 2008

Hole in the Wall

There were several of these:

 One was in Bristo Place (in a pub?)

 One was in Pilton.  It led to West Pilton and Muirhouse flats.

-   One was  in Leith.

Others might be able to add to this list.

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  November 27, 2009

"This was a long, narrow pedestrian tunnel under Leith Central Railway Station, prior to the demolition of the station and erection of Scotmid.

It made a short-cut from Leith Walk via the tunnel entrance at Crown Place to Glover Street (now demolished), Ferrier St (now demolished), Manderston Street and Gordon Street."

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Leith:  Sep 17 + Oct 2+ 4, 2008 and  Mar 18, 2010

Holy City

"This was the name we gave to Mount Lodge,  a small council estate adjacent to Windsor Place, Portobello, because of the allegedly thousands of Catholics who lived there.  It was part of one of my 'rounds'."

Jim Smart, Bournemouth, Dorset, England:  September 5, 2010

Holy Corner

The junction of Morningside Road, Colinton Road and Chamberlain Road, a crossroads near Church Hill with a church on each corner.

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  March 8, 2010

The Holy Land

One of two tenement buildings down Leith Wynd.  (Leith Wynd used to be a street leading from the Canongate to Calton - the first part of the route to Leith.

"The Happy Land and the Holy Land were down Leith Wynd.  The latter, from what I gather, was a refuge for down and outs, rogues and prostitutes

Perhaps the Happy Land was for drunks. From what I can gather the two were tenement buildings."

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  April 10, 2012

The Huts

Bankfield Cottages, The Wisp, near Portobello.

"Bankfield Cottages on Lady Wauchope estate at The Wisp, were commonly known as 'The Huts' because of their wooden construction."

Dick Martin, Borders, Scotland:  August 21, 2014

I

Ingin Johnny

One of the onion sellers from Brittany who used to travel around Edinburgh with strings of onions on their old black bikes, selling the onions from door to door.

Bryan Gourlay, Biggar, Lanarkshire, Scotland:  March 25, 2012

The Institute

GM Rigg wrote:

"The WAAF-run restaurant that I referred to as The Institution (2) below might, in fact, have been 'The Institute'."

GM Rigg, New Zealand:
message posted in EdinPhoto guestbook
,
March 8, 2012

The Institution

(1)

Melville College

"When I was a boy in the 1930s, Melville College was called 'The Institution' .

It's really only in recent years that the connotation of 'Institution' meaning 'Reform School' appeared, and people started referring to the school as 'Melville College' rather than 'The Institution'."

Alastair Berry, Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada:  January 28, 2012

GM Rigg wrote:

(2)

"I am curious about 'The Institution', the only place I ever knew being referred to as 'The Institution' (in inter-family chit chat) was the name given to a restaurant on Princes Street which ran during WW2 and was managed by one of my aunties.

 I beleive it was for Officers only, but I'm not sure. Any clues on this one?"

GM Rigg, New Zealand:
message posted in EdinPhoto guestbook
, January 31, 2012

The Ire

"The passage underneath the back green outside Katie Burge's shop in East Arthur Place  was called 'The Ire'.

An Ire was a small close under a building.  We had plenty in the Dumbiedykes and there would be dwellings in them too.  But as time moved on, they closed the wee house up,  people threw their rubbish in the Ire and it became rat-infested.

When it rained heavily, the Ire would flood, and we would see rats hanging onto bits of wood and debris (ha ha ha ha)."

Eric Gold:  East London: November 21+24 2010

J

Jackie's Backie

OR

Jacey Backys

An area of waste ground near Henderson Street, Leith.

"We weren't allowed bonfires in Henderson Street, but used to have a huge one on waste ground over from Shades (potato merchants) that we called Jackie's Backie."

Willie Hutton, Edinburgh:  January 14, 2009

"I lived at No 18 Fort lace, for the first ten years of my life, from 1968.  This was a ground floor flat with a livingroom/kitchen, toilet, coal cupboard and bedroom.

We used to play opposite on scrap bit of land we called Jacky Backys."

Annie (née Richardson):  March 12, 2009

Jewsy

The Portal Gate leading from The Vennel to the old Jewish Temple ©

©

Half way down the Vennel, on the west side

"Granny Gillies used to tell us stories of the Vennel.  She told us that the area half way down the steps, on the west side, near the portal gateway, was called Jewsy because there had been a Jewish temple there."

Don Johnston, St Mary's, New South Wales, Australia:  February 22, 2011

Jimmy the Juice Bottle Man

"At Binns Warehouse (?) a lovely man we called 'Jimmy the Juice Bottle Man' used to collect all his workmates' bottles and stash them for us behind the rubbish bins."

Lydia Markham:  Dalry Recollections:  February 12, 2012

Jimmy's

James Clark School, St Leonard's

"I went to Castlehill from 1945 until the school closed.  I then went to Jimmie's until 1955."

John McCall:  February 20, 2009

The Jungle

1.  This was the area of the Shore between the dock gates and Bernard Street Bridge.

2.  It was also the name for King's Wark Pub.

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  March 15, 2010

K

Kaydie Street

Kaydae Street

This is how we used to pronounce Cadiz Street, Leith.

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  March 17, 2010

My wife, who is a Leither, tells me that when they talked about Cadiz Street, they called it Kaydae Street.

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  March 15, 2010

The Keepie (1)

The keep left sign at junction of West Granton Road. Pilton Drive North and Granton Crescent.

Dave Ferguson, Blairgowrie, Perth & Kinross, Scotland:  February 12, 2012

"We balanced on a single skate went fleein' doon the street.

We started at the Keepie so we could get some  speed."

From Dave Ferguson's poem:  'Summer Days in Granton

The Keepie (2)

Lodge inside Holyrood Park, close to the park entrance at St Leonard's  -  January 2008 ©

The Park Keeper's Lodge, near the entrance to Holyrood Park from Dumbiedykes Road ©

The Park Keeper's (or Parkie's) house.

Eric Bower, Comely Bank, Edinburgh:  February 20, 2012

"At the bottom off the brae (Arthur Street) just inside Queen's Park, was the Parkie's Hoose (park keepers house).  My mum would say that the bogyman lived there, and if you don't come up the brae and in to the house by a certain time he will come out and catch you and put you in a bag.  By God that myth always worked for us kids."

Eric Gold, East End, London:  February 2 to 19, 2006

The Khyber Pass

Jane Street, Leith

Bob Henderson, Burdiehouse, Edinburgh:  December 15, 2008

Springfield Street , Leith

"Bob Henderson remembers the 'Khyber Pass' as being Jane Street. Shurely Shome Mishtake, as big 'Tam' Connery might have said.

Springfield Street, as I recall, just round the corner from where I used to live, was the Khyber Pass.

Springfield street had a high proportion of Asian tenants, and, whereas in most places, clothes were dried in the back green, in Springfield Street, there were washing lines across the street, on which I remember saris and turban cloths being dried in the summer.  It was an exotic riot of colour in the sun.  Is this perhaps a false memory?

Springfield Street is the one street in Leith that I can't remember ever having ventured into.  I only looked down it from Leith Walk. It seemed like another country!"

Bob Lawson, England:  August 29, 2012

Jane Street, Leith

"When I worked in Anderson Place, Leith in the late-1960s and early-1970s, my workmates and I always referred to driving from Bonnington Road along Tennant Street through Jane Street and on to Leith Walk as "going through the Khyber Pass".

This was entirely due to the high number of Asian families who lived in those streets. Today giving those streets that name for that reason would probably be considered to be racist.

 Some of the visitors to your site may be interested to learn that the seaside town of Whitby in North Yorkshire actually has a street called Khyber Pass. It's a very steep hill leading from Pier Road up to the West Cliff area where some of the town's Hotel and Bed & Breakfast businesses used to be located during it's most popular period as a holiday destination."

Donald Grant, Penicuik, Midlothian, Scotland July 18, 2014

Kimly Bink

This was how some people pronounced Comely Bank  (not far from Stockaree).

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  March 15, 2010

The Kinnegars

"There was a place close to Chester's farm, near Rosewell, which we called 'The Kinnegars'.

There, we used to pick brambles, raspberries, strawberries, blackcurrants, which all grew wild.

We also used to collect rosehips and sell them to our school Headmaster, Mr Hector MacPherson, a formidable gentleman, who gave us 6d per pound."

Pat Reid, Edinburgh:  Message in EdinPhoto guest book:  Dec 7, 2008

The King's Park

Holyrood Park

"A lot of people now call the park, the Queen's Park. 

I remember people calling it the King's Park until long after the 1953 Coronation."

Kim Traynor, Tollcross, Edinburgh:  September 2, 2009

The Klondike

Grand tenements at the corner of Hawthornvale and Lindsay Road, Newhaven - so christened because the date they were build related to the Canadian Gold Rush

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  March 17, 2010

L

Land's End

The trawler 'Gregor Paton' returning to Granton Harbour in the mid-1960s ©

The end of Granton Western Breakwater and Pier, close to the harbour entrance.

(It's a long walk to get there from the shore!)

"Here is a picture of 'Gregor Paton' returning to Granton in mid-1960s, showing one of the West Pier steam cranes at Land's End"

John Dinwoodie, Granton, Edinburgh:  April 6, 2009

The Lane

There appear to have been at least two places known as The Lane.  See the messages below:

The Lane - 1

"Someone mentioned a bonfire (a bonny, in the vernacular).  These events took place in a bit of wasteland known as 'The Lane'.  That was the area between the blocks of houses in Kerr Street, Heriot Place and Lauriston Place."

Anthony White, Edinburgh:  November 29+30, 2011

The Lane - 2

"In the 1950s, 'The Lane' to us was the opening between Pitlochry Place and the tenements in Salmond Place at Abbeyhill.

We spent mony a happy day playing 'make believe' there, as there was an echo!  This led round to the 'back' of Pitlochry Place, right beside the railway and the back of Millers' Foundry.

My Grandad was a goods train driver and I can just remember how he would 'toot' the horn as he passed our kitchen window,coming from the St Margaret's depot."

Eleanor Dzivane, Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland:  December 1, 2011

Laundry Brae

A road  at Abbeyhill

"At the top of Rose Lane* and on the right was a road down to the laundry building.  We called it Laundry Brae."

Jim Wilson, Livingston, West Lothian, Scotland:  October 25, 2011

Rose Lane was the hill leading down from London Road to Abbeyhill,  It has now been re-named Abbey Lane

The Laurie Street

"The old cinema behind Woolworths at Leith.  It had several names, one being the Salamander.

Up until the mid-1940s, you could get entry for a jam jar.  It was a bit of a flee pit.

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Leith:  Sep 17 + Oct 2 +  4, 2008

Lawrie's

'The Bowler's Arms' a pub at the corner of Elbe Street and Mitchell Street, Leith, owned by the former Hibs player, Lawrie Reilly.

"Lawrie was a genial mine host and had a wealth of anecdotes about his days as a footballer and some of the characters he played with and against.

He always had time for a blether whether he was behind his bar or at a function or match at Easter Road. The last time I had the pleasure of speaking to him was some years ago now, at the official opening of the Hibs training centre at East Mains."

Donald Grant, Penicuik, Midlothian, Scotland:  9 November, 2015

Leith Provy

Leith Provident Co-op

"That's a fancy sugar/tea tin that Bryan has.  It must have been bought at Binns, not the Leith Provy.  Maybe Brian has a collectors' item!"

Jim (Jimmy) Little, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada: 11 February 2016

Leither

A person from Leith

Johnni MacKenzie-Anderson, Craigmillar, Edinburgh:  November 8, 2009

Leithie

Leith Academy

"This was the only school that I knew that had a nickname."

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia,:  December 21, 2009

Leith Academy school, Duke Street, Leith

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Leith:  April 20, 2012

Leith Academy

"After attending Dr Bell's Primary School in Leith, I was the only one out of a class of 35 who went on to Leithie (Leith Academy).  Others went to Bellvue or David Kilpatrick's - aka DK or the Daft Kids !!"

Ian Smith, Ayr, Ayrshire, Scotland:  13+25 November, 2015

Libby

Liberton

"As a youngster in Arthur Street, Dumbiedykes, I remember getting the No 7 or 37 tram to Libby Dams.  It seemed like going to the other side of the world."

Bob Henderson, Burdiehouse, Edinburgh:  December 5, 2007

Lieberton

See 'Pronunciations' below

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia,:  December 21, 2009

Little Texas

Near Caroline Park, there was a rail line in front of the shore.  It had sidings, one of which was covered with trees.  For years, this was known as 'Little Texas', and is still fondly remembered as such, even now.

William Dutton, Colinton, Edinburgh:  September 7, 2010

The Loan

Grange Loan (Edinburgh South Side)

Frank Wilson, Golden Beach, Queensland, Australia: Feb 26, 2010

Lockies

Lochinvar Camp   -   A Hero's Home ©

Lochinvar Camp   -   1951 ©

The playing fields to the north of Wardie School (on the East side of Granton Road) were known as Lockies in the 1970s.

This was the site of Lochinvar Camp, a naval training establishment in the 1940s.

The camp was passed to Edinburgh Council in 1946 and was used for the next ten years to house homeless families who did not qualify for council housing.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  November 15, 2008

The Longie

A back green at Dalry, used for games

"I have memories from the age of 5 (in 1945) to 15 of growing up in Caledonian Place, Dalry.  As children, we played all the usual street games as, elsewhere, but there was one big bonus, the Back Green.

After the Air-raid shelters were taken down, a long strip of land was left.  It was affectionately known as ''The Longie'.  It served as a Football, Cricket and Rounders pitch."

George Ritchie, North Gyle, Edinburgh:  August 18, 2014 (2 emails)

Lornie

Lorne Street Primary School

Bob Lawson, England:  May 26, 2012

Low Road

A group of six children on the 'Low Road' at Upper Viewcraig, Dumbiedykes, Edinburgh ©

"Here is a photo taken on  the 'Low Road', the area at the front of Upper Viewcraig Row.

I was born in 32 Upper Viewcraig Row in 1949 and lived there for eight years."

Bob Hunter, Edinburgh:  December 30, 2008

The Lundies

London Road Park

"Holidays were great times.  We played for hours in the Dobies (Regent Park) or the Lundies (London Road Park)I think we climbed every rock on the Crags in King's Park at some point or other.

John Welsh, Gracemount, Edinburgh:  September 5, 2008

"This was the perfect place for playing ‘Robin Hood’ after seeing one of his adventures at the Eastway or the Regent cinemas.

Incidentally, up until it was banned at the time of the Reformation, a ‘Robin Hood’ pageant was held annually on the slopes of Greenside below the Calton Hill. He was as popular up here as in Nottinghamshire"

Kim Traynor:  September 25, 2009

M

Madearie Street

"This is how we used to pronounce Madeira Street, Leith."

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  March 17, 2010

The Marischal

Niddrie Marischal Secondary School

"My three brothers and I went to the Marischal."

Dave McKinlay< New Zealand:
 Message posted in EdinPhoto guestbook, November 24, 2010

The Market

Hartmann Real Glossy Series postcard  -   Edinburgh Castle from the Grassmarket ©

The Grassmarket

"I was raised in the Market in the 1950s and early-1960s.  We lived at 17 Grassmarket next to the Vennel."

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  March 17, 2010

The Meedies

The Meadows

Paul Anderson:  October 8, 2007I

"On the way back from a visit to the Meedies, I used to call in to the Caley Station for a bit of free entertainment."

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia,:  January 6, 2010

"Living in Bristo Street, as I did, I spent many hours at the Meedies, especially during the school holidays when we would be packed off with a 'piece' ."

Peter Butler, Hennenman, South Africa:  February 25, 2011

The Merchie

North Merchiston Primary School

"I went to Merchie from 1944.  The main door and the infants' playground and entrnce were in Bryson Road.  The girls entered from Tay Street and the boys from Watson Crescent.

Elizabeth Serle:  May 4, 2014

The Merry

"The Merry was a nickname for a large common area at Niddrie that was surrounded by houses. It had some swings and a few steel bars you could swing on.

There were small trees around this common area and when it rained we used these for shelter until the rain went off. Sometimes we would have a few sneaky cans of Tennents lager in the trees, hoping nobody would notice."

Stewart Fraser, Niddrie:  6+7+18 September 2013

The Mety Pen

"Can anyone remember 'The Meti Pen'?

It was a close, I think in the Grassmarket.  I remember the words coming out my mouth on occasions, but for the life of me, I cannot remember where it was.

I have a feeling it may have been Wardens close which was at the far east end of the market close, to the well."

Ian McArthur, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia:  October 15, 203

The Midden

The back court at Chessel's Court, Canongate.

"I preferred adventuring around the back court which, if memory serves, was generally referred to as the 'midden' but was not literally a midden, though the waste bins were there.  Hence the reference.

The bins were not individual domestic bins, but huge (to me as a boy) 'Saladin' bins used by all on a communal basis

The bins were emptied by trucks like American dumpster trucks which lifted the bins over the cab, and emptied the contents into the truck body before returning the bin for reuse. Watching the truck, and playing in the court were infinitely preferable to being indoors."

Bob Lawson, England:  August 29, 2012

Middlie

Looking down on Dumbiedykes and out towards Edinburgh Castle from Salisbury Crags  -  probably around the 1950s. ©

"Middle Arthur Place, at  Dumbiedykes."

Bob Henderson, Burdiehouse, Edinburgh:  October 7, 2008

The Mighty Block
Craigmillar

A cycle route, near Craigmillar

"We would take the road from Craigmillar Crossroads, along Peffermill Road, turn left up Bridgend into Old Dalkeith Road, continue up to Edmonstone, then turn left along towards the road up to where the City Bypass is now.  We'd then turn left again, up the Wisp Road, continuing down to the Wisp Crossroads, then turn left along Niddrie Mains Road and back to Craigmillar Crossroads.

For a bunch of 10-year-olds who just built their first bikes from parts scavenged at the City Dump on Old Dalkeith Road, that was a good long trip round the 'block'!"

Johnni Stanton, Craigmillar, Edinburgh;  October 31, 2008

Mixie

Learmonth Avenue, Comely Bank, Edinburgh  -  1959 ©

"The Big Mixie (or 'The Mixie) was an area of land on the west side of Orchard Brae, across the road from the Wee Mixie.

The Big Mixie was bigger than the Wee Mixie and much more overgrown and therefore thrilling wasteland  -  totally undeveloped circa 1962.

I got lost in it as a wee boy and a police search was instigated!  When I was located, oblivious to any fuss, my dad was so furious with me

Keith Main, London:  December 19+20, 2008

"I played in a piece of waste ground between Orchard Brae and Learmonth Avenue in the ‘50s known as the 'Mixie'. Does anyone remember it?"

Lindsay Russell, Edinburgh:  November 6, 2008

"I lived at 10 Learmonth Crescent from 1957 until 1989.

The waste ground between Orchard Brae and Learmonth Avenue was s called the Mixie.

I think it was called Mixie because all the building products for the building of the Comely Bank/Learmonth houses were mixed roughly in that area.

I have copies of maps dated 1914 and 1933 which show cranes in what appears to be a compound at the west end of Comely Bank Grove.

I can also remember there being an area of compacted sand which we played in as kids."

Ian Young, Hawick, Borders, Scotland:  September 18, 2009

"My children always played at the Mixie  when coming back from Flora Stevensons school in Comely Bank in the 1960s and 1970s.

But a very elderly neighbour of mine, who had lived in Belgrave Crescent Mews in the early years of the century, said that this was the site of 'Mick's farm' and that there had been a stream there in her childhood."

Anne Fortune, North Berwick, East Lothian, Scotland:  May 16, 2010

Recalling the time when she attended Flora Stevenson School at Comely Bank, Ruth Holloway wrote:

"I remember the Gang Hut in the Mixie, and going there with the boys!  I was very quiet to begin with, but became quite a tomboy."

Ruth Holloway, New Town, Edinburgh:  October 13, 2013 (2 emails)

Montaygi Street

Montague Street

"When I grew up, Edinburgh folk didn’t seem too keen on words ending in ‘-ua’ or ‘-ue’. Hence the pronunciations ‘Antaygi Street’ and ‘Montaygi Street.’"

Kim Traynor:  Tollcross, Edinburgh:  September 27, 2009

Morningsaid

See 'Pronunciations' below

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia,:  December 21, 2009

The Mound

A group of six children on the 'Low Road' at Upper Viewcraig, Dumbiedykes, Edinburgh ©

"This photo, taken at the Low Road, Viewcraig, Dumbiedykes The wall on the left was round what we called 'the mound'.

I don't know what its purpose was but I suspect it harboured an air raid shelter during the war.

It certainly was somewhere we played on quite a lot."

John (Iain) McEvoy, Craigentinny, Edinburgh:  Jan 6, 2009

The Muir

Boroughmuir School

"I attended the Muir from 1952 until 1958

Margaret Kortas, British Columbia, Canada:  October 17,2010

The first verse of the Boroughmuir school Song begins:

"We are Vassals of the 'Muir,
Vassals of the 'Muir."

Muttonhole

"An early name for Davidson's Mains.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  November 30, 2013

N

Nanny Park

View from Granton Road towards the Firth of Forth ©

The sloping ground to the north of Granton Road, looking down on Lower Granton Road, where goats were once kept.

Andrew Boath, Granton, Edinburgh (Chairman, Granton History Group), 2010

The Nash

The New  International Club, a dance club in Princes Street

"When I was a lad, back in the early-1970s, we used to almost live in the International Club on Princes Street.

By that time, it had been renamed the 'NEW International Club' or simply 'The Nash'.

Every Saturday night we would be there as soon as the pubs closed at 10pm."

David Sanderson, Lake Forest, California, USA:  May 22, 2009

"I was one of the roadies with Reflection from 1967-69 and we played the Nash almost every Saturday night.

Usually the last spot after a wonderful couple of hours playing the Top Storey!!!"

Bob Jenkins, Mayfield, Edinburgh
Message posted in EdinPhoto guest book:  September 9, 2011

The Net Park

An area of land at Newhaven close to Victoria School, where nets were repaired.

"I remember the net park, with clothes poles.  It was behind the school, near the Peacock Hotel, at Newhaven.

The  women mended the nets and we, children, earned 3d or 6d for cutting string into short lengths for them."

John Stevenson, Trinity, Edinburgh  -  May 2005

Niddron

A person from the Greater Craigmillar area.

"The term 'Niddron' was coined by myself and Alice Henderson (Craigmillar Festival Society Assistant Organising Secretary - Planning) back in the 1970s and refers to any and everyone from the Greater Craigmillar area. I use it a lot - but imagine my surprise to find that it's commonly used by lots of Niddrons these days!"

Johnni MacKenzie-Anderson, Craigmillar, Edinburgh:  November 8, 2009

O

Oakie

Photograph taken in Edinburgh, 1960  -  Where is it? ©

Young Brothers' vehicle yard, close to Middle Arthur Place, Dumbiedykes.

"I think the lads here are in Oakfield.  That's where Young Brothers' vans were loaded for deliveries.  It was at the rear of Middle Arthur Place, looking onto West Arthur Place."

We played there and looked for cakes and buns when the vans were away."

Tom Harrison, Buckstone, Edinburgh:  September 2, 2013

The Op

The Operetta House cinema, Chambers St

Bob Henderson, Burdiehouse, Edinburgh:  March 11, 2010

P

Pally (1)

Palais de Dance, dance hall at Fountainbridge

"We danced the nights away at Bungies, Top Storie and of course the old Pally in Fountainbridge."

Sandra Hartland (née Reid), Florida, USA:

Pally (2)

Tram at the Foot of Leith Walk ©

Leith Palace Cinema (at the foot of Leith Walk)

"This photo shows nearly all of the Leith Palace Cinema (on the right hand side of the photo), including the side exit beyond the post office in Constitution."

Jim Macfarlane, Edinburgh:  January 23, 2012

Pallydoodlum

Edinburgh Palladium Programme, 1964  -  showing Csarda Restaurant ©

The Edinburgh Palladium, Fountainbridge

"The Palladium, or Pallydoodlum as he called it, was a great favourite of my grandfather."

David Bain, Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England:  August 19, 2012

Paps of Fife

East and West Lomond  (hills in Fife, seen from Edinburgh)

"Opposite Edinburgh, on the other side of the Firth are the 'Paps of Fife' I don't know if that was an Edinburgh name for the hills or a general geographical reference as in the 'Paps of Jura'."

Stuart Burgess, Devon, England:  September 17, 2009

Parkie

Park Keeper

Allan Dodds, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England

"The Parkie – the park-keeper, from the days when the Council employed retired men to guard public parks, including swing-parks.

They wore a black uniform and peaked-cap, and looked to all the world like prison warders.

In my local swing-park in Montgomery Street, the Parkie had to ensure the equipment was not abused and the 'No Ball Games!' rule obeyed.

Kids were often cruel in the way they would taunt the Parkie until they drove him to distraction."

Kim Traynor, Tollcross, Edinburgh:  September 2, 2009

The Peffy

Peffermill school

"I attended Peffy as it was then called.  The Peffy burnt down in 2003."

Tam Smith, Germany:  July 31, 2011
Quoting a message from David Thomson on the Friends Reunited web site

The Pend

 Part of Gorgie Road

"From about 1942 until about 1955, I lived in what we called the 'pend' right next to Davie's Café, which is now the kids farm in Gorgie Road."

Alex McEwan, Australia:  June 4, 2008

Penny Bap

A large stone in the water at Seafield

"For more distant adventuring, there was the big stone called the Penny Bap at Seafield,  now gone.

If you took a running jump, you could scramble up it.  If you didn't jump far enough, you slithered down and ended knee-deep in the seaweed/sewage pool at its foot.

We used to watch the men burning wee piles of sewage. Happy days!"

Jean, Leith, Edinburgh:  August 29, 2013

Penny Tenement

"Our homes (penny tenements) were classed as single-ends and consisted of a single room with a sink and a fireplace.  My parents had 3 children when we were living there, so things were a bit tight.

When my mum had her fourth child we were moved to a housing scheme in Craigmillar.

A penny tenement was used to house the families of returned servicemen.

I never asked my parents what this meant but I worked it out that they paid a very low rent until they could find better accommodation."

Here, Bob Henderson writes with a different explanation of how the Penny Tenements got their name.

Bob wrote:

"I have always understood that the Penny Tenements were so called because they were sold for a penny, because they were not profitable and it would have cost a fortune to make them properly habitable.

As you will gather from some of the stories on the web site, they were never properly maintained.

Sitting here writing this and thinking back, they were pretty disgusting, but in spite of this we mostly had a wonderful childhood.  Hence all the great memories.

 I can't remember who told me about this transaction but I do believe it to be true."

Bob Henderson, Burdiehouse, Edinburgh:  October 7, 2008

Petty France

Little France

"I'm proud to have been born on 'Little France Farm' in July 1958.  It also used to be known as 'Petty France', possibly a corruption of Petite France, home for Mary Queen of Scots' French servants, while she lived at nearby Craigmillar Castle in the 16th century."

Robert Thomson, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Message posted in EdinPhoto guest book:  June 30, 2011

The Picky

The Picturedrome

"The Picturedrome was a cinema in Easter Road.  We called it we called  'The Picky'.

 That's where we went for the Saturday matinee.  We were pushed along a wooden form as far as possible to get us all on."

Ella:  January 26+27, 2010

The Piggery

"A large piece of waste ground at the foot of Ballantyne Road, probably so named because at one time were kept here in the 17th/18th century.

Ballantyne Place overlooked this piece of waste ground, prior to the demolition and rebuilding of Ballantyne Road.

Just after  the war, Wingy Robertson fenced it off and used it to store Government excess military vehicles that he sold off"

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburghh:  Sep 17 + Oct 2 +  4, 2008

"The Piggery was a safe area. In summer, we held our own Olympic Games there, competing with our neighbours from Bowling Green Street (when we were not fighting with them).

We used:

- any piece of brick or wood lying about for makeshift hurdles and high jumps from .

-  railing spikes as javelins

-  roof slates as the discus and

-  big Yawkers (large stones) for the shot-put.

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  March 18, 2010

Pigs' Greasy Sausages

Parsons' Green School

"I had uncles who also attended 'Pigs' Greasy Sausages' .  I'd better not confess to the mischief I and classmates got up to!"

Elizabeth Bell (née Gall), Murray Bridge, South Australia, Australia:  October 14, 2014

The Pineapple

"Amongst so me of the Catholic families, there were members of our street football team.

We used to sneak into 'The Pineapple', the Roman Catholic Church in Brighton Place, to tell them to hurry up with their 'Hail Mary's as the tide was coming in and we would have only an hour to play."

Jim Smart, Bournemouth, Dorset, England:  September 5, 2010

Thank you to Tom Inglis  who added:

"I've just stumbled across your site and have been having great fun reading through it.  As a native of Clydebank, I can assure you that 'The Pineapple' is not unique to Edinburgh and its environs.

It is, of course, rhyming slang for chapel, and is (was?) used pejoratively by those who are not of the Roman Catholic persuasion."

Tom Inglis, formerly Clydebank, Scotland:  January 1, 2013

Piper Thamson

Children playing with a gird in Jamaica Street ©

"This photo was taken around 1963.  The van in the photo belonged to an old character from Loanhead.  He was known as 'Piper Thamson'.

He was an old soldier who made a living collecting cardboard for recycling, and collecting the old wooden tomato boxes which he sold to the local gardening nurseries"

Dave Ferguson, Blairgowrie, Perth & Kinross, Scotland:  March 17, 2012

The Planny

Mary Frances Merlin (Monteith) at Bingham Place, aged about 9 in 1955 ©

"I don't know how it got its name, but The Planny was the area of grass between Bingham Place and the Broadway.  It is the land in the background of this picture.

The Planny is where we always played football, or sometimes we would go up to the circle, a bricked wall area in the shape of a circle, great for keeping the ball in, which was in the new houses across from Bingham Road, just to annoy the residents."

John Aird, Fife, Scotland:  May 20, 2012

The Plantations (1)

The Big Green, seen from the greens in front of 'The Balconies', Dumbiedykes Road ©

Looking towards 'The Plantations' from Dumbiedykes Road after 'The Brickies' had been demolished. ©

The Plantations were an area of trees, on the western edge of Holyrood Park, close to Dumbiedykes Road.

The Plantations can  be seen on this picture, and are just visible between the houses at the left-hand side of the photograph of The Big Green (above).

"I remember running down Dumbiedykes Lane (the road that leads straight ahead in the top picture, opposite).  The road then turned left and went to Holyrood Square.  We used to dreep over the wall into the plantations."

Jean Rae (née Aithie), South Side, Edinburgh:  April 2006

The Plantations (2)

Woodland at Slateford
"Through the Slateford aqueduct at ground level led (with wet schoolboy feet) to what we called "The Plantations" where we swung from a rope strung from one of the trees in this forgotten woodland.
Access to this sylvan retreat was either through the cattle sidings at the back of the cattle market or via Hutchison Loan.
Interesting that there was Inglis Green Laundry backing on to the Water of Leith near where the old maps show bleaching fields. Tradition dies hard doesn't it?"
George Smith, British Columbia, Canada

Playnie

The Play Centre at Royston School in the 1960s.

Lizzie Stenhouse:  February 17, 2012

The Plowt

Engraving from 'Old & New Edinburgh  -  Fleshmarket Close ©

"This was a nickname for Fleshmarket Close."

Pauline Cairns-Speitel, Old Town, Edinburgh;  August 29, 2008

"No-one knows why this was a nickname for Fleshmarket Close.  It may have been because it was muddy at the bottom of the close."

Kim Traynor, Tollcross, Edinburgh:  December 27, 2009

Poaly Oaly Close

"This was our name for Old Fishmarket Close"

Jane Jones, Cambridgeshire;  August 15, 2008.

Polly Park

Redhall Public Park

"John Stevenson ran the Dry Cleaners at Longstone.  His brother, Cyril, ran the laundry.

They had the two big houses beside the footpath into the Redhall Public Park.  We called it the 'Polly Park'."

Robert Laird, Longstone, Edinburgh
Recollections from his dad

Pollywonskie's

A shop in Easter Road, Leith.

"I lived at 350, Easter Road, Leith, from 1940 until 1943. Opposite, there was a small shop (still functioning) which we affectionately knew as 'Pollywonskie's'.  The owner, I guess, was Polish.

I remember his cat in the window and the sales offers that he wrote in white chalk across the glass.

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  July 30, 2011

Ponderosa

"This was the colloquial name given to the low density housing part of the Leith Fort housing estate.  It's taken from the TV series, 'Bonanza', but the reasoning defeats me."

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  July 30, 2011

Porty

1.  Portobello

"I remember the Figgy Burn at Porty"

Jim Irvine:  January 12, 2009

2.  Portobello Beach

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  April 20, 2012

Porty Pool

Portobello Bathing Pool.

An open air pool with a 'wave machine', situated beside Portobello Power Station.

It opened in 1936 and was demolished in 1980.

"I have great memories of Porty Pool.  I'm sure, in the '50s and '60s, there was no time limit.  You took your towel and sandwiches and sunbathed on the terraces."

Danny Callaghan, Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland:  November 12, 2009

Powdie

Powderhall dog track

Keith Barker Main:  December 19, 2008

The Provvy

Leith Provident Coop

"Aitken & Niven were outfitters to a lot of the schools in Edinburgh but, as my wife informed me, not to Leith Academy whose school uniforms were sourced from the Provvy."

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  November 27, 2009

Puddockie

I expect most people never saw this name written down.

Contributors have come up with a variety of spellings, including:

Puddockie,

Puddocky,

Puddicay,

Puddicky

Puddiky,

Pudducky,

Puddockie Park

Four boys at Puddockie ©

Building Dams and catching minnows at Puddockie ©

1.

"The Puddockie was that part of the Water of Leith at Canonmills.

My mother used to talk about collecting frogs’ spawn here, so there must have been a large frog population!"

Lindsay Russell, Edinburgh:  November 6, 2008

2.

"Puddockie Park furnished kids with frog spawn or tadpoles, that your mother promptly disposed of when you took them home."

EdinPhoto Guest Book:  G M Rigg,  April 7, 2009

3.

"This photo was taken at 'Puddockie', at the bottom of Logie Green Road.  The boys in the photo are  Jimmy Callender, Davey Callender,  George (Doddie) Thompson and  Billy Paton."

Jim Callender, Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada:  April 9, 2007

4.

"Water of Leith at Canonmills, home to puddocks"

Jim Duncan, New Brunswick, Canada,:  May 22, 2009.

5.

"What we called fishing, at that young age, was going to Puddockie (a section at the Water of Leith, just over the bridge and near the old allotments) with our nets and jars for sticklebacks."

John Welsh, Gracemount, Edinburgh:  September 5, 2008.

6.

"On the Water of Leith at Warriston Road.  It was kids' fishing for tiddlers' territory.  It was where the bridge crossed a section of the Water of Leith, just past Warriston cemetery."

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Leith:  Sep 17 + Oct 2 +  4, 2008

7.

"The word Puddockie is most likely to come from the old Scots word for  toad or frog which is a Pudduck."

David Flucker, Kirknewton, West Lothian, Scotland:  June16, 2010

8.

"I was caught skinny dipping at Pudducky with my best pal, a wee red-haired boy called Patrick, when we both lived at Heriot Hill Terrace and were both aged under 5.

Andi Kirkpatrick,  Toronto, Ontario, Canada:  April 1, 2013

9.

Comments above refer to 'The Puddocky as being at Warriston, close to Logie Green Road and the B&Q store (formerly 'Dodge City') but the comment below places it further to the west, near Stockbridge Colonies.

"At the far end of the Colonies was Bell Place, which led to the wooden bridge, the ‘Puddocky’, over the river then on to a small park, 'The Bellsie'.

Bob McLean, Buckinghamshire, England:  November 8, 2013

10.

"Puddocky was what we always called the wooden bridge, as did my mother and her contemporaries as well as everyone else living in the area at the time."

Bob McLean, Buckinghamshire, England:  November 12, 2013

11.

"Further to my note above re 'the Puddicky', it's quite possible there were quite a few areas rejoicing in that name, as 'puddocks', as I recall, was our word for tadpoles etc, which we used to catch in stiller stretches of the river."

Bob McLean, Buckinghamshire, England:  November 12, 2013

Purple Mountain

A mound in London Road Gardens

"London Road Gardens was also our playground.  The two mounds at the east end we called purple (the highest) and brown (the lowest) mountain.

I tried finding them a couple of years ago, but they were well and truly hidden. They were in fact gunnery mounds used by Cromwell when he besieged Leith and Edinburgh."

Ronald Stout, Denmark:  October 10, 2010

Q, R

The Rat Trap

A pub in Nicolson Street.  (Which one?)

ANSWER:  See below

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  April 5, 2010

The Rat Trap was the name given to the Empire Bar. I had my first pint there, bought for me by my grandfather.

It was on the corner of Nicolson Square, opposite the Surgeons' Hall. Incidentally above it was the room where the first-timers to the Central School of Ballroom Dancing were introduced to their first '123, 123'.

Bob Henderson, Burdiehouse, Edinburgh:  October 7, 2008

The Rat Trap was the Empire Palace Bar, on the corner of Nicholson Street and Nicholson Square.

It must have been good; my grandad, who was severely hampered by rheumatoid arthritis and Paget's Disease, would travel there from Craigmillar for a pint or two!

David Bain, Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England:  April 6, 2010

Roly-poly Hills

A play-area close to Pennywell Primary School

"I remember the wee roly-poly hills, just off Pennywell Road.

Jim Little, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada:  October 31, 2011

The Rooms

The Assembly Rooms, Leith, a popular Dance Hall until the late-1960s, now flats. 

Opposite Nobles Bar, Constitution Street, Leith.

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  March 17, 2010 + April 20, 2012

The round house

The front section, upstairs on a tram

"On the top deck at the front of the tram was a small section, which we called the round house.  It had a sliding door which could be shut.  So we used to go in there and lock the door if it had a snib."

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  December 20, 2009

S

St Frannie's

St Francis School  (RC school at Niddrie Mains Road, Craigmillar

"I went to St Frannie's school.  All my mates went to Castlebrae."

Jimmy Dickson, Easter Road, Edinburgh:  April 10, 2011

St Tam's

St Thomas of Aquin's High School

"St Tam's is a long established (since 1880s) High School."

Ian Stewart:  November 12, 2009

Sally Ann

1.  The Salvation Army HQ in Bangor Road.

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  March 17, 2010

2.  Baxter Place

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  April 20, 2012

Samson's Ribs

"Our name for the basalt rock columns on the roadside above Duddingston Loch in Holyrood Park."

Bob Henderson, Burdiehouse, Edinburgh:  October 7, 2008

The Sandies,

The Sandy Hills

"The 'cobbled street, off Rodney Street, north of the shops, leading to elevated waste ground was Heriothill Terrace, and the waste ground was 'The Sandy Hills'."

Jim Duncan, New Brunswick, Canada:  May 22, 2009

"In his poem, 'Fitbaw in the Street' written when he was a student in 1926, Robert Gairloch described boys, dodging away from the Police, going via Cockie Dudgeons, the Sandies and the Coup on their way to Puddocky.

Elsewhere, Robert Gairloch, describes his family's allotment as 'a poor bit of ground named 'The Sandies' , opposite our house (109 Bellevue Road), a disused sandpit."

John Dickie, Broughton History Society Newsletter, Summer 2009

The Scabby Alan

"I recall the Salon Picture House in Baxter's Place, opposite Union  Street, being known as the 'Scabby Alan'.

I also recall that we were  always thrown out the side door at exactly the point in the main  feature, B film or cartoon at which we were admitted.  I never fully  understood the logistics of keeping track of the entry point so many  children !"

James McEwan:  April 6, 2009

Scabbie Alice

The Palace Picture House, at the foot of 'The Walk'.

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  March 8, 2010

The Scabby Lala

Scaybie La La

"The La Scala cinema was always called the Scabby Lala by us street urchins."

Bob Henderson, Burdiehouse, Edinburgh:  October 7, 2008

"We called the La Scala cinema, Nicolson Street,  'Scaybie La La'.  It always was a pretty run down cinema"

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  April 20, 2012

The scheme

Photo 1.

Before 'the scheme'

Craigmillar Aerial Photos  -  1930s  -  Breweries, Roads and Railways ©

Photo 2.

Part of 'the scheme' about to be demolished

Niddrie Mains Drive from Wauchope Terrace, shortly before demolition ©

The housing scheme,  i.e. housing estate

QUESTION:  Did 'scheme' refer especially to an estate comprising rented corporation houses, rather than privately owned houses?

Photo 1 was sent to me by Paul Sutherland who wrote:

"I came across this aerial views of the breweries at Craigmillar, taken obviously before the building of the 'dreaded scheme'."

Photo 2  shows some of the houses that were built in 'the scheme' at Craigmillar from around 1930 onwards.  I took this photo in 2007, when the houses were about to be demolished.

Paul Sutherland, Glasgow, Scotland:  September 5, 2013

The Scotchie

Dumbiedykes Survey Photograph - 1959  -  Prospect Place ©

"This was the waste ground behind the Pleasance Trust, where we Arthur Street keelies played footie.  I've never seen or heard an explanation of this name"

Bob Henderson, Burdiehouse, Edinburgh:  October 7, 2008

The Sheepa

"The waste ground between Learmonth Ave. and Orchard Brae was called the Mixie and the area across Orchard Brae towards Jeffrey’s Nursery in front of Daniel Stewarts was called the Sheepa."

Ian Young, Hawick, Borders, Scotland:  September 18, 2009

The Shelter Close

High Street, Edinburgh  -  Entrance to New Assembly Close ©

New Assembly Close

"The close in the High Street that had the children's shelter was New Assembly Place.  That  was one of our play areas when we were young.

When when you went through the close, there was a wooden structure to the right which was handy when it rained.  We would have played there in the late-1940s and early-1950s, although i can never recall seeing any children there.

The close is New Assembly Close, although we called it The Shelter Close for obvious reasons, or Wee Windaes Close because of the pub that was there at the time."

James A Rafferty, Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland:  October 10, 2012

Shirra Brae

Shirrie Brae

"We used to pronounce Sheriff Brae in Leith, the road that links Mill Lane and Coal Hill, as 'Shirrie Brae'."

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  March 17, 2010

Sheriff Brae

"Many old Leithers to this day, still refer to Sheriff Brae as 'Shirra Brae'.

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  January 28, 2011

The Shore Block

67 Lochend Drive ©

"The building on the right, partly shown in this photograph of 67 Lochend Drive, was known as 'The Shore Block' because the people who lived there all came from The Shore, down at Leith docks."

Ian Hastie, Coventry, Warwickshire, England: June 28 + July 13, 2011

The Shuch

New Broughton

"I was reminded, just recently, of the name 'The Shuch' -  a local name for New Broughton in the 1930’s and which my brother always used when talking of where he came from."

 Elizabeth Fraser (née Betty Simpson, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia:
October 15
, 2010

Skinny Woods
Craigmillar

Craigmillar Castle Estate  -   backgreens and open spaces ©

The Skinny Woods were in Area 9 of this map of Craigmillar.  Johnni Stanton describes the land lying to the south of the eastern end of Craigmillar Castle Avenue in the 1960s:

"Across from that part of the Avenue were Sandy's Boys Club, and a cornfield leading to Greendykes along the old Skinny Woods."

Johnni Stanton, Craigmillar, Edinburgh;  October 31, 2008

The Slanty

"I remember Cheyne Street, Stockeree, and 'The Slanty', the section of wall where boys would dare one another to walk across it ."

Alex Dick, May 5, 2014

The Slidey Stane

OR

The Slippery Stane

Tam Croal and his brother, Brian, on the Slidey Stane in Holyrood Park ©

A large flat stone that children played on close to the St Leonard's border of Holyrood Park.  It lies between the site of Jeannie Deans' Cottage and the entrance to the park beside the Royal Commonwealth Pool.

Several people have sent their memories of this stone to the EdinPhoto web site, including Tam Croal, the boy on the left in the photograph opposite.

Tam Croal, Edinburgh:  February 26+27, 2009

The Smellie Burn

A small stream near Granton Gasworks

"This was a ,burn' that ran from the side of Granton Gasworks past a railway box and crossed the road that ran down to the foreshore heading in the direction of Caroline House.

Every time you went down to the beach, which had more pebbles than sand, you walked past that junction as quickly as possible. I often wondered what was in the water but could never find anybody to ask."

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  May 1, 2013

Smokey Brae

Restalrig Road South

"So named because of the railway bridge over it and the adjoining railway yard at Meadowbank.  The steep slope was great for guiders"

Kim Traynor,  Tollcross, Edinburgh:  September 24, 2009

"Kim Traynor's comments (above) about Smokey Brae are generally quite rightHowever, the 'railway yard' mentioned was in fact the old St Margaret's steam locomotive depot at Meadowbank/Restalrig/Piershill."

Laurie Thompson, Chipping Sodbury, Gloucestershire, England:  Jun 27, 2014

The Snakie

The Snakey

The Snekkie

"The curving footpath from Saxe Coburg Place to Glenogle Baths."

Keith Main, London:  December 19, 2008

"On either side of Glenogle Swimming Bathss, there were routes up to  Saxe Cobourg Place.

-  The route on the west side of the baths was the ‘Dummy Steps’.

- The route on the east side of the baths was the ‘The Snakey’ - or ‘The Snekkie’ as we tended to call it."

Bob McLean, Buckinghamshire, England:  November 8, 2013

Soldiers' Hill

The slope on the western side of Arthur's Seat, Holyrood Park, facing Dumbiedykes.

"The park, when I was young, was the most magical of play grounds, with soldiers marching up and down what we called the soldiers' hill,  and using live rounds at the Hunters Bog firing range."

Bob Henderson, Burdiehouse, Edinburgh:  March 1, 2009

South Ocky

"Helen Wagstaff lived at No.6 South Ocky, and I lived at No.4.  Our our houses were back-to-back and our mothers used to communicate through the pantry wall.  When toddlers, Helen and I were baby sat together."

Robert Sharp, Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada:  28+29 December 2015

The Square

Looking down on Granton Square and across to Granton Harbour  -  possibly about 1950 ©

1.   Granton Square

"This name was used by people who lived fairly near to Granton Square."

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  December 5, 2013

2 .  St Andrew Square

"I was interested to read that 'The Square' referred to Granton Square.

Back in the 1950s, those of us living in the West of Edinburgh knew St Andrew Square as 'The Square', probably because that was where all the SMT buses departed from

Mike Cheyne, London, England
Message posted in EdinPhoto Guestbook, 8 December 2013

Squarey

Mrs Finlayson and others at at Holyrood Square, Edinburgh -  1956 ©

A person who lived in Holyrood Square, Old Town, Edinburgh - near Holyrood Palace.

Speaking of her mother, who lived to the age of eighty-three, Margaret Gunda wrote:

"My mother, June Weddell, was very proud of being a 'squarey'."

Margaret Gunda (née Cassie), Edinburgh:  December 2, 2012

Star o' the Sea

St Mary's school, Henderson Street, Leith - now moved to Links Place.

Frank Ferri, Newhaven:  April 20, 2012

Station Brae

There is a road at Portobello, officially named Station Brae.  However, there was also one at East Pilton, Edinburgh that was unofficially known as Station Brae.  Read about it here:  Station Brae

Douglas Roberts, New Town, Edinburgh:  July 22, 2015

The Steamie

Public Laundry

"In Henderson Row, just before the Edinburgh Academy, there was a place my Mother used to call 'The Steamie'.

Women in headscarves and a 'fag' (cigarette) hanging from the lower lip, wheeling pram (perambulator)  frames containing tin tubs full of dirty laundry, used to frequent it."

Allan Dodds, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England:  October 21, 2008

Stinky Lane

Silvermills Lane

"This was one of the routes to Edinburgh Academy.  The lane had an open sewer."

Ian Lutton, Trinity, Edinburgh:  August 23, 2010.  (This was mentioned by Ian in a talk on 'The Smells of Edinburgh' that he gave at Lauriston Castle in Aug 2010.)

Stockaree
Stockeree

Stockbridge

Keith Main, London:  December 20, 2008 and
Shirley Thompson, South Africa:  March 29, 2009

and

.Alex Dick:  May 5, 2014

The Store

"St. Cuthbert's Co-op (later, Scotmid) was always referred to as 'The Store'.

Ask anyone over  age 40 from Edinburgh, their mum's store number.  I bet they still know it!"

Mary Frances Merlin (née Monteith), France:  October 6, 2008

Strangs

Annex to St Anthony's School, Leith

"We both later attended Leith St Anthony's school.  They kept Joe in the main school in Lochend Road.  He was top of his class.  They moved me to 'Strangs', the annex in Hawkhill Avenue where, just before I left, I was the top of the lowest class!"

Eric Gold:  East London: June 26, 2010

Street of a Thousand Smells

Fountainbridge

"The canal, Mackay's sweet works, the brewery, etc.  Just lovely."

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  October 23, 2010

Swedish Houses

"Wooden Houses on Ferry Road Drive, West Pilton"

Rab Lettice, Edinburgh:  March 21, 2011

T

The Tally Toor

or

The Tally Tower

Painting by Frank Forsgard Manclark, 'The Leith Artist'   -   Leith Sands and the Martello Tower ©

A defence tower built on the shore during the Napoleonic Wars, just east of Imperial Dock.

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  March 17, 2010

The Martello Tower

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  November 27, 2009

The Tarry Road

"Annandale Street, running to the bus garage . It was probably called this because it was one of the first roads to have tar on it.

We ran our guiders on it because it was relatively smooth, and was very fast."

Gordon Wright, Barnton, Edinburgh:  July  22, 2014

Teapot Close

Albany Series postcard  -  Gilmerton Cross Roads  -  Posted 1906 ©

A small street off Drum Street, Gilmerton

"I have found out more on 'Teapot Close'.  The story behind it is that, when the men had finished their meals and went off to work the women went down to the close and emptied their teapots down a drain that was there.  Hence the name."

Archie Young, Moredun, Edinburgh:  May 1, 2008

The Tiv

Tivoli cinema, Dalry Road

Stuart Burgess, Devon, England:  September 17, 2009

The Tinny

The washhouse

"At Gorgie, I used to use Davie's Café a lot when I was younger.  I also went to Tynecastle School and used 'The Tinny' (washhouse).

Janet Porteous (née Janet Horne Cleland Eagle):
Northern England:  November 4, 2008

Toffee Apple

A pupil of Trinity Academy

"TA=Toffee Apple
TA= Trinity Academy
"

Malcolm J B Finlayson, Arbroath, Angus:  July 28, 2013

Toley

Tollcross

"I'm surprised no-one has given the colloquial name for the Grassmarket 'The Grassy' and  Tollcross as 'Toley'.  Surely we were not the only family to use them?"

Anita Razzell (née Canale), Qualicum Beach, British Columbia, Canada:
December 31, 2008

The Toll X

A Picture House at Tollcross, opposite Glen Street.

I went there once, to the cheap seats which were wooden forms.  I didn't fall asleep.

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  November 29, 2009

Toni's

or

Tony's

St Anthony's RC Secondary School, Lochend Road, Leith.

"After St Mary's RC Primary School in York Lane, I went to St Anthony's Sec (Toni's)."

Danny Callaghan, October 19, 2009

"So much for my non-education at Tony's. I'm sure others will have had similar experiences at that  ehhhhhhhhhhhhm School??."

Ron Goldie, Peine Germany: August 8, 2009

St Anthony's school, Lochend Road

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  April 20, 2012

Too Tat

Tootat

" 'Too Tat'  or 'Tootat' was young and not-so-young kids' 'smart speak' for the Edinburgh Military Tattoo."

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia,:  December 22, 2009

Tumbler's Hollow

The unnatural looking large depression in Bruntsfield Links between Whitehouse Loan and Bruntsfield Place.

Is there any substance to the scary rumours of plague-graves in that area?

David Scott, Doha, Qatar:  October 18, 2009

"Does anyone remember when all us school kids went to the meadows to a spot near Bruntsfield called Tumbles Hollow to stick sixpenny saving stamps on a Lancaster Bomber."

Margaret Cooper, Tollcross, Edinburgh:
Message posted in EdinPhoto Guest Book, June 11, 2011

The Tunnel
through to Letty's

Bingham Railway Bridge  -  July 2008 ©

"In the 1950s and early 1960s, we called the railway bridge at Bingham 'the tunnel through to Letty’s'.  We were sent there many times by our mum when she desperately needed sugar or soap or something,

Just after the tunnel on the right was a tiny shop, Letty’s.  It was very handy in an emergency and luckily she always had sweeties too, like the 'Penny Dainty', much loved by us all."

Mary Frances Merlin (née Monteith), France:  October 6, 2008

Tyney

Tynecastle High School  -  The old school  -  June 2010 ©

Tynecastle School

"I attended Tyney from 1955 to 1958.

I had so many Maths teachers, I forgot all their names.  Each had a different way of teaching Maths.  Hence, I failed Maths on leaving Tyney in 1958.

Kenny Maxwell,, October 18, 2014

U

Up the Pend

There were many small streets or rows of tenements in Edinburgh that were known as 'Up the Pend'.   See:

-  0 below, for comments

-  1, 2, 3 below, for examples.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  October 17, 2013

0.  A pend was an archway under a house.  There used to be one along Bread Street.  One of my pals used to talk about going 'up the pend'.

The flat or house above looked as though it was hanging there. I've an idea that there was also one near South Clerk Street."

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  May 8, 2010

1.   There were a lot of pends some of the older parts of  Edinburgh and Leith.  They are shown on large-scale Ordnance Survey maps by a cross through the building.

I see that 14 pends are marked in the Old Sugarhouse Close area of Leith on this extract from an 1894 OS map.

Peter Stubbs:  May 11, 2010

2.  into Connell's Close, Leith

"To get to Connell’s Close, you went through the arch from St Andrew Street and it came out in Tolbooth Wynd, almost opposite Michael’s Café and Annie’s.

I used to live in St Andrew Street and used it all the time, although we used to say we were, ‘going up the pend’

Jan Brown:  June 15, 2009

3.  into Tynecastle Place, off Gorgie Road

"My book titled 'Up the Pend' has 21 chapters.  The subjects include:

-  The People who lived 'Up the Pend'

-  Shops on Gorgie Road

-  Dalry School

-  The Wash House

-  Gorgie Personalities

-  The Co-op Dividend

and various other memories."

Louisa Clark, Edinburgh: October 12, 2013
Louisa's book has been written but not yet published.  - Peter Stubbs, Oct 2013.

Up the Woods

to Wauchope Estate

"I also remember going "up the woods" to play.  This was, of course, the Wauchope estate.

We used to think a witch lived in the big house.  Whoever lived there must have been sick of us kids shouting 'Auld granny witchy; yer bums awfy itchy'."

Elliot Laing, Broxburn, West Lothian, Scotland:
March 18, 2011

Up the town

"To the City Centre, e.g. to go shopping there,  as  opposed to going to the village"

Malcolm Finlayson, Arbroath, Angus, Scotland:  November 29, 2013

V

The Vantie

"The Confectionery shop in East London Street was known as 'The Vantie'. 

It had a machine on the counter which was for the purpose of making Vantas drinks.  I never had one myself, but we used to buy Vantas cubes which we sucked."

Jim Suddon, Morningside, Edinburgh:  October 17, 2008

The Venchie

Children's playground 'The Venchie' - Craigmillar, 1973 ©

©

A children's play area at Craigmillar.

(Is this, perhaps, an abbreviation of 'Adventure Playground'?)

'The Venchie' is taken from the title of a photograph shown to me by
Sandra Givan, Craigmillar, Edinburgh:  October 14, 2008

"I played in the Venchie for years.  I used to go there every day:

-  we built huts out of doors

-  we played pool

-  we went to the disco.

The whole complex was called 'The Venchie'.  This included the indoor activities.

Stewart Fraser, Niddrie:  6+7+18 September 2013

Vicki Park

  ©

Victoria Park

"One lady in my group recalls many of the Leith Parks especially Victoria Park ( Vicki, or should it be Vicky, Park as the locals call it!)"

Liz Hare:  September 10, 2014

Vickies

Victoria Swimming Pool, Leith

"Vickies was like the other pools:

-  25 yards long.

8 lanes.

7ft deep at the deep-end.

3ft deep at shallow-end.

-  Cubicles around side of pool.

-  Plunge baths upstairs.

-  Diving boards and a spring board.

-  Carbolic soap in chunks,

-  What seemed like boiling water coming
    through the shower.

Ian Smith, Ayr, Ayrshire, Scotland:  13+25 November, 2015

The Vietnam

The Dundee Arms

"The local pubs in Fountainbridge in the early- 1990s were the Dundee Arms and Clancy's.  

I know that the Dundee Arms was very rough.  It and it was named 'The Vietnam' by locals - but it's now a posh bar."

Graeme Martin, Glasgow, Scotland:  November 4, 2013

Graeme added:

"The pub was nicknamed 'The Vietnam' after a man was killed there with an ashtray, over an argument about a pool table.  That was before I was born though."

Graeme Martin, Glasgow, Scotland:  November 4, 2013
(Graeme was born around 1985)

The Village

The southern end of Restalrig Road South, near the church at Restalrig.

"I have no idea why this particular area was always known as 'The Village'."

(Perhaps somebody else will know.)

Rob Fender, England:  August 11, 2011

G M Rigg wrote:

" 'The Village' at Restalrig Road South was, in days gone by, a genuine small village with just a few farms and cottages around the church.

As kids, We always referred to it as 'Restalrig Village' rather than just 'The Village'.

These expressions are derived from Edinburgh being a conglomeration of villages, so I assume that the phrase would have been quite common in all parts of the city.

GM Rigg, New Zealand:
message posted in EdinPhoto guestbook
, January 31, 2012

"My mother used to tell me 'We're gong to the village to go shopping'.  This meant either Barnton or Davidson's Mains.

When we moved to Craigleith, Blackhall or Stockbridge became 'the village'.

Malcolm Finlayson, Arbroath, Angus, Scotland:  November 29, 2013

W

The Walk

'Scabbie Alice' (The Palace Picture House) was at the foot of 'The Walk'.

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  March 8, 2010

Wash Hoose

Same meaning as steamie above

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  December 4, 2009

The Watchie's Hut

"These structures were to be found at various places in Edinburgh where buildings were under construction."

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  November 27, 2009

The Wee Canyon

"The Wee Canyon and the Big Canyon. These were shale bings (unofficial adventure playgrounds!) on the Lang Loan* and at Straiton."

* The Lang Loan ran from Straiton to Edgehead.

David Bain:  Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England:  September 21, 2009

'Wee Eck

The baker at Copey's, Portobello.

Sylvia (née Deffley), Ontario, Canada
Message posted in EdinPhoto Guestbook, March 1, 2013

The Wee Eyrie

An entrance to houses in East Arthur St.

Joe Jordan, in a message for Jackie Hamilton's 87-year-old mother who used to live in East Arthur Street (Eastie) wrote:

"One thing your mother would remember was that the entrance to the two houses was over a walkway with railings on either side. This is what we called 'The Wee Eerie'. There were only two stairs like that, Nos 6 and 14."

Joe Jordan, Gracemount, Edinburgh:
Reply posted on 21 October 2012

The Wee Field

Aerial View of United Wire Works + Legend ©

A field that used to be behind 'The Anchor Inn' at West Granton Road, Granton, shown on this aerial view.

Dave Ferguson, Blairgowrie, Perth & Kinross, Scotland: March 3+5, 2012

The Wee Hole

"We ( the Hammy Boys) used to store our bonfire materials in a space between the tenement in Hamilton Street and the Fort wall, known to all as the "wee hole", to keep it safe from the marauding hordes of raiders from Wilkie Place and Lapicide Place.  We used to light our bonfires at Bathfield."

John Cavanagh, County Durham, England:  December 27, 2008

The Wee Mixie

"An area off the east side of Orchard Brae, off Learmonth Crescent.  This was smaller than the Big Mixie on the other side of Orchard Brae."

Keith Main, London:  December 19+20, 2008

Wee Windaes Close

High Street, Edinburgh  -  Entrance to New Assembly Close ©

New Assembly Close

"The close in the High Street that had the children's shelter was New Assembly Place.  That  was one of our play areas when we were young.

When when you went through the close, there was a wooden structure to the right which was handy when it rained.  We would have played there in the late-1940s and early-1950s, although i can never recall seeing any children there.

The close is New Assembly Close, although we called it The Shelter Close for obvious reasons, or Wee Windaes Close because of the pub that was there at the time."

James A Rafferty, Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland:  October 10, 2012

Westie

Looking down on Dumbiedykes and out towards Edinburgh Castle from Salisbury Crags  -  probably around the 1950s. ©

"West Arthur Place, Dumbiedykes."

Bob Henderson, Burdiehouse, Edinburgh:  October 7, 2008

Whale Brae

The hill at the north end of Newhaven Road, leading down to Main Street, Newhaven.

"There is a tradition that the Whale Brae got its name from a school of seventeen whales which grounded itself there."

Tom McGowran in his book 'Newhaven-on-Forth'

Willie the Scythe

Willie the Scythe at Liberton Filtration Plant, around 1969 ©

"When I worked at Liberton Filtration Plant in the late-1960s, 'Willie the Scythe', a retired man of about seventy-five years of age who came out of his retirement each summer to do casual work."

Allan Dodds, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England:  November 28, 2011

Woolies

Woolworths store

It traded for 100 years until 2008.

"He knocked that oot o' Woolies."
(He stole it from Woolworths.)

Terry Cox, Fairmilehead, Edinburgh:  December 22, 2008

WX

West Crosscauseway

"I am enjoying the old photos of WX, added to the EdinPhoto web site."

David Gordon, Old Town, Edinburgh:  July 20, 2011
(David has a shop 'Now & Then' , selling old toys and antiques, at WX.)

X, Y, Z

'The Y'

The YWCA at St James' Square

"Although it was  a young women’s club,  it was a very mixed bunch who went to the YWCA.  Some of us met our life partners there.

We had dancing, table tennis, discussions, concerts and day trips to Gullane etc.  It was cheap and cheerful for us all."

Betty Simpson, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia:  December 28, 2010

Yankee Corner

An area in The Palais Dance Hall where the airmen from Kirknewton air base used to congregate.

Margaret Cooper, Tollcross, Edinburgh:
Message posted in EdinPhoto guest book:  July 27, 2011

Yairdheeds

This is how we used to pronounce Yardheads, Leith - the street running from Cables Wynd to Henderson Street, parallel with Great Junction Street.

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  March 17, 2010

The Yards

The tarmac area between the back of old Royal High School in Regent Road and the Calton Hill retaining wall.

David Scott, Doha, Qatar:  October 18, 2009

Numbers

92

"St Cuthbert's Office Building used to be at 92 Fountainbridge.  It was simply referred to as '92'."

Paul Anderson:  October 8, 2007I

121

Head Office of the Church of Scotland  is, at 121 George Street.

'The Scotsman' newspaper referred to "The corridors of power at 121."

Peter Stubbs, October 8, 2008

Pronunciations

Corstorphinny
Lieberton
Morningsaid

"As youngsters we used to have a go at the posh by saying the the places where they lived, differently.  It might have gone thus:

"Eh think she has gone to Morningsaid or Lieberton or Corstorphinny, but aim not sure which"

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia,:  December 21, 2009

 

2.

Edinburgh

Words and Dialect

Comments - 2008

This section originally started with a small collections of 'Slang' words and expressions.  Over the years it has expanded and now includes a lot of Scots words, commonly used in Edinburgh.

Hamish Scott wrote:

"The words you list under slang are not slang.
They are part of the Scots Language."

So, I have changed the heading of this section:

-   from 'Edinburgh Slang'

-   to 'Edinburgh Speech and Slang'.

Peter Stubbs:  October 8, 2008

Comments - 2011

There are still one or two people who do not feel comfortable with  any reference to 'Slang' in this heading, so I've now adopted a simpler heading. I've changed the heading:

-   from 'Edinburgh Speech and Slang'

-   to 'Edinburgh Words and Dialect'.

However, the content of this section remains the same as before.  Many, but not all, of the words listed are Scots words that have been in common use in Edinburgh.

Peter Stubbs:  April 9, 2011.

A

a ba' hair

a very small amount, possibly less than half a millimetre

"I remember tradesmen saying this, meaning make just a tiny amount of." adjustment to a fitting"

Allan Dodds, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England:  January 1, 2010

accies

accumulators 

"These were electric batteries for wirelesses, etc. that you got charged.  They were heavy.  The containers were made of glass and full ov acid.

There was a shop at the foot of Blackfriars Street that we took them to to be re-charged."

Andy Sinclair, Edinburgh:  26 January 2016

affrontit

'affrontit', usually accompanied by the modifier, "I was fair (right) affrontit", or "I was sair (sorely) affrontit", meant "I was offended". Affrontery refers to something said to the face without regard for the feelings of the recipient.

Allan Dodds, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England:  April 1, 2010

afore

before

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  February 2, 2010

" 'Afore ye go' used to be a whisky advert for Bell's Distillery."

Allan Dodds, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England:  February 4, 2010

anaw

as well

"You can add this to your list anaw"

Maurice Dougan, Edinburgh:  September 11, 2009

anent

in front of

Frank Wilson, Golden Beach, Queensland, Australia: Feb 26, 2010

about

"I always thought 'anent' was the Scottish word for 'about' - as in so many Kirk Reports"

Brian, near Edinburgh, 2 September 2013

I've checked in my Scots Dialect Dictionary (compiled by Alexander Warrack) .

It appears that Frank and Brian are correct.  That dictionary gives all the following meanings to 'anent': 

opposite to; in front of; over against; side by side with; about; concerning; in competition with.

Peter Stubbs, 4 September 2013

area

The house 'doon the area' was the section of the house below pavement level.

"I got my piece from my Gran who lived in a hoose doon the area in Gayfield Square."

Gordon Wright, Barnton, Edinburgh:  July 18, 2014

ashet

serving plate

"From the French, 'assiette'."

David Bain, Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England:  December 30, 2008

argy-bargy

squabbling

"We used to hear our Dad say, sometimes, when coming into a room where several of us were squabbling about things:

'Stop all that argy-bargy'."

Mary Frances Merlin, née Monteith, France:  January 14, 2009

arty farty

someone who was regarded as a bit limp wristed or a bit posh.

"Seen that yin.  He's a bit arty farty."

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  December 17+30, 2009

Auld Leerie

the gas lamp lighter

Keith Main, London, England:  December 30, 2008

away wi' the fairies

not mentally sound

John Gray, Portobello, Edinburgh

Away!

Is that right?

e.g:  a response to hearing some surprising news.

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  December 24, 2011

awfy

awfully, terribly

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  November 19, 2011

B

ba' heid

fat-faced person

Keith Main, London:  December 30, 2008

"I believe that  ba' heid  =  ball-head."

Douglas Beath, Burnie, Tasmania, Australia:  January 2, 2009

backie

1.

A ride on the back of a bike.
See also 'croggie' below.

Bob Henderson, Burdiehouse, Edinburgh:  January 17, 2009

"The bike rider stood and pushed the pedal.

You (having the backie) sat on the seat with your legs hanging out."

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  December 25, 2009

2.

back green

"I enjoyed the film on Arthur Street.  I saw the backie where our cat, Toodles, would kill the rats."

Eric Gold, East London, England:  March 27+28, 2009

baccy

tobacco

"He's awa doon the road for some baccy for his pipe."

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  December 23, 2009

back green

grass area behind the houses or tenements

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  January 17, 2010

back passage

"The 'back passage' referred to the interior of a tenement on the ground floor that led to the 'back green' or communal drying green to give it it's proper name.

I remember a joke about a man going to the doctor's and being prescribed suppositories which he was told to take up 'the back passage'."

 Allan Dodds, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England:  October 15, 2008

baffies

down-at-heel shoes or slippers

"This takes me back to the late-1950s when we would visit my grandparents in Harewood Drive, Craigmillar.

My grandparents were scornful of those local ladies who would make their early morning visit to the shops in dressing gown, curlers, rolled-down stockings and baffies.

I can see them now, their cigarettes permanently in the corners of their mouths!"

David Bain, Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England:  December 30, 2008

bagwash

launderette

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  February 28, 2010

bahookie

butt, bottom, backside

"Be nice or I'll skelp your bahookie!"

George T Smith, Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada:  January 9, 2009

See also "Ma bahookie" below.

Kim Traynor, Tollcross, Edinburgh:  February 4, 2010

bairn

child

"From my recollection, even in St Leonards and Dumbiedykes in the 1930s, adults were careful not to use sweary wurds in front o' bairns."

George T Smith, Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada Dec 19, 2008I

There was discussion of use of the words 'bairn' and 'wean', some time ago on the EdinPhoto web site.

Thank you to Kim Traynor for following up by sending me this quote from David Murison, Editor of the Scottish National Dictionary, when it was completed in the 1976.

“If you hear someone speak of boys and girls as loons and quines, you can tell ... that he comes from the Aberdeen area; otherwise he would have said laddies and lasses;  for children generally, he will say bairns as most folk do up and down the east coast, whereas in the west they say weans, shortened from wee anes."

 Acknowledgement:  Kim Traynor, Tollcross, Edinburgh, May 15, 2010

baith

both

"He held it in baith hands.""

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia,:  January 16, 2009

baldy

a type of hair cut, usually on the short side

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  April 20, 2010

ballup

balup

the fly on men's trousers

"Dae yer ballup up right 'fore ye gang oot."

George T Smith, Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada:  January 9, 2009

"My father, who was born at Lady Lawson Street and is now aged 83, tells me that in his time, this was pronounced balup  (i.e. 'bal up' rather than 'ball up'.)"

Dave McDougall, Edinburgh:  December 8, 2009

baloney

nonsense

"That's Baloney = you are misinformed"

"What he was telling me was a right load of baloney"

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  November 29, 2009

balup

See ballup above

bampot

barmpot

idiot

Forbes Wilson, near Guildford, Surrey, England:  January 29, 2009

idiot,  originally a drunk

People would drink barm, the skimmings from fermenting liquor, which was used to leaven bread.

David Bain:  Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England:  September 21, 2009

bamstick

crazy person

Theresa Lapping, Cork, Ireland:  April 7, 2009

Bangladesh

McEwans Special (Spesh)

"This is rhyming slang used today."

Jim Cairns, Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland:  Dec 20, 2008

Barleys!

Barley / Parley

"The childhood expression 'Barleys!' was used with the accompaniment of two thumbs-up signs, to indicate that one was no longer playing a game such as tig."

Allan Dodds, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England:  October 15, 2008

"Barley or Parley (from French, parlez = you speak) used mainly by children at play to call a halt usually because one side is not playing to the traditional rules, so a 'Parley' is called to settle mutually acceptable rules."

George T Smith, Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada Dec 5, 2008I

barrie

good, enjoyable

"That wis a barrie night oot."

Terry Cox, Fairmilehead, Edinburgh:  December 18, 2008

"Here are a few mair barrie wurds!" -  said by David Bain when he sent me some new words for this page.

David Bain:  Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England:  September 20, 2009

batter

on the batter = out drinking

Keith Main, London, England:  December 30, 2008

"The word batter was also used when talking about giving someone a hiding, e.g.

 'They battered him senseless'."

Bob Henderson, Burdiehouse, Edinburgh:  January 1, 2009

bauchle

1.  wee man

Keith Main, London:  December 19, 2008

2.   shambling awkward person

"He was a wee bauchle of a man."

George T Smith, Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada:  January 9, 2009

bauchle along

move in a clumsy shambling way

George T Smith, Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada:  January 9, 2009

bap

roll or bun

"Mum can ah hiv a bap fur supper?"

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  November 29, 2009

bareies

bare feet

"Bright an sunny mornin’s, up early wis the game,
Fishin’ tackle ready aff we go again.
We trekked tae Newhaven alang the shore path.
We walked in oor bareies, we were happy lads.

This is the first verse of his poem:  'Gaun Fishin' Tae Newhaven'
Dave Ferguson, Blairgowrie, Perth & Kinross, Scotland:  April 11, 2012

bawbee

A Scottish ha'penny

"as in a ballad that we used to enjoy at The World's End bar in Edinburgh, upstairs on a Friday night, of which the first verse runs:

"I bought a wife in Edinburgh for a bawbee
And got a farthing back again tae buy tobaccy wi'
And wi' you, and wi' you, and wi' you, my Johnnie lad,
I'll dance the buckles of my shoon (shoes)  wi' you ma Johnnie lad"

Allan Dodds, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England:  December 19, 2009

bawbees

coppers, pennies

Keith Main, London:  December 30, 2008

bawl

cry or shout

"The bairn was bawlin'."

"He was bawlin' at her over the back green fence."

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  April 27, 2010

beam, beaming

1.

push somebody on a swing.

"One young girl would sit on the swing the other girl would place her foot between her legs and beam her to the highest point and brankle her over the bar backwards!!"

Vince McManamon, Darlington, Durham, England:  July 19, 2010

2.

To beam was to stand up on the seat of a  swing and make the swing go as high as possible.  See also brank

Bob Henderson, Burdiehouse, Edinburgh:  May 30, 2011

beaut

pronounced 'byoot'

a really fine example, as in "that car's a beaut".

Kim Traynor, Tollcross, Edinburgh:  September 22, 2009

bed closet

a small room with a bed, adjoining the main bedroom.

Eric Gold, East London;  October 8, 2008

"Bed closets varied in location:

-  in our Canonmills flat, the bed closet was off the best room.

-  In our Morningside flat, it was located off the hallway."

Allan Dodds, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England:  January 14, 2010

beel

fester, turn septic

Gordon Wright, Barnton, Edinburgh:  July 18, 2014

beelin'

very angry, about to explode

Gordon Wright, Barnton, Edinburgh:  July 18, 2014

beetlecrushers

a certain kind of footwear worn by Teddy Boys.  This one had a ribbed sole.

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  February 28, 2010

beezer

a really hard winter's day

"It's a right beezer today"

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  Nov 29 + Dec 30, 2009

Allan Dodds replied:  "The words 'beezer' and 'brammer' were interchangeable in my day. They each meant a superlative exemplar of a type and could be applied to almost anything, not just weather."

Allan Dodds, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England:  January 4, 2010

Bob Sinclair added:

"In my years in Auld Reekie, I never heard of the words 'beezer' and 'brammer ' as being interchangeable.  I never heard of a biting east wind being referred to as a brammer!

As I remember it, a brammer was something which was really good.  The word may have been a Glasgow immigrant."

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  May 17, 2010

Allan Dodds replied:

"I still believe that the words 'beezer'  and 'brammer' were interchangeable.

From my research I learn that 'beezer' is of Irish origin and it means a 'cracker' or something exceptional.  (There was a comic called 'The Beezer'.)

'Beezer' and 'brammer' have probably been replaced by 'cool' in today's parlance.

Allan Dodds, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England:  May 30, 2010

beiling

a boil or pimple on the point of bursting

Peter Butler, Hennenman, South Africa:  February 25, 2011

belt

See get the belt below

Kim Traynor, Tollcross, Edinburgh:  September 23, 2009

ben

through

e.g. answering: "Where is he?"

"He's ben the room." =
He's in the other room"

Maurice Dougan, Edinburgh:  September 11, 2009

Bertie Auld

cauld (cold)

"This is rhyming slang used today."

Jim Cairns, Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland:  Dec 20, 2008

besom

a girl who was a brat,
derived from a broom for sweeping

Jean Lennie, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada:  Aug 4, 2009

"Women called other women a ‘besom’ all the time, a kind of euphemism for ‘bitch’"

Collins dictionary gives ‘besomrider’ as an old term for a witch.  For ‘besom’, it says ‘term of reproach’, implying slatternliness, laziness, impudence.'

I recall people saying it about others after arguments. The ‘besom’ had had the cheek to talk back or had perhaps been foul-mouthed.

I think it was also used if the woman had done something sneakily, behind one’s back. The most common usage was 'She’s a right besom!' "

Kim Traynor, Tollcross, Edinburgh:  September 22, 2009

bevvied

totally drunk

"I was bevvied on Friday night

Kim Traynor, Tollcross, Edinburgh:  December 27, 2009

bevvy

alcoholic drink (beer, not spirits)

"Are you going for a bevvy?"

Kim Traynor, Tollcross, Edinburgh:  December 23, 2009

bide

stay, wait, watch

"Ah'm just biding here till ma man comes back."

"Ah'm just biding ma time,  till he comes back."

"Ah'm just biding ma time,  keeping an eye on the clock.

-  In the first sense, the woman is just staying until her husband returns.

-  In the second sense, she has been waiting too long, and her man will get it in the neck when he returns.

-  In the third sense, she is waiting, possibly for an appointment.

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  January 8, 2010

bing

spoil heap of waste material from mining or quarrying

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  September 26, 2009

birl

spin round

"Ma heid wis birling, ah had sae much tae drink"  or  "He birled me round the dance floor".

George T Smith, Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada Dec 8, 2008I

bissies

plain clothes police, or CID

Eric Gold, East London;  October 8, 2008

bit

Jan McGuire wrote:

"I think the use of 'bit' to describe someone's home might be unique to the Edinburgh area.

We still say  'Come round to my bit for a drink before we go out'.

I Googled the use of 'bit' in this way and was amazed to find no hits!"

Jan McGuire, Gorgie, Edinburgh:  January 5, 2012

bissies

plain clothes police, or CID

Eric Gold, East London;  October 8, 2008

black Jock

black mucus in the nose

"All of Edinburgh was coated with soot and coal dust.  Centuries of coal fires clogged chimneys. The air is heavy with dirt. Breathing covered teeth with grit.  Even the snot in your nose was black.

Gran pointed out descending black mucus. ‘Ye’ve got a ‘black Jock'!’  All children got Black Jocks. Those with handkerchiefs got them stained black with Edinburgh filth."

Jim Vandepeear, York, Yorkshire, England:  April 1, 2010

blether

friendly chat

Eric Gold, East London;  October 9, 2008

chatter aimlessly,
talk nonsense (like haver)

"Och stop blethering",

"Ignore him, he's just a blether

Kim Traynor, Tollcross, Edinburgh, September 23, 2009

blizzie

"To 'have a blizzie' was to encourage the chimney to flare up to  save having it swept."

George T Smith, Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada Dec 5, 2008I

blooter

Strike extremely hard

Gordon Wright, Barnton, Edinburgh:  July 18, 2014

hammer

"When I was young, 'blooter' meant a hammer.  Hence, 'blootered' meant hammered or drunk.

Allan Dodds, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England:  July 19, 2014

blootered

uncontrollably drunk.

"I was reminded of the word 'blootered' after reading the word 'stocious' (similar meaning) in tonight's Evening News."

Bob Henderson, Burdiehouse, Edinburgh:  December 15, 2008

boak

(See also boke)

gag, throw up

"It was so mingin it would gaur ye boak"

mingin = disgusting
gar / gaur = make, induce or compel

George T Smith, Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada:  January 13, 2009

bob

shilling

Allan Dodds, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England:  December 19, 2009

boddie

person

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  February 1, 2010

bogey man

A bad man where children were concerned.

"If you don't go to bed, the bogey man will get you"

See also 'The bogey man'll get you!' below.

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  December 23+30, 2009

boggin'

smelly

Keith Main, London:  December 30, 2008

boiling

A small portion of potatoes given to 'tattie howkers'.

"In the late-1940s and early-1950s, we used to be excused school to go to the tatties. It was a great shock to the system to have to work at what was a back-breaking job.

We also used to be allowed a boiling (a small bag of potatoes) to take home every night."

Bob Henderson, Burdiehouse, Edinburgh,:  November 15, 2008

boke

(See also boak)

vomit

"That's a bad smell; it fairly makes ye boke" or

"That's sickeningly sentimental.  It disnae half make ye want to boke!"

Kim Traynor:  Tollcross, Edinburgh:  September 27+28, 2009

boney

bonny

bonie

bonfire.

"Bonfires were held on Victoria Day* and 5 November."

Victoria Day  in Edinburgh is the last Monday before 24 May, the Official Birthday of the reigning Monarch.

"Boneys were always being raided by other gangs.  These raids might end up in 'stone fights' ie stone throwing.

Stone fights were rarely dangerous, although some kid would go home with a lump on his head and his mother would sort us out regardless of which side we were on."

Stuart Burgess, Devon, England:  September 17, 2009

Anthony White spoke of the time when he lived in Keir Street, Lauriston:

"Our bonfire (a bonny, in the vernacular) took place in a bit of wasteland known as 'The Lane' which included a ruined piece of property that looked a little like an old fort and was gloriously named 'Chuckaboombas' ."

Anthony White, Edinburgh:  November 29, 2011

"It was great fun collecting for the 'bonie' anything that would burn from all the shops and businesses around Dalry."

George Ritchie, North Gyle, Edinburgh, September 23, 2014

bonny

pretty

Keith Main, London, England:  December 30, 2008

bools

marbles

Jim Di Mambro, South Africa:  December 5, 2008

"I used to wear an old pair of sannies that had a hole in the toe up near the big toe area.

To my eternal shame I became very adept at puggying another person's 'bools' by slick use of the hole in my sannies and a quick flick of the leg backwards to where I retrieved it and 'stashed' it in my pocket whilst innocently helping the person to look for their bool."

Dougie Cormack:  January 8, 2011

boracic

skint, short of money

"This is rhyming slang:
boracic lint - skint"

Maurice Dougan, Edinburgh:  September 11, 2009

skint, having no money

rhyming slang
(Boracic lint - skint)

Boracic lint was commonly used on cut knees, etc. on our frequent visits to the Deaconess Hospital.

Bob Henderson, Burdiehouse, Edinburgh:  October 10, 2008

bowdie legged

bow legged

"There's Hamish coming down the road. He's that bowdie legged you could drive a 19 bus through the gap."

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  Nov 29 + Dec 30, 2009

box player

accordionist

"On the first flat was Davie McIntosh, a popular box player."

J Kelly:  March 28, 2009

Brahms and Liszt

inebriated,  (rhyming slang)

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  December 23, 2009

"This is definitely Cockney, and may have been picked up from the TV programme, 'Steptoe & Son'.  I don't think many folk around here would regard it as Edinburgh speech."

Kim Traynor:  Tollcross, Edinburgh:  December 27, 2009

"If expressions such as this were fairly widely used as slang in Edinburgh, then I'm happy for them to be included on this list (with an appropriate note about their likely source).

However, the list could become unwieldy, and lose its Edinburgh focus, if I were to include all such expressions that people had heard or read."

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh, December 27, 2009

brammer

something outstanding

"It was a brammer"

George T Smith, Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada January 9, 2009

Allan Dodds added:  "The words 'beezer' and 'brammer' were interchangeable in my day. They each meant a superlative exemplar of a type and could be applied to almost anything."

Allan Dodds, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England:  January 4, 2010

Bob Sinclair added:

"In my years in Auld Reekie, I never heard of the words 'beezer' and 'brammer ' as being interchangeable.  I never heard of a biting east wind being referred to as a brammer!

As I remember it, a brammer was something which was really good.  The word may have been a Glasgow immigrant."

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  May 17, 2010

Allan Dodds replied:

"I still believe that the words 'beezer'  and 'brammer' were interchangeable.

From my research I learn that 'beezer' is of Irish origin and it means a 'cracker' or something exceptional.  (There was a comic called 'The Beezer'.)

'Beezer' and 'brammer' have probably been replaced by 'cool' in today's parlance.

Allan Dodds, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England:  May 30, 2010

Harry Hunter replied:

"I remember using this word 'bammer' to mean very good, ie

- 'peachy'

-  'hubba',

-  'braw"

-  'awfy bonnie'

etc.

More recently, I have heard that it came from the Brammah (I'm not sure how to spell that one) Steam Hammer.

This was reckoned to be the best in the world at the time.  Well, it's a thought."

Harry Hunter, Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland (but still a Leither):  Oct 1, 2013

Laurie Thompson added:

"I wonder if the word 'brammer' might have derived from the very high-quality locks (supposedly burglar-proof) manufactured by Joseph Bramah in the late-1890s.

I've no evidence to support this, though."

Laurie Thompson, Chipping Sodbury, Gloucestershire, England:  May 20, 2014

brank, branking

Branking a swing entailed first beaming then stepping off the swing whilst it was at the bottom of its arc and going forwards with the aim of propelling it fast enough to complete the circle and go over the bar

This was not only very dangerous but also made the swing unusable until the Parky came along and unwrapped it.

Bob Henderson, Burdiehouse, Edinburgh:  May 30, 2011

brankle

[see quote below for meaning]

"One young girl would sit on the swing the other girl would place her foot between her legs and beam her to the highest point and brankle her over the bar backwards!!"

Vince McManamon, Darlington, Durham, England:  July 19, 2010

brassic

See boracic above

braw

fine

"It's a braw day."

Terry Cox, Fairmilehead, Edinburgh:  December 18, 2008

"I believe that braw relates to the Scandinavian  bra = good, well. 

(Several, probably many, Scottish words show this connection.)

Douglas Beath, Burnie, Tasmania, Australia:  January 2, 2009

breeks

trousers

Annette McDonald, Montana, USA:  July 4, 2014

trousers, knickers, undergarments

Gordon Wright, Barnton, Edinburgh:  July 18, 2014

breenge

lunge (to inflict a punch)

"The drunk made a breenge at the Polis."

Annette McDonald, Montana, USA:  July 4, 2014

"My mother used to use the word 'breenge' but it didn't mean 'punch'; rather it meant 'barge' as in '"She just breenged in'."

Allan Dodds, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England:  July 6, 2014

dive headlong

"make a breenge"

Gordon Wright, Barnton, Edinburgh:  July 18, 2014

brew

See buroo below

brickettes

briquettes

"My wife and her mother used to queue up at Leith Station to get a bag of brickettes (compressed coal dust I believe)

In  appearance they were like small bricks, but black. Each person was allowed one bag, which they transported back on the bus, under the stairs, to their destination.

Those who had a few older youngsters scored.   In my wife's case, she had to carry them up the street, then up four flights of stairs."

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  December 21+30, 2009

"In my day, these were spelled 'briquettes'.  This is a French word meaning cakes.  My school French Dictionary (1934) also gives 'patent fuel' as a translation."

Allan Dodds, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England:  January 5, 2010

bridge

To headbutt somebody on the nose
similar to a Glesgae kiss
.

Terry Cox, Fairmilehead, Edinburgh:  May 22, 2014

bridie

A pastry, generally in the shape of a semicircle, the most famous coming from Forfar.

"Hey, let's go to the bakers for a bridie."

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  December 25+30, 2009

briquettes

See brickettes above

bronco

"Playing on the swings in the local Keddie Park, off Ferry Road, was another way to pass the time on a warm summer’s day.

We did 'broncos' - standing on the swing and making it go as high as you could, then jumping off.

Many a bang on the head was received if you did not clear the swing fast enough."

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  March 18, 2010

brown breid

dead

"Ah see Wullie's brown breid.".

Terry Cox, Fairmilehead, Edinburgh:  May 22, 2014

bru

See buroo below

buckie

whelk

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  February 1, 2010

bull

See recollections of Edinburgh Police Boxes, below.

"The box comfortably seated two, but I have enjoyed parties in the box with five of us drinking 'bull', the drained wood alcohol from the empty barrels of whisky in the Docks."

David Legge (Ex PC 96 - D), Colinton, Edinburgh:  July 5, 2011

bully

a term used in conkers See below.

"Individual conkers were rated according to the number of wins notched up.  After 10 wins, the best conkers became 'bullies'. Further wins were recorded as 'a bully 5, a bully 8' etc."

Kim Traynor:  Tollcross, Edinburgh:  September 27+28, 2009

bum

boast, brag, a conceited person

Gordon Wright, Barnton, Edinburgh:  July 18, 2014

bum-bee

bumbee

1.  bumblebee

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  December 29, 2009

2.  not authentic

"I remember my mother referring to  modern plaid designs as   'bumbee tartan' - in other words  not  an authentic clan tartan."

Joyce Lamont Messer, Whanganui, North Island, New Zealand, January 21, 2010

bumbee tartan

mottled pattern on flesh, from sitting too close to the fire.

"Her legs were aw bumbee tartan."

Terry Cox, Fairmilehead, Edinburgh:  May 22, 2014

bumbelerie

backside

"My mother would say:

'Sit doon on yer bumbelerie'."

Allan Dodds, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, EnglandRay

Ray Melville added:

"I remember a children's song by the Corries, also attributed on Google to Jeanie Robertson:

'One, two, three, O'leary,

I saw Maurice Beery

Sitting on his bumbelerie,

Kissing Shirley Temple'."

Ray Melville, Rosyth, Fife, Scotland:  August 8, 2014

bumphled

uneven, ruffled

"Pull the blanket ower your way; it's all bumphled  =  could you straighten the blanket out?  It's all uneven"

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  June 5, 2015

bumps

(with reference to skipping)

"When the ropes were cawed sometimes the lasses would jump and try to hold themselves in the air whilst the rope went under them twice.  That was called bumps.

QUESTION:  What was it called when you crossed arms and cawed the ropes as a single skipper?"

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  February 28, 2010

bunce

share the cost

"When we came out of the Victoria Baths at Leith, we always bought an Oxo Cube.  We were convinced it warmed us up.  Well, usually we 'bunced',  i.e. shared the cost and the thing."

Harry Hunter, Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland:  September 20, 2010

bunker

a kitchen top where the coalman would put the coal

Eric Gold, East London;  October 8, 2008

a kitchen worktop or draining board

Keith Main, London:  December 19, 2008

bunnet

a type of cap

When I was young, I often heard the older men saying, "Gie's ma bunnet, ah'm away tae the match."

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  April 25, 2010

the buroo

Some have spelt it:

the brew or

the bru

the dole

Keith Main, London:  December 30, 2008

"The bru / on the brew  (re dole payments) is a mispronounced reference to the employment bureau."

Douglas Beath, Burnie, Tasmania, Australia:  January 2, 200

"Brew should be rendered ‘buroo’ because it comes from signing on at the National Assistance Bureau = buroo during the 1930s Depression"

Kim Traynor, Tollcross, Edinburgh, September 1, 2009

C

cadge

borrow

"He wis tryin' to cadge a fag from me."

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  Nov 29, + Dec 30 2009

caller herrin'

Fresh herring

"Who will buy my caller herrin'?"

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  December 29, 2009

This is an old term that comes from the song, "Caller Herrin' ".

The song begins:

"Wha'll buy my herrin’?
They're bonnie fish and halesome farin';
Wha'll buy my herrin’
Fresh drawn frae the Forth
? "

I've no idea if anybody said that in modern times.

Kim Traynor, Tollcross, Edinburgh:  December 29+31, 2009

Allan Dodds replied: 

"My grandmother used to sing this song, accompanying herself on the piano.  It was composed by Lady Nairn in 1821, to go with a  tune by Nathaniel Gow composed in 1798.

My great grandmother, a fisherwoman  from Musselburgh, would not have used the local term "caller", and in any event, the term had died out by the 1890s when my great grandmother was alive.

At the corner of the Lawnmarket and the Mound (just outside Deacon Brodie's) a fisherwoman in traditional Newhaven fisherwoman's dress with a creel used to sell fresh fish and mussels in the 1960s. She may well have used the cry, Caller herrin', but I doubt it as I don't recall it."

Allan Dodds, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England:  January 3+17, 2010

candle

See snotter

Allan Dodds, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England:  November 28, 2009

canny

careful, gentle, etc.

Bob Henderson, Burdiehouse, Edinburgh:  October 7, 2008

canny Anny

a bumblebee with a white rear which did not sting.

"When I was a boy in Arthur Street, in our summer forays into the King's Park, or the allotments in the Meadows, we used to catch these in a jam jar with a few daisies or cowslips which we called 'sookie soos'."

Bob Henderson, Burdiehouse, Edinburgh:  January 6, 2009

canter

hang on to a vehicle, such as a coal lorry

Eric Gold, East London;  October 7, 2008

"Another form of potentially hazardous entertainment was 'the canter’. This involved hanging around Magoni’s shop until one of the older open-backed buses came along.

If the conductor wasn’t at the bottom of the stairs, you would jump on and get a hurl for about fifteen feet or so and you jumped off before the bus got up to full steam.

Donny Coutts, East Lothian, Scotland:  August 3, 2010

catchy

a game played with a ball (See below.)

"Our local pigs' bin stood near a lamp post, about outside No 321 in Pilton Avenue.

Our bin was used to stot balls of off.  Being round, this was great fun for catchy, a game where you had to catch the ball before it hit the ground."

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  January 14+17, 2010

cat's cradle

"A game that children used to play with a bit of string. The string was fashioned  into a cradle by transferring it from one person to another.  It came out in what was called a cat's cradle"

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  December 29 2009

causies

cobble stones

"I'm fawin on the cosies = I'm falling down on the cobble stones.."

Andy Sinclair, Edinburgh:  26 January 2016

caw

1.  See 'caw canny' below

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  December 29 2009

2.  turn a rope over

"In Street games, mainly played by girls, the ones on the end of the rope did the cawin'.

There was a game that used two ropes being cawed, but I can't remember what it was called (Switchy?)"

Frank Wilson, Golden Beach, Queensland, Australia: Feb 26, 2010

chainy tig

"Chainy Tig was a game of tig, but if caught you had to link on to whoever was het, until a whole line stretched behind them."

Jean, Leith, Edinburgh, August 29, 2013

champ (1)

mash

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  December 29 2009

champ (2)

"At 'Grassy Green' there was the remains of an old sandstone wall

We would bash together wee bits of the sandstone that had fallen off the wall to make a powder that we called 'champ'. We would pretend it was gold dust as we played at Cowboys."

Bob Leslie, Glasgow:  July 21, 2013

champit tatties

mashed potatos

"D'ye fancy some champit tatties fur dinner?"

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  December 17+30, 2009

chancer

con man

"See that Angus.  He's a right chancer."

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  December 17+30, 2009

chap

knock

"There's somebody chappin' at the door."

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  December 7, 2009

Chap Door Run

"Chap Door Run was a great game.  We tied two door handles of opposite houses together, knocking on the doors and hiding in the bushes, watching the people trying to open their doors, was great funomg, if my boys had done that when they were young, they would have been grounded for life."

Tricia Mcdonald (née Thomson):
Message posted in EdinPhoto Guestbook, March 15, 2013

chapped hands

sore hands, usually in winter time

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  December 29, 2009

"Chapped hands were hands cracked  by the cold.  That's redolent of balaclavas, wellies, sledging, etc."

Kim Traynor, Tollcross, Edinburgh:  December 29, 2009

cheese cutter

equipment in children's playground

"It was a beam hung from 2 double arms that swung back and forth in a frame. The beam had metal bicycle saddle shaped seats and a metal grip to hold onto.

The brave kids would take an end each and stand holding the arms and they would 'beam' (boost) the riders higher and higher, as far and as fast as they could."

There was a cheese cutter, a chute or two, a witch's hat, a spider's web and  a couple of roundabouts and swings in the playground where I played on my way back from London Street School."

EdinPhoto Guest Book:  G M Rigg,  June 12, 2009

chennah wallies

false teeth

Keith Main, London:  December 19, 2008

chewie

a stick of chewing tobacco

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  March 22, 2010

China

mate:    "Hello my old China"
(rhyming slang 'China plate)

"This, and other rhyming slang originated around the 1960s.  It may have represented a  transient linguistic phenomenon, but we used these terms all the time and  possibly invented a few of our own.

Some possibly came from television  programmes such as Coronation Street, but they were avidly adopted by us in Edinburgh, and  used as a sign of being 'with it'."

Allan Dodds, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England:  November 13, 2009,

chippie

fish 'n' chip shop

"In the 1950s, my local chippie was Miele’s in Easter Road where you could buy a pie supper for 1/3d (one shilling and thruppence) on your way home from the Speedway at Meadowbank."

Kim Traynor, Tollcross, Edinburgh:  September 25, 2009

chippie sauce

a brown sauce for fish and chips.

"This is made to a recipe apparently only known in Edinburgh".

Kim Traynor, Tollcross, Edinburgh:  September 25, 2009

Chiselchin

Nickname given to one of the local policemen in the Cowgate

"Talking about Basher Thompson, can anyone remember the other local Policeman, the one we used to call Chiselchin?"

Ron McGrouther, Prudhoe, Northumberland, England, May 18, 2009

chittery bite

"A chittery bite (some called it a shivery bite) was what you had to eat on the bus after a visit to the swimming baths at Dalry or Infirmary Street.  Both baths very cold, as I recall."

Stuart Burgess, Devon, England:  September 17, 2009

chiv

a knife

This is related in some way to the verb 'chivvy', meaning to annoy or aggravate.

Allan Dodds, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England:  November 29, 2009,

chorie

choarie

steal, pockle

"He choried it frae Woolies."

Terry Cox, Fairmilehead, Edinburgh:  May 22, 2014

steal

"Stall yer mangin gadgie and deek at the groanie av jist choaried."

Jim Di Mambro, South Africa:  December 5, 2008

Jim added that he is not sure about the spelling.

 

"If you got caught choarieing, yer paw would gie you laldie."

Maurice Dougan, Edinburgh:  September 11, 2009

"This word is a kid's diminutive of 'to chore' so the spelling should be 'chorie'."

Kim Traynor, Tollcross, Edinburgh:  September 20, 2009

"We had a family friend who had spent a great deal of her life in Borneo. She was surprised when she overheard me using the words 'chorie and 'shottie' (spelling doubtful!).

'Chore' was native for steal and 'shote' for lookout. Perhaps they were brought back by servicemen"

Ian Young, Hawick, Borders, Scotland:  July 22, 2010

chuckie stanes

1.  a game using small stones.

"Chuckie stanes or five stanes was a game we played as kids. The object of the game was to throw stones in the air and catch them on the back of your hand.

Any that dropped, you had to pick  up by throwing a stone in the air, picking up your targeted stone, then catching the stone you had just thrown before it fell on the ground.

I think you had to progress to throwing two stones in the air, picking up your target stone, then again catching both the stones previously thrown and so on."

Graeme Fulton, Ormiston, East Lothian, Scotland:  July 15, 2009

2.  white pebbles

"These were sometimes translucent.  If you struck two together in the dark, you'd get a sort of spark.  Try it and you'll see what I mean."

Stuart Burgess, Devon, England:  September 17, 2009

2.  white pebbles

"That sounds like flint."

Kim Traynor, Tollcross, Edinburgh:  December 23, 2009

chunky

Toilets

"The banana flats at Leith won an award, albeit that it was the chunkies that overlooked the Forth."

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia,  December 21, 2009

churls

"Churls were small, washed lumps of coal sold in factory-sealed, thick-brown paper bags weighing 28lbs.

I collected one bag weekly from a local general store in West Granton Road when I lived in Royston Mains Avenue in the mid-1960s. The bag was big for a small teenager, so I had to carry it over my shoulder."

Kim Traynor, Tollcross, Edinburgh:  December 11, 2009

chute

equipment in children's playground

"It was a ladder and slide.  They could be quite high up and we discovered that if you could get a bread wrapper (the wax paper kind) turn it inside out then sit on it with the inside down on the slide, it helped to polish or lubricate the metal slide, increasing the speed at which you could whizz down and off the end."

There was a cheese cutter, a chute or two, a witch's hat, a spider's web and  a couple of roundabouts and swings in the playground where I played on my way back from London Street School."

EdinPhoto Guest Book:  G M Rigg,  June 12, 2009

claes

garments worn on the body, clothes

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  February 1, 2010

clap

1.

flatten (as in example below)

"'Don't clap yer hair intae yer heid like that' meant 'Don't matt your hair into your head like that'.

This was often said to the son when he had flattened his hair to his skull with water."

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  March 24,  2014

2.

a certain kind of footwear worn by Teddy Boys.  This one had a ribbed sole.

Kim Traynor, Tollcross, Edinburgh, September 23, 2009

clart

1.

rubbish

"In the 1960s, we used the word 'yad' to mean 'rubbish' or 'clart'."

Allan Dodds, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England:  December 11, 2009,

2.

someone who is dirty, filthy, clarty

Gordon Wright, Barnton, Edinburgh:  July 18, 2014

clarty

dirty

"Look at your hands.  They're clarty!"

Terry Cox, Fairmilehead, Edinburgh:  December 30, 2008

In my family, they said:  'You're clarty behind the ears.'

Kim Traynor, Tollcross, Edinburgh, October 4, 2009

clairty, clairty

See clarty below.

"We used to shout "clairty, clairty" indicating the unclean."

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  December 4, 2009

cleg

clegg

big flea

Keith Main, London, England:  December 30, 2008

"To me and my comrades, a clegg was the horrible black creature that inhabited what I think was called cuckoo spit (that looked like frothy spit) on some long grasses.

I believe these creatures had the ability to bite."

Bob Henderson, Burdiehouse, Edinburgh:  January 17, 2009

horsefly

"They certainly could bite."

David Bain, Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England:  March 12, 2009

'Cleg' is a Norse word for horsefly.

Someone told me, just recently, that they were being bitten by these insects on holiday and were taken aback when they heard Swedes using the same word as we use in Scotland.

Kim Traynor, Tollcross, Edinburgh:  September 20+30, 2009

cleip

See clype below

clipe

See clype below

Clippie

bus conductress

"Come on, let's go upstairs.  The Clippie's coming."
(A means of avoiding payment.)

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  December 4+30, 2009

clipshear

earwig

"Old fence posts were usually crawling with clipshears.  They also got on the rope left outside to hang the laundry."

Ken Smith, Calgary, Alberta, Canada:  December 31, 2008

earwig

"This word seems unknown outside Edinburgh. I've been given many a puzzled look when I've used the word."

Stuart Burgess, Devon, England:  September 17, 2009

"For years, I thought clipshears and earwigs must be separate species. I had seen plenty clipshears, but I was waiting to see my first earwig! 

I remember feeling great trepidation at the prospect because of the old wives’ tale that others must know - that it had a habit of entering your ear while you were asleep, burrowing through your brain and coming out the opposite side.

That gave me many a sleepless night, especially since I didn’t know what it looked like!"

Kim Traynor, Tollcross, Edinburgh:  September 21, 2009

cloaker

"a big black ground beetle.

(Interestingly, the Russian word for beetle is 'clocha'.)"

David Bain, Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England:  December 30, 2008

cloot

cloth,  e.g. dish cloth

Jean Lennie, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada:  Aug 4, 2009

clootie dumpling

"I remember a childhood delicacy a 'clootie dumpling'.  This was like a Christmas fruit cake mix but put in a clean pillow case and boiled.

When cooked, it would be dried in front of the open fire, all the while being turned to get an even, smooth, shiny surface all round.

When it was cool and sliced it was sometimes fried in butter  -  a heart attack waiting to happen, but wonderful

Bob Henderson, Burdiehouse, Edinburgh:  September 21, 2009

a rich dark fruitcake

"My Gran made clootie dumplings.  The mix was put in a pillow slip and boiled or steamed in an equally big pot. 

It was wonderful!  On special occasions, there were tanners or silver three-pennies in it.

I remember seeing big slices of dumpling on sale in some shops."

Gordon Wright, Barnton, Edinburgh:  July 18, 2014

close

passage that led to a stair

"Your faither's waitin' fur you up the close.  Oh no!"

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  December 17+30, 2009

clout

slap, hit

"I often used to hear also another version of an upcoming slap. Mum’s would warn:

'Ye'll get a clout around the ear if ye’r no careful'.”

Mary Frances Merlin, née Monteith, France:  January 14, 2009

cludgie

outside loo

Keith Main, London:  December 30, 2008

clype

cleip

clipe

to tell tales.

"'He wis aye clyping oan his pals."

A clype was someone who did it.

"Away, ya wee clype."

Terry Cox, Fairmilehead, Edinburgh:  December 22, 2008

to rat on someone

Jean Lennie, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada:  Aug 4, 2009

betray trust

"Yer a clype" or "Yea clyped on me" meaning that someone you know had betrayed your trust and told somebody (usually your parents) that you'd done something wrong.

Forbes Wilson, near Guildford, Surrey, England:  January 29, 2009
Forbes was reminded of the word 'kleip' by his 78-year-old mother.

"Some people have spelt the word 'kleip' or klipe' but the correct spelling is 'clype' ."  

[I have changed the spelling above to agree with Kim's comments here.]

Kim Traynor, Tollcross, Edinburgh:  September 20, 2009

"A 'tell-tail-tit'.  One who spilt the beans when they were not supposed to."

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  December 7, 2009

coal cellar

a cupboard in the lobby where the coal was kept, if you never used the bunker.

Eric Gold, East London;  October 8, 2008

collie buckie

colliebuckie

being carried on another kid's back

Keith Main, London:  December 19, 2008

"A colliebuckie is a piggyback. 
A friend from
Bo'ness calls it a 'culliecode'. 

Stuart Burgess, Devon, England:  September 17, 2009

"Collie buckie comes from the idea of carrying coals on your back, as coal merchants did when they delivered it in sacks."

Kim Traynor, Tollcross, Edinburgh:  September 20, 2009

piggy back

"When you felt tired. you might ask a friend 'Gawn, gees a collie buckie.' We sometimes used to have collie buckie races."

Brian Gourlay, Biggar, Lanarkshire Scotland:  September 3, 2013

coorie doon

Snuggle down between the sheets at bedtime.

"My mother used to say this to me when I was very small."

Allan Dodds, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England:  November 30, 2009

"When I was visiting my grannie and getting tired, she used to tell me to come to her and coorie doon."

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  March 16, 2010

coorie in

Cuddle up to keep warm

"My mother used to say this to me when I was very small."

Allan Dodds, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England:  November 30, 2009

coo's lick

1. "This seemed to apply mostly to boys who had a stubborn tuft of hair hanging down over their forehead – which would stubbornly resist any attempt by mothers to comb it or brush it in a backwards direction. Brylcream only worked for a few minutes before the tuft stubbornly resumed its rightful place.

The only thing that could overcome the will of the tuft (for a while) was the white concoction hairdressers insisted on putting on young boys’ hair – a bit like wallpaper paste which went instantly brick-hard.

I don’t know what the link is with a cow or, for that matter, a cow’s lick or tongue."

Brian Gourlay, Biggar, Lanarkshire Scotland:  October 8, 2008

2. "The expression 'coo's lick' was also used as below:

After washing your face, your mother would say 'that's a coo's lick'.  In other words,  'get back and wash it properly'."

Andy Duff, Maryborough, Queensland, Australia:  October 19, 2008.

corn beef

corned beef

deaf  (rhyming slang: deif )

"Ye can say what ye want.  He's corn beef."

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  December 17+30, 2009

corned tiger

corned beef

"My mother always referred to corned beef as corned tiger."

George Ramsay, Spain + UK:  October 5, 2011

The Corpo

Edinburgh Corporation Transport Dept

"I was a 'Parcel Boy' from 1957 until I started my Apprenticeship as a Fitter and Tuner with the 'Corpo' in 1958."

Jim Paton, Australia:  November 5, 2009

The Corpy

Corporation buses, as distinct from SMT

David Scott, Doha, Qatar:  October 19, 2009

corrie dukit

corrie joukit

left-handed

"Aye, ye notice he's corrie joukit?"

Keith Main, London:  December 30, 2008

"corrie joukit (I'm not sure how you spelt it) meant 'left-handed'."

Bill Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  December 21, 2009

cowp

empty by turning over

"I heard at a posh wedding once, wee kids saying to their grandad, on seeing the beautiful big round silver soup spoons “Whit dae ye dae wi that?”

Their grandad replied:

'Jist cowp it ower, son'

meaning just tip it over (into your mouth)."

Mary Frances Merlin, née Monteith, France:  January 14, 2009

cowp over

fall

"Ah hear Andra cowped over"

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  December 29, 2009

crackin' on

imparting some news

"What wis he sayin'?

"He wis crackin' on aboot the minister."

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia: February 1, 2010

craik

make a noise, especially a bairn

"Away and stop that bairn craiking."

Maurice Dougan, Edinburgh:  September 11, 2009

creamy tartered

cremated

"Did he get buried?  Naw, he was creamy tartered."

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  December 21+30, 2009

crick

a neck disorder

"It was most common in my day to get 'a crick in your neck', either to the left or the right, if you went upstairs in the Poole's Synod Hall picture house.

You came out with a crick because you had to view the film with your head at an angle of 45 degrees off-centre. It was a bit like looking at a tennis match but only looking at the player at one end."

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  May 8, 2010

cry

1.   call or name,
      as in: "What's he cried?"

2.  summon,
      as in: "He cried the Polis"

Allan Dodds, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England:  December 21, 2009,

croggie

a ride on the crossbar of a bicycle

Allan Dodds, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England:  January 15, 2009

Bob Henderson wrote:

"It just goes to show how some of these words were very local indeed.

To me, a 'croggie', would be a 'hurl on your bar'.

Being allowed to mount behind the cyclist would be a 'backie'.

Bob Henderson, Burdiehouse, Edinburgh:  January 17, 2009

cuddy

horse

"While playing cowboys and Indians, the cowboys were often heard shouting 'gee up, ma cuddy' whilst slapping themselves on the bottom to get up to a gallop."

Bob Henderson, Burdiehouse, Edinburgh:  October 7, 2008

"My Mother used to sing:

' Hi-gee-wo ma cuddy,
ma cuddy's by the dyke,
and if ye touch ma cuddy,
ma cuddy'll gie ye a bite.'

She also used to sing:

 ' Matthew, Mark, Luke and John,
 Hud the cuddy while I jump on.'

She had many original versions of hymns and national anthems, none of which flattered either the church or the royal family.   She was a woman ahead of her time!"

Joyce Lamont Messer, Whanganui, North Island, New Zealand:  January 17, 2008

cuddy heel

an iron heel on a boot or shoe

"The real treat came when the shoes needed soled and heeled. The Store (St Cuthberts) shoe repairer, at the beginning of West Richmond Street, used to put on quite thick, leather soles and heels then would also whack in a few rows of round studs in the sole with built-in, steel tips on the heel. My mother wouldn’t let me have the full steel, wrap-round ‘cuddy heel’."

Brian Gourlay, Biggar, Lanarkshire, Scotland:  October 9, 2009

cuddy wecks

a type of curlers

"Look at that yin she's still got her cuddy wecks in!"

"I thought this was rhyming slang for specs, but I am informed by another that these were in fact curlers which women used to put in their hair and had bits of paper stuck in them.  I'm happy to be corrected."

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  December 20+30,  2009

cuff

See 'I'll give you a cuff on the lugs'

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  December 29,  2009

cudgel

children's name for any stick that they carried, usually the branch of a tree or an old piece of furniture like a chair leg.

I don’t remember them being used aggressively.  They were more for self-protection and show

Kim Traynor, Tollcross, Edinburgh:  September 21, 2009

"I asked my 'stairman', today,  if he knew what a cudgel was.  He did.

He said he never remembered hitting anyone with one.  He thinks he carried his when he was outside his own area in case another gang attacked his group.

I am reporting on the 1950s. He is talking about the 1970s, after which Fountainbridge began to  disappear. It shows that a remarkable continuity existed while these old communities remained intact."

Kim Traynor, Tollcross, Edinburgh:  September 25, 2009

cushie

cushie doo

woodpigeon

"When I was on holiday in Haddington, East Lothian, a woodpigeon was referred to as a 'cushie doo' or simply a cushie'.

I don't know if that term was currency in Edinburgh.""

Allan Dodds, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England: January 3, 2010

culliecode

piggyback.

"We called it a colliebuckie' but a friend from Bo'ness calls it a 'culliecode'. "

Stuart Burgess, Devon, England:  September 17, 2009

D

dab

sponge on

"In a conversation about Dubbin (for football boots) last night I said that I used to dab my boots with it.

Margaret said that when she got a skinned knee playing hockey, she would dob her knee with a hanky to stop the blood.

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  September 9, 2013

Question

Bob added:  P.S.  What was Dubbin made of, and was it a trade name?"

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  September 9, 2013

Reply

"This Wikipedia page explains that Dubbin consists of wax, oil and tallow, and that the name 'dubbin' is a contraction of the the word 'dubbing' meaning the action of applying wax to leather.

I believe that 'Dubbin' was a trade  name."

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  September 20, 2013

Please see also: 'That's the very dab'.

daein'

doing

"Whidye daein'?"

"Ah'm nae daein' nothin'."

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  March 15, 2010

dander

1.  stroll

"I'll take a dander"

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  December 22,, 2009

1.  stroll

"In my day, this was pronounced 'daunder' "

Allan Dodds, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England:  November 29, 2008

1.  stroll

"It seems that 'dander and 'daunder' are both acceptable spellings for this word."

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  December 30, 2009

2.  dandruff

Allan Dodds, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England:  December 30, 2009

3.  See also the expression:

"He's got his dander up."

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  December 30, 2009

The Dandy Ninth

The Royal Scots, 9th Battalion

"They were nicknamed ‘The Dandy Ninth’ because of the kilts they wore.  They were a Territorial Battalion based at the drill hall in East Claremont Street, Edinburgh."

Evan Reid, Ayrshire, Scotland:  November 4+7+8, 2009

daud

bit

"He gave me a daud o' putty."

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  December 17, 2009

daunder

See 'dander' (sense 1) above

day

See the day below

dee-hi horrors

diarrhoea

"After a sound emitting from the lower rear parts of a child, the comment was made:  'He's got the dee-hi-horrors.  Ah'm glad it's no' me.' "

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  January 10, 2010

deek

look

Jim Di Mambro, South Africa:  December 5, 2008

deid

dead

"Aye, he's deid, right enough.  They got the death certificate."

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  December 6+30 2009

dicht

1.  blow

   "Gie it a dicht."

2.  quick wipe with a cloth

   "Gie your face a dicht."

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  December 22, 2009

didnae

did not

"It wasnae me.   Ah didnae dae it."

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  March 15, 2010

dinnae

don't

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  April 13, 2010

dinner

the mid-day meal.

i.e. The meal that some of the southern / posh English people called lunch.

See also tea above

Kim Traynor, Tollcross Edinburgh:  December 28, 2009

dippit

stupid, not the full shilling, not the full ticket, as in:

'Awa son, stop acting as if yer dippit!'

Terry Cox, Fairmilehead, Edinburgh:  April 2, 2009

divi

coop dividend

Keith Main, London:  December 20, 2008

"I remember our new school uniforms being bought each year out of my mother's 'divi'.

Like everyone of a certain age, I can still remember my mum's store share number.

David Bain, Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England:  December 30, 2008

divot

lump of turf

"Ye'll hiv tae replace the divot."

(often heard on the golf course.)

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  December 22+30, 2009

dob

sponge on

"In a conversation about Dubbin (for football boots) last night I said that I used to dab my boots with it.

Margaret said that when she got a skinned knee playing hockey, she would dob her knee with a hanky to stop the blood.

In later speech, of course, you would 'dob somebody in', but that use would b e UK-wide, I suppose."

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  September 9, 2013

doddle

See 'It's a doddle.' below.

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  December 22, 2009

dodge-ball

A ball game, but how was it played?

Bruce Johnstone wrote:

"Can anyone help?  While playing ball games with my grandchildren, I mentioned that we, in the 1950s, used to play dodge-ball and king-ball. I can't remember how, apart from catching the ball with our clenched hands, then throwing at friends.  Any suggestions?"

Bruce Johnstone, Haddington, East Lothian, Scotland:  January 16, 2011
Message posted in EdinPhoto Guestbook:  April 15, 2013.

dodgie

A street game where by use of a tennis ball the one who was het (it) had to hit someone else with the ball. Those who were hit were out and the last one standing was the winner. 

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  December 25+30, 2009

dolicker

doliker

dollicker

dolliker

"'A large marble, bigger than the standard size

If it was a steel ball-bearing it was called a steelie."

Terry Cox, Fairmilehead, Edinburgh:  December 22, 2008

donnert

a bit thick

Allan Dodds, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England:  November 29, 2008

doo

pigeon

"Other families I remember in Eastie are the MacKenzies, MacMillans, ... , Reids and Phillips, the doo man."

J Kelly:  March 28, 2009

dook

swim

"Are you goin' for a dook?"

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  December 22, 2009

dookin' (for apples)

"At Halloween parties, you would kneel on a kitchen chair with the back of the chair in front of you.

You'd then lean over apples floating in a metal basin or pail filled with water and try to spear them by dropping a fork from your mouth.

If this proved too difficult, an alternative was to get down on one’s knees and try to bite into the apples and then lift them out of the water.

Neither method was easy for wee folk.

By the end, the floor was ‘swimming’ and I remember being absolutely soaked from the splashes every time I did it."

Kim Traynor, Tollcross, Edinburgh:  September 21, 2009

"My wife now tells me that sitting on the floor with your hands behind your back is 'proper dookin’. The dropping the fork variant was, she assures me, an attempt to make it easier for the bairns to get an apple by spearing it. Yet I remember the procedure happening in the reverse order."

Kim Traynor, Tollcross, Edinburgh:  September 22, 2009

doolally

doolally tap

"a bit mental, a bit radge"

Terry Cox, Fairmilehead, Edinburgh:  April 2, 2009

'Doolally tap' is not a particularly Edinburgh expression, but it is one that my father used quite regularly in Edinbrugh.

Terry Cox, Fairmilehead, Edinburgh:  April 2, 2009

For comments on the derivation of 'doolally tap', please see tappy below.

George T Smith, Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada Dec 19, 2008I

crazy

"If you don't stop pounding that piano, I'll go doolally."

Annette McDonald, Montana, USA:  July 4, 2014

"I'm not sure which war this expression related to, but I think I think it would have been World War 2. as i remember it being used.

The expression, 'doolally' or 'doolally tap', was used to describe someone 'not right in the head''. 

I remember reading, many years after hearing these expressions, that soldiers in India were sent to a place called Deollally (spelling?) for mental treatment.

The origins of words quite often get lost or forgotten, don't they?"

Elizabeth Fraser (née Betty Simpson),
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia: : 6 November 2015

"Deolali is a town in India; the difference from Elizabeth's story is that those posted there would need mental health care. The place is incredibly hot, dry and, to squaddies, boring."

David Bain, Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England:  9 November 2015

doorstep

doorstop

a very high-stacked piece (sandwich)

"What's that you have Charlie?"
"It's a piece."
"Looks more like a doorstep to me."

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  January 19, 2010

dottery

unstable

"Well that's what happens when ye get auld;  ye get a bit dottery"

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  December 22+30, 2009

a dottle

a wee person

Keith Main, London:  December 30, 2008

dottled

becoming senile, 'a bit past it'

"My mother used to use this term"

Allan Dodds, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England:  January 6, 2010

dounce

(rhymes with bounce)

lose something (a ball or a kite) up a tree or on a flat roof or in a rhone. 

"It's dounced" was a common cry and it usually meant that the object was visible, but inaccessible without taking risks.

In other words, it was to all intents lost, but you could sometimes pick up a dounced ball after a windy day: "Finders keepers, losers greeters!"

Stuart Burgess, Devon, England:  October 8, 2009

doup

1.  rubbish heap

"That's rubbish.  Take it to the doup."

2.  buttocks

"I remember a song that began:

'Kiltie, kiltie, called up

Couldnae play a drum.'

I'm not sure what the next lines were."

George T Smith, Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada:  November 25, 2009

Apparently, children used to shout:
'Kiltie, kiltie , cauld doup' whenever they saw other children wearing the kilt.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  November 28, 2009

doup skelper

A school master given to beating the buttocks of stupid children.

George T Smith, Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada:  November 25, 2009

dour

sullen

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  December 25, 2009

Example:
  "Gordon Brown's a dour character!"

Kim Traynor:  Tollcross, Edinburgh, December 27, 2009

dout / dowt

"In the 1950s, this was the name given to a cigarette that had been 'nicked', ie had the burning tip  flicked off and whose remainder was kept (usually behind the ear) for smoking later on.

It was sometimes known as a 'nick' as well."

Allan Dodds, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England:  September 5, 2010

drab

dismal

"He's one o' those drab men:  drab clathes, drab hoose, drab wife.  What a life!"

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  July 24, 2014

drappie

a small amount

"Aye, a'll have a wee drappie"

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  December 22, 2009

dreep (1)

"The verb 'dreep' was always used to describe the act of hanging from a wall with one's hands and letting go."

Allan Dodds, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England:  October 14, 2008

"Dreepin' the wa'  meant getting off a wall by lowering oneself to full stretch while hanging on in order to reduce the length of fall.

Finding oneself too high up for comfort, one might say, 'Let’s just dreep it!' 

A friend told me recently that there is a wall opposite South Morningside School in Comiston Road where the ground rises on one side and falls away on the other. Kids would shimmy along the wall to see how far they could reach before they dreeped it."

Kim Traynor, Tollcross, Edinburgh:  September 2, 2009

"We would walk on the wall by our school, St Ignatious', then hold onto the wall and let our hands go so that we landed in the back green on the other side.

When I was back home in Edinburgh, we saw the wall again, and it didn't look like a long dreep, but I was so much younger then.  I'm sure that the kids who went to school there will be able to remember dreeping the wall."

Margaret Williamson (née Hay), Moline, Illinois, USA:  April 7, 2013

dreep (2)

Dreep could also refer to an appendage hanging from the end of one's nose.

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  November 29, 2009

dreich

damp and wet

Keith Main, London:  December 30, 2008

drivel

(talking) utter rubbish

"See you man.  You're talking pure drivel."

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  December 1+30, 2009

drookit

soaked through

Allan Dodds, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England:  November 30, 2009

drouth

thirst

"Alan Neil, on his Penicuik Slang page, cites 'drooch' as an adjective meaning dry.

In Edinburgh we used to say that we had a 'drouth', meaning a thirst, presumably from the word 'drought'."

Allan Dodds, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England:  December 1, 2009

dry reach

wanting to throw up, but nothing will come.

"Poor man, he was dry reachin'.  Nothin' was comin' up, ye ken."

Bob Sinclair, Queensland, Australia:  December 25+30, 2009

dub

puddle

"Bobby, dinnae stand in that dub;  ye'll spoil yer shoes."