Deborah Gafford Romantic Fiction  
Book Puzzles
Word Glossary


Sit back, relax, and enjoy
assembling Jigsaw Puzzles

romance novels by Deborah Gafford.

For help, click on the menu
in the top left corner of the puzzles.

Historical romance novel

Highlander's Bride

Historical romance novel

The Talisman

Contemporary romantic comedy and award winner

You're in Good Hands with Al Tate

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Word Glossary 

Historical Romance
Word Glossary

To make reading her Scottish historical romances more enjoyable, Deborah Gafford created a glossary of Scottish Gaelic, olde  English and French terms.

Since words can be used in different ways, the meanings given here are as they pertain to the books in which they occur. Although you may know most or all of the words, you may find it helpful for the occasional one you may not be familiar with. 

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ale- alcoholic drink made from grain, water, and fermented with yeast

"Ard-Coille! Ard-Coille!"- battle cry of the MacGregor clan

afore- before

amiss- something wrong, a problem

an'- and

anon- soon

arse- a person's buttocks

aught-  anything

auld- old

aye- yes

bairn- an infant or young child

bandy words- to argue

bannock- homemade flat bread

banshee- a fairy woman who wails when someone is about to die, a wailing ghost

bard- a poet who recited epic poems and important events

barley bannock- flat bread made from barley

bartered- traded or sold

bemused- confused

Beltane Fire- a bonfire set to celebrate Beltane Day, an old Festival Day once celebrated in Scotland on May 1st

ben- mountain

Ben Cleuch- Cleuch mountain

Ben Dearg- Dearg mountain

besotted- a feeling of strong affection for someone, or drinking too much alcohol; either of which may make a person behave differently than normal

bested- to beat or win a challenge

betrothal- an event in which a man and woman become engaged 

betrothed- engaged to marry

biadh an leanabh- loosely translated from Gaelic, "to feed their child"

bid- to request

bide- to wait or reside somewhere

blether- idle chatter

bloody- a curse meant to be derogatory, critical or disrespectful

bodhran- a shallow, hand held drum, beaten with a short, thick stick

bogle- ghost

bonnie/bonny- beautiful

boon- a favor asked of someone

bott- without

Braemar- city in the Highlands of Scotland

braw- handsome, strong

breeks- breeches, trousers

brewhouse- room or building where ale is made

broadsword- a very large two-handed sword

brogues- handmade shoes made from tanned leather

burn- a stream or small river

but-an-ben- small simple cottage

cairn- a pile of stones set to mark a memorial to someone who has died

Candlemas- first Quarter Day of the year in Scotland, February 2nd

canna- cannot

cauld- cold

chamber- a room such as a bedroom

chapman- peddler

chanter- the blow pipe with finger holes on a bagpipe

clabber- to curdle milk

claddagh- an ancient Celtic symbol of two hands joined by a crowned heart representing love, loyalty and friendship

claymore- a large two-handed sword

clishmaclaver- gossip or idle conversation

clootie- the Devil

colcannon- hot cooked vegetable mixture of cabbage, carrots, turnips, and potatoes

copse- an area of dense trees

corrie- a depression of land on a hill side

courtyard- an inner area of ground within castle walls

"Creag Dhubh Chloinn Chatain!"- battle cry of the MacPherson clan

croft- a small cottage or house

cu- dog

da- father

dais- a raised platform where the head table sat, thus showing a sign of distinction

dally- to act amorous or flirtatious, never form a serious commitment

deem- to think or to consider something

didna- did not (past tense)

dinna- do not (present tense)

dirk- a knife for self-defense, worn in the top of a boot or at the belt line

doesna- does not

doublet- a man's close-fitting sleeveless jacket or a vest, often padded

dour headed- stubborn

dowy- sad or melancholy

e'er- ever

en masse- all together, as a whole group

enfin- (French) finally or at last

ewer- pitcher, container

fain- would rather

fair- very

fare- food, or state of being, as in: how do you fare?

fash- annoyance or worry

fer- for

fey- someone who "has the sight" and can foretell the future, strange or faerie folk, wild or crazy acting

fie- exclamation of surprise or dislike

fletcher- an arrow maker

gab- mouth

garderobe- a privy or medieval equivalent of a toilet

glen- a narrow valley

gloamin'- late afternoon just as the sun is beginning to set, twilight

hale- healthy

harridan- a shrew, argumentative woman

hasna- has not

haud yer wheesht- hold your tongue, stop talking

Highland- the northern portion of Scotland

hotch potch- hot beef stew with vegetables

humors- temperament, mood, sometimes used to refer to state of health

Huzzah- an exclamation of joy, "hurray"

infusion- a medicinal drink made by adding herbs to boiling water, steeping and straining them and then pouring off liquid to drink as a tea

jerkin- a leather sleeveless, close-fitting coat, a type of leather vest, similar to a doublet without padding

keep- the main castle building

kelpie- a water-horse or demon of the lochs

ken- to know

kilt- a loosely worn, pleated skirt-like clothing made from fabric with a distinctive plaid weave pattern of different colors worn by Scotsmen

kirk- church

laird- the leader of a clan

Lament of the Maighdean Chuain- loosely translated from Gaelic, "mermaid's sad song"

Lammas- third Quarter Day of the year in Scotland, August 1st

lassie- young woman, girl

leaded  roof- the roof of a building made of sheets of beaten lead

leery- wary, suspicious or distrustful

loch- a lake

looby- crazy

malt- to germinate grain used in making ale

malted- grain, such as barley, that has been germinated, then dried and used in making ale

ma petit fille- my little daughter

mam- mother

maman- mother

mark- to notice

Martinmas- fourth Quarter Day of the year in Scotland, November 11th

mash- a thick wet slurry made of a combination of cracked grains soaked in hot water and used to make ale

maun- must

mayhap- maybe or perhaps

mews- building for housing  birds

Michaelmas- an old Festival Day once celebrated in Scotland, September 29th

mither- mother

mo anam cara- my soul mate

mo cridhe- my heart

moi- me

mon- (Gaelic) man

mon- (French) my

mon cheri- my darling

mon Dieu- my God

monsieur- (French) sir

morn- morning

morrow- in the morning, tomorrow

motherwort- herb used in remedies to relax and or reduce anxiety

muckle- big or much

Muirsheen Duirkeen- Scottish song

natal day- birthday

naught- nothing, not at all

nay- no

ne'er- never

nickum- devilish or mischievous

nigh- nearly, almost

non- (French) no

o'er- over

och- expression of surprise or dislike

pavanne- a slow, stately dance

passing- very

pe're- (French) father

peat- partially decomposed organic matter in soil often dried and used as firewood

perchance- perhaps

petite- little

piper- someone who plays the bagpipes

plaid- tartan fabric with a distinctive weave pattern of different colors, see kilt 

pledge- promise, vow

pledged in troth- promised in marriage, engaged

portcullis- a heavy iron grating suspended by chains to close the entrance to a castle

postern gate- a small gate at the side or back wall surrounding a castle

Quarter Day- one specific day of four dividing the year into fourths. Scotland's Quarter Days are different from those in England and Ireland. Quarter Days in Scotland are: Candlemas, Whit, Lammas and Martinmas.

quill- a writing instrument made from a feather

quintain- a wooden pole with a rotating horizontal arm topped with a wooden target at one end and a large weighted sack of sand at the other, used in sword training and battle practice

rapier- a long, narrow sword (as opposed to a heavy broadsword)

reek- foul-smelling

reel- a lively dance

reiver- a thief, cattle thief

Saint Andrew's Day- old Scottish Festival Day, November 30th

Sassenach- an English man or woman, sometimes used as a derogatory euphemism

schiltrom- military formation of closing configuration and fighting close together, weapons pointed outward

sennight- one week

shieling- small cottage

shrew- a mean-spirited woman

sil vous plait- (French) if you please

Sir- a title used for a knight or man of noble rank

sire- father

sirrah- slang for Sir, showing disrespect

skirl- scream

Slainte- (Gaelic) salutation, often used when giving a toast, "to your health!"

solar- a sunlit room often used for needle work by the ladies of a castle

Solway Firth- a portion of the Irish Sea that separates northwest England from southwest Scotland

sotted- drunk

sporran- a leather pouch hung from a belt in front of a kilt

S'rioghal Mo Dhream- MacGregor motto meaning "royal is my race"

steward- keeper of the castle records and storehouse, may direct servants' duties

surcoat- a Medieval form of floor length sleeveless outer dress which loosely covers a tight, form-fitting sheath

swain- a woman's admirer

talisman- a charm worn to ward off bad luck and evil spirits or to bring good luck

tapestry- a piece of fabric containing a hand woven picture, often used as a wall hanging

tapsal teerie- all mixed up or turned upside down

targe- a round hardened leather shield used by the Scots in battle

tarried- lingered

tartan- Scottish fabric woven in a particular plaid pattern linked with a particular clan

thatch-  tall, strong-stemmed straw combined with wood strips to form the roof a cottage, sometimes used as rushes for covering the floor of a castle

tiltyard- an enclosed area for jousting and battle training

tinker- a traveling peddler selling wares

'tis- it is

tonic- an herbal medicinal remedy used for different purposes such as to soothe, cure sickness, or take away pain

Touch not the cat bott a glove- MacPherson clan motto, "Touch not the cat without a glove"

trencher- a long thick slice of dry bread used as a plate

trews- trousers or long pants

trice- a very short period of time, in a moment, soon

tripping step- a castle step that is higher than the others in the same stairway to trip intruders unfamiliar with it

trow- to believe

tunic- a long, loose wide-necked garment

'twas- it was

'twill- it will

'twould- it would

usquabae- Scottish whiskey, Gaelic for "water of life"

valerian- herb used to soothe anxiety and promote sleep

velum- parchment type paper for writing

vexed- to be irritated, distressed, or annoyed

virago- loud overbearing woman

vow- a solemn promise

wager- to bet

wain- a large wooden two-wheeled cart

wasna- was not

wattle and daub- building material made of branches and twigs woven together and covered with mud or clay

wee- small

weel- well, as in something was done well

wench- a woman, sometimes used to show disrespect

wheesht- be quiet

whence- from what place or source

Whit- second Quarter Day of the year in Scotland, May 15th

wi'- with

willna- will not

wort- liquid drained from malted mash used to make ale

wouldna- would not

ye- you

ye'd- you would

ye're- you are

ye've- you have

yer- your

yon- over there

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