Scottish Wedding Theme
Newsroom : Wedding Theme Newsroom Home : October 2008

October 1, 2008 06:15 - October Highland Games

As October cools down, more events, particularly across the South, are scheduled.

If you are planning a Scottish Wedding Theme ~ or would just plain like a good dose of Scottishness, get to one of these Highland Games. At most of the events, you can find local bagpipers to hire or browse tartan sample books. There's always lots of kilts and outfits, everywhere from formal to very casual, to look at. Clan tents have information on your clan's history. The music runs from traditional to rock. And there's lots of Scottish traditions and food to sample.

  • October 3 to 4, Hartwell, Georgia ~ Loch Hartwell Highland Games & Scottish Festival
  • October 3 to 5, Lanexa, Virginia ~ Williamsburg Scottish Festival
  • October 4, Felton, California ~ Loch Lomond Highland Games and Celtic Gathering
  • October 4 to 5, Reno, Nevada ~ Reno Celtic Celebration
  • October 4, Goshen, Connecticut ~ St. Andrew's Society Scottish Festival
  • October 4 to 5, Snow Hill, Maryland ~ Chesapeake Celtic Festival
  • October 5, Makuhari, Japan ~ Japanese Scottish Highland Games
  • October 5, Alexandria, Virginia ~ Alexandria Scottish Heritage Fair
  • October 11 to 12, Ventura, California ~ Seaside Highland Games
  • October 10 to 12, Lake Charles, Louisiana ~ Celtic Nations Heritage Festival of Louisiana
  • October 10 to 18, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia ~ Celtic Colors International Festival
  • October 10 to 11, Radford, Virginia ~ Radford Highlanders Festival
  • October 11, Crownsville, Maryland ~ Anne Arundel Scottish Festival
  • October 11 to 12, Bedford, Texas ~ Celtic Heritage Festival
  • October 10 to 12, Amarillo, Texas ~ Celtic Festival & Craft Faire
  • October 10, Scotland, Connecticut ~ Scotland Connecticut Highland Games
  • October 10 to 19, Atlanta, Georgia ~ Stone Mountain Highland Games
  • October 10, Wollongong, NSW, Australia ~ Illawara Scottish Fair
  • October 19, Kobe, Japan ~ Kansai Highland Games
  • October 22, Strathalbyn, South Australia, near Adelaide ~ Glenbarr Highland Games
  • October 25, Waxhaw, North Carolina ~ Waxhaw Scottish Highland Games
  • October 25 to 26, Richmond, Virginia ~ Richmond Highland Games & Celtic Festival

For more detailed information about the events listed, go to U.S. Scots and the Scottish Heritage Society.

October 2, 2008 06:22 - Neil Miller Gunn

Many of our readers seem to enjoy reading about Scotland. Recently, I stumbled over this author. He's a 20th Century Scottish novelist, Neil Miller Gunn who wrote twenty novels that are treasures of the Highlands ~ the landscape and the life.

Part of the Scottish Renaissance of the Roaring Twenties and on into the thirties, he longed for Scotland to be an independent, prosperous country ~ and this vision was found in his works.

He wrote about what he knew ~ the Highland communities of his youth. The son of a fisherman, he was fascinated by the sea and the raw courage of fishermen. His mother, a steadfast, earthy woman with traditional values, was reflected in many of his works.

Gunn married Jessie Dallas Frew in 1921. Part of the Fraser clan, she was known as Daisy. They settled in Inverness where he held a permanent excise post at the Glen Mhor Distillery.

If Daisy were marrying today, I can just see her using the Fraser clan yellow tartan and trade yellow tartans in her wedding theme.

Fraser Clan Yellow Tartan WR1878

Frazer Trade Yellow Tartan WR1709

And I'm sure Neil would have looked quite handsome in his Gunn tartan.

Gunn Clan Tartan WT708

Gunn's first novel, The Grey Coast, was published in 1926. After the success of Highland River in 1937, Gunn began writing full-time.

Tomorrow, a listing of his works…

October 3, 2008 05:17 - Neil Gunn Novels

After reading about Neil Miller Gunn, you may have an interest in reading his novels.

  • The Grey Coast (1926)
  • The Lost Glen (1928)
  • Hidden Doors (short stories) (1929)
  • Morning Tide (1930)
  • The Poaching at Grianan (1930 as serial in Scots Magazine) (2005)
  • Sun Circle (1933)
  • Butcher's Broom (1934) ~ a social history during the Highland Clearances
  • Highland River (1937)
  • Wild Geese Overhead (1939)
  • Second Sight (1940)
  • The Silver Darlings (1941)
  • Young Art and Old Hector (1942)
  • The Green Isle of the Great Deep (1943)
  • The Serpent (1944)
  • The Key of the Chest (1945)
  • The Drinking Well (1946)
  • The Silver Bough (1948)
  • The Shadow (1948)
  • The Lost Chart (1949)
  • The White Hour (short stories) (1950)
  • The Well at the World's End (1951)
  • Bloodhunt (1952) ~ a detective novel
  • The Other Landscape (1954)

Gunn's essays and autobiography ~
  • Whisky and Scotland (1935) ~ Due to his knowledgeable love of a good dram, the original 1935 edition is keenly sought-after by the many collectors of books on whisky.
  • Off in a Boat (1938)
  • Highland Pack (1949)
  • The Atom of Delight (1956) ~ dealt with metaphysical and spiritual questions through an influence of Zen Buddhism

If you'd like to hear Gunn reading excerpts from his own works, his website has some posted under Extracts. lists 2 pages of his works. One that caught my eye was Neil Gunn's Country edited by Dairmid Gunn [I suspect a granddaughter] and Isobel Murray.

Beginning Monday, Scot and Scotch words…

October 6, 2008 05:38 - Scotch Words

Recently, while reading a translation of a French book written in the 1800's, I ran across the words scot-free and scotched. Of course, I had to go looking for more accurate meanings than what I thought they might mean. Little did I dream where it would's like the pink flamingo escapade all over again, but with a completely different theme. Where all it will wander and how long the journey is, I do not know…as yet.

New Scottish Words from the 12th to 14th Centuries

  • Scotia is an ancient name of Scotland. It's now used only in a poetic form.

  • Scot
    Before the 12th century Scot meant one of a Gaelic people who settled in Scotland about 500 A.D., considered a native of Scotland, or one of Scottish descent.

    In the 13th century, scot was money assessed or paid.

  • Scot-free
    Another 13th century term was scot-free, meaning completely free from obligation, penalty, or harm. To be scot-free one was unhurt, in the clear, and safe.

  • Scottish
    The term Scottish began in the 13th century, to denote someone in or from Scotland. This name is used primarily in Northern England and Scotland and is preferred by the people of Scotland.

  • Scotsman & Scot
    In the 14th century, a Scotsman was one who lived in Scotland, as was a Scot.
    The name Scot, or Scots, like Scottish, is preferred over in Northern England and Scotland. Midland and Southern England dialects use Scotch.

I can remember in the 1960's being admonished for the incorrect use of Scotch, Scot, and Scottish. Funny thing, the one correcting me was German, but he loved his Scotch whiskey!

Tomorrow, the word is scotch…

October 7, 2008 08:27 - The Word Scotch

  • Scotch became a known word in the 15th century. It meant to cut, gash, wound, or score, to injure and make harmless. In MacBeth, Shakespeare wrote, "We have [scorched] scotched the snake, not killed it: she'll close and be herself, whilst our poor malice remains in danger of her former tooth".

    Score, in the sense used here, means to mark with cuts, to cut superficially with incisions to record by notches or marks.

  • Also referred to as score and notch, when an advantage or success is achieved.

  • To scotch a rumor is to stamp out, put an end to, or crush it.

  • The Scottish people do use the word 'scotch' when tied to another word, as in Scotch broth, Scotch whiskey, or Scotch plaid.

  • Scotch Gaelic refers to the Celts of Scotland. When this name began is unknown. But it had to be after the 15th century introduction of the word scotch.

  • In 1570, a Scotchman was a man who was of Scotch heritage.

  • In 1591 A.D., Scotch meant of, or relating to, a characteristic of Scotland or it's people. Scotch was applied in all legal documents and was accepted as the corrrect, binding, legal term.

    The people speaking with Midland and Southern England dialects, used Scotch, rather than the preferred Scot or Scottish.

  • A new meaning began in 1639, when scotch came to mean a chock placed under a wheel or barrel to prevent rolling or slipping. In 1642, to scotch meant to block or prop with a chock, thus to hinder or thwart.

  • By 1700 A.D.,the people of Scotland were called Scotch, as was a whiskey distilled from malted barley. The Scottish term is usquebagh, pronounced oos-kew-baw and meaning 'water of life'.

Tomorrow, Scotism…

October 8, 2008 07:30 - The Word Scotism & John Duns

  • Scotism is the doctrine of John Duns Scotus, a Catholic priest born at Duns, Scotland. Scotus lived from c.1266 to 1308 and was ordained in 1291 at Northampton, England.

    Scotus lectured at the University of Paris in 1302, as a strongly conservative, scholastic theologian and philosopher. His teachings opposed those of 13th century St. Thomas of Aquinas.

    Lecturing as a proponent of Peter Lombard's teachings, Scotus was expelled before the year was out. He sided with Pope Boniface VIII in a feud with the French king, Philip IV, over taxation of church property. Two years later, he was back at the University, then sent to Cologne, where he died in 1308.

    His contemporaries nicknamed him Doctor Subtilis for the subtle distinctions and nuances in his thinking.

    In the 1500's, philosophers accused him of sophistry. Once a term of respect, it had come to mean one who presents a confusing or illogical argument to deceive another.

    His followers were dubbed Dunse, given to Scotus due to his birthplace at Duns.

    Dunse evolved into dunce, a derogatory synonym for one who is incapable of scholarship. This, in turn, led to the 'dunce cap', once worn in school for behaving badly.

  • A Scotist is a believer in Scotism.

Tomorrow, the Scots Pine…

October 9, 2008 05:41 - The Word Scots Pine

In 1731, the term Scotch Pine was introduced to rename the Scotch Fir. The tree was re-classified as a pine, not a fir, and received a new name. The English began calling it the Scots Pine in 1797.

Using Scottish, not English vocabulary, the Scots Pine was originally the only pine native to Northern Europe, including all of Great Britain.

Now it can only be found in Scotland. Known as the national tree of Scotland, it once formed most of the Caledonian Forest which covered vast areas of the Scottish Highlands.

The decline can be blamed on overcutting for timber, over grazing by sheep and deer, fire, and deliberate clearance in hopes of killing off the wolf population.

The main surviving remnants of the Caledonian Forest are the

  • Abernethy Forest, Glen Affric (once Chisholm Clan land)
  • Rothiemurchus Forest (owned by clan Grant, with Johnnie Grant, 14th Laird as the current caretaker)
  • Black Wood of Rannoch, ranaoch meaning fern.

Scots Pine at Pine Mar Lodge courtesy of Wikipedia

This photo shows one survivor near Pine Mar Lodge, with a young forestry plantation in the left background.

The pine has been a popular Clan Plant Badge. With the tree having covered most of the Highlands, this shouldn't be surprising. The following clans claim the pine

  • Farquharson ~ Scots Fir seedling
  • Grant ~ Pine
  • MacAlpine ~ Scots Pine
  • MacAulay ~ Pine
  • MacFie ~ Scots Pine
  • MacGregor ~ Pine
  • MacKinnon ~ Pine
  • MacQuarie ~ Pine
  • MacQuarrie ~ Scots Pine

In the 1950's until the 1980's the Scotch Pine was the most popular Christmas tree in America.

Tomorrow, Scotch Woodcock ???

October 10, 2008 06:15 - Scotch Woodcock

As an entrée, Scotch Woodcock was first noted in 1879. It was a popular Victorian Era dish, even included in Mrs. Beeton's Book of Household Management.

As late as 1949 Scotch Woodcock was served in the 'refreshment rooms' of the House of Commons. The colleges at Oxford also served this dish to their students.

First, in 1828 came The Gentleman's Relish. It's an anchovy paste, also called Patem Peperium. The taste is very strong, very salty, and slightly fishy, like trout. Butter, herbs, and spices are added to make the proprietary blend.

The Gentleman's Relish image courtesy Wikipedia

The relish can be added to cucumber, mustard, and watercress sandwiches. For variety, it's added to Shepherd's Pie, fish cakes, potato cakes, croquettes, scrambled eggs, and 'jacket' potatoes.

But Scotch Woodcock is incomplete without The Gentleman's Relish.

Scotch Woodcock is an egg entrée. Buttered toast is spread with anchovy paste, such as The Gentleman's Relish. Creamy, softly scrambled eggs, and sometimes bacon, are layered on top. The eggs often contain milk and butter.

Scotch Woodcock Image courtesy Wikipedia

A woodcock is a wading bird, similar to a snipe. Artists value their pin feathers for extremely fine paintbrushes.

Eurasian Woodcock Image courtesy Wikipedia

In many countries Woodcock are hunted as game. In the U.K. they are considered a very challenging foe, due to their size, speed, and flight pattern. If a sportsman gets a witnessed "right and left", where a Woodcock is downed with each barrel of a shotgun, the shooter is inducted into the Shooting Times
Prestigious Woodcock Club.

Some say the English named this dish Scotch woodcock, thinking the Scots only ate 'poor' dishes. I have to wonder, with the woodcock being an illusive, challenging foe, if the Scotsman character didn't have something to do with the name!

Coming Monday, Scotch Verdict…

October 13, 2008 06:32 - Scotch Verdict

Scotch Verdict is a term that began to be applied to Scottish Law in 1728 and found its root in religious oppression. Under Scottish law, a criminal trial may end with one of three verdicts ~ conviction which means proven, not guilty, or not proven.

Not proven is the equivalent of an acquittal. The judge or jury is not convinced of the suspect's innocence, but there is insufficient evidence to prove the case.

  • In Scotland, this is called a bastard verdict. Sir Walter Scott, as sheriff in the Selkirk court, coined the phrase. Outside of Scotland, the 'not proven' verdict is called a Scottish Verdict or a Scotch Verdict.

    Better described as splitting hairs, in the vernacular of Scotland, it's saying, "We'll no' say you did it, but then we'll no' affirm ye didna either." Another way to express the verdict is, "awa' ye gae and dinna dae it again". Some claim it is the most honest verdict a jury can truly give.

  • In 1728, Carnegie of Finhaven accidentally killed the Earl of Strathmore. As the law stood at the time, the jury could only look at the facts, then pass a verdict. If they voted 'proven', Carnegie would be hanged. The jury decided to assert their ancient right to judge the 'whole case' and not just the facts. They brought in a verdict of not guilty.

  • One other famous case was the 'trial of the century' in 1857, when Madeleine Hamilton Smith was tried for the murder of her alleged lover, Pierre Emile L'Angelier.

    Madeleine's parents, unaware of the lover, betrothed her to another. When Madeleine tried to break of the romance, Emile threatened her with blackmail. He died of arsenic poisoning. Madeleine had purchased arsenic in the weeks leading up to his death. Several love letters from her to Emile were found in his lodgings.

    The prosecution couldn't make a strong enough case and Madeleine was judged 'not proven'. The notoriety was sufficient for her to move to New York, where she eventually married, raised a family, and died.

    Madeleine's story was made into a movie, Madeleine in 1950.

    Madeleine poster image courtesy IMDB

    A 1961 book by Jack House, entitled Square Mile of Murder, was made into a BBC version in 1980. One of six stories was about the Madeleine Smith trial.

Outside of Scotland two famous cases have introduced the Scotch Verdict.

  • In 1997, in the O.J. Simpson murder case, various reformers pushed for a "not proven" verdict. They felt there was an incorrect presumption of innocence for Simpson. Those pushing for a not proven verdict included the father of Ron Goldman, one of the murdered.

  • In 1999, the U.S. Senate was trying Bill Clinton for impeachment. Senator Arlen Specter tried to vote "not proven". He ended up voting not guilty.

In 2005, Samuel Bray introduced a proposal to put the 'not proven' verdict on the law books in the United States. The proposal was entitled Not Proven: Introducing a Third Verdict.

Over time, the term Scotch verdict has come to mean an inconclusive decision or pronouncement.

Tomorrow, Scotch Tape…

October 14, 2008 08:01 - 3M Scotch Tape

In the 1930's, the forerunner of 3M Corporation introduced a transparent, pressure sensitive tape. Made of cellulose, the tape was designed for use with the new transparent material called 'cellophane'.

The use of 'Scotch' was meant to be derogatory, implying frugal, as the adhesive was only applied to the edges. A St. Paul, Minnesota, car detailer stated the stingy Scotch bosses needed to put more adhesive on the tape. The name stuck and is now the best of tapes, no longer meaning frugal or cheap.

  • In 1932, 3M introduced the first heavy duty, countertop tape dispenser. The dispenser was made of cast iron and weighed 7 pounds.

  • In 1939, 3M released what is called the "snail" dispenser. Originally of stamped sheet metal, the present plastic version was introduced in 1940.

  • In 1944, Scotty McTape, a cartoon boy dressed in a kilt became the 3M mascot. In 1945, he claimed a clan and began wearing the Wallace tartan.

    Scotty McTape Image courtesy 3M Corporation

  • The double sided tape was introduced for military use during World War II [1941 to 1945].

  • In the 1950's, 3M brought us the Thermo-Fax™ copying process, videotape, Scotchgard fabric protector, and Scotch-Brite cleaning pads.

  • The 1960's introduced carbonless copy paper, overhead projector systems, and many medical products.

  • In 1978, Saturday Night Live spoofed the popularity of Scotch tape in a skit called "Scottish Boutique", which was located in a trendy mall and their only product was Scotch tape.

  • A 1984 introduction was removable Scotch tape for repositioning. In 1996, a removable double-sided tape came on the market.

  • In the 1980's they saved us all with Post-It Notes. While in the 1990's, they gave us cell phone and ink-jet printer flexible circuitry.

    3M logo courtesy Wikipedia

  • Other 3M products bearing the Scotch name are Scotchgard, Scotchlite reflective highway marking tape, and Scotch magnetic recording tape products (now owned by Ampex).

  • On the Scotch tape 'Fun Facts' page, you can view old ad campaigns. I watched Scotty McTape at the North Pole. His sled is pulled by a Scottish Terrier.

  • William L. McKnight began as a bookkeeper in 1907, acting president in 1916, and eventually became president in 1929. McKnight was named chairman of the board in 1949, then honorary chairman from 1966 to 1972.

    Also a fan of thoroughbred horse racing, McKnight owned a Tartan Farm stables near Ocala, Florida. The farm's official racing name was Tartan Stable. His most famous horses were Dr. Fager and Ta Wee.

    Dr. Fager (1964-1976), affectionately called "The Doctor" is the only horse to hold four titles in one year. In 1968 he was Horse of the Year, champion handicap horse, co-champion grass horse, and champion sprinter. In 1971 he was inducted in the Thoroughbred Hall of Fame.

    Not to be outdone, his younger half-sister, Ta Wee, was inducted in 1994.

    Ta Wee, which means beautiful girl in the Sioux language, held Man O War in her sire's bloodline. In the late 1960's she was a consistent winner in her 3rd and 4th years.

    Both were foaled by Aspidistra, a birthday gift to McKnight by his employees at 3M.

    Incidentally, in 1993, the McKnight Foundation was named one of the Top 20 charitable organizations in the U.S. Established in 1953, the foundation is privately owned and is independent of 3M. The board of directors is mostly composed of McKnight's descendents and his great-granddaugher, Erika Binger, is the foundation's chairman of the board.

Tomorrow, other Scots words…

October 15, 2008 06:32 - Other Scot Words

15th Century Words

  • The term scot and lot was a parish assessment based on one's ability to pay. It also meant obligations of all kinds, taken as a whole.

17th Century Words

  • Several sea ducks off the coast of Europe and North America came to be called Scoter in 1674.

    Scoter duck image courtesy Wikipedia

  • To distinguish idioms of the Scottish language, in 1717, Scotticism meant a word featured in Scottish English vs. Standard English.

18th Century Words

  • Due to the migration of Scotsmen to the plantations of Northern Ireland, in 1744 these emigrants, and their descendents, came to be called Scotch-Irish.

  • In 1759, the people of Scotland were being called Scots.

  • Things of or relating to the ancient Scots were dubbed Scotic in 1796.

19th Century Words

  • In 1809, a London restaurateur, introduced the Scotch Egg . More details can be found in the July 5, 2007 blog. Today, across America, a Highland Games just isn't complete without a food vendor selling Scotch Eggs.

  • Scotch Broom is a deciduous plant that grows across Western Europe. It has bright yellow or partly red flowers. You can see the partly red color on this closeup.

    Scottish Broom Closeup image courtesy Wikipedia

    It's a clan badge for two clans ~ Forbes and Home. The plant received it's modern name in an 1817 plant classification.

    Scottish Broom image courtesy Wikipedia

  • In 1818, we began to call women from Scotland, Scotch Women.

  • In 1820 the term Scots Woman was added to our vocabulary.

20th Century Words

  • The Scottish Rite degree of Masonry was introduced in 1903.

  • In 1956, the Gaelic language of Scotland began to be called Scottish Gaelic.

Tomorrow, a short side trip to look at the Federal Memorial Tartan…

October 16, 2008 11:18 - Federal Memorial Tartan

Recently, a reader introduced me to the Federal Memorial Tartan. He saw the Confederate Memorial tartan and was disappointed not to also find the tartan of the North. With his help I've located the tartan and some history behind it.

The tartan is a beauty, in good patriotic colors. The dark blue symbolizes the Union soldiers' uniform. Sky blue is for the Infantry, gold for the Calvary, and red for the Artillery units. The red, white, and blue also symbolize the flag of the United States of America.

Federal Memorial Tartan 4191

My original introduction to the tartan was under the name 'The Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War' tartan. I'm told they use the tartan 'unofficially'.

In 1866, Union Veterans of the Civil War organized into the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR). They grew into a social and political force that would control the destiny of the nation for more than sixty years.

As the veterans aged and died, the GAR was ceasing to be. So the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War was created to preserve the memory, records, and documents for historical research. Honoring the veterans ~ while teaching patriotism, the responsibilities of citizenship, and preservation of our constitutional rights ~ is their goal.

In actuality, the goals are much more descriptive and cover a broader span. These can be read in greater detail at their Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War National Headquarters website. Many other interesting and informative pages are also available. They're physically located with the National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Any direct descendant of military personnel who served honorably in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, or Revenue Cutter Service during the Civil War is eligible to join. Others without direct lineage from Union Veterans can also join as Associates, if they are in agreement with the society principles and aims.

Today more than 6,360 men belong to the society, while dedicating themselves to the principles of the GAR ~ Fraternity, Charity, and Loyalty. On their headquarters webpage there's a list of 35 members currently serving in the Middle East.

Some activities I noted on the webpage are

  • An April 2009 Lincoln Tomb Ceremony to raise funds to help defray the maintenance costs of the tomb
  • Historical Flags, including how to correctly fold the American flag
  • Educational pages for teachers and students
  • National Graves Registration Database

This historical postcard is also illustrated on their webpage.

Postcard Image courtesy Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War National Headquarters

The member who originally contacted me also sent a photo of his kilt

Federal Memorial Tartan Kilt Image courtesy of Dave Schleeter

Matt Newsome, kiltmaker and curator of the Scottish Tartans Museum in Franklin North Carolina, ordered the tartan and made this kilt.

While researching, I also found a chapter who is selling the Federal Memorial Tartan tie as a fund raiser. If interested, here's the contact information:

William T. Ryerson, Treasurer
Charles H. Bond Camp No. 104
P.O. Box 11
Winchester, MA 01890

Two sources for the tartan are the Scottish Tartans Museum and Scotweb, who stocks the tartan in silk and two weights of wool.

Incidentally, if you're not familiar with the Scottish Tartans Museum, I blogged them July 17, 2007. The entry title is Grandfather Mountain Highland Games ~ Part II.

Thanks again, Dave, for all the information and help.

October 17, 2008 10:37 - The Dogs of Scotland ~ The Scotty

The use of Scots words can't just stop with the people, there's also the dogs ~ including terriers, collies, hounds, retrievers, setters ~ and the cats.


Scottish Terriers

In 1837 this cocky little black dog was officially called a Scottish Terrier. With those short legs, large head, small erect ears, powerful muzzle, broad deep chest, and very hard wiry coat, he seemed to be in a class by himself…as befits any Scot. With his length less than his height, he is classified as a cobby.

Scottish Terrier image courtesy of Wikipedia

The Scotty dog was nicknamed the "Little Diehard" in the 19th century, by George Douglas, the Fourth Earl of Dumbarton. Named for their bravery, these Scotties also inspired Dumbarton's Regiment, The Royal Scots, to be called Dumbarton's Diehards.

The Regimental tartan was Hunting Stuart. In 1933, while commemorating the Regiments 300th anniversary, King George V granted the Regimental pipe band the honor of wearing the Royal Stuart tartan.

Scottish Terrier image courtesy of Wikipedia

If you're going to put a tartan coat on your Scotty, the Hunting Stuart would be appropriate. Another choice might be the Dumbartonshire District Tartan.

Dumbartonshire District Tartan WR2507

Monday, more about the Scotty…

October 20, 2008 06:06 - More About That Little Scotty Dog

Both the Scottie and West Highland Terrier (sometimes called white Scotties) originated in the Blackmount region and the Moor of Rannoch. Bred to find and kill vermin on local farms, they also hunted badgers and fox in the Scottish Highlands.

Natural diggers, like all terriers, the word terrier comes from the French word terre, which means earth. Their tails are exceptionally strong so they could be pulled from the holes of vermin and voles.

  • John Lesley, Bishop of Ross, a 16th century historian wrote the "History of Scotland from 1436 to 1561". Part of his text includes a description of a dog "…of low height, which creeping into subterraneous burrows, routs out foxes, badgers, martens, and wildcats from their lurking places in dens."

  • In the 17th century, the painter Joshua Reynolds painted a girl holding a dog similar to a Scottie.

  • King James VI of Scotland, on becoming King James I of England in 1603, sent six terriers, which were probably forerunners of the Scottie to the French monarch, Henry IV. James' interest in the breed spread their popularity throughout the world.

  • Sir Edward Landseer, a 19th Century painter, included Scottish Terriers in his portraits.

  • An 1835 lithograph, by James Robertson, is entitled Scottish Terriers at Work on a Cairn in the West Highlands.

    MacTavish Scotties has the lithograph posted on their website.

  • In the 1870's, the specific Scottish Terrier breed began to be developed. Known be a variety of names, the Scottish Terrier was called the Highland, the Cairn, Diehard, and Aberdeen Terrier. The breed was abundant in Aberdeen and J.A. Adamson of Aberdeen was a very successful breeder and exhibitor in the 1870's.

  • In the 1890's Scotties were introduced in America. Between the two World Wars, they became popular. In 1936, the Scottie was the third most popular breed in America. They continue to be popular around the world.

  • In 1918, the nickname 'Scottie' was used for the Scottish Terrier.

Tomorrow, some famous Scotties…

October 21, 2008 05:10 - Some Famous Scotty Dogs

Famous Scotties have lived in the American White House ~ Fala, during the terms of Franklin Roosevelt, and Barney and Miss Beazley in the George W. Bush residency. Barney even has his own website and is featured in many video clips by White House staff members.

Barney at the Presidential Podium courtesy of Wikipedia

Other famous people with Scotties include

  • Julie Andrews
  • Humphrey Bogart
  • Eva Braun
  • Bette Davis
  • Dorothy Lamour
  • Liza Minnelli
  • Tatum O'Neal
  • Queen Victoria
  • Ronald Reagan
  • Teddy Roosevelt
  • Shirley Temple
  • E.B. White, author of Stuart Little and Charlotte's Web

Where else is the spunky little Scottie featured?

  • Jock, from the Disney movie Lady and the Tramp, was a retired sea captain who wore a Scottish tartan overcoat (Macintosh perhaps?). Jock is described as a typical "thrifty" Scot. It's said he still has the first bone he ever buried in his backyard 'Bone Bank'. After the movie's release in 1955, Jock became a highly popular dog's name.
  • In the board game, Monopoly, a Scotty remains one of the most popular player tokens.
  • Black and White Whiskey features a Scotty and a West Highland Terrier on their label.
  • Chum dog food, I suspect in Great Britain, uses a Scotty mascot in the ad campaigns.
  • 3M Scotch Tape's Scotty McTape, blogged October 14, 2008.
  • In the fashion world, Juicy Couture clothing line and Radley handbags both have Scotties as part of their logo.
  • Children's mystery writer, Enid Blyton, always included Buster the Scotty in her books.
  • Then there's the smart Scotties who serve as mascots for Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia, and The College of Wooster, in Wooster, Ohio.

Only one time have I seen the following, Scottish Terrier pups for sale at a Highland Games event. This was in Glasgow, Kentucky. He was such a popular little fellow I had a hard time getting his photo. Everyone crowded around and many just had to hold and snuggle with the little fellow. The local vendors and clan societies were ignored ~ until everyone had given the Scotty his due.

Scotty Puppy For Sale Image owned by Scottish Wedding Dreams

Tomorrow, Scotty merchandise for sale…

October 22, 2008 07:36 - Scotty Dog Merchandise

There's something compelling about a Scotty. They're like bagpipes, people are simply drawn to them and enjoy them. Possibly that's why there are so many Scotty merchandise choices.

Here's a few ~

  • Plus-size Novelty pajamas in a black and pink Scotty pattern.

    Plus Size Scotty PJs image from Lakeside catalog

  • Scottish Terrier Jibbitz Croc Charm. There's lots of uses for these, not just your shoes.

    Scottish Terrier Croc Charm image courtesy of Jibbitz

    They also offer a West Highland White Terrier Jibbitz Croc Charm

    West Highland White Terrier Croc Charm image courtesy of Jibbitz

    Ideas for shoe embellishment were posted to the newsroom blog August 7, 2007.

    Further ideas for Croc Doodads can be found at Embellished Shoe sources and ideas.

  • Scotty Rhinestone Iron-On Motif

    Scotty Iron-On Rhinestone Motif image courtesy of Stony Korea

    Stony Korea has contacted me and I'm doing follow-up information. A blog will be published when I have more complete information on their product line.

  • Scotty Soap

    Scottish Terrier soap image courtesy of Unica Home

    The Scotty, other dogs, and other Scottish appropriate soaps can be viewed at Unica Home Gianna Rose Atelier.

  • Scotty Christmas Ornaments

    Scottish Terrier ornament image courtesy of Café Press

    Scottish Terrier ornament image courtesy of D B Collectibles

    An Ebay search for Scotty dog Christmas ornaments had 16 listings, 4 of which were, in reality, West Highland White Terriers

    A separate search for Scotty Dog yielded 45 pages of listings, much of it being children's clothing. Jewelry, porcelains, gumball machine charms, wall stick-ons, drinking glasses, playing cards, night lights, rugs, books, fabric, and much, much more.

  • Scotty beads

    Scottish Terrier beads image courtesy of Ebay, Beads by Dani

    The seller is secondriver40. The beads are currently selling at 5 for $4.25. With enough lead time, the bead artist might be able to make enough for wedding favors, with the bow in your wedding color theme.

  • Scotty Artwork

    Scottish Terrier print image courtesy of Theresa Brandon

    View Theresa Brandon's Scotty Artwork, including prints, calendars, magnets, buttons, ornaments, and stickers.

Tomorrow, The Skye Terrier…

October 23, 2008 07:38 - The Skye Terrier

The Skye Terrier was described by John Caius, a 16th century physician and author, as

…lap dogs which were brought out of the barbarous borders from the uttermost countryes northward, and they by reason of the length of their heare, make show neither face nor body, and yet these curres forsooth because they are so strange, are greatly set by, esteemed, taken up, and made of, in room of the spaniell gentle, or comforter.

Skye Terrier Image courtesy Wikipedia

In the 1800s, the Highlands of Scotland, including the Isle of Skye, had terriers called Little Skye Terriers. Toward the end of the century, these were divided into two breeds ~ Dandie Dinmont terriers and Skye terriers (not the Skye Terrier of today).

The Skye Terrier colors can be fawn, blue, dark grey, light grey, blonde, or black. All have black points on their ears and muzzle.

Two different stories are told of this little dogs origins.

  • A Spanish shipwrecked on the Isle of Skye. Some Maltese dogs survived the wreck and mated with local terriers, creating a new and unique breed. But Caius text, quoted above, was written well before the shipwreck.

  • The other story credits the Swedish Vallhund, brought in by Viking invaders.

Both, or neither, of the stories might be true. Regardless, when those little ears perk up, they are endearing.

Among the modern Skye Terriers, Greyfriars Bobbie is the most famous.

Greyfriars Bobby Skye Terrier image courtesy of Wikipedia

A more complete history of Greyfriars Bobbie is also available for your reading pleasure.

Bobbie is also featured as a Victorian Cake Pull Charm for the Bride's Cake.

The Skye Terrier is facing extinction. Only 30 were born in 2005. It's on the Vulnerable Native Breeds list of Great Britain.

The Isle of Skye Tartan 2155 would be a good choice for a doggie coat, but it's one of my favorite tartans. The colors seem to be more subtle when seen in person.

Isle of Skye Tartan 2155

Tomorrow, the Cairn Terrier, as in Toto from The Wizard of Oz…

October 24, 2008 07:25 - The Cairn Terrier

This spunky little dog is one of Scotland's earliest dogs. It was used to hunt burrowing prey among the cairns.

Cairn Terrier Image courtesy Wikipedia

In Scotland, the word cairn can refer to various types of hills or natural stone piles. A cairn is also a manmade stacking of stones, often conical in shape. Found mostly in the highlands, on moors, on mountaintops, and near waterways, they are landmarks, navigational markers, monuments, and grave markers.

Cairn Image courtesy Wikipedia

This cairn marks a mountain peak.

At the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games location in North Carolina, a memorial cairn has been built on the grounds. The view from the stone to the mountain top is inspiring, yet a place of relaxation and rest. The July 21, 2007 blog has a photo and tells the interesting history of this cairn.

There's a tradition in Scotland, when you're climbing up a hill, you carry a stone from the bottom. When you reach the top, you place the stone on the cairn, thus increasing the size of the cairn. An old Gaelic blessing in Scotland is Cuiridh mi clach air do chàrn, meaning "I'll put a stone on your cairn."

As an official name, Short-Haired Skye Terrier was the first choice. Skye Terrier enthusiasts objected. So they began to be registered as Cairn Terriers.

The outer coat is harsh and weather resistant, somewhat like a well used scrubby. The color can be cream, gray, red, sandy, wheaten, or brindled in any of these colors. Many kennel clubs will not permit pure black, black and tan, or white coats. In the U.S., those with white coats must be registered as West Highland White Terriers.

One distinct characteristic of brindled Cairns is that they often change color as they age, becoming more black or silver.

The standards for the Cairn Terrier were adopted in 1938.

The most famous of Cairn Terriers

  • Toto, from the Wizard of Oz
  • Fred from I Love Lucy

Coming Monday, the Dandie Dinmont Terrier, that little seeker of otters and badgers…

October 27, 2008 06:11 - The Dandie Dinmont Terrier

Take a very long body and very short legs, then add a very distinctive "top-knot" of hair on the head…and you have a Dandie Dinmont.

The breed is described as lively and plucky, determined and willful, yet independent and intelligent, bold and dignified.

The coat is crisp with two color categories.

  • Mustard ranges from reddish brown to pale fawn with a creamy white topknot.
  • Pepper can range from light silvery gray to dark bluish black, with a silvery white topknot.

Mustard Colored Dandie Dinmont Image courtesy Wikipedia

The breed was developed in the 17th century along The Borders of Scotland and England. It was used to hunt otter and badgers.

This is the only breed to be named after a fictional character, Dandie Dinmont, a jovial farmer in Guy Mannering by Sir Walter Scott. The novel can be read in its entirety at Project Gutenberg. Scott also named the breed's colors, mustard and pepper, after the names of Dandie Dinmont's dogs.

Today, the breed is an endangered domestic species considered near extinction.

Tomorrow, the West Highland White Terrier…

October 28, 2008 05:45 - The West Highland White Terrier

Commonly called Westies, the breed is featured on Cesar brand dog food. Black and White Scotch Whiskey features the Westie and the Scottie.

West Highland White Terrier Image courtesy Wikipedia

Whilst sitting among the Blue Bonnets of Texas, this Westie has rightfully donned his Clan Campbell Tartan.

History claims two men developed this terrier, Colonel Edward Donald Malcolm of Poltalloch in Argyll and the 8th Duke of Argyll, Chieftain of the Clan Campbell. They may also have collaborated in developing the breed.

Malcolm's home at Poltalloch caused the terrier to be called the Poltalloch Terrier, while the Duke's home at Roseneath led to them being called the Roseneath Terrier, the White Roseneath Terrier, and a White Scottish Terrier.

So the Westie could also wear a coat of Malcolm, Malcolm of Poltalloch, as well as the Campbell Tartans, including the Argyll Campbell Clan Tartan.

Malcolm Clan Tartan WR105

Malcolm Poltalloch Clan Tartan WR1976

Argyll Campbell Clan Tartan WR242

Used primarily to hunt rabbits, squirrels, and mice, they were also popular for fox and badger hunting.

Their white coat made them highly visible on the Scottish moors, thus they could be easily distinguished from the game being hunted.

As an interesting aside, two males are needed to keep one another company, as they easily get lonely.

West Highland White Terrier Jibbitz Croc Charm

West Highland White Terrier Croc Charm image courtesy of Jibbitz

The October 22, 2008 blog has more information on Jibbitz and Croc Charms.

Next, the Collies of Scotland ~ rough, smooth, border, bearded…

October 29, 2008 06:58 - Scotch Collies

Before they were called Rough Collie and Smooth Collie, the Scottish Collies were simply Scotch Collies. Originally herding dogs from the Borders, they were bred with the Borzoi, or Russian Wolfhound, and other local mixtures.

A dog that has herded cattle and sheep in Scotland and England for hundreds of years, both the long-haired and short-haired variants existed in the 19th century.

As to the word Collie, it's an Old English word for black or coal.

  • The word coal pre-dates the 12th century.

  • Coalie means to benight, as in to envelop with social, intellectual, or moral darkness.

    On the Isle of Manx, a coalie, or coley, is a coal fish which is described as blackish or with a black back, like a Pollack or Sablefish. Off the isle it's called a black cod or coal cod. In Scottish, a full grown coal fish is called a Saithe.

  • Coaly is a class of black headed bunting birds

  • Collie is a little iron open lamp.

  • In the 13th century, a collier was a miner of coal, specifically a pickman. Its also the coal deliveryman or the ship that transports coal.

    A Collier's Load contains 27 stone Dutch weight per load. A sale load, or load sold, for a rural delivery was approximately 20 stone. A stone is 14 pounds, so a Collier's load would be 378 pounds, while a sale load would weigh 280 pounds.

  • Colliery is a word from 1635, designating a mine and it's surrounding support buildings.

  • Since 1651, Collie has been the name of a sheepdog breed.

  • collie-shangie, as a recorded use, was in 1737 in an Old Mother Grim's Tale, meaning a squabble or brawl.

    Sitting too long by the Barrel,

    MacBane and Donald Dow did quarrel,

    And in a colleshangee landed.

    It can also mean a dog fight. In J. Brown's History of Sanquahr, he writes of the collies taking to barking, with the result being a collie-shangie.

    A third meaning is a talk, consultation, animated conversation or gossip, with no conflict implied. As in the December 6, 1892 Brechin Advertiser, where the following quote appeared.

    We'll juist stap ower to the fit o' the Cairn o' Mount,

    an' haud a colieshangie wi' Sir John Forbes."

    A shang is an archaic Gaelic and Scottish word for a light snack, or bite between meals.

Tomorrow, Bearded Collies and how they use their bark, body, and bounce…

October 30, 2008 05:05 - Bearded Collies

The Bearded Collie is a herding breed, used by Scottish shepherds.

Bearded Collie Image courtesy Wikipedia

Also called Beardies and Bouncing Beardies, the later nickname comes from watching them work the thick undergrowth on the hillsides. A hardy, reliable worker, they are known to bounce up to catch sight of sheep. They will also back down a stubborn ewe by barking and bouncing on their forelegs. They move their charges with bark, body, and bounce.

Today they are a strong competitor in Sheep Dog Trials and Dog Agility Trials. Though mostly kept inside as a family pet, the breed is able to withstand the harshest conditions and toughest sheep in the Highlands.

In 1514 a Polish merchant, Kazmierz Grabski, traded a grain shipment for Scottish sheep. He had brought six Polish Lowland Sheepdogs with him to control the sheep. A local shepherd, watching the dogs herding ability, was so impressed he traded a few more sheep for a couple of dogs.

Polish Lowland Sheepdog Image courtesy Wikipedia

The Polish Lowland Sheepdogs were bred with local Scottish dogs and produced the Bearded Collie.

Tomorrow, the Rough Collies, as in "Lassie"…

October 31, 2008 05:36 - Rough Collies

Popularized by the Lassie novel, movies, and TV shows, this breed was developed for herding in Scotland.

Rough Collie Image courtesy Wikipedia

Both the Rough and Smooth Collies are found in four colors

  • Sable and white, like Lassie, ranging from light blonde to deep golden-mahogany and any color in between.
  • Tricolor is mostly black and white, edged in tan.
  • Blue Merle is a tricolor or black-and-white coat where the black is diluted to a mottled blue-gray color.
  • White is mostly white with the head colored in any of the above. All have white areas in their coat ~ in the collar, parts of the leg, and maybe the tail tip. Some have blazes on their faces.

Their face is more pointed than the Sheltie.

Rough Collie Head Image courtesy Wikipedia

Both Rough and Smooth Collies are used as assistance and therapy dogs for disabled individuals.

Descended from local herding dogs in Scotland and Wales, they are a large, strong, aggressive dog meant to chase and control Highland sheep. They could cover 100 miles in a day. Today the Border Collie has replaced the Rough Collie for herding.

After seeing a Rough Collie at Balmoral Castle, Queen Victoria got one and they became a fashion statement. Within the same time frame, the dogs were bred to the Borzoi, producing a taller dog.

If you've not seen the original Lassie movie, Lassie Come Home, 1943, you should. It stars a 15 year-old Roddy McDowell as the son the dog trainer and an 11 year-old Elizabeth Taylor as the Duke's daughter.

Lassie Come Home Poster courtesy Wikipedia

Other famous Rough Collies

  • Reveille VII, the mascot for Texas A&M University
  • President Calvin Coolidge owned Rob Roy and Prudence Prim, two snow white Collies.

Monday, November Highland Games and St. Andrews Celebrations…

September 2008 « 


RSS Feed For This News

Wedding Theme Newsroom Home | Archives | Scottish Wedding Theme Links | Why I Developed a Scottish Wedding Theme blog