Sunday, September 09, 2007


The Palace at Holyroodhouse is the Queen's residence in Edinburgh. "Rood" or "rude" is a cross, and "Holyrood" refers to the True Cross. The motif of the stag with a cross between its horns refers to the legend about the initial establishment of the Abbey on these grounds, in which King David I was about to be gored by a stag after a hunting accident. His prayer for deliverance resulted in the appearance of a shining cross between the antlers of the stag, which he grasped and thereby was saved.

It's been fun learning some of the gaelic roots of words. Let's see what I can remember:
rood/rude = cross
strath = valley
more = great or large
firth = estuary (from Edinburgh, one looks across the Firth of Forth to gaze upon the Kingdom of Fife)
tra = small river
lyn = waterfall (or is it ross?)

Regarding Scotish pronunciation, what I notice most is the tendency of all "oo" sounds to be pronounced like the "oo" in "food," with the addition of a little roll of the tongue that gives it some "r" character.  So "good" sounds like "gude." When I hear the music of the language being spoken (where I can't actually make out the words), it reminds me of Dutch.

1 comment:

Erin said...

Which comes from the anglo saxon word for salt whych, where they did evaporation pools to get salt from the sea.

Glad you're enjoying your trip to our little island! I love Edinburgh, if we moved from London that would definitely be my next choice.