|The Devil's Dictionary|
Bagpipes: A rabbit repellant used widely in the Highlands and Lowlands of California. Comprised of wood, ivory. wool and leather, with the occasional piece of plastic thrown in. Buzzing and honking it loudly (a feat of no little skill) is guaranteed to repel every rabbit for miles, while attracting members of player's own species. Great for camping.
Boot: The property or action of being near to something, as in "It's a boot ten-thairty," or "I'll be a roon and a boot."
Caber: Item of Scottish sports equiptment. Named for the sound it makes when flattening an unsuspecting bystander (kay BER). Advantages: Doubles as a Maypole on Renaissance Faire weekends. Disadvantages: Will not fit in the average gym locker.
Clan: Group of people, tenuously related by blood, who are mutually obliged to lend money and moral support in times of need; and who generally fulfill at least the latter half of their commitment. (see also Friends)
Country Dance: Vigorous form of physical exercise, taught in Scottish elementary schools and American colleges and churches. Involves hopping madly all over the place to various musical tempos.
Drum Major: Member of a Pipe Band who originally had the task of playing drums at the front of the band. Having, over the years, lost one drumstick, the best they generally hope for now is to be allowed to march along twiddling the remaining one. To their credit, by tossing it skillfully, they still manage to hit a drum now and again (or a drummer...or a piper...or an innocent bystander.)
Drum Section: Rear section of a marching Pipe Band (obligatory in competition), reserved for the mot rowdy, antiauthoritarian, or juvenile band members. In circle formation, the most volatile of these is put in the center, so that everyone else can keep an eye on him.
England: A small, flat section of Scotland, to the south of Edinburgh somewhere.
Fiddle: To fidget restlessly with pieces of string and wood until music is produced.
Friends: Englih word, meaning those whom one trusts to buy one the occasional meat pie and ale, lace up one's aboyne, sympathize with one's shin splints, lend one a new reed, tape up one's wrist, feed one's dog, and jump-start one's car at 6:45 when everyone else has gone home. Scots Gaelic for "Clan."
Great Britain: What England, Ireland and Wales became after their union with Scotland in 1707.
Highland Dance: Vigorous form of physical exercise, taught primarily in living rooms and kitchens. Unlike its near relative (see Country Dance), it involves hopping madly in one place to various musical tempos.
Highland Games: A gathering together of Scottish Americans, Americanized Scots, Scots Scots, Canadian Scots, Scots-Canadians, Scots-Irish, Irish-Lithuanians, and Others, for the purpose of getting bad sunburns, indulging in various physical exercise (sitting, watching and walking being among the most popular), and eating high-carbohydrate, high-sodium, high-fat high-flavour foods.
Hose: The only appropriate method of laundering a Highlander's socks.
Jig: Short for jigger, the amount of fortification necessary to contemplate getting up from one's seat to do a reel.
Pipe Major: Member of a Pipe Band, afflicted with a pathological twitching foot during practice. Incurable.
Plaid: An unsymmetrical pattern of criss-crossed stripes, invented by those gauche Americans (none of whom were of Scottish descent). Also, Scots Gaelic for "shawl made of criss-crossy striped cloth."
Really Heavy Athletics: The most difficult endurance events at a Highland Games, of which a Beer Toss and the Farmer's Tan or Sunburn are the most rigorous.
Sgian Duh: Gaelic spelling of "Swiss Army Knife." Originally a fourteenth century scribal error; it has become traditional in Scotland, along with the use of single-bladed knives that don't clasp shut.
Skeen-doo-be-doo-be-doo: Style of singing developed by the male Scots, done acappella, while dancing, as the Sgian Dhu pokes through its sheath into the leg.
Sporan: Pouch-like pendant worn on a man's kilt, in which he keeps items near and dear to his heart.
Weans: The little dear darlin' Scottish leprechauns, who find the pot o'gold at the end o' the atm card and proceed to scatter it hither and yon in joyous abandon, as in "Hey Mom! Look at this cool..."
Whisky: A "neat" gift given by the god Zeus to a beautiful Highland maiden he wanted to impress while on a Scottish vacation. Still consumed in its original, divine form among the natives of Scotland, and swilled down with various pollutants by the Sassenach.