About the dictionary

Including words from Scots, Romany, Scots Gaelic, Shelta and Beurla Reagaird

The original inspiration for this dictionary came from a slim volume, The Scottish Traveller Dialects, compiled by Jess Smith and Robert Dawson (Blackwell, Derbyshire 2002). However, the distinctive language of Scotland’s Gypsies and Travellers has not been brought together in dictionary form before.

The Language of the Scottish Traveller: A Dictionary offers the first substantial collection of words used by Gypsies and Travellers in Scotland, expanding on classic lists such as those by the antiquarian Francis Grose (1785, 1787) and the updating of Grose by Pierce Egan (1823). It has been made possible through the generous support of the Scottish Government and the digital skills of Ruth O’Donovan. The author is Pauline Cairns Speitel

Each entry gives the headword; pronunciation; part of speech, senses, examples and dates; derivatives, compounds and phrases; etymological information where available, and ancillary notes where appropriate. There are 3,400 headwords (including cross references) in all. The dictionary also includes a user’s guide and a foreword from Jess Smith BEM, whose work focuses on the experiences of Scottish Travellers.