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A Dictionary of Scottish Phrase and Fable
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History, Reference
Publication Date
20 October 2016
Paperback (also available as an ebook)
Available for Sale
Birlinn Ltd

A Dictionary of Scottish Phrase and Fable


eBook also available from the iBookstore

‘It is nigh impossible to reach the item you first set out to read without being sidetracked by other beguiling morsels’ – Herald

‘This is the best compendium of Scottish life, lore, language and literature’ – The Times

‘This is such a linguistic and etymological treasure trove that once picked up it is virtually impossible to put down’ – Scottish Field

This authoritative, entertaining and eminently browsable reference book, arranged in easily accessible A–Z format, is an absorbing and imaginative feast of Scottish lore, language, history and culture, from the mythical origins of the Scots in Scythia to the contemporary Scotland of the Holyrood parliament and Trainspotting.

Here Tartan Tories rub shoulders with Torry girls, the Misery from the Manse exchanges a nod with Stalin’s Granny, Thomas the Rhymer and the Wizard of Reay walk hand in hand with Bible John, and the reader is taken for a rollercoaster ride round Caledonia, from Furry Boots City to the Costa Clyde, via the Cold Shoulder of Scotland, the West Lothian Alps and the Reykjavik of the South. The result is a breathtaking and quirky celebration of Scotland, packed with fact and anecdote.

Ian Crofton was born in Edinburgh and worked for Collins in Glasgow before moving to London, where he has been a freelance writer and editor for 25 years. Previous books include Brewer’s Dictionary of Curious Titles; Brewer’s Britain and Ireland (with John Ayto); Brewer’s Cabinet of Curiosities and A Dictionary of Art Quotations.

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