Alba– Scotland

A Leannan– sweetheart

Aye– yes

Bairn– child

Braw– fine, splendid

Ceilidh– ‘kay-leigh’ a social gathering, particularly with music and dancing

Clot Heid– clot head

Corbies– crows

Crag– mountain

Dag– pistol

Dinna fash yerself– Don’t worry yourself

Dirk– long dagger

Gomeral– idiot

Laird– lord, one who owns a large estate

Ken– know

Mithering– fuss or whine

Mo Chridhe– my heart

Riever– thief

Saft Heid– soft in the head

Sgian Dubh– small knife

Sporran– small pouch worn around the waist that hangs in front of a kilt

Wheesht– quiet, hush




Baluster– spindle

Belaying Pin– short bars of wood to secure rigging to

Bilge– bottom of the hull where water collects and must be pumped out

Blackguard– unprincipled, dishonest, scoundrel

Bosun– responsible for sails, ropes, rigging, and issues commands to seaman

Bosun chair– small board secured with ropes and used to hoist a man aloft

Braces– lines or rope connected to the ends of a vessel’s yard

Buccaneer– pirates in the Caribbean

Corsair– pirates of the Barbary Coast

Cutlass– thick, heavy curved sword

Dance the Hempen Jig– hang from a noose Forecastle- upper deck of a ship forward of the foremast

Hardtack– hard cracker or unleavened bread

Jack Ketch– hangman

Keelhaul– form of punishment where a sailor was tied to a line that looped beneath the vessel, thrown overboard on one side of the ship and dragged under the keel

Letter of Marque– official document authorizing the bearer to attack and plunder ships of enemy nations on behalf of a country’s government

Port– left side

Privateer– holds a letter of marque and sails only against vessels of enemy nations

Quartermaster– represents and voices interests of crew, oversees discipline, allocation of food and plunder

Savvy– understand

Starboard– right side

Stern– back part of a ship

Tacks– lines or rope connected to the lower forward corners of square sail

Tarry breeks– seasoned seaman

Yard– wood poles set perpendicular to a vessel’s masts




Base hospitals– larger facilities well behind the lines that receive casualties from the clearing stations

Blighty– Britain

Casualty Clearing Station– a hospital within miles of the front lines. Soldiers were cared for here until they were stable enough to be evacuated to a base hospital

CO– commanding officer, commands larger entity than OC

Duckboard– wooden slats used as a walkway over muddy ground

FANY– First Aid Nursing Yeomanry

Frontline Aid Station– soldiers first received care, typically by a medic

Gaiters– protective covering for lower leg, typically made of leather. Usually worn by officers       instead of puttees

Kiltie/Jock– Scottish soldier

Lorrie– truck

Nits– head lice

OC– Officer in command

Pipped– hit by a bullet

Puttees– fabric wrapped over a soldier’s trouser legs from ankle to knee to protect from the cold   and damp

RAMC– Royal Army Medical Corps

Sam Browne belt– wide belt with a support strap passing over the right soldier. Worn by officers

Tommy– common soldier in the British Army

VAD– Voluntary Aid Detachment




AWOL– absent without leave

COMMS– communications

Danke– thank you

Ja– yes

Juden– Jew

Liebling– darling

Prost– cheers

RAF– Royal Air Force

Shatz– sweetheart

SOE–  Special Operations Executive

SS– Schutzstaffel, paramilitary organization under Hitler

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