Tha Ulstèr-Scotch Leid Societie, mintit at giein a heft tae tha Ulstèr-Scotch leid, oor ain hamelt tongue

Ulster-Scots Names for Plants

This list of local plant names has been put together by some of our contributors. It is only a list of the most common words still in use today. If you can think of any more - send them in.

whin - gorse

birns - charred stems of whins or heather

buckies - wild roses; rose hips

itchypoos - a child's name for rose hips

buckie breer- a wild rose bush

bread-an-cheese - young green leaves on a hawthorn hedge

fir tree - any coniferous tree

aish - ash tree

haw bush - hawthorn

skeagh - hawthorn

bush (rhymes with LUSH) - any shrub or small tree

the bushes - scrubby wasteland ('Tyrone among the bushes')

rowan - mountain ash, rowan

corn - oats

abraird - seedlings showing above the ground

scrog - scrubby woodland or a stunted bush

fairy thorn - a hawthorn tree standing by itself in an open field. Supposedly a haunt of the fairies. It is bad luck to cut a fairy thorn down.

plantin - a copse of trees; woodland

greenwood - growing branches with sap still in them

sally, saugh - willow

scobe - a sally or briar rod used for thatching

soupple - a pliable sally rod used for basket-making.

brammle, breer - blackberry, bramble

boortree bush - (boor rhymes with LURE) - elderberry tree

breer - any rambling thorn bush

cheeser- chestnut

blaeberry - bilberry

goosegab - gooseberry

bullace, slae - damson

slae bush, slae thorn - blackthorn

aipple - apple; also used for the small round fruit of the potato and tomato plants

orkie, orchy - small garden orchard

nits - nuts

kale - cabbage

lint, lin' - flax

fog - moss, lichen

scallions - spring onions

turmits, neeps - turnips

pratoes, praties, tatties - potatoes

skeedyins - small potatoes

soorlicks, sourleeks - sorrel

cratay. crawtae - possibly the birds-foot treefoil, or the bluebell?

wild carvey - wild carroway

day nettle - dead nettle; hemp nettle

dockins - docks

benweed, ragweed - ragwort

gowans - daisies

gillgowns, geelgowans - yellow daisies, corn marigolds

burrs - burdock

thrissle - thistle

buck-thrissle - Scots thistle

swine thrissle - sow thistle

bog-bean - ?

Easter lily - daffodil

fairy fingers, sheegy, or fairy thimble - foxgloves

pish-the-bed - dandelion

sagens, sagins - bullrushes

sagins raip - a twisted rope made of bullrush leaves

heids - weeds (especially dandelions) that have gone to seed

green-heids - top layer of moss when cutting peat

soorig - vetch

scutch grass, quickins - couch grass

gress, gerss - grass, a lawn (you cut the 'gress' rather than the 'lawn' - and so a lawn-mower is a 'gress-cutter')

eddises, eddices - after-grass, new growth after cutting for hay

bent - coarse grass; marram grass (on sand dunes)

robin rin-the-hedge - cleavers

guse grass, goose grass - cleavers

fitchy peas - vetch

The Editors would like to thank all those who provided words for this list, in particular the Society's Committee members, as well as Mr Norman Cubitt of Ballycarry and Mr William Thompson of Carrowdore.

[From Ullans, Nummer 1, Spring 1993]