Poem by Robert Burns, written in 1792, about the wife of Willie Wastle.  The poem is followed by a Glossary.

 

Willie's Wife.

By Robert W. Burns 1759-1796.

 

Willie Wastle dwalt on Tweed,

   The spot they ca'd it Linkumdoddie;

Willie was a wabster guid,

Cou'd stown a clue wi' ony body,

He had a wife was dour and din,

O Tinkler Madgie was her mither;

Sic a wife as Willie had,

I wad na gie a button for her!

 

 

She has an ee, she has but ane,

The cat has twa the very colour;

Five rusty teeth, forbye a stump,,

A clapper tongue wad deave a miller;

A whiskin beard about her mou,

Her nose and chin they threathen ither;

Sic a wife, etc.

 

She's bow-hough'd, she hein shinn'd

Ae limpin leg a hand-breed shorter;

She's twisted right, she's twisted left,

To balance fair in ilka quarter;

She has a hump upon her breast,

The twin o' that upon her shouther;

Sic a wife etc.

 

Auld baudrons by the ingle sits,

An wi' her loof her face a-washin;

But Willie's wife is nae sae trig,

She dights her grunzie wi' a hushion;

Her walie nieves like midden-creels,

Her face wad fyle the Logan-water;

Sic a wife as Willie had,

I wad na gie a button for her!

 

Glossary

baudrons - a cat

bow-haughed - crook thighed

clue - a ball of straw-rope used in thatching

ee - eye

fyle - soil or dirty

dour - stubborn

din - dun in colour (Gypsy heritage)

deave - deafen

dight - wipe away

grunzie - mouth

hand-breed - hand-breadth

hein-shinned - hanging leg - limp

hushion - footless stocking worn on the arms as well as legs

ilka quarter - any direction

ingle - fireside

Lincumdoddie - a real place, see following article. 

loof - cats paw

midden creels - dunghill baskets

sic - such

stoun - stolen

Tinkler - Tinker

trig - neat, elegant

Wabster - a weaver

walie nieves - large fists

 

Lincumdoddie.

The following was written to the Scotsman newspaper on October fourth 1889 by Mr. J. R. Cosens, an Advocate, son of the Minister in Broughton.

Five and a half miles above Broughton, on the road to Tweedsmuir and Moffat, there is a hill burn, which joins the Tweed, called the Logan Water, and on the bank of the Tweed, nearly opposite to the spot where the waters meet, stood a thatched cottage known as Lincumdoddie.  The place is still marked by three trees, but the cottage disappeared forty years ago.   An old inhabitant of this district told me that he minds his grandfather speaking to him about a Gideon Thomson, a weaver, who at the end of the last century lived at Lincumdoddie.   This man was what in those days was called a customer weaver , and seems to have been a chararcter.   My informant says he himself remembers the cottage, and is sure that his grandfather always spoke of the place by the name of Lincumdoddie.