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Birds, animals and idder beasties


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Icelandic name is músarindill, so that's possibly as close to Norse as you get.


I remember an Icelander telling me that their language had changed so little that, if he could time-travel and meet a viking, they could probably have a reasonable conversation. :)

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I asked Neil Anderson and he says he's tracked down no less than three local names. These are (and the spellings are from him, so somewhat Norse):


Sisti Mus

Robbi Kuddi


'Sisti Mus' (the Mouse's Sister) is interesting, as the Faroese name is 'Músa-bróðir' (the Mouse's Brother), so they are three Siblings? :lol:

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The name Tammie Norie seems to have been used for Puffins all down the east coast to Northumberland.




It could come from this story





Norrie’s Law is exactly three miles north from Largo Pier. Robert Chambers, in his Popular Rhymes of Scotland, gives the following curious traditional account of its origin:—"It is supposed by the people who live in the neighbourhood of Largo Law in Fife, that there is a very rich mine of gold under and near the mountain, which has never yet been properly searched for. So convinced are they of the verity of this, that whenever they see the wool of a sheep’s side tinged with yellow, they think it has acquired that colour from having lain above the gold of the mine. A great many years ago, a ghost made its appearance upon the spot, supposed to be laden with the secret of the mine; but as it of course required to be spoken to before it would condescend to speak, the question was, who should take it upon himself to go up and accost it. At length a shepherd, inspired by the all-powerful love of gold, took courage, and demanded the cause of its thus ‘revisiting,’ &c. The ghost proved very affable, and requested a meeting on a particular night, at eight o’clock, when, said the spirit

"'If Auchindownie cock disna craw,
And Balmain horn disna blaw,
I’ll tell ye where the gowd mine is in Largo Law.’

"The shepherd took what he conceived to be effectual measures for preventing any obstacles being thrown in the way of his becoming custodier of the important secret, for not a cock, old, young, or middle-aged, was left alive at the farm of Auchindownie; while the man, who, at that of Balmain, was in the habit of blowing the horn for the housing of the cows, was strictly enjoined to dispense with that duty on the night in question. The hour was come, and the ghost, true to its promise, appeared, ready to divulge the secret; when Tammie Norrie, the cow-herd of Balmain, either through obstinacy or forgetfulness, ‘blew a blast both loud and dread,’ and I may add, ‘were ne’er prophetic sounds so full of woe,’ for, to the shepherd’s mortal disappointment, the ghost vanished, after exclaiming:

"‘Woe to the man that blew the horn
For out of the spot he shall ne’er be borne.’

"In fulfilment of this denunciation, the unfortunate horn-blower was struck dead upon the spot; and it being found impossible to remove his body, which seemed, as it were, pinned to the earth, a cairn of stones was raised over it, which, now grown into a green hillock, is still denominated Norrie’s Law, and regarded as uncanny by the common people." This tradition was taken down by Chambers in 1825.

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I think the 'norie' or 'norrie' part of the name was onomatopoeic and the 'Tammie' part added later as a kind of pet name - in the same way as 'Jenny Wren', 'Robin Redbreast', etc. The name now seems to have been forgotten in Scotland and N.E. England.

I'd guess that the character in the story Muckle Joannie quotes got his name from the bird rather than the other way round.


Incidentally the earlier (Shetland) name 'lundi' was remembered by older folk when I was a child, though not much used as far as I recall.

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