In Ulster they have an interesting term for what a hungry baby does at his or her mother's breast: they grabble or clutch at the source of nourishment. Paedar O Casaide sent me the word from Monaghan many years ago, and now I have it from James Baxter from Fermanagh, who asks where it came from. From the Scots grabble to grope, a word also found in some north of England dialects, from Dutch grabbelen, an extended form of Middle Dutch grabben, which gave us grab.
Tuesday, 9 February 2010
I have referred on several occasions to the weekly column by Diarmaid O Muirithe in the Irish Times and yesterday (8 February), he included another Ulster-Scots word in his column.
This is another of the Scots words that came to Ulster as Ulster-Scots and have passed into general Ulster dialect. The use of the word in Ulster is confirmed by the Dictionary of the Scots Language.
Posted by Nelson McCausland MLA at 20:07