Child labour operating Victorian farm machinery in a steading.
The Scottish Word:


As tae yer feckless idea tae experiment on what this neep mincer wid dae tae ferm cats.

Zeendy: try that wi onie o the ferm cats roond here an they’d skin us tae the bane and then feed us through the mincer thersells.

Look at them.

Teendi: if they didni yer faither wid skin us alive fur needless gruesome cruelty tae beasts.

Tethery: it is jist an illhertit feckless foutie idea – but maistly – a sair cruel ending for us. However ye slice it.


feckless: irresponsible.

As to your irresponsible idea to experiment with what this turnip slicer would do to farm cats.

Firstly: try that with any of the farm cats around here and they’d skin us to the bone and then feed us through the slicer themselves.

Look at them.

Secondly: If they didn’t then your father would skin us alive for unnecessary horrific cruelty to animals.

Thirdly: It is just a malevolent irresponsible despicable idea – but mostly – a seriously horrible outcome for us. However you cut it.

The Scottish Word: feckless with its definition and its meaning illustrated and captioned with the word used in context in the Scots language and in English.

Lived Experience.

As a child I had a Victorian stone built farmyard and a modern (for the time) dairy for a playground.

I was often in tow with my granny (baby sitting) who worked on the farm.

She used to give me cow-cake pellets and treacle on a stick from the big steel treacle drum to keep me occupied. It was perfectly edible even if not certified for human consumption.

It also predated veterinary additives and growth enhancers. Probably why I’m still here.

So yes. Me and my mate did have that job of slicing neeps for cattle feed. Minus the cat bit of course. We also used to shovel shite from the dairy and barrow it to the midden. Child labour.


Zeendi, Teendi, Taedheri, Mundheri, Baombe, Hecturi, Zecturi, Aover, Daover, Dek. One to ten from a children’s number rhyme or old ways of sheep counting.

Personally I think it only counts up to seven not ten. Zecturi the magic number seven and then it’s – all over, do over, tag you’re it.

Especially since it predates decimal by such a distance that there is now no longer any consensus on the pronunciations or spelling.

Fingers and toes? Is that the reason we have decimal? What about sexagesimal or duodecimal? I’d vote for the sexy sexagesimal because I like old fashioned clock faces.

But then I also grew up with 12 pennies in one shilling so duodecimal might be in with a shout. Twelve divides up so much better than ten.

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