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 following my granny around (being baby sat) until I was big enough to start shoveling the cow crap.

I remember getting cow-cake pellets and treacle on a stick from the big steel treacle drum to eat to keep me quiet. It was perfectly edible even if in no way certified for human consumption.

those times also predated veterinary additives and growth enhancers and I’m still here so it must have been OK.

So yes. Me and my mate did have that job of slicing neeps for cattle feed. Minus the cat bit of course. Child labour.

I’m pleased with the drawing in how it captured the atmosphere of the buildings I remember. Dusty, dry, dark and full of wonders.


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 on it’s – Aaover – all over, Daover – do over, Dek – 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.

Ten 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.

One thought on “Feckless.

  1. A friend Ian Cameron had a wee discussion in an e-mail group he’s in and they came up with a few variations they were familiar with as youngsters.

    ‘A version of eenie, meenie, minie, mo……..or one potato, two potatoes…. etc
    “Zeentie, teentie, figgerty, fell
    Pell, mell, dominell
    Urky, purky, tawry rope
    You are oot!”
    Can’t be sure of spelling or punctuation!’
    Andy Gillies.

    ‘Across in the east, of course, we had a bit of refinement:
    “Eentie teentie hithery bithery
    Dong dell romanell
    Lang tang toozie Jock
    You are out!”
    Jim Finney

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