Holmes on the moor in thick mist with the Baskerville hound riddled with lead and feeble cries from the quicksand.
The Scottish Word:


“I’m a bit deaved wi all the gunplay Watson. Can you hear onythin? Along the lines o ‘…sinking in a bottomless gullion…’, ‘help help’ an sic like?”


gullion: deep pool of mud, a quagmire, marsh.

“I’m a bit deafened with all this gunplay Watson. Can you hear anything? Along the lines of ‘…sinking in a bottomless quagmire…’, ‘help help’ and such like?”

[gullion spelled out in the phonetic alphabet.]

Illustration Friday.
Detective – in the mists.

Conan Doyle a Scot and creator of Sherlock Holmes the best sort of detective. Doyle became interested in the paranormal, seances and the use of mediums.

Although supposedly being investigative he was taken in by several hoaxes.

This surprised me given the logical reasoning, science, and awesome deductive powers he wrote into his characters.

Houdini was a friend of Doyle at the time and tried to persuade him of how easily illusion and trickery can fool people.

The Amazing Randi who debunks the paranormal is too extreme an opposite to gullible for me. Too pontifical.

So much so that he almost persuades me to become more credulous.

I prefer the entertaining mental tinkering of Derren Brown who demonstrates in his shows how amazingly we can deceive ourselves. He also has a sense of humour and is also an excellent artist.

Scepticism should be the default position of us all.

To be an awkward bastard who questions and doubts all accepted opinion.

Which also means to be sure to question and doubt the accepted ‘skeptical’ opinions promoted by those who say: science knows best, the ‘wise’ know what is good for us, your elders and betters should be obeyed and to give the mysterious and unexplained any consideration is silly.

Just stay grounded, all things become ordinary in the end.

And to a friend that gnashes his teeth and blows steam out his ears about Homeopathy. He fumes that the dilution in homeopathy is such that no molecule of the original active ingredient can remain and thus the whole thing must be fake.

Showing that something cannot be found does not prove definitively that it does not exist nor its effects. It just strengthens the probability of that being true. Try harder.

A detective factoid: Doyle’s brother in law created Raffles.

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

4 thoughts on “Gullion.

    1. If you mean the cold breeze and mist that blows off the sea it’s spelled haar and pronounced the same. Although I have to say spelling in Scots is what you like, almost.


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