Scots Blog

The Scots language has a rich tradition, and abounds with marvellous words. This blog will regularly show a different Scots or Gaelic word with its English equivalent. I hope that you will enjoy them as much as I do!

Linda Gilmore Sutherland


BOTHY 15/08/16

by Linda - 00:01 on 15 August 2016


The word Bothy has two main meanings. One is a rough hut used as temporary accommodation, for example by shepherds, salmon-fishers or mountaineers. The other is permanent living quarters for workmen, especially a separate building on a farm used to house unmarried male farm-workers.

One of my abiding memories from the first significant hike I made in Scotland (in 1966) was the over-night stop at the Carrour Bothy.  Do have a look at this link to a wikipedia article with some photos. The hike was from Loch Morlich (near Aviemore) to the Linn of Dee (near Braemar).

I learned of the second meaning of bothy in the context of Bothy Ballads which farm labourers in the northeast of Scotland (where I lived for 20 years) sang to entertain themselves.  You can listen to a bothy ballad here on YouTube, and look at some evocative old photos at the same time.

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