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Scottish legends, myths and fairy tales

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  • Scottish legends, myths and fairy tales

    Hi together
    I have a serious question I need to ask to real scottish people!

    Currently I am working on an important academic seminar paper for school. The seminar is called "Scotland-Scottish identity" and the topic I decided to write about is "Scottish myths and fairy tales and their connection to Scottish identity".
    Therefore my question would be if somebody could tell me which Scottish legends, myths or fairy tales are especially popular among the Scottish people and frequently told to children !?

    You would do me a big favor by answering my question seriously and it would be great help for my dissertation about the "best country in the world"

    Greetings from Nuremberg! (a twin city of Glasgow by the way)

  • #2
    There is a link here that you might find helpful. Ossian and Tir na n-Og - Scotland's Stories


    Ossian is very interesting because it was said to be written by a blind bard called Macpherson, who is said to be Scotland's Homer.
    I haven't read it for a while, but it is very good. Sadly, the Macpherson bit was exposed as being a fraud, but not before it had taken in people like Goethe and Byron and really a large part of the educated society of Europe.

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    • #3
      Thank you very much!

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      • #4
        One of the better myths is how to chase a Haggis and catch it for eating.

        Haggis or Hagi (singular) are born with 1 leg longer than the other to allow them to run around the mountains in an upright position. However this limits them to either runnning clockwise or anti-clockwise dependant on which leg is the longest.

        Yup, you guessed correctly! To catch it you need to approach it from its front so that when it sees you it panics and tries to about turn. BUT! that then puts its long leg uphill and it loses its balance where it now falls and rolls downhill to the bottom.

        At this point you have to be quick and grab it before it realises what happened, regains its balance and runs off in the correct direction.

        It is all true, naturally

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        • #5
          When I was a student, other ambitious entrepreurnial students at Edinburgh Uni used to advertise 'haggis spotting' tours of Arthur's Seat. Much money was taken from foreigners over the summer vacation!

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          • #6
            Students will always be making money from such methods

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            • #7
              If you are looking for something connected to Scottish myths and fairy tales then read almost everything ever written about William Wallace... that man was so unreal that it would have been impossible to make him up!
              Support CHAS the Children's Hospice Association Scotland

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              • #8
                Scottish Myths

                Very true what you say about Wallace. There are lots of stories which can be found on these links SCOTLANDS BELIEVE IT OR NOT

                William Wallace Legendary Stories

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Puddle_Splasher View Post
                  One of the better myths is how to chase a Haggis and catch it for eating.
                  Haggis is, of course, English, not Scottish.

                  And 33% of American visitors to Scotland genuinely do think it's an animal.

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                  • #10
                    and 76.8% of stats are made up on the spot

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by tig View Post
                      and 76.8% of stats are made up on the spot
                      Haggis - like the "Scottish" kilt - is an English innovation.

                      The first known written recipe for a dish of the name (as 'hagese'), made with offal and herbs, is in the verse cookbook "Liber Cure Cocorum" dating from around 1430 in Lancashire (the Ŝ is an old English letter called "thorn" which was pronouced as the "th" in the word "the" and the "th" in the word "think").

                      For hagese'.
                      Ŝe hert of schepe, ŝe nere ŝou take,
                      Ŝo bowel noght ŝou shalle forsake,
                      On ŝe turbilen made, and boyled wele,
                      Hacke alle togeder with gode persole,

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                      • #12
                        Wiki pages are so enlightning !!!!

                        Originally posted by TheLastLazyGun View Post
                        Haggis - like the "Scottish" kilt - is an English innovation.

                        The first known written recipe for a dish of the name (as 'hagese'), made with offal and herbs, is in the verse cookbook "Liber Cure Cocorum" dating from around 1430 in Lancashire (the Ŝ is an old English letter called "thorn" which was pronouced as the "th" in the word "the" and the "th" in the word "think").

                        For hagese'.
                        Ŝe hert of schepe, ŝe nere ŝou take,
                        Ŝo bowel noght ŝou shalle forsake,
                        On ŝe turbilen made, and boyled wele,
                        Hacke alle togeder with gode persole,
                        Also from the same Wikipedia page !

                        Food writer Alan Davidson suggests that the people of Ancient Romans were the
                        first known to have made products of the haggis type.[5] Even earlier, a kind
                        of primitive haggis is referred to in Homer's Odyssey, in book 20, (towards the
                        end of the eighth century BC) when Odysseus is compared to "a man before a
                        great blazing fire turning swiftly this way and that a stomach full of fat and
                        blood, very eager to have it roasted quickly." Haggis was "born of necessity, as
                        a way to utilize the least expensive cuts of meat and the innards as well"[6]

                        Clarissa Dickson Wright claims that it "came to Scotland in a longship [ie. from
                        Scandinavia] even before Scotland was a single nation."[7] Dickson-Wright further
                        cites etymologist Walter William Skeat as further suggestion of possible Scandinavian
                        origins: Skeat claimed that the hag– element of the word is derived from the Old
                        Norse haggw or the Old Icelandic hoggva[8] (höggva in modern Icelandic[9]), meaning
                        'to hew' or strike with a sharp weapon, relating to the chopped-up contents of the dish.

                        One theory claims that the name "haggis" is derived from Norman French. Norman French
                        was more guttural than modern French so that the "ch" of "hachis", i.e.
                        "chopped", was pronounced as the "ch" in "loch", giving "haggis".

                        This conjecture, however, is discredited by the Oxford English Dictionary.[10]

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                        • #13
                          It doesn't really matter where haggis originally came from, the fact is it is now believed to be extinct everywhere except Scotland... and even here numbers are dangerously low. That said, if anyone wants to go on a haggis-spotting tour let me know and, for a reasonable fee I can sort it out; I will say in advance tho that there is no actual guarantee you will see a real, live haggis!

                          As for myths, etc another good one is that of Bruce and the Spider. I won't retell the story here (its worth looking up) but will say that with the numer of caves around Scotland (and Ireland) connected to the king, chances are he might have maybe, possibly, potentially been in on at almost exactly the same time as a spider had maybe been there that week (ie a Tuesday!)
                          Support CHAS the Children's Hospice Association Scotland

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                          • #14
                            Try 1430 BC...

                            The ancient Greeks had haggis, and the ancient Egyptians wore kilts. Tartan has been found from thousands of years ago. There weren't any English back then. Or Scots really.

                            The "kilts are English" thing is yet another Trevor-Roper and friends myth. A type of cultural hegemony, to keep us in our place. Culturally dominant nations which influence our culture, such as England and America are full of invented tradition, but you hardly ever hear about that. The current English Coronation Ceremony is a modern invention, 20th century in origin. Even the modern style kilt predates jeans, t-shirts, the pinstripe suit and all kinds of other items we wear on a regular basis by at least 150 years. Few American traditions go back particularly far. Some were invented within my grandfather's time.


                            (Two can play at George Orwell quotes)
                            "In this country I don’t think it is enough realized—I myself had no idea of it until a few years ago—that Scotland has a case against England."

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                            • #15
                              at the end of the day it doesnt matter where it came from....

                              would you care if i said dogs came from china or sheep came from Spain, cats came from Uruguay and hampsters came from uranus? (freddy star reference...topicalish humour lol)

                              my haggis come from that hill just over there....kinda northish a wee bit, about a mile from where i live.....buggers to catch tho but great if you put them in a curry

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