Animals and Insects

This list of animal and insect names does not include wild birds, poultry, marine life, or fish, which we hope to cover some time in the future.

hurchin — hedgehog

whiteret, whitterick, weazle — stoat

paddock — frog

beetle heids — half developed frogs (N.B. a beetle is a wooden-headed potato masher)

moose — mouse

screw, screwmoose — shrew, field mouse

leather-winged bat — bat

brock — badger (a ‘badger’ in Ulster-Scots is a hawker or dealer in farm produce)

cunning, kinnen — rabbit

man-creeper, mankeeper — newt, reputed to jump down people’s throats

eariewig, gellick — earwig

weaver, wabster — spider

pismire, pishmowe, pissmool — ant

slater — wood lice

deil’s needle — dragonfly

meg-many-feet, harry-hunner-feet — centipede

granny-mush — hairy caterpillar

bat — moth

clock — cockroach

grannies needles — daddy long legs

midgies — midges

bummle — bee

cleg — horse fly

bokies, creepers, podes — lice

bagle — beagle, small dog

colly — dog

grew — greyhound

houn’, hound — dog

tyke — dog

kitlin — kittens

kittle — to give birth to kittens

foofing — howling of a dog

sheroy — dogs attracted by a bitch in heat

cuddy — donkey, ass

naigies — horses

pownie — riding horse

jinnet — a hybrid donkey/pony

clean-bane — a type of shire horse without long hair on its lower legs

clib — one-year-old horse

wrig lin, rig — a half contracted horse, a horse with one foot higher than the other

cleek-ups — a twitchin the hind legs of a horse

gammel — the back of the knee of a horse’s hind leg

angle-berries, hackle-berries — large hanging warts on a horse

farsey — swollen legs in horses

creesly heel — skin diseases affecting lower part of a horse’s legs

garron — work horse

clib — a

hap aff — horse call to turn right

whee — horse call to stop

fittie-furr — horse nearest the furrow-side in a plough team

fittie-lan — horse nearest the land side in a plough team

bawsey — pet name for a horse

yad — horse

sheltie — small horse

soo — sow; any pig male or female

slip — young pig

claw-hammer — pig’s foot

nabs — the bottom of a pig’s leg

pig’s cloots — toes on a pig’s foot

creel-pig — young pig

hurrish-thurry — call to pigs

cappy, jorry — pet pig

turry — pig

grumphin — snorting or grunting of a pig

chay-chay — said to cows to quiet them

coo — cow

kye — cattle, cows

coo-clap — cow pat

coo-sherran, sharn — cow dung

coo-pushles — a single dropping of a cow

elder — cow’s udder

heft — cow with its teats plugged to enlarge the udder

forra-coo — a cow giving milk for 9-10 months without calving

fitty forra-coo — a cow giving milk for about 15 months without calving

beeslings — milk from a cow after calving

barroughed — cow with its hind legs tied together for milking

hoose — a disease in cattle causing a dry cough

langle — a tether for sheep, used to tie a front and back together to stop it from straying

dropped cawf — new born calf

quey — female calf

springer — a cow in calf

stirk — a 1 or 2-year-old cow

brockey — cow with a black and white face

brockit — cow with black and white stripes or spots

suckley, cawf — calf

hawkey — white-faced cow

yell — a dry cow, not giving milk

peasle — sex organ of a bull

moiley — a hornless cow

yowe, yo — ewe

tup, tipp — ram

dumb-craythurs, beastes, beece — any animals (other than humans)

craythur, critter — any living thing

cattle — birds and beasts in general

rung — a big-boned animal



The Ulster-Scots Academy has been an integral part of the Ulster-Scots Language Society since 1993. The name "Ulster-Scots Academy" is registered to the USLS with the Intellectual Property Office.

Ulster Scots Academy


A new edition of Michael Montgomery’s From Ulster to America: The Scotch-Irish Heritage of American English recounts the lasting impact that at least 150,000 settlers from Ulster in the 18th century made on the development of the English language of the United States. This new edition published by the Ulster-Scots Language Society documents over 500 ‘shared’ vocabulary items which are authenticated by quotations from both sides of the Atlantic. A searchable online version of this dictionary is now also available here.


The Ulster-Scots Academy is currently working on the digitisation of Dr Philip Robinson's seminal Ulster-Scots Grammar and the English/Ulster-Scots part (with circa 10,000 entries) of a two-way historical dictionary of Ulster-Scots. These projects are planned to be completed and available on the site in 2016.



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This site is being developed by the Ulster-Scots Language Society (Charity No. XN89678) without external financial assistance. USLS volunteers have been involved in preserving and promoting Ulster-Scots for more than 20 years. All donations, however small, will be most gratefully received and contribute towards the expansion of the project. Thank you!

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