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Has anyone ever made a dictionary of Pictsie-speak? I would very much like to know some of the finer nuances of the meanings of their various verb-inflections. Or something, wha hae. --Kiwibird 19:57, 12 November 2005 (CET)

A few words are explained in the first pages of A Hat Full of Sky. It might be interesting to list some more on the picties language. --Sanity 11:45, 13 November 2005 (CET)

I now have wintersmith, and there is a much better vocab list in that one. I'll get on it asap...--CommanderJake, AMCW 20:06, 22 January 2007 (CET)

I've done a bit of what I can remember, can't remember what else there is.--CommanderJake, AMCW 10:09, 15 October 2006 (CEST)

One more thing, is there any reason that the article is called "pictsies", I thought the official name was "Nac Mac Feegle". Can this be changed? Or does it not matter?--CommanderJake, AMCW 10:09, 15 October 2006 (CEST)

Ref. "language and dialect" - "carlin" - given as "a weak person". This can also mean "unworthy person", "nasty/evil/ill-natured person", or in parts of the Borders and the North of England, "witch" in the pejorative "crone" sense.--AgProv 00:57, 27 April 2007 (CEST)

Elsewhere Annotations I've introduced the interesting similarities between Pterry's Feegle and the Gordon Highlanders, as written about by Scottish author George McDonald Fraser. He wrote three books of semi-autobiographical short stories about his time as an officer in a Scottish regiment whose soldiers have a STRONG resemblence to the Feegle. At least two of them have glossaries of Scottish and military slang - a lot of which is also used by Pterry's Feegle. Search out The General Danced at Dawn, McAuslan in the Rough and The Sheik and the Dustbin (all published in paperback by Pan) for further info and an extended "Feegle" vocab! --AgProv 00:57, 27 April 2007 (CEST)

Here goes...

  • banjo (v) - to assault, beat up. (more here)
  • bauchle (v) - to shamble, stagger, walk unco-ordinatedly. (n)an awkward person, ref. Mort as we first encounter him, who is made out of knees
  • baur (n) - a joke, an amusing story
  • brammer (n) - a beauty, esp. of a girl.
  • claim (v) - to accost for purposes of violence. ("I'm claiming ye, ye wee scunner that ye are!")
  • crommach (n) - long shepherd's crfook carried by Highland shepherds
  • glaur (n) - mud, filth
  • greet (v) - to cry, weep, do the waily-wailies
  • hoatchin' - infested with, crawling with, heaving with.
  • humph (v) - to strain under a heavy load, such as a coo-beastie
  • intellek-shul (n) - a clever b*******
  • manky (n) - dirty, soiled
  • melt (v) - to assault, beat up
  • nyaff (n) - an unworthy or untrustworthy person
  • oxter (n) - armpit
  • peching (adj) - panting, breathless
  • pit the heid on - to deliver a sound head-butt
  • sclim (v)- to climb
  • schachle (v/n) - see bauchle
  • skelf (n) - fragment or splinter
  • stotter (n) - see brammer
  • shilpit (adj) - undersized, weakly, stunted
  • yahoo (n) - a barbarian, a person too slovenly even by Feegle standards

Hoping this serves as a start! I've placed this list here as this is Feegle-like language garnered from other sources: I'm sure one or two of the words in this list are "genuine", in that they can be found in the recorded speech of the Feegle in the books. I just don't want to add them "unproven" to the main list of words which the Feegle definitely use. --AgProv 19:20, 11 May 2007 (CEST)

"Eldritch" and "Special Sheep Liniment" are included in Miss Tick's glossary, but that doesn't make them particularly Feeglish (perhaps where "eldritch" = "oblong", but that might also be called illiteracy). TP uses "eldritch" frequently through the "adult" series as well. Likewise "yahoo", above, is from Jonathan Swift and common in English. --Old Dickens 14:50, 13 March 2010 (UTC)

Incidentally, on the APF, in the section about Terry Pratchett in his own words, Terry identifies one of his favourite authors (ie, one where he will go out, buy, and read everything the author has written) as being... George McDonald Fraser. Isn't it nice to know that what started out as a suspicion concerning an influence on Pratchett's writing is almost certainly true.... I'm quite chuffed!--AgProv 13:44, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

Also regard [1] on the Scots English dialect.

User:Daibhid Ceannaideach has done a complete translation of Death and What Comes Next into Scots/Feeglish for L-space. --Old Dickens 18:16, 29 December 2008 (UTC)

The Feegle: the soundtrack?

I've just been re-acquainting myself with Black Sabbath's LP Paranoid, and there's an interesting track called Fairies Wear Boots.

Goin'home, late last night -

Suddenly I had a fright!

Looked through the window, can't believe what I saw -

Fairy boots, a dancin' without pause!

Ozzie Osborne (and his doctor) finally diagnose the complaint as being due to too much smokin' and trippin', but what if Ozzie, a man renowned for not quite living in this world, really DID see the Feegle, possibly working up to a 512-some reel...--AgProv 08:56, 3 June 2008 (UTC)


Has anyone noticed the similarily with smurfs (small, blue with only one female in a group. It's as though the pictsies are the drunken cousins. (unsigned jibe by User:BOZZ 12:58 14 Jul

No, I can't say the connection ever crossed my mind. Maybe the original Belgians, but the North American television sort, no. gods, no. Executives from various manufacturers of highly sweetened breakfast cereal and their advertising agencies are looking for the numbers of those Swiss accounts. no...(shakes head vigorously, bangs ears with palms; the terrible thought clings to his brain like a Great Spell) noooo........ --Old Dickens 21:54, 14 July 2008 (UTC)

American commentator on all things Pratchett, Lawrence Watt-Evans[2], says (in his overview of the Discworld books, The Turtle Moves, Benbella Books, 2008, $14.95 US, $16.95 Canadian, £10.99 British), that

...the first impression is that they're a cross between Smurfs and soccer hooligans, but they're more than that..." and goes on to sum up that they live in matriarchal clans, serving a witch-mother called a kelda, who is abolutely nothing like Smurfette. They have a social structure that makes sense, in its own bizarre way..." (TTM, p135)

Actually the mother of the Smurfs is never mentioned. We only come across Papa Smurf (a skilled wizard) so it could well be that Mama Smurf was a lot like a Kelda:)

Intriguingly, mr Watt-Evans admits to having used the L-space web as a research source and deminstrates a familiarity with it, so I wonder if he's one of our band of L-space Wiki contributors? If so, hello! (Haven't seen any ideas I can definitely identify as mine coming back at me in his book, though....)

--AgProv 20:36, 18 October 2008 (UTC)

More thoughts on the similarity between Pictsies and Smurfs:- as TP remarked over apparent similarities between his and JK Rowling's ideas, "we're both fishing from the same stream here".

In this case the stream is the historical one, which allowed ample fishing for both Pterry and Father Abraham in shaping their respective creations. The reason both Smurfs and Pictsies are apparently blue: this draws on the Celtic tradition of two thousand years ago, which dictated a well-dressed warrior should go into combat having first covered himself with blue dye derived from the woad plant. Some sources suggest the woad was used as ink for more permanent tattoos.

The Pictsies are explicitly described as painted or tattooed so extensively their skins appear blue: the Smurfs just are blue. (Indeed, the Picts and the Caledonians were the northern-most Celtic tribes occupying modern-day Scotland: another tribe called the Belgae straddled both sides of the English Channel, and yes, incorporated modern-day Belgium, where some two millenia later, Father Abraham had an idea for a cartoon folk based on the Belgae of old...)

The shared cap is another item originated by neither Pratchett nor Abraham. The floppy conical cap falling over at the top is at least as old as the original Celts, and variations have been found all over Europe and the middle-East. Known as the Phrygian Cap, this has been found in the sacrificial bog-graves in Denmark (Tollund Man) and England (Lindow Man). It was worn by Persian tribes fighting Romans on the eastern border of the Empire, it was requisite headgear in the French Revolution (look at pictures of revolutionaries dressed in the "Smurf-Hat"), and even Stalin's Red Army wore a version in the early years of WW2. (but in khaki and caled a budionovka). --AgProv 10:35, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

Wee hags

Can anyone confirm that they ever called anyone but Tiffany the "big wee hag"? I don't recall and it seems unlikely. I think she's the only wee hag they know; Miss Level is full-sized and elderly. --Old Dickens 21:46, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

It was only Tiffany. They called all witches hags but Tiffany was the big wee hag or their big wee hag. --Confusion 20:39, 25 November 2011 (CET)

Should this be added?

In the extras section of one of the Harper-collin Tiffany Aching series books (I think it was Wintersmith but I can't be sure) Pratchett describes the Feegles as Scottish Smurfs who've watched Braveheart one too many times.

Should this be added to the Pictsies article, or no? Doctor Whiteface 05:04, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

It's an annotation, so I'd rather put it in a [[Book:Title/Annotations]] page. --Old Dickens 14:14, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

possible connection

Anyone else thinking of the Silastic Armourfiends of Striterax? Anyone? --Nowwaitjustaminutehere

Interesting idea, but the only real comparison point is that both races like to fight - the Feegle are pretty much a low-tech SAS (interesting acronym on the part of Mr Adams) who are satisfied with the potential of heads, fists and feet. Although if you took them into space and showed them the potential, who knows, and in a fiht between the two, would you bet on the Armorfiends? (Douglas Adams deliberately used American spelling to describe a space-age race of bloodthirsty maniacs. Interesting detail.) AgProv 20:05, 30 June 2012 (CEST)

I would say that the Armorfiends are more malevolent, while the Feegles are quite daft. It's like the difference between soldiers and the certain kinds of football fans; they are both likely to hurt you if you are wearing the wrong clothes, but one would cheerfully buy you a meat pie afterwards. Well, maybe. And the Feegles would never beat up a sack of Potatoes.--Stanley Howler 22:14, 1 July 2012 (CEST)