bastle
Posted: 08 September 2016 08:26 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I hadn’t heard this word until yesterday when I saw a short presentation about bastles, small fortified houses in the north east of England.  It’s not in OED, and the only reference I can find is a possible link to French bastille. A few lie in ruins in North Yorkshire and Northumberland. Link wikipedia

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Posted: 08 September 2016 09:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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It’s not every day one learns a new word which isn’t modern slang or technical jargon, ElizaD. Thanks.  The place illustrated in your link appears to have been thoroughly defortified, inside and out--- those handsome windows are no part of a fortification. Looks like a great place to snuggle down for a day or two. (On the other hand, the Border sounds like a really good area not to have hung out around, five hundred years ago)
As for etymology, “bastille” sounds convincing enough for me.

For no logical reason, the word makes me think of Humpty Dumpty and his portmanteau words: “bathroom” and “castle”, for instance.  An Englishman’s home is his bastle

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Posted: 08 September 2016 10:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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As the footnote in the Wikipedia entry Eliza links to indicates, it is in the OED under the headword “bastel-house”.  It is, as she suggests, connected to bastille.

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Posted: 09 September 2016 05:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Definition “ A fortified house, usually having the lower floors arched over”; first and last citations:

1544 Late Exped. Scotl. sig. B.iiv, Dyuers bastell and fortified houses.
1884 Programme Archæol. Inst. Newcastle The Mediæval Castles, Towers, and Bastle-houses in Northumberland.

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Posted: 09 September 2016 06:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Thanks to all for your replies.  Lh’s links (not sure where they’re from but they) pointed me in the direction of Old Scottish, hence this:

Bastailȝe, Bastalȝe, n. Also: bastalȝie; bastelȝe, basteilȝie, bestailȝe; bastilȝe, -ulȝie, -ȝy. [F. bastille, whence also M
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Posted: 09 September 2016 06:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Thanks to all for your replies.  Lh’s links (not sure where they’re from but they) pointed me in the direction of Old Scottish, hence this:

Bastailȝe, Bastalȝe, n. Also: bastalȝie; bastelȝe, basteilȝie, bestailȝe; bastilȝe, -ulȝie, -ȝy. [F. bastille, whence also ME. bastylle, bastile, bastel(e.]

1. a. A wooden siege-tower. b. A defensive tower. (a) 1497 Treas. Acc. I. 373.
To the men that flittit the bastailȝe fra the Freris to the Tolbuth of Abirdene;
1513 Aberd. B. Rec. I. 87.
That all man duelland within this toun sal pas … to the linx, to devise thar bastailye and trinchis, and vthir fensabile wais, for defence of the towne;

From there I imagine it’s a small step to a fortified house.  Most of them have disappeared, which is why the word is so uncommon, but the few bastle-houses that remain have either been tarted up as in the earlier picture, or lie in ruins in the north east and Scotland. This Keys To The Past link gives more information, but also leads on to an interesting glossary of other long-forgotten words.

The photos I saw recently were mainly of ruins, though some of the fortifications gave a clue to their origin.  For instance, any house with a bricked-up top door in this area would probably have been a bastel house.

[ Edited: 09 September 2016 06:15 AM by ElizaD ]
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Posted: 09 September 2016 02:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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pointed me in the direction of Old Scottish

I gather that by Old Scottish you mean the English language or Scots as spoken in Scotland long ago, and not a language known as such. The word is clearly of Norman French origin and seems to be one that has mainly survived in the north of England and in Scotland.

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Posted: 09 September 2016 10:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Yes.  When I used capitals O and S, I was thinking of my citation from the “Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue”, where the etymology is clearly traced back to French “bastille”.  I shouldn’t have assumed that it’s common knowledge that there isn’t a language called Old Scottish.

The French connection goes back to a means of Scottish defence against the warring English in the 13th century.  (My ancestors are from both sides of the border).

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Posted: 10 September 2016 03:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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When I used capitals O and S, I was thinking of my citation from the “Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue”, where the etymology is clearly traced back to French “bastille”.  I shouldn’t have assumed that it’s common knowledge that there isn’t a language called Old Scottish.

But work on that dictionary was begun in the 1920s, when lexicography in Britain was still expressed in English (and with an editor who had cut his teeth on the OED). In the near-century since then, ‘Scots’ and ‘Old Scots’ have increasingly become the standard terms, so much so that when the digitised version was put online, along with the Scottish National Dictionary, in 2004, the site was titled Dictionary of the Scots Language.

That said, the fact that there is a language called [Old] Scottish or [Old] Scots is news to many. When I have used the term ‘Scots language’ I have several times had to explain to people that no, I don’t mean Gaelic.

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Posted: 10 September 2016 04:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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My citation came from the Dictionary of the Scots Language, based on two older dictionaries:

■A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (DOST)
Older Scots - 12th century - 1700
■The Scottish National Dictionary (SND)
Modern Scots - 1700 - 2005

Their 22 volumes provide a comprehensive history of Scots, making DSL an essential research tool for anyone interested in the history and development of the language.

According to Omniglot,

Scots is also known as braid Scots, Doric, Scotch or Lallans. Some people classify it as a dialect of English, and while it is closely related to English dialects spoken in Northumbria, it has had it’s [sic] own literary tradition since the 14th century.

The UK government accepts Scots as a regional language under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, and the Scottish Executive recognises and respects Scots (in all its forms) as a distinct language, and does not consider the use of Scots to be an indication of poor competence in English.

As an English speaker, I could more easily understand Scots, whereas I would find Gaelic incomprehensible.

I’ve been trying without success to find the Omniglot language tree* mentioning Scots, but I suspect it would list either English or Scottish Gaelic as its precursor. On this list of Germanic languages it isn’t listed where I would have expected, after Old Norse.  From which, and also from Dave’s and my reaction, I understand that the name Old Scottish is one not commonly used in linguistic circles, and the title of the Dictionary is the Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (used as an adjective, not a noun). I certainly didn’t mean to refer to the language, rather the title of the dictionary.  Laying aside political issues, was I wrong, and should Old Scottish be listed in language trees?

*Where are the language trees on Omniglot these days?

[ Edited: 10 September 2016 04:49 AM by ElizaD ]
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Posted: 10 September 2016 04:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Just for the record, I didn’t mean to offend anyone. I sometimes make “corrections” like this not because I think the poster doesn’t know what they’re talking about, but for others who don’t have the background and knowledge of the regular posters here and for which it may not be clear.

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Posted: 10 September 2016 05:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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For the benefit of our home viewers.

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Posted: 10 September 2016 05:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Lh’s links (not sure where they’re from

Sorry, the cites are from the OED—I was responding to Dr. T’s comment, which referred to it.

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