The People & Language of Early Scotland

The Kingdom of BritonsThe Britons
Throughout the first millennium the Britons dominated much of central and southern Scotland. They spoke a language closely related to old Welsh or Cornish and left proof of this in the place names around Strathclyde and Glasgow.

Glasgow Glasgau Green Hollow
Lanark Lanerc The Clearing
Penicuik Pen y gog Cuckoo's Headland
Bathgate Baeddgoed Boar-wood
Partick Perthec Coppice: small group of trees







Video Button Click for video lesson in deciphering Scotland's place names.

Early Poetry
The following verses are a cradle song sang from mother to son, written in old Welsh around AD 650. It may well be the earliest poem composed by a women in the whole of the literature of Britain.

Video Button Click for video reading of 'Dinogad's Coat'

Book ButtonDinogad's Coat

Specked, specked, Dinogad's Coat,
I fashioned it of pelts of stoat.
Twit, twit, a twittering,
I sang, and so eight slaves would sing.
When your daddy went off to hunt,
Spear on his shoulder, club in his hand,
He'd call the hounds so swift of foot:
'Giff, Gaff - seek 'im, seek 'im, fetch, fetch.'
He'd strike fish from a coracle
As a lion strikes a small animal.
When to the mountain your daddy would go,
He'd bring back a stag, a boar, a roe,
A speckled mountain grouse,
A fish from Derwennydd Falls.
Of those your daddy reached with his lance,
Whether a boar, a fox, or a lynx,
None could escape unless it has wings.

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