[From Manx Reminiscences, 1911]





TA mee er chlashtyn shenn skèeal, foddey erd henney dy bollagh lane mannanyn ye er mullagh sleityn, ny er king thallooin ayns Mannin; as ren ny roosteyryn genmys eh yn " Ellan Mannanyn."

Oddagh y vanrian er ye baagh casherick, ny "totem " jeh Manninee.

Ta’n shey enmyn Manriiriagh shinney—.







Va " Mayl " ny " Myl," sharvaant.

Ta’n ockle ayns Gaelg, " mayl."

Ta paart dy leih gra dy row eh "Moylley." Te smooinit dy daink ad veih Kione ny Mayllagh, son foddys yn Ellan dy baghtal ye ry-akin voish shen.



[nb much of this is mistaken]


I HAVE heard an old story, that long ago there used to be a great deal of kids on the top of the mountains, or on the headlands of the Isle of Man, and that raiders called it the " Island of Kids" (mannanyn).

The kid might have been the holy animal, or " totem " of the Manx.

The six oldest Manx names are

Mylecraine Mylchreest
Morrison Mylrea
Mylvartyn Mylvreeshey

" Mayl " or " Myl," a servant.

The word in Manx is " mayl."

Some people say that it was " moylley," praise. It is thought that they came from the Point of Galloway (Mayllagh), for the Island can plainly be seen from there


Foddey er dy henney v’ad croghey deiney son geid kirree, ny cooid erbee elley, veagh eh feeagh ny smoo na peesh groit as lherig.

Te recortyssit j eh dooinney ren goaill yn sock j eh keeaght, voish boayl er-gerrey da Colby gys Ballarobert. Va’n sock feddynit er yn cheeaght echey, as va leagh currit er liorish bing cc groit as lherig, as v’eh croghit. Ta’n voayl enmyssit Ballacriy.

Va MacSteaoin, sherin shaner Juan Juan yri Oe, va’n chied er dy gholl noi yn leigh..

Cha row margey erbee son oarn, agh dy yannoo lhurie jeh, as ren dooinney geid sack dy oarn. Va MacSteaoin er y ving, as hug eli yn leagh groit er yn oarn, as ren yn ving rheynn ry cheilley ayns daa lieh, as hooar dooinney jeh. Ren yn vriw briaght jeh MacSteaoin, Quoid sack yinriagh eh creck ec yn leagh shen. "Whilleen sack as yirinagh oo xiy merriu bio lurg daue er ye croghit.’ Ren Chiarn Athol caghlaa yn leigh.


Long ago they hanged a man for stealing sheep, or any other goods, that would be worth more than fourpence halfpenny. [6d - fpc]

It is recorded of a man who took the plough-share off a plough from a place near Colby to Ballarobert. The share was found on his plough, and the price put on it by the jury was fourpence halfpenny, and he was hanged. The place is called Ballacriy.*

Costain, the great grandfather of John Juan yn Oe (John John the grandson), was the first man who went against the law.

There was not any market for barley, but to make ale of it, and a man stole a sack of barley, Costain was on the jury, and he put the price of fourpence on the barley, and the jury divided into two divisions, and the man got off. The deemster asked Costain (son of Steven), How many sacks of barley he would sell at that price ? " As many sacks as the dead you could make alive after they were hanged." Lord Athol changed the law.

* I.e. gallows farm [FPC - nb Kneen derives it as Cry's farm].


" Robin vooar, Robin vooar,

Gow jaagh, gow jaagh, gow jaagh."

Cha nel jaagh aym, cha nel jaagh aym."

Kionnee, kionnee, kionnee."

" Cha nel ping aym, cha nel ping aym, cia

nel ping aym."

Gow daayl, gow daayl, gow daayl."


Va ushag reeast ushag jeh thalloo injil, as v’ee miolit cc yn lhondoo dy chaghlaa ynnydyn.

" Lhondoo, lhondoo, vel oo cheet ? Vel cheet ? "

" Ugh cha nel. Cha jig dy bragh."


" Big Robin, big Robin,

Take a smoke, take a smoke, take a smoke."

" I have no smoke, I have no smoke."

" Buy, buy, buy."

" I have not a penny, I have not a penny, I have not a penny."

"Go on trust, go on trust, go on trust."


The plover was a bird of the lowlands, and she was eiiticed by the blackbird to change places.

" Blackbird, blackbird, art thou coming, art thou coming?"

" Ugh ! I am not. I shall never come"


Ta dy chooilley vreeockle focklit magh ayns Gaelg, as ta mish smooinaghtyn dy vel shen yn oyr shynney lesh ny Manninee kiaulleeaght, Ren eh jannoo ad tastagh.

Ta ny smoo coraaghyn breeockle ayns yn Gaelg na ayns glare erbee elley.

A. Cur rick da. Ta shen eh.
E. Eaishtagh. Eh ?
I. Cordail, kied.
O. O ! Hiarn, joarree, oney.
U. Gew, guin, loo, ugh (doillidys tayrn ennal).

Ta scrieu Ogham keint dy scrieu Ghaelgagh. Ec y toshiaght ye banglaneyn veggey jeh caghlaaghyn keint dy viljyn. Va dagh lettyr as billey echey da hene.


Every vowel is pronounced in Manx, and I think that is the reason the Manx love music. It made them observant.

There are more vowel sounds in Manx than in any other language.

A. Gives satisfaction. That is it.
E, Listening. Eh?
I. . Agreement, leave.
O. O! I,.ord, strange, innocent.
U. Pain, wound, swear, ugh (difficulty of breathing).

Ogham writing is a kind of Gaelic writing. At first it was little branches of different kinds of trees. Each letter had its own tree.


Ec lheid y traa shen jeh’n vlein, va ny deiney aegey, as ny ‘neenyn aegey, sumnit gys Ballachastal, as oddagh yn chiannoort, ny briwnyn, ny toshee yioarree, as ny oaseiryn elley, reih nane erbee dy bailleu, son hoght skilleeyn ‘sy vlein as nyn vreayll. Va’d goll ny vud oc gollrish reih booa ‘sy vargey, as va’n ghuilley, as ny ‘neen, yinnagh yn toshiagh.-jioarey cur yn dat orroo, v’ad eignit dy hirveish yn vlein shen, lhig daue ye booiagh ny dyn. Va warreevooar my yishig as v’ee er n’ghoaill da’n vriw liorish yn slattey, as hie ee gys Lunnon marish ben y vriw, ayns caayr-hroailt, as er y raad veeit ad maarlee, ren goaill ny v’oc voue. Va’n warreevooar yn charvaant, as va yen y vriw er ghra r’ee dy chur yn sporraii ayns y chleeau fo yn eaddagh eck, as myr shen. va’n argid sauit.


At a certain time of the year, the young men and young women (of the island) were summoned to Castletown, and the Governor, deemsters, coroners, and other officers, could choose any one he liked, for eight shillings a year and their keep. They were going amongst them like choosing a cow at a fair, and the boys, or girls, the coroner would put his rod (or wand) upon, they were obliged to serve for that year, whether they were willing or not. The great-grandmother of my father was taken for the deemster by the " rod," and she went to London with the wife of the deemster in a travelling coach, and on the road they met robbers, who took what they had from them. The great-grandmother was the servant, and the deem-ster’s wife had told her. to put the purse in l~r breast (bosom) under her clothes, and so the money was saved.


Roish va foaddanyn ayn, ye doillee dy gheddyn aile foaddit. Va sleih jannoo ymmyd jeh steillin as flint, as cur kied da ny smarageyn tuittym er aanrit losht, ny sponk, as eisht sheedey er yn sponk dy chur er gholl er aile. Ny keayrtyn yinnagh eh goaill traa liauyr dy gheddyn aile.

My yinnagh ad fakin jaagh jeh thie erbee, harragh ad raad liauyr dy gheddyn aile.

Va’n aanrit rollit cooidjagh, as eisht v’ad foaddey yn aanrit ayns yn aile, as cur eh mygeayrt lesh yn laue, dy chur er cummal aile gys yogh ad thie.

Veagh yn voayn currit dy kiarailagh er yn aile ec yn oie, as eisht yinnagh pyagh ennagh ayns y thie girree dy moghey dy reayll yn aile goll. Ny keayrtyn harragh dooinney lieh veelley dy gheddyn aile ayns e phiob.


Before there were matches, it was difficult to get a fire lighted. People used a steel and flint, and gave leave (allowed) to the sparks to fall on the burnt linen or tinder, and then blowing on the tinder to make it go on fire. Sometimes it would take a long time to get fire.

If they would see smoke of any house they would go a long way to get fire.

The linen was rolled together, and then they lit the cloth in the fire, and putting it about with the hand, to make it keep on fire, until they would get home.

The turf would be placed carefully on the fire at night, and then somebody in the house would arise early to keep the fire going. Sometimes a man would come half a mile to get fire (a light) in his pipe.


Ve feer ghoillee dy reayll dy liooar foddyr da’n ollagh ayns yn gheurey. Cha row monney. stoyr bee-geurey oc, as v’ad broo conney lesh thornaneyn, ayns ammair clagh, jeant jeh claghyn garroo currit er kione mygeayrt ys mysh clagh er ny lhie.

Ta mee er n’akin daa ghooinney broo conney son bee da’n ollagh keayrt ny ghaa.

Paart dy cheayrtyn, ec jerrey yn gheurey, veagh yn ollagh cha faase nagh veagh ad son girreê seose, as veagh ad coodit lesh eaddagh dy reayll ad cheh.

Ec Laa’l Moirrey ny Gainle va shenn raa oc:

" Laa’l Moirrey ny Gainle
Lieh foddyr as lieh aile."

Lieh jeh’n chreagh moayn, as lieh foddyr, lhisagh ye faagit dy roshtyn gys yn Voaldyn, yn chied laa jeh’n tourey.


It was very difficult to keep enough fodder for the cattle in the winter. They had not much store of winter food, and they bruised gorse with mallets, in a stone trough, made of rough stones placed on end about a stone lying (flat).

I have seen two men bruising gorse for the cattle many a time.

Sometimes, at the end of the winter, the cattle would be so weak that they could not rise up, and they would be covered with clothes to keep them warm.

On Candlemas Day they had an old saying :-

" On the day of Mary of the Candle
Half fodder and half fire."

Half of the turf-stack, and half of the fodder, should be left (remaining) to reach (last) to May-day, the first day of summer.


Va’n ving foddyragh symnit liorish yn toshiagh jioarey, dy yeeaghyn lurg sleih va maáse. oc. My va ny smoo dy vaase ec dooinney ny va bee echey daue son three meeghyn, va’n ving cur lesh wheesh jeh ny maase nagh row bee echey daue, as cur lhien ad gys y valley, as çreck ad ec yn chrosh liorish cant. Eisht deeck ad son yn laboraght oc, eisht my va veg dy agrid oc harrish, va’d cur eh eisht da’n fer s’lesh ny maase. Va’n oyr shen dy reayll ad veih geid voish nynnabooyn. Foddee dooinney erbee cur er yn toshiagh jioarey dy symney bing foddyragh.


The fodder jury was summoned by the coroner, to look after people who had cattle. If there were more cattle at a man (if a man had more) than he had food for three months for, the jury carried as many of the cattle as he had not food for and brought them to the town, and sold them at the Market Place * by auction. Then they paid for their labour, and if they had any money over, they gave it to the man who owned the cattle. The reason of this was to keep them from stealing from their neighbours. Any man could make the coroner summon a fodder jury.

* Lit. " at the cross."


Er yn chiedoo laa as feed jeh’n Voaldyn ayns y vlein nuy cheead yeig as hoght, va shin ec Ballachrosh reuyrey shenn chrockan magh ass shenn grunt oanluckey.

Va dooinney traaue ayns y vagher, as haink yn cheeaght noi clagh leac va er mullagh y chrockan. Va’n chrockan jeant jeh cray losht, as va leoie yn pheccagh marroo ayn Va’n chrockan mysh trie er yrjid, as mysh trie elley tessen y veeal, as va’n vun echey runt gollrish kishan shellan Va’n chiagh leac mysh daa hrie ayns lhiurid, as ye er y chrockan son farkyl Va’n chrockan jeant shickyr lesh claghyn elley mygeayrt y mysh, dy reayll eh veih scughey V’eh er ye broojit liorish ny claghyn elley, as va’n lhiattee echey currit stiagh. Va’n chrockan mysh un line fo eaghtyr y thalloo, as ta cowraghyn jeh crockanyn elley ayns y vagher shen.


On the twenty-first day of May, in the year nineteen hundred and eight, we were at Ballacross digging an old urn out of an old burial ground.

A man was ploughing in the field, and the plough came against a flat stone which was on the top of the urn. The urn was made of burnt clay, and there were ashes of a dead person in it. The urn was about a foot in height, and about another foot across the mouth, and its bottom was round like a beehive. The flat stone was about two feet in length, and it was on the urn for a lid. The urn was made steady by other stones about it, to keep it from moving. It was bruised by the other stones, and its side was put in. The urn was about a foot under the surface of the earth, and there are signs of other urns in that field.


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