CBC blog tour posterHello I’m delighted to be sharing an opening stop on the blog tour for Cauld Blasts and Clishmaclavers by Robin A Crawford, alongside Linda @ Linda’s Book Bag. Thanks so much to Alison Menzies of Elliott & Thompson for the invite and for my lovely copy. Before I share my review here’s what the book is all about:

Cauld Blasts draft cover new.indd

“The evocative vocabulary, wit and wisdom of the Scots language – from Robert Burns to Twitter.

Scottish writer and bookseller, Robin Crawford, has gathered 1,000 Scots words – old and new, classical and colloquial, rural and urban – in a joyful celebration of their continuing usage. His amusing, erudite definitions put each of these words in context, revealing their evocative origins and essential character. Delightful line drawings by Scottish printmaker Liz Myhill contribute to this treasury of linguistic gems for language lovers everywhere.

The Scots language is intricately bound up in the nation’s history, identity, land and culture. It is also a living and vital vernacular, used daily. With references to Robert Burns mingling with contemporary examples from Billy Connolly and even Monty Python, Cauld Blasts and Clishmaclavers revels in the richness of one of our oldest languages, and acts as a precious reminder of words that are also beginning to fade away, their meaning and value disappearing.”

Available to pre-order from: Hive WaterstonesAmazon


My Review

This is a lovely collection of Scottish words, some I knew, but most I didn’t recognise at all, which is great as I love discovering new words!  There are also some fabulous black and white drawings by Scottish printmaker Liz Myhill, at the beginning of each chapter, which represents each letter of the alphabet.

ailsa cock
Ailsa Cock aka Puffin

I think my favourite new word from this treasury is ‘bumfle’. “It’s a wee bump or crease that needs smoothing. The literary example given in the book is from Evergreen Falls by Kimberley Freeman:  ‘No, I always have bumfle,’ she said, reaching up her sleeve for a handkerchief. ‘Bumfle? ‘ It’s an old word for the lump a hanky makes in your sleeve. ‘ she said.”

I’ve always got a tissue on me and so undoubtedly when I’m wearing long sleeve tops  there’ll be a bumfle! 😀

It’s a beautiful book to have on your bookshelves, and I highly recommend it, especially if you love discovering new words!


About The Author

Born in Glasgow, writer and Scottish bookseller Robin A. Crawford has a particular interest in the culture and natural heritage of his native land. He is the critically acclaimed author of Into The Peatlands: A Journey Through the Moorland Year, longlisted for the Highland Book Prize 2019. He lives in Fife, Scotland, with his wife.
You can follow Robert on Twitter and on his website