Township: Hynish

Map Reference: Hynish 69

Name Type: shore

Meaning: Sloc an Aoirisg Gully of the urisk Rev John Gregorson Campbell
The Gaelic Otherworld, ed Ronald Black, p107:
In the Hebrides there is very little mention of the urisk at all. In Tiree the only trace of it is in the name of a hollow, Slochd an Aoirisg, through which the public road passes near the south shore.[possibly between Mannal and Hynish - JH]. John Gregorson Campbell: Superstitions of the Highlands and islands of Scotland 1900, 194

Other Forms: Sloc an Oillt - gully of terror - John Fletcher; Jessie MacKinnon, Mannal, 6/1994 (someone was frightened there by a goose).

Sloc an Oillsg - John Fletcher

Sloc an Ùraisg - John MacDonald, Mannal, SA1972.144 "a ghost"

Sloc an Uillt - gully of the stream - Lachie and Chrissie MacFarlane, Josie Fletcher and Willie Lamont

Related Places:

Information:'Ùraisg masc. Being supposed to haunt lonely and sequestered places, water-god. 3 Brownie. 4 Diviner, one who foretells future events. 4* Savage ugly-looking fellow. 5(AF) Bear. 6(MMcL) Sloven, slut. The ùraisg had the qualities of man and spirit curiously commingled. He had a peculiar fondness for solitude at certain seasons of the year. About the end of harvest he became more sociable and hovered about farmyards, stables and cattle-houses. He had a particular fondness for the products of the dairy and was a fearful intruder on milkmaids, who made regular libations of milk or cream to charm him off or to procure his favour. He could be seen only by those who had the second sight; yet I have heard of instances where he made himself visible to persons not so gifted. He is said to have been a jolly personable being, with a broad blue bonnet, flowing yellow hair and a long walking-staff. Every manor-house had its ùraisg and in the kitchen, close by the fire, was a seat which was left unoccupied for him. The house of a proprietor on the banks of the Tay is, even to this day, believed to have been haunted by this sprite and a particular apartment therein has been for centuries called Seòmar-Bhrùnaidh (Brownie's Room). When irritated through neglect or disrespectful treatment he would not hesitate to become wantonly mischievous. He was notwithstanding, rather gainly and good-natured than formidable. Though, on the whole, a lazy, lounging hobgoblin, he would often bestir himself on behalf of those who understood his humours and suited themselves thereto. When in this mood, he was known to perform many arduous exploits in kitchen, barn and stable with marvellous precision and rapidity. These kind turns were done without bribe, fee or reward, for the offer of any one of these would banish him for ever. Kind treatment was all that he wished for and it never failed to procure his favour. In the northern parts of Scotland the ùraisg's disposition was more mercenary. Brand, in his description of Shetland, observes, “that not above forty or fifty years ago almost every family had a brownie, or evil spirit so called, which served them, to which they gave a sacrifice for his service; as when they churned their milk, they took a part thereof and sprinkled every corner of the house with it for Brownie's use; likewise, when they brewed, they had a stone which they called Brownie's Stane, wherein there was a little hole, into which they poured some wort for a sacrifice to Brownie. They also had stacks of corn which they called Brownie's Stacks, which, though they were not bound with straw ropes or in any way fenced as other stacks used to be yet the greatest storm of wind was not able to blow away straw off them.” The brownies seldom discoursed with man, but they held frequent and affectionate converse with one another. They had their general assemblies too, and on these occasions they commonly selected for their rendezvous the rocky recesses of some remote torrent, whence their loud voices, mingling with the water's roar, carried to the ears of wondering superstition detached parts of their unearthly colloquies. In a certain district of the Highlands, Peallaidh an Spùit, Slochdail a' Chùirt and Brùnaidh an Easain, were names of note at those congresses and they still live in legends which continue to amuse old age and infancy. (Dwelly)

Local Form:

Languages : Gaelic

Informants: Lachlan and Chrisssie MacFarlane, Hynish, 1/1994

Informant 2: Josie Fletcher, Balemartine, 9/2009

Informant 3: John Fletcher, Balemartine, 9/2009