The Fisher Lass by John McGhie (1867–1952)
Other Scottish Country Dances for this Day
Today's Musings, History & Folklore
Scotland's fishing communities have a long history adapting to the hardships of a dangerous life. Fisher folk of the past acquired a reputation for being superstitious and following particular rituals in the hopes of both increasing the catch and avoiding danger with luck superstitions, including special superstitions about the power of words.
Herring were called "silver darlings" because fishermen believed that if they used the proper name "herrin," the fish would stay away! For a glossary of Scottish dialect fish names by Robert Watt, issued in 1989, click here.
Classic regional and signature seafood dishes include: Finnan-haddie (a cold-smoked haddock) and Arbroath Smokies (another regional smoked haddock), Cabbie-claw (from the Shetland dialect for young cod), Tweed Kettle (an Edinburgh-based salmon hash), "blawn fish" (fish hung up to dry in an open passage), and Haggamuggie (a sort of fish haggis).
See below for a 1920s British Pathé film showing the Scottish Herring Harvest. click the portrait of "A Scottish Fisherman" (19th century, artist unknown).