Bawdy Scottish Humor

Fergusson, David. A Select Collection of Scots Poems... Chiefly in the Broad Buchan Dialect. To Which Is Added a Collection of Scots Proverbs...

Edinburgh: Printed by T. Ruddiman and Co., 1785. 180 by 110mm (7 by 4¼ inches). 12 mo. 2 parts in 1; [4], 38, 60; 36 pp. Very nicely bound in early 20th century 12 red morocco, gilt decorated spine, over marbled boards with marbled endpapers. Bookplate of Allan D. MacDonald on front pastedown.

Very good plus; table of contents leaf closely trimmed at fore-margin, affecting a few page numbers.

A scarce early edition. Two of the selections in the first part are in macaronic verse (Latin and Scots). The second part, A Collection of Scottish Proverbs,” are arranged in alphabetical order and are quite edgy. For example:

He that is fraid of a fart should never hear thunder.”

He is a fairy cook that may not lick his ain fingers.”

This then continues with section headings such as:

Of Rich Persons; of ignorant persons; of effeminate persons; of drunkards; of hypocrites.”

Of especial interest for the study of dialect is an eight-page Key” with English translations of the hard words”.

The compiler, David Fergusson (c. 1533–1598) was a Scottish reformer and minister of the Church of Scotland. For a minister, it’s certainly a bawdy book. Among the authors represented in the book are Robert Forbes, William Forbes, and William Drummond.


In stock

Stock Code: 1040B18 Collection:


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