Beurla Reagaird
RegionScottish Highlands
Early forms
Language codes
ISO 639-3
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Beurla Reagaird (Scottish Gaelic pronunciation: [ˈpjɤːrˠl̪ˠə ˈɾɛkərˠtʲ]; previously also spelled Beurla Reagair or Beurla-reagaird) is a nearly extinct, Scottish Gaelic-based cant used by the indigenous Traveller community of the Highlands of Scotland, formerly often referred to by the disparaging name "tinkers".[1][2]


Beurla Reagaird loosely translates as 'speech of metalworkers' in reference to their traditional occupation of being traveling tinsmiths.[3] Although Beurla today refers to the English language, its original meaning is that of 'jargon' (from Old Irish bélre, bél 'mouth' plus the abstract forming suffix -re),[4] with the second element being linked to the word eagar 'order, array, arrangement' (compare with the Irish Béarla na Saor 'speech of the smiths').[5]

See also


  1. ^ Evans, S. Stopping Places – A Gipsy History of South London and Kent (1999) Hertfordshire Press ISBN 1-902806-30-1
  2. ^ "Beurla-reagaird (Travellers' Gaelic Cant)". Am Baile. Archived from the original on 23 February 2012. Retrieved 7 March 2010.
  3. ^ Kirk, John M.; Donall P. Ó Baoill (2002). Travellers and their Language. Queen's University Belfast. ISBN 0-85389-832-4.
  4. ^ MacBain, Alexander (1982) [1896]. An Etymological Dictionary of the Gaelic Language. Gairm. ISBN 0-901771-68-6.
  5. ^ Neat, Timothy (1997) [1996]. The Summer Walkers: Travelling People and Pearl-fishers in the Highlands of Scotland. ISBN 0-86241-576-4.