If you go to ScotlandsPeople and click on “Research Tools” and then “Help & Resources”, you can find three glossaries. There are separate lists for medical terms, occupations and ‘unusual’ words.The Dictionary of the Scots Language at http://www.dsl.ac.uk is a growing site and the most comprehensive of them all.
However, sometimes we need something just geared to our present research. If you need terms from legal documents defined, try www.scan.org.uk/researchtools/glossary.htm. This is the site of the Scottish Archive Network. The other research tools under this tab are a currency converter, family history guide, and weights and measures.For place names, try The Gazetteer of Scotland at www.scottish-places.info, a site created by the University of Edinburgh and the Royal Scottish Geographical Society. In the upper left side, chose ‘Glossary’ from the list. Here are the definitions for brae and cairn. Notice the old maps, and archaic and modern descriptions of places also. As the site’s home page says, find the “bens and glens from the Scottish Borders to the Northern Isles.”
The Scottish government has a similar website at www.scotlandsplaces.gov.uk. In the upper right, you can search for a place by name by typing in a town or parish. Directly under that at the extreme right is a place to click ‘Scotland A to Z’ to view a list of place names, not a glossary. To find out some definitions of terms used, look to the list on the left of the home page and click ‘Scottish Place Names’. Here you can find out what a Royal Burgh is.©2013, Susan Lewis Well