Sunday, 11 August 2013

Blatherskite - You're Talking Sh ...

Blatherskite, Bletherskate
Painting by Karl Heyden (1845-1933)


Noun. Dialectical & US colloquial. Also bletherskate. Mid-17th century. See also BLITHER.
[from BLATHER Old Norse blathra, from blathr nonsense + SKATE noun origin unknown mean, contemptible or dishonest person.]

A foolish and voluble talker, a blathering person. Also, foolish talk, nonsense.

Note: Popularized in the US during the War of Independence through the Scottish song Maggie Lauder by F. Sempill

You can never be too well-armed with epithets for those that persistently talk a load of guff, and blatherskite has a particularly pleasing tone, don't you agree? Blatherskite. It has an obscure, Haddockian ring to it, firing off the tongue like a stinging dart of verbal justice. And below, I've embedded Maggie Lauder, the Scottish song that popularized blatherskite in the US, though if you can understand a word of it you're doing a darn sight better than me. I'm pretty sure he says blatherskite at the end of the first verse.

Do you use blatherskite?

Are you a blatherskite? Am I?

Do please leave your most voluble comments below.


  1. I don't know about blatherskite, but Haddockian is a treasure.

    That song...this is only a guess, but is there something in there about a bagpiper?

    Or is it about two other blokes?

    1. Haddockian is good, isn't it? Use it. I want it to become a word. It should be a word. As for the song, I've no idea. There was definitely something about pipes in there, and someone called 'Maggie Lauder', but beyond that I'm as clueless as ... umm ... Clueless.

  2. I well remember this song!
    My dear old dad was Scottish, and he sang it when he had a few whisky's under his belt!

    I found these lyrics:

    Maggie Lauder lyrics

    1. My word! Reading the lyrics is almost as hard as listening to them. Maybe I should have a couple of jars ... maybe it'll all become clear after that ...

    2. That could be the secret to it! :)

  3. I have a horribly resonant suspicion that I am a blatherskite, but what a scrumptiously-sounding thing to be.


    1. As scrumptious as blackguard? You know, I think it might be.