Wovember Words #12

Today’s Wovember Words are Gaelic words relating to sheep, and come from Dana MacPhee from Uist Wool. In crofting areas there are many specialised words in both English and Gaelic for sheep, caoirich in Gaelic, at different phases in their lives. Here are a few:

birth to weaning uan reithe

tup or ram lamb

uan fireann

hogg or wedder

uan boireann

ewe lamb

weaning to first sharing una reithe/othaisg reithe

ram or tup hogg

uan / othsaig fhireann

wedder hogg

othaisg bhoireann

ewe hogg

until second shearing coig ràitheach

shearling or one-shear tup

molt coig ràitheach

shearling wedder

caora dhà bhiadnach


until third shearing reithe dà bliadhnach

two-shear ram


two-shear wedder

uan / caora dhà bliadhnach / caora sheasg

two-shear breeding ewe / barren ewe

until fourth shearing reithe trì bhliadhnach

three-shear ram

molt trì bliadhnach

three-shear wedder

caora uain / caora sheasg

three-shear breeding ewe / barren ewe

after fourth shearing seann reithe

aged ram

seann mholt

aged wedder


aged or vast ewe

broken-mouth ewe

Extracted from The Crofting Handbook. If you are not a Gaelic speaker, then here’s a website to get you started.



Foula Sheep, image ©Magnus Holborn

This entry was posted by tomofholland.

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