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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1965 (SND Vol. VI).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

MONTH, n.2 Also mount(h); and adj. deriv. ¶monthly. [mʌnθ] The name given to the eastern end of the range of the Grampian mountains, chiefly in Angus and Kincardineshire, forming the southern boundary of the valley of the Dee.Abd. 1768 A. Ross Works (S.T.S.) 7:
And chiels shall come frae yont the Cairn-a-mounth.
Ayr. 1796 Burns As I came o'er i.:
As I came o'er the Cairney mount And doun among the blooming heather.
n.Sc. 1808 Jam.:
To gang oure the Month, to cross the Grampians. The phrase is particularly used with respect to one pass, called the Cairniemonth, or more properly Cairn of Month.
Abd. 1928 H. Alexander Cairngorms 12:
The Mounth roads or tracks which cross the range from south to north, and which take their name from the old term for these mountains, the Mounth, frequently spelt “munth” in old documents and so pronounced to-day.
Kcd. 1933 L. G. Gibbon Cloud Howe 17:
The borough of Segget stands under the Mounth, on the southern side, in the Mearns Howe.
Abd. 1952 W. Alexander Place Names 337:
The Month was the old term for the main watershed of the Grampians. In this area the word is still used for three of the hill-tracks across the range; the Fir Month (Birse and Glentannar), Capel Month (Glenmuick) and Tolmonth (Braemar), and in the same connection are to be considered Monega, Mount Keen, and farther to the east, the Cairn o' Month.

Combs.: 1. month-grass, the sheathed cotton-grass, Eriophorum vaginatum. Also reduced form month; 2. monthly bird. the fieldfare, Turdus pilaris (Ags. 1885 C. Swainson Brit. Birds 6). This form is doubtful.1. Ags. 1881 Trans. Highl. Soc. 162:
Almost to the tops the heather is mixed with “month” or “moss” grasses. . . . The greater portion being covered with heather, mixed here and there with month or mosses.
Sc. 1887 Ib. 160:
These grasses — known in some parts of the north of Scotland as “month” or draw moss — constitute the principal food of hill stocks.
Ags. 1888 Scots Mag. (Jan.) 108:
Other flowers kindly strive to brighten these stormy elevations; and the viviparous fescue-grass and the “month-grass” supply the scanty herbage which covers their nakedness.

[O.Sc. moneth, id., 1198, month, a high hill, mountain, 1375, the Mounth, c.1420; Gael. monadh, id.]

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"Month n.2". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 30 Jan 2023 <>



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