Cauld Kail an Custard

Cauld kail an custard,

Grannie’s awfie flustered;

stovies noo, in bramble stew,

dinna ken whit A can do;

A’m fit tae boak, A’m no that weel,

she’s bilin mince wi aipple peel;

tatties next, champit in jeelie‒“


Haud yer weesht, she’s ninety-three!”

A Glossary of Scottish Words:

kail: cabbage

awfie: rather

stovies: potatoes baked with leftover scraps of meat and gravy

bramble: blackberry

dinna ken: don’t know

fit tae boak: feeling nauseous

tatties: potatoes

champit: mashed

jeelie: jam

haud yer weesht: shut up

Previously Published at Drigible Balloon


David Bleiman

David is a grandfather and poet living in Edinburgh. He loves to write across the languages and his first pamphlet, This Kilt of Many Colours (Dempsey & Windle, 2021) is a multilingual mixter-maxter in English, Scots, Spanish and Yiddish. This celebration of David's Jewish heritage includes the prizewinning Trebbler's Tale, written in a partly excavated but largely reimagined lost dialect of Scots-Yiddish. With the sense of humour of an overgrown schoolboy, David is now writing childish poems for himself and other children.