Distillation of ‘guising’ custom

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We have just come through Halloweeen. At our house, we were fortunate to be visited by children, as is customary. They were all charming, their costumes were marvellous, and they all had their songs, poems etc. My wife and I enjoyed all their acts.

However, the call of “Trick or treat” we found alien; the lanterns, although beautifully carved and lit, were also alien. The Scots term for this festival is “guising”, and the lamps should be made from turnips, “Jumpshie Lamps”.

I know language evolves, but I fear this is another Americanisation of our heritage, aided and abetted by television and the supermarkets, offering pumpkins and “Trick or treat” items.

None of the children had heard of dookin’ for aiples and treacle scones!

I don’t want to be a spoil sport, but I find it sad to see another distillation of our old Scots customs.

Jim Coltman