Monday, January 15, 2007

Wi' Wallace bled

Two quotes from "Scots Wha Hae" in a single day- what can be the meaning of this?

Lepidus pointed out a story in The Economist about Poles coming to the Highlands in significant numbers, many of whom have names that were originally Scottish.

I think that the story might have come from a comment I made to Edward Lucas about Lech Walesa, whose name has been said, without any confirmation, to be a corruption of Wallace.

Certainly the family is very much part of the area- and may be Kaszub - and of course the City of Gdansk does have two districts: Stare and Nowe Szkoty.


Etzel Pangloss said...

Welch (Wallace/Walesa) and other forms of the word simply meant foreign in Old German.

I suspect that if there is similarities between Sottish and Polish names then Germanics will be responsible. (Unless of course, history has denied me the story of the great Scottish exodus to Poland!)

vaba cymrulane said...

There has been plenty of movement between Scotland and Central/East Europe. There are settlements of Scots all over the place, ranging from Russia to Poland, from Lithuania to Estonia. There was even a small conference in Aberdeen discussing this.

herschelian said...

There have been links between Scots and Poles for centuries, this may be of interest:

Anonymous said...

The Poles are having the biggest impact on this country of migrants since the Huegenots Cicero. Not just because of the per capita numbers but also because of their widespreadeness. Many other immigrants for part cultural/part commercial reasons have over the last fifty years clustered in London and a few large northern cities. Anecdotal experience chimes with stories from places like Crewe. The Poles will go anywhere. So this immigration is an experience the whole country is feeling not just regions of it as in past.

I can't help but wonder how closely it is tying us to Polande. I'm reminded of that BBC series Cold war where Andreotti was relating a tale of how the American used their Italian community to great effectin the elections of 1948 when the communists were threatening takeover. By that stage there was hardly a family in Italy that didn't have a relative of some descrip in America. The American therefore used their patriotic feeling to get them into a letter writing campaign to family back in Italy urging them not vote for the Communists. Andreotti said its importance couldn't be overplayed. Why mention this, well the influence it gave America. With our influx especially from Poland, should we be seen as similarly influential in "New europ." How should we use this influence is a great question surely Cicero.


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