I once knew a man named Isbister.
Thank you for your concern and condolences.
He pronounced it izz-biss-tur. His first name was Murray – a good Scottish name. It’s where the word ‘Mondegreen’ comes from.
They’ve killed the Earl o’ Murray,
And laid ‘im on the green.
His last name might have been Czechoslovakian for all I knew. There was a Scottish housewife in town, with a brogue as thick as a bowl of steel-cut oatmeal, married to a Polack named Mackowski.
I recently heard spoken references to another Isbister, this one clearly a Scottish citizen, referred to by another Scot. This time, the pronunciation was eyes-biss-tur. The family name is locational, coming from a village named Isbister.
The speaker also referred to another village named Fladdabister. The Scots do have a way with language and pronunciation. I kid (Sure I do) that the Irish are hard drinkers. With names like that, maybe my lot were giving them lessons. I mean, Scotch whiskey didn’t just happen.
Two towns with the word
in their names – what could it mean??
Bister is a pigment obtained by burning (waste) wool. It is/was used in paint and ink. Apparently the simultaneous oxidation of lanolin and keratin, produced a deep, permanent black, similar to India ink. It is no surprise that it is linked to the sheep/wool industry. Other than growing oats, raising James Bond, and stealing magic rocks back from the British Parliament, there’s not much else to do in Scotland.
Scotland the Brae! It’s a great place to be from. Now, don’t get your kilts in a knot. 😉