To-whit, To-woo: The Donsie Lass Blogs

A Penny Dreadful

A Brief Introduction October 16, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — donsie @ 18:15 pm

Entry from Oxford English Dictionary Online

Copyright © Oxford University Press 2008

donsiedonsya. and n.

Chiefly Sc. and north dial.  

({sm}d{rfa}ns{shti})  Also doncy-cie[Origin and primary sense unknown.] 

    A. adj.

    1. ‘Affectedly neat and trim’ (Jam.); nice; hence saucy, restive (as a horse). ? Obs.

1717 RAMSAY Elegy Lucky Wood iv, She was a donsie wife and clean. 1721 KELLY Scot. Prov. 68 (Jam.) Better rough and sonsie, than bare and donsie. 1786BURNS To Auld Mare v, Tho’ ye was trickie, slee, an’ funnie, Ye ne’er was donsie. 1789 D. DAVIDSON Seasons 56 (Jam.) Come Muse! thou donsy limmer, who dost laugh, An’ claw thy hough, at bungling poets. 1892 in Northumbld. Gloss.

    2. Unlucky, untoward, unfortunate. Also, poor, dreary, low-spirited; sickly, feeble (cf. DAUNCY a.). Sc.north., and U.S. dial.

1720 A. RAMSAY Familiar Epistles 10 Has thou with Rosycrucians wandert? Or thro’ some doncie Desart danert? 1786 BURNS Address to Unco Guid ii,Their donsie tricks, their black mistakes, Their failings and mischances. 1789 D. DAVIDSON Seasons 61 (Jam.) Straight down the steep they slide wi’ canny care, For fear o’ donsy whirl into the stream. 1805 Lancaster (Pa.) Jrnl. 2 Oct. (Th.), Citizen Lafferty must have a ‘doncy’ opinion of the cause, when he is afraid to bet even. 1835 J. D. CARRICK Laird of Logan 273 Sic an unco wastrie in the way of claiths..made me a thocht donsy. 1853 Yale Lit. Mag. XVII. 223 (Th.), [She brought some letters] to my room, to keep me from feeling ‘donsy’. 1880 [see DAUNCY a.]. 1917 J. L. WAUGH Cute McCheyne 108 My faither was sawney an’ donsie.

    3. Dull or slow of comprehension; dunce-like.

1802 SIBBALD Chron. Sc. Poetry Gloss., Donsie, dunce-like, dull, stupid. 1822 GALT Sir A. Wylie III. xxviii. 237 Dinna heed the donsie creature.

    B. n. One slow of wit, a stupid; a dunce.

1825 JAMIESONDonsie, Doncie, a stupid, lubberly fellow. Roxbc1826 HOGG in Wilson Noct. Ambr. Wks. 1855 I. 213 That poor donsy.

Back December 10, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — donsie @ 21:45 pm
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So, it’s not really a blog until it has a post like this one.  I can’t believe how long it has been since I’ve updated this, blah, blah, blah.  I’ve been so busy, everything is crazy, yadda yadda yadda.  Now that that’s out of the way we can get back to business.

I attended an amazing workshop yesterday that was all about Web 2.0 so I’m feeling inspired to brush up the old Social Web skills to use for come upcoming Historical Archaeology projects.  More pressingly, I have my upgrade review for my PhD to get finished… finally.  In case you’re wondering why this has taken so ruddy long, it’s because my first Supervisor took a severance deal in the recession-fuelled Great Cull at my university.  I only got a new supervision structure in place (after tons of blood, sweat, and tears) about two weeks ago.  Everything was a bit stalled by that but it’s finally under way again.

And so I set forth…


The Research that Never Was April 3, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — donsie @ 7:42 am
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I went to see a man about a PhD.  He was in far-off Belfast, Northern Ireland, which has been enjoying a return to traditional pastimes of late.  It seems, so my sorrow, that there really isn’t much in the way of data for me to use.  This is a problem, though for some research students, apparently not an insurmountable one.  I am “redefining my research area” in the hope of salvaging this beast, which is to say I’m buggered.


Maybe This Was Just Some Big Misunderstanding October 16, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — donsie @ 21:25 pm
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I still haven’t heard back from my department’s graduate admissions head.  She will not respond to my emails.  This leaves me with the small but sustaining hope that this was all just a big mistake and so I still may have the opportunity to take up my previous plan of living as a wandering hermit among the sheep.  I have purchased a small volume in preparation.  


Good for the apocalypse and/or an unexpected PhD.

Good for the apocalypse and/or an unexpected PhD.




Still, from its title the book may well prove useful even if I do trade the moors for research in the underground stacks of the oh-so-alluringly titled “Rarely Used” section. At least that way I can keep up my indie street cred by reading books nobody else has ever bothered cracking.


Mission Totally Mundane: A Library Security Breach October 15, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — donsie @ 22:19 pm
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Turnstile be damned!

Turnstile be damned!


Tonight I decided that the best way to spend my time treading water, as it were, while I wait for her child’s illness to subside and thus stop barring my departmental head of post-graduate admissions from beginning to register me was to get out some library books and pretend to begin conducting research.  I was being dragged there anyway to watch a mad Englishman hunt for texts relating to the profession of librarianship and so I decided I might as well come home with a few at least peripherally topical texts.  The problem was that when we arrived, while his External Borrower card allowed non-staffed hours access, I possess only my expired ID from my MA because of the gap between the conclusion of that degree and the delayed start of this PhD.  I was stuck at the turnstile without a friendly but incomprehensibly broad-speaking Yorkshireman porter to aid my entry and so, despite a web of CCTV coverage that would surely put MI6 to shame, I got on my knees and slid under the metal bars.  I am pleased to relate, Dear Reader, that my trench coat suffered no ill effects but I now live in fear that I will be hunted like the criminal I am by those very same porters, if they ever get the England score they so desperately sought.  As to what sport this referred I cannot say.  I was lucky enough, however, to experience the special and, I can only assume, prophetic thrill of having the lights in the stacks turned off on me while I searched among them.  I continued to poke around in the dark until an above-mentioned porter discovered me, shook his head, and pointed me toward the light switch.  I left it dark.  Expect more of the same in the coming months.


Re-Enlisting Or: Empson Made Me Do It October 14, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — donsie @ 20:44 pm
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I found out on Friday that, despite having long ago given up on getting funding and thus doing my PhD, I will be receiving just enough money to keep me in value-range tinned food through the course of my studies/breakdown.  Thus, despite having missed the start of term by at least three weeks and counting, I was coerced into taking up the offer.  The main culprit in this was the Svengali of a man I once believed to be my good friend over at Herding Cats, whom I shall call Empson to protect his identity.  I would like to point out that he stole the expression from me, and I stole that from someone even cleverer.  I suppose this means we are both well on our way to embracing good, old-fashioned academic traditions like intellectual theft.  Maybe I am ready and able for this thing after all.  In any event, without time to consider the full long-term impact of this mad undertaking I allowed myself to be duped into submission and so, for posterity and the researchers who may one day choose to delve into the deep, dark, downward spiral that will no doubt comprise the next three years, I am compelled to record the tale faithfully.





Portrait of the Artist as Someone Far More Interesting
Portrait of the Artist as Someone Far More Interesting