Tag Archives: Foula

Foula fishing superstitions

In “ancient times” fishermen had to beware of meeting the bad foot [unlucky person] on their way to sea. According to Robbie Isbister, that is nowadays rightly dismissed as superstition.

We’re not told here who has the ‘bad foot’, but sailors’ superstitions generally tend to focus on people with flat feet or red hair. (That’s me and much of my family in trouble then… )

Also, among Foula fishermen certain taboo things were not to be referred to by their normal names at sea and had special sea names instead, eg:

  • yongers [horse]
  • scaffin (or fittin) [cat]
  • klibna [tongs],
  • blethers [sheep]
  • hyuncie [hen]
  • tounskerrie [cock]
  • rakki [dog]
  • cunning [rabbit]