Scottish word of the day: Gowan

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IT IS likely that the word gowan derived from the Middle English term gollan. It is broadly defined as a daisy, and loosely defined as a white or yellow field flower.

Those of you that have spent Hogmanay singing along to ‘Auld Lang Syne’ might recognise the phrase ‘We twa hae run about the braes, and pu’d the gowans fine.’

Loosely translated, Rabbie Burns’ famous lyric means ‘We two have run about the slopes, and picked the daisies fine’, injecting a hint of Spring in to the old New Year’s classic.

As it happens, Burns wasn’t the only poet to wax lyrical about the gowan. William Cameron, a Stirling born writer famous for his celebration of the Scottish countryside, wrote a notable poem around 1830-50 entitled ‘Meet Me on the Gowan Lea’.

The chorous aptly requests ‘Meet me on the gowan lea, / Bonnie Mary, sweetest Mary; / Meet me on the gowan lea, / My ain, my artless Mary.’

If you fancy running about the braes, or meeting your own Bonnie Mary in a suitably floral environment, then there are plenty of places in Scotland to visit.

The Gowan Hill in Stirling and Loch Gowan in the Contin basin both offer scenic Scottish views which celebrate the country’s picturesque landscape. But if you would rather spend time in a highly rated Highland property, then Gowan Brae House in Fortwilliam is the place to go.