Word games

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I am glad that, like many of us, Erikka Askeland still gets some sunshine from the Reid Brothers (Perspective, 23 
February). She asks what “havering” is.

“Chattering nonsense” is a possible translation into English. Botanically, the word “haver” is oats, from which we get porridge. There may or may not be a connection there with the meaning of “havering”.

A much-used phrase in my childhood to indicate scepticism was “Hootstoots, havers and aiblins” – roughly translatable as “unbelievable, nonsense, perhaps”.

This might be an appropriate comment on many of the predictions of doom should Scotland vote Yes in the 
coming referendum.

David Stevenson

Edinburgh