taghairm

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Scots Gaelic

Noun[edit]

taghairm (uncountable)

  1. An ancient divination method of the Highland Scots: The oracle of the hide in which a person was sewn into the hide of a freshly killed ox, and placed beside a waterfall. This would enable him to foresee the results of an impending battle. From Sir Walter Scott, The Lady of the Lake.
  2. An ancient divination method of the Highland Scots, in which cats were roasted alive to call up the spirit of the demon cat who would grant the wishes of the torturers. Described in detail in the London Literary Gazette for March 1824.