An English In Kentucky

 

 

 

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February 13th 2009 (Friday)

    The word 'toft' I always thought was an equivalent to the word 'croft'. 

    In my mind the word 'croft' is usually accompanied by the name Sutherland, and the word 'toft' is usually accompanied by the word hill-fort.  The two words probably are the same.  One from the Gael and one from the Norse. 

    The Duchess of Sutherland replaced people with sheep, and I have always thought 'croft' a word lonely from the sadness associated with that unwanted exile.  'Toft' on the other hand suggests a more living heritage.  Something landed and still devolving through a family.

    'Crofts' and 'Tofts' are what I think of as 'tribal words' and their American equivalent is something like 'eighty acres and a mule'.

    Like 'self-sufficient', the 'tribal words' have a smugness to them.       

 

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