This morning I was returning from my daily walk in the woods when I heard the distinct call of “Gardyloo” from the house. Naturally, I immediately took cover behind a tree and waited. It appears that Silas was merely tossing a hatful of ladybugs out the window towards the garden.
Gardyloo is an interjection meaning look out. It’s a warning cry that was specifically made popular by the Scottish in Edinburgh to warn pedestrians of slop water being thrown out of windows. If one was traversing the sidewalks of Edinburgh and heard from above “Gardyloo“, one would wisely move away from the potential trajectory of chamber pot refuse and what not raining down upon them.
It is believed that the word originates from the French garde à l’eau which means beware of water.
The word was still notably in use in the 1930s and 40s, when indoor plumbing was still not city-wide. Nowadays, gardyloo is often used as a general cry of warning, a “watch out” or “mind your head” type of holler.
In my house, it can mean so many things, so it behooves one to heed the cry and take cover. Today was ladybugs. Tomorrow could be something not nearly as sweet.