tarbh uisge

"water-bull." The water-bull of Scottish Gaelic tradition. It is generally regarded as a harmless character and did no mischief to those who came near its haunts, which were the little lonely moorland lochs, from which it came forth only at night. It could be heard lowing near the loch, and came among the farmer's cattle, but was seldom seen. Calves having short ears, as if the upper part had been cut off with a knife (termed corc-chluasach, "knife-eared") were said to be its offspring. The water bull itself had no ears and so its offspring had only half ears.

The Manx variety is tarroo ushtey.



  • Campbell, J.G. (1900). Superstitions of the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. Glascow: James MacLehose and Sons, p. 216.