I asked her what was the tartan she wore,
She smiled and told me Smith.
I’d never considered that Clan before,
But fair enough – the Smiths of yore,
The Sassenachs of Aviemore,
The flints in the monolith –
The common Clan for the ev’ryman,
The hammers and tongs of myth.
She asked me the tartan in which I deck,
Buchanan, perhaps, or Brodie, or Beck ?
I smiled, and told her Burberry Check.
It seems that the Gaelic word for smith is the origin of the Clan McGowan, but that even before surnames arose in the Highlands, some Scots had Anglisised their profession to ‘smith’.