But and ben

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Derelict but and ben near Lochhill

But and ben is an architectural style for a simple building, usually applied to a residence. The etymology is from the Scots language for a two-roomed cottage,[1][2] The term has been used by archaeologists to describe a basic design of "outer room" conjoined with "inner room" as a residential building plan; the outer room, used as an antechamber or kitchen, is the but, while the inner room is the ben.

Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald was born in a but and ben cottage in Lossiemouth, Scotland.[3]

In popular culture[edit]

The Broons own a but and ben in the country where they take holidays. In 2008, Waverley Books published a But an' Ben Cookbook.

See also[edit]


Line notes[edit]

  1. ^ Robinson, Mairi (1985). The Concise Scots Dictionary. Aberdeen: Aberdeen University Press. p. 75. ISBN 0-08-028492-2. 
  2. ^ Ernest Ingersoll, 1906
  3. ^ David Marquand, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography