Document 112

Maws on the Buroo?

Author(s): Robert Fairnie

Copyright holder(s): Robert Fairnie


Geordie Jooks aye kent that Tammy Tosh wis a greetin faced girn. He’d been that aw his days e’er syne he wis a wee bairn at the schuil an he hid niver growed oot o it. When Geordie gliffed him ower the street ae efternuin, it wis ower late tae tak anither gate oot o his wey, sae he juist hid tae stell hissel agin whit he kent wis shuir tae come.

“Hou’s it gaun, Toshie?” speirt Geordie when they war face tae face.

“Och! Dinnae ask, Geordie. Ye widnae credit it.”

Geordie wished he hidnae but it wis ower late noo.

“Ye’r leukin a wee tait disjaskit, ar ye no, Tammy?”

“Disjaskit? That’s no the word for it. You’d be disjaskit an aw gin ye’d hid tae dree whit A’v hid tae pit up wi ower this last year.”

“Here it comes.” thocht Geordie but sayin, “How? Whit’s happened tae mak ye feel this wey?”

“It’s aw thae bluidie sea-maws. Hunners o thaim on tap ma ruif aw day an aw nicht. A cannae git nae peace at aw. Cannae mind when A last hid a guid nicht’s sleep. If it’s no thair lug deefenin screichin, it’s the thumpin an scrapin o thair feet on the ruif. Ye’d think thay’d aw got polisman’s buits on. An ye shuid see aw the mess. The ruif an gairden's ower the heid. Bluidie shite-hawks!”

“Is thon no yin thae auld polis hooses ye bide in, neist tae the auld buroo?” speirt Geordie, ettlin tae lichten the crack a wee bit.

“Ay, but whit’s that got tae dae wi it?”

“Weel, dae ye no see whit’s happenin here?” speirt Geordie.

“Naw, whit dae ye mean?”

“Pit yer mind back tae the days when Fisherraw herbour wis fu o fishin yoles. Ilka time the boats went oot tae the sea, ilka yin hid aboot twintie or thertie maws follaein ahint it an when the boats cam hame the maws cam hame wi thaim an bid doon bi the herbour an beach or it wis time for thair boats tae gaun oot agane. Wi fortie or fiftie boats in Fisherraw, that kept a wheen o maws oot the wey. But noo the’r nae fishin boats in the herbour at aw sae whit’s aw thae puir maws tae dae?”

“A dinnae ken but A’m shuir ye’r gaun tae tell me.”

“Weel, they’re juist lik awbodie else that losses thair jobs, Tammy. They hing aboot the buroo.”

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Cite this Document

APA Style:

Maws on the Buroo?. 2024. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 17 June 2024, from

MLA Style:

"Maws on the Buroo?." The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2024. Web. 17 June 2024.

Chicago Style

The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech, s.v., "Maws on the Buroo?," accessed 17 June 2024,

If your style guide prefers a single bibliography entry for this resource, we recommend:

The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. 2024. Glasgow: University of Glasgow.


Information about Document 112

Maws on the Buroo?


Text audience

Adults (18+)
Audience size 3-5

Text details

Method of composition Wordprocessed
Year of composition 2001
Word count 436

Text setting


Text type

Prose: fiction


Author details

Author id 95
Forenames Robert
Surname Fairnie
Gender Male
Decade of birth 1930
Educational attainment College
Age left school 16
Upbringing/religious beliefs Protestantism
Occupation Consultant Marine Structural Engineer (Retired)
Place of birth Musselburgh
Region of birth Midlothian
Birthplace CSD dialect area midLoth
Country of birth Scotland
Place of residence Musselburgh
Region of residence Midlothian
Residence CSD dialect area midLoth
Country of residence Scotland
Father's occupation Fisherman
Father's place of birth Musselburgh
Father's region of birth Midlothian
Father's birthplace CSD dialect area midLoth
Father's country of birth Scotland
Mother's occupation Fishwife
Mother's place of birth Musselburgh
Mother's region of birth Midlothian
Mother's birthplace CSD dialect area midLoth
Mother's country of birth Scotland


Language Speak Read Write Understand Circumstances
English Yes Yes Yes Yes At work
German Yes Yes Yes Yes In Germany to communicate with two grandsons
Scots Yes Yes Yes Yes Wherever Scots is understood