Document 1726

Scots Tung Wittins 75

Author(s): Robert Fairnie

Copyright holder(s): Name withheld


Nummer 75
Feb. 2000

Keepin a guid Scots tung in yer heid's nae guid! Lat it oot an uise it!

Scots Tung WITTINS

Eydentlie uphaudin the Scots Leid Campaine
e-screive: [CENSORED: emailaddress] Ph. [CENSORED: phonenumber]

Hinnermaist Deceesion Ower Census 2001.
THE hinnermaist fecht ower whuther a question aboot the Scots language gauns intae the 2001 Census or no will be focht on the efternuin o Wedensday 9t. Februar on the flair o the Scots Pairlament. A motion pit forrit bi Irene McGugan MSP will be debatit tae see if the Draft Census (Scotland) Order 2000 shuid be chynged tae alloo a question anent the Scots language eikit intae the census. The proponed question wad maist lik tak the form o:-

"Can you (a) understand (b) speak (c) read and (d) write Scots (including any local Scots speech form such as Buchan, Glasgow or Shetland dialects)?"

The'r aye still time for fowk tae screive tae thair MSP's or tae the papers tae uphaud the campaine. A guid wheen o fleetchin haes been gaun on an nae doot the'r a wheen tae come afore the 9t sae we wish Irene, the Scots language an aw its uphauders weel.

Parlez Vous Doric?
AIBERDEEN'S Evening Express haes reportit on a proponed new wey o learnin a fremmit leid tae the bairns in Aiberdeen's wee schuils. The City Cooncil Eddication high heid-anes haes ettelt a ploy tae see the bairns, as wee as five, uisin anither language for thair playgrund gemms an e'en some lessons. It'll be the first step alang the gait tae makin the bairns o the nor-aist twa-leidit or e'en three-leidit if ye coont in the Doric an aw. Thay stert aff lairnin the languages throu gemms, sangs an pentin then, as thay work thair wey up throu the schuil clesses, thay eik thair uiss o the leids intae ither subjecks, the likes o environmental studies an e'en coontin. The paper haes pit forrit the norrie that a three-leidit phrase buik micht be uissfu for bairns juist gittin stertit an gies the follaein English/Doric/French exemplars:-

How are you today?
Foo ye daein the day?
Comment ca va aujourd'hui?
I'm all right, thank you.
Och, jist chauvin awa, ye ken.
Comme ci, comme ca.
It's snowing very heavily.
It's fair dingin doon.
Il neige beaucoup.
I've nearly run out of cash.
I hinna muckle siller left.
J'ai tres peu d'argent.
I do like the shirt you're wearing.
At's a rare sark yi'v on the day, min.
J'aime bien votre chemise, monsieur.
You really are a silly billy.
G'wa ye glaik.
Espece d'idiot.

Scots Tung WITTINS
on the wab.
The Scots Tung Wittins can be vizzied or doon-loadit an prentit (noo in HTML format forbye) frae the wab-steid o :-
The Scots Speikers Curn, Glesca.
Wab-steid backin :-
A hard copie o STW is sent free o chairge tae aw maimbers o Scots Tung.
Maimbership subscreivins is £4 peyed ilka September. (£5 furth o United Kinrik)

Mair Learnin o Scots.
A new maimber o Scots Tung haes gien us parteeclars o a Scots language module that she's learnin tae growed-up collegianers at Newbattle Abbey College, juist ootside o Dalkeith in Midlothian.

The module is cried, "Language and Literature in Scotland: The Lallans and Doric Traditions."

Mints:- Tae gar an awaurness o the sindrie Scottish vices an the languages o Scotland (ootside o Gaelic) bodit in a saiprit module, maistlie kent as Doric an Lallans.

Ettles:- Tae fend an inlat for collegianers:
- tae git tae ken the monie kins o the Scots language in baith spoken an screivit forms, in media artifacts an in leeteratur;
- tae git awaur o the historical oncome o the Scots language;
- tae read, gaun intae the ins an oots o airticles an leirit papers anent the poleetical, social, eddicational, leeterary an practical vizzies o a Scots language come back an ither sic lik things;
- tae uise Scots dictionars for readin an screivin in the Scots language an tae braiden thair kennin o the Scots vocabular, eedioms, gremmar an spellin;
- tae cairie oot pairsonal speirin oot an speakin tae fowk tae record leevin exemplars o Scots language uiss an the souchs an expairience o its uisage in the raicent bygane an the praisent day;
- tae pit oot oreeginal screivit Scots work o sindrie kinds.

Catrina, oor new maimber, maks a guid job o speakin Scots hersel for aw that she's frae Americae. She maks guid uiss o no bein eddicatit in Scotland for the'r no onie cheep o the creenge frae her tae haud her back, juist a wee tait o unfameeliarity that she's no feart tae conter.

We wish her weel an haud her up as a guid exemplar tae the likes o wir ain hamelt Scottish eddicatit Scottish Executive, MSP's an aw thae teachers, academics an ithers that wad gie a heize tae the mither tung if it wisna for the creenge that wis brain-washed intae thaim bi a Scottish eddication seestem an a Scottish society.

A guid exemplar o hou thon brain-washin still affecks the wey we see wir ain wey o speakin wis plain as parritch in a shawin o BBC1's "Hoots!" This is a program that celebrates the history o Scottish comedy an comedians an features a wheen o guid spoken Scots frae the likes o Sir Harry Lauder an ither Scots comedians richt up tae the praisent day. When Fred MacAuley speirt a curn o hauflins frae Livingston whit thay liked aboot thae comedians, ae teenage lassie cam awa wi, "A like the slang that thay uise."

Rabbie's Wabsteid.
THE press reports that Scotland's Bard is aboot tae gaun online. Thae reports says that the words o the Bard, that whiles dumfooners some fowk, will suin be makit clear on a new wabsteid tae be handselt on Burns' Nicht. Fans frae aw the airts will be able tae ken noo juist whit the Ayrshire bard meant when he screivit words sic as "baudran" (the cat) or "Devil's pictur'd beuks" (playin cairds) bi cleikin intae this spaicial wabsteid. A leet o twa thoosan Scots words haes been owerset intae English, French, German an Spanish an Scotweb, that rins the wabsteid, is ettlin tae eik Russian an Japanese an aw. The wabsteid will be open tae uiss frae 25t. Januar at:-

Neist Forgaitherin Mon. 13t. Mairch 2000 7.30pm tae 9.00pm Comatee Rm. C. Brunton Ha, Musselburgh.

NAE SMOKIN Notices gauns up in the Brunton Ha, Musselburgh.
OFFEECIAL nae smokin notices wi the East Lothian Cooncil nem an logo on
thaim haes been pit up aw ower sindrie pairts o the cooncil's Brunton Ha in the Honest Toun. The notices haes turnt oot braw as coloured fotie-copies wi a guid quality plastic lamination.

[NOTE: two images here: 1.a door with 'Nae smokin' notice 2. East Lothian Cooncil Logo]
Parteeclars o East Lothian Cooncil Logo

The Scottish Six.
TV high heid anes frae the BBC haes been tellin a British Pairlament comatee in the Hoose o Commons that thay howp tae can tell bi Mey if thay'r gaun tae alloo the fowk o Scotland thair ain vairsion o BBC1's 6 o'clock News or no.

Efter devolution, it's shuirlie time noo that the Scottish viewers wis gien the inlat tae see thair ain Scottish, British an furth o Britain news frae a hamelt Scottish pynt o view. It's no guid eneuch noo tae shaw us hamelt English an Welsh news an pit it forrit as British news. We git telt that the meenister for this an the meenister for that haes duin this, that an the neist thing athoot pyntin oot that thae meenisters daesna hae onie owerance for Scotland an that whit thay'v duin is juist gaun tae affeck England an Wales. The'r sic a scant o thocht gien tae this bi the BBC that aiblins thare micht be aboot 95% o fowk in this kintra takin up the wrang end o the stick an thinkin it aw affecks thaim. Imagine hou dumfoonert fowk sooth o the mairches wad be if thay wis tae be telt that, "Susan Deacon, the Health Minister has just announced the closure of a major hospital in the capital." (an thon's a thing that cuid verra weel happen aince the new Royal Infirmary wis feinisht.) If it wisna pyntit oot that she wis the Scottish Health Meenister an that the capital wis Edinburgh, dumfoonert wadna be the word for it yet thon's a thing we hiv tae thole aw the time. Radio Scotland daesna seem tae hae onie bother pittin the ful reenge o news oot frae a Scottish pynt o view sae whit wey daes the tellie hiv tae keep on tellin us that, efter a guid stert, England juist managed tae git bate in the cricket test match agane an gie that mair staunin than the real naitional an internaitional ongauns on wir "Naitional News"? Efter aw, it's no as if we war speirin thaim tae hae the news read oot in Scots is it? Wha says we'r no?

A Fine Ham an Haddie.
AS a laddie, Geordie Jooks aye liked gaun tae the matinee o the picters on a Seturday efternuin. It wis aye 2d weel spent an this parteeclar Seturday wis nae different. For aw he haed juist been thare hissel, he haed fair enjoyed the picter an noo he wis comin oot the front doors tae the heid o the steps.

The front steps o the Heywechts picter-hoose faced strecht on tae Brig Street an at this time o year, Geordie wis aye gey near blinnit comin oot frae the mirk intae the daylicht. He haed his een gey near screwed up ticht agin the gliff an taen guid tent gaun doon the steps till his een got uised wi the licht. At the fit o the steps, he wis aboot tae turn aff for hame whan somethin glisterin in the gutter at the edge o the pavie grippit his ee. He went ower tae hae a better leuk an jings, did he no juist see some orra kinna fish lyin thare? Geordie picked it up tae hae a guid leuk at it for it wisna lik onie ither kinna fish he haed iver seen an, wi his faither bein a fisherman, the'r a wheen o fish he cuid easie pit a nem tae.

This ane wisna stiff as a board or ocht. It wis gey souple sae it maun hae been still gey caller. Aiblins it haed fawn aff a fish motor on its wey up frae Heymooth tae Newheiven mercat. He birlt the fish this wey an that as he gaed his wey hame, tryin tae pit a nem tae it but nane wad come. He kent it wisna a haddie or a whitin, a herrin or a mackerel an it wisna a crooner or onie kinna flet fish at aw.

In thae days his faither wis awa tae the war but his uncle Rob wis ower auld for gittin cried up sae he thocht he wad cry in tae his hoose an see if he kent whit kinna fish this wis. Uncle Rob wis preses o the Fishermen's Associe sae he wis shuir tae ken the nems o juist aboot aw the fish in the sea. In nae time at aw, Geordie wis at the hoose chappin the door an it wis uncle Rob hissel that opened it.

"Och, it's you Geordie, an whit's this ye'v got here then?"
"It's an orra kinna fish, uncle. A fund it in the gutter ootside the Heywechts an A wis wunnerin if ye cuid tell us whit kin it is."

Uncle Rob taen the laddie an his fish ben the kitchen whaur he haed a guid leuk at it in the licht frae the windae. He pit it doon on the bunker, turnt it ower tae see the ither side than picked it up an leukit in its mooth but nae nem wad come tae him. In the hinneren he shakit his heid an sayed, "Weel Geordie, A thocht A kent aw the fish in the sea but this ane haes got me fair bumbazed. A wadna lik tae try an pit a nem tae it. The'r juist a chance tho that auld Andrae at the tap o Caird's Raw micht weel ken whit it is. Juist you tak it alang tae him an tell him A sent ye."

Geordie taen up his fish, thankit uncle Rob an set oot for Caird's Raw. It wisna faur an he went throu the close at the tap o the Raw an up the first ootside stair roond the back. He kent fine eneuch whaur auld Andrae bidit an chappit the door.

It taen a wee while afore Geordie heard the soond o shauchlin feet than the door opened an thare wis auld Andrae, a wuzzent wee man wi baldie heid, gray stibblie baird an a glent in his watery blue een.

"Ma uncle Rob sent us roond tae see if ye kent whit kinna fish this is." sayed Geordie.
"Yer uncle Rob? That wadna be Stookie Rob bi onie chance?"
"Ay." answert the laddie an, tho he kent fine that uncle Rob's byenem wis Stookie Rob, frae the time he brak his leg as a laddie, he wad niver daur uise it hissel tae growed-ups.
"An wha's aucht you then?"
"Geordie Jooks."
"Wattie's laddie?"
"Weel, come awa ben Geordie an oo'll see whit oo can dae."
The twa gaed ben the kitchen an Geordie cuidna help takin tent o the guff o tarry raip an nets. In fack, thare wis twa an a hauf kyle o raip lyin on the bare wuiden flair ower in ae corner.
"Weel, gie's a leuk at this fish o yours then." auld Andrae sayed.
Geordie haundit it ower an the auld fisherman haed a guid leuk at it bi the licht o the windae. Efter a while he scartit his heid an sayed, "Ay, Geordie lad, this is no gaun tae be an easie ane, in fack, A hinna come ower the likes o this afore. Whaur exacklie did ye git haud o't?"
Geordie telt him.
"Ye mean it wis juist lyin thare on the road?"
"Weel A'v niver seen ane masel afore but aw A can think o is that this maun be ane o thae new Highwey Coads!"

Gin I was God, sittin up there abeen,
Weariet nae doot noo aw my darg was deen,
Deaved wi the harps an hymns oonendin ringin,
Tired o the flockin angels hairse wi singin,
To some clood-edge I'd daunder furth an feth,
Look ower an watch hoo things were gyaun aneth.
Syne, gin I saw hoo men I'd made mysel
Had startit in to pooshan, sheet an fell,
To reive an rape, an fairly mak a hell
O my braw Earth, - a hale week's wark –
I'd cast my coat again, rowe up my sark,
An, or they'd time to lench a second ark,
Tak bak my word an sen anither spate,
Droon oot the hale hypothec, dicht the sklate,
Own my mistak, an aince I'd cleared the brod,
Start awthing ower again, gin I was God.

Charles Murray.

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APA Style:

Scots Tung Wittins 75. 2024. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 22 February 2024, from

MLA Style:

"Scots Tung Wittins 75." The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2024. Web. 22 February 2024.

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


Information about Document 1726

Scots Tung Wittins 75


Text audience

Audience size N/A

Text details

Method of composition N/A
Word count 2610
General description monthly newsletter

Text medium

Leaflet/brochure (prospectus)

Text publication details

Publisher Scots Tung
Publication year 2000
Part of a longer series of texts
Name of series Scots Tung Wittins

Text type

Prose: nonfiction
Other mixed text type


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