Document 1730

Scots Tung Wittins 79

Author(s): Robert Fairnie

Copyright holder(s): Name withheld


Nummer 79
Juin 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] [CENSORED: phonenumber]

Sortin oot the Minority Leid Nummers.
IN last month's edeetion o the Wittins, we gied the nummer o fowk that spake the minority leids we proponed tae hae on ane o wir Yule cairds. We gied the wrang nummers for twa o thae leids in a mistak. As faur as we ken, the richt nummer o Catalan speakers is aboot 6.23m garrin Scots tae drap doon intae saicont place. The 102,000 that we gied last month wis juist the nummer o Catalan speakers that bides in France. That's whit comes o no takin the time tae birl the screen doon tae the end o whit it wis threapin anent the leid. Ay, aiblins it's richt whit fowk say – auld age daesna come itsel. The ither leid wi the wrang nummer wis Basque. Agane, the 70,000 that wis gien shuid juist hae been for the speakers o the leid in France an the richt nummer shuid be aboot 0.565m. We apologeese for thae twa mistaks but, nae doot, ye can chew the fat ower thae nummers till the coos comes hame. It aw lippens on whuther ye uise the nummers gied oot bi Eurolang or the anes gied oot bi the Cooncil o Europe. We jalouse that Eurolang's is the maist up tae date but, wha kens?

Copiericht for awthin screivit in this wittins blat bides wi R. Fairnie. The Scots Tung Wittins can be fotie-copied in hail or in pairt athoot leemit o nummers an this hauds guid an aw for onie pairt o the wittins blat that's furthset in onie ither publication.

A Muckle New 'Lallans'for the New Millennium.
THE first edeetion o the Scots Leid Associe's Lallans journal for the year, the century an the millennium, is a muckle, weel stappit cheil in compare wi its forebeirs. Wi a muckle hunner an fortie-fower blats, it's weel worth haein, if for nae ither raison than tae hae a keek at the hinnermaist Report o the Scots Spellin Comatee an a copy o the Shortleet o Frequent Words in Scots. Ae new faceelitie that haesna kythed afore in Lallans is the wey maist o the blats is merkit Lallans for lairnin. Onie pages merkit this wey haes been gien permeeshion bi the authors for schuils tae fotie-copy as monie copies as they hae a want for tae learn the bairns an collegianers.

The Neist Forgaitherin Mon. 5t. Juin 2000 7.30pm tae 9.00pm Comatee Rm. C. Brunton Ha, Musselburgh.

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 Heidie Heidlines an Media Sneckins.
HERE anither twa taen frae the Scotsman in Mey follaed wi a walin o some o the Scots words bein uised in the press ower that month.
[NOTE: image here of two newspaper headlines in original]

A shuir case o, whan ye ettle tae speak tae the herts o fowk, ye hiv tae uise the words that fowk's herts kens best. In the airlie pairt o Mey, Ruth Wishart screivin in the Herald aboot the SNDA's muckle want for mair siller frae the Scottish Executive, uises the follaein heidline:- A wee bit o cash wad dae.
Ae by-ordinar journalistic step forrit was taen bi Scotsman reporters on the 31 Mey whan they war giein the wittins anent Brian Souter's Section 28 referendum ootcome. Quotin whit he haed tae say aboot the ootcome, they eikit, Slipping into Scots, he added: "We didnae vote for it, we're no having it."

As faur as we ken, this is the first time onie o the media haes gien a nem tae the language they war quotin an the fack that they richtlie cried it Scots micht gie a wee bit conter tae thae fowk, Scots speakers includit, that micht hae thocht it wis juist some kinna slang.

Ither sindrie Scots words fund creepin intae the vocabulars o some Scottish journalists is:-

sitooterie, wallies, Glesgae, Big Tam, the Tally connection, meeja, Broon fae Troon, Say nae mair, wee room, goonie, Michty me!, Embra Toon, Ah plugged in ma geetar, Hand Me Doon Ma Prozac, grand to see bonnie Dundee, clootie dumpling, she aye complained, kirk, no it couldnae, wee Jimmy, photie, wee sherry, blootering, hauds, ane auld sang, hirpling, scant o siller, weel kent, photies, guid folk, Aye, ya nosey bugger, the Deil, his ma's fae Whitehills, she's deid, awfy, toon, doon, cannae, fae, tattie scone piece, drookit an lang may yer lum reek. An some o thae words haes been uised a sicht mair nor juist the aince tae!

The follaein quote wis taen frae the Scotsman Diary, "It wiz a bit like choosing between Axminster or General George. But tell yer readers for all the good it will do ye, yir just as well saving yersel £9,999.50 by slapping a tube of glue on yer heid and stickin it in a barber's midden."

The'r a cartoon frae the Press & Journal bi Inglis but it didna hae P&J for lairnin on it sae we war feart tae copie it. Oniewey it shaws a chef owerseein twa loons no makin a guid job o cookin haggis an neeps an abuin thair heids is a muckle sign that says, CANNA COOK, WINNA COOK! The three o thaim is sayin, "Oh me!", "Ha! Ha! Ha! Fit a sotter!" an "This neep's gey teugh!" The Grampian TV Director is haudin a caird that says, "Grampian told to go back to its roots" an he's sayin, "I hope this does the trick!"

STV's program cried Soap Secrets III, haed Jaqueline Perrie, that plays Mike Baldwin's bydie-in Linda in Coronation Street, bein speirt questions anent her pentin ile picters an, amang ither things, she repones, "A don't see Linda wi a paintbrush in her hand. Ma paintin's juist ma hobby!"

An noo, at lang an last we can gie wittins o twa ready tae cook denners unner the McIntosh o Dyce brand nem an sellt bi TESCO. The ane is cried "Haggis, Tatties and Neeps" an the tither is juist cried "Mince and Tatties".

A Braw Weird for ae Minority Leid!
DAVID Crystal, man o skill in linguistics an honorary professor at the Univairsitie o Wales, Bangor, threaps in a new buik anent deein leids, that Welsh is ae minority leid that's growein frae strenth tae strenth an, bi wey o a language database kent as the Ethnologue an uised bi linguists aw ower the yird, it noo faws intae the tap 15% o the warld's spoken leids. (No bad for a leid wi 0.5m speakers in compare wi the 1.5m speakers o Scots.)

Professor Crystal's speirins shaws that hauf the yird's 6000 leids will dee oot athin the neist hunner year, an average o ae leid deein ilka twa weeks. He threaps that linguistic sinderin shuid cairie the same wecht as biological sinderin an that, juist as we'v lairned tae murn the deein oot o onie kinna craitur an hiv ettelt tae hain as monie as we cuid, we shuid gar a want in awbodie tae dae for language whit we wad dae for onie threitent craitur or plant.

He's o the consait that whiles, the dwinin o a leid can mibbie be contered an he pits Welsh forrit as sic an exemplar for ither leids tae copy. He says that it's "cool" noo tae speak Welsh but wairns ither leids tae be on the kee-vee for some o the kinches that aye still bothers Welsh sic as the fack that, tho the'r a growthie swall o speikers amang the auld an the bairns, the'r no sae muckle intrest amang the teenagers. The'r seemilar reports aboot Gaelic whaur it's threapit that teenage lassies are mair like tae speak tae ane anither in the leid nor the laddies an the language o winchin aye still seems tae be English. He pynts oot anither haud-back bi "purists" that gar inferiority amang new uisers o the leid bi pyntin oot gremmar, eediom an spellin mistaks tae thaim. He says that this kinna "purist" is the warst enemy o the leid an pits fowk aff uisin it awthegither. Tho it's richt tae offer a mair standart wey o expressin a thocht in the language, it's wrang tae threap that thon's the ae wey thae thochts haes tae be pit in public. Onie leevin language, that howps tae no dee oot, shuid be weel able tae haundle "growth, variation, chynge, experiment an diversification" as a maitter o coorse. Noo, thare a puckle thochts we micht can uise tae meisure agin the Scots leid campaine.

Ulster Scots Tae See The Guid o The New Peace Brekthrou.
NORLAN Ireland's sindert cultural an linguistic heirship is set tae ken the guid o a muckle heize whan the hale-Ireland body, wi owerance for the forderin o Irish an Ulster Scots, kythed agane on 29 Mey an brocht an end tae the scant o siller an want o offeecial forderin for baith leids.

The hale-Ireland body, alang wi aw the ither athort-the mairches institutions, haed been shut doon syne Februar, whan pouer wis taen awa frae the Norlan Ireland Executive an awthin wis ruled frae Wastmeinster.

It wis throu the month o Mey that the verra first Belfast Ulster Scots Festival (Tha Ulstèr-Scots Gaitherin o Bilfawst), a festival o language an leeteratur, poetry an drama, music an dance, wis hauden. Cooncillor Nelson McCausland, that taen pairt in the Gaitherin, sayed that it wis the Ulster Scots that gied a muckle heize tae the biggin o Belfast as a modren ceity an that the Gaitherin haed duin sae weel bi wey o the muckle swall o intrest thare wis in the Ulster Scots tradeetion in the ceity.

The Ulstèr-Scots Leid Societie haes been ettlin tae big up the leid, that's maistlie spoken ootside the touns, an the kythin o the hale-Ireland body is a muckle step forrit for Ulster Scots, parteeclar syne the leid haed nae Government body tae forder it when the Executive wis shut doon.

It's expeckit bi language upsteerers that the stert o the athort-the-mairches body will maistlie hae tae dae wi gey basic projecks the likes o warkin on a new Ulster Scots dictionar

Takin Throwe-han.
Bi Wall-Tam Wullie, oor maimber frae Udny.
WEEL weel, an fit like e day? Mercy, whit a plowter aathin is. Far his aa es waater cam frae? A widna be surprised if e deuks wisna even beginnin tae complain aboot it as weel as e fairmers an e gairdeners. There's dubs aa wye, richt sappy dubs an aa, whit a sotter, an jist ideal for pluntin rice in! Aa es rain brocht back tae myn ane o wir local holidays twa three eer syne. It wis an aafu mornin o rain fan we set aff, e Wife, m'sister an m'sel. We drove inta Aiberdeen than oot e sooth road heidin for Steenhive. Mercy, it wis fair poorin doon, hale waater it wis. E car wipers hid a gey tyauve copin wi it an e dubs on e road at big it wis mair like drivin alang a burn. We made up wir minds at if e rain wisna showin ony signs o abatin gin e time we got intil Steenhive, at we wid jist turn aboot an gang hame! So eventually we arrived in e toun o Steenhive an it wis then at A discovered at A nott tae spen a penny. A turned aff e main road an parkit e car on e seafront. A jumpit oot o e car an ran ower e road tae e gents' toilet far, stannin in e door shelterin frae e rain, wis twa aul men. As A gid past them A made e eeswal kin o comment on sic occassions, "Aye aye, aafu wither isn't it?" Haen spint ma penny an findin at e twa aul lads wis aye stannin in e doorwey, A stoppit for a wee newsie wi them. E wither of coorse bein a main topic, A meentioned tae them at A hid driven aa e wey frae Widney an at it hid fair poored aa e wey doon.

"Is there jist nae ony signs o it gyaan aff yet?" A says, lookin oot at e niver-endin rain skirpin in e puddles on e road.
"Ach" said ane o the aul lads, "It's nae aa that bad laddie, ye ken, it's jist ae shooer at hisna gane aff!"

As A wis makin ma wey back tae e car, his wirds o wisdom suddenly dawned on me an A stairted tae laach an A wis aye laachin fan A got back inower e car. E quines of coorse winted tae ken fit A wis laachin at an fan A telt them fit e aul lad hid said, they stairted laachin as weel. Ye ken? athin half an oor o leavin Steenhive e rain hid stoppit an e sin cam oot bricht an waarm an whit a gran day aff we hid efter aa. Aye, an ivery sae aften een o's wid gie a bit chuckle as we minded aboot at ae shooer at hidna gane aff!

Sae, nae doot bi e time ye'r aa readin es, at ae shooer wull hae gane aff, e sin wull be shinin an there winna be a pick o dubs tae be seen.......Ah weel, A've aye been a bit o an optimeest ye ken!

So e Dons is gyan tae bide up in e Premier division. Weel A hiv tae say at A think it's aa wrang. Gweed sakes, they hardly deserve tae be in e third division let aleen e Premier ane! An peer aul Falkirk, tae feenish up nae gittin up jist becis their grun wisna up tae standard, whit a palaver. Seerly it's e fitba at's played on e grun at's mair important than whither there eneuch seats for e supporters' doups. Weel, A jist hope at e Dons' players aa tak tent o e feelins o their supporters neist season an dae a (h.....a) gey bit better. A think ae wey tae mak seer o at wid be jist tae pey them if they won their games an nae pey thaim if e lost!?

(Thocht bi Ed. – If they'd duin thon last season the hale team wad hae been on the Pairish lang syne.)

Makars' Neuk
O Willie brew'd a peck o maut,
An Rob an Allan cam tae see;
Three blyther herts that lee-lang nicht
Ye wad na found in Christendie.

We are na fou, we're nae that fou,
But just a drappie in our ee!
The cock may craw, the day may daw,
An ay we'll taste the barley-bree!

Robert Burns.

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Scots Tung Wittins 79. 2024. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 16 April 2024, from

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Information about Document 1730

Scots Tung Wittins 79


Text audience

Audience size N/A

Text details

Method of composition N/A
Word count 2611
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