Document 1740

Scots Tung Wittins 89

Author(s): Robert Fairnie

Copyright holder(s): Name withheld


Nummer 89
Aprile 2001

Keep a guid Scots tung in yer heid an in yer hert! But mind an uise it tae!

Scots Tung WITTINS

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

Whit Cultural Strategy for Scots Noo?
"We shall examine the feasibility of a centre for the languages of Scotland covering Gaelic and the varieties of Scots which could incorporate the Scottish National Dictionary "
WHAN Rhona Brankin, the then Scottish Executive's Depute Meinister for Cultur an Sport brocht oot thon braw glaizie buikie cried "Celebrating Scotland…..A National Cultural Strategy" in August 1999, Scots herts wis gien a wee bit heeze, for nae less nor sax blats uised braw exemplars o the Scots language an the document threapit "Gaelic and the Scots language will each have an important place." Hunners o fowk alang wi curns an organizations heard the meinister's cry for inpit, screivit in thair consaits an weel thocht oot airgiements for whit shuid be duin for Scots an tendit the forgaitherins tae pit forrit the thochts she threapit she wantit tae hear.

The ootcome o aw this wis an e'en mair muckle glaizie buik cried "CREATING OUR FUTURE…...MINDING OUR PAST". But, as awbodie kens bi noo, for aw it's fantoosh leuks an siller sookin style, it says naethin new aboot the Scots language we hinna heard afore. As faur as the Scots leid is concairned it's bydin wi the status quo exceppin for ae wee thing. It threaps the S.E. will leuk intae the ins an oots o settin up a centre for the languages o Scotland kivverin Gaelic an Scots an aiblins the SNDA. Gaelic upsteerers turnt up thair nebs at the thocht as did maist o the Scots upsteerers an aw exceppin the academics that proponed the ploy. We hear tell that the Scottish Executive haes greed wi the feck o consait an gied the scheme its jotters. Is that Scots richt oot the windae o the Cultural Strategy aw thegither noo? Is its weird ordeened tae bide the Cinderella language o Scotland, deein on its feet wi an insultin haundoot o 9p a heid or will Allan Wilson, the new meinister, cock a freendlie lug tae thochts o some kinna Ulster-like Agency for Scots?

Wha daur meddle wi OOR Geography?
WHIT a fushionless perr wir twa heid TV braidcasters is. Iggerance is nae excaise for aw the skaith that's bein duin tae oor cultural geographic heirship bi baith BBC Scotland an the SMG's Scottish an Grampian TV services.

Furst we haed Fiona Henderson o Reporting Scotland giein polite new nems tae oor lang foondit historical place nems bi Inglifyin "Firth o Forth" intae the "Forth Estuary". Daes she no hae the wit tae ken that "Forth Estuary" in Scotland soonds juist as daft, oot o place an ootlin as the "Firth o Thames" wad soond in London? Whit kinna map did she confear wi tae come up wi thon ane oniewey? Did it hae Mount Nevis an Lake Lomond on it an aw?

Neist it wis STV's Teletext news reports that, efter areddies speakin aboot thon airieplane crashin intae the Firth o Forth, faurer on spake o't divin intae the "estuary near Granton". On oor maps, the Thames Estuary is the nearest ane tae Granton an we canna fund a "Granton" oniewhaur near thon airt. Forbye that, airlier reports haed the plane divin intae the "River Forth". Thon's juist anither polite wey o no sayin "Firth o Forth" but oniebodie wi onie harns at aw wad ken that rivers is makit wi caller watter an wha e'er heard o herrin, mackerel or sprats soomin in onie ither kinna watter but saut? Oniebodie takin thair neb athin a mile o Rosyth twa-three weeks syne, efter thon shoal o sprats follaed a destroyer intae the dock an then dee'd for want o oxygen, wad ken bi the guff e'en Rosyth wis weel athin the reenge o the sea an a muckle lang gate frae the caller watters o the River Forth.

Gin some fowk in the media the day thinks a kenspeckle place like the Firth o Forth haes tae be chynged intae somethin mair "polite", hou lang afore they stert tae feel the same wey aboot "Ben" an "Loch" an then, whit aboot Scotland itsel? Will North Britain or e'en England ae day soond mair "polite" nor Scotland? Wha kens? But juist in case, noo's the time for awbodie tae git thaim telt.

Norman's Doric Stammygaster.
NORMAN Harper o the Press & Journal speirt his readers if they cuid think up thair ain favourite five Doric (Scots) words an sen thaim intae him. He haed been thinkin on hou monie Doric words he kent that, on thair lane, wis the maik o twa an whiles e'en three Inglis words pit thegither. He gied "dreich" an "gulshach" as guid exemplars an he leetit his ain five favourites as "contermacious", "bladd", "swick", "tyauve" an "dubs", a guid walin o some braw Scots words. Howanever, whit he wisna expeckin wis the muckle onding o Doric words that lowpit oot at him frae aw the airts an aw kin-kind o fowk. Some wad come bi e-screive, some bi post, an some ower the phone. Some wad come bi fax but maistlins it wis fowk thirsels lowpin oot frae ahint onie kinna beild at aw juist tae fling thair Doric words aw ower him wi muckle virr an gaun awa efter, feelin quite joco.. The words juist keepit on comin in, lik flichans o snaw in a nor-aist snaw stour; words the likes o Spurtle, Hoast, Sotter, Gommerel, Fushionless, Soor beukey, Pyocher, Raivelt, Scunner, Hyterin, Skitter, Fykie, Huddery heidit, Pernickety, Guff, Lippen, Stravaigin, Trauchled, Stappit fu, Souch, Dottled an Lowsin. It wis a guid twa-three days afore he got oot the habit o keekin ablow the bed tae mak siccar the wis nane lirkin in the mirkie neuks juist waitin tae lowp oot on him. Efter aw thae words wis ingaithert, the ane that taen the gree abuin aw the ithers, wis "forfochen" an sic a word is aiblins juist hou Norman felt efter aw thon stramash. Whit stammygasters us tho is hou Norman shuid be sae stammygastered hissel tae fund oot hou monie fowk taen sae muckle pleisure an pride oot o bein speirt tae shaw hou muckle kennin they haed o thair ain mither tongue. We hae nae doot the'r an inlat here for some wycelike journalist or paper, that's no ower forfochen, tae cash in on thae fowk's love for thair ain leid. Ay, the mercat's oot thare awricht.
[NOTE: a photograph here of Matthew Fitt in original]

Neist Forgaitherin
Thurs. 12t. Aprile 2001
7.30pm tae 9.00pm
Conference Rm. 1
Brunton Ha, Musselburgh.
Matthew Fitt, schuil-maister an owthor o the kenspeckle "But an Ben A-Go-Go"
will haud a cuttie "Creative Writer's" warkshop. Awbodie's walcome!
Bring alang a freend. Nae chairge!

Scots Tung WITTINS
On the wab.
The Scots Tung Wittins can be vizzied or doon-haundelt an prentit (noo in HTML format forbye) frae the wabsteid o:-
The Scots Speikers Curn, Glesca.
Wabsteid backin:-
A hard copie o STW is sent free o chairge tae aw maimbers o Scots Tung ilka month.
Maimbership subscreivins is £5 (Scotland/UK)
Peyed ilka September.
£6 (Ireland/EU) $14 (Americae)

Forgotten Folk
THE notour Census 2001 shuid be gittin haundit throu, the doors aroond the 29t. Aprile (Fit an Mooth tribble allouin). Thon's the ane that gied a sleekit deefie tae the Scots language efter a muckle campaine bi upsteerers for the leid, gaun back tae December 1993.

The'r fowk that's richtlie that fasht ower the want o a quaisten anent Scots in thon census, they feel it's noo time tae foond a new kinna upsteerer organisation, ane that gaithers in, no juist the praisent mixter maxter o academics, screivers an leeterate Scots speakers, but fowk that maks a leivin oot o Scots, whuther ful or pairt time, alang wi a muckle daud o thae 1.5m fowk that uises Scots as a tool for ilka-day communication. The haes tae be a wey o yokin thegither writers that canna or winna speak Scots in public wi the monie Scots speakers that canna or winna write Scots.

John Law haes pit forrit an airgiement for foondin "Forgotten Folk" an here is whit he haes tae say aboot it:-
"The need for onie new Scots language organisation micht be quaistent: monie fowk ar haikit eneuch rinnin the anes thay'r yokit til evenou. Houiver, athout ane, it seems we'll no get forrit muvement, or rax oot ti the Scots speakers in the kintra ti wuken up an dae, or at laest say something for thairsels, in parteiclar anent the affront o the Census wi nae quaisten on Scots intil't, but leukin ayont that tae, til aa the monie impruvements in public proveision for Scots we'r aye on aboot,talkin amangst oorsels an getting naewhaur fast.The'r a tactical deificultie for the muvement tae, that it's no true we'v gotten naewhaur this decadeby, we hae some smaa offeicial recogneition. Unner Irene McGugan's skeilie leadership, wi her chaunces o makkin fordel throu the Pairlament's Education Comatee, we can mibbie leuk forrit ti smaa, uissfu gains alang the pad o progress. Sae gin that creel's cowpit aathegither, we wadna be wyce.

Whit we'r aa needin tho, is a bigger airmie. Naur aboot the hail Gaelic community's ahint Gaelic. Whaur's oor fowk? (Thae 1.5m?...?)

The purpose o 'Forgotten Folk' tharefor, can be seen as recruitin a campagn amang thae fowk at raises consciousness til a pynt whaur a rael popular demand for 'politacal correctness' anent Scots can kyth, an politeicians o aa pairties sterts tae coont heids, an fash aboot the mairgins o thair majorities an no the sacrit mairgins o thair Census forms. (This expleicitlie smaa-p an leimitit poleitical objective wad nane the less be unconstitutional for SLS, tae tak ae example o an existin bodie at cuidna unnertak sic a darg.)

A word anent the public workin title o this bodie: Folk no Fowk. Gin we'r ti mak progress the'r nae pynt in walin an weyin oot words bi hou wechtie's the Scotsness intil thaim, as some o us likes ti dae, or the airmie melts awa an no a shullin peyed.

Aims. Ti threip at fowk ti tell the GRO whit thair Scots abeilities is at this Census time (bi whitiver means fowk ar wullin ti uise-we offer chyces)
Ti tell 'Forgotten Folk' an aa (ongaun efter the Census is by)
Ti finnd oot an mak public the views o candidates in elections.
Ti gaither nems ti a Covenant for Scots ettelt as a peteition ti the Scots Pairlament.

Means A smaa Campaign Comatee wi the uisual offices.
A lairge memmership wi nae stent peyable.
Fundit bi appeal an events.
Targettin an organisin throu brainches & agents in Scots-speakin communities."
Tae ken mair phone 01764 682 315 or

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 thatcs furthset in onie ither publication.

Doric Doris Gauns Her Dinger.
[NOTE: a cartoon here of a girl and dog in original]
WE ken that Doris in Doric is the richt nem for thon ither nor-aist company furthsettin Yule cairds, burthday cairds an onie ither kinna caird ye micht like tae think o in Doric (Scots), but ye hiv tae gree that Doric Doris is ower guid tae pass ower syne Doris wis the auncient Greek village the adjective "Doric" kythed frae. Kate Henderson frae Pluscarden, the harns ahint "Doris in Doric" haes furthset "Fa's the Feel?", a 28 blat bairn's primary reader aw aboot Doris in Doric an her wee dug Chairlie. Whit (or fit) wi moosies, walkies an jeely bags, nae doot the nor-aist primary loons an quines wad be richt at hame lairnin tae read uisin sic a weel screivit story wi wycelike picters illustratit bi Colin Smith. Anither towe tae her bow is an A5 writin pad wi ten kenspeckle Doric expressions, ilka ane wi its ain Inglis owersettin, aw doon the caurie haund side wi Doris atap it aw threapin, "Ay, Ay, fit like?". The reenge o cairds kivvers frae Yule cairds, throu no weel, new bairn, waddit bliss, tae a freend or mither, inveete caird an weel duin tae loons an quines. Ane o the no weel cairds haes Doris threapin, "Guid freens are nae sae easy come by" an inower the page she says, "So see an look efter yersel." Kate haes mair nor twintie kinna cairds noo an aye gits twa thoosan prentit o ilka kind at the ae time. Hae a guid keek o aw she haes tae haund bi cleikin on tae her wabsteid at Gin ye'd raither, ye can aye contack her bi phone/fax on [CENSORED: phonenumber] or bi phone on [CENSORED: phonenumber] or e'en bi screivin direck tae:- Kate Henderson, [CENSORED: postaladdress].

Scots Tung Quaich Competeetion.
SCOTS TUNG'S first Scots language writin competeetion for the schuils o East Lothian haes been weel worth while. This month's Wittins carries an aixtrae blat tae haud a walin o some o the entries tae the competeetion an ye can see for yersel the birr an imagination shawn bi the collegianers. The teachers o P6, P7, S1 an S2 wis inveetit tae wale oot the three best entries frae ilka cless an gie thaim tae Scots Tung bi the en o Februar. Ae teacher got the bairns in her cless tae pick oot the three they likit best.

Katie Collins, an S2 collegianer frae Dunbar Gremmar Schuil beirs the gree for the Secondary section wi her tale o glamour cried "I'm Watchin Ye!" an Scott Robertson o Tranent Primary Schuil's P7B taen the Primary section quaich wi a mooth watterin poem cried "Chocolate Cake". Baith schuils will be praisentit wi a Scots Tung Quaich tae keep for ae towmond an Katie an Scott will be gien a meenature ane tae keep. Forbye that, the tap three entries frae ilka cless that taen pairt will be gien a certeeficate aw screivit in Scots an the Scottish National Dictionary Association an its publishers haes been guid eneuch tae eik tae thae prizes bi giein the teachers that taen pairt in the exercise a Scots School Dictionary.

East Lothian shuid be prood tae awn sae monie twa-leidit (bi-lingual) students an it's aye a peetie they canna aw beir the gree but the'r aye neist year an we're shuir the ither schuils isna gaun tae lat Dunbar an Tranent haud on tae the quaichs athoot a muckle fecht.

Makars' Neuk
Alexander daed, our ship wrackt on yon sand,
The rule o bairns begun...
Wallace a ae-man fortress, fully manned...
Bruis the embattled sun...
Strang airms bluid-red on mony a groanan field
Berwick a butcherie...
Mony sic broken and tormentit bield
There kyths afore my ee.

Upon sic anvils Edward hammered out
Our nationhood and saul,
Seasoned the stentit bow til it could shoot
Doun meteors as they fall,
And gart our noble dogs come in til heel
Ahent King Bruis's tairge,
Temperan Scottish spines til swippert steel
In his smiddy's brim forge.

Tom Scott.

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Information about Document 1740

Scots Tung Wittins 89


Text audience

Audience size N/A

Text details

Method of composition N/A
Word count 2612
General description monthly newsletter

Text medium

Leaflet/brochure (prospectus)

Text publication details

Publisher Scots Tung
Publication year 2001
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