Document 1741

Scots Tung Wittins 90

Author(s): Robert Fairnie

Copyright holder(s): Name withheld


Nummer 90
Mey 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]

Haud yer tongue
ON the 4t. Aprile the Scotsman cairied a guid report o the ongauns athin the Scots pairlament's Procedures Comatee the day afore. Here a copy o whit its Editorial column haed tae eik tae thon report:-

Joke for Scots bilingualists: when does a backbench committee become a steirin comittee? When it kicks up a muckle steir, of course. Naw, Minister, naethin tae dae wi coos, no this time. That's richt: a steir, stramash, stushie, collieshangie.....(It missed oot the yin aboot "Ye hiv tae hae a flair for ballroom dancin.) Aye, it's yon auld sang that willnae shut up....Yes, the mother tongue that won't conveniently lie down and die, as the procedures committee on the Mound found yesterday as it trauchled - for want of a better word - through the debatable lands of Scots linguistics, with one MSP observing with justification that words such as "dreich" or "drookit" should not require translation. As MacDairmid once put it, "it's soon no sense, that faddoms the herts o men," but at what stage does the soon go beyond, er, faddoming? When does the Scots-English mix that many of us speak become so weighted on the Scots side that translation is required? And how many Scots speakers are there who might be interested, do I hear you say? Dinnae ken, Minister; an we willnae ken, for come 29th April, the census willnae be coontin."

The Scotsman haes dingit the nail richt on the heid this time. The Scottish Executive daesna want tae ken hou monie fowk speaks Scots for raisons it haes keepit tae itsel. If it did, it wad hiv duin somethin aboot it afore noo. Ithers, the likes o Murray Tosh, haes gien in tae the brain washin daled oot bi the eddication seestem ower the last century an wad, as he haes been eddicatit tae dae, tak a richt rid face if he thocht fowk in Austrailie wis tae stravaig intae the Scots Pairlament's wabsteid an see a quaisten they cuidna unnerstaun cause it wis writ in Scots. Maister Tosh wad git his een opened if he kent hou muckle Scots wis unnerstuid bi fowk furth o Scotland, the likes o Austrailie, New Zealand, Russia, Czeck Rep., Americae an Canadae amang ithers. No lang syne the wis a tutor o Scots language an leeteratur at Glesca Univairsitie that belanged Austrailie an we ken o anither teacher o the leid frae Americae. Nae doot the'r ithers. The diffrence atween thaim an Murray Tosh is that, no comin throu the Scottish eddication seestem, they'r no fasht wi onie creenge or embarrassment an see Scots for whit it is, a respectable language wi a lang prood pedigree, an no some kinna common workin cless street slang that gies polite fowk rid faces an haes tae be shut awa in a closet. If aw wir MSP's haed been eddicatit furth o Scotland, an furth o England tae, the Mither Tongue's staunin the day wad ne'er been in doot. We wunner hou monie rid faces Murray's forebeirs haes at the sicht o his rid face. If they cam back frae the by-gane the day tae hae a crack wi him, wad he speir thaim tae speak 'proper' we wunner?

Scottish National Dictionar
THE Heritage Lottery Fund haes juist gien a grant o £90,000 tae the Scottish National Dictionary. Thon muckle ten volume dictionar is the heidmaist hame o the Scots language frae aroond 1700 tae the day, an wis feinisht in 1976. Syne thon time, a wheen new words haes fund thair wey intae the leid an haes been ingaithert bi the Scottish National Dictionary Association. Forbye, a puckle words in the dictionar areddies that wis first thocht tae be obsolete an nae langer uised, haes noo been fund tae be still in uiss efter aw an thae particularities will hiv tae be chynged. Iseabail MacLeod, SNDA editorial director says the siller will pey for sortin aw the graith ingaithert syne 1976 an eikin a leet o aw thae new words alang wi the corrections tae the dictionar forbye pittin it aw oot tae the Warld Wide Wab. Ane o the new words tae be eikit tae the new leet is the Glesca word "midgie" that means midden or bucket an ye git "midgieraker" an aw that juist means a body that scrans throu buckets. Frae the ither side o the kintra, "barrie" is anither word tae be eikit tae the leet. This is an auld gypsy word meanin braw that's gey popular wi the bairns aw ower the Lothians thae days. The word "plaisterman", the maik o the English "plasterer", wis thocht no tae be uised noo-a-days but biggin warkers haes been heard uisin it no that lang syne.

Neist Forgaitherin
Monday 21t. Mey 2001
7.30pm tae 9.00pm
Comatee Rm. C.
Brunton Ha, Musselburgh

Britain Ratifees European
THE British Government haes noo ratifeed the European Chairter For Regional Or Minority Languages kivverin Welsh, Irish Gaelic an Scottish Gaelic athin Pairt III an kivverin Scots an Ulster Scots athin Pairt II an the obleegements o the Chairter will tak effeck frae 1t. Julie 2001. Pairt II o the Chairter daesna cairie the same bield an upheize tae a leid as Pairt III daes sae it faws on us aw tae mak siccar that whit obleegements it daes cairie is cairied oot tae the letter bi the Government, Executive an Estaiblishment. Here a puckle walins o some o the mair obvious obleegements athin Pairt II that the Government haes ratifeed for the Scots language:-

[1]...In respect of regional or minority languages, within the territories in which such languages are used and according to the situation of each language, the Parties shall base their policies, legislation and practice on the following objectives and principles:
[a]...the recognition of the regional or minority languages as an expression of cultural wealth;
[c]...the need for resolute action to promote regional or minority languages in order to safeguard them;
[d[...the facilitation and/or encouragement of the use of regional or minority languages, in speech, and writing, in public and private life;
[f]...the provision of appropriate forms and means for the teaching and study of regional or minority languages at all appropriate stages;
[g]...the provision of facilities enabling non-speakers of a regional or minority language living in the area where it is used to learn it if they so desire;
[2]...The Parties undertake to eliminate, if they have not yet done so, any unjustified distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference relating to the use of a regional or minority language and intended to discourage or endanger the maintenance or development of it. The adoption of special measures in favour of regional or minority languages aimed at promoting equality between the users of these languages and the rest of the population or which take due account of their specific conditions, is not considered to be an act of discrimination against the users of more widely-used languages.

Wi regaird tae the abuin Para. 2, it's weel seen bi awbodie that the Scottish Executive haesna duin awa yet wi "any unjustified distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference relating to the use of a regional or minority language" athin the pairlament biggin itsel whaur baith the spoken or the writ Scots language is concairned an in parteeclar, the want o onie Scots signage. In fack, e'en haein Gaelic athin Pairt III an Scots in Pairt II is shuirlie an unjustifeed "distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference" in itsel.

Ay, nae upsteerer worth thair saut is gaun tae accepp Scots no bein kivvered bi Pairt III o the Chairter an aw. Atween-haund tho, e'en wi thae abuin obleegements o Pairt II that haes been ratifeed bi the government, it shuirlie maks aw thon discreemination an prejudice that the guid mither tongue haes haed tae dree, a thing that's noo "no poleetically richt." It shuirlie canna noo be poleetically richt for the likes o Murray Tosh tae boak oot aw thon ill-willie prejudice aboot the Scots language. Efter this, it shuidna be the 'duin thing' but, nae doot, no athoot dingin heids an dirlin lugs on oor pairt.

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)

Fantoosh Pieces
AE Scots Tung maimber stravaigin throu the Bruntsfield pairt o Auld Reekie, chanced for tae see a kinna deli like shop wi a notice ootside tellin the guid fowk that "Sannies" wis selt inbye. She thocht thon wis sic a waste o a guid inlat an gaed in tae hae a wee word wi the awner. She speirt whit wey they warna makin guid uiss o the ee-grippin pouers o the mither tongue an proponed that "Posh Pieces" micht be a wee tait mair cultur freendlie an grippin tae the ee at the same time. The shop wumman wis fair taen wi the idea an promised tae gie it some thochts. The stravaigin maimber daesna ken yet if a new sign haes been pit up but she's gaun tae keep her een on the keevee for onie chynges. Anither suggestion micht weel be "Fantoosh Pieces".

Portobellie's 'Pop In'
PORTOBELLIE High Street haes a pub or yill hoose cried the Pop In an alangside o the door the'r a wuiden buird that speirs the guid fowk o Porty tae juist,
"Pop In an Stagger Oot"

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.

New West Lothian Scots Dictionar
[NOTE: image here of the dictionary cover in original]
THE West Lothian Broadly Scots Society haes juist brocht oot a saicont edeetion o thair Scots dictionar cried Scots Words And Their Meanings As Used In West Lothian.

This 2001 edeetion haes been furthset wi the help o siller frae Awards for All— Lottery Grants tae local groups. The Fore-word wis duin bi Iseabail MacLeod, Editorial Director o the SNDA an the innin tae the dictionar wis duin bi Dr. Chris Robinson o Edinburgh Univairsitie's Depairtment o English. Ae word frae ilka alphabetical group is illustratit wi a wee drawin duin bi the bairns o the West Lothian Primary Schuils an, as Iseabail says in the fore-word, this daesna juist gie an insicht tae the meanin o the word itsel but an insicht tae thae bairns' kennin o it an aw. It's pyntit oot in the buikie that West Lothian faces tae the wast as weel's tae the aist an thon shaws up wi the likes o "bairn" an "wean" leukin baith at hame in the ae bed. The shuid be nae stammygaster aboot this for Livingston, an later on Silicon Glen, haes been like a lodestane gaitherin in aw the owerskailt fowk frae Glesca an the wast, alang wi thair ain wey o speakin, for gey near twa generations. Anither pynt o intrest is the uiss o "oo" for the Inglis "we". This is uised in East an Midlothian as weel for aw that some academics aye threaps it shuid juist be uised wi the Borders Scots.

Forbye the Scots/English dictionar pairt, the buikie haes a wycelike leet o Wast Lothian Scots sayins.
Oniebodie intrestit in a copy (A5 paperback 64pp £3.00) shuid contack:-
Davie Kerr (Convener o BSS)
[CENSORED: postaladdress].

Forgotten Folk
BI the time ye'r readin this edeetion o the Scots Tung Wittins, the census o 2001 will be gey near aw ower an duin wi but it'll be ower airlie for oniebodie tae ken hou weel the Forgotten Folk Census campaine gaed. In the cuttie time they haed afore the stert o the campaine, a constitution wis adoptit, foondit on the Scots Language Society ane but walit sae the group wad be unthirlt tae tak a mair poleetical poseetion. A weel plenished wabsteid wis set up on an the follaein cuttie workin comatee wis appyntit:-

Convener........John Law.
Thesaurer........Reid Moffat.
Secretar.........Nick Durie.

The twa weeks afore the census day (the 29t o Aprile) seen the stert o a braid kivverin leaflet campaine. Wee touns an Scots speakin airts wis targeted stertin aff wi the likes o Carnwath, Clackmannan, Dunning, Ashgill, Netherburn, Musselburgh, Banffshire, Moray, Greenlaw, Dundee, Lochgelly, Tranent, pairts o Glesca an Edinburgh, Pairtick an Kilwinning. Thon leet wis bein eikit tae ilka day sae naebodie kens yet (at the time o prentin) whit the hinnermaist coont wis tae be.

Efter the Census, it wis aye proponed that Forgotten Folk wad cairie on an gie a mair poleetical heid tae the arraes o Scots leid upsteerers. Ane o its proponed ettles is tae seek oot an publicise the views o the pairties' candidates anent Scots in the rin up tae the neist election.

It cuid be airgied an aw that Forgotten Folk micht be weel placed tae monitor the Scottish Executive's bowin tae the obleegements o Pairt II o the European Chairter efter the stert o Julie an clype tae the European authorities if necessar gin the'r ocht wantin. The want o Scots signage in the Scots Pairlament biggin wad mak a braw guid clype.

EBLUL Peteetion
AS pairt o the European Year o Languages, the European Buroo For Lesser Uised Leids haes brocht forrit a peteetion ettlin efter uphaud for a legal ack bi the European Pairlament that wad gie mair EU siller for the uphaudin o aw the European minority leids, includin Scots, Gaelic, Irish, Welsh an Cornish. The UK Comatee o EBLUL is ettlin tae ingaither nae less nor 50 thoosan signaturs frae the British Isles atween noo an October. Fowk wi an inlat tae the wab can sign on-line or doon-haud copies o the peteetion frae:-
Peteetion forms can be gotten an aw bi screivin tae:-
Alasdair MacCaluim,
[CENSORED: postaladdress].
Signed forms can be sent back thare an aw

Makar's Neuk
In a teuchat storm
Dad pu'ed 's bunnet
Weel doon on 's broo,
Ruggit 's jaicket collar
Up ower 's lugs
Loupit on 's bike
An gid like hell doon e brae
Throu a scudder o rain,
A skelp o sleet, a muckle plout!
Chilpit, chudderin an drookit
He chappit on e howdie's door.
'At wis e nicht o ma hamecomin!

April's an affa coorse month.
Tell ma dad aboot it!

Mary Mackie Johnston

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APA Style:

Scots Tung Wittins 90. 2024. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 27 May 2024, from

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


Information about Document 1741

Scots Tung Wittins 90


Text audience

Audience size N/A

Text details

Method of composition N/A
Word count 2540
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