Document 1743

Scots Tung Wittins 92

Author(s): Robert Fairnie

Copyright holder(s): Name withheld


Nummer 92
Julie 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 wad we dae athoot him?
THE media reports that mair nor £1m is tae be spent on forderin Robert Burns aw roond the yird. Politeecians haes thocht up this norrie sae Scotland's dwinin tourist mercat can be biggit up again.

MSPs an aw are conseederin haudin a Burn's supper in Edinburgh Castle for Tony Blair an George W Bush. (Seems a muckle daud o siller for juist the twae tourists! Ed.) Is the Immortal Memory tae be delivered in Scots, the language o Burns' hert, or juist in peelie-wallie English? Nae prizes for jalousin richt. The Scottish Government says it will uise the siller tae pey for aw thae sic like ongauns that they howp will ootshine ocht that comes oot on St. Patrick's Day.

Is it aw gaun tae be like the schuil in the by-gane whaur it wis aw richt tae recite the Scots poems an sing the Scots sangs o Burns, but daur tae uise the language o Burns for onie kinna communication an ye got a guid kennin o the Lochgelly? The Scots Pairlament wis blithe tae hear a performance o Robert Burns' "A man's a man for aw that" at the hanselin o the pairlament twa year syne but ye'll no see a Scots sign on onie o its wa's the day, juist the regulation English/Gaelic, that's aither a deleeberate or unconscious insult tae Scots speakers. It's nae wunner they feel excludit in thair ain country an dinna feel that they've been "coontit in at aw."

Geordie Jooks aye tells the story o his guid-wife Beenie the time she uised tae leuk efter thair dochter's twa whan they cam hame tae her frae the schuil at denner time. Laura wis the auldest, aboot ten year auld at the time an her wee brither Alan wis aboot eicht.

Ae day they cam in for thair denners an Alan speirt his Grannie whit wis for the denner that day.

"We're haein mince an tatties the day." she reponed. Nae suiner wis the words oot her mooth whan Laura wis ruggin at her airm an whusperin, "Grannie, ye shuidna tell him that. He disnae like mince. Ye shuid tell him it's fine chopped beef wi gravy an he likes that fine."

Tho tourist boards haes acceppit for a guid while noo, street signage in Scots, ither nor traffic signs, wad gie a guid heize tae cultural tourism, they've aye pled want o siller for no daein ocht. Is this no a guid inlat for the Scottish Government tae uise some o thon siller tae create a permanent uphaud for the tourist mercat bi pittin up thae signs? Howanever, it micht be mair wycelike for upsteerers tae tak tent o Laura's bairn-like logic an no speir for Scots street signage, for they ken frae experience that thon thocht gies some MSPs the boaks. Aiblins they shuid speir insteid tae hae street signage pit up in an aroond the pairlament an in ither airts athort the land in the language that wis dear tae the hert o Robert Burns. Cuid they be donnert eneuch tae praise the man wi £1m an then be seen tae reject his language?

Stuart's Walin
[NOTE: image here of a book cover in original]
A new walin o Scots poems, auld an new, cried "Scots Poems To Be Read Aloud" haes juist been brocht oot bi Stuart McHardy an furthset bi Luath Press Ltd.

The'r a wycelike walin o aw the auld favourites that maist o us is weel aquent wi but aiblins no aye weel eneuch tae ken bi hert an gin we canna aye mind whit buik tae fund thaim in, this micht weel be a hantie wee buik tae keep close bye. Forbye aw thae auld favourites that's aye faur ben at onie pairtie, ceilidh or swaree, the'r a guid chyce o wark bi new makars, the likes o Wullie Neill, Liz Niven, Matthew Fitt, Alistair Findlay, Brian Finch an Stuart McHardy hissel alang wi Stuart's Walin Gin ye ettle efter eikin a new pairtie piece tae yer repertoire, aither sang or recitation, for stag nicht, hen nicht, Hogmanay, Burns nicht or onie ither kinna nicht oot, ye can dae a lot waur nor haein a keek intae this wee buikie. A 125 page paperback, it sells for £5 wi a wee bit eikit on for postage an it can be gotten direck frae Luath Press Ltd. at [CENSORED: postaladdress] or frae James Thin ower the Wab on

Weemin's Lib 1288
THE follaein extrack is taen frae an Ack o the Scots Pairlament, passed in the ring o Queen Margaret aboot the year 1288:-

"It is stated and ordainit that during the reine of hir maist blissit Magestie, ilk maiden ladye of baith highe and lowe estait shall hae libertie to bespeak ye man she likes; albeit, gif he refuses to tak hir till be his wyf, he sall be mulctit in ye sume of ane hundredth pundis or less, as his estait mai be, except and alwais gif he can mak it appear that he is betrothit to ane ither woman, then he shall be free."

Queen Margaret wis the Maid o Norrowey that ringit as Queen o Scots (1286 - 1290)atween the daith o King Alexander III an the ring o the Tuim Tabbard, John Balliol.

Tak tent that the "ye" shuid aye be moothit as "the". The oreeginal haund screivit "thorn" that haed a "th" soond, wis chynged intae a "y" whan prentin cam alang.

Auld Reekie
IT'S said bi some as hou it wis a kenspeckle body frae the Kingdom o Fife, Durham, Laird o Largo, that haed the honour o giein Edinburgh its weel kent bye-nem o "Auld Reekie".

The story, bi R. Chambers c1832, tells hou the auld body wis in the habit o checkin the the time o eenin worship bi the cast o the reek ower Edinburgh, that he cuid see easylike throu the clear simmer gloamin, frae his ain front door.

Whan he seen the reek growe in bouk, bi wey o the guid fowk o the capital toun makin thair suppers ready, he wad cry aw the faimlie intae the hoose, sayin,

"It's time noo, bairns, tae tak the buiks, and gang tae oor beds, for yonder's Auld Reekie, I see, pittin on her nichtcap".

True or no, it maks a guid eneuch story an maks an aw, a body wunner juist hou they kent whit time tae gaun tae bed in the winter.

Twa-leidit Street Signs for Glesca
IT is bein proponed tae pit up "bi-lingual" street signs in pairts o Glesca. Thae signs wad be in Punjabi an Urdu. A threap tae hae some in Gaelic wis turnt doon on the grunds that Glesca's Gaelic speakers wis "bi-lingual". Ye can jalouse whaur Scots stauns.

Neist Forgaitherin
Date tae be decidit.
7.30pm tae 9.00pm
Comatee Rm. C.
Brunton Ha, Musselburgh

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 furth-set in onie ither publication.

Scots Tung Quaich 2001
THE abuin Scots language writin competeetion wis hauden for the first time this year atween the schuils o East Lothian an wis sponsored bi Scots Tung. Primary an secon-dary students in P6, P7, S1 an S2 wis invitit tae write aither a cuttie poem in Scots (nae mair nor 16 lines) or a story in Scots prose (nae less nor ae side o A4) aboot onie sub-jeck at aw.

Winner o the Secondary section for 2001 wis Katie Collins, an S2 collegianer at Dun-bar Gremmar Schuil wi a braw wee tale o glamour an witchery cried "I'm Watchin Ye".

The Primary section gree wis taen bi Scott Robertson, a P7B collegianer at Tranent Primary Schuil, wi a mooth-watterin an gey expressive wee poem cried "Chocolate Cake!".

Presentation o the prizes wis hauden on Wadensday 30t Mey, Tranent Primary at 11.00am an Dunbar Gremmar at 2.00pm. On baith occasions the prizes wis presentit bi East Lothian's Director o Eddication, Mr Alan Blackie wi R. Fairnie, Janet Cousin an Pat Horsburgh o Scots Tung, an Iseabail McLeod o the SNDA, onwaitin. Baith schuils wis gien a Scots Tung Quaich tae haud for ae towmond an Katie an Ross wis baith gien a meenitur quaich tae keep. Forbye that, the tap three students in ilka cless wis gien a laminatit certeeficate aw written in Scots. Iseabail McLeod presentit the teachers o baith schuils wi copies o the School Scots Dictionary an exemplars o the Grammar Broonie in baith electronic an hard copy format alang wi ither bits an pieces.

Aw the Scots Tung an SNDA offeecials wis fair taen aback an pleesured wi the warmth an birr o the walcome they war gien frae baith the schuils an it wis mair nor hertsome for thaim tae be faced wi, no juist acceptance
o the Scots language in the schuils, but a strang souch o pride in the leid an positive ettles tae forder its presence e'en mair. Thae consaits wis comin frae the Director o Eddication at the tap an richt doon throu the heid-teachers, teachers, students an in the case o Tranent Primary Schuil, some o the mithers an aw.

A photie o the presentation an a wee report aboot it wis furthset in the East Lothian Courier. Ither reports kythed in the Edinburgh Evening News, East Lothian News, Musselburgh News an the Lothian Times. Forbye thon, a wee report kythed in "Participate", the newsletter tae forder "Children, Participation and the Arts" that's hosted bi Children in Scotland wi uphaud frae the Scottish Airts Cooncil. This report furthsets a copy o twa o the entries tae the competeetion, Chocolate Cake!, the Primary Schuil winner an The Slater bi Katie Revell S1, Dunbar Gremmar Schuil.

Oniebodie ettlin efter a copy o "Participate" shuid contack "Children in Scotland" direck at Princes House, [CENSORED: postaladdress]. :[CENSORED: phonenumber]
e-screive: [CENSORED: emailaddress] Wabsteid:
[NOTE: image here of the certificate in original]

A Statue For the Forgotten Bard
TWA sculptors that bides local tae Auld Reekie haes been short-leetit tae design a statue for Scotland's Forgotten Bard, Robert Fergusson. Jill Watson frae St. Leonards in Edinburgh an Bill Scott o Roslin, ootside the toun, maks up twa o the three that haes been walit bi The Freends o Robert Fergusson. Thae three wis speirt tae kythe a model o thair statue bi September.

Mair Thochts o Speakin Scots
SCOTS upsteerers, parteeclar mature professional anes, that haes bother speakin Scots in public or e'en at Scots language forgaitherins o ane kin or anither, gies aw kinna raisons for haein sic a pine. It's easy tae unnerstaun the anes that maks a maucht tae uise the leid, no feelin aw that crouse aboot it, but they can git ower thair kinch bi lairnin hou tae think in Scots an practisin speakin it till they git uised tae it. Professional fowk that's come up throu aw three levels o eddication shuid hae nae bother wi that.

The excaise that ithers gies is gey near a cliché bi noo; "I can't speak Scots because my Scots has been educated out of me." Whit daes thae fowk mean when they say sic a like thing? Haes aw thair knawlage an kennin o the Scots language been redd oot thair memory, vocabular, gremmar an syntax, the hail jing bang? Gin thon wis true, hou cuid they campaine an upsteer for a leid they ken nocht aboot? Sic a like thocht canna be wyce. Aiblins whit they mean wi thon cliché is no that thair Scots haes been eddicatit oot thaim but mair like thair abeelitie or e'en thair desire tae speak Scots in "polite" company haes been eddicatit oot o thaim. Thair minds haes been conditioned tae a professional creenge an they've gied in tae it. The wis a time when the Scots language wis spoken bi awbodie frae king tae cottar but thae days, some o the in-atweens daesna want tae be seen or heard uisin the same words as the uneddicatit cottar. The Scottish eddicational seestem haes learned thaim it's juist no the duin thing an, efter aw, they hiv thair ain professional staunins tae think o.

Like stappin smokin, the first thing thae fowk hiv tae dae is tae "want" tae gie up the creenge, "want" tae stap seein spoken Scots as restrickit tae the uneddicatit workin clesses an "want" tae be able tae speak Scots in "polite" or onie ither kinna company. Efter thon, the lave shuid be a skoosh tae eddicatit fowk

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

European Chairter Efter 1-7-01
THE European Chairter for Regional or Minority Languages, efter bein signed an ratifeed bi the British government, comes intae force on the 1t. Julie 2001. The Scots language is kivvert athin Pairt II o the Chairter that requares signatories tae foond thair policies, legislation an practice on, amang ither things:-

The recognition of the Regional or minority language as an expression of cultural wealth.
The need for resolute action to promote R or M languages in order to safeguard them.
The facilitation and/or encouragement of the use of R or M languages, in speech and writing, in public and private life.
The provision of appropriate forms and means for the teaching and study of R or M languages at all appropriate stages.
The provision of facilities enabling non-speakers of a R or M language living in the area where it is used to learn it if they so desire.
The signatories undertake to eliminate, if they have not yet done so, any unjustified distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference relating to the use of a R or M language.

Syne the'r an awfu iggerance anent language an cultur amang MSPs an the estaiblishment, the'r gaun tae be a muckle want for the Scottish Executive tae pit oot Guidelines for the application o the European Chairter for Regional or Minority Languages requirements for Scots, tae itsel, it's depairtments, the Corporate Body an the estaiblishment an quangos as suin as possible efter the 1t. Julie.

Makar's Neuk
When gloaming grey
Out-owre the welkin keeks;
When Batie caw's
His owsen to the byre;
When Thrasher John, sair dung,
His barn-door steeks,
And lusty lasses
At the dightin tire;
What bangs fu leal
The eenin's comin cauld,
And gars snaw-tappit winter
Freeze in vain?
Gars dowie mortal look
Baith blythe and bauld,
Nor fleyd wi aw the poortith
O the plain?
Begin, my muse!
And chaunt a hamely strain.

Robert Fergusson

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APA Style:

Scots Tung Wittins 92. 2024. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 25 June 2024, from

MLA Style:

"Scots Tung Wittins 92." The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2024. Web. 25 June 2024.

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


Information about Document 1743

Scots Tung Wittins 92


Text audience

Audience size N/A

Text details

Method of composition N/A
Word count 2601
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