Document 1746

Scots Tung Wittins 95

Author(s): Robert Fairnie

Copyright holder(s): Name withheld


Nummer 95
Oct. 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]

Dub busters' Itchy Coo Project
Press Release pit oot on 19 September 2001
The Scottish Arts Cooncil, throu its National Lottery Bairns an Young Fowk Scheme, is tae gie £150,000 tae a project that is set tae transform the image an status o the Scots language in education. The project will create a new publishin imprent, Itchy Coo, producin a reenge o buiks an resources in Scots for uiss oot-throu the education system frae nursery tae Advanced Higher level. Twa organisations in pairtnership are involved in settin up Itchy Coo: Dub Busters (an alternative Scots word for wellies) is a group o three professionals wi lang involvement in the uiss an development o Scots lairnin materials. Black and White Publishing is a weel-foondit publisher based in Auld Reikie.

Ower the twa year o the project, stertin in Januar 2002, Itchy Coo will produce saxteen Scots texts as weel as ither resources. The publications will be o the heichest quality in terms o baith content an production, the maik o the best examples o bairns' publishin in ither leids. They will include original wark, baith creative an non-fiction titles, frae kenspeckle an unkent scrievers, past an present, as weel as new versions o Scots literary texts airtit at specific age groups. Bairns an young fowk will be gien the chance tae get rowed intae the wey the buiks are developed, an tae uise the resources for their ain creative projects, includin scrievin an performance. Alang wi prent publications, there will be complementary audio an digital material, includin an interactive wabsite, tae furder schuil students' uiss o Scots in ither media.

Itchy Coo publications will tak accoont o dialect an regional differences athin Scots an will encourage bairns an young fowk tae uise their local form o Scots, as weel as introducin them tae ither dialects an tae the tradition o literary Scots. The content o the buiks will reflect modren, multicultural Scotland, an the project in haill will hae a strang commitment tae social inclusion, tae addressin the needs o bairns wi disabilities an special needs an students in adult education an lifelang lairnin.

Aw this will be backit up wi a programme o in-service trainin for teachers, an schuil visits frae Itchy Coo authors an editors. We will wark wi teachers an students in developin appreciation o an confidence in their Scots uisage. Itchy Coo has awready won commitments o support frae a nummer o local authority education depairtments an ither educational institutions. Dundee University will be supplyin the project wi office space.

We ken frae oor research an braid consultations wi teachers, bairns, parents an ithers that the demand for guid quality Scots language material is oot there an growein. Significant cultural, educational an political chynges in the wey Scots is perceivit hae taen place in recent years, leain us in nae dout that noo is the time tae launch Itchy Coo. At the hinner-en, o the project, we hope Scots language studies will be on the wey tae becomin an integral pairt o the education system, an that Itchy Coo will be established as a yin-stop source for Scots buiks an ither materials, an weel-placed tae produce mair o baith. But we dinna see this project as a flag-wavin exercise: maist importantly, it is a means o lattin thoosans o young Scots articulate an appreciate their ain language an culture in weys that hinna aften been open tae them afore.

WHA'S WI US - Dub Busters
Susan Rennie is an editor that's warked on a hantle Scots language reference projects an creatit prent, CD an wab materials in Scots for bairns, sic as The Electronic Scots School Dictionary (1998) an (co-authored wi Matthew Fitt) the Grammar Broonie (2000). She is currently editor o the electronic Dictionary of the Scots Language at Dundee University.

Matthew Fitt is a writer an teacher, wi muckle experience o teachin Scots in a wide variety o schuils. He has delivered in-service trainin on Scots oot-throu the country. His novel, But n Ben A-Go-Go (2000), set in the year 2090, has bauldly taen Scots whaur it hasna gane afore.

James Robertson is a writer wi braid experience o warkin in Scots. He has edited the Scots short story collection A Tongue in Yer Heid (1994) an Selected Poems o Robert Fergusson (2000), co-edited the Dictionary of Scottish Quotations (1996), an his novel The Fanatic (2000) has been a Scottish best seller.

For mair information, please contact James Robertson on [CENSORED: phonenumber], or Susan Rennie on [CENSORED: phonenumber].

Black and White Publishing
Black and White Publishing an its sib leet B&W hae published mair nor 100 titles in the last five year an hae a wide reenge o experience an skeel in aw types o buik formats, frae literary an non-fiction paperbacks tae fou-colour illustratit hardbacks. Further information on Black an White Publishing can be had frae Campbell Brown, Managing Director, at [CENSORED: postaladdress], Embro. Tel: [CENSORED: phonenumber].

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.

Braidcastin Discrimination
GIN oniethin at aw cries oot for braidcastin in Scotland tae be taen ower as a devolved meisure, it's the want o a Scottish Six. Baith BBC an ITN fails tae pit oot the British news frae a British pint o view or, for that maitter, onie ither aspect ither nor a blatant English ane. Haein the British an warld news braidcast tae Scotland frae a Scottish pint o view isna juist a maitter o cultural or naitional pride but raither tae evyte the feck o Scottish listeners gittin the wrang end o the stick aw the time an mistakin whit juist applies tae England an Wales for whit's kythin here an aw.

A raicent correspondent frae Aiberdeen tae Teletext, kicked up a muckle stushie aboot Health Secretary, Alan Milburn, spendin thoosands o pounds daein up his office in London insteid o spendin the siller tae improve "our Health Service". Cause o the wey the news is pit ower, he didna ken that Alan Milburn haes nae mair tae dae wi oor health service than the French Health Secretar haes. Whan lest year's SQA stushie wis at its hicht, ae news reader explained tae listeners aw ower Britain that "Highers is equivalent to GCSEs here." It shuirlie taks a special kinna want o imagination tae hae thon news reader sittin in millions of Scottish hooses sayin sic a like thing?

Whiles, ongauns kythin in Scotland is descrived as "north of the border" athoot pintin oot whit ane o the three borders is meant an, coorse, the'r nivver onie mint o "south of the border" cause awbodie kens that "south of the border" is juist anither wey o sayin "here". A Scottish Six or cry it whit ye like, braidcastin British an warld news frae a Scottish pint o view, wad leave Scottish listeners in nae doot whuther the news applied tae Scotland or tae ither airts o the UK an they'd aw ken whaur "here" wis.

Neist Forgaitherin
Mon. 1t. Oct. 2001
7.30pm tae 9.00pm
Comatee Rm. C.
Brunton Ha, Musselburgh

Thochts o "Thochts o Speakin Scots" an "Mair Thochts o Speakin Scots"
Bi Ann Rayner ([CENSORED: emailaddress])
BOB Fairnie's airticles in the Mairch an Julie issues o STW rang a wheen bells for me so A wad like tae jyne in an, forbye, tae try tae dae it in Scots. Whiles A gree wi whit Bob screives, A wad like tae explain the deefficulties for a bodie that wisnae brocht up tae speak or screive in Scots an mebbe tae encourage ithers in the same position tae hae a go.

Ma mither an faither didnae speak Scots, tho they baith uised a nummer o Scots words. As they haed professional jobs, it wis no the done thing then tae speak in Scots and A wis aye encouraged tae 'speak proper English' baith at hame an at the schuil. It wis only when A gaed tae a wee schuil in the north o Fife for a couple o year, that A really learnt tae speak Scots in the playgrund (no tae the dominie, or ye'd get the belt!). Ye haed tae speak Scots there tae survive, but ma parents wis dumfoonert whan A cam oot wi Scots expressions an pronunciations, sae they sent me tae the secondary schuil in Embra sae A wad unlearn ma Scots.

Later, at Glasgow Uni, yin course A took wis on Scots History and Leiteratur, but it was aw taucht i the medium o English. But at least A learnt aboot the poetry o Dunbar, Henryson and ither Makars an that there wis mair tae Scots leiteratur than Burns an Scott. Later still, A mairrit an Englishman an went tae bide in England fur 20 year or so. A haed tae be carefu whit words A uised there as ma man, ma inlaws an the neibours didnae unnerstaun when A cam oot wi Scots expressions. They thocht an 'ashet' must be a dustbin and had nae idea whit words like 'dreich', 'crabbit', fankle' or 'scunnert' meant. Howanever, ma mither uised tae send me the 'Sunday Post' and ma bairns learnt tae unnerstaun 'Oor Wullie an 'The Broons', sae they kent there wis a Scots tung.

Noo A hae been back bidin in Scotland for a while, but A still fin it gey hard tae speak Scots as no mony o the folk A meet fae day tae day uise it. It is pairtly the creenge, as Bob suggested in his articles, pairtly no bein uised tae thinkin in Scots, an pairtly lack o chaunces tae uise it. A managed the yince tae the forgaitherin at Musselburgh which was a guid chaunce tae try tae speak Scots but it isnae ayewis possible tae get alang there, especially tae the far side o Embra when I bide on the west. Is there oniebodie oot ma side o the toun that ettles tae hae a wee bit o a natter in Scots noo an then?

This is ma first try at scrievin in Scots sae please forgie ma mistaks but A hope it micht encourage ithers in the same position as masel tae hae a go, an mebbe tae try speakin it as weel. Maist o us speak a language on a continuum atween Scots an Scots Standard English, sae mebbe it's jist a maitter o tryin tae uise mair an mair Scots words an weys o sayin things in oor ordinar conversation til it becomes natural. Haein read this ower, A think the daein o it haes helped me a bit tae think in Scots an that cannae be bad. Like awthin else, nae doot it gets easier wi practice.

Kirk's Justice
DUNFERMLINE Kirk Session Records 22d Oct. 1684.
That day, compeirit Janet Robertson; she wellowing in her former filthines and prophanitie; it is ordainit that she shall be cartit and scourgit through the town and markit with ane hot iron, and so banished furth of the paroche: And it is intimat out of the pulpit, discharging all in the paroche to receive Janet Robertson in your houses under ye penaltie of Xlibs, and the highest censure of the Kirk for her manifold fornictnes, lownries, and miscariages, and if she returns, is to be handed to the magistrates.

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)

Gie's a Tea Brek
IN his younger days, Geordie Jooks haed aboot eicht year daein his Assistant Shipyaird Manager. In thae days, the wis nae offeecial tea-brek for the men that workit in the shipyaird an on the new ships that wis fittin oot but they aw taen ane juist the same, baith in the forenuin an the efternuin. The managers aw kent this an, tho they cuid quarter onie man catched (dock quarter an oor aff thair pey), they maistlins turnt a blin ee an ettilt tae bide oot the wey at thae times.Ae day, it wis juist aboot this time o day whan Geordie wis abuird a new ship fittin oot an he went tae the heid o the gangwey tae gaun ashore for his ain tea in his ain office. As he stepped on tae the heid o the gangwey, whit did he no see, but a wee apprentice laddie on his wey back tae the ship wi three billie-cans o reekin het tea in his richt haund an anither twa in his left. Geordie stepped back frae the heid o the gangwey tae let the laddie abuird sayin,. "C'mere son!"

"Ay sir!" said the laddie haudin the three cans ahint his back an no kennin whit tae dae wi the ither twa.
"Whae's tea wad that be son?" speirt Geordie.

The laddie gulped, feart-like, an said, "A'm no awfae shuir sir, but A think it micht be Brooke Bond's."

Thochts o the English Cocoon
IN her wee airticle on this page, Ann tells o hou she still funds it hard tae speak Scots cause no monie o the fowk she meets frae day tae day speaks it. This is a wee bit o a chicken an egg seetiation or, tae be mair exack, the English Cocoon Syndrome. Maist fowk that's been left the schuil for mair nor ten year haes been learnt an brocht up tae be polite wi language. Gin a body speaks polite (English) tae you, it's nocht but mainners for ye tae speak polite (English) back. Sae a body bydin in Scotland that daesna speak ocht but English can traivel a lang gate athoot hearin onie Scots excep frae the orra body ye come ower that daesna gie a docken for bein polite. Sic monoglot English speakers cairie thair ain cocoon o English aroond wi thaim an dinna ken that Scots exists for they nivver hear oniebodie uisin it. The Scottish media cairries sae monie cocoons aboot wi it that, frae the ootside leukin in, it leuks juist like ae muckle gret English Cocoon itsel.

The irony is that maist Scots that conseeder thirsels tae be English speakers are still unconsciously on the continuum an will uise, for exemplar, 'ti' raither than 'to'.

Aince whan Geordie Jooks wis designin a wee boat for a yaird in Berwick, he haed tae consult ower the phone wi the Marine Survey Office in Newcastle anent some technical particularities. Geordie wis uisin his best business English an he haedna gotten mair nor aboot twa three sentences oot whan he wis interruptit bi the surveyor in a braid Geordie accent sayin, "When are you people going to learn to speak proper English?"

Geordie wis that taen aback wi this, his "Aboot hauf an oor efter the Geordies!" wis oot afore he kent whit wis happenin.

Makar's Neuk
On the New Yeir 1560
In this new yeir I see but weir,
Nae cause to sing;

In this new yeir I see but weir,
Nae cause there is to sing.
I cannot sing for the vexatioun
Of Frenchmen, and the Congregatioun,
That hes made trouble in the natioun,
And mony bare bigging.

I have nae will to sing or danse
For fear of England and of France.
God send them sorrow and mischance
In cause of their cuming.

We are sae rulit, rich and puir,
That we wait not where to be suire,
The bordour as the Borrow muir,
Where sum perchance will hing.
And yet I think it best that we
Pluck up our hairt, and mirrie be:
For thoch we wald lie doun and dee,
It will us help nae thing.

Let us pray God to staunch this weir,
That we may live withoutin feir
In mirriness, while we are heir:
And hevin at our ending.

Sir Richard Maitland (1496-1586)

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APA Style:

Scots Tung Wittins 95. 2024. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 1 March 2024, from

MLA Style:

"Scots Tung Wittins 95." The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2024. Web. 1 March 2024.

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


Information about Document 1746

Scots Tung Wittins 95


Text audience

Audience size N/A

Text details

Method of composition N/A
Word count 2781
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