Document 1752

Scots Tung Wittins 101

Author(s): Robert Fairnie

Copyright holder(s): Name withheld


Nummer 101
Aprile 2002

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]

Yet Anither Dizzie For Gaelic
[NOTE: a photograph here of Mike Watson in original]
Cancelled: Labour Manifesto SCCC Report MacPherson Report
MIKE Watson, the new Meinister for Gaelic an Cultur, an nae doot the ane wi the hinnermaist say aboot Scots an aw, accordin tae Eurolang, haes gien Gaelic upsteerers the boaks bi threapin nane o the twa heidmaist pynts pit forrit bi the MacPherson Report is like tae be pitten intae effeck. The recommendations o the report wis that anither £10m (€16,394,961) shuid be eikit tae the siller spent on the language ilka year, an that a sma Gaelic depairtment shuid be setten up athin the Ceevil Service tae wyce on the dalin oot o the siller.

The Report's owthor reponed bi tellin the BBC the Meinister wis murderin Gaelic. Maist Gaelic upsteerers see government legislation as necessar tae bring aboot ilka-day uiss o the leid on a normal foond. The Scots Labour Pairty e'en makit a Gaelic Language Act or Secure Status legislation pairt o its manifesto commitment efter a peteetion wi 10,000 signaturs alang wi cross pairty uphaud.

Howanever, Watson telt the press that Secure Status wisna an event but an on-gaun process an he cuidna see onie government greein tae 70% bein eikit tae the leid's budget. Gaelic upsteerers wis daein a radge ower whit they see as a fair sell-oot bi the Scots Executive. Fionnlaigh MacLeoid o the Gaelic pre-schuil group, telt Eurolang that it makit him gey dowie but he wisna that surprised.

Rob Dunbar, an expert on minority language richts an a law lecturer at Glesca University, telt Eurolang that thon's a government that haes pyntitlie dingit doon the results pit forrit bi the commonty itsel an sindert experts for-bye. Insteid, they've setten up twa task-forces an were noo blithe tae rejeck e'en thair ain task-force reports. He said that thon wis a government that haed nae policy for Gaelic an, for that maitter, nae regaird for Gaelic an the wey it haed cairried on wis juist a muckle disgrace an rid-faced embarrassment. He speirt an aw wha'd a thocht a Labour-led coalition in a Scots Pairlament wad a makit a Conservative Wastmeinster government leuk guid tae Gaelic.

Wha indeed? But Labour is juist a bairn stertin oot on this history makin business in compear wi the Liberals that's mair lang in the tuith. Efter aw, wis it no a Liberal government that passed the Scottish Eddication Act o 1872 tae nail doon the coffin lids for baith the Gaelic an Scots languages in the first place? Daes Labour ettle then tae haud tae that same gate or aiblins baith pairties haes spats they're fundin hard tae chynge?

Auld Reekie's Tron
A tron, or public beam for weighin, stuid on the High Street o Edinburgh, near tae the praisent Tron Kirk, that taen its name frae thon hummle objeck. Here, at ae time, fawse notaries an perjurors uised tae be exheebitit.

The Diarist cried Nichol, speakin o a time that is generally taen as the maist virtuous an religious e'er kent in Scotland, viz., the year 1649, says:-
"Much falset and cheitting was dailie de-tecktit at this time by the Lords o the Sessione; for the whilk there was dailie hanging, skurging, nailing of lugs, and binding of peepil to the Trone, and boring of tongues, so that it was ane fatal year for false notaries and witnesses, as dailie experience did witness."

[NOTE: an image of a Grannys' Sookers signboard here in original]
THE abuin shop is tae be fund at 24 Cou Wynd, Fawkirk. Reid Moffat, ane o the Bairns frae thon toun, reports the'r nae better place for a body tae revisit thair bairnheid. Can ye mind the smell an the taste o soor plooms, cinnamon baws, toffee doddles, cough candy, coulters candy, moffat toffees, sherbet dabs, lucky tatties, Ibrox an Parkheid humbugs an granny sookers? Mind, it micht cost a sicht mair nor ae baw-bee noo-a-days.

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.

British Languages
IN the mids o thon raicent argie-bargie in the British pairlament anent the requirements o language fluency needit bi onie in-comers or refugees speirin for British citizenship, the Hame Secretar, David Blunket, acceppit the Welsh language alang wi Scots Gaelic as twa o the hamelt languages o Britain. He greed that fluency in aither o thae twa languages or in English wad be acceppit as pairt o the language requirements for fowk ettlin tae win tae British citizenship.

It's easy tae unnerstaun hou incomers that's aquent wi Gaelic an bidin in the Gaeltacht shuid be acceppit intae thon commonty an like-wise wi Welsh speakers bidin in Wales. But Scots, the biggest minority language in Britain, isna gien a mint at aw. Whit aboot thon Kashmiri refugees recordit on Radio Scotland an seeminlie weel aquent wi Scots? Dae they no qualify for citizenship liguistically an aw? Awbodie kens that incomers fluent in Scots haes tae be acceppit on language grunds or it wadna be logical tae accepp Welsh an Gaelic speakers, but if the Hame Secretar isna gaun tae accepp Scots as ane o the hamelt leids o Britain, the only wey they fowk is gaun tae be acceppit is on the grunds that they're fluent in English.

If this is the wey o't, whit kinna thrawn logic wad this British government be uisin gin it cuid see Scots as a language when it signs an ratifees the European Chairter but sees it as a kinna English for immigration purposes?

Eddication's Failzie
WRITIN tae the Herald aboot a fotie o a protest placard, that kythed in the paper, wi the follaein wordin, "Gonae no dae that!", Rev J Ainslie McIntyre o Bearsden, makit a richt bauchle o the Scots government's eddication policy.

He feinisht bi pyntin oot that, "Every, but every, educated person knows that there are two "n"s in "gonnae".

Neist Forgaitherin
Mon. 22t. Aprile 2002
7.30pm tae 9.00pm
Comatee Rm. C.
Brunton Ha, Musselburgh.

A Hielan Love-letter
Taen frae The Book of Scottish Anecdote o 1874
IT haes aft been said that whan Gaels gied up thair Gaelic in the by-gane, they chynged ower strecht intae English raither nor the Scots. Here a guid exemplar o ae lassie that wis leeterate in the wey she spake, a guid mellin o Scots an hielan English:-

"To wee Tonal Mactavish
No far frae Auchentocher
Doon close by Glamorchan."

DEAR TONAL, - Yeel be wonderin hoo I hae been speaking sae little to ye for sae lang past o time; but Tonal, man, I've been thrang, and ye little ken what the weemen folk have to dae. Ye think they dae naething ava, man, but this be a mistake, Tonal, for they're very bizzy wi things that ye ken little apoot. I like the family o the MacSorley, whar I'm steyan, and aw their ways. The young mistress has gotten doon a kist o musick, last week, frae Lunnon, and I must confess it's very ponny. She stands on four virrelt legs, wi a wee souple ane in the middle, and has a fine trone. She opens it wi a key and ye'll see a raw o white and black ivory teeth in the front o her, but hoo she soons I canna mak oot ava. May be she'll be rowt up like the echt day clock, an that'll mak her stike; but she's no sae lood as the pipes, and she hasna the swirl nor the skirl o the pipes, but she has a fine trone. She cam doon in a lang box, and I'll took her for a coffin till I'll see her culler, for she had nae feet on her till she'll be brocht into the house; but she has a fine trone. Miss Jean'll be aye soon sooning at her, but she locks her up when she has dune, and I canna get seeing her inside. I should like uncommonly to luke into her inside, for as she has nae plaw, I canna for the worl mak oot how she can trone; and she has a fine TRONE.

Hoo's Evan Derhawlish, and Duncan MacRoidart, and aw the rest o them? Is Peggy MacPherson no marit yet, nor Flora MacCandlish? Truly the lads are but dreich, tho the lasses are fain. Tell my mither, Tonal, that I'm thrang saving money up for her auld days,. My maister's son is awa in Edinboro for his learning, and will nae doot, be coming oot some day a great advocat, for he's a lad that's fu o cleveralitee.

Noo, I think, Tonal, ye hae the maist o my news, and I hope ye'll sune rite, and don't forget to tell my mither YON. This lees me as it hopes to fin you, and wi mony compliments to ye aw in the Heelands, I remain, till time pe no more, yours till teath, and ever-more.

Minority Language Newspapers
A Scots language newspaper isna somethin that's aft spoken o, if it's ivver been muckle thocht o at aw. But whit for no? Wi mair nor 1.5m Scots speakers, the maun shuirlie be scowth for biggin up a wyce-like mercat. Tho the feck o thae 1.5m is conseedered tae be illeeterate in the leid, it micht weel be that thon consait is a wee tait exaggerated. Efter aw, Oor Wullie an The Broons haes been gaun thair dingers for gey near seeventie year noo an tho the Scots uised haes gotten a bit peelie-wallie in raicent years, the innin tae written forms o the leid is aye thare an eikit tae bi monie o thae fowk's contack wi the wark o Burns, baith in adult-heid an as bairns at the schuil. Ower the years, an it's nae diffrent noo, the fowk that girns maist aboot no bein able tae unnerstaun written Scots is mair like tae be thaim that daesna speak Scots an daesna want tae unnerstaun it. Fitba reporters haes aften slippit intae Scots for thair heidlines an for bits o thair texts forbye in the bye-gane sae a hail report written in a guid modren Scots shuidna fash monie hamelt Scots speakers for lang.

Wi juist aboot 65,000 Gaelic speakers, the Gaels haes haed a Gaelic Newspaper cried idheal Ùr furthset as a pairt o Skye's weekly West Highland Free Press. Tho they war rinnin intae siller bother, the Scottish Executive haes gien the paper £70,000 (€113,290) tae keep it gaun for anither six month an it's noo tae be a free-staunin ane insteid o bein pairt o the WHFP. The first free-staunin monthly issue is tae be oot aroond 16/17 Aprile wi a circulation o 10,000 an whit's mair, it's tae be a free paper.

If Gaelic can dae aw thon wi 65,000 speakers an leeteracy levels no muckle better nor Scots, whit wey can Scots no dae the same wi mair nor 1.5m speakers? Wi faur mair speakers, the micht weel be an airgiement for a Scots language paper that can sell itsel in the mercat, peyed for bi its readers an in-comin siller frae advertisers. Coorse, siller wad be wantit for settin up tae stert wi, but whit guid's a Scots Executive that canna help its ain? Efter aw, whit's guid for the Gaelic goose maun shuirlie be guid for the Scots gander an aw.

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)

A Wyce Fuil
AE day efter crackin on aboot ages, a wife speirt o daft Jock, "Jock, hou auld will you be then?"
"Och, A dinna ken," said Jock, "It wad tak a wycer heid nor mine tae tell ye that."
"It's an unco queer thing that ye dinna ken hou auld ye are." retoured the wum-man.
"A ken weel aneuch hou auld A am," answeirt Jock; "but A dinna ken hou auld A'll be then."

Fareweel Tae Hamish
ON Friday 15t Mairch, a guid son o Caledonia wis laid tae rest. Hamish Henderson, sodger, academic, makar an, abuin aw a passionate Scot, is hauden bi monie fowk tae be the maucht ahint the Scottish folk-sang revival in the hinnermaist quarter o last century. He wis an aw, the pouer ahint the estaiblishment o the Schuil o Scottish Studies at Edinburgh Univairsity. His sang, "Freedom Come Aa Ye" that taks its place in this month's Makar's Neuk, is conseedered bi monie tae be the real alternative Scots naitional anthem an wis sung bi Cathy Peattie MSP at the openin o the Scots Pairlament.

It haes been said that gin Robert Burns haedna lived, Scotland wad hiv been weel on its wey tae mellin wi ither pairts tae become kent as North Britain. But Burns, speakin tae an for Jock Tamson an his bairns, kept a sense o Scottish identity alive an when the time cam for Jock Tamson's bairns tae tak up active politics, Scotland wis still thare. Hamish Henderson is taen bi monie fowk tae hiv makit a seemilar modren contreebution tae uphaudin wir Scottish identity.

Efter the war, he becam awaur that the Scotland bein braidcast bi the TV an wireless wisna the Scotland that he wis aquent wi stravaigin throu ferms, clachans an touns an he set aboot tryin tae pit things richt. If the media the day is no sae blin tae the real Scotland as it uised tae be, then Hamish can tak a guid bit o the credit an, gin thon media wad honour his memory, then whit better wey than tae uise his language for communication as weel as for entertainment purposes?

Makar's Neuk
Freedom Come Aa Ye
(Tune: 'The Bloody Fields of Flanders')

Roch the win i the clear day's dawin
Blaws the clouds heilster-gowdie owre the bay
But there's mair nor a roch win blawin
Thro the Great Glen o the warl the day
It's a thocht that wad gar our rottans
Aa thae rogues that gang gallus fresh an gay
Tak the road an seek ither loanins
Wi thair ill-ploys tae sport an play

Nae mair will our bonnie callants
Merch tae war whan our braggarts crousely craw
Nor wee weans frae pitheid an clachan
Murn the ships sailin doun the Broomielaw
Broken faimilies in launs we've hairriet
Will curse 'Scotlan the Brave' nae mair, nae mair
Black an white ane-til-ither mairriet
Mak the vile barracks o thair maisters bare

Sae come aa ye at hame wi freedom
Never heed whit the houdies croak for Doom
In yer hous aa the bairns o Aidam
Will fin breid, barley-bree an paintit room
Whan MacLean meets wi's friens in Springburn
Aa thae roses an geeans will turn tae blume
An a black laud frae yont Nyanga
Dings the fell gallows o the burghers doun.

Hamish Henderson (1919-2002)

Words reproducit frae an wi permeession o
Dick Gaughan's Wabsteid on:-

This work is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

The SCOTS Project and the University of Glasgow do not necessarily endorse, support or recommend the views expressed in this document.


Cite this Document

APA Style:

Scots Tung Wittins 101. 2024. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 17 June 2024, from

MLA Style:

"Scots Tung Wittins 101." The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2024. Web. 17 June 2024.

Chicago Style

The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech, s.v., "Scots Tung Wittins 101," accessed 17 June 2024,

If your style guide prefers a single bibliography entry for this resource, we recommend:

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


Information about Document 1752

Scots Tung Wittins 101


Text audience

Audience size N/A

Text details

Method of composition N/A
Word count 2698
General description monthly newsletter

Text medium

Leaflet/brochure (prospectus)

Text publication details

Publisher Scots Tung
Publication year 2002
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