Document 1753

Scots Tung Wittins 102

Author(s): Robert Fairnie

Copyright holder(s): Name withheld


Nummer 102
Mey 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]

Yule Cairds for 2002 Weel Aheid o Time
[NOTE: image of a Christmas card here in original]
THE design o Scots Tung's Yule caird for this incomin Christmas 2002 is weel aheid o schedule in compare wi fernyear or for that maitter, onie ither year in the bye-gane. It's title, "Auld Reekie at Yule", says it aw an shaws a picter o Edinburgh's noo weel estaiblisht Yuletide Fair in Princes Street Gairdens wi its muckle Ferris wheel aside the Scott Moniment, German mercat, skatin rink, helter-skelter an monie ither shows. The oreeginal picter wis pentit bi Sally J Collins, the kenspeckle East Lothian airtist an buik illustrator that did the picter for 2001's caird that wis cried, "Leukin tae the Auld Toun".

The size an quality o this year's caird is the same as for ither years an, bi eikin the prent run up tae five thoosand, the price for ilka caird can bide the same an aw at 60p.

For aw that this year's cairds is faur airlier nor ither years, they're no a meinit ower suin for speirins is comin in areddies an ae Scots MEP haes been gien a quote for five hunner cairds. It's tae be howped an aw tae hae a professional sales packman takin the gate roond maist o the shops in Scotland wi preein exemplars o the cairds. This shuid gie a braider spreid o shops haundlin the cairds nor in the bye-gane, giein Scots Tung mair time tae dael direck wi maimbers, freends an the genral public juist like afore.

Tho it wisna duin willintlie, the feinisht caird haes turnt oot tae be a braw advert for the Capital's Yuletide festival an the micht weel be some scowth for the cairds tae be uised bi tourist boards or ither agencies o the like.

Like wi ither years, the caird haes the follaein braw poem, screivit bi Janet Cousin, inower the first page an opposite the festive greetin.

Auld Reekie at Yule

In dreich December's deein days
Whan winter's grip is sair
Auld Reekie dons hir festive face
An hosts a Yuletide fair.

Braw coloured lichts strung oot lik beads
Swee in the caller air
Tae the beat o cheery carols
That frae the barraes blare.

Whiles youngsters in a makshift rink
Cleek airms an skite wi glee -
Watchin thir high jinks as they whurl
Is fun fur aw tae see.

A muckle wheel richt doucely birls
Lendin a burd's ee view
The hail lang lenth o Princes Street
Bedeckt in ilka hue.

Auld Reekie in the ootgaun year
Is jist the place tae be
Whan she pits on hir festive face
Tae haud a Yuletide spree

©J.C.C. - Scots Tung
The festive greetin is juist like ither years:-
Aw the Best for a Hertie Yule
An a
Richt Guid New Year

Campie Schuil Beirs the Gree
SCOTS TUNG'S saicont Scots language writin competeetion for the schuils o East Lothian, the Scots Tung Quaich, haes again been weel worth while. Baith teachers an pupils haes pit in some gey hard wark but satisfyin an enjoyable as weel. This year the wis a wee bit o an uphaud wi entries for the Secondary section an thae results will be gien oot the middle o Mey but aw the Primaries wis bang on time sae thair results can be gien oot noo. Aince aw the entries is in for the Secondary competeetion, an aixtrae blat will be eikit tae neist month's Wittins tae haud a walin o some o the entries frae baith the Primary an Secondary sections.

The entries tae the Primary section wis richt guid an shawed a meisure o imagination an humour. For ordinar, the can be juist the ae winner but this year the Walin Comatee haed an awfu bother chuisin atween the tap three entries, aw frae Campie Primary Schuil. In the hinneren, it wis decidit that Jake Naysmith (P7B) an Alastair Brown (P7B) wad be 1st Equal an Rachel Valentine (P6C) wad be Rinner Up.

Whilst ah wiz fechtin wi ma brither,
A muckle michty roar came frae oor mither,
Ah gawped at him an him at me,
Baith o us took tae oor heels tae flee,
Frae hir we didnae like a clout,
O that thir isnae onay doubt,
But she's awfy glaikit for a mither,
What else di ye dae bit fecht wi yer brither?
Jake Naysmith P7B 1st Equal

Ma auld granda has nae teeth,
He bides in Musselburgh but comes frae Leith.
He likes tae bet on the cuddies an dugs,
And doesnae mind a couple o jugs.
He's a couthy bloke wi a muckle mooth,
Who is aye haverin aboot his youth,
But now he's auld and ayeways cauld,
Probably doon tae the fact that he's bald.
Alastair Brown P7B 1st Equal

Ma brither hud a dug ca'd Spike,
A fluffy toy ye see,
But when he got tae auld for it,
he passed it doon tae me.
He also hud an elephant,
Wi great big massive lugs,
It sat doon in the corner,
Beside his fluffy dugs!
He gave me his wee camel,
And a' his teddy bears,
And now I've no got ony room
On ma bedroom chairs!
Rachel Valentine P6C Rinner Up

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.

Daybreak on the World's Edge
Bi Irene Broon, Scots Tung's Stravaigin Reporter
THE Edinburgh Buik Festival ongaun, a foy anent the life an wark o thon kenspeckle Perthshire makar, William Soutar, wis hauden at Auld Reekie's Hub on Seturday 30 Mairch an wis opened bi the Festival's high heid ane, Catherine Lockerbie.

William Soutar (1898-1943) writ in baith Scots an English. His wark reinges frae a guid perception o humour tae deep reflecktions on life itsel. The abuin title for the ongaun wis foondit on a line frae ane o Soutar's poems, The Arch, "As the day is broken on the world's edge." Afore the main program, the airtists takin pairt in the ongaun traitit the owdience tae a live acoustic musical divert alang wi Alan Cody on Guitar. Efter the breck, a cello fower-some makit up wi Wendy Weatherby, Ron Shaw, Fiona Hunter an SuA Lee, played music maistlins composed an fully arranged bi Wendy Weatherby, that played alang wi Rod Paterson singin a walin o Soutar's poems, the likes o, The Tryst, Cadger Jimmy, Sang, The Performance of the Young Men, Lauch Whan Ye Can, Saint Dod, The Moment, Gang Doun wi a Sang, Tradition (this month's chyce for Makar's Neuk), Autobiography, Auld Wife's Sang an The Arch.

Buiks wis tae haund for sale at the breck an efter the shaw.
Argyll Publishing haes furthset a walin o poems bi William Soutar in the buik, "Into a Room" sellin for £7.99 frae maist buik-shops or it can be gotten ower the phone bi giein a ring tae:- [CENSORED: phonenumber].

A' thru the nicht we spak nae word
Nor sinder'd bane frae bane:
A' thru the nicht I heard her hert
Gang soundin wi my ain.
Frae 'The Tryst'

The Shepherd on Sumphs
A sumph is a cheil to whom Natur has denied ony considerable share o understaunin, without haein chose to mak him just awthegither an indisputable idiot. His pawrents haena the comfort o bein able, without frequent misgivings, to consider him a natural-born fule, for you see he can be taught the letters o the alphabet, and even to read wee bits o short words, no in write but in prent, sae that he may in a limited sense be even something o a scholar. I've kent sumphs no that ill spellers. But then you see, sir, the mind o the sumphie is seen to be stationary, and generally about twal it begins slawly to retrograwd; sae that at about twenty—and at age, if you please sir, we shall consider him—he has verra little mair sense than a sookin babby. He kens sun frae moon, cock frae hen, and richt-weel man frae woman; for it is a curious fact that your sumph is as amatory as Solomon himself, and ye generally find him married and standin at the door o his house like a chulemaster—the green before his house owerflows wi weans, aw his ain progeny; and his wife, a comely body, wi twins on her breast, is aiblins, wi a pleased face, seen smiling ower his shouther.

Sumphs are aye fattish—wi round legs like women—generally wi red and white complexions—though I've kent them black-a-viced, and no ill-lookin, were it no for a want o something you canna at first sicht weel tell what, till you find by degrees that it's a want o everything—a want o expression, a want o air, a want o mainner, a want o smeddum, a want o vigour, a want o sense, a want o feelin—in short, a want o sowl—a deficit which nae painstaking in education can ever-supply; and then, oholoos! But they're dour, dour, dour—obstinater than either pigs or cuddies, and waur to drive alang the high road o life. For, by tyin a string to the hint leg o a grumphie, and keeping jerk-jerkin him back, you can wile him forrit by fits and starts; and the maist contumacious cuddie you can transplant at last, by pour-pourin upon his hurdies the oil o hazel; but neither by priggin nor prayin, by reason nor by rung, when the fit's on him, frae his position may mortal man howp to move a sumph.

—Noctes Ambros.
Taen frae The Book of Scottish Anecdote o 1874

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 Yer Crack!
SCOTS is tae be fund aw ower the place. Aw a body haes tae dae is keep thair lugs cockit an listen oot for it. E'en in Auld Reekie, that's taen bi monie tae be ane o the mair Inglified touns o Scotland, Scots is aye daein weel an breardin frae some o the mair unlikely mooths. The ither day a body wis comin oot o Edinburgh's ASDA muckle mercat whan thair ee wis catched bi a Winnie Mandela luik-alike staunin bi the phone juist inower the entry. The lassie's claes wis fu o colour, juist the dab for brichtin up a dour dreich Edinburgh day an, as the body got athin hearin distance, they cuid hear her sayin, "Ay, A'll see ye the morn then. Oh, an hou's the bairn? Is she aw right noo?"

Haes oniebody else heard onie ither guid exemplars o Scots frae unexpeckit mooths or e'en frae onie ither kinna mooth? Keep yer lugs cockit an gin ye hear ocht, juist send it in bi e-mail or phone. It daesna maitter the gate as lang's ye juist Gie's Yer Crack sae it can be shared amang the lave o STW readers.
The'r aye some guid Scots crack tae be heard yet on the tellie in programs the likes o "Snoddy", "Offside" an ithers an thon advert for Scottish Blend tea haes revertit back tae an airlier vairsion that haes a braider reenge o Scots nor the last ane that wis on. Juist shaws somebodie at STV maun hae richt guid taste.

Neist Forgaitherin
Mon. 20t. Mey 2002
7.30pm tae 9.00pm
Comatee Rm. C.
Brunton Ha, Musselburgh.

End o an Auld Border Tulyie?
THE follaein wis owerset frae a Teletext news report in English:-
"Tourist high heid anes is howpin tae bring an auld historic tulyie tae an end bi ettlin tae pit Berwick-on-Tweed back on-tae the Scots map.

Scottish Borders Tourist Board haes peyed cooncil offeecials 10,000 auld-farrant merks (£6,900) for the toun tae be haundit back tae Scotland frae England. Berwick-on-Tweed haes chynged haunds atween Scotland an England fowerteen times in its lang an bluidy history."

Nae doot, for sic a sma price, this is mair tae dae wi tourist mairches nor poleetical anes but, wha kens? Berwick's fitba team haes played in the Scots League for ages an the Scots banks is aw weel estaiblisht thare. The language isna faur awa an no lang efter the Pocket Scots Dictionary wis furthset, it kythed in some o the Berwick shops. Gin the Scots Leid Associe haesna raxed oot an invite for its Scots Writin Competeetion tae the Berwick schuils afore noo, whit wey no gie it a shot an keep the pat bylin?

New Bunnet For SNDA an DOST
AT the time o writin, baith the SNDA an the DOST wis ettlin tae offeecially git cleekit thegither unner the new name o Scottish Language Dictionaries (SLD). The new body wis tae be launched at the Edinburgh City Chambers on Wadensday 1 Mey bi Dr. Elaine Murray MSP, Depute Meenister for Tourism, Cultur an Sport on The Mound.

Makar's Neuk
"Heh! young folk arena what they were:"
Wheeng'd the auld craw to his cronie:
"Sic gallivantin here an there,
Sic wastrie and aye wantin mair;
Their menners far frae bonnie."

"Eh me! It's waur and waur they get
In gumption and decorum:
And sma respec for kirk and state."
Wi that the auld craw wagg'd his pate
As his faither did afore him.

William Soutar (1898-1943)

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Cite this Document

APA Style:

Scots Tung Wittins 102. 2023. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 10 December 2023, from

MLA Style:

"Scots Tung Wittins 102." The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2023. Web. 10 December 2023.

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The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech, s.v., "Scots Tung Wittins 102," accessed 10 December 2023,

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

The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. 2023. Glasgow: University of Glasgow.


Information about Document 1753

Scots Tung Wittins 102


Text audience

Audience size N/A

Text details

Method of composition N/A
Word count 2409
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