Document 1754

Scots Tung Wittins 103

Author(s): Robert Fairnie

Copyright holder(s): Name withheld


Nummer 103
Juin 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]

The Flyte o aw Flytes
IT aw cam aboot whan the papers telt the story anent SNDA an DOST chyngin thair names ower tae the Scottish Language Dictionaries (SLD) an gied some particularities anent its heidmaist oncomin projeck.

The BBC's Newsnight Scotland peened on tae the story but, appearinlie athoot giein the leid the meisure o respeck that micht be expeckit for an indiginous language spoken an unnerstuid bi the feck o the Scots nation an ane that raxes aw the wey back intae Scots history. The non-PC tumshie-heid that introduced the item on the tellie shawed the hail yird his iggerance whan he speirt, "Scots! Is that the language that MacDairmid invented?" Weel, gin thon harnless body haed taen the bother tae read the rest o thon report in the papers, they wad hae seen that the projeck wis bein gien £200,000 frae the Scots Government. It daesna tak a lot o harns tae ken that nae Scots Government is gaun tae gie thon kinna siller tae an artifeecial language inventit bi a poet frae last century, e'en a kenspeckle ane the likes o Hugh MacDairmid. In fack, thon same Scottish Government haes furthset a Scots Language Fact Sheet whaur it threaps the Scots language tae be an important pairt o Scotland's distinctive linguistic an cultural heritage. Conter tae the BBC, it maks nae mint at aw o the inventiveness o Hugh MacDairmid.

Reid Moffat o Fawkirk wis that roused bi the BBC's harnless insensitivity that he wis gart tae pen the follaein flyte.

"Ye hae ti think the ill-leirit iggerance o the bawheid is juist owerdinged bi the puggie proud, crouss-crawin souch blawin aff the mince atween his lugs. The blether-skyte's a fushionless wiffer-waffer wi the harns o a flee, the gumption o a tattie-boggle an the kennin o a blin, deif cuddie. His furst keik outby wes frae a gowk's nest an the keich jawin frae his mou haes aw the reik o an imperial-stentit eddickation—an Scots fowk ir meant ti think it braw an clever lyke the Emperor's claes. Thon's naethin but a haiverin tollie, a tuim-heidit poltis......................"

The oreeginal story in the papers telt hou the Scots Government wis uphaudin the Scottish Language Dictionaries wi siller tae eik aw the new Scots words intae thair Scots dictionars an keep thaim up tae date. The new updatit dictionar, tae stert wi, will be tae haund for schuils, an ither eddication institutions, on the wab. In the hinnerend it'll be eikit intae the updatit vairsion o the Concise Scots Dictionary.

The projeck is bein peyed for wi a £90,000 grant frae the Heritage Lottery Fund alang wi a yearly £80,000 grant frae the Scottish Airts Cooncil. The Cooncil haes contreebutit anither £27,500 forbye tae git the projeck up an rinnin.

As a livin language, Scots is ingaitherin new words ilka year an the SLD is gaun tae hae a leuk at new Scottishisms kythin in the works o Kelman, McIlvanney, Rankin, Jeff Torrington, Irvine Welsh, Matthew Fitt an Liz Lochhead. The scripts o Rab C Nesbitt, Chewin the Fat an ithers is gaun tae be gien a guid leukin tae an phrases the likes o "gonnae no dae that?" an "Ah'm gonnae malkie yir heid." shuid be jynin new words like beamer, riddie, schemie, multi, sitooterie, barrie an bogging intae the new dictionar.

The same report threaps that words like dobber, barfin, alchies an gadgies winna be eikit in cause o thair braider British origins but the'r maun be somethin no richt thare for the hinnermaist ane, gadgie, haes been in the Concise Scots Dictionar e'er syne it wis first furthset. Haes somebody no been takin guid eneuch tent o thair hamework?

Collogue in Miranda do Duoro Speirs Intae Linguistic Enclaves in the EU Eurolang Report
THE ither week-end, the wee Portuguese toun o Miranda do Duoro wis the host tae an internaitional collogue anent European leids an sib legislations. It wis the fift sic forgiatherin an up tae a hunner fowk, alang wi bodies weel leirit in linguistics an legislation, traivelt tae Miranda do Duoro tae tend. Amang thaim tendin, the wis professors frae the univairsities o Coimbra, Lisbon an Braga, alang wi monie primary an secondary teachers. The collogue wis pit thegither bi CIE-MEN, a linguistic richts body airtit in Barce-lona, an the European Buroo for Lesser Uised Leids (EBLUL), wi the uphaud o the city o Miranda an the Uni-vairsity o Tras-os-Montes. The heidmaist ettle o the v Internaitional Collogue on European Leids an Legislation wis the study o linguistic enclaves; wee linguistic groups airtit athin a heidmaist linguistic territory. Tae hae a genral oncome tae thae enclaves athin the European Union (EU), the high heid anes haudit a collogue anent the particularities o thae diffrent territories, that eikit in Mirandese in Portugal, Asturian an Aranese in norlan Spain, Catalan in Murcia (sudron Spain), Albanian in Italy, Frisian in Germany an Scots in the United Kinrick. Forespeakers frae aw thae leids wis thare in Miranda do Duoro.

Tae gie a heize tae thae enclaves, warkshops wis hauden on the new technologies an hou they can be pit tae practical uiss wi regaird tae leids, sic as the warld wide wab an ither sic learnin graith. Some successfu enclaves, the likes o Val d'Aran in Catalonia, gied some wice tae ither minority leids that still haes a lang gate tae gaun Mònica Sabata, that tendit the collogue as forespeaker for the Barcelona-airtit CIEMEN, telt Eurolang that 'the linguistic flyte wis gey helpfu, syne monie sindert consaits wis pit oot in whit wis bein discussed'.

The high heid anes wis gey weel plei-sured an aw bi the nae sma maucht that wis makit bi the re-gional admeinistration, a hertie step alang the gate tae the forderin o the Mirandese leid in thon airt. Apairt frae aw the crack, the collogue saired an aw tae gie a hame-comin tae a new Maimber State Comatee (MSC) o the European Buroo for Lesser-Uised Leids (EBLUL) in Portugal. Thon new MSC wad maistlins leuk tae the Mirandese language, a gey sma leid spiken bi aboot twal thoosan fowk in nor-aist Portugal, in the Bragança airt.

It's no aften ye see Scots on its lane as the anelie British minority leid that's spiken or written aboot in a report or at a collogue!

Neist Forgaitherin
Tae be decidit efter simmer breck
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.

Whit's it (H)aa Aboot?
Bi Jock McTamson
WI the ivver growin interest in the Scots language, mony fowk are beginnin tae tak a look at placenames aroon whaur they bide. Ane o the maist strikin aspecks o place-names in Scotland is the nummer o them that hae nae real correspondence tae whit the name itsel means - in Scots - fer the simple fack that they're spelt as if they were English. Aa ower Scotland, fer instance, we hae the word Hall stuck on the end o a wide range o differin wirds. In East Lothian ther's Monktonhall an Craighall, in the nearby capital, Embra, there's Saughtonhall an Powderhall, an in oor biggest city, Glesca, there's the maist famous o them aa - Sauchiehall.

Noo A've heard fowk say that there yaised tae be a Sauchie Hall, bit A kin fin nae evidence o it. D'ye ken how? Because aa o these names maist likely cam frae the auld Scots word "haugh", which usually endit up sounin like "haa" or "haw" - meanin, accordin tae the Concise Scots Dictionary - "a piece of low-lying ground, usually by a river". Sauchiehall in fack means "the river meadow wi the willow trees" frae "sauch" the Scots word fer willow. An Saughtonhall comes frae the same idea - "saughton" meanin somethin alang the lines o "the ferm or toun o the willows". So how come they aa end up suggestin they're named efter some local big hoose? Weel it's a richt disgrace bit the fowk wha hae had the responsibility o selectin names fer oor streets an schemes - an that means oor local cooncillors in maist cases (an thay're shairly no aa numpties, d'ye think?) - hae been inferior.

Whit div A mean by inferior? Simply this - they felt theirsels inferior an believit that the names they heard like Sauchiehaw or Sauchiehaa were jist the ignorant local savages they representit mispronooncin the guid English wird "Hall". It wis obvious - they kennt fine, fer had they no been tellt in the schule - that the wey we speak in Scotland wis jist a corrupt dialeck o English? An bein, like politicians everywhaur an everywhan, bein deid set on improvin thair ain an their cooncil's standin they'd mak damn shair that the proper name wis whit wad be seen on aa the street signs. Aabody wad therefor ken there wis naethin common or orrie aboot their toun! That micht jist be unnerstandable on the pairt o Victorian cooncillors - fu o the notions o Empire on whilk the sun wad nivver set - bit the day's politicians suid shairly hae a better idea o the reality. An thon reality is simply that aa ower Scotland the first language maist o us learn tae speak - Scots - his been treatit like a puir relation, ignored, an gif no taen tent o - despised. A language wi as lang a pedigree as English an a literature that's kennt an studied aa ower the warld, (wha fer instance his been translatit intae mair languages nor Burns? - damn few an they are aa deid), an the language maist o us still speak. An it's still gaun on wi hoose builders seemin tae think the mair English they mak the names o thair developments the better they'll sell.

An oor cooncillors - weel as aabody kens, ignorance his nivver been a hindrance tae advancement in politicks but is it no aboot time we startit tae respeck oor ain heritage an tradition an mak a stert tae gettin at least oor placenames richt?

Language Institute Questionnaire
THE Carnegie Trust for the Universities o Scotland haes pit up siller tae cairry oot a feasibility study intae the estaiblishment o a proponed Institute for the Languages o Scotland.
The ettles o the study is:-

Tae leuk intae the kinna information on the leids o Scotland that's wantit bi government, eddication at aw levels, the cultural sector an the commontie.
Tae foond a leet o the resources Scotland haes - in expertise or graith - that an ILS cuid be biggit on.
Tae leuk intae the structur, ongauns an siller o sic-like institutes in ither kintras.
Tae speir the braidth o the land tae see whit uphaud the'r for sic a projeck.
Tae wale throu priorities relevant tae the Scottish seetiation an pit forrit a strategy for the on-come.
Fowk that wants tae eik thair ain baw-bee's worth tae the projeck can fill oot a questionnaire that can be fund noo on the follaein wabsteid :-

Scots Tung Quaich Competeetion
SCOTS TUNG'S saicont Scots language writin competeetion for the schuils o East Lothian haes gien a wheen o fowk, young an auld, a guid lot o pleisure an saitisfaction. The teachers wis speirt tae wale oot the best three entries frae ilka cless an submit thaim tae Scots Tung. The nummers wis a wee bit up on last year wi twa schuils drappin oot an three new anes comin in tae tak thair place.

This month's Wittins cairries an aixtrae blat tae haud a walin o some o the entries tae the competeetion an the birr, imagination an humour shawn bi the collegianers is thare for aw tae see. Some o the subjecks this year, e'en wi ane or twa primary entries, comes ower gey mature an growed up. The'r seeventeen entries shawn in the Wittins an ilka ane o the owthors will git a laminatit copy tae keep as a mindin wi an aixtrae ane for pittin up on the schuil notice boards. Aw the ither entrants will be gien a paper copy. It's juist a peetie the wisna room tae git thaim aw prentit.

Katie Revell, an S2 collegianer frae Dunbar Gremmar Schuil beirs the gree for the 2002 Secondary section wi a thocht provokin poem cried "The Sea." Anither poem cried "Ma Wee Scotty Dug!" bi Jenny Brunton in the same cless as Katie, wis Rinner Up.
In the Primary section it wis peels for the winner atween "Brithers" bi Jake Naysmith P7B an "Ma Auld Granda" bi Alastair Brown P7B, baith o Campie Primary Schuil. Rinner up for the Primaries wis "Ma Brither's Fluffy Toys" bi Rachel Valentine P6C, again o Campie Primary Schuil. 2002 maun shuirlie hiv been Campie's year for they pit in a gey strang entry, baith in nummers an in quality.

Dunbar Gremmar an Campie Primary will baith be praisentit wi a quaich tae keep for ae towmond, the three winners will git a meenature quaich tae keep. The tap three entrants frae ilka cless will be gien a certeeficate written in Scots.

Forbye thon, Scottish Language Dictionaries alang wi thair publishers haes kindly offered tae gie the three winners an the twa rinners up, a copy o the Scots School Dictionary. Copies o the dictionary will be gien tae aw the schuils that taen pairt an aw.Maister Alan Blackie, high Heid Ane o Eddication an Community Services for East Lothian will praisent the quaichs on Mon. 10 Juin, Campie Primary Schuil at 11am an Dunbar Gremmar Schuil at 2pm.

It's a peetie they canna aw beir the gree but the'r aye neist year an nae doot the ither schuils isna gaun tae lat Dunbar an Campie haud on tae thair quaichs again athoot giein thaim a guid rin for thair siller.

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)

Makar's Neuk
Is there for honest poverty
That hings his heid and aw that?
The coward slave, we pass him by,
We dare be poor for aw that,
For aw that, and aw that,
Our toils obscure and aw that,
The rank is but the guinea's stamp,
The Man's the gowd for aw that!

Ye see thon birkie ca'd a lord,
Wha struts, and stares, and aw that,
Though hundreds worship at his word,
He's but a coof for aw that:
For aw that, and aw that,
His ribband, star and aw that;
The man o independent mind
He looks and laughs at aw that.

Robert Burns 1759 - 1796

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Scots Tung Wittins 103. 2024. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 22 April 2024, from

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


Information about Document 1754

Scots Tung Wittins 103


Text audience

Audience size N/A

Text details

Method of composition N/A
Word count 2634
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