Document 1762

Scots Tung Wittins 111

Author(s): Robert Fairnie

Copyright holder(s): Name withheld


Nummer 111
Feb. 2003

Keep a guid Scots Tung in yer heid an in yer hert! But mind an uise it tae!

Scots Tung WITTINS

Eydently uphaudin the Scots Leid Campaign
e-screive: [CENSORED: emailaddress] Ph. [CENSORED: phonenumber] Stravaiger Ph. [CENSORED: phonenumber]

Education Meenister Listens tae Cross Pairty Group on Scots
[NOTE: a photograph here entitled 'Education Meenister Cathy Jamieson an CPG Convener Irene McGugan hears whit the maimbers haes tae say' in original]

JANUAR 7 2003 wis the nicht Education Meenister, Cathy Jamieson MSP, cam alang tae a forgaitherin o the Cross Pairty Group on Scots tae hear for hersel whit the feck o Scots language upsteerers, curns an organisations thocht anent the place o the Scots language athin Scots education. It wis juist a peety that, cause the date o the forgaitherin haed tae be brocht forrit bi a hail week tae faw in wi the meenister's thrang wark schedule an maist maimbers wis gien juist 24 oors notice o this chynge, a guid nummer o the group's regulars wisna able tae be thare. For aw the nummers wis doon a bit tho, it wis a richt guid gaun debate that taen place wi an unco birr frae baith the maimbers an the meenister forbye. The meenister cam ower as gey comfortable an at hame wi the subjeck an cuid weel hiv been conseedered tae be juist ane o oo. She pyntit oot hou impressed she wis wi thon projeck the bairns o St. Ninians Primary Schuil at Dunblane, haed duin whan they speirt MSPs tae adopt a Scots word tae uise an she said maist MSPs wis fair impressed wi it an aw parteeclar syne it wis bairns that wis pittin it forrit.

As the CPG maimbers speirt questions an pit forrit thair mony consaits anent whit wis wantin for the Scots language athin education, the meenister gied oot the orra answer but maistlins she screivit aw the questions doon sae she cuid git a mair detailed answer tae rax on tae the group efter she'd haed wirds wi the richt fowk in her depairtment. Whan speirt whit wey the wisna a Meenister forScots, she pyntit oot whit maist fowk kent areddies, that the Meenister for Gaelic an the Meenister for Scots wis ane an the same cheil, Lord Watson MSP.

Some o the questions that wis speirt bi the group maimbers wis as follaes:- The Scots in Higher Still wis tae dae wi Scots leeteratur, that didna aye uise the Scots language an it wis Cross Pairty Group Maimbers haes thair say thocht that Scots language shuid hae its place athin Higher Still an aw. As it staunds the day, this question wis optional in the exam an disappyntment wis mintit ower the unco sma nummer o scholars that wis chuisin tae dae the question an it wis speirt gin ocht cuid be duin tae gar mair collegianers tak that parteeclar gate. Tho the teachin o Scots wis alloued in aw the schuils, it wisna compulsory an it wis left up tae indiveedual teachers tae decide gin it wad be teached or no. It wis thocht that teachers shuid be makit awaur that it wis thair duty tae teach the Scots language in thair clesses an they shuid be gien a mair positive encouragement alang wi trainin an teachin graith. The advantages o multilingualism wis threapit tho it wis acceppit that it wisna juist multilingualism on its ain that brocht the bettermaist advantages but multileeteracy. Gin students wis tae ken the guid o lairnin thair ain hamelt cultural leid, they haed tae be learnt tae be leeterate in it an aw. It wis pyntit oot that in ither kintras, the likes o Italy whaur the wis a nummer o minority leids in the north, the local governments taen it on thairsels, wi government uphaud, tae forder thair ain minority leid an in this wey they war faur an awa aheid o Scotland. The meenister wis minded an aw that whan the leid that bairns brocht tae the schuil wisna gien the staundin it shuid hae, thae bairns wis psychologically disabused an they tint aw confidence in thair weys o communicatin an in thairsels an aw. A bit in the Education, Cultur an Sport Comatee Report on languages wis brocht tae the meenister's tent aboot hou twa teachers haed guided a cless throu an exercise in alleeteration. The hail lesson wis cairriet oot in Scots baith bi the teachers an the bairns an at the end the teacher clapped her haunds an telt the bairns they war gaun tae dae sums an that they war gaun tae speak in English. This wis a guid exemplar o virtual Scots medium education whaur nae doot the bairns wad eik tae thair Scots vocabular an aiblins the teachers wad eik tae thair ain comfort an confidence in speakin Scots tae the cless. It wis a guid exemplar an aw o forderin the Scots leid athoot ony resources tae speak o but juist makin a maucht tae uise the existin resources in anither wey. Ae maimber pyntit oot hou important it wis tae big up ae data base o aw the Scots language teachin graith that wis tae haund insteid o aw the sindert leets an data bases that wis splattert aw ower different wabsteids the day. Syne maist Scots language lessons wis duin as pairt o English, ae maimber thocht it micht evite the possibeelity o Scots bein seen as a byeleid o English bi chyngin the subject's name frae English tae Languages.

Whan the meenister haed tae leave tae tend tae ither maitters, the feck o the maimbers wis o the consait that she haed gien thaim some howp for the weird o the Scots leid.
[NOTE: a photograph here titled 'Cross pairty Group maimbers haes thair say' in original]

Copyricht 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 ony pairt o the wittins blat that's furthset in ony ither publication.

Whit Daes Scots Eat?
Bi Ann Rayner
MONY fowk is gey critical o the kinna mait we feed oorsels wi in Scotland. Tae sum, ye wad think we aw lived on a diet o chips wi mebbe the odd fish, pie, mealie puddin or battered sausage wi it, follaed bi a deep-fried Mars bar. We are telt that we are ower heavy on the pies, pastries, biscuits an cakes, but dinna eat eneuch vegetables or fruit.

While thare is mebbe sum truith in this (tho mony o thaim that eat a puir diet stey in schemes wi nae shops or dinna hae guid facilities for cuikin), it wisna like this lang syne.

Tho the tradeetional Scots diet wisna verra varied, it wis hailsome eneuch. Mony experts haes praised the guid things in aitmeal; the minerals, the fibre an the anti-cholesterol properties, an noo they're sayin the same kinna things aboot kail. Oor forebears ate herring an haddock frae the sea, guid butcher mait fur the weel-aff that haed the siller tae buy it, an the likes o rabbits an hares, doos an phaesants fur the shootin, an fruits like brammles an blaeberries fur the pickin tae mak jeelies an fruit tarts.

Oor ancestors made dae wi little as mony receipts still tells us. Stovies is a guid dish even made wi juist a taste o mait, haggis is made frae the pairts o the sheep that are chucked oot in better aff countries, an the likes o crappit heids an sowans shaw hou they made the maist o little.

While we wadna want tae gae back tae a diet o skirlie, sheip'sheid broth, limpet stovies an bermeal bannocks, we cuid dae waur nor conseeder whit oor forebears ate an try a puckle o thair thrifty an hailsum dishes. Insteid o feedin oor bairns the latest expensive, shuggary cereal for brekfast, mebbe we shuid try cookin thaim parritch, insteid o buyin a cairry-oot pizza, mebbe we shuid gie thaim mince an clapshot. We cuid buy mair local neeps, carrots, ingans an kail insteid o buyin mange tout peas or wee sweetcorn imported frae furrin pairts an we cuid haud wide o fuid fu o chemicals an colours.

The Scots diet, fur maist o us, is no as bad as sum wad hae us believe, but we cuid aye lairn a puckle tips frae fowk lang syne.

Official Scots Registers ower the years
IT is howped that 2003 will be a kenspeckle year for the weird o the Scots language. Sae mony things is set tae come tae a heid this year that it's sair tae think hou things cuid be itherweys. Ane o the maist kenspeckle ongauns o thaim aw maun shuirly be the first official owersettin o a government report intae Scots. The innermaist official documents tae be written in Scots wis aboot three hunner year syne but it haes tae be said that thae documents wis written direct intae Scots an no owersetten frae ony ither leid.

The Education, Culture an Sport Comatee's report intae the role o educational an cultural policy in uphaudin an upbiggin Gaelic, Scots an the minority leids in Scotland haes sindert ower-setters intae twa curns; the ane that threaps the spoken language the day daesna hae eneuch words an haes tae be biggit up an forbye, this document is airtit at learit fowk an no the Daily Record; the tither ane hauds the'r nae pynt in fetchin oot a document that naebody can read for it'll strenthen the ettles o the Corporate Body tae no allou Scots signage in the pairlament an pit intae the heids o MSPs an hamelt Scots speakers the fause norie that if thon is Scots then they maunna be Scots speakers an dinna ken onybody that is. Juist time will tell whit consaits is the richt ane an whuther ony skaith haes been duin or no.

It micht be guid tae see whit the official register o the leid wis like at sindry times ower the years an hou easy it reads tae the day's Scots speakers, makin allowance for the orra spellins.

1288 Act o the Scots Pairlament.
It is stated and ordainit that during the reine of hir maist blissit Magestie (The Maid o Norrowey), ilk maiden ladye of baith highe and lowe estait shall hae libertie to bespeak ye (Pronounced 'the') 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.

1397 Act o the Scots Pairlament.
It is statutit and ordanyt with assent of the thre comunatez thar beande that ilke schiref of the kinrike sal publy ger crye that na man rydand or gangande in the contre lede ma persons with hym bot thai that he wil mak ful payment for. Ande that na man use sik destruccons slachter reif na bryning in tyme tocum under payn of tynsale of life and guds.

1496 Act o the Scots Pairlament.
It is staute and ordanit throw all the realme that al barronis and frehaldris that ar of substance put thair eldest sonnis and airis to the sculis fra thai be aucht or nyne yeiris of age.....And quhat baroune or frehalder of substance that haldis nocht his sonne at the sculis as said is haifand na lauchfull essoyne bot failyeis heirin fra knawledge may be gottin thairof he sall pay to the king the soume of xx pounds.

1565 Extract frae the Thesaurer's accoonts o Mary, Queen o Scots.
Aprile 1565:- Item. To ane boy passend of Edinburgh, with ane charge of the Queenis grace, direct to the baillies of Mussilburgh, charging thame to tak dilgent heid and attendance that the monument of grit antiquitie now fundin be nocht demolishit nor broken doun, xii.D.
A compare atween this an the English o the day is gien ablow in a letter written the same week bi Randolph the English Ambassador tae Scotland.

Edenburgh, 7th April 1565.
For certayne ther is founde a cave besyds Muskelbourge, stonding upon a number of pillers, made of tyle stones curieuslye wroughte, sygnefyinge great antiquitie, and straynge monuments found in the same. Thys comethe to my knowledge, besyds the comon reporte, by th' assurance of Alexander Clerke, who was ther to see yt, wch I wyll do myself wthin these three or four dayes, and wryte unto yor Ldship the more certayntie thereof, for I wyll leave nothynge of it unseen.

1587 Act o the Scots Pairlament.
.....Ordanis the commissioners of all the be electit be the frehalders foir-saidis at the first heidcourt efter Michaelmes yeirlie, or failyeing thairof at any uther tyme quhen the saidis frehalders plesis convene to that effect, or that his Majestie sall require thame thairto, Quhilkis conventionis his Majestie declaris and decernis to be lauchfull.

1650 Extract frae a report o pairlament.
Forsameikle as there being ane supplicatioune..In answer to the questiones proponed to thame by the prsent provost baillies and counsall of Edinburgh, Whidder they sould in conscience pey any pairt of the 40000 lib borrowed be the magistratis and counsall of Edinburgh for the tyme for the lait unlaufull ingadgment Togither with ane act of the toune counsall........................

Frae thon exemplars spreid oot ower gey near fower hunner year, it wad seem tae the uneducatit ee that oor forebeirs wis naewhaur near sae sweir tae mak uiss o aw the guid words the language shares wi English as some o the day's owersetters is. Cuid it be oor compulsion tae mak text leuk as Scots as possible that gars sic a scant o Scots words?

Scots Tung WITTINS
On the wab.
The Scots Tung Wittins can be vizzied or doon-haunnelt an prentit (noo in PDF format forbye) frae the wabsteid o:-
The Scots Speikers Curn, Glesca.
Wabsteid backin:-
A hard copy 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)

Taiblet STW maun apologise for the receipt in Nummer 110. Tho the tin o condensed milk wis in the ingredients, pittin it in efter the shuggar meltit wis left oot bi mistak.

Neist Forgaitherin
Monday 3 Mairch 2003
7.30pm tae 9.00pm
Comatee Room C.
Brunton Ha, Musselburgh.

Makar's Neuk
Whan gloming grey out o'er the welkin keeks,
Whan Batie ca's his owsen to the byre,
And Thrasher John sair dung, his barn door steeks,
And lusty lasses at the dighting tire:
What bangs fu leal the e'enings coming cauld,
And gars snaw-tappit winter freeze in vain;
Gars dowie mortals look baith blythe and bauld,
Nor fley'd wi aw the poortith o the plain;
Begin my Muse, and chant in hamely strain.

Robert Fergusson 1750 - 1774

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 111. 2023. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 7 December 2023, from

MLA Style:

"Scots Tung Wittins 111." The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2023. Web. 7 December 2023.

Chicago Style

The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech, s.v., "Scots Tung Wittins 111," accessed 7 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 1762

Scots Tung Wittins 111


Text audience

Audience size N/A

Text details

Method of composition N/A
Word count 2503
General description monthly newsletter

Text medium

Leaflet/brochure (prospectus)

Text publication details

Publisher Scots Tung
Publication year 2003
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