Document 1769

Scots Tung Wittins 118

Author(s): Robert Fairnie

Copyright holder(s): Name withheld


Nummer 118
Sept 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
Ph. [CENSORED: phonenumber] Stravaiger Ph. [CENSORED: phonenumber]

Anither Step Forrit For The Scots Leid
[NOTE: image here of the leaflet in original]
IT'S taen ower fower year, the hale o the first pairlament an intae the stert o the saicont ane, but noo the Scots language haes finally been alloued tae tak its richtfu place alangside o English, Gaelic an aw the ither minority languages o this country. For the verra first time, a document pitten oot bi the Scots Pairlament tae inform the public haes been furthset in Scots as weel as in English, Gaelic an anither five ethnic minority languages.

It haes been reportit that whan the SLRC tried tae git haud o a copy for the Centre, there wis nane left cause o the muckle demand for the Scots vairsion. A saicont prent rin wis necessar tae hae mair tae haund for the stert o August. This is a guid healthy sign for it's only but richt that the saicont biggest spoken language in the UK efter English shuid generate at least the saicont biggest demand for its documents, efter English. It's gey important that the Scots Executive an thair civil servants gits tae ken that Scots owersettins o thair pamphlets is mair popular in Scotland than owersettins in ony o the ither minority leids. Sic a document as this wad be uissfu in schuil clessrooms whaur Scots is bein learnt an in libraries forbye. A glaizie hard copy can be gotten bi speirin the pairlament's Public Information Service at:-
The Scottish Parliament,
Edinburgh, EH99 1SP.
Ph: [CENSORED: phonenumber] or [CENSORED: phonenumber] (local rate)
Caws bi wey o RNID Typetalk/TextDirect: [CENSORED: typetalknumber]
Textphone:- [CENSORED: textphonenumber] Fax:- [CENSORED: phonenumber] e-mail: [CENSORED: emailaddress]

An electronic pdf copy can be seen, hained or doon-haunnelt an prentit at the follaein Scots Executive's wabsteid:-

The hinnermaist page o the document threaps, "For a copy o this leaflet in languages forby English or in Braille, muckle prent, on audio tape or in sindry computer formats please contack the Public Information Service. We walcome correspondence screivit in onie language. We can ainly accep phone caws presently in English an Gaelic."

The hinnermaist sentence micht weel mean that they dinna hae fowk fluent in the minority ethnic languages but onybody speakin ower the phone in Scots wad maist like be able tae mak thairsels unnerstuid tho the language comin back wad maist like be English.

Consaits o a Polish University Student
WOJTEK Gardela is a student at the University o Wroclaw in Poland that's lairnin Scots an is warkin on his thesis anent the Scots language. He's ower here the noo daein voluntary wark at Carberry Toor juist ootside Musselburgh an haes been haein a crack in guid quality Scots wi some o wir Scots leid upsteerers ower the e-mail. Ane o thae cracks wis wi the editor o STW an some o it is set oot here wi Wojtek's permission.

"Hello Rab,
Thank ye for yer e-mails an A'm sorry A've no scrieved tae ye this monie a lang day.

A've leukit till the buikie ye tellt us tae get frae the Scottish Pairlament an A've a few observes aboot it. As faur as A ken, in the Scots verbs yaised wi the plural subjecks ither than ye/you, we an they is the same as thae anes wi the 3rd person singular subjecks
(Wilson, 2002: 137). For exaimple, Tam an Mary bides in Musselburgh.

Sae, on page 3 o the buikie it says, 'Yer MSPs need tae ken whit maitters (...)' an A'm thinkin it shuid be owerset intae the guid Scots lik 'Yer MSPs needs tae ken whit maitters (...).' A micht be wrang aboot it bit on page 4 o the same buikie it says 'The MSPs is selectit tae refleck (...).' Am A richt? Ther mair exaimples o that in the buikie an aw.

Forby, A canna find 'leuk on' lik in 'ye can leuk on the Scottish Pairlament wabsite' (page 3) in ma dictionar. Bit there a similar sentence on page 2, 'Luik til the Scottish Pairlament wabsite.' As faur as A ken, there's nae 'leuk at/on' in the Scots bit 'leuk til' an that means 'look on/at' in the English. Am A richt? A'd lik tae hear whit ye hae tae say aboot thaim.
Wojtek Gardela."

Ye're deid richt wi the singularity o the Scots plural verbs. Scots verbs aye bides singular wi a plural noun an juist taks the plural form wi a plural personal pronoun. The Scots in the buikie haes been kept simple sae that fowk that's no literate in the leid can unnerstaun it but A think they've taen the simplification ower faur an shuid hing on tae the acceppit Scots gremmar an idiom.

Wi regaird tae 'leuk on', it's juist a direck owersettin o the English 'look on', nae doot for the same abuin reasons. In this pairt o the country, fowk wad maist like uise 'leuk tae' wi the 'leuk til' bein uised in the nor-east. The owersetters is juist feelin thair weys intae whit they think is an accessible Scots an whiles loups in an oot o English an mair nor the ae regional dialeck o Scots.

"Hi Rab,
Weel, A jalouse thaim that owerset the buikie intae Scots didnae mak it ower simple acause it's juist the mixter-maxter o differ noon an verb forms. An A wis ettlin tae say the maist o thae mistaks in't is oot o inconsistencie.

Thank ye for tellin me the differ atween 'leuk tae' an 'leuk til'. Forby, can ye tell me the differ atween 'leid' an 'language'? A'v no fund oniething aboot it onie gate.

A aft dinnae ken whit's a shared Scots/English word an whit ane isnae, an ma dictionar disnae say it aither or it gies an auldfarrant wird that naebodie wud ivver yaise. Hooivver, whit we're forgettin is that a nummer o shared Scot/English wirds can differ lippenin whit airt we're speakin aboot. Faurer frae English the better the Scots sae in the Sooth ye hear 'these' raither nor 'thir' or 'away' raither nor „awa'. A've haen a keek ower a buikie cried 'A Scots Pairliament' bi James Robertson an A cam across sic constructions - the author yaises 'these' insteid o 'thir'. Forby, A've shawn the fowk A'm wirkin wi the Scottish Pairlament buikie an maist o them didnae ken twa-three wirds that's yaised in't, for exaimple 'tae ettle' or 'tae mint'. They're sayin they'd yaise 'tae try' an 'tae mak an effort'.
See ye efter,
[CENSORED: emailaddress]

© Copyricht for awthin written in this wittins blat bides wi R. Fairnie. The Scots Tung Wittins can be fotie-copied in hail or in pairt athoot limit o nummers an this hauds guid an aw for ony pairt o the wittins blat that's furthset in ony ither publication.

Bruce Leeming's 'Scots Haiku' an 'Scots Haiku II'
A review bi Irene Brown
IN the 17t century, the Japanese poet, Matsuo Basho, impruived aulder Chinese forms o poetry tae the genre that's noo kent as Haiku. The wast got tae ken Haiku in the airly 20t century an it haes gotten weel liked in Britain ower the last ten year. The British orientalist, R H Blithe said, "Haiku shaws whit we kent aw the time or didnae ken we kent"

Haiku is an ettle tae get haud o a moment bi reflectin on nature or love. It taks the form o three lines that, aw thegither, shuidna hae ony mair nor seeventeen syllables, ideal-like in a 5-7-5 formation. This is mair easy tae win tae in Japanese itsel. The ootcome is that Haiku in ither leids tends tae be mair cutty, no aye bein able tae fit in wi the ideal. Hou Haiku shuid be written in English is still aye a maitter for flytin ower.

"The heidmaist value o Haiku in English is a feelin o presence; the poem shuid gie oot a gliff o actual experience, speakin tae the senses an the feelins, raither nor tae the intelleck." Alec Finlay an Martin Lucas, Renga Guidelines 2001.

Glesca born writer Bruce Leeming haes taen the maitter a step faurer bi fetchin oot, whit's lippened tae be a first, Scots Haiku an Scots Haiku II. In baith buiks, Bruce haes neiboured ilka Scots Haiku poem wi a gey near literal English owersettin. In ilka ane, he haes won throu tae the Haiku gliff alang wi the genre's necessar 'loupin cleek' at the hinneren.

I the snawie wynd Birlin doon
a chitterin gangrel: the routh o gean blume
toun lums reikin tangles a bummer

Scots Haiku is taen frae a mellin o poignant observes, references tae nature an brawness, the wather an e'en jets an yachts! Scots Haiku II is sindert intae fower pairts, takin the pairt o the fower saisons. Here Bruce maks skeely uiss o the 'saisonal word' tae pint oot the time o year, as ye can see in the follaein:

Throu the haar Butterie drounin
a waik sin - fowk pass i' the dub
talkin sma tentless
Peat reik straught Sowpin usque
frae the lane biggin - wi twa freens -
he's leevin yet bidin the snaw

In his innin, Bruce writes that, "Scots is noo maistly a literary language tho the foonds o its vocabular an particlar idioms is bein learnt in mony Scots schuils the day." He gauns on tae say, "Scots speech lives on aw ower Scotland in hertsome byeleid vairsions." An he awns that his poems " setten in a literary register o the Auld Leid."

The uiss o aulder an mair obscure words causes kinches bi creatin a language that's no easy tae unnerstaun, e'en for Scots speakers. When a word haes an English equivalent that's spelt the same wey but haes a different meanin aw thegither, the heid micht be sae weel acquent wi the English word that the Scots meanin warsles tae be heard an confusion kythes. For example, in the follaein Scots - English owersettins: pail = hearse; gun = pipe; puppie = poppy an coat = skirt.

It cuid be airgied that whiles, a mair weel kent Scots word or a word that Scots shares wi English wad be mair reader freendly an no sae artificially pitten on in appearance. If Scots is taen juist as an academic excercise, this cuid conter it bein seen as a livin language.

The twa volumes, that's cuivers shaws illustrations bi Annette Olney o whit A tak tae be Mount Fuji an a thistle, is howanever, walcome additions tae Scots writin an maks for a thochtish like read.

Scots Haiku, first furthset in 1995, is noo oot o prent but can be gotten at the Scottish Poetry Library. Scots Haiku wis pitten on tape kistie an aw bi Scotsoun, whaur Bruce gies an innin tae Haiku an tae the uiss o Scots in literary tairms.
Scots Haiku II, furthset in 2000 bi Thistle Press, is still aye in prent priced at £4.50 (ISBN 0 9537727 0 5)

The New Acquaintance
IN 1562 a disease wis gaun aboot in Edinburgh that wis cried the New Acquaintance. The Queen an maist o her courtiers haed it an it spared naither lord nor lady, French nor English. It gied a richt sair heid tae thaim that haed it alang wi a sair stamack an a muckle hoast. It bid langer wi some fowk nor it did wi ithers as it speirt oot suitable bodies for the nature o the disease tae loup tae. Maist like, this disorder wis the same ane as that ane that's noo kent as the 'influenza' or 'flu'.

— Robert Chambers
taen frae the Buik o Scottish Anecdote 1874

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:-
Tae hae a free PDF copy sent bi e-mail ilka month, phone 0131-665-5440.
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)

Nixt Forgaitherin
Mon. 1 September
7.30pm tae 9.00pm
Comatee Room C.
Brunton Ha, Musselburgh.

Mingin Ingin Johnnies
ANE o the highlichts o the Honest Toun's common ridin Festival Week in Julie wis the guiser (fancy dress) parade. The fotie ablow shaws twa o the aulder ex-Honest Lads dressed up as Ingin Johnnies an gittin a hurl on a motor aheid o aboot twa dizzen o the ithers that wis dressed up as Ingin Johnnies an aw on thair bikes wi strings o ingins hingin frae the haunnle-bars an roond thair shouthers. The words at the tap o the motor said "Mingin Ingins" an as the bikes gaed by, the air wis mingin wi the guff o ingans. Mingin wis the word for thaim richt eneuch!
[NOTE: a photograph from the parade here in original]

Yule Caird 2003
DESIGN o the Yule caird for this incomin Christmas is weel tae the fore an ane o the proponed compositions is shawn ablow. The cairds is aye the same size as ither years but haes a landscape format insteid o the ordinar portrait format an wi the fawld rinnin alang the left haund side.
[NOTE: image of the card here in original]

Makar's Neuk
Ah wis taken a bus trip yin day
Up Yarrae, doon Ettrick - ma usual route.
Aboot the time o Chernobyl, Ah'd say
In fact there is little doot.

Onieway in the haughs there
Were some sheep, yellae for the sale
While the rest didnae seem tae care
That they were still dirty an pale.

A young lassie got awfae fashed
Til nae mair her wheest could she keep
She came doon the bus an she asked
"Are these radio-active sheep?"

Walter Elliot (1934 - )

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APA Style:

Scots Tung Wittins 118. 2024. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 14 June 2024, from

MLA Style:

"Scots Tung Wittins 118." The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2024. Web. 14 June 2024.

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The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech, s.v., "Scots Tung Wittins 118," accessed 14 June 2024,

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


Information about Document 1769

Scots Tung Wittins 118


Text audience

Audience size N/A

Text details

Method of composition N/A
Word count 2374
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