Document 1772

Scots Tung Wittins 121

Author(s): Robert Fairnie

Copyright holder(s): Name withheld


Nummer 121
Dec 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]

Tae see oorsels as ithers sees us!
"A Scots language muvement wi aw thon wecht ahint it wad tak a wheen o conterin"
IN mony weys, Scots is gittin tae be an unspoken leid. Tho there millions o hamelt Scots speakers o ane kin or anither, maist o thaim dinna recognise the wey they speak as bein "Scots". Ay, they've heard uphauders o "Scots" on the media giein it nae want o praise - but aye in English. Sae thae hamelt Scots speakers haesna heard whit "Scots" soonds like an, cause its uphauders on the media is aye weel educatit fowk, they jalouse that this "Scots" maun be somethin a sicht mair fantoosh nor the "local slang" that they're mair acquent wi. The Cross Pairty Group on Scots, at its forgaitherin on the 4 November, haed a discussion aboot, amang ither things, the BBC's consaits an ettles anent the uiss o the Scots language in its programs. Wi the want o ony particularities on language policy on the pairt o the BBC, the general consait o the forgaitherin wis that the BBC thocht it wis daein fine bi juist allouin praisenters tae slip in the odd "dreich" or ither siclike Scots word intae thair English dialogues. It wis reportit an aw that the BBC haed pyntit oot programs the likes o River City an Tam Cowan's Offside. Thair ain description o Tam Cowan as bein "irreverent" pits the wecht mair on tae his no giein a toss aboot *linguistic cockapenties an juist uisin his ain "local slang". It wis Billy Kay that telt the forgaitherin that if ye war tae speir Tam Cowan if he spake Scots or no, he wad na-say it. Ay, an we aw ken noo whit wey that is. Tam haesna heard whit the "Scots" o thae educatit uphauders soonds like aither. Naebody haes. Whit if the BBC an the lave o the estaiblishment an aw haesna heard whit this "Scots" soonds like aither?

A forspeaker for Ulster Scots, that's aye a regular attender o the CPG forgaitherins, wis speirt whit Ulster Scots soonds like. He answert, "Ah! There lies the problem. It sounds very similar to Ayrshire Scots." Thon gied the questioner a description o whit it soonds like but efter meetin a guid nummer o Ulster Scots uphauders, he still haesna heard for hissel whit it soonds like. Thon's nae flyte on Ulster Scots for the pat daurna cry the kettle bleck an onywey is it no aboot time noo for awbody in the Scots language muvement tae mak a richt maucht tae see oorsels as ithers sees us an pit a stop tae aw thon "Dinna dae whit A dae, dae whit A tell ye!" souch? Wha's gaun tae uise Scots in the media whan the fowk that's speirin for it daesna speak it thirsels? The media an the estaiblishment in general micht weel be mair receptive tae the fleetchins o the Scots language muvement if the Scots language muvement wis tae pit bye its cless ridden prejudices, tak the ure an stert leadin bi exemplar. Pit thair language whaur thair mooths is. Twa million hamelt Scots speakers micht then wauken up tae the fack that aw the sindry byeleids an "local slangs" they've been uisin aw thair days is aw pairt o this muckle Scots language. A Scots language muvement wi aw thon wecht ahint it wad tak a wheen o conterin.

Bi richts, aw forgaitherins o Scots language groups an associes shuid be cairried oot in Scots. The uiss o English shuid be contered. Fowk that jynes in wi this will dae it cause they want tae dae it. Fowk that daesna jyne in winna dae it cause they dinna want tae dae it an for nae ither reason. It'll no be cause they've haed thair Scots educatit oot o thaim or cause they're ower donnert tae lairn hou tae speak Scots but cause o the dead pure reason that they dinna want tae be heard speakin Scots an they dinna want tae shaw thon rid face thair creenge cleds thaim wi.It's no harns that's wantin but smeddum.

Maimbership Drive
THE SLS is raxin oot for new maimbers wi this new flyer. This ane is bi faur the maist professional ane tae be furthset or the noo an is weel wordy o a read. Gin ye canna think whit tae gie a freend for Yule, whit wey no gie thaim a year's maimbership subscreivins? Pokes o Scots Tung Yule cairds is aften gien as Yuletide praisents sae whit wey no maimbership o the SLS an the entitlement o twa editions o the Lallans magazine alang wi the re-lenched wittins blat? Thon hinner-maist uised tae be cried the Claivers an haes noo haed a saicont hamecomin aneath the new mastheid cried eiks an ens an editit in a wycelik wey bi Reid Moffatt.
[NOTE: image here of a poster advertising Scots Language Society in original]

© 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.

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)

Whit's a Linguistic Cockapentie?*
Linguistic Cockapentie: A language snob. A body that thinks a particlar language isna guid eneuch or suitable for thaim in thair ain particlar socio-professional position. Whan airtit at the Scots language, the sufferer o this condition aften ettles tae fend thirsel wi the fushionless excuiss that they've haed thair Scots educatit oot o thair heids forgettin the fack that, tae win tae thair praisent positions, they maun hae thon quality o harns that wad mak re-lairnin ony language a doddle. In general, this condition is dreed bi chyce raither nor bi ony want o abeility an ony thochts on the advantages o bein twa-leidit gauns richt oot the windae.

Nixt Forgaitherin
Tae be decidit

Gaelic, Scots an a wee bit o English
ON Sunday 16 November the Gaelic program Iomraiteach on Scottish Television wis a wee bit different frae the ordinar rin o Gaelic programs bi wey o it uisin juist aboot equal amounts o Gaelic an Scots alang wi a wee bittie English, apairt frae the English subtitles.

The program wis aboot the life o Lady Carolina Nairne that, forbye bein an eydent uphauder o the Gaelic language, wis the anonymous composer o a wheen kenspeckle Scots sangs the likes o Will ye no come back again?, Rowan Tree, A hunder pipers an aw an aw, Caller Herrin an mony ithers. The praisenter spake Gaelic, the sangs wis aw in Scots an Anne Lorne Gillies, the singer, read oot a nummer o Lady Nairne's letters that wis aw written in Scots an aw an a descendent spake ane or twa wee bits o English. The ootcome wis a richt guid an enjoyable program an the twa hamelt languages, Gaelic an Scots, cam ower as bein richt at hame wi ane anither juist as guid neibours shuid aye dae.

Drouthy Neibours
A pairty gaithert at a fermer's hoose near Arbroath tae celebrate the reconciliation o twa neibourin fermers that haed lang been at odds. The host wis pressin an hospitable; the pairty gaed on late an pit ower a glorious meisure o whisky toddy. The wife wis penurious an begrudged the ootlay. When at lang an last the pairty loused, the lady, that haedna slept cause o her fash, leukit ower the stair an speirt the servant lassie, "Hou mony bottles o whisky haes been uised, Betty?"

The lass, that haedna haed tae pey for the whisky but haed been obliged tae gaun tae the well for water tae mak the toddy, answert cool-like, "I dinna ken, mem; but they've drucken sax gang o watter!"

Owerset frae
The book o Scottish Anecdote o 1874

A Lament for the Twa Heidit Lute
bi the Stravaigin Reporter
The Scots National Portrait Gallery wis host on Seturday 18 October 2003 tae a performance o the twa heidit lute played bi Rob McKillop, that siccarly wyced the audience that he is kent as a luter! It wis played afore the pentin bi Gerard Soest o Lady Margaret Hay, Coontess o Roxburgh (1657-1753) whaur she is seen haudin a siclike lute. The concert taen the form o a walin o lilts, laments an daunces that datit back as faur as 1610. They war taen frae the Straloch, Wemyss, Balcarres an Rowallan manuscripts, an includit an arrangement bi the soloist hissel o Neil Gow's Lament for the daith o his Saicont Wife. A nummer o tunes frae the Skene manuscript (c.1630) wis played an aw on the mandour, a kinna cutty lute. Afore playin the daunces, that wis French courantes frae the Panmure manuscript (c.1650), Rob McKillop telt his audience that he liked tae think o thaim as " the auld alliance on the auld appliance".

The concert wis gey weel thocht o bi the hunner strang audience in the SNPG but it wis richt dowie tae think that thon wad mair like be the hinnermaist ane tae be heard on the twa heidit lute in Scotland for a gey lang while juist cause o the want o siller.
Rob McKillop haes 2 CDs on the Scottish Greentracks label.
His wabsteid is:-

S.T. Wittins
bids aw its
a Herty Yule
an a richt
Guid New Year

Thochts on 2004
AS the oors an the meinits coont doon tae the bells o this incomin year, it's tradeitional tae think back on aw the guid things that's kythed in the ootgaun year. Tho there mony a guid thing come tae a heid for the Scots leid this auld year, for a chynge, lat us gie a wee thocht tae aw the guid things that haesna happened for the Scots leid - aw the guid things that 2003 forgot tae dae or didna want tae dae for Scots, things that we howp 2004 micht leuk mair kindly on.

For aw that twa documents o nae sma importance wis furthset bi the Scottish government in Scots ower the ootgaun year, there nae sicht at aw o thon government or its Corporate Body thawin oot thair cauld hertit conter tae ony thochts o allouin Scots signage tae be considered for the new pairlament biggin. No eneuch airgiements in uphaud o Scots in the media wis pit forrit in Scots. No eneuch business o the Scots language muvement wis cairried oot in Scots. There nae hint at aw in the Feasibility Study for an Institute for the Languages o Scotland that whit's bein proponed is onythin ither nor an English speakin 'Institute'. BBC Scotland still aye daesna hae ony language ettles wi regaird tae Scots.

Guid 2004, can ye no gie the estaiblishment a clout ower the lug wi the EC Comatee o Experts' report an saw the seeds o a Gaelic, Scots an Scottish English speakin Language Institute in the heids o the pouers that be?

Yule Caird Sales
[NOTE: an advertisement of Jura Consultants here in original]
FOR the third year in a raw, the abuin Auld Reekie company haes uised a guid sonsie nummer o Scots Tung's Scots language Christmas cairds for its ain corporate caird. Thae cairds is delivered flet tae mak it easier for the ower-prentin o the firm's logo an that. A nummer o ither fowk, includin politicians, haes taen guid amounts o the cairds, an no for the first time aither.

Sales this year is guid gaun an weel aheid o last year wi ower 3000 selt at the time o writin (12-11-03). Sales throu the post is weel up an aw wi parcels o the cairds bein sent tae places baith in an furth o the UK the likes o New York an ithers.

Makar's Neuk

Now mirk December's dowie face
Glours our the rigs wi sour grimace,
While, thro his minimum o space,
The bleer-ey'd sun
Wi blinkin light and stealing pace,
His race doth run.

Auld Reikie! Thou'rt the canty hole,
A bield for mony caldrife soul,
Wha snugly at thine ingle loll,
Baith warm and couth;
While round they gar the bicker roll
To weet their mouth.

When merry Yule-day comes, I trow
You'll scantlins find a hungry mou;
Sma are our cares, our stamacks fou
O gusty gear,
And kickshaws, strangers to our view,
Sin Fairn-year.

Robert Fergusson (1750-1774)

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APA Style:

Scots Tung Wittins 121. 2024. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 2 March 2024, from

MLA Style:

"Scots Tung Wittins 121." The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2024. Web. 2 March 2024.

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The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech, s.v., "Scots Tung Wittins 121," accessed 2 March 2024,

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


Information about Document 1772

Scots Tung Wittins 121


Text audience

Audience size N/A

Text details

Method of composition N/A
Word count 2223
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