Document 1791

Scots Tung Wittins 140

Author(s): Robert Fairnie

Copyright holder(s): Name withheld


Nummer 140
July 2005

A guid Scots Tung in yer heid's nae guid if yer mooth's ower blate tae uise it!

Scots Tung WITTINs

Eydently Campaignin for the Scots Leid
Ph. [CENSORED: phonenumber] Scots Tung Wabsite: Stravaiger Ph. [CENSORED: phonenumber]

Scots Tung Quaich 2005
[NOTE: photograph here of award of Scots Tung Quaich in original]
THE Scots Tung Quaich for 2005 wis won for Campie Primary Scuil in the Honest Toun bi Kirsty Hogg (P7C) wi a wee poem cried "A Wee Lassie". For aw that it wis juist a wee poem wi fower verses, it shawed sic a mature depth o compassion an feelin for yin sae young. This year there wis twa jynt rinners-up, Paula Johnston (P6) wi "Snaw" an Rebecca Gilhooley (P7L) wi "A'm Aye Gettin it Wrang". Baith thae rinners-up wis frae Loretto R.C. Primary Scuil but there mair. The heids o the selection comatee wis gey weel scartit for it wis awfu hard tae wale oot ane agin anither an in the hinnerend it juist cam doon tae the pairsonal chyce o the comatee maimbers. That wis the wey that anither twa entrants, frae Campie Primary Scuil, wis awardit "Weel Recommendit". They war Thomas Nicol (P7C) wi "The Auld Footbaw Stadium" an Christopher McCartney (P7B) wi "A Cauld Winter's Nicht". Campie P.S got the Scots Tung Quaich tae keep for a year, the third time in five year, an Kirsty wis praisentit wi a pairsonal quaich tae keep, alang wi a certificate, a Scots Dictionar an CD, an a copy o Itchy Coo's "Pure Ghosters". The twa Jynt Rinners-up an the twa Weel Recommendit war aw praisentit wi a certificate, a Scots Dictionar CD an a copy o "Pure Ghosters". The tap three entries frae ilka cless at baith Campie an Loretto wis praisentit wi a certificate as weel.As in aw the years afore, aw the praisentations wis made bi Maister Alan Blackie, Director o Education for East Lothain. It haed been hoped that the nine winnin entrants frae Loretto wad hiv been able tae tend the praisentation at Campie tae get thair prizes frae Maister Blakie but ither pre-arranged commitments kept maist o thaim awa barrin for Paula Johnston an her parents. Howanever, tho she said she wis a wee bit nervous staundin up wi the ither nine Campie students tae recite thair poems, she certainly didnae soond it an pit ower her clever wee poem aboot "Snaw" wi confidence an wi a definite unembarrassed yiss o the spoken language.

Scots Tung is braw thankfu tae Maister Blackie for giein his support an ecouragement tae the competition an tae Dr. Robinson for agane donatin the dictionar prizes on behauf o the SLD, an particlar tae the heid-mistresses, teachers, staff, parents an bairns o the twa scuils for takin pairt in the competition wi sic enthusiasm an enjoyment.

Aw the eichteen poems that won a Scots Tung Quaich certificate can be seen on the Scots Tung wabsite on the Wittins page an pdf copies haes ben sent tae aw the libraries in East Lothian. Extrae pdf copies can be sent bi e-mail tae thaim that speirs for thaim.

[NOTE: a photograph here of award of Scots Tung Quaich in original]
Kirsty's praisentation is witnessed bi Dr Chris Robinson o Scottish Language Dictionaries, Janet Cousin an Pat Horsburgh, baith o Scots Tung, an some o the bairns frae Campie Primary Scuil

Sindert bi a Common Language?
[NOTE: a photograph here of Jamie Stone in original]
COPIES o the STW is displayed in aboot 430 cooncil libraries aw ower Scotland frae the Pentland Firth tae the Solway Firth. Total distribution o STW the day is 785 ilka month coontin baith hard copies an pdf copies but no coontin copies seen or doonloadit frae Scots Tung's wabsite or frae ony o the Scottish libraries nor ony copies taen frae the pdf distribution leet. Includit in thae abuin nummers is a pdf copy sent tae ilka MSP in the Scots Pairlament.

Yin MSP, juist the yin, maks oot that naither him nor ony o his constituents can unnerstaun the language that Scots Tung Wittins is written in. He's threapit this, no juist the yince, but twice sae he really maun believe it. In a repone tae the Scots Tung e-mail wi the pdf attachment, Jamie Stone MSP for Caithness, Sutherland an Easter Ross writes:-
"Is no means all at much til e Caithness chiels... all soothmooth..."

Is he sayin that his constituents is the only folk in Scotland that cannae unnerstaun the forms o Scots spoken in ither airts? Is he sayin they cannae e'en unnerstaun the language o oor national bard, Robert Burns an the ither Makars? An whit aboot Oor Wullie an the Broons or aw thon braw Itchy-Coo buiks? Haes Maister Stone juist been speakin wi his tung in his chowk or haes he juist been keepin the wrang kinna company? Mibbe it's
no his constituents at aw. Mibbe it's juist hissel he's threapin aboot.

The follaein libraries in or aroond his constituency is blithe tae accept pdf copies o the Scots Tung Wittins:- Thurso, Wick, Dornoch, Helmsdale, Lairg, Fortrose, Gairloch, Invergordon, Lochcarron an Ullapool. Tain library wis haein bother openin up the pdf files an speirt Scots Tung tae see if it cuidnae send thaim a hard copy insteid an thon's hou that library haes been gettin its copy o the 'soothmooth' newsletter ever since.

Maister Stone shuid ken hissel that aw the Scottish fishermen aye spoke Scots, thair ain local dialects o Scots. There wis nae want for ony o thaim tae speak English an no mony did. Thae fishermen frae aw the airts o Scotland follaed the fish frae the Isle o Man up the wast coast o Scotland, richt roond the tap an doon the east coast as faur as Whitby an this wisnae juist ae group o fishermen but fisher-men frae aw ower. Whare e'er the fish taen thaim, they aye aw met an melled thegither an cracked thegither wi aw thair fellae fisher freends. They didnae hae ony bother unnerstaunnin yin anither an in fact they aw picked up yin or twa words frae ither airts that wis taen hame an eikit tae thair ain local vocabulars. Sae it juist maks a body wunner whit gart juist Maister Stone an, as he pits it, his constituents, oot o the hail o Scotland tae gaun an sclim thon muckle Toor o Babel.

Scots Tung WITTINS
On the wab.
Mair raicent copies o the Scots Tung Wittins can be gotten in pdf format frae Scots Tung's wabsite at:-
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)

© 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.

John Aberdein's "Amande's Bed"
A review bi Irene Broon owerset intae Scots bi the editor
[NOTE: image of the book cover in original]
THE significance o Amande's bed, that gies title tae John Aberdein's first novel, isnae revealed tae the reader richt awa. The bed that's at the stert o the buik belangs Madge, the mither o yin o the heidmaist characters, wee Peem. It's frae this bed she gets ower on Christmas Eve tae nurse the pain that was "snouting at her depths", a pain keepit silent bi her ain quiet dignity richt throu the book an a pain that taks saicont place tae the communist ideals o her daicent but myopic man, Andy Endrie as weel as tae the weel bein o her faimly. Madge haes her "Co-opy stockinged" feet on the grund while Andy leal-like tries tae sell Daily Workers an whitewash the Union Bridge wi slogans aboot Suez. In the hinnerend Andy haes tae cultiver son jardin an leave the Workers on tap the wardrobe. The rest o the appearinly disparate characters, the likes o Dinah the nurse frae Fife, Royston an Cran the Time an Motion men an Ludwig the German refugee, aw plays thair pairts in this rich tale aboot puir folk.

Aberdein's style o writin is radical. It's sindert intae chapters that varies in lenth frae twa three paragraphs tae twa three pages, ilka yin titled wi an apt an intriguin turn o word frae thon pairt. This style gies the buik a cinematic feel, as he jouks frae scene tae scene an back an forrit throu time. The heid-maist narrative is written in a natural, fluent Scots English wi words the likes o 'doitering', 'wheechle', 'slanteying' an 'hirpled' sittin comfortably wi the English cause o the easy rhythm o the writin. His language is fu o puns an humour the likes o 'drench coat', 'beautility side-board' an Balmoral's miserable ice cream 'by Disappointment'. He's wunnerfae poetic richt throu the buik wi fantoosh phrases like "tum sloshing like the word galoshes", "arrowed an arm" an "new moon sickled over the Citadel", eikin joy tae the areddies enjoyable text on ilka page. His weel seen love o language maks him sensitive tae phonetics, sae the reader disnae need tae be telt that the carol heard on the "walnut wireless" is bein sung bi an English choir. The character that gies her name tae the title is a French wumman strandit efter her man is droont tae bring up her weans in alien Aberdeen, whare she can scantlins fund rid wine ne'er mind her beloved coffee. She ends up speakin whit I'd like tae cry 'froric', makin dae wi " a tassie o thé, trois-three sucres".

John Aberdein's experiences as a fisherman, teacher an political campaigner haes obviously alloued him to write scenes like when Amande's laddie, Jed McClung, gauns tae the sea on 'The Way' wi his uncle, wi authority. He dives an aw intae the particlars in mony ither airts like campin, cricket, time an motion studies an factory warkin. He daes this particular sympathetically in the chapter rinso, oxydol or surf, usually persil whare he descrives the regime o the back close wash hoose an the seemin-like howpless fecht agin dirt, endin wi "Fancy wanting a washing machine!" He gets richt back tae the thinkin o the 1950s an bi definition is refreshingly un PC. He haes written a wunnerfae human, honest an richt enjoyable buik that's jam packed wi whit seems like the hail warld an that ye juist want tae read an read again!

Amande's Bed (ISBN 1 902831 84 5) is publisht bi Thirsty Books, at a cost o £9.99. Thirsty Books is an imprint o Argyll Publishin an they can be contactit at [CENSORED: postaladdress], tel. [CENSORED: phonenumber], e-mail [CENSORED: emailaddress] or on thair wab-site at
John Aberdein's airly stories wis editit bi Duncan McLean in Ahead of its Time (Jonathan Cape, 1987). His story Moving wis a prizewinner in the Scotsman an Orange Short Story Awards 2004.
© Irene Broon

Hamish McHaggis an Freends
A review bi Irene Broon owerset intae Scots bi the editor
[NOTE: image of the book cover in original]
IN the warld o bairn's buiks, there a new series juist come oot for the wee yins' scuil age group. Hamish McHaggis, they're written bi Linda Strachan an illustratit bi Sally J Collins. Thae stories is aw aboot the adventures o fower characters, Hamish, Rupert, Jeannie an Angus that's gien an innin in rhyme at the stert o ilka buik. Three o the animals is fameeliar: a hedgehog, an osprey an a pine marten, but the fourth yin, the eponymous hero, is a haggis cried Hamish. Naethin like the mythical craitur descrived tae fremmit folk (as we aw ken) as haein ae short leg an twa lang legs sae it can rin roond hills, Sally's creation leuks like a fat, twinkly een'd music-ha comedian, complete wi boozy rid neb an muckle tartan bunnet. It's no easy tae imagine him on an ashet alang wi neeps an tatties!

The adventures o the fower pals, The Search for the Loch Ness Monster, The Edinburgh Adventure, The Ghost of Glamis an The Skye Surprise is aw weel written wi easy tae like illustrations tae grip the bairns' attention. At the hinnerend o ilka buik, there some yissfu facts the likes o the lenth o Loch Ness, whare Drumnadrochit is, whit the Royal Mile is an some o the habits o hedgehogs, ospreys an pine martens. Includit an aw is a glossary o ony Scots words yaised athin the maistly English text. As the buiks is cried Hamish McHaggis an aw the adventures is set in Scotland, it seems a peety that the Scots words is juist peened on tae the English text. The ootcome bein, for aw the apparent Scottishness, thae stories reads as essentially English, wi a Scottish theme. They read as if they're leukin in at Scottishness, raither than the Scottishness comin oot frae the text. For aw the individual Scots words is richt an yaised in the richt context, the heidmaist flavour is a formally English yin an wants for the rhythm an idiom o Scots speech. I doot that's marketin for ye! Howanever, it's guid tae see some Scots words bein includit an I'm shair the bairns that reads it or haes it read tae thaim bi thair aulder brithers or sisters will be nane the wiser.

Twa mair o the series is planned for 2006 wi mair tae follae. The buiks costs £4.99 each an can be bocht direct frae the publishers at or frae Ottakers.
© Irene Brown
If the drawin style o the illustrator, Sally J Collins, leuks vaguely fameeliar or gars a feelin o déjà vu tae some o oor readers, this micht weel be cause Sally haes been daein the picters for the front o Scots Tung's Christmas cairds for the last five year.

Makar's Neuk

O, Mary, at thy window be,
It is the wish'd, the trysted hour!
Those smiles and glances let me see,
That make the miser's treasure poor:
How blythely wad I bide the stoure,
A weary slave frae sun to sun,
Could I the rich reward secure,
The lovely Mary Morison.

Yestreen, when to the trembling string
The dance gaed thro the lighted ha,
To thee my fancy took its wing,
I sat, but neither heard nor saw:
Tho this was fair, and that was braw,
And you the toast of aw the town,
I sigh'd, and said amang them aw,
'Ye are na Mary Morison'.

O Mary, canst thou wreck this peace,
Wha for thy sake wad gladly die?
Or canst thou break that heart of his,
Whase only faut is loving thee?
If love for love thou wilt na gie,
At least be pity to me shown,
A thought ungentle canna be
The thought o Mary Morison.

Robert Burns (1759-1796)

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Cite this Document

APA Style:

Scots Tung Wittins 140. 2023. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 3 December 2023, from

MLA Style:

"Scots Tung Wittins 140." The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2023. Web. 3 December 2023.

Chicago Style

The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech, s.v., "Scots Tung Wittins 140," accessed 3 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 1791

Scots Tung Wittins 140


Text audience

Audience size N/A

Text details

Method of composition N/A
Word count 2530
General description monthly newsletter

Text medium

Leaflet/brochure (prospectus)

Text publication details

Publisher Scots Tung
Publication year 2005
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