Document 1795

Scots Tung Wittins 144

Author(s): Robert Fairnie

Copyright holder(s): Name withheld


Nummer 144
Nov 2005

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

Scots Tung WITTINs

Eydently Campaignin tae Uphaud the Scots Language
Ph. [CENSORED: phonenumber] Scots Tung Wabsite: Stravaiger Ph. [CENSORED: phonenumber]

The Language o God
"God is portrayed as an RP Inglish speaker"
GOD ligs weel abuin the Touer o Babel an is weel able tae yaise an unnerstaund aw an ony o the warld's languages. God kens that tae rax doon tae the herts o fowk, he maun yaise the words that fowks' herts kens best an sae he speaks tae the French in French, tae the Germans in German, tae the Spanish in Spanish, tae the English in English an tae aw the nations o the yird in the language o thon nation. The ae exception wad appear tae be Scotland or tae be mair tae the pynt, the Scots speakers that hears the word o God maistly juist spoken in English bi the Kirk o Scotland. Daes the Kirk think that God is ower donnert tae unnerstaund Scots or daes it think that Scots is ower hard a language for God tae get His tung roond? Mibbe they think it's no polite eneuch for the Almichty tae yaise an micht gar him creenge or aiblins it micht bring oot the creenge in some o the kirk maimbers.Yin o Scots Tung's upsteerin maimbers, a God fearin body frae the Borders that bides in England noo, haes been screivin tae the Kirk o Scotland anent this want o the Scots language in maist o the Kirk's ongauns an he reportit tae the Wittins that the guid news he haed raicently gotten frae the Kirk o Scotland at 121 Grorge St. Edinburgh, wis as follaes:-
"We have just set up a group to promote the use of Scots in worship and we hope that a book will appear. The group contains David Ogston of the main Perth church, Donald Smith of the Netherbow, and Dr. Alasdair Allan of the Church's media office. He not only made Scots the subject of his Ph.D. but he wrote it all in Scots."
Efter Scots Tung haed speirt the kenspeckle Dr Alasdair Allan for mair particlars aboot this maist walcome an interestin ongaun, he contributit the follaein wee airticle tae the Scots Tung Wittins:-

Scots i the Kirk
SOME fowk wull myn on Rikki Fulton's character – thon polisman at wes aye chappin on the ruifs o caurs an saying "Hey,Stirlin, oot the caur". For some reason or ither, in ae scene, he meets his maker an haes his catchphrase thrawn back at him bi God. Whit wull irk onie Scots leid activist, an at least some Scottish theologians, is at God is portrayed as an RP Inglish speaker, thunnerin oot the wurds bi wey o a mockin imitation o Scots.
The Kirk haesna aye hed the best o names for forderin the Scots tung. The deceison o the reformers tae owerset the Scripturs intil Inglish hed muckle adae wi the lang dwyne o screivit Scots i the seiventeeth centurie.
Houiver, we shuidna wyte God for that, nor shuid we jalouse at, jist cause fowk read the Bible in Inglish, three hunner year syne, at they prayed in't an aw.Thare haes aye bin preachin gaun on i Scots, wi some aividence o this happenin i the nineteent century, an the michtie owersettin o the New Testament strecht fae Greek intae Scots bi Lorimer i the 1970s haes gien new virr tae this smaw but signeificant trend.Mair recentlie, a hantle o fowk lik Joyce Collie, David Ogston an (aince) masell haes led services i Scots, an forms exeists for Scots waddin services an communions.

Aw this haes priggit a whein o fowk i the Kirk tae gie mair thocht tae the hail question o guidance tae meinisters an ithers at wants tae uise Scots in services. While sic guidance exeists for services in Inglish an Gaelic, a preacher i Scots wull haurdlie ken whaur tae stert, whan it comes tae leukin for readins, hymes, ideas for prayers, an - maist o aw - whit kin o register or vocabular tae uise at wull rax the lenth o a twa-pandrop-warth sermon.

A whein o fowk i the kirk haes jist stertit leukin intae this question wi a view, mebbes, till a furthsettin o some kin i the hinneren tae encuirage mair congregations tae hae Scots services.

Tho we hae jist new gotten yokit tae this darg, A'd walcome onie thochts or ideas on the wey forrit i this area.

Alasdair Allan is Senior Media Relations Officer for the Kirk o Scotland. He can be gotten on [CENSORED: emailaddress]

[NOTE: logo here of the Dictionary of the Scots Language in original]
WHILES, a body micht chynge its name an it taks a wee bit time for fowk tae get yaised tae the new yin but it's awfu easy tae forget that a chynge o name can mean a chynge o electronic address an aw. Sic a situation haes cam aboot syne the Scottish National Dictionary Association an the Dictionary o the Older Scottish Tongue jyned thegither tae kythe intae the Scottish Language Dictionaries (SLD).

Tak guid tent that the new wabsteid address for Scottish Language Dictionaries is:-
The SLD can be contactit bi e-mail at:-
[CENSORED: emailaddress]
The scuilwab bides whaur it haes aye been at:

The electronic Dictionary o the Scots Language that taks in the 10 volumes o the SND an the 12 volumes o the DOST alang wi a new Supplement o ower 6000 words can be fund at
Bi makin the DSL free tae awbody on the wab, the ettle o the SLD is tae braiden the inlat tae thae source dictionars an open up thae rich lexicographic resources tae onybody that haes an interest in the Scots language an its culture. Stravaig tae yer hert's content.

Makar's Neuk
Frae the buik o REVELATION in

Come ye furth o her, my fowk,
sae ye binna airt nor pairt in her sins,
an kep nae skaith frae the plagues
at is nou tae faa on her:
for her sins raxes up til heiven,
an God hes haen mind o her ill-daeins.

Gar her as guid - ay, gar her dree
the double o aa she hes dune,
an brew her a browst double in strenth
o the browst brewn bi hersel for ithers!

Mak her thole tormènt an dule as gryte
as her pridefu voustin an wantonness;
because she hes said in her hairt,
‘I sit here a Queen, an nae wídow am I:
dule will I pree nane.'
Therefore in ae day will her plagues come on her, deith an dule an dairth,
an burnt she will be in aiss;
for michtie is the Lord God,
at hes duimed her!

W. L. Lorimer (1885 - 1967)

Nae Scots in Eurolang?
EUROLANG, is the e-journalistic airm o EBLUL an, like EBLUL, is dedicatit tae the forderin o aw Europe's minority languages. Thon's the theory onywey for in baith the Eurolang an EBLUL wabsteids an, for that maitter the ADUM yin an aw, there a leet o aw the European minority leids they cover frae ilka European country. The minority leids in the UK is gien as Cornish, Gaelic, Irish an Welsh. Ay, ye're richt. There nae mint o Scots at aw, the biggest minority leid o thaim aw. Thae three organisations haes taen a blat oot o the British an Scots governments' buik an left Scots as the lane invisible minority leid in the UK. Whit wey is it that wi baith the Scots an British governments an noo wi the European institutions an aw, Scots is aye the only language tae be left oot an gien a dizzy? Whit wey can it never be Gaelic, Welsh or Cornish? It disnae maitter a docken if this haes been duin unintentionally or no for the amount o skaith it daes tae the cause o the Scots language is still aye the same an for ilka day that the Scots language bides invisible in the wabsteids o Eurolang, EBLUL an ADUM, is anither day that it bides a non-existant language in Europe an in the minds o the British estaiblishment.
The donnert thing aboot aw this tho is that it haes juist come aboot efter Eurolang brocht oot its new wabsteid. It yaised tae hae a perfectly guid description o the Scots language in its auld wabsteid that haed been there for years sae whit wey cuid they no yaise it in the new wabsteid an if they ettled tae hae a new description screivit, whit for no juist leave the auld yin whaur it wis till the new yin wis tae haund? Whit wey gie the Scots Executive an the British government ony mair ammunition tae defend thirsels wi agin the speirins o the Comatee o Experts? A body cuid juist imagine thaim comin oot wi a defensive, "It's no juist us ye shuid be gettin on tae. Leuk at whit Eurolang, EBLUL an ADUM is daein an ye're no gettin on tae thaim at aw."

The Scots language haes nae want o enemies at hame but ae thing that it cuid weel dae athoot is haein freends like thon in the institutions o Europe. Time tae get the finger oot!

Whaur the Deep Sea Devauls
A Review bi Irene Broon
"Tae apen up language is tae apen up possibeilities o thinkin an feelin…" Yang Lian
Yang Lian is an exiled Chinese poet o kenspeckle international acclaim whase wark wis daured in China in the 1980s. This pamphlet Whaur the Deep Sea Devauls wis publisht as a mindin o him tendin the 2005 Edinburgh International Buik Festival an his residence as International Literary Fellae at Cove Park airts centre on the Roseneath Peninsula.

The pamphlet taks the form o a sequence that taks the pamphlet's title, an is follaed bi 16 poems. The sequence wis owerset bi Brian Holton, oreeginally frae Galashiels, that thae days teaches owersettin at the Hong Kong polytechnic university. Brian haes been furth-settin Chinese-Scots owersettins syne 1981 an owerset Yang Lian's buik Where the Sea Stands Still: Newcastle Bloodaxe Books 1999. The saicont pairt o the pamphlet, cried Sixteeners, haes been owerset bi Harvey Holton, originally frae Galashiels an aw, that's a braidly publisht poet noo warkin oot o Fife.In an innin tae the pamphlet, James Robertson writes o Yang Lian's glegness tae hae his wark owerset intae Scots as bein "… testification tae his belief in the pouer o language tae explore an kythe alternative weys o thinkin an feelin." James recommends Brian Holton's essay at the end o the abuin mentioned Bloodaxe buik Translating Yang Lian. A awn tae hivin read naither this nor the English owersettin wi the waik excuse o a want o time. That A hae nae kennin o the Chinese language is pro non scripto, sae A hiv read this wark as it staunds in the belief that a guid wark o airt staunds on its ain merits, athoot ony explanation.

This is a challengin read; Yang Lian's themes is daith an the perpetuity an sma significance o life. There a dowieness an dreichness aw throu the wark. The elements an words that's repeatit throu no juist the eponymous sequence but maist o the 16 poems is: water, in the form o the ocean, a storm, or e'en snaw; flesh; bluid; blueness; bairns an writin itsel. While no threapin tae unnerstaun ilka nuance o his high kinna screivin, A cuidnae help but be moved an fair taen bi lines like:
"peerie coral corps a yowdendrift"
"yir pipes wierdit tae skirl on"
"…the muckle sea's crammasie jaiket set on the winnock sole"
"this leid wi nae past gars ye ken fine weill whit's fearsome when ye leuk back's yir ain face"

In a sma nummer o the poems the likes o Shawdie Play and Faither's Blue an White-porcelain, the repeatit words isnae sae evident, but the backgrund rones is still aye praisent. See the lines – "shawdies raggedly wear personalities" an " the murderous haun repones" from Shawdie Play
"lyin doon revealin the birthmerk o day" from Faither's blue an white porcelain
The pamphlet feinishes aptly wi a poem cried The time that's left.** This seems tae be aboot the end of the warld an in it Yang Lian maks muckle things sma, maks sma an feinisht things infinite, thrawin perceptions intae stammygaster wi phrases the likes o:
"chameleon marble"
"a bird sunk deep in ivory caws oot"
"an echo awaiting a pipe organ"

The hail wark is an amazin mixter-maxter o the particlar an the universal. A'm gratefu tae hiv been hennered tae read it.
Whaur the Deep Sea Devauls can be gotten via the wabsteid or bi post at a cost o £4. Please mak cheques peyable tae James Robertson an send tae him at [CENSORED: postaladdress]
© Irene Broon

Takin Throu Han
AE day jist the ither wik here A wis inveeted up tae ma aul skweel tae spik tul Primary Seiven aboot e history o the village o Pitmedden. Whit a gran class o loons n quines it wis n A wid say aat maist o them waur richt interaisted in fit A wis spikkin aboot n fair taen wi the aul picters A showed them. As weel as aat A hid taen up a twa three items fae ma collection o artefacts fae the past for them tae puzzle ower. The first wis a petrol iron, maist o them cwid see aat it wis an iron bit fan A telt them fit hid tae be daen tae get it tae wirk, they cwidna believe foo dangerous a machine it wis! Ay, A can weel min seein ma Mither usin es iron in e days afore w hid electicity n mony a time it wid bleeze up n she wid get her eyebroos scammed. E neist thing A showed them wis a weet battery for e wireless - aat stumped them! Ae guess wis aat it wis a lantern ar a licht o some kin, so A gid on tae tell them aat in e aul days oor wireless nott three batteries tae mak it wirk - a high-tension een o 120 volts, a grid battery o A think it wis 9 volts, n es weet battery o aboot 2.5 volts. A explained tul them aat it hid tae be chairged up aboot ivery wik n tae dae es A eesed tae bike up tul Johnnie Begg Barron's garage on a Setterday efterneen n leave e battery aat nott chairgin n took hame the een aat wis aa chairged up. If A min richt it cost a saxpence tae get a weet battery chairged.

Fin A meentioned a saxpence A lat them see aa the aul coins in eese fae ma young days fae a farthin up tul a half croon. A held up a saxpence n said aat if A hid een o them in ma pooch fan A wis their age, A thocht masel richt weel aff, it wis wirth twa n a haaf o their new pennies n A cwid buy a Mars Bar for it! A speired aat them foo muckle wis a Mars Bar the day? Appearandly it costs aboot forty pence nooadays - gweed sakes!

Noo, fin A began ma talk tae them A hid meentioned aat A hid attended Pitmedden Skweel awa back in e 1940s n tae prove it A held up een o ma Report Cairds fin A wis in Primary Three, so fin they waur aa githered roon e table lookin at aa ma wheeriorums ae lassie speired if she cwid hae a leuk at ma Report Caird. Those o ye fae the same era will min aat e pupil's efforts for each subject waur denoted wi e followin letters - VS = Very Satisfctory, S = Satisfactory, an U for Unsatisfactory, the lassie speirs fit did VS stan for bit afore A wis able tae tell her ae bricht spark o a loon aside her said, "Ach, it jist means very stupid!"
© Bill Johnston o Widney

Scots Tung WITTINS
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Scots Tung Wittins 144. 2023. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 7 December 2023, from

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The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. 2023. Glasgow: University of Glasgow.


Information about Document 1795

Scots Tung Wittins 144


Text audience

Audience size N/A

Text details

Method of composition N/A
Word count 2809
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