Document 1798

Scots Tung Wittins 147

Author(s): Robert Fairnie

Copyright holder(s): Name withheld


Nummer 147
Feb 2006

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

[NOTE: logo here of the dot Sco in original]
Scots Tung WITTINS

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

2006 Census Test Question
[NOTE: image here of the test questions in original]
THE General Register Office for Scotland haes furthset the follaein Household form for the Census Test that they'll be cairryin oot in Aprile 2006 in pairts o Glesca, West Dumbartonshire, Stirling, Perth & Kinross, Argyll & Bute an Heiland Cooncil areas. This will be yaised as a gydal for the final form that the full Census will tak in 2011. See the Consaits page o the Scots Tung wabsteid for a full copy o the Household form an see the hinnermaist three pages o the full form for maps that gies aw the post-codes whaur the Census Test will be cairried oot.For aw that a question kythes in the 2006 Census Test, this disnae mean that thon question or subjeck will be includit in the full Census in 2011. The hinnermaist decision on whit questions will be pitten intae the 2011 Census will be taen nearer tae the time an lippens on mony sindry factors.

The 2006 Census Test form is foondit on complouteration wi Census yaisers an Scots commonties. Complouteration on the final questions will cairry on richt up tae the time the General Register Office for Scotland speirs approval frae the Scots Pairlament an they wad walcome the consaits o onybody at ony stage richt up tae that time.
Ye can e-mail thaim at:-
[CENSORED: emailaddress] ,
or telephone:- [CENSORED: phonenumber],
or write tae:-
Census Consultation
General Register Office for Scotland
Ladywell House
Ladywell Road
EH12 7TF

As ye can see frae the diagram ablow, yin o the test questions is aboot languages an Scots is yin o thae languages that's includit in this question. The public will be speirt if they can unnerstaund, speak, read or write thae languages or if they hae nae abeility at aw in thaim.

In the bygane, whaur the Scots language is concairned, some fowk hisnae been aw that shuir if the language that they spake wis Scots or juist some kinna slang sae there haes aye been a nummer o Scots speakers that didnae awn tae speak Scots at aw, giein a wrang ootcome tae the jaloused nummers o Scots speakers in the kintrae.

Here is yin or twa wee gydals tae onybody that haes thae kinna doots aboot whether the language they speak is Scots or no:-

"Understand" Onybody that can unnerstaund "Chewin the Fat", "River City", "Rab C Nesbit" or "Tam Cowan", shuid pit a tick in the "Understand" box.

"Speak" Onybody that spake different in the schuil playgrund nor whit they did in the clessroom when they war bairns, apairt frae thaim that spake Gaelic or yin o the ethnic commonty languages, or as adults, speaks "ordinary" in the hoose an "polite" in formal situations, shuid pit a tick in the "Speak" box.

"Read" Onybody that can read Oor Wullie an The Broons shuid pit a tick in the "Read" box.

"Write" Onybody that can read Oor Wullie an The Broons haes the abeility tae write in Scots if they've a mind tae. There nae standart wey o spellin Scots sae no kennin the spellin is nae excuise for no writin, sae thae fowk shuid pit a tick in the "Write" box.

Juist because ye dinnae write in Scots disnae mean that ye cannae write in Scots if ye're o a mind tae.

Liet International
[NOTE: a photograph here of Shona Donaldson in original]
THE first edition o the STW for 2006, nummer 146 in Januar, gied wittins anent Liet International, the Eurovision Sang contest for minority languages, that's tae be hostit bi the city o Östersund in Swedish Sámiland on the 14t o October 2006. The report pyntit oot whit a dizzie it wis that there hidnae been ony entries tae the competition frae the Scots language commonty up tae then.

Howanever, 2006 is a chynge o year an awbody howps a chynge o weird for the Scots language an its culture sae it's no a bad stert tae hear frae Simon Thoumire o Foot Stompin Celtic Music, that baith him an Matthew Fitt haes been speirin intae the Liet Competition. Simon says they've spoken tae the organisers areddies an war howpin, wi a wee bit o luck, tae hae an entry frae the Scots cultural commonty in Sweden for October.
The hinnermaist wittins frae him in Januar wis that they war in the mids o walin oot a sang tae record ontae a demo for raxin on tae the organisers bi the end o the month. The sang wis gaun tae be sung bi Shona Donaldson frae Huntly. He addit that it wis still aye early doors but, for aw that, they war gey croose they cuid mak somethin happen.

Scots Tung bids aw the best tae awbody takin pairt in this projeck an in particlar oor thochts will gaun wi Shona if an when she wins her wey oot tae Östersund. We've nae doot she'll hae the hail Scots speakin nation ahint her an that she'll gie a guid accoont o hersel.

Roond aboot the time o last year's Liet International, there wis talk o the City o Belfast bein interestit in takin a turn at hostin the competition sometime in the oncome. Aiblins this is somethin that the Lord Provosts o baith Edinburgh an Glesca shuid be haein a think aboot in complouteration wi STV an BBC Scotland.

Culture Minister Patricia Fergusson, speakin aboot the Executive's review o cultural policy, threaps cultural entitlement for ilka body in Scotland. Here is a guid inlat for the Executive tae pit its siller whaur its mooth is an uphaud the performers o Scotland's culture.

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)

Liz Lochhead's "TARTUFFE"
[NOTE: a photograph here of Kenneth Bryans playing in Tartuffe in original]
Review bi Irene Broon (Owerset intae Scots bi the Editor)
THE story o Tartuffe is aboot a richt Holy Willie whae's behaviour perswads the wealthy Orgon tae share his faimly hame wi the sanctimonious impostor. He disnae juist share it but is gien a place o honour athin it tae the detriment o Orgon's faimly, that alang wi the maid, sees Tartuffe's hypocrisy wi clear een, whauras Orgon an his mither, Pernelle, is blinn tae the man's flaws, seein him as 'the sowel' an a influence for guid. Juist when Tartuffe is owerheard tryin it on wi Orgon's wife, Elvire, daes the scales faw frae his een, bi whilk time his gullibility haes led him tae sign ower aw his assets tae Tartuffe. In true French farce style, aw the loose ends is redd up happily bi the play's hinnerend, secured wi a guid piece o morality in the form o Tartuffe's arrestin officer.

Imagine the interior o the Charles Rennie MacKintosh designed Hill Hoose in Helensburgh transposed tae the stage o the Lyceum an ye've got the fantoosh stage set for this hinnermaist production o Tartuffe bi Liz Lochhead. Its performance is the stert o the Lyceum's 40th anniversar celebrations, sae they're settin the tone wi nae want o panache. The 5 Act play, first performed there in 1986, haes been owerset intae Scots frae Molière's original 17th century French an is set this time in post World War 1 Scotland. The classical French yuiss o Alexandrine couplets haes been uphaudit aw the wey throu, hingin on tae the rhythm o the original.

Liz Lochhead taen the stage in the pre show talk on Tuesday 17 Januar. She gied naethin awa aboot the play an its plot, preferrin tae speak aboot hou its language cam aboot. While she confessed tae haudin "no candle for Scots", she freely awned that when she stertit the adaptation "the Scots that emerged was a big surprise" tae her. Accordin tae her, it wis mair her Grandmither Tongue that was sittin dormant athin her waitin tae be waukened bi the reveille o Molière's words that came on tae the pages tae turn intae whit is noo a Scots classic. She spake o the importance o bein sensitive tae the language that a play needs, gaun as faur as tae say she "speaks 'theatre'", listenin eydently tae white'er a play cries oot for linguistically.

Tae hear the natural rhythm o speech captured weel raither nor squeezin words intae the corset o a fawse language for the sake o an ideal is easy on the ear. Itherweys, the very fowk that daes speak the Scots/English that permeates maist o Scotland is alienated frae the advocacy o the yuiss o Scots. Liz Lochhead taks tent that the Scots she fund coming tae her wisnae an "intact language with a single register…" She listens for an reflecks shiftin registers acknowledgin that characters can dae this dependin on whae they're speakin tae, somethin maist Scots daes on a daily basis. Her wark therefore gies value tae the reality o the language that is actually spoken, therefore it is inclusive an democratic. She minded the audience that the concep o dialeck isnae confined tae the warkin clesses, an that the bool in the mooth RP vices o the upper clesses is, equally, dialeck.

In the play itsel, the pairts o the characters Cléante, Marianne, Valère an Elvire is written in English wi the occasional Scots turn o phrase the likes o, "That will be right" (emphasis on 'will') an " I'm well in there". The rest o the cast, Loyal/Officer, Dorine, Pernelle, Orgon an Tartuffe hissel aw speaks in Scots. This confirms whit Liz Lochhead said. The words o the play an the characters in it dictate the kinna language yaised. Molière wrote the note "It is a servant who is speaking", efter a speech bi the perceptive maid, Dorine, convincinly played bi Maureen Carr wi lines the likes o,

"Och, as much o a mystery to get to the erse y
As whit yin man sees in wan wummin or vice versy"

Her delivery is in gallus Gleswegian style, whauras Kenneth Bryans' accent haes the pretentious fawseness o Kelvinside perfect for the character. The Scots o Orgon (Steven McNicoll) an Pernelle (Ann Scott-Jones) wis that o the successfu Scot that hidnae quite shed his ruits. As the remit o this piece is tae pint up the yuiss o the Scots language, there little room tae speak o individual performances. Howanever, I thocht the castin wis immaculate, an the costumes bi Monika Nisbet, particular thaim o the weemin an o Tartuffe, wis sartorially splendid. The irony o the bunch o Honesty flouers bein chucked frae the table tae accommodate Tartuffe haein his hochmagandy wi Elvire, played magnificently bi Jennifer Black, wisnae tint on this viewer! In this seduction scene, when Tartuffe touches Elvire's knee, pretendin tae be checkin the fabric, the lines

Tartuffe: "Ah canny tell felt fae velveteen you see!"

Elvire: "The dress is velvet, the only thing that's felt's ma knee."
gies a guid exemplar o a character chyngin register when the occasion demands it. As Liz Lochhead says, "Like life." Gret stuff!

Tartuffe rins till 11 February 2006 at the Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh.
Tickets is £10 –21; concessions frae £1
Box office [CENSORED: phonenumber], Groups o 8+ [CENSORED: phonenumber] or buik online at
© Irene Broon

An Whit's Mair!
IF ye gaun tae see Tartuffe, mak shuir ye spend a wee while in the Howard Bar whaur there an airt exhibition bi Elaine Forrest. A weel walit chyce o paintins tae tak the gate wi a play in Scots, Elaine's wark is "based on local vernacular phrases and dialect by celebrating its richness and flavour as a basis for the image". Her wark covers sindry styles an prices reinges frae £50 tae £395. There a text 'wirawjocktamsonsbairns' paintit ower a backgrund o mock tartan in A New Blend of Scots an similar-like a reinge o words frae 'bampots' tae 'neepheids' paintit ower a harlequin design in Send in the Clowns. In Liquidation, paintit ower graph paper tae look like a view o Earth frae space wi the words "moneys no ivirithin but it's a helluva handy thing tae huv". She haes created a clever mellin o paint an words that's baith innovative an interestin.

Elaine is a raicent graduate frae Edinburgh College o Airt an can be contactit on tel. [CENSORED: phonenumber]; mbl. [CENSORED: phonenumber]; e-mail [CENSORED: emailaddress] © Irene Broon

Seen in the Herald
SCOTS Tung's Stravaigin Reporter, Irene Broon, wis the first o the Herald's readers tae nominate a poem tae thaim bi Robert Burns on his anniversar week. Her chyce wis Burns' Epistle To A Young Friend (see Makar's Neuk an Poem o the Day in the Herald on Monday 23 Januar).

Written in English, her explanation in the Herald threapit, "Fower lines o Burns's wice an modest coonsel tae a young man in 1786 wis quotit in a copperplate note that A cairriet wi me for years. It wis raxed on tae me as a young wumman bi an aulder freend, like the baton o wisdom tae fuilish youth."

Makar's Neuk

Ye'll try the world soon my lad,
And Andrew dear believe me,
Ye'll find mankind an unco squad,
And muckle they may grieve ye:
For care and trouble set your thought,
Ev'n when your end's attained;
And a' your views may come to nought,
Where ev'ry nerve is strained.

I'll no say men are villains a';
The real, hardened wicked,
Wha hae nae check but human law,
Are to a few restricked:
But Och! mankind are unco weak,
An little to be trusted;
If self the wavering balance shake,
It's rarely right adjusted!

The fear o Hell's a hangman's whip,
To haud the wretch in order;
But where ye feel your Honor grip,
Let that ay be your border:
It's slightest touches, instant pause -
Debar a' side-pretences;
And resolutely keep its laws,
Uncaring consequences.

Robert Burns (1759 - 1796)

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 147. 2024. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 2 March 2024, from

MLA Style:

"Scots Tung Wittins 147." The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2024. Web. 2 March 2024.

Chicago Style

The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech, s.v., "Scots Tung Wittins 147," accessed 2 March 2024,

If your style guide prefers a single bibliography entry for this resource, we recommend:

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


Information about Document 1798

Scots Tung Wittins 147


Text audience

Audience size N/A

Text details

Method of composition N/A
Word count 2430
General description monthly newsletter

Text medium

Leaflet/brochure (prospectus)

Text publication details

Publisher Scots Tung
Publication year 2006
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