Document 1800

Scots Tung Wittins 149

Author(s): Robert Fairnie

Copyright holder(s): Name withheld


Nummer 149
Aprile 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]

Oor Wullie's 70t Burthday
[NOTE: a cartoon of a boy in original]
NINE year auld Oor Wullie celebtratit his 70t burthday on Wedensday the 8t o Mairch this year. Scots Tung howps Wullie haed a guid burthday an bids him mony o thaim. It wis juist unner a year syne Wullie cam oot tap on a leet o Scotland's tap ten icons tae bate historical heroes the likes o Sir William Wallace, kenspeckle actors the likes o Sir Sean Connery an sports stars the likes o Kenny Dalglish an Ally McCoist.The survey results wis as follaes:- 1.Oor Wullie. 2.William Wallace. 3.Sean Connery. 4.Kenny Dalglish. 5.Lulu. 6.Jock Stein. 7.Ally McCoist. 8.Billy Connolly. 9. Ewan McGregor. 10. Rob Roy. On bein speirt bi Scots Tung aboot his youthfu appearance, Wullie reponed, "A doot it's the Sunday Post that keeps me lookin sae young."

Wullie an DC Thomson haes fund thirsels in the news a lot thae last twa three weeks in the rin up tae the seeventieth anniversar o Oor Wullie's an The Broons' hamecomin tae the Sunday Post in 1936. For mair nor a week awbody wis gettin mindit aboot BBC1's TV celebration program on Friday 10t Mairch cried "Happy Birthday Oor Wullie!" Dizzens o kenspeckle media fowk wis eydently singin the praises o Oor Wullie an garrin fowk look forrit tae the burthday bash. It wis sic an awfu peety that sae mony o thaim, includin the likes o Kay Adams, didnae ken his richt name an kept on cryin him Oor Willie. Nae doot a touch o the Morninside/ Kelvingrove syndrome an the shamefu creenge thae fowk still hing on tae at the soond o thair ain language. They aw love Oor Wullie an his honest words but dinnae ask thaim tae lower thirsels tae his wey o speakin. The Wikipedia wabsite e'en taks the bother tae pint oot tae non-Scots-speakers that the English meanin o Oor Wullie is "Our Willie".

Durin the daurk bleck-oot days o WW2, Wullie wis that guid at daein his bit for the war effort that the twa high heid-yins at D C Thomson wis pitten on tae the Nazis' hit leet for makin sic a fuil o thair Führer, Addie Hitler. Howanever, takin a len o Addie Hitler durin the war wisnae the only patriotic thing that Oor Wullie did for his kintrae, for his nation an for his culture.

When he makit his first appearance alang wi The Broons in 1936, it wis at a time when the warst effects o the 1872 Liberal government's shamefu Scottish Eductaion Act wis takin a richt sair haud an daein nae want o skaith tae the indiginous Scottish culture. It wis a time when Scottish bairns wis haein thair ain language beltit oot o thaim at the schuil if they daured tae yaise it in the clessroom unless they war recitin a Robert Burns poem or singin a Scots sang. They war bein telt no tae yaise thae slang words frae the gutter but tae learn tae speak polite then alang comes Oor Wullie in a Scottish paper like the Sunday Post speakin juist ordinary like the rest o the bairns. It wis the first wee chink o normalisation tae creep intae the weird o the Scots language syne the 1872 linguistic clearances. For millions o Scots bairns, an for mithers an faithers an aw, Oor Wullie an The Broons gied thaim thair first inlat tae literacy in the Scots language. It's true that they got a meisure o that, but juist the yince ilka year, frae lairnin the warks o Burns tho this wisnae sae easy for the Bard yaised some o the auld farrant words frae the eichteenth century that fowk wisnae sae acquent wi in 1936. On the ither haund Oor Wullie yaised the same words as his eydent readers did an wi him yaisin thaim ilka week in the Sunday Post athoot fear or favour, it gied a walcome meisure o respectability an uphaud tae the language thae bairns haed taen tae the schuil an seen rejected bi thair teachers an the estaiblishment. If it wis guid enough for Wullie, it wis guid enough for thaim - but weel awa frae the teacher's lugs.

Reek Free Air
O aw the laws tae come oot o oor Scots Pairlament syne it wis estaiblisht, there nae doot at aw that the yin that's gaun tae hae the biggest effect an dae the maist guid for the population o this kintrae, is the Smokin, Health an Social Care (Scotland) Act 2005 that cam intae force on Sunday 26 Mairch o this year makin Scotland reek free. Frae thon day on, awbody in Scotland wis gien the richt tae wark an socialise in a reek-free environment. This means that whaure'er onybody can see the official sign (see Scots version ablow) they wad be happit bi law frae the hermfu effects o "passive smokin" (breathin in ither fowks' tabaccae reek). Thae hermfu effects includes a bigger risk o lung cancer, hert disease an a sindry variety o bairns' illnesses. This Act is the sairest dunt this government haes gien yet tae the dwynin o the population o Scotland.

Aw nae smokin premises is required bi law tae display nae smokin notices like the yin shawn ablow sae that if ye see onybody smokin it will tell ye wha ye can clype it tae.Laminated A4 size copies o the notice shawn ablow haes been gey popular an attracted a lot o attention areddies. A nummer o thaim haes been pit up in libraries, surgeries an the likes o Musselburgh's Brunton Ha. Thae notices can be upliftit free frae Scots Tung or up tae three can be sent free throu the post.

Postage that's ower £1 will be chairged for.
Enquiries shuid be speirt tae [CENSORED: phonenumber] or [CENSORED: emailaddress]
[NOTE: image of 'nae smokin' sign here in original]

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.
€9 (Ireland/EU) $14 (Americae)

A Poetic Narrative of 'Lochinvar'
Review bi Irene Broon (Owerset intae Scots bi the Editor)
[NOTE: image of the book cover in original]
IT is shuirly the dream o onybody that writes creatively tae see thair wark in prent. Gettin the odd bit furthset can be braw, but tae hae a hail collection pit thegither intae the form o a buik is the real dream. Afore Charles Welsh Berry dee'd, this dream cam true, thanks tae his faimly. The ootcome is a buik o 92 poems, cried, A Poetic Narrative of 'Lochinvar' wi batter illustratit bi Kerry Watson.

Charles Welsh Berry wis born in the Lang Toun o Kirkcaldy in 1927. His first job at 14 year auld wis in the local coal-minin industry. Aw throu his life, he bid siccar tae his egalitar-ian principles, hivin been a union upsteerer, a CND campaigner an a ae time maimber o the Fife Communist Pairty. He wrote aw his life, but published in the Fife Free Press unner the nom de plume o 'Lochinvar'. Charlie, as he wis kent, cuid write mair freely an anonymously this wey aboot locals as weel as aboot humanity in general.

O the 92 poems, 31 is written in Scots. While aw thae poems is in rhyme, only juist the 3 yaises the Standard Habbie format: The Dysart Lamp, The Dysart Lamp(a sequel) an On seeing myself in a Morning Mirror, the hinnermaist haein nae verse breck. His weel scanned lines whiles yaises iambic pentameter, but he seems tae favour the tetrameter form the maist. The buik is weel named, as C W Berry maks guid yuiss o the narrative style wi poems the likes o Lang Morag, Whustl'n Jim Hall an Auld Davie. Whiles he yaises the vice o the character in the poem tae tell his tale like in Hot Taxes and Cold Hearts. In ithers, the vice seems tae be his ain like in Versifyin.

Frae whit his dochter Sheena says in the biographical innin, CW Berry's ain consait o life is whit comes ower in the buik. His poems shaws a love o nature, his sensitivity tae his fellae man, his sense o social justice an his humour. He comes ower as hivin looked at the warld in a kindly, tho no a naïve, wey. His poem Landscape, tho speakin aboot local scenes, maks braider references the likes o „Morag wi the Titian hair' an „the Boreas sound' bringin the universal tae the particlar. He kivvers a braid reinge o subjecks an the 61 written in English is weel wordy o readin an aw! If the lave o 90 odd poems is tae be furthset, some o the apostrophes cuid dae wi bein walit oot. They're no aye needit an can whiles tak awa frae the ease o readin, like in An Ode tae Frustration. Itherweys, this is a read tae be enjoyed.

C W Berry's faimly, that seems tae hae inheritit thair faither's generous spirit, wad raither hae his poems read than recoup thair siller. The ootcome bein, A Poetic Narrative by 'Lochinvar' bi C W Berry,(ISBN 0 9531703 0 6)
can be gotten bi raxin on a self-addressed envelope, stampit tae the value o 94p tae:
Sheena Watson
[CENSORED: postaladdress] © Irene Broon
At a cost o 94p for ilka buik, wad this no be awfu guid value for siller for aw the cooncil libraries in Scotland? (Ed.)

Makar's Neuk

Aw kinds o winds reenge roond the Globe
Tae skelp an burl an soothe an probe,
Mak tidal waves, an wild typhoons -
Or gently waft ow'r blue lagoons.
We're luckless - on this East Fife coast,
We're battered, stunned, an comatosed!
Wi Arctic gales that ow'r us sweep
Tae kill oor coos an freeze oor sheep.
Yet, in England's deep an favoured Sooth
Ye can pick a peach - 'fae tree tae mooth'!
An they've never kent a wind tae maul
The palm trees grow'n in Cornwall.
But ye'll ken a Fifer - when ye meet -
He'll be hirplin roond on crippelt feet,
Weel happit-up, an cauld as stane -
Arthritis-ridden tae the bane.
Some day, wi luck, Ah'll mak ma pile
An buy masel a tropic isle,
Whaur fine white saund sifts thru ma taes
An the sun's ow'r hot fir wearin claes.
An Ah'll sune forget that wind o strife
That's scoored me sair maist o ma life,
On a calm lagoon - streetched on a raft -
Whaur the winds that roond me blaw -
Are saft!

C.W.Berry (1927-1998)

Stravaigin Reporter At St Andrews
© Irene Broon
[NOTE: logo of Scotland's Poetry Festival here in original]
OWER hurried cups o coffee an bowls o soup, fowk sat in cabals in the café bar o the Byre Theatre in St Andrews afore rushin aff tae thair neist event at Scotland's Poetry Festival, StAnza. Afore yin group skailed, the norrie haed been bandied aboot that it wad be guid if Scots cuid be seen as ae language wi mony dialects raither nor a wheen o saiprit, competin entities. Wi the celebration o words an language in the air, it shuid hae been nae surprise that the same norrie wis the theme o the openin speech for the "Voices o Scotland" readins bi Rab Wilson an Matthew Fitt in St Johns Undercroft.

Drew Clegg, the convener o StAnza, spake refreshinly an natural-like in Scots sayin that when we refer tae the Mither Tung, "There's mair nor yin mither." He pynted oot that ilka airt regairds thair ain Scots dialect as thair Mither Tung. Sae, North East Scots haes yin mither, Sooth East Scots anither, Sooth West anither an sic like. It seems like we're mair bent on division raither nor cooperation, thinkin o thaim an us, insteid o juist us.

The twa poets in this session, Rab Wilson an Matthew Fitt, baith spake, read an write an aw, in Scots. Rab eydently delivert a puckle sonnets an a Standart Habbie on some controversial themes the likes o the NHS, asylum seekers an Harold Shipman, aft melled wi humour, frae his new buik, Accent o the Mind. As yin o the foonders o the publishers, Itchy Coo, Matthew Fitt said yin o his ettles wis tae "help prevent weans bein tourists in thir ain country." He stertit his session bi mindin the audience o his richtfu annoyance at a cooncil decision that haed been makit tae chynge a St Andrews' street name frae Baxter's Wynd tae Baker's Lane. The likes o this daes juist that. A Dundonian, noo livin in Lanarkshire, Matthew Fitt said he's cried a teuchter in Lanarkshire an a weegie when he gauns back tae Dundee, kinna blawin up the pynt aboot the "thaim an us" mentality. Awbody's got a accent but me, kinna thing! He spake o ae man that haundit back an Itchy Coo buik, sayin, "Ma weans'll talk lik this ower ma deid body." The cheil wis in the minority for Itchy Coo haes selt 80,000 copies ower the hinnermaist three year or that.

Matthew Fitt cantily feinisht his set wi a favourite poem o mine, The Baxter's Van, frae his buik, Kate o Shanter's Tale.

The "thaim an us" mentality is aiblins juist as much a human trait as a Scottish yin. Fowk likes tae belang an shared language is pairt o belangin. But shairly we can share a common love an respeck for Scots while hingin on tae oor ain version o it, keepin sicht o whit we hae in common, raither nor whit sinders? As pairt o a later discussion in the Festival, makar an writer, Don Paterson, wi A L Kennedy said, "A healthy man doesn't think about his bones." Aiblins Scots isnae quite hail or healthy eneugh for its banes no tae be thocht aboot. The mair it's spoken publicly an articulately bi folk like Drew Clegg, raither nor bein spoken aboot, the less the'll be the cringe factor.

No aw writers haes an international audience like Patterson an Kennedy, but Scots writers shuid be able tae hae a receptive national audience. At a risk o soondin like a cliché followin Carl McDougall's raicent programs on Scots, if Scots disnae nurture wir ain Mither Tung, whitever it is, naebody else will.

StAnza ran frae 16-19 Mairch 2006 an is noo in its 9th year. Its theme this year wis Celtic links an Land & Ecology. The twal venues in St Andrews hostit performances frae poets readin thair ain wark as weel as some o thair predecessors', warkshops, slams, maister-clesses an collogues. There wis a bairns' program an aw. See

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APA Style:

Scots Tung Wittins 149. 2024. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 23 February 2024, from

MLA Style:

"Scots Tung Wittins 149." The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2024. Web. 23 February 2024.

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


Information about Document 1800

Scots Tung Wittins 149


Text audience

Audience size N/A

Text details

Method of composition N/A
Word count 2552
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