Document 1807

Scots Tung Wittins 156

Author(s): Robert Fairnie

Copyright holder(s): Name withheld


Nummer 156
Nov 2006

Keep a guid Scots Tung in yer heid an in yer hert!

[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]

Makar's Neuk
The Makar
Nae man wha loves the lawland tongue
but warstles wi the thocht -
there are mair sangs that bide unsung
nor aa that hae been wrocht

Ablow the wastery o the years
the thorter o himsel
deep buried in his bluid he hears
a music that is leal.

And wi this lealness gangs his ain;
and there’s nae ither gait
though aa his feres were fremmit men
wha cry: owre late, owre late.

William Soutar (1898-1943)

[NOTE: image here of the scots Language Centre website in original]
THE auld Scots Language Resource Centre haes chynged its name tae the Scots Language Centre an alang wi the new name gauns a split new suit o claes for its wabsite. This new wabsite can be fund bi cleekin on tae:-

The site haes nae want o interestin wittins aboot Scots, the language spoken aw ower Scotland frae Shetland tae Gallowa an frae Aiberdeen tae Glesca. Ye can read aw aboot the history o Scots an fund oot aboot the fowk that speaks it the day. Gey near awthin on the site can be read in English as weel as Scots. Juist stravaig atween the twa languages if there ony Scots words ye dinnae unnerstaund.

The controversial subjeck o a Scottish Six news braidcast is a muckle story in itsel an the Scots Language Centre speirt the kenspeckle braidcasters Billy Kay an Mary Blance tae hae a blether aboot a Scots news at six. Whit daes the news soond like in Scots an hou micht Scottish audiences react tae it?Listen tae Mary an Billy on the wabsite as they crack on aboot thae quaistions an thair ain experiences o braidcastin in Scots dialects. This discussion is pairt o the Word's Out! Festival an is hauden tae commemorate the life o Willie Soutar.

Hearin Mary an Billy readin oot the news an wather forecasts in Scots juist brings hame tae awbody whit they're aw bein duin oot o bi the BBC, ITN an the estaiblishment in general. Tho bygane claims for a Scottish Six haes speirt juist for the news tae be haunnelt frae a Scottish perspective an there haes been nae mention o whit language shuid be yaised this wabsite pits a faur different perspective on whit is meant bi a Scottish Six. It micht be a guid idea for the CPG on the Scots language tae kythe an e-petition tae the Scots pairlament speirin for a Scottish Six read oot in Scots at least yince ilka day bi baith the BBC an ITN

The hail wabsite is gey modern an pleasin tae the ee wi aiblins juist the ae wee faux pas in the chyce o a logo. A fowersome o apostrophes, the wrang wey roond in the logo itsel but the richt wey roond in the backgrund water-merk. Tae mony fowk that disnae ken ony better, a muckle poor-oot o the wee craiturs ower a text is the trigger that tells thaim thon text is in Scots an some viewers o the wabsite micht be egged on tae keep on yaisin thaim in thair ain writin. Whit a peety! But for aw that it's a wabsite weel wordy o mony veesits.

[NOTE: a photograph here of shelves with books in original]
A BUIK that's been written aw in Scots haes raucht up tae the tap o the leet in Waterstone's bestseller chairt in Scotland. Itchy Coo's owersettin o the bairns' kenspeckle buik "The Twits" bi Roald Dahl, intae Scots an cried "The Eejits", haes selt thoosands o copies syne its hamecomin in September. Owerset bi Scots screiver Matthew Fitt, it haes gotten tae be yin o the fastest sellin buiks in Scotland.

For aw the threaps that Scottish fowk disnae speak Scots ony mair an urnae interestit in it, a text written in Scots is noo Nummer Yin in the kintrae's biggest buikstore's chairts. It's howped that aw organisations baith in an furth o Scotland will tak tent o the fack that there a weel seen public demand for writin in Scots. Howanever, for aw this buik's success an o ither Scots buiks in raicent years, there still aye gey near nae official recognition for a language spoken bi mair nor 1.6 million EU citizens.

For mair wittins see:-
See an aw Irene Broon's braw review o the abuin buik in last month's Scots Tung Wittins, Nummer 155 for October.

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)

"Tutti Frutti" a review bi Irene Broon
(Owerset intae Scots bi the Editor)
TV entertainment, particlar nooadays, can be like eatin sherbet, cantie an fun at the time but forgotten richt awa, whiles e'en leavin a wersh taste ahint in the mooth. Howanever, onybody that seen the original TV vairsion o John Byrne's Tutti Frutti back in 1987, haes been left wi a hunger for mair. Sae when the National Theatre o Scotland pit oot that they war ettlin tae fetch oot a stage vairsion o the story o the eildit Scottish rock band, The Majestics, the news wis met wi sic excitement ower the kintrae that I can liken it tae the re-openin o the Duncan's chocolate factory an the anticipation o gettin tore intae a box o Parisian Creams.

Thae yin (dodgy) hit wonders is murnin the loss o thair front man, Big Jazza, that haed juist dunched his motor intae a bus shelter when oot tae buy kebabs.

The band is landit wi the kinch o findin a new singer in time for thair imminent Silver Jubilee Tour an the recordin o thair new album. The position micht be taen bi Big Jazza's wee brither, Danny McGlone, (played bi Tom Urie) that is juist ower frae New York for the yirdin. But there anither twa candidates waitin in the wings an sae the tragicomedy unfaulds.

Afore the shaw sterts, the audience wis faced wi a giant hert wi ae muckle greetin ee in its centre, that haed been proggit bi an arrae. It wis like a rock'n'roll vairsion o the Sacred Hert mindin at the vera stert that in the words o the sang, Love Hurts. This motif an the set itsel wis designed bi Neil Murray. It wis coloured in a gray, grainy texture an warked braw weel as it luiked like the close-up o a giant fingerprint (aiblins John Byrne's!). It taen in the mony scenes that taen place an alloued the audience tae focus on thon scene wi a neutral backgrund. It served an aw as a gret contrast tae the pawkie claes o the likes o Miss Toner (played bi Julie Nimmo), Suzy Kettles (played bi Dawn Steele), Danny an the bricht rid Playschool pantaloons o Vincent Diver (played bi Tam Dean Burn), that aw refleckit John Byrne's love o the sartorial. Some scenes, the likes o the Silver Jubilee Tour wis duin fantastically bi means o bleck an white video footage that looked that dreich, ye cuid gey near feel the rain. Byrne haes distilled the original 6 oors 10 meenits tae 2½ oors for the stage, sae the story wis hastened on an no seen in the gey near docudrama style o the original. Byrne's writin is like his airtwark: lairger nor life yet hailly recognisable. His characters haed lived no juist in his heid for the bygane 20 year but in the heids o aficionados o Tutti Frutti.

The pay haes been written in Scots English but cause o the strenth o Byrne's writin, the vyce is athoot a doot Wast o Scotland vernacular. He haes captured the rythm o ordinar Scots speech for his characters tho he only yaises the odd Scots word the likes o 'lamp', 'manky', 'wean', 'foosty', 'oxter'. It's phrases like 'what's the beef' an 'give it a by' that gies the dialogue its real credibility. His dook intae Hame Coonties English noo an agane wi words like 'crosspatch' or his chuckin in the odd French or Latin word disnae detract, but eiks tae the realism o the speech. He's no strecht jaicketit bi whit is an isnae Scots. He juist gets it richt. The quick fire jokes, comic misunnerstaundins, fabyulous alliteration an name mix ups that echoed the Slab Boys when the graduate, Alan, wis slichted in this wey, wisnae tint on the audience. This wad be thanks tae the actors' guid, clear delivery in strang wast coasr accents. Tutti Frutti haes been likened tae a Greek tragedy. Amang aw the comedic moments juist mentioned, therre twa suicides, yin attempted suicide, wife bashin, stabbin, threatened knee-cappin an anesthetic-free tuith dreelin, that aw happens aff stage. Tghe band maimbers is aw unreconstructed males that refers tae weemin as 'babe', 'doll', 'chick', 'broad', 'dozy bitch', 'sweetheart', 'cow', 'bint' but wha are gien nae waur a sweiry word (apairt frae wan 'bastart') nor 'bugger'!When Byrne wis speirt bi Colin Clark, the wab editor o NTS, if there wis onythin particlar Scottish aboot the characters, his repone wis that he can only ken whit it's like "to live in this particular culture". In ither words, he's yaisin the gowden rule o writin aboot whit ye ken. He gauns on tae say, "We become 'Americanised' at our peril. There's bugger all in the generic". Ye cannae argue wi that cause his writin clearly works an speaks tae his audience. On the nicht A seen the shaw, A wis surroondit wi young fowk that wisnae auld eneuch tae hiv seen the original TV shaw. It wis uphaudin tae lairn that they haed aw been set Tutti Frutti as a modern Scots text an war gaun back tae the schuil tae write an essay on it. For thaim o us that daes mind the original wi actors the likes o Richard Wilson, Emma Thomsonan Robbie Coltrane, that's noo aw kenspeckle names, it wad hiv been easy tae mak comparisons. Howanever, there naethin tae bate live theatre, particlar when it haes live music. The new set o actors embraced the role; the band maimbers shawin the tired hauden back body language o ancient rockers. This vairsion o Glenna (played bi Helen Mallon), the teenage lover o 54 year auld Majestic, Vincent, is mair punked up nor the oreiginal raither auld farrant vairsion, but wis ilka bit as vulnerable in the hinneren. The Buckie DJ, Wacky Lachie wis magneeficently played bi Gavin Mitchell.The only pairt that missed bein as hertily funny, wis when Vincent appeared in the lumberjaicket knitted for him in blue an pink bairn's wool bi Glenna. This did hae the luik o the original ugsome "hand crafted item of gent's knitwear". But the impact o Vincent actually weirin it wis dulled wi thaim no bein in a pub whaur the reaction o thae Wast o Scotland warkin cless males wis perfection, mindin us agane that Love Huts.

Tutti Frutti wis staged at His Majesty's Theatre in Aiberdeen on 20-30 September an at the King's Theatre, Edinburgh on 3-7 October. The shaw will tour agane in 2007, openin at the King's Theatre in Glesca on 12-21 Aprile. Tae buik, phone [CENSORED: phonenumber] or gaun tae
The NTS wabsite is:-
© Irene Broon

Thochts Brocht Awa Frae The SLA Collogue
Bi Reid Moffat ©
THE Scots Leid Associe’s Annual Collogue wes hauden on 14t October in Dunfermline. The grun walit wes Scots in Modren Theatre.

Dr Chris Robinson haes juist duin a glossary o the language o the Glesca Unity Theatre’s Plays for a new edeition ti be pit out shortlins bi the ASLS. She tellt us she funt hirsel taen wi the idea o daein an in-ower study o the Scots gremmer uiss o duin an did, an see an seen that featured offen in the plays. This "bad" (meanin no richt Inglish, but Scots) gremmer theme wes taen up bi Prof Ian Brown, wha haed notit in the week Graham Speirs' defaut staunce in the Herald, snicherin at Scots Captain, Barry Ferguson's uiss o duin insteid o Inglish did.

Shairlie the classic defaut staunce wes taen bi the great Hawick lexographer, James Murray, faither an mither o the michtie Oxford Inglish Dictionar, whan he funt skant distant Scots in Auld Lang Syne. Naebodie kent better nor he that should, be, forgot, brought, mind etc. etc. wes aw Scots wirds asweil's Inglish, whyle baith leids haed taen acquaintance an dine frae Auld French/Latin, an Scots taen brae an baith taen trusty frae auld Norse. Ye wad hae tae think that a mynd, smoured an mochie wi Inglish studies, wes registerin Scots anerly whan it wes ither than Inglish. A'm myndit o Colin Wilson sayin ae tyme, fornent the norie that Scots wes juist a by-leid o Inglish; "Ye can as weil airgue at Inglish is a by-leid o Scots." But Prof Brown myndit us, that aw us Scots skreivars raxin for the maximum uiss o Scots can ower easy faw intil a lyke defaut poseition, whan we ar ower eydent in evitin that shared vocabulary.This raxin ti mint a mair fouthie Scots wes gree'd ti be a characteristic o the wark o the "Lallans" playwrichts Robert McLelland, Douglas Young, Robert Kemp, Alexander Reid an T.M. Watson. Whyle ower the same 40s an 50s decades, the Glesca Unity play-wrichts maistlie ettled ti byde ticht ti thair ain ceitie demotic. In mair raicent decades, Bill Bryden, Liz Lochhead, Eddie Morgan an John Byrne haes maistlie follaed that road, whyle, amang ithers, Davie Purves, Donald Campbell an Bill Findlay taen mair the "Lallans" gait.

Hail an weil eneuch, but it micht be airgued, ower monie - an ower offen - dramatists the day tak the saft option o owersettin inti Scots the wark o fremmit maisters. It maun be said that Dr John Corbett, whase brief wes the owersetters, didna say that.

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Scots Tung Wittins 156. 2024. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 17 June 2024, from

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


Information about Document 1807

Scots Tung Wittins 156


Text audience

Audience size N/A

Text details

Method of composition N/A
Word count 2436
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