Document 1818

Scots Tung Wittins 167

Author(s): Robert Fairnie

Copyright holder(s): Name withheld


Nummer 167
Oct 2007

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

[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]

Scotland's Twelfth Man
"A wis still enjoyin the moment whan the commentator went an spylt
awthin............... "
BEIN brocht up in a fishin faimly an in a fishin community, ye suin got tae ken there wis juist the twa kinna fowk in this warld; fisher-fowk an treds-fowk. Gin a body wisnae fisher, they wurnae "ane o oo".

Howanever, bein fisher brocht its ain responsibeilities an frae an airly age ye aye haed drummed intae ye the things ye cuidnae dae or cuidnae say an whaur an whan. A wrang word or a wrang deed at the wrang time cuid suin chynge guid luck intae a richt sair weird.There wis nae yuiss a fishin yole gaun oot tae sea gin a meinister haed setten fit abuird it that day for awbody kent a meinister abuird a yole wis richt sair luck an sic a boat wisnae like tae come ower e'en a single fish tail.

In the same kinna wey there wis certain words ye juist daurna say an maist particlar on a Sunday. Shae or shuin wis ne'er heard an got replaced wi "dinnae mentions" or "dinnaes" for short. Rats wis aye kent as "lang-tail fellaes" an salmon wis turnt intae "rid fish" or "riddies".

Coontin yer chickens wis bad luck an aw sae that celebratin a guid haul afore the fish wis abuird the yole wis juist temptin fate an shuir as guns a raip wad brek an the catch wad be tint. Whiles gin ye heard a body coontin awbody's chickens that wey, ye micht cuid undae the damage bi crossin yer fingers an touchin wuid.

Coorse, some fowk will never lairn an fitba commentators on the wireless or the telly is juist aboot the warst o the lot. Hou aften hiv we been watchin Scotland playin in a fitba international wi the score staundin at 1-0 for the boys wi a hauf oor tae gaun when the commentator comes oot wi, "Scotland are playing out of their skins an if they can keep this up, they'll easily qualify for the finals!"? Coorse we aw ken whit happens next. The words is nae suiner oot his mooth whan the ither side scores the first o three goals an Scotland's chances is oot the windae. Talk aboot temptin fate!

On the 12t September A watched Scotland playin France at the Parc-des-Princes in Paris, on the telly. Efter beatin thaim 1-0 at Hampden, the pundits wisnae giein the Scots muckle chance in Paris an the odds wis on a French victory but howanever, if Scotland managed tae haud thaim tae a draw, thon wad be a bigger victory nor thair win in Glesca.

Aw throu the first hauf, A haed a grip o the wuiden coffee table at the side o ma chyre wi ma fingers crossed, willin the boys tae haud oot for juist anither meinit - an then anither - an then anither till the hauf time whustle blew an A cuid relax wi the score at 0-0.

A yaised the same tactics in the saicont hauf an efter aboot quarter o an oor the commentator stertit gettin a wee bit mair cocky an sayin that if Scotland cuid only haud oot for anither hauf oor it wad hae a guid chance o qualifyin."Man o man wull ye stop temptin fate that wey!" A shouted then grippit the edge o the table wi twa sets o crossed fingers. It wis a braw guid job A did that for the neist thing ye kent, Craig Gordon haed taen a goal kick an the ba endit up at Jimmy McFadden's feet. He birlt roond an blootered the ba intae the French goal frae aboot thirty yairds. The goalie managed tae get a haund tae it but the ba juist aboot taen his haund aff on its wey tae the back o the net. Whit a goal! 1-0 tae Scotland!

A wis still enjoyin the moment whan the commentator went an spylt awthin bi threapin, "Now if only Scotland can hold on to that score for another twenty-seven minutes they will have achieved a momentous victory over the World Cup finalists."

"Ach no man! Will ye shut up?" A shouted then grabbed the table wi twa sets o crossed fingers an willed Scotland tae hing on for anither meinit - an then anither meinit - an then anither.

Whan the final whustle blew the hail country loupit three feet in the air then A noticed hou numb ma fingers wis. But ach! For Scotland, it wis weel worth the bother. Mind you, A think the neist time A micht watch it wi the soond turnt aff.

Whan Alec McLeish wis bein interviewed efter the match he wis richtly fou o praise for aw his players but coorse he widnae ken aboot me an the pairt A'd taen. Then he apologised tae the Sky viewers for yaisin thon Scots word, "gallusness" which, he explained juist meant a cheeky kinna confidence. Ay, it wis that aw richt. Gaun yersel Scotland!!
Bob Fairnie

D in the Park
(D for Doric)
A haed occasion the ither day tae tak the advice o Lady Macbeth an Bob Fairnie wha baith tells us tae "screw your courage to the sticking point." A tried oot ma first spoken Scots!

A wis in Aiberdeen fir a twa day brek an wis sittin on a benk in the pairk at Riverside makin a wee pastel sketch o the brig. It wis a het sunny morn an the watter wis sperklin siller. In the distance ye cuid see a brae, a hairst-gowd colour an here an thare the water banks wis deep rose pink wi the flouers o the Himalayan balsam. Twa swans, a puckle deuks an a skurrel or twa for company.

Noo an agane fowk stravaigit by an said, "Good morning." Mony wis dug walkers - ane wumman wi whit lookit like a muckle daurk broon Russian bear. A'm no shuir fa wis leadin fa!

Syne an auld man cam up an said somethin aboot ma shoe. A speirt him tae repeat it.

"Dae ye mind if A look ower yer SHOOder an see yer picter?"

Athoot thinkin A said it wis aa richt, an that A wis sketchin the brig cause it wis sae bonny.

As A spake a sudden thocht gart ma flesh grue. He'll hear fae ma accent A'm no a native spikker - A cannae say the proper Aiberdeen lang - aa - soonds! Sae he'll think A'm makin fun o his wey o spikkin an he'll be struntit.

But he didnae fash himsel. We blethert for a couple o meinits then he gaed on his wey.

Noo A ken aa this is totally treevial tae a native spikker but fir me it wis a kinna brekthrou an A howp it'll gie me courage tae try agane. If the fowk that reads this wad like tae record fit happened fan they tried tae spik Scots an aa, it micht mak interestin wittins!
© Heather Silverwood
(Recently chynged frae Thom)

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)

Cuddy Brae: Language at Letham
IN the coorse o teachin Scots tae primary schuil bairns aw ower Scotland, Matthew Fitt o Itchy Coo Education, alang wi mony o the teachers he haes come intae contack wi haes noticed some gey surprisin ootcomes. In particlar, mony o the bairns whae's level o attainment wis weel ablow the normal for ordinar, stertit tae shaw a weel seen betterment in thair behaviour an attitude durin lessons in Scots. Tho thae positive responses tae the teachin o Scots wis tae be seen aw ower Scotland, there wis juist the informal testimony o teachers tae uphaud thae claims. In 2006 Matthew got thegither wi Cathrin Howells o Literature in Learning, alang wi Professor Dr James McGonigal, an Dr Beth Dickson, Senior Lecturer, baith o the Dept. o Curriculum Studies at Glesca University's Faculty o Education.

It wis proponed tae academically record, monitor an report on the response makit bi teachers an bairns tae the teachin o the Scots language at Letham Primary Schuil, Livingston, West Lothian. This wis duin wi the complouteration o the Heid Mistress o the schuil an twa o the teachers tae fund oot whit happens whan bairns an teachers warks in Scots athort the curriculum for the hail year.

The projeck an its hinnermaist report wis cried Cuddy Brae: Language at Letham. The phrase Cuddy Brae wis taen frae the Scots minin industry whaur a cuddy wis a loadit bogie yaised tae coonterbalance the hutch on a „cuddy brae'.

Amang ither things the abuin report shaws some gey surprisin ootcomes baith wi the bairns an thair teachers an aw, an they baith fund increased levels o identity, confidence, motivation, enjoyment an a better knawledge o language in general. The auld fears that teachin Scots wad hae an ill effeck on the lairnin o English wis weel dingit doon an the Letham teachers wis positive that the experience wis beneficial tae the lairnin o English an tae knawledge aboot language in general. Whan speirt, ae P7 pupil o Letham PS reponed, "Ah'm no fan o writin, but Ah like writin in Scots."

Tae read or doonload the full 22pp report on Cuddy Brae: Language at Letham see:- or the Scots Tung wabsite aither on the Keekin Gless page or the Consaits page.
[NOTE: image of drawing here in original]

Sheena Blackhall's "Dragon Rikk"
A Review bi Irene Broon (Owerset intae Scots bi the Editor)
[NOTE: image of the book cover in original]
DRAGON RIKK is the title o ane o the poems in the pamphlet o bairn's rhymes an stories written in NE Scots bi Sheena Blackhall, an it gies its name tae the wee buikie. Blackhall sterts the pamphlet wi twa tradeitional tales. The first ane is aiblins better kent as Rumplestiltskin. The NE vairsion is cried Whuppity Stoory. The neist is a traivellers tradeitional tale. It wis telt tae Blackhall bi Stanley Robertson an is cried Wee Aipples & Wee Orangies. The ither stories written bi Blackhall is Drizzle the Cloud, Wee Burnie, The Loch Ness Monster's Comin tae Ellon and Tam. The hinnermaist kythes in the buik Pure Ghosters. (See STW 143) Thae jyne up modern life wi fantasy in case the weans isnae in the mood for a tradeitional story at bedtime. The lave o the pamphlet is taen up wi licht hertit, whiles comic verse the likes o The Sea.

The sea rins oot
The sea rins in
Like a wee blue dug
Wi a lead at its chin
A lead at its chin
An a ruff roon its throat
Like a wee blue dug
Wi a roch weet coat

Ithers is written wi a licht haund but wi a sairious message the likes o:-

The Denner Wifie's Girn (see page 8)

I chap fruit an vegg fur schule denners
Avocado an aipple an pear
I chap them perjink or squeeze inno a drink
The bree frae an orange, wi care

As I wyle an I wash an I peel them
I mynd upon derk Halloween
As a littlin I dookit fur aipples
An howkit oot neep lantern een

Syne I dice up the kail an the cabbage
Pare tattie an carrot an ingin
Kennin fine fin the bairns see the broth pot
They'll cry oot 'Gad's sake' or 'Thon's mingin'

The bell brings them in wi a rummle
There's dirdin an clunkin o plate
I staun at the back o the veggies
An serve baith the cauld an the hett

'I dinna wint greens, they're jist boggin'
Says a loon wi a facefu o plooks
An a quine girns 'I'm nae ettin ingins
They'll connach ma braith. Ingin sooks!'

Syne I teem oot the vegg in the backet
Healthy menus are affa sair wark
I telt ae wee bairn, 'Ett yer carrots
An ye'll get tae see in the derk'

He tried his first carrot this denner
'They're crunchy an tasty' quo he
A convert tae fresh fruit an veggie
An a miracle wiker wis me!
He scored twenty goals in the playgrun
Star striker withoot ony doot
'Fit's the secret?' the ither bairns winnert
An he skirled oot 'It's veggies an fruit!'

I ken it's juist October, but the shops is stockin up for a certain date in December areddies This wee pamphlet haes eneugh for a bedtime story or juist a cutty read for bairns o aw ages. Whit for no juist eik it tae yer leet for thon dinnae-mention date?

Dragon Rikk - Poems & Tales in Scoots for Hafflins & Littlins bi Sheena Blackhall.
Cover design : Sìne NicTheárlaich
price £5
Published bi Malfranteaux Concepts [CENSORED: emailaddress]
For mair information visit:-

Makar's Neuk
The Timekeeper

Dinna listen tae the clock!
Mither, tell it wheesht!
There's a better timekeeper
Tickin in ma breast

Dinna ging tae wark the day
I'll bide aff the schule
There's 20 bandies in the burn
Doon in Wasty's puil

I could coont them, ilkie ane
I'd add them an subtract
Mither, fit the time ticks aff
Is niver gotten back
I could paiddle, splash an dook
Ye could sook a straw
Dandelion clock's the time
I like best ava!

Sheena Blackhall

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Cite this Document

APA Style:

Scots Tung Wittins 167. 2024. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 27 May 2024, from

MLA Style:

"Scots Tung Wittins 167." The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2024. Web. 27 May 2024.

Chicago Style

The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech, s.v., "Scots Tung Wittins 167," accessed 27 May 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 1818

Scots Tung Wittins 167


Text audience

Audience size N/A

Text details

Method of composition N/A
Word count 2335
General description monthly newsletter

Text medium

Leaflet/brochure (prospectus)

Text publication details

Publisher Scots Tung
Publication year 2007
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