Document 1819

Scots Tung Wittins 168

Author(s): Robert Fairnie

Copyright holder(s): Name withheld


Nummer 168
Nov 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]

Whit Daes Speakin Scots Mean?
SCOTS language upsteerers in baith Scotland an Northern Ireland haes been haein words aboot the want for some wey o lairnin thae upsteerers hou tae speak conversationally in Scots athoot ony creenge or embarrassment an hou sic a ferlie cuid be brocht aboot.

Scots Tung wad threap that the first thing that haes tae be conseidered is whit dae we mean whan we speak aboot lairnin tae speak Scots. Are we speakin aboot lairnin tae speak spoken Scots or lairnin tae speak a form o modren literary Scots? The hinnermaist bein for the maist pairt a kinna airtificial Scots that howks up words that's been tint tae the spoken Scots language for hunners o years an mells thaim intae modren Scots tae form a language that hisnae ever been spoken in the bygane an is certainly no spoken the day, no e'en bi the fowk that writes it.

Imagine tryin tae lairn fowk tae speak a form o English that embellishes itsel wi words taen frae the 17t century King James Bible or frae Shakespearean or e'en Chaucerian English. Imagine includin the likes o gadzooks, verily, methinks, thy, thou, thine, mine, art, unto, speaketh etc. etc. juist because they war historically yaised in the English language in the bygane. Imagine threapin that English cuidnae be cried English ony langer cause it disnae yaise the auld farrant words an auld farrant spellins sic as ye(the), olde, shoppe etc. Aw spoken languages chynges ower the years wi some words bein tint an ithers bein borraed frae ither languages an Scots is nae different. Or leastweys it shuidnae be hauden tae be different.

Wi the sindert state o the Scots language the day, whaur on the ae haund we hae the feck o hamelt Scots speakers that maistlins disnae ken that whit they speak is Scots, an on the ither haund a wee-er nummer o Scots language upsteerers an writers, maist o thaim bein sweir tae yaise spoken Scots in conversation. It micht weel be that maist o the hinnermaist micht be o the consait that thair job is tae lairn the hamelt Scots speakers hou tae speak the kinna "Scots" that they write but tho there an innin here tae reintroduce some o the mair raicently tint Scots words, it micht be wycer tae think that the mellin o the twa groups shuid be mair the ither wey roond wi the Scots writers movin mair tae the Scots speakers side nor the ither wey aboot an the Itchy Coo buiks is a guid exemplar o hou this micht be duin.

If maist Scots speakers noo-a-days says night, right an light raither nor nicht, richt an licht juist the same wey as happened wi English speakers fower hunner year syne, then there nae reason tae see thon as a shift in the boondary atween Scots an English. In fack, on paper onywey, the abuin exemplars juist taks the relations o the twa leids back tae whit they war fower hunner year syne whan thae words wis pronounced mair or less the same wey baith sides o the mairches. The twa languages is still aye gaun tae cairry on bein cried Scots an English juist as they did fower hunner year syne. Wi the thoosands o words acceptit noo as English that's been taen frae ither languages includin Scots, Latin, Classical Greek, French an mony ithers ower the years, naebody ever sees thon as a shift in the mairches atween English an thae ither languages sae whit wey juist pick on Scots?

Anither thing tae keep in mind is that aw oor Scots dictionars the day is written in English alang wi oor Scots gremmar buiks an the Scots Language Learner. They're aw designed tae help English speakers lairn hou tae speak Scots wi some o the dictionars bein thare tae help owerset English aither intae or oot o Scots. The hamelt Scots speaker cannae lairn hou tae better his yuiss o his ain Scots language athoot turnin tae the English language for help.

Itchy Coo Beirs The Gree Agane
[NOTE: image here of the book cover in original]
WRITIN in Eurolang's wabsite, Davyth Hicks gies oot the news that Ichy Coo's hinnermaist buik in Scots, Geordie's Mingin Medicine, beirs the gree an haes taen the nummer ane poseition in Waterstone's bestseller chairts for bairns' buiks aheid o baith Harry Potter an Walt Disney's High School Musical. This is the saicont Roald Dahl buik tae be owerset intae Scots bi Itchy Coo's Matthew Fitt. The first ane, cried The Eejits, wis a best-seller an aw lest year, pruivin that there a richt guid appetite amang young readers for guid buiks that's written in Scots.

Speakin anent this new buik's success, the owersetter, Matthew Fitt says that he wis fair awa that bairns an thair mithers an faithers, libraries, an schuils athort Scotland haes makit thae Roald Dahl Scots owersettins nummer ane at the tap o Waterstone's best seller chairts. But he thocht it wis a gret peety that the Scottish pairlament, estaiblisht tae refleck the educational an cultural wants o the Scottish nation, still aye treats the Scots language as saicont best if even that.

Thae days, Itchy Coo is dargin awa on a third Roald Dahl owersettin intae Scots o his Fantastic Mr Fox, that's expeckit tae be in the shops bi sometime in 2008.

Geordie's Mingin Medicine
ISBN 13: 978 1 84502 160 3
ISBN 10: 1 84502 160 6
Price: £4.99
Online-price: £3.74
Paperback wi 104 pages an bleck an white illustrations.
Age reinge: 9 +

SLD Conference
THE Scottish Language Dictionaries Conference will be hauden on Seturday 17 November 10.30am tae 4.30 pm in the Conference Room, 1st flair, 27 George Square, Edinburgh. The heidmaist speaker will be Alasdair Allan MSP wi special guest speaker Liz Niven, owthor. The Conference fee is £20, but £15 for maimbers, students an unwaged delegates. For mair wittins or tae buik a place, please contack Scottish Language Dictionaries, 27 George Square, Edinburgh,
EH8 9LD, Ph. [CENSORED: phonenumber]
or email:- [CENSORED: emailaddress]

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)

The McCash Poetry Awards
THE McCash Scots Poetry Competeition wis foondit in 1973 bi James McCash, a Gilmorehill engineerin graduate, as a mindin o his brither William Martin McCash an his sister Margaret Stewart Lithgow McCash. He fendit the siller for it wi a generous endowment tae Glesca University. Noo bein rin jyntly bi The Herald an the University, it's awardit ilka year for the selectit bettermaist poem in Scots. This year's theme, "This is my own, my native land", that's a quote frae Sir Walter Scott's epic poem The Lay of the Last Minstrel, wis an apt an poignant chyce in this the 300t anniversar o the Act o Union.

The competeition attractit aroond 200 entries frae aw ower the warld but the 3 winners aw bide an wark in Scotland an are clearly ruitit in Scotland. The panel o five juidges, heidit bi Edwin Morgan, Scotland's poet laureate, juidged thae gey different poems tae be the best. The tap prize gaed tae Sheila Templeton wi her poem My Land. Her view o her land, Scotland, is shawn wi sma sentimentality, insteid wi clear, apen ee'd love. In the 19 lines, she manages tae cuiver, aw in guid clear Scots, music, politics, geography, food, tradeitions, bairnheid memories an wather. Her hinnermaist fower lines is, I'm shair, recognisable tae mony Scots weemin

Has a squint smile, no brimmin wi confidence,
tho teems wi heroes, sung and unsung.
Can niver say 'I love you', but hugs me, awkward and fierce. Gies me a bosie.

Sheila Templeton wis born in Aiberdeen an is bydin noo in Ayrshire but her nor-east backgrund influences her wark. She's a graduate o Aiberdeen University an spent maist o her airlier professional life in Edinburgh an the Lothians, firstly as a history teacher an later on as a principal teacher o guidance. She wis first publisht in 1998 in New Writing Scotland an haes turned intae an accomplished public performer. She haes featured afore in the McCash prize leet, tho no as first-prize winner. She raicently won the Robert McLellan Poetry Award an aw.

The competeition's saicont prize gaed tae William Hershaw, a principal teacher o English frae Fife, wi his poem The Swallow . It taen the form o 8, 3 line stanzas, ilka ane weel able tae staund its lane, gey near like haiku. Athoot anthropomorphising the birds in the poem aw thegither, Hershaw, wi vivid imagination, imposes human an societal characteristics on this "parliament of fowls". For aw that it's a gey diffrent style o poem tae Templeton's, there the common factor o a want o sentimentality or, for that maitter, wershness. Insteid, ilka ane haes an acceptance o the reality o life, the wey things is. Love is a weel yaised word in Hershaw's vocabular an this is the best kind. His first an hinnermaist stanzas is,

Abuin the sklentan loch geese cowp
caiklin like fenyeit friars.
I'm lippent til the scraigh ben ma lug,
the wheeple o the preiching buird.

Andrew McCallum o Biggar taen the third prize wi ryan's auld man's oot o saughton, that taks the form o a modren urban crack makin comment on the laddie's reaction tae his Da's bein let oot the jyle an his ambeition tae growe up tae be a hard man like him. Nae rosy glesses here but yit anither, this time dowie, reality on pairt o Scottish life.

ryan's auld man's oot o saughton
e's gled tae huv e's auld man hame

It's uphaudin tae see writin o this standart bein brocht oot an mair particular uphaudin tae see it written in Scots.

Poems will be read at a celebratory nicht for the McCash Competeition. It will be hauden in the Scottish Literature Depairtment o Glesca University, 7 University Gairdens, at 7pm on Thursday, November 1.
Awbody's walcome tae this open event.
© Irene Broon

Fit a # Hash!
CAUSE A'm flittin in twa three wikk's time, A haed tae phone the T.V. license fowk tae register ma new address. Noo A aye prefer tae spik tae a real live body raither nor a machine that tells ye tae press three or star or hash.

Luckily A got throu tae a real live mannie, an yaisin ma English R.P. vyce, A telt him fit A wis wantin. He taen aa ma particlars syne he said he wad pit me on haud. A waited fower five meinits syne the line gaed deid. Or mibbie it wis the mannie at dee'd.

Sae it wis back tae square een agane. But is time the mannie wisnae thare. he micht hiv rin awa frae his post - fa cweed faut him? A wis pitten throu tae ma nichtmare, the automatic vyce, foondit on vyce recognition.

Yaisin a guid R.P. accent A gied it ma name an reference nummer but fan A telt it ma address it didnae unnerstaund an tho A repeatit masel, still nae joy.

The machine cweedna mak oot the street name that endit wi "burn" - shairly a kenspeckle eneuch element tae be hauden on its leet? A said it twa times mair but still it didnae like the soond o't.

"Let's go back to the beginning again" said the machine in a gey sonsie mainner, "and try again."

Is time, oot o sheer exasperation A said the street name wi a Scots accent, rolled the 'R' an makit twa syllables oot o "burn".

Fit a ferlie! The machine unnerstuid an repeatit it in the same English R.P. A haed been yaisin tae stert wi.
Sae the moral frae aa this lamgamachie maun shairly be - SPIK SCOTS!
© Heather Silverwood

THE BBC TRUST sets oot hou the BBC will cairry oot the six Public Ettles it haes been setten tae dae unner its Chairter. Nummer fower o thae six Public Ettles is:-
Representin the UK, its nations, regions an communities.

Amang ither things, the BBC includes in this pairt the uphaudin o the UK's indigenous minority languages. Thae languages that it uphauds is setten oot in this section as:- Welsh, Gaelic, Irish an Ulster Scots.

Juist like the Scottish Government's National Conversation aboot chuisin Scotland's future, the BBC haes missed oot or ignored the biggest spoken minority language in the UK - the Scots language.

Scots speakers haes gotten yaised tae tholin thae kinna insults frae a succession o British an Scottish unionist admeinistrations ower the years but whan ye get a situation whaur Ulster Scots is includit an its mither tung, Scots, is left oot, a body cannae lowp tae ony consait ither nor that the Scots language haes been deliberately singelt oot for this kinna insult.

Whan e'en the Scots Government owersets its NC intae eicht languages an ignores Scots, whit howp daes indigenous Scots speakers hiv o gettin justice oot o the British BBC?

THE annual subscreivins o £5 for Scots Tung maimbership alang wi a hard copy o the Scots Tung Wittins, wis due this September past. Syne the usual mindin o this wisnae sent oot wi ony o the lest twa issues o the STW, there no mony subscreivins haes been received or noo.

Please mak yer cheque oot tae Scots Tung an post tae:-

Scots Tung, [CENSORED: postaladdress].
Please mak siccar yer subscreivins is peyed afore Christmas tae mak shuir that ye keep on gettin yer STW throu the post.
Gin ye're no fasht aboot gettin a paper copy o the STW throu the post, ye can aye get a pdf copy via e-mail for free bi sendin yer e-mail address tae:-
[CENSORED: emailaddress]

Makar's Neuk

Aa ye see is a rabbit's dowp
Finiver it gets a fricht
If ye gie't a fleg as ye wauk the wids
It vanishes oot o sicht

It skytes like wildfire ben the brae
Its heart gings boom-boom-boom
An wad ye nae be fleggit tae
Wi a monster in yer room?

Sheena Blackhall

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 168. 2024. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 25 July 2024, from

MLA Style:

"Scots Tung Wittins 168." The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2024. Web. 25 July 2024.

Chicago Style

The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech, s.v., "Scots Tung Wittins 168," accessed 25 July 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 1819

Scots Tung Wittins 168


Text audience

Audience size N/A

Text details

Method of composition N/A
Word count 2479
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