Document 1826

Scots Tung Wittins 175

Author(s): Robert Fairnie

Copyright holder(s): Name withheld


Nummer 175
Juin 2008

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]

The Scots Government an Super-heroes?
THERE no mony o us alive the day that can leuk back on a time whan there wisnae ony Oor Wullie or The Broons. Wis thare ony o us that misfortunate that we didnae aye leuk forrit ilka Sunday as bairns, tae giein oor Granny a veesit an gettin haud o the Fun Section oot o her Sunday Post sae we cuid read the weekly adventures an ongauns o the only fowk in the papers that spake oor ain language?

It wis Oor Wullie alang wi Maw an Paw Broon that gied maist o us oor grundin in hou tae read oor ain language, Scots. Ilka Christmas, baith the Oor Wullie Annual an The Broons Annual taen year aboot in helpin tae fill oor Yuletide stockins an e'en taen year aboot bein the best sellin buik for bairns in Scotland.

Scots language best sellers hisnae exackly been hoatchin atween the airlie edeitions o Robert Burns an Oor Wullie but things is stertin tae leuk a sicht mair hertnin thae days wi the hamecomin o the Itchy Coo's muckle reinge o Scots readin buiks for bairns. Here agane, the appetite for readin oor ain language an hearin its words in oor heids haes hystit the 'best sellers' flag abuin twa o thae buiks in particlar. An owersettin intae Scots o twa o Roald Dahl's stories cried The Eejits an Geordie's Mingin Medicine baith haed thair turn o bein the best sellin bairn's buik in the Capital's Waterstone's.

Waverley Books brocht oot a Scots language graphic novel o Robert Louis Stevenson's 'Kidnapped', cried 'Kidnappit'. This wis follaed this year wi anither RLS classic cried the 'Unco Case o Dr Jekyll an Mr Hyde'.

Apairt frae the owersettin intae Scots, baith thae graphic novels wis written bi Alan Grant an illustratit bi Cam Kennedy, the kenspeckle Scottish team that's brocht oot hunners o comic titles the likes o Judge Dredd, Strontium Dog, Batman an Star Wars. Thae twa Scots language graphic novels haes experienced the same appetite amang the young fowk o Scotland for buiks written in thair ain language.

It wad be interestin tae see hou they wad tak tae the modren comic graphic novels thirsels gin they war owerset intae Scots tae.

Whit an inlat for a team the likes o Alan Grant an Cam Kennedy tae fetch oot a Scots vairsion o aw the graphic novels they furthset in the oncome. Whit an inlat for a Scottish government speirin advice on whit they cuid dae tae forder the Scots language. Giein aw the Scots speakin young fowk the inlat tae hear thair super-heroes yaisin thair ain language maun shuirly be worth a shot.

John Byrne's "NOVA SCOTIA"
A review bi Irene Broon (owerset intae Scots bi the Editor)
NOVA SCOTIA is the quartet piece tae John Byrne's weel luved trilogy, the first ane o whilk, The Slab Boys, wis first performed 30 year syne at the Traverse in Edinburgh's Gressmercat. Faur frae Ferguslie Park in Paisley, in an auncient pile somewhaurs in the NE o Scotland, the three heidmaist characters, Phil McCann, Lucille Bentley an George 'Spanky' Farrell, meets agane bi chance. Chance juist happens tae be the name o Phil's new an a guid sicht younger pairtner, Didi, a video-airtist, that's on the short leet for the Turner Prize. Juist like whan Bill Wyman threapit tae ill-taen aulder musicians o the day that they (The Stones) haed got the siller, she awns the said auncient pile tho Phil believes that nane o her generation "....can draw to save yur bloody lives". In the mids o aw this tension o auld luves an rivalries, Nancy Rice, an airts correspondent is ettlin tae record a wireless interview wi Phil that he believes will estaiblish him as "a colossus of contemporary Caledonian culture". As whit micht cuid be descrived as denouement tae The Slab Boys, Phil shockingly lairns at the hinneren o the play that his puir mither's madness wisnae schizophrenia efter aw, but raither the ootcome o sexual abuise bi her faither, wi Phil hissel bein the ootcome.

This michtnae soond like the cantie-est o tales, but its mirkness is telt wi surreal wit an comic action. There the rinnin joke aboot Phil's studio that's a modren addeition tae the 'pile' an is cried awthin frae "an old folks sun lounge area", "a lean to", "the Rokeby Venus [wi a ] ...monstrous great plook on her arse" an whit micht be a bit o a Freudian slip, "a feeble erection". The characters is Byrne's paintins brocht tae life; an eemitatin it. They've growed auld but hivnae growed up. As Spanky threaps at ane pynt, "Christ Almighty, look at me ...I'm sixty two an' I'm greetin' fur ma maw!" Phil micht hiv swapped his slab for a canvas, makin his name in the Airt warld an 'Spanky' his palette knife for a plectrum, mellin wi the gret an the guid o the Rock warld, but whan they meet they suin revert tae type. They exchynge quick fire banter in the West o Scotland urban vyces an rhythms that Byrne haes the perfeck lug for wi lines the likes o Spanky's tae Nancy Rice aboot Phil's portrait o her, "Not jist want to save up for a big Polaroid, naw?". The twa unreconstructit males still refers tae weemin as 'doll', 'sweetheart', 'babe' or 'sugar'. They easily fa intae Slab Boys stylised English crack wi words like 'old bean', 'up hill down dale', 'chums', an 'a tad' as easy as Scots phrases the likes o 'what-d'you cry him', 'I'm are so', 'footerin', 'stupit-lookin' or 'hunner', shawin no juist the reality o the wey fowk can speak but Byrne's skill o writin it. He gets the sweerin juist richt as weel!

His pairsonal intrest in claes an mair particular in shuin is gey weel seen wi references tae a braid kin-kind o shuin an a gey significant shae advert! There farcical taigelt wires wi Spanky's lines whan he's talkin aboot a ae-time bass player "We've got his Fender above wur fireplace..." an Phil's repone o "Would you not be better havin it in front of the fireplace?" shaws the pairt o him that cannae lat go o auld farrant words like 'wireless', 'go chair' an indeed 'fender'. The play opened an feinisht wi the Everly Brither's Gone Gone Gone. I doot that Phil, Spanky an Lucille will never really be gane forever frae the Scottish psyche.
The shaw ran frae 25 Aprile tae 24 Mey 2008 at the Traverse Theatre Edinburgh
© Irene Broon

Scots Tung WITTINS
On the wab.
Copies o the Scots Tung Wittins gaun back tae Nr 41 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)

Migraasje - migration o wirds
A review bi Irene Broon (owerset intae Scots bi the Editor)
[NOTE: image of the book cover in original]
Iaince heard a conversation atween twa Scandinavians, ane frae Sweden an ane frae Norway. Whan I speirt whit language they war speakin in, I wis telt that the Swede wis speakin Swedish an the Norwegian wis speakin Norwegian an yet the conversation wis seamless. This cam back tae me whan I read the pamphlet Migraasje migration o wirds, no cause Scots an Frisians cuid necessarily hae sic a fluent crack wi ane anither but cause the walin o owersettins pints up the close link atween the twa languages as weel's the organic natur o language itsel. Frisian is spoken bi ethnic groups in the Netherlands an Germany. It's similar tae Dutch an Danish an can be unnerstuid tae an extent bi Dutch an Danish speakers. It's said that fishermen frae Great Yarmouth cuid unnerstaund fishermen frae Friesland cause o the history o tredin links atween the twa places.

Migraasje migration o wirds is a walin o 19 owerset poems, alang wi 6 in the original Frisian. Eleanor Livingstone, the editor o the pamphlet, gaed tae 6 Scottish poets (Christine de Luca, Rab Wilson, Liz Niven, Willie Hershaw, Alexander Hutchison an Janet Paisley) wi the 6 Frisian poems in the collection an speirt thaim tae repone tae thaim in thair ain Scots dialeck. Thae poets cam frae Glesca, Dumfries an Galowa, Shetland, Buckie, Fife an the Central airts. The ootcome is a set o pairsonal interpretations refleckin ilka poet's ain experience, history an vyce.

The idea for the front kivver that cam frae poet Jim Carruth, shaws twa groups o words, lik a sindert flock o geese. Ilka side o the 'flock' shaws the sibness atween some Scots an Frisian words. I hivnae heard Frisian spoken an it's ootlin tae read on the page exceppin for the near shared words wi the Scots an coorse the praisence in the pamphlet o the mair fameeliar Scots owersettins. There fower vairsions o Cornelis van der Wal's Frisian poem Each an Sipel, that's first stanza is,

It mantsje stapt de winkelstrjitten troch,
der binne in soad winkels.
Christine de Luca's Shetlandic vairsion haes been cried Eye an Ingin,
Da peerie man daundered trou da shoppin streets
der a lock o shops.
Rab Wilson cries his Ee an Ingan,
The wee man daundert throu streets thrang wi shoppers,
there are a wheen o shops.
Alexander Hutchison cries his Ee an Ingan, an aw
The wee mannie taks a taik alang t' shops
- there's plenty o them.
an William Hershaw cries his Ee and Ingan,
The wee man gangs his messages,
daunderin ben the wheen o Johnny Aathins.
Thae exemplars o the sindry owersettins is testament tae the richness o Scots, mair particlar whan yaised bi writers that speaks it an aw.

Editor Eleanor Livingstone telt me, "When I met Elmar Kuiper an Tsead Bruinja in Rotterdam in 2006 an they spake aboot Frisian, a language an culture that I then kent naethin aboot, I saw immediate parallels wi Scots, an I wis taen wi thair passion an pride in the language, an wi hou young an dynamic they made the Frisian poetry scene soond. I wanted tae unnerstaund hou a minority language wi a rural hertland cuid hae sic a contemporary an progressive thrust tae it, an yet at the same time honour its bardic tradeition - three times in Rotterdam when I mentioned Frisian, fowk wrate doon for me the name o ane much lo'ed blinn poet that performs his poetry frae memory. Then efter some research, I lairnt that Scots an Frisian is cousin languages, an thon makit me e'en keener tae get the languages intae a dialogue, that's whit I howp Migraasje haes duin."

I wunner hou 'young an dynamic' the Scots poetry scene wad soond tae an inqueesitive veesitor tae Scotland?

The Frisian poets is Albertina Soepboer, Tsead Bruinja, Cornelis van der Wal, Abe de Vries, Anne Feddema an Elmar Kuiper.

The Frisian poems wis owerset intae English bi Susan Masotty an David Colmer.

Efterword bi James Robertson

Migraasje migration o wirds vairsions in Scots & Shetlandic frae Frisian editit bi Eleanor Livingstone, publisht bi Stravaigers.
ISBN 978-1-905939-15-2 price £3.50
Cheques/PO's shuid be makit oot tae:-
Eleanor Livingstone at 57 Station Court, Leven, Fife, KY8 4RP.
© Irene Broon

WE'VE heard tell that Rikki Fulton's auld pal, the Rev I.M. Jolly, a wee while back haed been ower in Americae tae veesit some auld freends. On the wey hame, fleein ower the Atlantic tae Glesca, he stertit tae feel mair an mair wabbit an jet-lagged the nearer he got tae the airport an he stertit thinkin tae hissel that bi the time he got hame he wad be that tired that he maist like widnae be able tae get tae sleep at aw. He thocht that it micht be better tae stop aff an get a full body massage on the wey hame frae the airport an that wey he micht get a better sleep.

Sae richt eneuch, he stopped his taxi in Sauchiehall Street on the wey hame an gaed intae a massage parlour an speirt for a massage. This bonnie wee Chinese lassie taen him ben tae ane o the massage tables an left him tae get his claes aff an hyste hissel on tae the table. When she came back she stertit tae gie him a full body massage.

The Rev felt richt guid as the glamour frae the lassie's fingers gart the bluid tae flow back intae his wabbit muscles an he stertit feelin better areddies.

Efter the massage wis feinisht, here she climbed up ontae the table an lay face doon on tap o him sae they war lyin cheek tae cheek an she whispert intae his lug, "Wad ye like some super sex?"

Coorse the Rev didnae bat an ee afore he reponed, "Funny ye shuid say that hen cause the wey A'm feelin the noo A widnae mind a wee plate o soup."

Makar's Neuk
It mantsje stapt de winkelstrjitten troch,
der binne in soad winkels.
Cornelis van der Wal

Da peerie man daundered trou da shoppin streets
der a lock o shops.
Christine de Luca

The wee man daundert throu streets thrang wi shoppers.
there a wheen o shops
Rab Wilson

The wee mannie taks a taik alang t' shops
- there's plenty o them.
Alexander Hutchison

The wee man gangs his messages,
daunderin ben the wheen o Johnny Aathins.
William Hershaw

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APA Style:

Scots Tung Wittins 175. 2023. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 10 December 2023, from

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The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. 2023. Glasgow: University of Glasgow.


Information about Document 1826

Scots Tung Wittins 175


Text audience

Audience size N/A

Text details

Method of composition N/A
Word count 2364
General description monthly newsletter

Text medium

Leaflet/brochure (prospectus)

Text publication details

Publisher Scots Tung
Publication year 2008
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