Document 739

The Nyaff (Scottish Types No. 2)

Author(s): Tom Hubbard

Copyright holder(s): Tom Hubbard


Gin you wad ken the NYAFF, think on the word.

Ane nebstril heezed at you gin that you were
A duggie’s tolie he had trodden on;
The N enters your lug, slaw, leesurely,
Tweestin, searin sherp and neat,
Then the YAAAAAA crescendos as ti brust your heid –
A siren warnin o invasioun –
Then, sudden, the FFff faas fortissimo,
His teeth upon his lip ti shut you oot.
O, but you’d grien ti enter wi your fist!
You yourself pronounce the word quick eneuch –
- NYAFF. A snotterie N, the Y a hint
o YOU, PISS (understuid), then AFF, git aff
No that there’s ever a nyaff at wisna sleekit
As we’ve kent syne seventeen-seeven (at the least).

A Scottish type? O ay! He’s shair he’s Scottish:
It’s awfly nyice to be beck in the mutha countri,
At a taïme like this. I’d retha live in Enbra
Than any utha citi in th Yoo Kay.
So many concets, opra, prahvate views,
Bk launches – Scotland’s netional drink: chp waïne!
Chp waïne, indeed, the natives always waïning.
Nevah maïnd: I even knew the Gay Lick f Scotland,
And wen I pronyced it ELBA, I got the job.

ELBA indeed! Gin that he’s sic a Scot,
You’d lang ti drap him on a faur-oot inch
A hunner mile due west o Papa Westray.
He’s a dominator i the guise o a liberator,
He’s the verra Nyaffoleon Bonyaffarte o nyaffs:
- Tho true, that’s faur fae fair on the Empriour
Wha wisna near successful as oor nyaff.

Tho rare wad be ’s retrait fae Edinbro,
Snaw cuidna freeze him oot: he’d freeze the snaw.

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APA Style:

The Nyaff (Scottish Types No. 2). 2024. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 25 February 2024, from

MLA Style:

"The Nyaff (Scottish Types No. 2)." The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2024. Web. 25 February 2024.

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The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech, s.v., "The Nyaff (Scottish Types No. 2)," accessed 25 February 2024,

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


Information about Document 739

The Nyaff (Scottish Types No. 2)


Text audience

General public
Audience size 100+

Text details

Method of composition Handwritten
Word count 298

Text medium

Magazine (e-zine)

Text publication details

Publisher Edinburgh Review
Publication year 1992
Place of publication Edinburgh
ISBN/ISSN 0-7486-6132-8/0-267-6672
Part of larger text
Contained in Edinburgh Review, Summer 1992
Editor Murdo Macdonald
Page numbers 190-191
Part of a longer series of texts
Name of series Ane Guide ti Scottish Types

Text setting


Text type



Author details

Author id 232
Forenames Tom
Surname Hubbard
Gender Male
Decade of birth 1950
Educational attainment University
Age left school 18
Upbringing/religious beliefs N/A
Occupation Academic, librarian and writer
Place of birth Kirkcaldy
Region of birth Fife
Birthplace CSD dialect area Fif
Country of birth Scotland
Place of residence Kirkcaldy
Region of residence Fife
Residence CSD dialect area Fif
Country of residence Scotland
Father's occupation Caterer
Father's place of birth Dysart
Father's region of birth Fife
Father's birthplace CSD dialect area Fif
Father's country of birth Scotland
Mother's occupation Caterer
Mother's place of birth Dysart
Mother's region of birth Fife
Mother's birthplace CSD dialect area Fif
Mother's country of birth Scotland


Language Speak Read Write Understand Circumstances
English Yes Yes Yes Yes Everyday
Italian Yes Yes Yes Yes Work, holiday, fluency fluctuating
Polish No No No No Smattering. Work, holiday
Scots Yes Yes Yes Yes Everyday. Scots spoken in relaxed circumstances