Some books translated
The most recent census showed that 1.5 million Scots consider themselves to be native Scots speakers. I have no idea whether I am a Scots speaker or not.
As a language I can understand it but I remember getting slapped for talking it. It was considered to be seen to be ‘uneducated’ to speak it and my mother thought I might get on in life better if I spoke properly. And that is unfair on a beautiful language that is really our native tongue. The problem is that ( and I might get into a lot of trouble for saying this ) is has never really been defined as a separate language. It’s just the way we talk.
The distribution of Scots
It’s more of a rainbow of language from one extreme (the Queen’s English) to the other (broad Scots). Scots can be difficult to tune into if you are not used to it but most readers make the effort with Shakespeare.
he's trying to read The Sleekit Mr Tod
I’ve just had my copy edit back for book five and there are the usual queries over words, Scots words, that I use everyday that my editor has politely queried. If I correct them it makes the book sound very unScottish, yet it has to be understood. It has to pass the Bratislavian Airport test as a previous editor put it. The text must be understood by a …. Yeah you get the picture.
So the words Dwaddle (a very slow waddle usually by somebody in a dwam )
Dwam - a persistent dreaminess not paying attention for a long period of time.
Rummell – No one English word describes it - a good rifle through, a haphazard search. What woman do in TK Maxx. Or any sales…
A richt guid rummel
The aforementioned census showed that 64% of us Scots don’t consider it a separate language, and those that use it were most likely not to see it as a separate language . Which makes perfect sense ..
I’ve read that Scots and English have the same relationship as Danish and Norwegian. Scots might be more related to German.
If I came across a wee toad in the garden, I would call it a puddock. And that is Scots but if I said of some guy so drunk he was fair wabblin…. You would think that was just a lazy way of saying wobbling. But if I said he was fair blootered.
There is nothing worn under the kilt
it's all in perfect working order
Weirdly a cupboard in Scot is a press.
There are some words that have no English translation…
Shilpit ; that very thin, pale fragility of a person. I’ve heard it used for sick folk, supermodels and anorexics.
Sleekit ; like a fox or a sneaky wee person..’don’t trust her she’s dead sleekit’
Coorie in : a very particular form of cuddle, puppies coorie in, people coorie in a bus shelter when heavy rain starts.
Spirlie ; a wee skinny person, comes from spirl which is a wee twigletly, seedling type of thing…
Doit or numpty ; Not a daft person but a clever person having a daft moment…. ‘I went upstairs to get something then forgot what it was, I was fair doity.’
Gowp ; a pulsating pain…. ‘My knee is gowpin !’
Breinge ; to go at something with no finesse what so ever.
Stour ; plastery, dusty, ‘somebody open the windows in here’ ness
This is a quote I found
‘The survey concluded that there simply wasn't enough linguistic self-awareness amongst the Scottish populace, with people still thinking of themselves as speaking badly pronounced, grammatically inferior English rather than Scots, for an accurate census to be taken’
In the early twentieth century a resurgence of Scots occurred as an art form. At school we had to study this in the form of A Drunk Man Looks at the Thistle by Hugh MacDiarmid which was written in 1926 and has been reworked by Liz Lochead and Denise Mina amongst others. Here is a wee taster ...
I amna fou' sae muckle as tired - deid dune.
It's gey and hard wark coupin' gless for gless
Wi' Cruivie and Gilsanquhar and the like,
And I'm no' juist as bauld as aince I wes.
The elbuck fankles in the coorse o time,
The sheckle's no sae souple, and the thrapple
Grows deef and dour: nae langer up and doun
Gleg as a squirrel speils the Adam's apple.
Caro Ramsay 23/05/2014