Document 1695

Scots Tung Wittins 44

Author(s): Robert Fairnie

Copyright holder(s): Name withheld


Nummer 44
November 1997

Scots Tung WITTINS

Eydentlie uphaudin the Scots Leid Campaine
E-mail: [CENSORED: emailaddress]
Ph. [CENSORED: phonenumber]

Scots an Ghaidhlig on the Media.
Wadensday 15t. October saw the Scotsman brekkin the monoglot English language moold an takin a muckle lowp alang the gait tae a mair pintit reflecktion o oor nation's three leidit cultur. At the heicht o the Ghaidhlig Mod, thai kythit a hail page o thair wittins blat aw scrievit in the Ghaidhlig (Gaelic) language an lat it be kent that thai wad be haein this as a raigler ferlie ilka fortnicht sae lang as the qualitie wis wordie o furthsettin. In raicent months, Scots an aw his stertit tae kythe mair an mair in its columns an editorials forby the antrin kythin o the odd Scots letter or twa. We maun aw luik forrit tae the day that baith hamelt leids hae thair ain page, an mair, no juist ilka fortnicht but ilka day an aw. A wee bit mair fleetchin o oor naitional wittins blat bi the feck o oor maimbers wadna dae onie hairm.

A hae tae awn that, juist aboot the anelie time A hear Radio Scotland, is in the mornin whan A yaise it tae wauken me up an get me ower the bed. Ae Seturday A wis blithelie waukened fae ma drames bi a hamelt Doric vice on the airlie mornin "Out of Doors". Freda Morrison wis on her hoalidays an this chiel wis giein her a speel tho A didna catch his nem at aw. For aw that he hid a guid nor-aist tongue in his heid an yaised it athoot onie kinna pittin it on kinna souch. It melled awfu weel wi aw the ither bye-leids, Yorkshire English an ithers inclusit, an nane o the English speikers seemed tae be taen aback wi it at aw. Thai maun aw hae unnerstuid whit he wis gaun on aboot. It wis guid tae hear the Scots leid bein yaised on the wireless tae crack on aboot things ither than the Scots language or cultur.

The follaein Seturday, Freda Morrison wis back, an thare she wis crackin awa tae twa three herds tendin the hinmaist "Little Mickle Fair" in the nor-aist agane. Thae herds wis crackin on anent thair sheep an hoo thai wis aw gaun tae murn the passin o this kenspeckle sheep mercat. Ye cuid coont the nummer o English wirds yaised on the yae haun an the feck o thaim wis fae Freda hersel.

The hamecomin o oor new Scottish pairliament maun shuirlie be weel wordie o bein scrievit aboot in the Scottish papers an spoken aboot on the wireless an TV in Scots an Ghaidhlig as weel as English. Aiblins the high heid-yins o the media juist needs a wee bit mair fleetchin fae the likes o oorsels an ither Scots leid upsteerers tae gar thaim tae raelie tak the ure an gie Scots its richtfae dale o the Scots media.

Geordie Jooks Cries Fore at Gullane.
The wey A heard it, Geordie an his freen Tam wis haein a gemm o gowf doon at Gullane twa Sundays syne. At yin o the par fower holes, Geordie skelpit the ba a richt keeker aff the tee. It wis S.D.T.M. (Strecht doon the middle). Geordie wis fair chuffed as his een follaed the ba on its flicht doon the fairwey an, whan it stertit tae faw tae the grun, he got a gliff o anither gowfer walkin on the fairwey. He wis richt in wey o the flicht o the ba an baith Geordie an Tam cried oot "Fore!!!" as lood as thai cuid.

Weel the ither gowfer maun hae heard the crie for he birlt roon tae see whit wis adae an juist then, the ba hut him richt atween the een. Gin it hid been a fitba he micht hae been able tae heid it but ye canna heid a gowf ba sae he juist drapped lik a stane an bid thare.

Geordie gawped at Tam wi his face lik a cloot an Tam gawped back. The neist thing ye kent, thai wis baith daein a Linford Christie doon the fairwey an, whan thai reached the ither gowfer, he wis flet oot on his back wi his mooth gawpin tae the lift an the ba hauf stickin oot o his foreheid juist abuin his neb.

"He luiks deid tae me!" sayed Geordie.
"Ay. He's deid aw richt – nivver kent whit hut him. Puir sowl." quo Tam.
"My guidness Tam, whit am A gaun tae dae noo?" speired Geordie.
"Weel, if it wis me," reponed Tam wi a wee keek tae the green, "A'd mibbie tak a nummer nine airn an, wi an open face, try an play it lik a bunker shot."

Thon Time o Year Agane.
Wi Yuletide an the New Year no aw that faur aff noo, wark on the 1997 Yule Caird is weel tae the fore an the yins that tendit the laist forgaitherin wis gien a sicht o the picter duin bi Helen Black. Aw the hindermaist particularities wis gien tae the prenter laist Friday (31t. Oct.) an the cairds, we'v been telt, wull be in oor hauns bi Friday 7t. Nov. if no suiner.

Monie thanks tae aw the maimbers an ithers that contreebutit tae the projeck, whuther bi wark, consait or bi giein a len o siller. We'r howpin tae hae the cairds at the neist forgaitherin on Mon. 10t Nov. for giein oot tae thae maimbers that wants thaim (awbodie we howp). A'v areddies selt twintie o laist year's "Thochts o Yule" an hid twa speirins efter this year's new "Blithe Yule".
[NOTE: image here of the New Parliament House with BLITHE YULE inscription in original]

This year's caird "Blithe Yule" (abuin) is bein prentit in ful colour on a guid quality glancie white caird. It shaws New Pairliament Hoose, Calton Hill, in broad daylicht wi Yuletide snaw fawin doon an a Yule starn glentin in the lift forby.

The pome inower the furst page is "Blithe Yule" bi Janet an is prentit ablow, tho the font yaised bi the prenter wull be the Celtic yin shawn on the front o the caird:-

Baubles glintin
Lichts brichtin
Ingle-neuk bleezin
Trinkets pleasin
Habberjocks roastin
Everilk toastin

Yin an aw
Unco braw
Lichtsome herts
Eeltide sterts.

The greetin inower the ither page is gien ablo an agane, the prenter wull be yaisin the same Celtic font as the caird front an pome, tho diffrent sizes:-

Biddin ye a Blithe Yule an a Guid New Year.
Aince we get the feenished cairds fae the prenters, it is proponed tae sen oot tae aw oor maimbers, ither curns an ither Scots Leid upsteerers an aw, a coloured brochure shawin the twa Yule cairds we hae tae haun for sellin this Yuletide alang wi the prices an that.

Maimbers' Throu - pits in Forgaitherins Tae Come.
It his been threapit at raicent forgaitherins that the feck o the maimbers wad raither see a mair structured kinna forgaitherin an, noo that we'v got the kythin o the Yule cairds oot o the wey (juist the sellin o thaim tae bother aboot noo) aiblins we cuid mak a stert at the neist forgaitherin. Gin awbodie got haud o thair ain favourite bit o Scots leeterature or pome or e'en the wirds o a favourite sang, thai cuid read it oot tae the curn than expone whit wey thai'v chaisen it an whit it means tae thaim. The ithers cuid then aye jine in an speir quaistens or pit thair ain pairsonal consait anent the piece tae the curn. Course, aw the crack wad hae tae be in Scots as uswal. Tae stert wi, the maimbers wull hae tae mak thair ain inpit an, gin it gies a lift tae the forgaitherins, than aiblins, we micht cuin gie a thocht tae fleetchin for guest speikers. Sae mind an fetch yer ain inpits wi yiz on Monday 10t November an we'll see hoo it gauns.

Mair Scots Letters.
Efter haein a letter prentit in the Scotsman on Seturday anent the puir qualitie o the tatties A'v been gettin, A thocht A micht cuid yaise it tae saw a seed or twa in ASDA's forby lattin thaim ken whit A thocht o thair tatties. Ma twa letters is copied ablow baith in the howp that thai micht be o intrest tae the maimbers an tae help tae ful up aw the tuim weygate an aw:-

Sir, - Dis oniebodie ken whit's happenin tae oor tatties? Thir wis a time whan a forpet o tatties wis richt hailsome farin an, tho the ootsides yaised tae be smuirt wi glaur, efter a guid screenge or a peelin, the insides cuid aye be lippent on tae be the foond o monie a guid denner. A dinna ken if A'm juist gaun tae the wrang shops or whit but, for a guid lang while noo, gey near hauf ma tatties his hid tae be hovin awa.

The forpet his lang syne taen the same gait as sybies, an pokes o tatties hae tae be bocht in mair kilograms nor maist fowks hae a want for. But that's no aw, for tho the tatties in thae plastic pokes are screenged clean as a bairn's face on its furst day at the scuil, whan ye peel an cut thaim, hauf are aw merkit inside. Wull we ivver agane see tatties as guid as the yins that yaised tae be selt in forpets?
R. Fairnie.

High Heid Yin,
ASDA Muckle-mercat,
100, The Jewel,
Duddingston Road West,
Edinburgh, EH15.

Guid Sir,

A'v enclosit inby, a copie o ma letter that wis prentit bi the Scotsman laist Seturday (1st. Nov). The day afore that, laist Friday, A wis getting ma messages in at yer mercat – it's aye a Friday A dae ma messages – an, bi wey o me bein juist masel in the hoose, ma ee wis grippit bi 1.5kg plastic pokes o wee tatties. That's juist aboot as close as A'v seen tae a forpet sae A thocht A wad gie thaim a shot.

The neist day, the same yin ma letter kythed in the Scotsman, A wis dichtin thae tatties unner the well for ma tea an, tho ye dinna hae tae peel thae yins for ordnar, A aye cut thaim in twa afore pittin thaim in the pat. A wis richt fashed tae fin that thae yins wis juist as bad, if no waur, nor the big yins A got the week afore an gey near ilka week afore that for a guid wee while noo. The insides o some o thaim wis merkit wi mirkie rings – thae's the yins that gaun bleck efter ye bile thaim. Oot o ten tatties, A biled sax an hove fower awa. O the sax that wis pit on ma plate, twa stertit tae turn bleck afore ma een. A cuin tell ye, it fair spiled ma denner an A canna mind whan A laist enjoyed a rael guid tattie.

Dae ye no think it's noo aboot time ye wis gaun somewhaur else for yer tatties? A'm stertin tae speir ma ain sel that verra quaisten.

Monie's the time A'v wunnert whit wey ye dinna mak a maucht tae gie yer mercat a mair Scottish souch insteid o juist keepin it lik an English clone. Ye nivver adverteese forpets, tatties, neeps, ingans or sybies or ocht an, bi no daein that, ye'r missin oot on the ee-grippin pooer o scrievit Scots in the Scottish mercat. His this letter no grippit your ee mair nor it wad, hid it been scrievit in ilkaday English?

Wi aw guid-wullie,
R. Fairnie.

Wha kens gin onie o thae seeds wull breard or no but A'll bide on the kee-vee an lat ye ken. A'll lat ye ken an aw whit kinna repone A get, if onie.

Up till noo, the "Tatties" letter in the Scotsman his breardit twa scrievit repones tae the hoose. Ae man in Forres, Morayshire, speirt efter wittins anent Scots Tung. Aiblins a wee bit ower faur awa tae swall the tendin o oor forgaitherins but thir naethin wrang wi ootlyin maimbers.

The ither yin wis fae a cheil in Kingsbarns, Fife, speirin efter the meanins o Forpet an Sybies. He gied me some guid advice an aw anent whaur tae fin the best tatties. It wis gey thochtie o him but A think that Fife is a kinna lang gait tae gaun for tatties. Oniewey, A'v scrievit back tae baith o thaim sae we maun lat that flee stick tae the wa for noo.

Wittins Fae the S.N.D.A.
The new Electronic Scots Scuil Dictionar is noo set tae be furthset on 21t. Aprile 1998 at SCET (Scottish Council for Educational Technology) in Glesca. It wull be on CD-ROM an suitable for PC or Apple-Mac. Nae price gien yet.

The electronic spellchecker, CannieSpell, wull be tae suit PC or Apple-Mac an aw an is expeckit in December at £12.00 for the CD-ROM. It ettles tae gie some guidance, raither nor threapin oot the law anent Scots spellins. The SNDA is takin orders for it noo.

Dis oniebodie ken onie Scots wirds that hae tae dae wi the scuil apairt fae:-


If ye dae, SNDA wants tae hear fae ye an whit wis yer ain wird for playin hookie fae the scuil?

Juist drap a line tae:-

Iseabail Macleod,
Scottish National Dictionary Assoc. Ltd.,
27, george Square,
EH8 9LD.
E-mail: [CENSORED: emailaddress]

Neist Forgaitherins:-
Mon.10t an 24t Nov. 7.30pm tae 9.00pm. Comatee Rm C, Brunton Ha, Musselburgh.

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 44. 2024. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 20 April 2024, from

MLA Style:

"Scots Tung Wittins 44." The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2024. Web. 20 April 2024.

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The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech, s.v., "Scots Tung Wittins 44," accessed 20 April 2024,

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


Information about Document 1695

Scots Tung Wittins 44


Text audience

Audience size N/A

Text details

Method of composition N/A
Word count 2312
General description monthly newsletter

Text medium

Leaflet/brochure (prospectus)

Text publication details

Publisher Scots Tung
Publication year 1997
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