Document 1718

Scots Tung Wittins 67

Author(s): Robert Fairnie

Copyright holder(s): Name withheld


Nummer 67
Juin 1999

Keepin a guid Scots tung in yer heid's nae guid! lat it oot an uise it!

Scots Tung WITTINS

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

The Stert o a New Sang on the Mound.
[NOTE: image here of a Christmas card with'Hertie Yule' inscription in original]
WI oor new Scottish pairliament haein its hame-comin this year in the Kirk o Scotland's Assembly Ha on the Mound, we thocht it wad mak a guid picter for this year's Yule caird (the verra last Yule o the millennium) an the abuin is whit we'r howpin it micht leuk lik. The Noroway Yule tree is thare tae gie a Yuletide souch tae the caird an is uised as the subjeck o the pome inower that sterts aff wi:-

A Yuletide tree's a bonnie sicht
Wi ilka brainch ableeze wi licht
Brawest o aw maun shairlie be
On Embro's Mound,
Fair Noroway's Tree.

The caird will be A5 size an we'r howpin tae sell it for aroond 50p but we'll no ken for shuir or we git some richt quotes frae ane or twa prenters.

Scots Tung WITTINS
on the wab.
The Scots Tung Wittins can be vizzied or doun-loadit an prentit (noo in HTML format forbye) frae the wab-steid o :-
The Scots Speikers Curn, Glesca.
Wab-steid backin :-

Offeecial Reporters tae the Scottish Pairliament an the SNDA.
WE'V reportit afore anent the Offeecial Reporters tae the Scottish Pairliament gaun tae the SNDA speirin for wice on hou thay shuid record an screive doon onie Scots uised in the speeches o the MSP's. Susan Rennie haes duin a set o draft notes on gremmar an spellin for thaim cried, Recommendations for writing, editing and transcribing Scots. She says that she's howpin tae keep revisin thaim in the licht o onie feed-back frae the reporters an ither fowk. The SNDA is ettlin tae mak ae vairsion for the reporters an anither (mair upbeat) ane for bodies furth o the pairliament (the likes o journalists, editors an that).

Copies o thae draft notes can be gotten frae the SNDA at:-
27 George Square,
Edinburgh, EH8 9LD.
Ph/Fax: [CENSORED: phonenumber]
e-screive: [CENSORED: emailaddress]

The Scottish Pairliament Offeecial Report, that's a record o aw the ongauns o the pairliament an its comatees, juist lik Hansard at Wastmeinster, can noo be seen in the pairliament's wabsteid on:-

The Offeecial Reporters will work in five, ten an fifteen meinit stents aither in the pairliament or the comatees recordin an takin tent o wha haes spoken an wha haes pit thair neb in – this can be kinna fykie in gleg forgaitherins, parteeclar when maimbers pit thair nebs in athoot staunin up. Thay'll record an tak tent an aw o onie votes taen or onie ither ongauns. The reporters will then gaun back tae thair office tae owerset thair soond kisties, workin aye tae ticht deid-lines.The reporters' screivins is read ower bi the unner-editors, that checks for accuracy an consistency an maks siccar that the wey it's duin faws in wi the meinits frae the clerks, an mak the text ready for furthsettin wi the uphaud o the Offeecial Report furthsettin assistant.

The office will hae an editor, depute editor, fower unner-editors an 16 reporters. They'll be uphaudit bi an office manager alang wi an administrative staff o fower.

Neist Forgaitherin. Mon. 21t. Juin 1999 7.30pm tae 9.00pm Sma Lounge or Conf. Rm. 1.

Forgaitherin on Language in the New Scotland.
THE Forum for Research intae the Languages o Scotland an Ulster is gaun tae haud a forgaitherin in Seminar Room 1, Central Refectory, King's College, Univairsitie o Aiberdeen on Seturday 12t. Juin for juist the ae day. Unner the heidin o LANGUAGE IN THE NEW SCOTLAND the heidmaist speakers is tae be:-

Boyd Robertson:- Developing a national strategy for Gaelic in Education.
Dauvit Horsbroch:- Scots: a political assessment.
Morag MacNeil:- Gaelic: transmission of heritage in education.
Jim Alison:- Scots in the education system.
Anete Kempf:- "Like Chinamen scolding": a survey of urban demotic Scots.

The Annual General Forgaitherin o the Forum will be includit in the day's ongauns an aw.

The forgaitherin chairge o £15 kivvers mornin an efternuin coffee an a denner o pieces.

Beukins frae oniebodie ettlin tae gaun can be taen bi aither:-

J. Derrick McLure (Preses),
[CENSORED: emailaddress] or

Colin Milton (Thesaurer),
[CENSORED: emailaddress] or screive or phone

tae:- J. Derrick McClure,
Depairtment o English,
King's College,
Aiberdeen Univairsitie,
Auld Aiberdeen, AB24 2UB.
Ph. [CENSORED: phonenumber]
Fax [CENSORED: phonenumber]

Elections tae the European Pairliament.
THE leaflet bein pit oot the noo bi the Hame Office tae tell fowk hou the new wey o votin works, is prentit in thirteen languages forbye English, Gaelic includit, but nae mint o onie in Scots. Whit's new? Ay, whit indeed but the estaiblishment haes tae be tellt that this eydent rane for oor democratic richts tae see government leaflets screivit in oor ain hamelt language, whither we can unnerstaun English or no, is no gaun tae gaun awa. A copy o the leaflet, owerset intae Scots, haes been sent tae the European Pairliament UK Office in London an tae fleetch thaim intae uisin it, we wad speir as monie o ye as possible tae phone or screive for a copie in Scots. Wi the want o time afore the election, phonin wad be the bettermaist:-

Freephone: [CENSORED: phonenumber] or screive freepost tae:-
EP Elections
North Somerset
BS21 7BR

Scots on Screen an Page.
THE Guid Scots Leid keeps on wheetlin its wey mair an mair intae the media an, tho it's juist a teenie wee bittie here an thare, the'r nae doot at aw, it's stertin tae git its fit in the yett. Fowk, that twa three year syne wad hae turnt up thair creenge runkelt nebs at it, is stertin noo tae feel mair at hame an the'r a muckle swall o interest in the mither tung growin in aw the airts o Scottish life. We howp this interest will growe e'en mair frae the upsteerin o a new Scottish pairliament. Gin ye keep yer lugs weel peened back when watchin TV news reports ye'll fin mair an mair ordinar fowk, when speirt quaistens, is fair blithe noo tae uise thair ain hamelt urban Scots insteid o feelin obliged tae pit it on an speak "polite". It micht weel be that thay'v aye been that wey an it's juist that media fowk noo dinna feel sae gart tae edit oot oniethin that's no an acceptable "proper English". Aither wey, it's a muckle step alang the richt gate. New programs lik Channel 4's Haud Yer Tongue for the bairns at the schuil aw helps tae keep the pat bilin an we howp thon program micht mak a come-back suin, but efter tea-time for the guid o the growed-ups this time.

The'r fowk that thinks the Scotsman gies the same ratio o uphaud tae Gaelic an Scots as the government gies tae thae languages in siller sic as £174 a heid tae Gaelic an 4.7p a heid tae Scots but that wadna be aw that fair. Thare wis a time when journos cuidna thole „Scotticisms' o onie sort in thair columns but noo, it's couthie (or cool) tae hae thaim, alang wi the orra Scots word, phrase or quotation an the Scotsman's rinnin alang wi the best o thaim on this. Jim Gilchrist's Seturday Essay wis aw aboot the raicent ongauns wi the leid an, tho it wis screivit in English, it haed a guid scatterin o Scots an the muckle montage wis fou o Scots. The Diary, baith wi Fordyce Maxwell an Robert McNeil, aften haes a scatterin sic as FM's Scots proverb competeetion an quotes lik, "Ye'd be nane the waur o a guid hingin." an some cheil that RMcN says wad like "Awa hame an hae yer tea" as an epitaph on his heid-stane. E'en Gillian Glover haes managed a screid anent stour-sookers wi aboot a third pairt o't bein maistlie Scots dialogue.

The Scots Magazine for Juin haes a walcome retour o Speaking Scots wi John MacLeay gaun intae aw the finer pints o skoosh, ginger an skiddle. Hou monie cuid say the day thay'v niver gotten thair tongues stuck in the neck o a ginger bottle as bairns? Jenny Chaplin's back again wi Pack It In, a wee yairn aboot a holiday doon the watter tae Rothesay in her bairnheid an comparisons wi anither she haed tae Arbroath. The Meenister bi Rose McCoach, tho screivit in English narrative, haes a guid bit o Scots dialogue in it.

A Fine Ham an Haddie.
AS a laddie, Geordie Jooks aye liked gaun tae the matinee o the picters on a Seturday. It wis aye 2d weel spent an this parteeclar Seturday wis nae different. For aw that he haed juist been thare hissel, he haed fair enjoyed the picter an nou he wis comin oot the front doors tae the heid o the steps. The front steps o the Heywechts picter-hoose faced strecht on tae Brig Street an at this time o year, Geordie wis aye gey near blinnit comin oot frae the mirk intae the daylicht. He haed his een gey near screwed up ticht agin the gliff an taen guid tent gaun doun the steps till his een got uised wi the licht. At the fit o the steps, he wis aboot tae turn aff for hame whan somethin glisterin in the gutter at the edge o the pavie grippit his ee. He went ower tae hae a better leuk an jings, did he no juist see some orra kinna fish lyin thare? Geordie picked it up tae hae a guid leuk at it for it wisna lik onie ither kinna fish he haed iver seen an, wi his faither bein a fisherman, the'r a wheen o fish he cuid easie pit a nem tae. This ane wisna stiff as a board or ocht. It wis gey souple sae it maun hae been still gey caller. Aiblins it haed fawn aff a fish motor on its wey up frae Heymooth tae Newhaven mercat. He birlt the fish this wey an that as he gaed his wey hame, tryin tae pit a nem tae it but nane wad come. He kent it wisna a haddie or a whitin, a herrin or a mackerel an it wisna a crooner or onie kinna flet fish at aw. In thae days his faither wis awa tae the war but his uncle Rob wis ower auld for gittin cried up sae he thocht he wad cry in tae his hoose an see if he kent whit kinna fish this wis. Uncle Rob wis preses o the Fishermen's Associe sae he wis shuir tae ken the nems o juist aboot aw the fish in the sea. In nae time at aw, Geordie wis at the hoose chappin the door an it wis uncle Rob hissel that opened it.
"Och, it's you Geordie, an whit's this ye'v got here then?"
"It's an orra kinna fish, uncle. A fund it in the gutter ootside the Heywechts an A wis wunnerin if ye cuid tell us whit kin it is."
Uncle Rob taen the laddie an his fish ben the kitchen whaur he haed a guid leuk at it in the licht frae the windae. He pit it doon on the bunker, turnt it ower tae see the ither side than picked it up an leukit in its mooth but nae nem wad come tae him. In the hinneren he shakit his heid an sayed, "Weel Geordie, A thocht A kent aw the fish in the sea but this ane haes got me fair bumbazed. A wadna lik tae try an pit a nem tae it. The'r juist a chance tho that auld Andrae at the tap o Caird's Raw micht weel ken whit it is. Juist you tak it alang tae him an tell him A sent ye."
Geordie taen up his fish, thankit uncle Rob an set oot for Caird's Raw. It wisna faur an he went throu the close at the tap o the Raw an up the first ootside stair roond the back. He kent fine eneuch whaur auld Andrae bidit an chappit the door. It taen a wee while afore Geordie heard the soond o shauchlin feet than the door opened an thare wis auld Andrae, a wuzzent wee man wi baldie heid, gray stibblie baird an a glent in his watery blue een.
"Ma uncle Rob sent us roond tae see if ye kent whit kinna fish this is." sayed Geordie.
"Yer uncle Rob? That wadna be Stookie Rob bi onie chance?"
"Ay." answert the laddie an, tho he kent fine that uncle Rob's byenem wis Stookie Rob, frae the time he brak his leg as a laddie, he wad niver daur uise it hissel tae growed-ups.
"An wha's aucht you then?"
"Geordie Jooks."
"Wattie's laddie?"
"Weel, come awa ben Geordie an oo'll see whit oo can dae."
The twa gaed ben the kitchen an Geordie cuidna help takin tent o the guff o tarry raip an nets. In fack, thare wis twa an a hauf kyle o raip lyin on the bare wuiden flair ower in ae corner.
"Weel, gie's a leuk at this fish o yours then." auld Andrae sayed. Geordie haundit it ower an the auld fisherman haed a guid leuk at it bi the licht o the windae. Efter a while he scartit his heid an sayed, "Ay, Geordie lad, this is no gaun tae be an easie ane, in fack, A hinna come ower the likes o this afore. Whaur exacklie did ye git haud o't?"
Geordie tellt him.
"Ye mean it wis juist lyin thare on the road?"
"Weel A'v niver seen ane masel afore but aw A can think o is that this maun be ane o thae Highwey Coads!"

Makars' Neuk
Nor will the search be hard or long:
For tho ‘tis true that Mither-tongue
Has had the melancholy fate
To be negleckit by the great,
She still has fun an open door
Amang the uncurruptit poor,
Wha be na weent to treat wi scorn
A gentlewoman bred and born,
But bid her, thoch in tatters drest,
A hearty welcome to their best.

Alexander Geddes.

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Scots Tung Wittins 67. 2024. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 20 April 2024, from

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


Information about Document 1718

Scots Tung Wittins 67


Text audience

Audience size N/A

Text details

Method of composition N/A
Word count 2456
General description monthly newsletter

Text medium

Leaflet/brochure (prospectus)

Text publication details

Publisher Scots Tung
Publication year 1999
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