Document 1820

Scots Tung Wittins 169

Author(s): Robert Fairnie

Copyright holder(s): Name withheld


Nummer 169
Dec 2007

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]

Hae A Herty Yuletide An A Guid New Year

SCOTS TUNG bids aw its readers a Herty Yuletide
an a richt Guid New Year.
Aw the best tae you an the anes ye lo'e best whan it comes.

Whit Kinna Christmas Pressie For Scots ?
[NOTE: photographs of four MSPs in original]
[NOTE: photographs of Linda Fabiani and Maureen Watt in original]
THE past eicht Christmases haes been an awfu dissy for thae Scots that sees thair warld pentit an descrived throu the words o the Scots language. For thaim, Sandy Claus hisnae come onywhaur near thair lums for eicht year in a raw. Bad as thon micht be, whit maks it waur is the fack that ower the hinnermaist eicht year, thae fower MSPs shawn on the richt, amang ithers, haes promised the yird tae the Scots language an its speakers but in aw thon time aw they cuid come up wi in practical tairms wis he-haw. A gret muckle wis makit aboot the signin o the European Chairter For Regional Or Minority Languages wi Scots includit unner Pairt II. Here agane, howanever, whan it cam tae cairryin oot the conditions o the Chairter whaur Scots wis concairned, aw they brocht oot wis excuises for no daein ocht. Thae excuises reinged frae the non-prescriptive nature o the Scottish education curriculum tae the threap that it wis the British government that haed owerance for tellin the ECRML's Comatee o Experts whit wey neist tae naethin o the Chairter's requirements haed been cairriet oot. Funny tho that the non-prescriptive nature o the Scottish curriculum didnae haud back the meisures they pit intae place for the English an Gaelic languages an as MSPs, ye wad think they wad hae the intelligence tae ken that the British government haes naethin tae dae wi devolved Scottish culture includin languages. If the British government haes telt the Comatee o Experts that naethin haes been duin then the Scottish Executive o the time maun hae telt thaim whit tae say. They shuirly think that Scots speakers is as donnert as thirsels. Thank Guidness nane o thaim will be daein Sandy Claus this incomin Christmas.Wi a chynge o government at the hinnermaist election in Mey, for aw that it's juist a minority ane, there twa new faces tae tak up the rid coat for Scots speakers this Christmas. See photies on the richt.Linda Fabiani MSP an Maureen Watt MSP is the new faces wi owerance ower things tae dae wi the Scots language an its speakers. Wi whit the SNP haed tae say aboot the language in thair election manifesto, Scots speakers micht be forgien for jalousin they'll fund a sicht mair nor juist a new tanner an an aipple at the fit o thair stockins this incomin Yuletide mornin. Howanever whan the Scottish government furthset its National Conversation wabsite it fendit eicht owersettins intae minority languages includin Gaelic. It wad seem that, juist like the unionist governments o the byegane, the biggest minority language in the British Isles haed been singelt oot agane tae be ignored an gien a deefie. In August efter the wabsite wis first furthset, Colin Wilson o Aiberdeen owerset the document intae Scots an raxed it on tae Linda Fabiani. Up tae the time o writin nae richt repone haes been gotten an there still aye nae Scots owersettin on the wabsite.
Hae a Herty Yuletide!!!!!!!

Insultin Cultural Deefie
FOLLAEIN on frae the insultin cultural deefie daled oot tae the Scots language bi the BBC an reportit in the November issue o the Scots Tung Wittins, twa MSPs haes pitten forrit pairlamentary motions in the Scottish Pairlament doon-cryin the BBC for sic a ferlie.

Baith Bill Wilson MSP for West o Scotland an Dave Thompson MSP for Highlands an Islands cried doon the BBC for leavin oot Scots, the biggest spoken language in the UK efter English, frae the leet o indigenous minority languages it is pledged tae uphaud. They baith blastit the BBC for thon passower an cried on it tae apologise an sort the maitter oot richt awa.

Speakin efter it, Bill Wilson pyntit oot that the BBC Trust haed explicitly mentioned Gaelic, Welsh, Irish an Ulster Scots sae whit wey wis the Scots that's spoken in Scotland gien sic a deefie? He feinisht bi sayin, "Gin we dinna tak tent o oor leid we'll tyne it. Is thon the BBC's ettle?

Speakin for the Scots Language Centre, Michael Hance threapit that they war awfu gled the maitter haed been brocht tae the attention o MSPs an that it wis awfu that BBC Scotland cairried on actin as if the Scots language didnae exist. He speirt that syne the BBC haed acceppit Scots in Northern Ireland, whit wey can they no dae it here?

This maitter shuid nae doot be taen up bi the Scottish Braidcastin Commission as it gaes intae the ins an oots o whit shuid an shuidnae be includit in Scottish braidcastin syne the kythin o devolution.

Scots Tung WITTINS
On the wab.
Mair raicent copies o the Scots Tung Wittins 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)

A Richt Chancie Encoonter
IT wis a richt chancie encoonter ower the street on ma wey tae ma wark ae mornin that gied me the inlat tae fund oot aboot Seguendo la Traccia poesia scozzese contemporanea. This is a braw wee, slicht buikie that's fu o poems bi the likes o William Neill, John McDonald, Kate Armstrong, Sheena Blackhall, Christine de Luca, Tom Hubbard, Raymond Vettesse, Neil R MacCallum, Kathlen Jamie, an Alison Kermack. Aw thae poems haes been written in Scots in the first place an kythes as sic but ilka ane haes been owersetten intae Italian bi Andrea Fabbri, Walter Morani an Paolo Severini, wi the original Scots bein prentit on the car haund page an the Italian on the richt haund page.

I dinnae ken aw that muckle Italian but I can see enouch frae the innin that the writer, Andrea Fabbri, is gey weel acquent wi Scots makars baith frae the bygane an frae the praisent day frae the likes o Dunbar tae Soutar tae Glen. I can jalouse an aw the fack that they shaw a guid knawledge o the Scots language itsel in aw its sindry varieties. Thae varieties is weel repraisentit in the walit makars' wark. There exemplars o Doric, Shetland, Lallans an modren vernacular Scots.

It wis publisht in 1997, twa year afore devolution sae it's easy tae see whit wey, in the poleitical climate o the time, sic a wark cuidgaun athoot bein taen tent o. But an awfu things haes kythed thae last ten year an e'en mair in thae last twa three months o 2007. Scotland haes a Nationalist Government, for aw that it's a minority ane, but a government that speaks wi a croose Scottish vyce, an as James Cusick wrate in the Sunday Herald, a vyce that speaks as if Scotland wis an independent country areddies. It's pairt o thon confidence that Scots sees thirsels as Europeans, no juist fowk that's weel traivelled but fowk that's awaur o thair ain place in history an literature. This buik helps tae eik tae thon crooseness bi wey o it bein a kinna pruif that the Mither Tung is acceptit in Europe. It's ae thing owersettin frae an ootlin language tae Scots but anither thing aw thegither for a recognised European language tae seek oot a sae cried minority language an dae the owersettin! There micht still aye be the creinge factor amang some in Scotland but it's richt hertenin that thae Italian academics wis sae faur aheid o the gemm.

The price on the batter is still aye in lire but the Scottish Poetry Library shuid nae doot be able tae airt interestit readers in the richt direction.
Lenuvole 32 AA.VV., Seguendo la Traccia
ISBN 88.8178.031.3 publisht 1997
© Irene Broon
(Owerset intae Scots bi the Editor)


She lookit up, the auld wife,
an gied a mudgeon
wha in the weft o her days had seen
twa muckle wars,
had kent her man dee
slow an her bairns gae quick
til airts she'd never dreamed o;
she lookit up an syne
lookit doon wi puzzlement
at the knittin she ploitered wi:
"I canna haud the needles noo."
Years o maakin woo intae comforts,
years o threidin nichts thegither
intae some wear, something tae fend
the cauld aff; years o grief
meisured in raws, years o delight,
years o purpose, socks an jumpers
clickit aff wi the clock's tick.
She lookit up, the auld wife,
an gied a mudgeon,
as gin she suddenly foond
aa things unreddable.


Guardò su, la vecchia,
e fece una smorfia,
lei che nella trama dei suoi giorni aveva visto
due grandi guerre,
aveva conosciuto la morte del marito
lenta e visto figli andare svelti
per strade che non si era mai sognata;
guardò su e subito dopo
guardò giù con stupore
alla maglia a cui lavorava con fatica:
"Non so più tenere l'uncinetto, ormai."
Anni trascorsi a trasformare lana in abiti comodi,
anni trascorsi ad intrecciare insieme le notti
in un vestito, qualcosa per tenere
lontano il freddo; anni di dolore
misurati in giri d'uncinetto, anni di gioia,
anni di determinazione, di calze e di maglioni
lavorati al ticchettio dell'orologio.
Guardò su, la vecchia,
e fece una smorfia,
come se all'improvviso
trovasse tutto inestricabile.

Raymond Vettesse

Kennt His Faither
A review bi Irene Broon.
(Owerset intae Scots bi the Editor)
ILKA ane o the five cuttie stories in Mary Johnston's hinnermaist pamphlet haes a biblical owercome. Oot o the five, she haes juist gane for a strecht owersettin o a parable intae modren life in the ane that gies the pamphlet its title, Kennt his Faither an in the first story, Kieran an Aiden. Kennt his Faither is a tale telt frae the consait o somebody that grew up wi a man cried Joe Davidson, the son o a jyner in the nor-aist, that becam a preacher, got intae bother wi the authorities an ends up bein pit in the jyle an surroondit bi stories aboot whuther he wis deid or no - a nackie wey o dalin wi the resurrection! Kieran an Aiden is a re-tellin o the Cain an Abel story frae the pynt o view o thair hertbroken mither that haes tae dale wi the daith o ae son while acceppin the ither as his murderer. The ither three stories, Beldie's Loon, Five Airches an Prison Visit, aw taks in the appearance o a character that disnae belang the surroondins o the story but wha taks an influential pairt. Thon pairt is o the quiet sisterly uphaud o Eve an the Virgin Mary tae weemin that haes a sair burden tae dree, an o an unconventional preacher whase "spik is frae here-aboots but I canna mak oot fit he says" an is a catalyst tae chynge for a Rab C. Nesbit o the nor-aist tae chynge his weys.

The stories is written in Doric. Syne there nae staundart orthography in Scots, this maks the needcessity tae write phonetically tae mak siccar the local vyce kythes. It's duin in this case bi spellin the likes o 'waarnin', 'waakrif' wi the dooble 'a', an yaisin 'i' for 'the'. Aince the reader gets yaised tae this, it's fine.

Mary Johnston's vyce is gey easy on the ear. It haes a plaintive souch that maks it richt for the dowie theme o fower oot o five stories in her new pamphlet. She brocht levity tae her readin o Five Airches that haes a lichter, mair comic note. For aw that the five stories haes a religious theme, the pamphlet, disnae preach. Juist like wi her lest publication, Johnston haes brocht this ane oot wi an accompanyin CD an her easy readin in her ain hamelt tung brings tae life thae tales that's gey enjoyable areddies .

The pamphlet haes a guid sized alphabetical vocabular at the back an a enthusiastic innin bi Sheena Blackhall. The batter illustration is bi Rosaly Johnston

It's publisht bi Calder Wood Press
[CENSORED: postaladdress]

ISBN978-1-906269 £3/£4 includin CD
CD wis fendit bi Mactrac, Musselburgh;
the recordin engineer wis Doug Ring
© Irene Broon

Makar's Neuk
Sun heists itsel up
E sun heists itsel up as leesome as iver,
nae metter if nicht is a nicht o hert scaad;
thon hert-sair wis mines, neen ithers,
e sun shines doon on for us aa.

Ee maana vraap Nicht ticht in yer airms,
ee maan busk it in Licht Iverlastin;
a cannle gid oot in iss cottar hoose -
blessins on e Licht aat maks seel for us aa.

Mary Johnston (Smaa Spangs)

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 169. 2024. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 20 April 2024, from

MLA Style:

"Scots Tung Wittins 169." The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2024. Web. 20 April 2024.

Chicago Style

The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech, s.v., "Scots Tung Wittins 169," accessed 20 April 2024,

If your style guide prefers a single bibliography entry for this resource, we recommend:

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


Information about Document 1820

Scots Tung Wittins 169


Text audience

Audience size N/A

Text details

Method of composition N/A
Word count 2226
General description monthly newsletter

Text medium

Leaflet/brochure (prospectus)

Text publication details

Publisher Scots Tung
Publication year 2007
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