Document 620

Dipper: 08 - The Fishin Weedow

Author(s): Dr James A Begg

Copyright holder(s): Dr James A Begg


Dedicated to Sporting Widows everywhere - Football, Rugby, Bowling, Curling, Darts and Snooker - not to mention Golf!

In cooncil hoose an stately hame,
Or sittin by some meedow,
There sits a wumman aa her lane –
She's caad a Fishin Weedow!
Aiblins thochts rin throu her heid:
Were she no there wad he miss her?
An aft she sighs an rues the day
She got mairrit tae a Fisher!

The pairtin's lang for some dear wives;
Frae mid-Mairch till September;
For ithers 'tis damn-near aa their lives;
Frae Januar tae November!
- Wi juist a month, nae mair nor three,
Tae yoke their dear sweet-herts
Tae aa that wark aboot the hoose,
Afore the Season sterts!

But try's she micht tae get her wicht
(E'en doun on bendit knees)
Tae pent the room or sweep the lum:
- He'd raither tie some flees!
The ance they baith went doun the shops
Near took awa her braith:
Whit guid intent? He only went
Tae buy mair fishin graith!

For Fisher Wull the days staun still
Frae close tae stert o season;
But for his lass - sae quick they pass,
She's gey near tint her reason!
As Februar cauld gies wey tae Mairch,
For aa her inmaist wishin,
The puir-bit sowl gies wey ance mair –
An laes him tae the fishin!

She's left alane wi greitin wean,
An things that aye gae wrang,
Nae wunner gin he dawdles hame
His puir wife's aye sae thrang.
- 'Whaur hae ye been tae this time?
Ye're ower three oors late!
An whit h'ye brocht - juist as Ah thocht –
- Not a bluidy haet!'

Wull quails afore the stormy blast,
Wishin he'd ne'er been born;
But hauds his mooth, for t' tell the truth,
He's gaun again the morn!

Sae aff he goes despite it aa,
An this time fares sae weel,
That heids an tails o three-score troot
Are pokin oot his creel.
Fair prood is he, a sicht tae see -
- Great Chieftain o the Fishin Race –
Till his sullen dame gins he wins hame
Shuin pits him in his richtfu place!

'Caa these troots!' the wife decries,
As he tuims oot aa his winnins,
'If it wisnae for the wee rid spots
Ah'd sweir they're mair like minnons!
- An get them oot ma kitchen sink,
Ah cannae staun the smell;
An the sicht o bluid near maks me boke –
- Ye can gut the beasts yersel!'

Sic flytin wad drive mony a man
Tae forsweir rod an purn,
An niver mair tae ply his skill
On river, loch an burn.

But oor Wull's made o sterner stuff
An deif tae aa her cries,
There's no a nicht in Simmer yet
He's missed the evenin rise!
An mony is the back-en day,
Fishin Nith doun by Dumfries,
His puir-bit wife's got up at five,
An tellt tae mak his piece!

But tak tent, Wull, the day maun come,
It's mebbe no here yet,
When yer warld turns tapsalteery,
An the buit's on the ither fuit!
As I muse by the lowe o a winter fire,
An stare at the logs a-burnin,
It's nae juist on th'end o a heuk,
That I see the worm a-turnin!

For the Weedow's dochter nou is wed,
- A different generation -
Her heid stappt fou o buiks she's read
On Weemin's Liberation!

No for Her the late nicht meal,
Cooked wi tenderness an lovin,
If he's three oors late, he'll fin his plate's
Been fower oors in the oven!
- an the hinmaist thing her man micht dae
Gin he ettlt tae stey alive,
Wad be daur suggest that she get up
Tae mak his piece at five!

There's nae sic thing as fishin
Juist the wey her faither did:
He micht get oot - no whan the troot,
But whan Hersel, is in the tid!
He's lucky if she let's him loose
Mair'n twice in fower weeks;
It's weel seen in her hoose,
Wha's wha that weirs the breeks!

He's a dab haun wi a pent brush
Efter mony hard-wrocht oors,
An the grun he uised tae delve for worms
Is planted nou wi flouers!
Oot wi the lasses, awa at nicht-classes,
She laes him baby-sittin;
Whit's the uise o tyin flees -
- The puir sowl's taen up knittin!

Whit's mair, an deidly serious;
They say it's no a lee;
The jaud's juist bocht some wadin-buits,
An learnt tae cast a flee!

Sae fishers aa, whaure'er ye be,
Turn ower a brent new leaf,
An treat yer wife wi gentle care,
Afore ye come tae grief.
For if ye dinnae, shuir as fate,
Ye'll end up washin dishes,
Ilka time the burn's in spate,
An The Wife's oot catchin fishes!

wicht/strong man
soop the lum/sweep the chimney
greitin wean/crying child
creel/fishing basket
tak tent/tak care
tapsalteery/upside down
jaud/perverse woman

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:

Dipper: 08 - The Fishin Weedow. 2024. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 24 July 2024, from

MLA Style:

"Dipper: 08 - The Fishin Weedow." The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2024. Web. 24 July 2024.

Chicago Style

The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech, s.v., "Dipper: 08 - The Fishin Weedow," accessed 24 July 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 620

Dipper: 08 - The Fishin Weedow


Text audience

General public
Audience size 1000+

Text details

Method of composition Handwritten
Year of composition 1983
Word count 892
General description Anthology of prizewinning and other Scots poems, and short stories in Ayrshire Scots.

Text medium

Other Audiocassette

Text publication details

Publisher Luath Press
Publication year 1991
Place of publication Barr, Ayrshire
ISBN/ISSN 0946487227
Edition First
Part of larger text
Contained in The Dipper an the Three Wee Deils: Tales and Poems in Ayrshire Scots
Editor Authors: Dr. J. A. Begg and J. Reid
Page numbers 14-17

Text setting


Text type



Author details

Author id 623
Title Dr
Forenames James
Initials A
Surname Begg
Gender Male
Decade of birth 1940
Educational attainment University
Age left school 17
Upbringing/religious beliefs Protestantism
Occupation Medical Practitioner
Place of birth New Cumnock
Region of birth S Ayr
Birthplace CSD dialect area Ayr
Country of birth Scotland
Place of residence Ayr
Region of residence S Ayr
Residence CSD dialect area Ayr
Country of residence Scotland
Father's occupation Clerical Officer, NCB
Father's place of birth Sandbank
Father's region of birth Argyll
Father's birthplace CSD dialect area Arg
Father's country of birth Scotland
Mother's occupation Primary Teacher
Mother's place of birth New Cumnock
Mother's region of birth S Ayr
Mother's birthplace CSD dialect area Ayr
Mother's country of birth Scotland


Language Speak Read Write Understand Circumstances
Danish No No No No A little
English Yes Yes Yes Yes Home, socially, at work
French Yes Yes Yes Yes Holidaying in France
Norwegian No No No No A little
Scots Yes Yes Yes Yes Home, socially, at work