Document 84

Gittin the Spellin Richt

Author(s): Robert Fairnie

Copyright holder(s): Robert Fairnie


Geordie wis aye gled when the survey o the ship wis feinished an it wis time tae tak the gate for hame. He’d been hard at it for fower oors on a North Sea supply ship lyin in Aiberdeen herbour but noo he hid aw the information he needit tae draw up the plans for chyngin the twa deep ballast tanks intae re-circulation tanks for cairiein heavy density drillin mud. He’d tak his time an enjoy the drive hame then, the morn’s mornin he’d git yokit tae an mak a stert tae the drawins in his drawin office ben the back o his hoose.

He wis gaun alang the Kingsway, thon gate that skirts the northern mairches o Dundee, wi the wireless croonin oot some catchy sangs, when he mindit his wife, Beenie, hid speirt him tae gaun intae B&Q on the wey hame, if he cuid, an coff a tin o pent for the inside o the wee bedroom press. Wi it bein weel on in the efternuin, he thocht it wad be ower late or he won tae Edinburgh an aiblins the shops thare wad be shut bi then, sae he turnt aff the Kingsway intae the toun ettlin tae fin a B&Q in Dundee.

Efter a while, he still hidnae fund yin sae he poued ower tae the side o the road, rowed his windae doon an stoppit a passin fit-ganger.

“Excaise me Jimmie!” he speirt, “Is thare a B&Q in Dundee at aw?”

“Naw!” reponed the kettle-biler*, “The’r nae B&Q in Dundee pal. But the’r twa ‘d’s an twa ‘e’s in it.”

*Kettle-biler = a byenem gien tae the men o Dundee. No lang syne, maist o the weemin workit in the jute mills an the men workit in the docks, the Caledon Shipyaird or in ither heavy ingineerin wark. Noo, the men wisnae sweir tae gaun on strike ilka noo an agane an, wi maist o thair weemin-fowk workin in the mills, they cuid afford tae bide oot a guid while langer nor men fae ither airts. Sae, excep when thare wis a fitba match on, they juist bid in the hoose an biled the kettle tae hae the wife’s tea on the table for her comin hame fae the mill. We’r no sayin they war aw tarred wi the ae brush but, thare maun hae been a wheen o thaim for sic a byenem tae stick an, the’r aye some watter whaur the stirkie droons, as ye hear fowk say.

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Cite this Document

APA Style:

Gittin the Spellin Richt. 2024. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 2 March 2024, from

MLA Style:

"Gittin the Spellin Richt." The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2024. Web. 2 March 2024.

Chicago Style

The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech, s.v., "Gittin the Spellin Richt," accessed 2 March 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 84

Gittin the Spellin Richt


Text audience

Adults (18+)
General public
Audience size 3-5

Text details

Method of composition Wordprocessed
Year of composition 2000
Word count 435

Text publication details

Publisher SLRC
Publication year 2000
Place of publication Lallans
ISBN/ISSN 1359-3587
Edition 56,57
Part of larger text
Contained in Scots Tung Wittins
Editor R Fairnie
Page numbers 2

Text setting


Text type

Prose: fiction


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