Archive for the Category: Scots

A Snell Wind

The Scots phrase, a snell wind, appears in one of the books I’m reading at the moment, and as I hadn’t come across it before it mystified me a bit. It’s some kind of wind, but what kind? According to the OED, snell is a Scots and Northern English word meaning: 1. (of a person) […]

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When I haver

In the Proclaimers song I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles), which we often sing in the Bangor ukulele club, the Scots word haver makes several appearances (see the lyrics here), and none of us know what it means. I thought it meant something like to shout, like holler, or to cry. According to The Online Scots […]

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Bidie in

This week I discovered the Scots expression bidie in, which refers to someone you live with and are not married to. It is also written bidey-in and bide in, and the plural is bidie ins or bidies in, or similar. The DSL defines bide in as “A person who lives with another without marriage”. The […]

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In a book I read recently (one of Alexander McCall Smith’s 44 Scotland Street series) I came across a number of Scots words that were unfamiliar to me. One that I particularly like is wirlie, which, according the Dictionary of the Scots Language (DSL), means: “a place where a field-wall crosses a stream; an opening […]

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Fantoosh puppets

I came across the interesting Scots word fantoosh [fan’tuʃ], which is defined by the Online Scots Dictionary as “flashy, ultra-fashionable”, whicle the Dictionary of the Scots Language gives a more detailed definition: “1. Over-dressed, over-ornamented; flashy, showy; ultra-fashionable; and 2. An over-dressed person”. Related words include fantoosherie (fuss, pretentiousness, swank) and fantooshed (flashily dressed). This […]

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We No Spik No Whalsa’

This is a song from one of the concerts I went to last week at the Shetland Folk Festival. It’s a version of Yolanda Be Cool’s ‘We No Speak Americano‘ by Steven Robertson in Shetland dialect which makes fun of the Whalsay dialect, which people from other parts of Shetland find very funny and/or incomprehensible. […]

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I’m currently in Lerwick for the Shetland Folk Festival,and at a concert last night I heard some interesting Shetland dialect being spoken and sung. One word I particularly liked was slockit, which means ‘gone out, extinguished’. It appears in the title of a tune by Tom Anderson, Da Slockit Light, which he was inspired to […]

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One interesting word I’ve heard people using in Shetland is shoogle [ʃogl; ʃugl; ʃʌgl; ʃʌugl], which means; – to sway, move unsteadily, to rock, wobble, swing; – to shake, joggle, to cause to totter or rock, to swing backwards and forwards; – to jog along, move with little unsteady jerks; to shuffle in walking It […]

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Staying, stopping and living

I noticed recently that in Scottish English and Scots people use the word stay to mean that you live in a place, i.e. that you live there on a permanent or long-term basis. When I hear this I usually know what is meant from the context, but it can be ambiguous at times, as to […]

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Cromarty fisher dialect

According to a report I found today in the Herald Scotland, the last fluent speaker of the Cromarty fisher dialect of Scots, Bobby Hogg, died recently. It was a dialect spoken by fisherfolk in the northeast of Scotland. According to experts, it was “the first ever linguistic demise to be so exactly recorded in Scotland.” […]

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