Modern Shetlandic Scots (MSS) is a variety of Insular Scots with Norn (Norroena)
influences spoken in Shetland. It is variously known as Shetlandic,
"da dialect", Shetland dialect, Shetland, Shetlan or Broad Shetland,
which refers to stronger versions. MSS could also be classified as
belonging to the Anglic subsection of the West Germanic branch of
Indo-European languages, with many North Germanic influences.
MSS combines elements of Scots, English and Norn,
the language which developed from the Old Norse bought to
Shetland by the settlers from Norway in the early 9th century.
After the islands came under Scottish control in the early
17th century, Scots and English became increasingly dominant.
By the early 18th most Shetlanders were bilingual in Norn and
Scots, and by the late 19th century Norn was no longer spoken,
though Norn words continued to be used for such things as place-names,
seasons, the weather, plants, animals, places, food, materials,
tools, colours (especially of sheep or horses), moods and whims
or 'unbalanced states of mind'.
Modern Shetlandic Scots pronunciation
There is no standard way of writing MSS and there are many variant spellings.
Peerie cat, peerie cat, whaar's du been?
A'm been athin Lerook fae aer da streen.
Peerie cat, peerie cat, whaat saa du dere?
Mair dugs dan I lippened sae A'm gjaan nae mair. Peerie Cat, a poem by Rhoda Bulter