Abernethy, Aberargie and Dron News

Last date for submissions

31st October 2017

Date of publication

1st December 2017

THE MITHER TONGUE

When I see my Grandbairns playing in the gairden I hear an Eastenders type accent or an American accent being yaised as part o’ the play acting and not Scots. I dinna mean the Doric or the Ayrshire Scots of Burns, but Abernethy Scots, South Perthshire Scots or nearly in Fife Scots. I was brocht up listening to my faither yaising Perth Scots and my Grandparents speaking Abernethy Scots.

 Many folk see Scots as slang, “it’s not proper English”, rubbish. Scots is a melting pot of different languages, French, Scandinavian, Old English and Danish to name but a few.

 “The Guid Scots tongue - a slovenly debased dialect: The Doric - corrupt English, artificial Lallans, uncouth gutturals: The National Language - an unintelligible dialect of English: Braid Scots - coarse slang, a language that never existed. Everyone of those terms has been yaised to describe the language I was brought up to speak - Scots” (A quote by Billy Kay. )

 I ken where he is coming from. We are being influenced by TV, Radio and the latest movies, the bairns hear that type of language all the time and of course there is BBC English.

Britain is one of the few countries in Europe where it is the norm to  speak just one language. That is changing however, in Primary school they are teaching French and the curriculum is including Robert Burns. Folk hae strong opinions on language because it affects class, social advancement for bairns, regional and national identity, inferiority and superiority and of course how we see oorsels. I am bilingual, I can speak English but I prefer to speak Scots, but not in a way that maks me difficult tae understand. In my everyday conversations I will include as many Scots words as possible. I feel these words are mair colourful, mair interesting. There are many: I speered the guts oot o’ her - I asked her a few questions She was sweer tae pairt wi her siller - She was reluctant to spend any money. The tike hid ahint the yett - The dog hid behind the gate

As previously mentioned the Mither tongue is influenced by many languages, Danish being a very good example: Kirk, Kist and Breeks - Church, Chest and Breeches. Brig and Rig - Bridge and Ridge. Lowp for Leap, Ain for Own and Strae for Straw. Many Scandinavian words are in everyday yaise in Scotland: To flit - To move house, Frae - From, Lug - Ear, Nieve - Fist and Hoast - Cough. The Flemish have also influenced our language: Pinkie, Golf, Scone and Howff. Some other words not so common but still survive: Hunkers - Haunches, To Redd - Tidy up and Loun - Boy. #

If you already yaise a few Scots words everyday, keep daein it. If you dinni, then start. You probably do speak a wee bit o’ Scots but dinni realise it. I think frae now on we will include a puckle Scots words in every edition and of course the English translation for those of you who are new tae it. Gid cracking wi yi.

JS