View Full Version : Writing Scottish–speak Ach aye the noo

Loose rivets
24th Oct 2005, 09:46
This book wat I rote.

When time permits, I'm still slogging on with me novel.

A new character, a Scottish doctor, has appeared on the scene, and my attempts at making him speak with a broad accent are failing. Can anyone help with Scottish–speak, in the written form of course.

Use of the apostrophe is not as obvious as I had thought either.

I'm not confident that even in McAllen and Edinburg (yep, correct spelling) here in Tx professional editors will give convincing spelling for dialect.

Ta mutchly

tony draper
24th Oct 2005, 09:52
Not sure if the Jockistanis ever developed a written language, but of you preface every sentence with "See me Jimmy" your readers should get the message.

Loose rivets
24th Oct 2005, 10:12

Huir uv a braw slainte. er, i think

anyway, put it in favorites R

surely laddie, that would nae be spelt Jimmy but Jummy?

anyway, what are you lot doin up? keeeeeyrikkkky it's 04:11

orf to bed fame and fortune will have to wait

tony draper
24th Oct 2005, 10:21
For Irish characters preface dialog with "Beggorah"
For Welsh "Look You"
For Jewish Peeps,end the sentence with "allready"
Scandyhooligans characters , preface with "Yumping Yimminy"
For American black characters insert the phrase "Know what I'm saying" betwixt every three words.

For black American Irish Jewish welsh characters, with Scottish blood
"Beggorah! look you! know what I'm saying already, Jimmy"

Do not be trapped into using stereotypes

24th Oct 2005, 10:40
The "see you see me" idiom is, I'd say, West coast rather than universal, but Dr draper is right: it will give your work something of a Scottish flavour. It will be a spurious flavour, though, as speech in Scotland as in England is an indicator of many things, not just Scottishness.

I once worked in a large Canadian corporation that employed several Polish ex WW2 pilots and others. Many of these chaps were very able. The president wanted to promote one, but his accent and skills in English were just awful. The president consulted another of the Poles, and wondered if remedial English training would help at all. The other fellow laughed and said: "You think he's bad in English! He's ten times worse in Polish!"

So it is with all from the UK. The accent and idioms may locate a person's geographical origins but more surely will tell you a great deal about, forgive me, his "social origins". People at the corporation just mentioned would observe that I was from Scotland and Mactavish was from Scotland, but Mactavish and I spoke very differently. Why so? I would put it down to "location of origin". The truth would have been as with the Polish fellow: I speak middle class Scots, Mactavish had the tones of "ra Gallowgate" (more accurately "Galla'gate")(not the most fashionable address in Glasgow).

As it happens, I have worked, hourly-paid, in factories and on farms in Scotland and I am "multilingual Scots". I can discuss "ra barra'land" with a Glaswegian (if the Barrowland still exists)and "a curran oats" with a Forfar loon, but if I spoke to them as I would at a meeting of PPRuNe, they would know me right away as not one of them.

So it is with your Scottish doctor. Most probably he would speak English. His accent certainly would differ from that of an Englishman, but he would not speak any of the vomit-inducing idioms, "Hoots Toots!", "See you, see me", "Haw Jimmy", "A braw bricht moonlicht nicht", "Ham'n'haddie", Harry Lauderisms that foreign writers of fiction, and evidently you too, would put in his mouth.

In short, a Scottish doctor would be, statistically, quite middle class. If you wished to flag to the reader that your doctor character is English, would you attempt that through his endearing speech pattern: "Oy, Guv! Oi nevvah said nuffink loike that! Strike me! Bloimey! That's a load of cobbler's, squire".

Ah Yes! a typical English physician. I think not. So with a Scottish physician. Aye! Aye! Mmmmphm!

Maude Charlee
24th Oct 2005, 10:43
Go buy 'The Broons' or 'Oor Wullie' annuals. Research and Xmas pressies in one fell swoop.

Help ma boab!

24th Oct 2005, 10:52
I am grateful to Maude.

"Help ma Boab" is exactly what I mean. It exists only in the "Sunday Post", as does "Crivvens".

Take any of the advice above, save mine, and your doctor will be as genuine as a three-dollar bill. Trust me on this.

For a genuine insight into a "Scottish eccentric" accent, albeit a bit dated, try "Farewell, Miss Julie Logan" by Sir J M Barrie. I do, though, find Barrie and the whole kailyaird school too (gulp!) "pawky" for my taste, ye .... Ah! ... ken?

tony draper
24th Oct 2005, 10:58
Ah the Broons and Wullie, bro and self used to get the annual every christmas,that and the Buffallo Bill Wild West Annual ,with the Character Tom Dick and Harry, hmmm, one wonders if one can still get the Buffalo Bill annual.
One's GP for thirty odd years was Doctor Wallace a fine gentlemen of Scottish origin,he had a posh Scottish accent,always had a small cigar in hs mouth or hand, even when he leaned over one's childhood sickbed, the smell of a cigar always reminds me of Doctor Wallace,we had proper GPs in those days ,had to go into Hospital for a operation when I was 8 years old,he came in to see me every day on the ward, can't see this new lot doing that.
Another weird thing 99% of engineers at sea seemed to be Scotsmen.

24th Oct 2005, 11:37
(if the Barrowland still exists)

Certainly does Davaar went up last year,still sells clappy does(sp??),crumpet,puddin and all the rest of good wholesome Scottish fare.:ok:

24th Oct 2005, 11:48
Still can't understand why them Jocks can't pronounce their "U's"

always seems to come out as "OOO".

EGs. President Bush is President BOOOSH.

The Baby was found in the BOOOLLROOOSHES

Don't be too PROOOD to POOOSH

Its just come GOOOSHING OOOT

perhaps they is all related somewhere down the line to Johnathan Woss!:suspect:

24th Oct 2005, 12:12

For a good example of written Scottish, read 'Trainspotting'.....written, funnily enough, by a guy called Welsh!!

A very entertaining read, and some of the phrases in it took me a few minutes to work out - with some 'laugh out loud' results!

24th Oct 2005, 12:17
So it was, Dr Draper. The Davaar ancestors came lang syne from Sutherland and found work in a new industry, just then starting up: building "iron ships" on the Clyde. For generations they either built them or sailed in them as engineers. I am thought to "look like" (a Divine gift, like Grace, that may be enjoyed but never earned) my great-grandfather Willie Neill, for years a blue water chief, and latterly chief in Macbrayne's RMS Columba. Of late, the blood has thinned and we push pens.

a guy called Welsh!!

Which means, oddly enough, Farrell, that he is Irish (or his origins were; amounts to the same thing, of course).

tony draper
24th Oct 2005, 12:38
Sailed on eleven ships in me time and worked by a few others, every one had a Scottish Chief Engineer,yer got to know the chiefy well as he was also always the ships barber,want a haircut?,see the Chief Engineer,dunno how this tradition came about,many strange traditions at sea, frinstance the Chief Cook was always addressed as doctor or Doc, yet twas the Chief Stewards job to do any doctoring,although that usualy consisted of a spoonfull of Board Of Trade cough medicine for probs above the belt,and a swig of Board of Trade Stomach mixture for any medical prob below said belt.

24th Oct 2005, 12:42
The Scots pronunciation that fascinates me is 'poet' - 'po-ee-et'. I canna fault it, but yet I canna reproduce it accurately.

24th Oct 2005, 12:44
"Sair maun ye greet, but hoot awa!
There's muckle yet, love isna' a'--
Nae more ye'll see, howe'er ye whine
The bonnie breeks of Auld Lang Syne!"

Funny about the Scottish engineers. It might be the Scotch boilers they used to tend. There are plenty of Scottish doctors on ships too. All expatriate Scots seem to go on about how they'll return to auld Scotland some day (tho' it were ten thousand mile...), but they rarely do.

Farmer 1
24th Oct 2005, 12:49

By David W. Donaldson

The ship was moored at the Tyneside Docks, along the River Thames,
The Captain strode the bridge with pride; the crew were playing games.
The coxwain whistled a happy tune, like the warbling of a bird,
And below in the hold where the first mate was, his singing could be heard.

The crow was sitting on his nest, atop the mast so high,
The binnacles were out of the bin and lying neatly by.
The barnacles were stored in the barn, the compass had been wound,
The crew had washed the sails that day, and spread them all around.

Aloft on the topmast part of the ship was a cabin, neatly made,
Built of Mahogany, Ebon and Pine; covered with Gold and Jade.
And when the crew glanced up that way, as they hurried by apace,
Framed in the window they could see the Commodore’s placid face.

A tall, stern man was the Commodore, and never known to smile.
Through storm and rain and thundering winds, he was placid all the while.
His face never mirrored a sign of fear, anxiety or alarm;
Whatever the circumstances might be, the Commodore’s face was calm.

The sun was shining bright this day, and the sky was a brilliant blue.
The spindrift sparkled in white and green, and a dazzling emerald hue.
And as the sun began to sink down into the western sea,
The Captain clapped his hands in joy. “We sail tonight!” said he.

The Cook jumped up from his place of rest, the crew left off their games,
They began to rush and bustle about with a hundred different aims.
The Mates began to roar and curse; the Boatswain swained the boats,
And the Cook began to boil a stew of Parsley, Beets and Oats.

The Captain watched the toiling men with happy, piquant eye.
They went at their work with a will and a way, to DO, by gosh, or die.
The Engineer was the only man who loafed among the crew,
For the boat was run by sails alone, and he hadn’t a thing to do.

At last the Mate to the Captain came, politely touching his cap,
And remarking that they were ready to sail, he then curled up for a nap.
And far above this hue and cry, in a window trimmed with lace,
Overlooking this scene of frantic toil was the Commodore’s placid face.

“Ahoy! Ahoy!” the Captain cried. “Avast, my lads! Heave Ho!
Snap to it there, and smartly now! Look sharp about! Let’s go!”
The Boatswain ran to the Captain’s side as quick as a musket shot.
“We’ll do it, sir,” he said, “if you will only tell us what!”

And then, as the sky above was dimmed by the darkening shades of night,
The ship was checked and everything was tied down snub and tight.
The Commodore’s placid face stared down on the crew lined up at the rail,
As the Captain raised his hand and gave order, “Hoist the Sail!”

The night was dark and all was still; the lookout manned his post,
The Captain lounged in his cabin aft, lunching on tea and toast.
When suddenly he sprang erect; his face was white with chill,
For the night was split by an eerie shriek – sharp, high-pitched, and shrill.

The Captain was astounded; his perplexity was great.
He ran around in circles and a backward figure of eight.
Then out of the night and into his room the Navigator rushed.
His face was white with terror, and his voice was choked and hushed.

“Oh, sir! We’re doomed! We’re lost!” he said. “We all shall perish!” cried he,
“A curse is on us all,” he wailed. “The ship sailed on a Friday.”
“No, no, my lad,” the Captain said, “It’s quite all right, I know.
“We sailed upon a Thursday, ‘cause the calendar said so.”

The Navigator fell to the floor. He wailed and kicked his feet.
“The International Date Line, sir, we crossed last year with the fleet.
We gained a day when we crossed the Line, and because of the South Seas trip,
While it’s Thursday for all England, it is Friday for the ship!”

The Captain’s face turned white with fear; he jerked and spilled his tea.
“The word will get around,” he said. “The crew will mutiny!”
And sure enough, as quick as light, the word went whizzing roun’,
That the ship had sailed on Friday and was cursed, and would go down.

Some of the crew were seen to blanch, and some to grit their teeth.
Two of the crew raised up the stove and crawled in underneath.
The frightened Cook to a lifeboat ran, leaving the stew to burn,
When all of a sudden the Watch cried “HO! I see a Thing astern!”

A few of the men ran back to the stern, but most of them ran to the bow.
And one man made a slim excuse to crawl to the tip of the prow.
The Captain and Mates peered out abaft and faintly could discern
A dim, tremendous, threatening Shape, looming far astern.

The Coxwain jittered, and wiggled his nose in whitefaced, trembling fear,
While the Third Mate scrooched his mouth around and bit his own left ear.
The Cook began to screech and wail, the Boatswain paced the floor,
When suddenly the Captain cried, “Be calm! Like the Commodore!”

The racket stopped; the ship was struck by silence, still and soft,
While forty eyes turned upward to that cabin far aloft.
And there above them, looking down, the men could faintly see,
The placid face of the Commodore, as calm as he could be.

“Oh, see how calm,” the Captain said, “The Commodore appears.
He weeps not, neither does he wail. He has no childish fears!
His placid eye rebukes us all, and seems to say, ‘For shame!
You are sailors of the Buttercup; be worthy of the name!’

“Gaze on that noble face, my men, no fear will you detect.
He has no craven cowardice, he’s a man of Intellect!”
A wave of courage swept the crew that they’d never felt before,
And with one accord they gave three cheers! Three cheers for the Commodore!

The men began to laugh and talk, and some began to sing,
And one man stuck his tongue out at the dim and misty Thing.
The Captain chid them gently, and remarked with impish rue,
That they’d better stop and think a bit; and figure what to do.

The First Mate said in a loud, clear voice that, as far as he could see,
It seemed to him, that is, if all was what it seemed to be,
In case the circumstances changed, there still remained a question.
And the Crew was lost in thought a while, considering his suggestion.

When suddenly the Captain cried, “We’re not unarmed, you know!
Let’s load the gun and fire it at this Thing to show it so!”
With a hearty cheer the men leaped up and rushed to load the gun,
Happily shouting that now, by gosh, they’d have a bit of fun.

Powder was brought; the gun was cleaned, the primer hole was fused,
The Third Mate chuckled happily, and the Captain was amused.
When suddenly a horrible fact was noticed by them all –
They had forty pounds of powder, but they didn’t have a ball!

Despair set in; the men all moaned in misery, dark and dismal.
But the Engineer shed a ray of light into the night abysmal.
A dour Scot, MacWhack by name, the men had always banned him,
For he spoke with such an accent, they could hardly understand him.

But now he spoke the sentence that would change his life forever,
For the men all changed towards him then, and thought him wise and clever.
“Hoo weel ye ken,” he started in, “A hae na ony worrk,
Gin yon vessel has nae engines. But A didnae wush tae shirrrrk,

“Sae A has spint ma worrrrkin’ time preparing ferrrr tha day,
When we shud hae an engine – and on this A spint ma pay.
A hae a stock o’ engine parrrrts, and gin ye’ll but gang doon,
An get them, ye kin load yerrrr gun; they’rrr back abaft aboon.”

With another cheer, the men rushed down, and soon came running back,
With buckets full of bolts and parts, and other engine tack.
They fetched the keg of powder out and, pulling out the stopper,
They dumped it all into the gun, to do the job up proper.

Then they began to fill it up with ratchets, gears and cams,
Nuts and valves and boiler plate, with piston rods for rams.
They packed it full and rammed it tight, so it wouldn’t spray out loose,
And the Captain struck a safety match, and touched it to the fuse.

The men all watched as he lit the fuse, with open admiration,
And then they stared at the sizzling fuse, in eerie fascination.
The fuse burnt down to the primer’s hold, and then there came a roar,
A flash of light and a gout of smoke, like they’d never seen before!

And when the smoke had blown away, the men looked aft and cheered,
For the misty, terrifying Thing had completely disappeared.
They walked off laughing happily, with many a merry jest,
And hied themselves to the Fo’c’s’l, to get some well-earned rest.

But, strange to tell, and sad to say, when came the dim, grey dawn,
The Captain peered behind the ship with a face both pale and drawn.
The silent men lined up beside in horrified, sickening shock,
For they’d never cast the hawsers off, and the ship was tied to the dock!

They’d raised the sails and weighed the anchor perfectly, it’s true,
But none had thought to loose the ship, they’d had so much to do.
And the dim, great Thing they’d shot at when they thought they were at sea,
Was the handsome brownstone building which had housed the Admiralty!

The Captain and Crew all shivered and shook, with a nauseating qualm,
But the Commodore, as always, was serene, unruffled, and calm.
Upon his changeless face there showed no signs of doubts or fears,
For the crew had never noticed, he’d been dead for fourteen years.

24th Oct 2005, 12:55
Which means, oddly enough, Farrell, that he is Irish (or his origins were; amounts to the same thing, of course).

Heheheh :p

2 sheds
24th Oct 2005, 12:59
Probably worthwhile to remember Patrick Cargill's immortal line in "Ancock's 'Alf Hour"... "Yes, well we're not all Rob Roys, Mr Hancock".

Alternatively, Ray McCooney (Little Britain) - "If You'd Ask Me On A Monday I'll Say Yeeaassssss..."

tony draper
24th Oct 2005, 13:05
Of course the finest exponent of Scotty speak was a Englishman.
"Lay on MacDuff"


24th Oct 2005, 13:18
Drapes, you must have no problem understanding Scottish, Newcastle is near enough after all!

Onan the Clumsy
24th Oct 2005, 13:25
Can anyone help with Scottish–speak, in the written form of course Can you slur the words? :E

Personally I cannae stabd it when I read books with dialect in them. It slows me down from my already ponderous pace and it never seems real.

Could you perhaps have him say "It'll never work Jim" or "The old girl cannae take it" every couple of paragraphs.

Farrell I saw trainspoting, so I didnae read the book. I did try Porno but was unsuccessfull in completing it. Perhaps I should give it another try.

24th Oct 2005, 13:34
There's as mony Scots dialects (and vocabularies) as there are English. Some are 'easy', others (unless, like Drapes you have co-habited with the authors) are well nigh impossible. Apart from the perceived 'Scots accent' there are complex words (I won't even attempt to stray beyond ween and doe) quite apart from lum and reek. Perhaps those who know could provide a few?


24th Oct 2005, 13:57
Memories, Dr draper, Memories; digressions of course, but the laddies are indulgent and forgive us old bores. I think. Although of the executive branch I was myself chief surgeon in one of Her Majesty's ships. This was because the medicine chest was stowed below my bunk.

Our most grievous injury arose while we were alongside, doubled up fore and aft. The magic hour arrived and with it the glad pipe: "Hands to dinner". The mess party adjourned to the galley and collected the soup for the messdeck, a savoury boiling and seething concoction contained in a large, deep, flat-bottomed vessel.

This they took to the mess-deck and put it, a temporary expedient, on the deck. They announced their arrival, and a matelot in an upper bunk gracefully launched himself towards, as he thought, the deck. Up to a point he was right, but as the greater embraces the lesser, so the deck embraced the soup, in which Jolly Jack arrived but did not linger. He was, as we say, in the soup, or up to the neck in hot water. His downward acceleration had been at 1 G, his exit at a large multiple.

I had him taken ashore for scald treatment. I believe the others took the soup, hardy British Tars as they were.

My impression from that time is that your Jack Tar does not lightly suffer pain. I was summoned by the cry: "Injury on the sweep deck", to which I repaired instantly, expecting to amputate. There I found CPO X.... dancing around in apparent pain, hand held high in the air.

"What is it?" I asked (we medical men soon learn the jargon).
"See! See!" he responded.
"Where? Where?" I riposted, the wittiest I could summon at the moment, but he was an old salt and up to my dodge:
"There! There!".
Sure enough, there was a splinter (or "skelf", in the Scots, just to keep this posting legitimate) of steel from a cable. Held up to the bright sunlight, it could just be seen with the naked eye.

The two of us slid off to the head, a basin of hot water, and a pair of tweezers. It was a tough life. I may just write my memoirs.

Cyclic Hotline
24th Oct 2005, 15:05
Anyone who truly wishes to read a book in true Scottish, lowland English (is there such a thing) should really read Trainspotting. I picked it up at the library, and despite having been checked out lots of times, looked completely new. Once I started reading it, I soon realised why. For anyone unfamiliar with the nuances of any of the Scottish dialects, this would be like reading Klingon!:\

I read a lot of stuff in various dialects, and one of the problems is the lack of an official "language", so the spelling often changes from one writer to another. Likewise, anyone who has travelled around Scotland (and the UK in general) will have noted the entirely different dialect from one town to the next. Want a linguistic challenge? Try a trip around the North-East corner of Scotland!:ok:

We used to train our co-workers in Malaysia to talk in the Doric. You could come to work and be greeted by, "fit lik loon?", and other such niceties.

The highlight though, was a farewell party for one of our colleagues where it was arranged to have a Piper play at the party. The local chief of police arranged for a member of the national pipe band to come and play. The Malaysian piper was indeed an accomplished player, and after completing his duty, came over for a chat with all of us, where he demonstrated his superb command of the English language - in the broadest Glaswegian you ever heard in your life - for that was the only English known to the man who taught him to pipe and talk, a Glaswegian former Black Watch pipe major!

24th Oct 2005, 15:10
From Taggart.

There's bin a grusome mudda in a bugga van!

tony draper
24th Oct 2005, 15:18
The accent of the Northern reaches of Northumberland is nowt like Geordie and has a distinctive burr,but its obvious to anyone with a educated ear tiz not Scottish either, Grandad Munro who was born north of the Wall but had lived in Morpeth Northumberland since sproghood had the Northumbrian rather than Scottish accent, tiz hard to describe such accents.

24th Oct 2005, 15:46
This is getting away even further from the original question. I have not read Trainspotting, but I shall.

Anyone who truly wants to read a masterpiece in Scots should pick up the New Testament in Scots, a translation by the late W L Lorimer of St Andrews University, published about twenty years ago. Mr Lorimer was Reader in Classics at Queen's College, Dundee, for many years. His father was a minister of the Church of Scotland. His mother died very young, and his father hired a succession of housekeepers, all of whom spoke Scots. From them he learned Scots.

His own studies were in Latin and Greek. In WW1 he was commissioned in the Gordon Highlanders. Because of illness he was not sent to France, and spent the War in Intelligence, in which he learned Swedish, Dutch, Frisian, Romaunsch and Roumanian.

He already spoke German, French and Italian. In one piece oif research he had recourse to 72 versions of Jude, Hebrews and James in 14 languages, including 4 Latin, 2 Scots, 22 English, 9 German, 3 Swedish, 4 Danish, 4 Norwegian, 2 Dutch, 2 Flemish,
11 French, 4 Italian, 3 Spanish, 1 Catalan, and 1 Rhaeto-Romaunsch. And so on.

I do not know what quality of man Loose has in mind for his Scottish doctor character. Dr draper has mentioned one Scottish doctor whom he respected. If that is the kind Loose has in mind, he may want to notice a story told by Mr Lorimer. The Laird's daughter was visiting an old lady, bedridden in the village. In her Good Works the young woman tried to persuade the old one to "lift her lines" from the Church of Scotland and move to the Episcopal Church.

The old lady listened in stony silence and at last replied: "Na, Na, Miss Ogilbie; at the Lest Juidgement, Christ'll no speir fat Kirk we belanged tae".

There is a chapter right there for Loose's doctor, and not a "Haw Jimmy" or Harry Lauder in sight. It may even meet Dr draper's strict standards of theology.

24th Oct 2005, 16:13
"Na, Na, Miss Ogilbie; at the Lest Juidgement, Christ'll no speir fat Kirk we belanged tae".

Davvar, what does that mean exactly? I know Kirk is church, but I can't figure out the sentance.

24th Oct 2005, 16:35
OW22, the Episcopal (Anglican) Church (not established by law) and the Church of Scotland (Presbyterian) (established by law) have lived in peaceful coexistence over the past three hundred years or so. Before that, it was non-peaceful coexistence. The Episcopals are much smaller but rather cater to the upper or would be upper and landowning classes. The C of S is bigger but has a less snooty flock. The kind young lady was trying it on a bit in an attempt to win a soul over to the Episcopals from the C of S.

The old lady would have none of it. She said:

"No, No, Miss Ogilvie; at the Last Judgment, Christ will not ask which Church we attended".

Incidentally, after 1776 Episcopals in the USA could not swear the Loyalty Oath to the King as Head of the C of E, and so they could not get bishops ordained in the USA. The good work was therefore done by the Episcopal Church in Scotland, which was not established and did not require the Loyalty Oath.

24th Oct 2005, 16:44
Thanks Davaar, I'm beggininng to love these old Scottish women, they're always the basis of these great stories!

I still remember the one you told about the Scottish lady and the Crooked magistrate!

24th Oct 2005, 17:26
Enough is probably enough, OW22, but since I have the book right here, just the one more about the other old lady who was being encouraged to tell little white lies to some welfare authority. Mr Lorimer's note-book records: "she drew herself up in bed and indignantly retorted:

'I ken brawlie richt bi wrang'.

["I know very well right from wrong"].

Unlike one bit of advice that was tendered to Jerricho. Bed-ridden old ladies seem to have disappeared from the scene, or maybe we just hide them better these days. They were a fixture in my youth (one used to knit me socks when I was in the Navy), as were children with wasted twisted limbs and leg-irons, products of the Depression and malnutrition

Lock n' Load
24th Oct 2005, 19:38
Loose Rivets, you've missed a rather important point. A doctor, by definition, an educated person. They tend also to be upper middle class. Scots of the upper and upper middle classes speak Received Pronounciation. Even if his Scottish accent is a strong one, he'll be careful and precise in his grammar. The most you'll get is the occasional word that an Englishman wouldn't use, "laddie" springing to mind, or the occasional phrase that is idiomatic of Scotland but still grammatically correct.

If you insist on turning you Scottish doctor into a stereotype, your novel will be ruined. No Englishman or American ever did a decent Scottish accent on TV or in a movie (the Canadians struggle to, as in Mike Myers and the chap who played Scotty in Star Trek), and they're even worse at Scottish phrase formation.

B Fraser
24th Oct 2005, 20:14
It exists only in the "Sunday Post"

All you will find in the Sunday Post is kiech. I read it yesterday and given the news that is available to print at the moment, page 7 (or thereabouts) had a story about a guy who grew a pineapple in the Orkneys. Just think of Richard & Judy without the incisive wit :yuk:

Loose Rivets, If you want educated Scots then it is Received Pronunciation with the occasional "aye" and reference to inclement weather as "driech". Anything more will be OTT. All words are carefully chosen with due regard for sentence structure. A Scots doctor will most probably have been taught grammar when still in primary school. Lock (Loch) 'n' Load is absolutely right.

PM me if ye want to hear the genuine article. My rates are unreasonable. :p

Due Southwest
24th Oct 2005, 20:20
Or there's always the Scots Wikipedia, with bits on 'writin Scots' and a 'Scots-English-Scots Dictionar'.


24th Oct 2005, 20:24
Would you venture so far, Fraser, as allow of the chance, in dialogue between The Doctor and OW22, that the former would archly invite the latter to "A gless o' the Auld Kirk"; and if so, what would the gless contain? We are into the advanced class now, 21st century equivalent of the 19th century elision
"Will ye partake?" (partake of what? unspecified? unnecessary!) in J M Barrie.

B Fraser
24th Oct 2005, 20:35
a wee nippie sweetie !

24th Oct 2005, 20:36
National Service, 1950. I was in a 26-man billet with 25 Glaswegians for six weeks. What an education and a gateway to a fuller life for a lad from the industrial north of England. What a remarkably warm bunch they were. One man with whom I became freinds with was the wonderfully anti-establishment, erudite Jimmy Reid of Govan Shipyards fame. I was always baffled by such phrases as, "Where ye stayin?" and ,"I dunno but..."

24th Oct 2005, 21:16
Well I've certainly learned a lot about Scotland since I';ve read these threads! Doing a Google on a "gless o' the Auld Kirk" has thrown up many results.

One is a charming looking hotel called "The Auld Kirk." The location alone sounds wonderful. It is in "The village of Ballater which lies below the imense backdrop of the Coyles of Muik and Lochnager, in Royal Deeside. "


I also came across The Kilbirnie Auld Kirk, (St. Brigid's Chirch, Kilbirnie) Says there's been a church there since 500AD


I've also learned aboput Scottish cooking!

"Peace and plenty; and no killing;
Beef at a groat, and meat at a shilling.
Whisky for nothing, beer at the same.
A bonnie wee wife; and a cosy wee hame."

Breakfast and tea have a special place in Scottish cooking, and the visitor who might think of these meals as something light has another think coming. It was Dr. Samuel Johnson who wrote: ‘If an epicure could remove by a wish in quest of sensual gratification, he would breakfast in Scotland.’ Oatmeal is still a staple of the national diet, and certainly most of the older people start the day with a bowl of porridge, flavoured with salt, not sugar, please. Then come the soft warm rolls known as baps, kippered herring from Loch Fyne or smoked haddock (‘smokies’) from Aberdeen and Arbroath, scones and oatcakes with heather honey, jams, jellies and marmalade, claimed by Scots as their own invention. Tea is the occasion for another mammoth spread of cold meats and eggs, potato scones, crunchy shortbread and such delicacies as Dundee cake, a fruity concoction strewn with almonds.

And of course I've read about the Burns Supper...

During the Selkirk Grace and right before plunging into the Haggis,

‘An’ cut you up wi’ ready slight
Trenching your gushing entrails bright
Like onie ditch.’

I also read about something called Whiskey and potash?? :confused:

Loose rivets
24th Oct 2005, 22:25
For black American Irish Jewish welsh characters, with Scottish blood
"Beggorah! look you! know what I'm saying already, Jimmy"


While the Third Mate scrooched his mouth around and bit his own left ear.

Priceless. :}

Little did I think at 04:00 this am that I would get such a response to my question/request.

Tis now 14:17 and I have just thrown off my blanket ( it's a freezing 76f in me office) and headed for the fridge and me beer glass with its Red Lion etchings. (Conveyed to Texas with the landlord's permission I hasten to add.)

Mexican beer is quite pleasant, and with a thread like this running, I'll sip me ale-substitute and imagine I'm in the pub chatting to the diverse collection of folk that it was my pleasure to spend lunchtimes with this summer.

The thing about writhing a book is that characters just appear. They take on such form and character that when it becomes obvious that they should be dispensed with, it's like committing murder.

J K Rowling once said to the film production crew, (something like) "I don't think that colour exists in XXXX" and that's how it is.

To me these people exist, after all I have lived with some of them for over 25 years, and now that I at last have time (or perhaps finally gained the self discipline) to sit at the computer for hundreds of hours. I am living with characters that are as real as the people in my street. Er, rather more real...I know my characters intimately, all I know about my neighbors is that they are pleasant to the extent that they mow my lawns while I'm in the UK.

But I am duly warned. There is a definite unanimity on the point of ridiculous stereotypes. I have resisted all temptation to have him call my main man ‘laddie', despite the consistent use of ‘aye'.

I sort of like aye. There was the aptly named garage owner, Mr Carr, who lived along the wall a tad from Newcastle. I took my Supra skate-board in to him on one occasion, complaining of strange oddities and a lack of MOTness. During my descriptive sounds about exhaust noise, he simply said ‘aye.' Then he said it again...and again and again. In fact he said nothing else until the end when he said good by...I think. He did a wonderful job for me; no need for complex communication skills when you know your stuff.

Well, must get back to the doctor. He is being questioned about his paper on the Rosenheim phenomenon. His knowledge of such parapsychological disruptions to normal physics, is of great interest to the main character. (I get to the complex stuff in the 21st chapter.):8

24th Oct 2005, 22:42
Sorry Mac. Just a final word. True story, but.

I attended a talk once by the Rev Murdo Ewen Macdonald, MC, who was a chaplain to the 51st Highland Division when they were surrounded at St Valery and captured early in the war. The commandant of the Oflag was a officer of the Old Imperial army, and much respected.

He spoke some English and wanted to learn more. He asked Mr Macdonald to tutor him. Mr Macdonald came from the West Highlands and had a beautiful soft accent, not at all like the quite harsh Doric. English was to him a language he had to learn at school.

The commandant had heard that the King James Version of The Bible contained some of the purest English. Quite so, agreed Mr Macdonald. The Bible was readily available, so they settled on it as their text. The dialogue during inspections thus began to run: "Greetings! How art thou?" and "Verily, verily I say unto thee ...", and so on. Silly boys.

Naturally some of the lads managed to get or make radios, and so listen to the BBC, which was streng verboten, in fact a capital offence. Those with a radio would shout the news around the compounds in Gaelic, which was a great mystery to the Germans.

One day, Mr Macdonald was invited for coffee with the commandant. This was unusual, but it was a command performance, so off he went, wondering what lay behind it.

With the commandant was an SS officer, plus coffee and cake. The three of them had a pleasant sip and chat in English. How were things in the camp? Not too bad, we hope? Food all right? As comfortable as can be expected? Too bad they can't keep up with the news. Well, Well, war is war, of course! Good! Good! and so on.

They were cleary approaching the end, with the mystery unresolved. Then the SS officer broke into fluent Gaelic, said how much he had enjoyed the meeting, and hoped that Mr Macdonald would not get himself into any trouble.

And they say the Germans have no sense of humour!

25th Oct 2005, 01:45
>The accent of the Northern reaches of Northumberland is nowt like Geordie and has a distinctive burr,but its obvious to anyone with a educated ear tiz not Scottish either, Grandad Munro who was born north of the Wall but had lived in Morpeth Northumberland since sproghood had the Northumbrian rather than Scottish accent, tiz hard to describe such accents.

And a few miles away at Ashington the language is even more unfathomable (Pitmatic).
Man goes into barbers and asks for a perm. Barber responds with "I wandered lonely as a cloud . . . "

Loose rivets
25th Oct 2005, 05:12
.............thing about writhing a book is that..............

Did I say that? Oh my. Oh dear oh dear. Better stick to writhing about pissed...I do it better. :E

25th Oct 2005, 07:12
...marmalade, claimed by Scots as their own inventionWell it would be, what with all those orange groves in the warmer parts of the highlands... :hmm:

B Fraser
25th Oct 2005, 08:56
The story goes that a Spanish ship berthed in Dundee while sheltering from a North Sea storm. Mrs Keiller bought the cargo of Seville oranges and another Scots invention was born.

the warmer parts of the highlands... The Bute banana harvest was a right stoater this year :D

25th Oct 2005, 13:13
Isle of Bute:
The climate benefits from the Gulf Stream with relatively mild winters; imagine tropical gardens as far north as Anchorage in Alaska. Palm trees grow well but no coconuts or dates and the wild rhododendrons which grow in profusion do particularly well and add to the natural beauty throughout the region.

25th Oct 2005, 13:20
>Isle of Bute:

For Downunders read 'Isle of Beaut!'

And there's Mulligan's Tyre . . .

25th Oct 2005, 16:41
Irvin Welsh does it very well in his book....Trainspotting.

Sadly ah coodny be airsed wi readin the hale hing like...

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