Tag Archives: scotslanguage

Dinnae be a fairdiegowk, give the Into Film newsletter a wee read.

Well hello there!

Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin.

Do you know what a fairdiegowk is? Or a craiture? 

Fairdiegowk is now my new favourite Scots word. Sorry Bahookie, you’ve been skelped by a superior word.

My love for this new word is thanks to the amazing Gruffalo’s Child event that was held on 9th March at Dundee Contemporary Arts. This event, created and presented In partnership with Education Scotland, saw nearly 200 young people immersed in the world that is The Gruffalo in Scots.

First off the children watched the original version of the film and although it is written in English, it was great to hear the dulcet Scottish tones of Robbie Cultrane as the Gruffalo and the incredible soft Scottish lilt of Shirley Henderson as the Gruffalo’s child. (In quite a departure from her Happy Valley role!)

After watching the film the young people were treated to not one, but TWO readings from Matthew Fitt. The children really loved these readings, the first in Scots and the second in Dundonian. The Dundonian version had  been written by Matthew and had never before been heard by an audience. It was a real world first. The children thought it was “affy braw” to hear about the dietary likes of the “muckle mad moose”, which includes Gruffalo cake and Gruffalo bridies from Greggs.

After the readings the Children went through some of the differences in Language with Education Scotland and were then able to use this knowledge of Scots Language and use it to write a review of the film.

It was a brilliant day, enjoyed by adults and children alike.

Well that was our week, we have other things happening as well, but none as “teckle” as this.

Well not this week.

Next week, however, is another matter entirely.

I hope you have enjoyed this week’s story from Into Film in Scotland.

Please keep reading if you would like to know how to use film as part of National Careers Week and to hear more about the new film Hail, Caesar!

Best wishes,


Jo Spence is part of the Education Team at Into Film Scotland

Find out more here: Into Film Newsletter

Lik A Dug at Yule…/Like A Dog at Christmas…

Matthew Fitt said it in his column the ither wik, the 3-18 Literacy an English Review said it in April (see fir yersels: read Review here) an the ither Education Scotland Scots Language Co-ordinators an I hiv said it mony times: Scots is nae jist fir Burns Nicht – it shid be fir aw the year.

Bit Scots is celebrated mair aroon Januar, an aye will be, likely. So fit hiv scuils, dominies, bairns an weans been daein in Scots iss last filie?

Weel, A hid a graan time at Fyvie Scuil in Aiberdeenshire on the 25th itsel. Mrs McNab’s P3/4 his been studyin their local Doric, comparin it tae mair general Scots and Orcadian Scots. Their focus, gin ye hinnae jaloused it, his been The Gruffalo, an some o the owersettins we noo hiv. The bairns his been doon in the widds, biggin hoosies fir a wheen o different beasties, an scrievin aboot it in bonnie Scots. We hid an affa fine lesson redraftin their scrievins an learnin mair names fir ither craiturs.

That wis the foreneen. In the aifterneen, A wis at Dales Park Scuil in Peterheid fir their Scots event. A wheen o affa talented bairns recitit poetry in Scots fir a panel o judges. There wis music, singin and dancin, fine maet an guid cheer. Fitin fine!

The fun stertit the wik afore at Kirktonholme Scuil in Sooth Lanarkshire. They invitit the first Scots Scriever, Hamish MacDonald, in tae wirk wi their weans. Ye can read mair aboot fit gied on here Scriever in Daily Record.

Poet Stuart Paterson wis at Udston Primary in Sooth Lanarkshire on the Widinsday o Burns Wikk tae wirk wi fower classes on Scots. ‘It was braw,’ he telt ma.

Puckles o scuils hiv risen tae the Weans Wurds challenge. Some o them hiv been postin wordles an word leets on oor Scots Learners’ site on Glow. Hae a lookie at fit they hiv been daein in Mrs Gallagher’s class at Cargenbridge in Dumfries an Gallowa and Mrs Hampton’s class at Kingswells in Aiberdeen.

At Banff Primary, they yaised numeracy an Scots tae draaw a haggis tae the roll o the dice. Ye can find Haggis Drive resources on the Scots Learners’ site and inno The Blether.

Mr Lind’s class at Newhill Primary in Perth and Kinross his been comparin Scots wi Inglis an French. Ye can see some o the links they fund onno The Blether. St Michael’s Primary Scuil in Dumfries an Gallowa hiv taen this a thochtie farrer wi their Auld Alliance Day. Iss wis a hale day o activities aboot Scots an French an the links atween them. Vive la difference!

St Pius Primary in Dundee spent the hale o Burns wikk gaitherin performances tae pit on fir parents an freens the follaein wikk. A Scots extravaganza!

Scriever Kirktonholme 5


Matthew Fitt said it in his column the other week, The Literacy and English Review said it in April (see for yourself: read Review here) and the other Education Scotland Scots Language Co-ordinators and I have often said it: Scots is not just for Burns Night – should be for all year.

But Scots is celebrated more around January, and probably always will be. So what have schools, teachers and learners been doing in Scots over the last little while?

Well, I had a wonderful time at Fyvie School in Aberdeenshire on the 25th itself. Mrs McNab’s P3/4 has been studying their local Doric and comparing it with more general Scots and with Orcadian Scots. Their focus, if you have not guessed, has been The Gruffalo and some of the translations now available. The learners have been visiting the woods, building homes for a variety of different animals, and writing about it in beautiful Scots. We had a lovley lesson redraftin their writing and learning more names for other creatures.

That was in the morning. In the afternoon, I visited Dales Park School in Peterhead for their Scots event. A large group of very talented youngsters recited poetry in Scots for a panel of judges. There was music, singing and dancing, good food and good cheer. How lovely!

The fun started the week before at Kirktonholme School in South Lanarkshire. They invited the first Scots Scriever, Hamish MacDonald, to work with their learners. You can read more about what happened here Scriever in Daily Record.

Poet Stuart Paterson was at Udston Primary in South Lanarkshire on the Wednesday of Burns Week to work with four classes on Scots. ‘It was braw,’ he told me.

Several schools have risen to the ‘Weans Wurds’ challenge. Some have posted wordles and word lists on our Scots Learners’ site on Glow. Have a look at what they have been doing in Mrs Gallagher’s class at Cargenbridge in Dumfries and Galloway and Mrs Hampton’s class at Kingswells in Aberdeen.

At Banff Primary, they used numeracy and Scots to draw a haggis at the roll of the dice. You can find Haggis Drive resources on the Scots Learners’ site and in The Blether.

Mr Lind’’s class at Newhill Primary in Perth and Kinross has been comparing Scots with English and French. You can see some of the links they discovered on The Blether. St Michael’s Primary School in Dumfries and Galloway have gone a bit further with this with their Auld Alliance Day. This was a whole day of activities about Scots and French and the links between them. Vive la difference!

St Pius Primary in Dundee spent the whole of Burns week gathering performances to put on for parents and friends the following week. A Scots extravaganza!


Latest Resources in the Scots Blether

The following new resources have been added recently:

  • Poppy Scotland: Tae and Toast and a Blether in Scots information
  • PowerPoint: Unit 1 of Scots Language Award from Nicola Daniel
  • Whar’s Wattie materials
  • Stage folders for resources: Early years, Primary and Secondary
  • Materials from Aberdeen Literacy Leaders’ meeting May 2015
  • Materials from Strathclyde University PGDE workshop May 2015
  • Materials from UWS workshop May 2015
  • Masel word mat
  • Teaching ideas on “Mister Mank,” by Angus Glen
  • Materials from ASLS Conference on Sir Walter Scott
  • June folder in Resources

Jyne quick tae be freen 99 or 100! http://bit.ly/scotsblether Edinburgh Castle

Tae an Toast and a Blether in Scots

Tae and Toast 9Kirtonholme Primary School in South Lanarkshire hosted the first event of this kind this morning. A packed room full of faimlie and freens was treated to weans sharing their learning about both the First and Second World Wars. Pupils from Mrs McLaughlin’s P4/5 and Mr Constable’s P5/6 read, recited, acted and sang in English, Scots and even a little German. Scots is an integral part of the learning in the school – within literacy and beyond. The pleasure and engagement on the faces of everyone involved was plain to see.

Invited guests gave donations to Poppy Scotland in exchange for tea, toast, entertainment and a guid blether. Learners themselves explained the work of the charity with a clarity which was praised by Stephen Shires of Poppy Scotland.

Want to host your own event? Find details at: http://bit.ly/scotsblether.


Thanks to Poppy Scotland for this picture.


New Resources in the Scots Blether

The following new resources can be found at The Blether:

Susan Rennie’s Scots Books for Bairns: text of Sweetieraptors and Animal ABC

Romans Scots resource list

May resource folder

Space Scots resource list

Stars and wishes stickers – not Doric

100 Key Scots words

  • Orkney
  • Doric
  • Shetland
  • West Central

We have 80 freens – why nae jyne us? http://bit.ly/scotsblether



Thochts on Scots

‘Aprile is the coorsest month.’ TS Elliot didna scrieve in Scots, richt eneuch, bit the personification dis gaur ma think oan foo metaphorical wir leid is.

A wifie A wis spikkin tae nae sae lang syne pyntit oot foo direct Scots is. The English, ‘it’s raining cats and dogs’ is flooery, evocative an metaphorical. Scots disnae yaise as mony wirds: ‘It’s bucketin’ or ‘hale watter’. Bit ye ken, thir are baith fair flooery, evocative an metaphorical an aw.

Maet gie’s us an afa lot o guid images. A fine smell ‘gangs roon ma hairt like a hairy worim’ and a fine taste is a ‘histe ye back’. Noo dinna tell ma ‘moreish’ says as muckle. We yaise metaphor tae name wir maet tae: flees’ cemeteries, bowler hatties, sair heidies and pokie hats. Fine seein A’v a sweet tooth!

Fit metaphorical wirdies his ticklit you, A winner?


Thochts on Scots

Liff Primary Schuil in Angus markit Scots Literacy Wik nae lang syne. The bairns aw hid lessons in Scots an a wheen o ither guid activities. At the eyne o the wik, the aulder bairns performit in Scots tae the wee anes. Goldilocks and Sheena Blackhall’s story “The Punnie” featurit.

The maist interestin pairt o it aw, fir me, wisnae that the bairns hid sae muckle fun: we hiv lang kent fit plissure Scots can gie bairns, even them that dinnae hae Scots ava. A wis maist taen wi the fact that dozes o the bairns said they wid hiv likit tae hiv acted oot James Bond or Annie, Frozen or Maleficent. These bairns see the relevance o Scots. They wis askin fir their favourites inno their ain leid.

Fitan eese it wid be if there wis Scots versions o modren, contemporary films, as weel as buiks!


Thochts on Scots

If Mairch comes in lik a lamb, it’ll gang oot lik a lion. Weel, St Dauvit’s Day wis blawie an coorse wi his: mebbie Voar is aboot here an the hinner eyne o Mairch’ll be fine.

An afore ye stairt: I ken “Voar” isnae a wirdie fae Doric. Its ane o ma twa new nouns an comes fae Shetlan. The ither ane is “guddick” – anither Shetlan noun fir a riddle or a heid-twister.

Ono the face o it, nouns in Scots wirk richt lik nouns in Inglis. Ilkane’s a thing. They are awye. Ye cannae gang wrang wi them. Subject, object, concrete an abstract, coont or mass: aw fairly straicht forrit. Fit’s e noun daein? Or fit’s it bein? Fit’s it haein daen till it? Can ye touch it or is it aw in yer heid? Dae ye missur it bi nummer or bi foo muckle ye hae?

Bit Scots aye his the pooer tae begake. We hae ae ee: Inglis “an eye”. And baith yer een mak an irregular plural: mair like “children” than the maist o wir plurals fit tak “s”, or “es”. The kind o plural A’m maist trickit wi is the like o “reef”. Aw the hooses hiv slate reefs: nae fashin wi “ves” lik in Inglis.

Possessive nours yaise apostrophes – the verra same as Inglis. The rale guddick is fitna wye aat’s sic a trauchle tae fowk. Thon “mad wee comma things that float abeen the line” (as ae bairn eence cried them tae me) is nae bather tae yaise. Lik Lynne Truss, A’m dementit wi fowk faa cannae, or winnae, lairn tae yaise them richt. It’s nae hard!

A mair unnerstannable cause fir bombazement is the wye a wheen o mass nouns in Scots act lik coont anes. Lik Davie Balfour’s Uncle Ebeneezer, wi can aw hae parritch: “they’re grand food.” Nae that A div, mine. Ma parritch comes in a bowlie or a micht hae a sup o it – singular, on its lane (wi milk an a wee tate saat). Bit fowk faa “pluralise” thir mass nouns lik thon are nae wrang – aat’s guid Scots. An get iss: fish, lik in Inglis, is the plural o the wird fir thon beasts thit sweem. bit only fir the mass noun. If ye can coont them, ye hae sae muckle fishes.

Bit of course we missur nummers differentlike. Ye ken A’m twintie-ane year auld, an it’s taen ma twa oor ti scrieve this. Nae an “s” in sicht! (an less space tae pit an eeseless apostrophe!) Mine, wi hae “days” jist lik in Inglis.IMG_0310

Aye, nouns are graan. A’m a sicht closer tae yaisin Voar ma sivvinteen times so’s it’ll be pairt o ma wirkin vocabulary. An A’m hopin Voar’ll be here, lik a lambkin, afore A’m deen!



Help wi nouns an aw ither grammar can be fun in A Modren Scots Grammar bi Christine Robinson, Grammar Broonie bi Susan Rennie and on http://bit.ly/scotsblether on GLOW.