Hunner Wird Challenge

Fitna excitin! There wis a lion at ma door iss mornin afore A’d even ae cornflake inno ma mou! Nae a rael lion, richt eneuch. It wis jist ma cattie, wintin in fir a haet up. Faan A openit the door, oor Elsie fair dauncit he wis that hungert. Nae cereal fir him, nor yet parritch. He gets Go cat ilka day an tuna ilka nicht. Mine, iss mornin ma man wis makin his peece faan I opent aat door. The ham wis oot! It didna staun a chance. Oor Elsie wid aet ham tae the beat o a drum!


Aprile is the coorsest month

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

A wis spikkin tae a wifie nae sae lang syne faa pyntit oot foo direct Scots is. Her example wis the English, ‘it’s raining cats and dogs’ – flooery, evocative an metaphorical. Scots disnae yaise as mony wirds. ‘It’s bucketin’ is a shorter wye o sayin it. Sae is ‘hale watter’. Bit ye ken, thir are baith fair flooery, evocative an metaphorical an aw.

Tae gang awa fae the wither (fir peetie’s sake wi maun ga’wa fae it files!) a fair puckle o Scots is afa metaphorical, ye ken. Billy Kay is fair tricket that ‘wapinschaw’, a term meanin ‘muster’ thit he thocht wis lang deid, is bein yaised in Ayrshire fir bowlin gaitherins. Fit a graan metaphor thon!

Lowsin time and yoking time are baith wirds ma faither yaised ilka wirkin day. Bit as a jyner he nivver hid tae tie horses tae a ploo nor yet lowse them. Foo mony wirkin Scots yaise thay terms withoot minin, or kenning, far they come fae?

Ma mither aye telt ma A hid a ‘tongue that wid clip cloots’. A dinnae ken thit it’s oany less insultin than being telt tae ‘whisht!’ (forbye it hid the same result). In Dundee, fowk telt ye they’ll ‘nae miss her an hit the wa’ – she’s an afa besom, so she is. Fit a rehr image thon! An of course, we hae anither metaphor there an aw, as weel yaised as tae hae bin forgotten: the witch’s besom is bein yaised as synecdoche – the pairt fir the hale. Ilka time ye cry a bodie a ‘besom’ yer likenin her tae a witch.

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?

Coorse? nae fan we hae sic bonnie heather!
Coorse? nae fan we hae sic bonnie heather!

Yalla Photies

A’m nae affa sure A’v unnerstood iss richt. Bit here’s ma gallery o yalla photies.

Mair Nouns

Maist o fit A hiv tae say aboot nouns can be fun bi readin If Mairch Comes in Lik a Lamb: Bit A hiv a twa-three mair thingies tae add.

Collective nouns can be afa guid fun. Ye can mak up yer ain fir a lauch, files. Bit some o the rale anes are super tae. An they can be fun an aw. A’m afa taen bi the ane thit’s gaun aboot Facebook. It’s a pictur o twa craws wi the caption “attemptit murther”. Ma best ane in Inglis is “a charm of goldfinches”. E Scots wid be “a chairm o gowdspinks” or mebbies a “cantrip”. Thinkin aboot aat gaured ma winner: are we spikkin magic faan we say “charm” or the ither sense o being fair taen wi something? The Inglis gies baith senses. Dis the Scots?

Onywye, Chris Robinson suggests a wee hole in e grammar wi collective nouns. Thir singular things, grammatically spikkin. So, “the cantrip o gowdspinks wis atten e seeds.” Bit gin A’m wintin tae suggest thir actin mair alane-like, A cuid say: “the cantrip of gowdspinks were fleein aw wye.” Iss draws attention tae the individuals ino the group, div ye see?


The hinnermaist thing A’v tae say aboot nouns is aboot Proper Nouns. Aye, they’re the anes thit aye need a capital letter – same as in Inglis. A wis fair trickit in a skweel nae sae lang syne faan aw the bairns wintit tae ken fit the Scots version o their names wis. Afa disappintin fir them thit the maist o them were as Scots as they were ivver gaun tae be. Bit Dauvit and Rabbie wir chuffed. A micht hae wished fir a Dod an a Beldie!

Bit there’s nae aye gaun tae be a different wird ino Scots – fir ony noun, proper or nae, or ony ither pairt o speech aither. Sib leids are gaun tae share wirds. It wid be fine tae yaise some o the different proper nouns files though. A’m awa tae Glesca the morn an Aiberdeen neist wik. Fitan eese if there wir signs sayin thon at the stations!

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 on GLOW.