Thursday, July 24, 2014 Today's Featured Post

Spik Doric : Lesson 63

Speir. Verb. To ask. Rhymes with “dear”. Here is another poke in the eye for academics who believe that Doric owes its origins to Gaelic. Anyone familiar with Scandinavian languages knows better. Speir [...]
Humour of the countryside

Humour of the countryside

One of our neighbour farmers told me this joke the other day. A laird was striding briskly along a country road in Aberdeenshire and noticed coming the other way a bent old figure shuffling slowly. As they drew closer, the laird realised it was one of his old farm workers, long since retired, and thought he […]

Memories of Old Aberdeen in 1979

Memories of Old Aberdeen in 1979

Old Aberdeen breathes antiquity. I always think the university quarter is tailor-made for film locations. This is Don Street, a continuation of Old Aberdeen High Street and definitely one of the most picturesque and photogenic parts of the city, especially when sunshine warms the stone colour, as it did here on Wednesday, May 9, 1979. The red-tiled house […]

Spik Doric : Lesson 62

Spik Doric : Lesson 62

Sclaik. Abstract noun, intransitive verb. Gossip; to gossip; a gossip. Rhymes with “cake”. This is one of those words which show the difference between Doric dialect and its parent Scots language. A Scots speaker would refer to gossip as “claik”. In Doric, for reasons which I can’t establish, we add a prefix S. Thus, two […]

Enterprise in Crown Street

Enterprise in Crown Street

I was wandering along Crown Street (above) in Aberdeen the other morning, heading specifically for St Mary’s Place. My plan was to soak up some pre-war atmosphere for a new project and, without wishing to be hurtful to the residents of St Mary’s Place, that street is notable because not much appears to have changed in nearly a century. Students […]

Scots at their blunt best

Scots at their blunt best

I was out driving with Mrs Harper the other day and passed a restaurant in the middle of rural Aberdeenshire which promised on a big sign: “Home Cooking”. I started laughing. There was nothing particularly funny about the sign or the restaurant. Instead, the laugh came from the memory of a reader’s letter I received roughly 20 […]

Spik Doric : Lesson 61

Spik Doric : Lesson 61

Rug. Transitive verb. To pull. Pronounced exactly as it looks. Rug, in Doric, has nothing to do with floor coverings or toupées. To rug is to pull, as in: “Rug that cheir ower by the fireside and we’ll hae a news.” (Pull that chair across here by the hearth and let us converse amiably.) I was […]

Farewell, St Nicholas House

Farewell, St Nicholas House

I remember an uproar in the late 1980s about Aberdeen. I think someone at the city council had leaked plans to rip up all the rose bushes on the city’s dual carriageways to try to reduce the annual maintenance budget, which was on the borderline of crippling. The plan caused an outcry because those miles and miles of rose […]

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