Sunday, May 01, 2016 Today's Featured Post

Spik Doric: Lesson 95

Orts. Concrete noun. Bits and pieces, odds and ends. Rhymes with “sorts”. Not long after I transferred from The Press and Journal newsroom to the Features Department in 1981, I [...]
Victoria Wood: exceptional

Victoria Wood: exceptional

She was probably Britain’s finest observer and writer of character comedy across the last 40 years. Some have said the finest since Dickens. She had an ear for the ridiculous and unwittingly funny dialogue which trips daily from ordinary souls, and an eye for visual comedy that often touched genius. I have surprised myself by how sad I […]

Not a horror at all

Not a horror at all

This might seem like a location for a horror movie, but I was walking along Berryden Road in Aberdeen and going at a fair clip because it looked as if storm clouds were gathering and I had taken no coat. I glanced across the road and saw demolition work progressing on the old part of the Royal […]

Spik Doric: Lesson 94

Spik Doric: Lesson 94

Marless. Adjective. Not matching. Emphasis on the first syllable: MARless. When there is a close family resemblance between siblings or generations, the Doric phrase is: “He’s jist his faither’s marra”, meaning: “He is simply his father’s double.” Conversely, if something doesn’t match at all, Doric describes it as “marless”. I suppose the closest English meaning is […]

Looking for Doric detectives

Looking for Doric detectives

A few weeks ago, I was approached privately by a reader who wanted to know if I could help her trace the origins of a Doric saying. She had done her detective best, but had drawn a blank. I promised I would enlist the help of the Doric mafia throughout the North-east to see if we […]

Snappy answer for checkout operator

Snappy answer for checkout operator

My aunt was doing her shopping at the Buckie Lidl the other day and witnessed an exchange at the checkout that had everyone in the queue smiling at an object lesson in how to cool a young man’s heels. A woman in her mid-80s had manoeuvred her small trolley up to the till and had found she was dealing with […]

Spik Doric: Lesson 93

Spik Doric: Lesson 93

Stot. Transitive verb, abstract noun, concrete noun. To bounce, a bounce, a castrated two-year-old bullock. Pronounced as it looks, to rhyme with pot. This is one of those Doric words that is learned young, usually in the playground. We don’t bounce a ball, we stot it. When the ball hits the ground and travels up again, that’s […]

Don't let them burst your balloon

Don’t let them burst your balloon

I had to smile the other day when I read a magazine column in which the writer said she had plucked up the courage in middle age to do in public what she had always done only in private: singing. She had been pressured into doing a turn at a charity event, but as the […]

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