Friday, August 01, 2014 Today's Featured Post

Spik Doric : Lesson 64

Stammygaster. Abstract noun. A shock, an unwelcome surprise. Stress the third syllable: stammyGASter. A stammygaster is one of those phenomena that render you speechless temporarily. A really powerful stammygaster will have [...]
Parking problems at the park

Parking problems at the park

There is a minor kerfuffle in Aberdeen at present involving parking, or the lack thereof, at the Duthie Park. Aberdeen City Council has spent huge sums of money in the past 18 months bringing the park up to 21st-century standards. It seems to have been money well spent because suddenly the park, a Victorian bequest […]

Waitress raises the language hackles

Waitress raises the language hackles

We went out for lunch with two of my colleagues recently, and a fine repast it was. I can recommend the place if anyone cares to ask. We have never had a bad meal there and the company, as usual, was excellent: lots of laughs and reminiscences, and three hours passed all too quickly. There was […]

Spik Doric : Lesson 63

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 shares its roots with the Norwegian infinitive “å spørre”. They mean exactly the same: “to ask”. If a Norwegian decides he needs to find out […]

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 […]

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