Sunday, May 29, 2016 Today's Featured Post

Spik Doric: Lesson 96

Sclabdadder. Concrete noun. A huge and unmanageable item. Emphasis on the second syllable (sclabDADder). I first encountered this Doric word after my grandfather spotted the eight-year-old me trying to eat what in [...]
Farmers voting for Brexit

Farmers voting for Brexit

I had an interesting chat the other day with a farmer. I have known him for many years, and while we often disagree about our politics, our attempts to persuade each other are always good-natured and we agree on most other things. I find him highly entertaining company. He had taken a break from afternoon’s work and […]

Coping with oil-industry collapse

Coping with oil-industry collapse

We went out for lunch at a restaurant in Aberdeen a couple of Fridays ago. It seemed remarkably quiet compared to the last time we were there in 2013. The waiter, a bright and breezy lad in his late 20s, hit exactly the right tone of attentiveness, friendliness and efficiency without being overly matey. As […]

Spik Doric: Lesson 95

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 noticed that my new boss, Features Editor Ron Knox, had a four-drawer filing cabinet. I forget what the labels on the top three drawers were, but the […]

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 […]

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