Spik Doric: Lesson 97


Guts. Verb, common noun. To consume to excess, a gourmand. Pronounced exactly as it looks; the same as the English word.

Guts means two different things in Doric, and three if you count the widespread usage of the English definition.

The English word means your own insides or the entrails of an animal. For instance, the butcher removes the guts of a carcass before putting the choicest cuts on sale. A Doric-speaker might also complain of a stomach ache by gripping his midriff after a large meal and crying: “I’ve an affa sair guts.”

Doric shifts this. Guts in Doric can be a verb, meaning to eat to excess, viz:

“Look at Mina ower in the corner, gutsin intae that pile o scones.”

Doric’s second usage of guts, as a common noun meaning someone who can’t stop eating, would also apply to Mina. “She eats that mony scones; she’s jist a guts.”

Most young Doric-speakers would now refer to the inside of anything as the guts. “Wullie’s ficherin aboot amon the guts aneth his car bonnet.” (William is busying himself with a detailed reconstruction of his automobile’s engine.)

Older Doricists, however, will use the word intimmers. “Ma man disna look the road o me nooadays. He’s aye oot in his shed in the intimmers o somethin.” (My husband pays me no affectionate attention any more. He is usually to be found in his workshop focusing on something intricate.)

Intimmers is an old boatbuilding expression. The intimmers were the interior timbers which gave the boat its structure.


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  1. michael burton says:

    Hi Norman,
    Did you ever check the words of Mcgintys meal and ale.
    Considering I was born in Aberdeen I still remember many of the words you talk about ,did I tell you my great grandfathercame from Moray civil parish of Dallas and on the other side his future wife came from Monquhitter,that was as far as I could find out without A spending fast sums , or actually visiting the churches in question..
    I actually went back toabout 1781 but hit a brick wall.Someday I will take my wife on a trip to Aberdeenshire and Moray of course (just to see the scenery )
    I may dissapear to several churches now and again

  2. Ron Spence says:

    A common word in Orkney too. My Mum would say, ‘You’re a greedy guts’. This would be after I had eaten the pile of scones. Its use as a verb was rarer.

  3. Avril Spence says:

    What a joy to read something lightsome like this after the doom, gloom and scaremongering of the last few weeks. The spellchecker doesn’t like “lightsome”!

    Intimmers isn’t a word I use but do I do recognise it. Now I just have to figure out a way to incorporate it into everyday conversation. (smiley face thing)

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