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Spik Doric: Lesson 99

Spik Doric: Lesson 99

Pooch. Concrete noun, transitive verb. A pocket, to salt away. Rhymes with mooch. Nothing to do with dogs, this is the Doric word for a pocket. A pair of trousers without decently deep pooches or a decent number of pooches is not a proper pair of trousers. Pooch doesn’t just apply to tailoring, however. If […]

Spik Doric: Lesson 98

Spik Doric: Lesson 98

Saps. Common noun. A mix of torn bread/buns and warm milk. Pronounced exactly as it looks. There was almost a ritual belief throughout northern Scotland in the first half of the 20th century and before in the restorative powers of a bowl of stale bread or buns soaked in warm milk. Saps were the first resort of grandmas […]

Wullie and Dode at the vet

Wullie and Dode at the vet

Wullie and Dode discovered one morning that another two of their pet rabbits had died in the night and that three more were looking poorly. “That’s it,” Wullie told Dode; “we’ve lost 45 rubbits this past fortnicht. We’d better mak an appointment tae see the vet.” The vet took them into the consulting room where […]

Spik Doric: Lesson 97

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 […]

When funerals lift the spirits

When funerals lift the spirits

One of the depressing things about the years flying by is that you find yourself hauling the funeral suit out of the wardrobe more often than you used to. Mrs Harper has noticed this increasing frequency, too, and her theory now is that as soon the crisp white funeral shirt is ironed, someone else shuffles off the […]

Frank's theory returns to haunt us

Frank’s theory returns to haunt us

I had a sub-editor colleague at The Press and Journal in the late 1970s who was so famously cantankerous that people used to provoke him deliberately for entertainment on a slow evening. Let’s call him Frank. Most of it was low-grade grumbling about the state of the world, the inanity of celebrity and so forth. Truly spectacular […]

Spik Doric: Lesson 96

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 English would be called a doorstep sandwich. According to family legend, my little hands were trying to keep the entire assembly in ae bit, and the […]

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 […]

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