Episode 10 Blethering Scots


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Episode 10

Sanjeev Kohli takes a humorous look at Scots insults and feels the language is a powerful linguistic tool - especially in comedy.


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Transcript


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Here's a Scots word I'm fond of

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that's still very much in circulation.

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It's an old Scots word with Germanic roots.

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"Boak" as in "dry boak", as in "the heaves",

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as in, "That's giving me the dry boak."

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-HE RETCHES

-Yeah?

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Here are three things that give ME the dry boak.

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A hair in my porridge.

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HE RETCHES

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A fried egg in my porridge.

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HE RETCHES

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Actually, just porridge.

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HE RETCHES

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TOILET FLUSHES

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I like "boak" because it's expressive. It's onomatopoeic.

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It sounds like what it is. Go on. Try vomiting without going "boak".

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See?

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I like "Giving me the dry boak" - there's a wonderful rhythm about it.

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"You're giving me the dry boak, you're giving me the dry boak, you're giving me the dry boak."

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In fact, many of my favourite Scots expressions have this wonderful rhythm about them.

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For example, "I could eat the scabby heid aff a wean,"

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which means you're so hungry that you could eat the scarred head off a child.

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"I could eat the scabby heid aff a wean" - it's practically hip-hop.

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HE BEATBOXES

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I could eat the scabby heid aff a wean

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Eat the scabby heid aff a wean

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Sca-sca-scabby

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Heid aff a wean

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Eat the scabby heid aff a wean.

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It's not just the rhythm, though.

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It's the succinctly presented, yet highly loaded, visual images.

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Here's a belter - "Away and bile yer heid",

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which means, "Go forth and boil your head".

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That's pretty hardcore, isn't it?

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They're not asking you simmer a finger or lightly saute your chin.

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They're asking you to actually boil your entire dome.

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And to do it yourself, to lower your own head into a large pan of salted, boiling water.

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That is a pretty compelling image, is it not?

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I'm sorry, I can't... I can't do it.

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Can't do it.

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And what about, "I could eat the scabby heid aff a wean"?

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Imagine - you're so ravenous that you're poised there,

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hovering with your fork and knife over a child's head.

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And not just a child's head, but one that's flecked with crusty scar tissue.

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Well, no need to imagine. Here's a wean.

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Here's "the heid aff a wean".

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Here are all the scabs.

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I've not eaten for three days, so I'm about to eat the scabby heid

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aff a wean. Here we go.

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I think I'll start with a cheek.

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That was rare. Oh, scab.

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Now, one of my very, very favourite Scots expressions is,

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"Your coat's on a shoogly peg."

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"Shoogly" - one of those great Scots words that sounds like what it means.

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Shoogly, shaky. Precarious. Shoogly.

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And if your coat's on a shoogly peg, well, you're on thin ice, pal.

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Things are very, very finely balanced.

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It could all come crashing down at any minute,

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like a live action game of Buckeroo.

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You got chocolate all over that lovely expensive jumper.

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It was your sister's jumper, but...

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It was your sister's chocolate.

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I'm afraid I'm going to have to ask you to leave now.

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It would seem that consumption of a child's head was inappropriate,

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even in the interests of illustrating the lovely Scots language.

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Anyway, cheery-bye the noo and lang may your lum reek.

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Oh. Lang may your lum reek.

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Lang may your lum reek.

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Lang may your lum reek.

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I said lang may your lum reek! Awreet?

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Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

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