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-My favourite Scots word is...
He we are again, celebrating the Scots language.
That's right, the Scots don't stop.
We've asked another bunch of well-kent faces to choose
their favourite Scots words, tell us why and celebrate a few others besides.
Foos yer doos.
-Monie a mickle maks a muckle.
-You're nothing but a bunch of chanty wraslers.
Well, I suppose my favourite Scots word would be "jiggered".
How you spell it is another matter, because I'm dyslexic,
But I think it's
Jiggered. That looks like it.
Three-time Formula One champion and all-time motor-racing legend
Sir Jackie Stewart is one of Scotland's best-loved sports personalities.
In my motor-racing days, I'd lose about seven,
maybe sometimes eight pounds in weight just being dehydrated.
Came out of a Formula One car after a race, I'd be jiggered.
So, Jackie has been more jiggered than most people.
In 1966, whilst giving it laldie at the Belgian Grand Prix,
he came off the track.
Well, I had an accident when it was heavy rain and we had aquaplaning.
That means the water's so thick, the tyres don't go through the water,
they go over the water.
Therefore, the car's no longer in contact with Mother Earth.
I went off the road and I hit a telegraph pole
and a woodcutter's hut.
I broke a collarbone and some ribs and I also had a back injury.
So I was pretty jiggered.
When you are jiggered, you can't do the things you normally do.
You've got to sit down more than you can walk - you're scunnered.
Now, who outside of Scotland would understand the word "scunnered"?
But then again, it's enormously graphic, it's a really strong word.
But it just says how badly you've been affected by something.
So, Jackie won his first Formula One championship in 1969,
but success and fame wasn't always part of his life.
Well, I grew up, of course, in Dumbarton.
I went to the Dumbarton Academy for my schooling,
but unfortunately, I was dyslexic and nobody understood that.
So I was called a dunderheid -
"You're a dunderheid!" - because I couldn't read or write correctly.
It wasn't nice at the time.
But I suppose that drove me in sport
to go and want to reach a higher level.
So, Jackie went on to win an incredible 27 Grand Prix
and received his knighthood in 2001 for services to motor racing.
Suddenly I was good at something. I was no longer a dunderheid.
Good evening, Scotland.
Please welcome your host for the next just under three minutes,
Miss Susan Calman.
My favourite Scots word is "besom".
As a stand-up comedian, I love describing people using language,
and "besom" is one of the best words
to describe a particular type of woman.
It's not a bad word,
but it describes an uppity kind of woman, the kind of woman that
makes you frustrated, the person who takes your seat on the bus,
the person who annoys you, who talks too loudly on trains.
It is usually paired with the phrase "wee" for people like myself.
I'm 4ft 11, exactly the same height as Kylie Minogue.
That's where the similarity ends.
I have one talent being this short, though. It's pretty outstanding.
I can stand up completely straight in the back of a black cab.
COMEDY DRUM ROLL
It really is one of the most unbelievably fantastic words
in the Scots language, and I'm proud to be one.
On stage, Susan uses words and language to make folk laugh
and there are certain Scots words that are particularly funny,
especially when you're talking about the body.
You know, your bits and bobs and that.
Of course, "besom" is not the only descriptive word I like to use.
I'm going to show you some of my favourites,
and to help me out, today I'm joined by my twin sister Maigaret.
Now, I know what you're thinking.
You're thinking, "There's not much of a family resemblance,"
but that's because Maigaret here is slightly more peely-wally,
slightly more pale than I am.
She does, however, have a wonderfully proportioned heid
which she has there.
She's also got a smaller pair than I do, which is good,
because then she can listen to me, of lugs.
We have got a very similar nose, however, a very similar neb.
Different shaped mouth. She's more of a Cupid's bow.
Very different shape - geggies - to each other.
We still talk about the same amount.
She's quiet now, she's just shy, that's why she's not saying anything.
One thing we have in common is our oxters.
We've got the same armpits. You may think, "How do you know that?"
We differ slightly in her queets, her ankles,
are slightly slimmer than mine.
She's got more sports... I've got dancers' legs.
And finally, the family resemblance you will have noticed
between Maigaret and myself, the behouchie, the behind.
We have both have the same lovely behouchie.
So, another brilliantly descriptive Scots word I love using.
Anyway, thanks for watching, everyone.
I've been Susan Calman. Good night!
# Booking tactics
# Getting out the fact sheets
# Love them statistics
# Blink...and you'll miss it. #
As a broadcaster and football pundit,
Stuart Cosgrove has a very wide-ranging Scots vocabulary.
One of my favourite Scots words of all time
is actually the word "baw"...
which can be used in a number of different ways.
Especially, for example, with the word "bag" - so you have the word
-I beg your pardon?!
Now, "baw" is simply the Scots word for a ball.
A "bag" is simply the bag into which a ball might go.
That could be a snooker table,
it could be football, when the ball goes into the net,
but, of course, in Scots language,
and particularly through football, it's been reclaimed
as a Scottish word that kind of means an idiot or a fool,
or someone of disrepute, or someone you can't stand -
they're a bawbag.
Now, there are some people, I must admit this, folks,
there are some people out there with filthy minds
that think it might mean something else, but it doesn't.
It means a fool or an idiot.
A great Scottish word - bawbag.
Working on the radio show Off The Ball, I think, in lots of ways
allows the Scots language to be spoken publicly.
And of course, Scottish football itself is actually populated
over the years with Scots language.
So a really, really poor centre-half is a tumshie. A turnip.
Of course, many Scottish teams take their nicknames from Scots language.
An obvious one would be Arbroath, the Red Lichties from the red light off the coast of Arbroath.
By far and away my favourites is Wick Academy in the north-east of Scotland.
And Wick Academy's nickname is the Scorries.
And Scorries, as I understand it, in the north-east of Scotland,
is the word that they would use linguistically for a seagull.
Scorries. It's just a great word.
It almost has that sense of gutturalness about it
that all great Scots words should have.
My granny used to have this phrase, "Monie a mickle maks a muckle."
Now, that's a real classic, that one. It's about saving up, isn't it?
"Monie a mickle maks a muckle, son." If you keep wee bits of money and you keep them all together,
it'll grow into big money and you'll become rich.
In the 1950s when Stuart was at school,
talking Scots wisnae the done thing.
As a kid growing up, I was aware that
I actually spoke two languages, one in the playground and one in the classroom.
Scots language had actually been something
that had almost been criminalised within the culture.
It was something that you could speak to your friends about or in,
or maybe an older relative, like a granny or whatever,
and you could do it in the playground,
but as soon as you went into the classroom,
it was almost beaten out of you
and you had to speak RP proper English, as it were.
Thankfully, these days attitudes towards speaking Scots are very different.
The time is ripe in Scottish society now for us to reclaim,
rediscover and fall back in love again with our own language.
Now, it's really important,
I think, in a modern global society that you understand English,
because it's one of the great global languages, but if you're a Scot
and you feel Scottish and you want to speak in the Scots language,
it's an amazingly proud language with centuries of history.
Rediscover it from the playground, don't whisper it.
Be proud of the words, say the words because they're our words
and you've every right to speak your language.
Our favourite Scots words are...
Foos yer doos!
Our favourite Scottish words!
For these Aberdonian schoolchildren, speaking,
writing and reading in Scots is very important.
They've even got a magic bus to help them.
I'm a muckle fearsome pirate wi' a beard like a hairy dug
A bunnet wi' twa fight-crossed banes and a gold ring in my lug
But my pirate days are numbered as the joiner can confirm
He's diagnosed my wooden leg has terminal woodworm.
Down the road in Dundee, poet Mark Thomson lives and breathes Scots.
He's particularly passionate about his native dialect.
It's the tartans, it's the pipes, it's using words like glaikit
Halkit, barkit, crabbit, clype
Potted hough, haggis, stovies, cybies, tripe.
It's the hills, it's the heathers, it's the lochs, it's the glens
It's aboot the Highland games
Tossin' the caber, throwin' the hammer
And being 500 miles awa fae the Thames
Hairy coos and hardy bits
Highland dancin', bonny views
Eagles, ospreys, red grouse, capercaillies
Ceilidhs, clansmen, kilts and claymores
Blended single malts, whiskies galore
It's the highlands, the islands, stags, nooks, crannies and crags
It's a' that and mair
It's just bein' Scots withoot the red hair
But it's much bigger than that...
It's just bein' Scottish and it's as simple as that.
When I write, I've got a choice of Scottish words, English words
and Dundonian words, as well.
So when I'm looking for a word, I'm no stuck.
I can play aboot with the three of them, like.
And for me when I'm writing stuff it's aboot...it's aboot usin' sounds.
No necessarily words, it's the sound for me
that creates the meaning
and the flow and the rhythm of what I'm actually kinda writing about.
It's just like when Burns was livin' 250 years ago,
Burns used his ain dialect and it's great to hear.
Back in the 1780s, many literate,
educated people were moving away from Scots,
but Rabbie Burns published his first collection of poems
chiefly in the mither tongue.
For me, Burns is very important.
He's very important to the Scottish language to have kept it alive.
If Burns hadnae of been writing in his ain dialect as well
we wouldnae be talking aboot him the day.
Up In The Morning Early by Robert Burns.
Cauld blaws the wind frae east to west
The drift is driving sairly
Sae loud and shrill's I hear the blast - I'm sure it's winter fairly!
Up in the morning's no for me, Up in the morning early
When a' the hills are cover'd wi' snaw
I'm sure it's winter fairly.
It's about where you're fae.
And your accent and your dialect is where you're fae,
so dinnae change it.
Keep it the way it is.
It's important, and let's keep it alive.
My favourite word in Scots is "bumfle".
John Lowrie Morrison, aka Jolomo,
is one of Scotland's best-loved artists.
Bumfle means to fold or crease
or tousle up a piece of paper
or a sheet, or clothing, or you might even say
you bumfle somebody's hair.
But it's a kind of soft messiness.
And, of course, if you do that,
I'm bumfling up the word.
Bumfle is a really nice expressive word,
and I just use it all the time, and all the family use it.
The time of day I love painting most is the gloaming.
It's just wonderful, because
it takes away a lot of the detail you can get caught up in,
and as an expressive painter, I'm not really interested in too much detail.
I prefer just expressing the colour
and the textures in a very expressionistic way.
The braw and bonny west coast of Scotland
has always been his inspiration.
This is where, for forty years, I've had
my inspiration for most of what I paint,
and in Scots parlance,
this is a glourin', lourin' day.
At its best, or worst, whatever way you want to do it.
There's everything here that a painter would want.
In contrast to his present surroundings,
John's family hail fae Glasgow. As a wee lad,
he remembers visiting his aunt in Maryhill.
I can remember the first time hearing my aunt Ruby saying,
"Oh, the cludgie's out the back."
And I went, "Cludgie? What's a cludgie?" And, of course,
a cludgie's a toilet.
The close she stayed in was on the ground floor.
There was a gas lamp at the beginning of the close, but at the back,
where the cludgie was, there was no light at all,
and you had to feel your way and make sure
you got the right spot to perform in.
But cludgie is just a wonderful word,
and to add "clarty" to that is even better.
My favourite Scots word is a wonderful word.
It's got all those brilliant sounds in it.
This is how it's spelt -
Well, that's how I spell it! I hope that is the way it's spelt.
Sadly, in Scotland, we get a lot of dreich days,
and dreich just describes how low the sky is,
invokes a sort of misery.
The rain is a bit smirry,
another great Scots word,
which means a sort of light rain
that cuts into your very soul, actually.
And so, dark, overcast.
It feels like the light doesn't get through most of the day,
and it's just dreich.
It's a day you want to stay in front of the fire, really.
Comic actress Elaine C Smith performs all over Scotland,
and knows only too well the variety
of different dialects that the Scots language encompasses.
Within Scotland, in such a relatively small place,
the differences between the regions and the areas
from the borders to Aberdeen...
you know, I do panto in Aberdeen,
at the end I've learnt a whole new language!
The first time I went to Aberdeen, about 25 years ago, or something,
I thought they were speaking German, you know, that sort of Doric,
very down there sort of thing.
And I'd heard like, you know, "Foos yer doos,"
which I was, "I beg your pardon?"
And foos yer doos I love, you know, and Glaswegians don't get it,
you know, I've got to explain to friends and family, you know,
that "foos yer doos?" means "how are your pigeons?"
And there's just something very funny about that as a greeting,
"Foos yer doos?", and the response has to be "Chavin awa,"
which means "pecking away", which means they're eating.
So life is good!
In another life I was a high school teacher, and I taught in Edinburgh,
in a high school there, and I had to learn totally new words there.
Words like "barry".
"Barry" meant, "Oh, that's barry, miss" - that's great.
I had no... I thought they were talking about some guy that everybody knew,
but "barry" was another word for great or good.
I love, in Glaswegian, those words like, you know, "that's bowfin."
Bowfin is just, you can smell it, which is brilliant.
"Thae socks are bowfin" is just fantastic.
There are loads of words I love in Scots.
And actually, at times, I'm not really that aware
that they are Scots words, they just come into your,
you know, everyday usage, which is wonderful, cos it's alive.
My favourite Scots word is "guddle".
Rhona Martin is an Olympic champion.
Hence the dramatic music.
Guddle. It means "messy", and when I was growing up,
my mum used the word a lot
when I was trying to cook or bake in the kitchen.
All I heard was, "This place is a guddle."
And guddle is a word that's actually used a lot in curling.
So this is a typical guddle.
In this situation, red would put up guard in the centre
so that they could get in behind the cover,
and yellow can't get to them.
So red want to steal only one shot.
They don't mind if they lose an eight.
Well, that clears that up. Thank you, Rhona.
Why is it called a guddle? Cos it's messy.
These days, Rhona is a curling coach,
but back in 2002,
she embarked on a roller-coaster ride to Olympic glory.
We knew we could reach the semifinals,
we'd beaten all the teams before, so we knew we played well. We had a good chance of a medal.
We'd two games left, and we only had to win one of them to reach the semifinal.
Quite easy, really.
But no, not for us. We lost them both.
There are two Scots words that would sum up how I was feeling that night -
"crabbit" and "scunnered".
We had just blown our chance of an Olympic medal.
But we did have a lifeline -
if Switzerland were to win their last game, we were in a play-off.
And, as luck would have it, Switzerland did win.
Come on, the Swiss!
We weren't going to blow it this time.
So with some Scottish true grit and determination,
we came through the two play-offs, came through the semifinal,
and won the final, and we were Olympic champions.
My favourite word in day-to-day working life,
working in the kitchen, is a word called "spoots".
Spoots being razor clams, you will have all seen these on the beach,
but here at the front of the spoot, they've got a little funnel,
and when it's in the sand, the little head comes up,
and it spoots the water out, hence the Scottish word for spoots.
The aptly named top Scots chef Tom Kitchin was just 29 years old
when he won a coveted Michelin star.
Mr Kitchin's kitchen is full of both Scots ingredients
and some very tasty Scots language.
When I write my menus, I'll add little Scots words in there.
We've got haggis, neeps and tatties, of course,
we've got cullen skink, we've got cranachan, clootie dumpling, cock-a-leekie soup...
I think the Scots words really do express what the word is,
the attributes to the actual product,
and it's a real talking point when you read the menu.
I speak French in the service, I speak Scottish in the service,
so if I say to the young boy who's on his first day,
"Quickly, I need the neeps," or "I need the spoots,"
he has to quickly learn that, you know, because that's what it's all about for me.
It's like when I went to work in France, I didn't speak a word of French,
and they didn't change anything for me, you know?
It's all part of the culture of learning, really, isn't it?
I think there's a massive heritage of food in Scotland that people forget or don't even know exists.
I think now there's a real revolution of, you know,
people celebrating what's Scottish, and we should be really proud of it,
and I certainly am.
Probably my favourite Scots word or expression is "chanty wrasler".
A chanty is a chamber pot,
and a wrasler is literally a wrestler,
or someone who grapples or shakes something.
So as a term of abuse, you're basically saying,
"You would shake a chamber pot."
The star of stage and screen Denis Lawson grew up in rural Perthshire.
Back then, even the children had to work for their supper.
Tatties don't pick themselves, you know!
'Come on! Time to get up. We've work to do!'
Another phrase that's very tied up with my childhood is "tattie howking".
And you went tattie howking in the tattie holidays.
"Howking" is, as far as I know, lifting, pulling up,
and "tatties", obviously, potatoes, spuds.
Erm...tattie-howking was very hard work.
The tractor went up the furrow and you're picking as fast as you can.
It's backbreaking and unrelenting
and you've got half an eye on the tractor
and it's at the end of the furrow
and it's starting to go back round the field
and you have to finish your bit and be at the next furrow before the tractor gets to you.
Here's a Scots word I'm fond of
that's still very much in circulation.
It's an old Scots word with Germanic roots.
"Boak" as in "dry boak" as in "the heaves",
as in, "That's giving me the dry boak."
Here are three things that give me the dry boak.
A hair in my porridge.
A fried egg in my porridge.
Actually just porridge.
I like "boak" because it's expressive. It's onomatopoeic.
It sounds like what it is. Go on. Try vomiting without going "boak".
I like "giving me the dry boak" - there's a wonderful rhythm about it.
"You're giving me the dry boak, you're giving me the dry boak, you're giving me the dry boak."
In fact, many of my favourite Scots expressions have this wonderful rhythm about them.
For example, "I could eat the scabby heid aff a wean,"
which means you're so hungry that you could eat the scarred head off a child.
"I could eat the scabby heid aff a wean" - it's practically hip-hop.
I could eat the scabby heid aff a wean
Eat the scabby heid aff a wean
Heid aff a wean
Eat the scabby heid aff a wean.
It's not just the rhythm, though.
It's the succinctly presented, yet highly loaded visual images.
Here's a belter - "away and bile yer heid",
which means "go forth and boil your head".
That's pretty hardcore, isn't it?
They're not asking you simmer a finger or lightly saute your chin.
They're asking you to actually boil your entire dome.
And to do it yourself, to lower your own head into a large pan of salted, boiling water.
That is a pretty compelling image, is it not?
I'm sorry, I can't... I can't do it.
Can't do it.
And what about, "I could eat the scabby heid aff a wean"?
Imagine - you're so ravenous that you're poised there,
hovering with your fork and knife over a child's head.
And not just a child's head, but one that's flecked with crusty scar tissue.
Well, no need to imagine. Here's a wean.
Here's "the heid aff a wean".
Here are all the scabs.
I've not eaten for three days so I'm about to eat the scabby heid
aff a wean. Here we go.
I think I'll start with a cheek.
That was rare. Oh, scab.
Now, one of my very, very favourite Scots expressions is,
"Your coat's on a shoogly peg."
"Shoogly" - one of those great Scots words that sounds like what it means.
Shoogly, shaky. Precarious. Shoogly.
And if your coat's on a shoogly peg, well, you're on thin ice, pal.
Things are very, very finely balanced.
It could all come crashing down at any minute,
like a live action game of Buckeroo.
You got chocolate all over that lovely expensive jumper.
It was your sister's jumper, but...
It was your sister's chocolate.
I'm afraid I'm going to have to ask you to leave now.
It would seem that consumption of a child's head was inappropriate,
even in the interests of illustrating the lovely Scots language.
Anyway, cheery-bye the noo and lang may your lum reek.
Oh. Lang may your lum reek.
Lang may your lum reek.
Lang may your lum reek.
I said lang may your lum reek! Awreet?
Awreet? Awreet? Awreet? Awreet?
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
Ten more well-known Scottish personalities share their favourite Scots words. Comedian Susan Calman is a wee 'besom', Elaine C Smith has seen a lot of 'dreich' weather, Sir Jackie Stewart's Formula One adventures left him feeling a bit 'jiggered' at times and Denis Lawson shares his memories of 'tattie howkin'. Sanjeev Kohli introduces and narrates while getting the 'boak' at the prospect of a hair in his porridge.