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One of my favourite Scots words is glaikit.
I love the sound of glaikit. It's onomatopoeic.
It sounds exactly as it means, which is a face empty of all intelligence.
I guess the nearest English equivalent would be gormless.
But glaikit is just a great word. Full of character.
Poet and children's novelist Jackie Kay was raised in Glasgow
and the words she heard as a child form an important part of her work.
Scots language, for me, is a great cauldron full of riches.
You can just dip into it and get different things
and different flavours and tastes every time.
If I was a cook, I would definitely be using the Scots language
because you get a great, big boost in flavour.
You get lots of character.
You get a sense of uniqueness
and a sense of time and place.
I like the syntax and the use of repetition.
My mum might say, "I'm not tired tired but I'm tired."
"I'm not hungry hungry but I'm hungry." And I like that.
I think of that as a Glasgow double.
Somewhere between these two tireds or these two hungrys,
you know exactly what she means.
As a writer, I've always used Scots language in different ways
and explored the way that you lose bits of your language
when you move country.
I live in England now and I have a kind of nostalgic relationship
to some words that I don't get to hear any more.
I only get to hear them when I go back to Glasgow.
This poem's called Old Tongue
and I wrote it for my partner who left Scotland, my ex-partner,
who left Scotland when she was eight and went to live in England.
It fascinates me when people leave a country,
what they often most miss is the language they've left behind.
When I was eight, I was forced south.
Not long after, when I opened
my mouth, a strange thing happened.
I lost my Scottish accent.
Words fell off my tongue:
eedyit, dreich, wabbit, crabbit
stumour, teuchter, heidbanger,
so you are, so am ur, see you, see ma ma,
shut yer geggie or I'll gie you the malkie!
My own vowels started to stretch like my bones
and I turned my back on Scotland.
Words disappeared in the dead of night,
new words marched in: ghastly, awful,
quite dreadful, scones said like stones.
Pokey hats into ice cream cones.
Oh where did all my words go
my old words, my lost words?
Did you ever feel sad when you lost a word,
did you ever try and call it back
like calling in the sea?
If I could have found my words wandering,
I swear I would have taken them in,
swallowed them whole, knocked them back.
Out in the English soil, my old words
It made my mother's blood boil.
I cried one day with the wrong sound in my mouth.
I wanted them back; I wanted my old accent back,
my old tongue. My dour soor Scottish tongue.
Singsongy. I wanted to gie it laldie.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd