Like so many, I grew up with Scots as my mither tongue, but soon had it bred out out of me by my school and other institutions. So, by the time I started working in Edinburgh, I’d lost all traces of the words taught to me at home by my parents and grandparents.
I was taught to be embarrassed by the sound of words like ‘skoosh’ or ‘fower’ or ‘flooer’; that Scots words were ‘not polite’ words to use. They were ‘inappropriate’ and a sign of stupidity. Scots, I was made to believe, was not a language in its own right, but a ‘slang’ subset of English only used by ‘common’, or ‘backwards’ folks only. It was certainly not considered to be the language of choice for those who wanted to get on in life.
However, now I’m in my thirties, and I’ve studied the language a bit more, I’ve found the confidence to say, ‘BAWS!’ to all of that nonsense and I now use Scots, particularly Ayrshire Scots, as part of my everyday life.
And, as part of my writing journey, I want, and need, to re-attach myself to my first language. To this end, I aim to track down as many interesting Scots words as I can. Therefore, this is the start of my own favourite Scots Wird O’ The Day. Feel free to get in touch with your own.
And, if you are interested in learning more about the Scots language, you could always have a look at the Scots Language Centre, or the Dictionary of the Scots Language, or Scots Online. You can even listen to the Scots Language Radio podcast.
The day’s Scots wird is:
In the Nineteenth-Century: A female corpse used for anatomical dissection; especially one stolen from the grave.
Robinson, M. (ed.) (1996) ‘Shusy’ in Chambers Concise Scots Dictionary. p.614.