The origins of the Scottish Doric language with a description of this dialect and example words
The Scots Doric language is perhaps one of the fastest spoken words in Scotland. It is often described as poetic and rhythmic with a soft gentle flow and a pronounced roll of the r. It dates back centuries and has its roots in farming, so though it is a soft dialect it can have some rude phrases! It can be quite comical at times, just look up "Fit fit fits fit fit?"
Two examples of Doric words from farming are “Lous’ d” or “Loused” and “Yoke”. They were used in a time when farmers used horses in the time before tractors were invented or in common use. Yoke would mean to harness the animal to the plough at the start of the day’s work whilst Loused would mean to unfasten or to stop work. Like many Doric phrases they can have several meanings. Eg - Lousin' the sheaves when using the old threshing mills i.e. cutting the binder twine before feeding into the mill. You would also louse your belt of your trousers to slacken it.
Like all spoken and written languages it has adapted over the years and whilst some phrases may have described manure they are now being used derogatory.
Read examples of the Doric language in our A-Z of words. Or have your sentences automatically translated using our Scottish Translator Tool.
The Doric language does take some getting used to: just recall the Disney cartoon Brave and how even the Scottish folk didn't understand the Doric speaking character played by local loon Kevin McKidd!
Though spoken here in the North East of Scotland, predominately Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire but as far as Morayshire, the Doric language origins are thought to date back to ancient Bronze Age Greek times where a group of invading people known as Dorians spoke their own dialect in a region outside Athens, from which it spread. These fair, northern, Indo-European, invaders are thought to have introduced the Western Greek language and provided leaders for most of the Greek Kingdoms and City states including Sparta and Corinth. Years ago it is thought that someone compared the folk of Grampian to this group and the rest is history.
Those living in Aberdeen are known as Aberdonians whilst those Doric speakers living in Morayshire are called Moravians.
The Drummer Boy is my latest novel about the ghost of a Gordon Highlander Drummer Boy from the Battle of Waterloo who haunts a modern day army nurse.
Chapters take place in modern day Aberdeen, at the Noose & Monkey bar and restaurant as well as His Majesty’s Theatre and Garthdee. Other scenes take place at Tidworth and during the Napoleonic War.
I’ve put in many Doric words and phrases into the novel, my favourite being “Mmm oxters o an Aberdeen loon, cannae beat it!” As with all my novels and short stories (my author name is CG Buswell) it includes the Doric, scenes from Aberdeen and famous ghosts from our area.
Read the first three chapters for free on most devices.