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Speaking Doric or is it just Slang?

Doric is the slang language spoken in Aberdeen by the natives who grew up here.  I call it slang as that’s what it was called the whole time I grew up.  It certainly wasn’t mentioned as speaking Doric.  Nobody bothered to tell me that it has a fancy name and is called the “Doric” back then.  All I remember are teachers and parents doing their best to stop us “spikkin” slang.

The t’s tend not to often not be sounded in the middle of a word and mostly have a harsh glottal stop on them.  (Buh er) instead of butter.  (Waah er) for Water.

It was a bit of a revelation to me to have the modern view that “intellectuals” think we need to preserve this way of speaking when I spent the first thirty years of my life being ashamed of saying the most slight Doricy pronunciation.

Even now, I give my children into trouble for using slang *cough Doric.*  In the last few years, I’ve learned that I had to embrace the worst of the local language that existed in the homeland and try to give it a chance as a heritage from my home, no matter how it still makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck.

I’ve written Doric poems and sold a few of them too, so people must like them.

I’ve put the picture of the foghorn at the Bay of Nigg in Torry as I spotted it and it has fond memories for me of my youth, cycling, adventure and good friends.  I’ve heard it’s being sold, that’s a shame.

It does make this a slightly controversial post for me.  I like writing the poems and I like that people ask me for them, but I still find myself blushing with shame if I launch into a Doric sentence out and about.  That ingrained indoctrination as a child has stayed with my brain.

Here are a few classics.  Would you know them all?

“Fit like?” – how are you?
“Far ye gaun?” – where are you going?
“Foo auld r ye.”  – how old are you
“Loons an quines.” – boys and girls
” Haud yer wissht!” – shut up
“It’s a sair fecht for a half loaf.” – hard to make the money cover everything.
“Like a skint rubbit.”  – someone far too skinny.
“Ony mair o yer lip an ah’ll skelp yer backside.” – any more cheek and you’ll get a smacked rear end.
“Ye mak a better door than a windae.”  –  I can’t see past you.
“Ken fit a mean.”  – do you know what I mean?
“Gie it a birl.” –  give it a try, or a whirl.
“A bosie.” – a cuddle.
“Claik or crack.” – gossip
“Clype.”  – tell-tale, usually kids telling on other kids.  Kids can have reputations damaged with each other by being accused of one small word.