DORIC

Doric - the dialect of North-East Scotland


Here is a poem from the well known collection of Doric verse Hamewith and other poems, by Charles Murray (1864-1941). In case you fall at the first hurdle, "gin" (with a hard "g") means "if".



Gin I Was God

by Charles Murray


Gin I was God, sittin' up there abeen,
Weariet nae doot noo a' my darg was deen,
Deaved wi' the harps an' hymns oonendin' ringin',
To some clood-edge I'd daunder furth an', feth,
Look ower an' watch hoo things were gyaun aneth.
Syne, gin I saw hoo men I'd made mysel'
Had startit in to pooshan, sheet an' fell,
To reive an' rape, an' fairly mak' a hell
O' my braw birlin' Earth, - a hale week's wark -
I'd cast my coat again, rowe up my sark,
An', or they'd time to lench a second ark.
Tak' back my word an' sen' anither spate,
Droon oot the hale hypothec, dicht the sklate,
Own my mistak', an', aince I'd cleared the brod,
Start a'thing ower again, gin I was God.




There seem to be echoes of "Gin I was God", but a more optimistic view of mankind, in the following poem by John C Milne (1897-1962). This is from the collection of his verse, which was published soon after his death. It contains the wonderful Scots word "contermashious", meaning "contrary".





O Lord look doon on Buchan

by John C Milne


O Lord look doon on Buchan
An a' its fairmer chiels!
For there's nae in a' Yer warld
Mair contermashious deils!

Yet tak a thocht afore Ye lat
Yer wrath and vengeance fa',
For sic weet and clorty widder
Wid gar ony human thraw!

But still an' on Ye ken richt weel
Their sowls are unca teuch,
And Lord fin a' is said and dane
Ye've tholed them lang aneugh.

And yet gin Ee'd come doon an' tak
A dauner roon aboot
Ye'd sweir there wisna better han's
A garrin a'thing sproot.

So coontin up and coontin doon
The richt o't and the wrang,
Ye'd best hae patience, Lord, a fyle.
But Lord, O Lord, foo lang?



In the final contribution, from Douglas Kynoch's Doric for Swots, a Course for Advanced Students , the writer humorously speculates that Hawaii was settled by people from the North-East of Scotland, who had a major influence on how language developed there! To this end, the writer varies the spelling - not always uniquely defined in the Doric anyway - and runs some words together. Here "kwine" is "quine", meaning "girl", and "Tatatitore" means "Goodbye to Torry".



Aam Ganawati Hawaii

by Douglas Kynoch

Aam ganawati Hawaii;
Aam ganawafurra spottiasun.
Aam ganawati Hawaii;
Aam ganawatihe, watihe fun.

Time tae say "Tatatitore"
Tatatitore, a tear in ma een.
Aam ganawati Hawaii;
Tatatitore, baibai Aiberdeen.

Mi-ma anmi-da arawa;
Seenalbe awa ana.

Aam ganawati Hawaii;
Aam ganawafurra sweeminisee.
Aam ganawati Hawaii;
Peetee yikana, yikana kumtee.

Time tae say "Tatatitore"
Tatatitore, a tear in ma een.
Aam ganawati Hawaii;
Tatatitore, baibai Aiberdeen.

Akenalbi gledatawint;
Albeydor masillers spint.

Aam ganawati Hawaii;
Aamganawafurra lookati kwines.
Aam ganawati Hawaii;
Eenothems gantibee, gantibee mines.

Time tae say "Tatatitore"
Tatatitore, a tear in ma een.
Aam ganawati Hawaii;
Tatatitore, baibai Aiberdeen.



References

1. Douglas Kynoch. Teach Yourself Doric, a Course for Beginners , Scottish Cultural Press, Aberdeen, 1994.

2. Douglas Kynoch. Doric for Swots, a Course for Advanced Students , Scottish Cultural Press, Edinburgh, 1997.

3. John C Milne. Poems , Aberdeen University Press, Aberdeen, 1963.

4. Charles Murray. Hamewith and other poems , Constable, London, 1929.