Understanding Scottish Vernacular and Highland Versus Lowland Surnames
About the Language
How to Use in Characterization and Dialogue When Writing
I've always been fascinated with Scottish vernacular.
At times, I've had quite a time trying to decipher the language's dialect. After careful study, I have complied my own list of the age old vernacular for use in my historical romance writing.
Samples of Typical Vernacular
Ah'm - I'm
D'ye - Do you
isnae - is not
dae - do
disnae - does not
Sassenach - English
dinnae - don't
de'il - devil
tae - to
didnae - don't
gettae - go away
wi - with
A dinnieken - I don't know
gonnae - going to
wid - would
Also compiled are lists of popular Scottish names for characterization. Remember, almost all surnames are clan and sept names with all the same meaning (son of) prefixes:
There are two categories distinctive amongst clansmen:
- Native men, meaning born by blood.
- Broken men, meaning from other clans under the lord of the clan's protection.
Scottish names are believed to be the oldest in Europe. Over time, highland surnames developed apart from lowland surnames where the lowlanders adopted a more English tone.
Just a fascinating fact that you should take note:
The MacGregor name was abolished by the crown from the period of 1617 - 1661, and anyone caught touting that name bore an execution.
Most Popular Scottish Surname?
- Old Scottish Sayings
Here we take a look at a mixture of some of the old Scottish sayings, some that are not so old, and some Scottish slang words.
- Scots slang - Wikipedia
- Useful Scottish Slang Words and Phrases Such as Fit Like Min, Aye And Ya Bas
A really useful list of Scottish slang words and phrases, along with their meaning
- From The Scotsman In London Some Scottish Slang For Ye All
A selection of Scottish slang pharases and words brought to you by London Is Cool, the blog of the Scotsman in London.