Doric wis aince uised tae ettle aw byleid o Scots but is maistly uised as a name for the byleid that fowk spik in the nor east o Scotland.

National Monument, Calton Hill, Edinburgh

Pronunciation an lexisEedit

The main differs in soond atween Doric an ither Scots byleids is as follaes:

  • wh is said /f/ stead o /ʍ/ — "whit" /fɪt/ stead of /ʍɪt/, "wha" /fa:/ stead o /ʍɑ:/ or /ʍɒ:/.
  • aw, au and aa is said /a:/ stead o /ɑ:/, /ɒ:/aw, a' or aa.
  • An a afore /b/, /g/, /m/ an /ŋ/ micht be /ə/ or /ʌ/.
  • ui (often anglifeed oo or dialectalised ee) is said /i(:)/ an /wi(:)/ aifter /g/ an /k/ e.g. abeen stead o abuin, gweed an qheet stead of guid an cuit.
  • The letters ane is said /in/, e.g. in ane an a(i)nce.
  • Stairtin /g/ an /k/ as in gnap an knowe is said.
  • "Y" /j/ soons are aften heard aifter parteeclar stairtin consonants, e.g. "tyauve" for taw.

Doric hauds a number o wirds nae foond in ither byleids o Scots. For exemplar, it hauds a few lanewirds frae Scots Gaelic, as weel as Norse sith it expanded intil airts whaur fowk aince spak Scottish Gaelic an intil the Eastern Hielans. But there's nae lanewirds frae Pictish, ither than in placenames, them beginnin wi "Pit-", in parteeclar.

As wi ither airts o Scotland, the traivellin fowk haed a distinct lexis o Doric, a fair bit o it recorded in Stanley Robertson's stories.

Origin o the nameEedit

The wird "Doric" wis uised tae ettle aw byleids o Scots as a jocular reference tae the Dorian byleid o Greek. The Greek Dorians bade in Sparta, a mair rural airt o Greece, an wis supposed tae hae spak laconically bi the ither ancient Greeks, uisin a wey o spikkin that was thocht harsher in soond an mair auld farrant than the Attic spaken in Athens. Doric Greek wis uised for the verses spaken bi the chorus in Greek tragedy.

Uiss o the wird "Doric" in this wey micht areese forby oot o a contrast wi the anglifeed claik o the Scots caipital, sin at ae time, Edinburgh wis bynamed 'The Athens o the North'. The upper/middle claiss wey o spikkin in Edinburgh wad thus be 'Attic', makkin the rural airts' claik, 'Doric'. Contrair regions like Lanrikshire, far chenge driven bi industrial novation wis kenspeckle, the shires o the Mearns, Aiberdeen, Banff an Moray bade affa landward in nature an keepit a strang sense o thair heirship an tradeetions.

The first Scot that gied the name Doric tae Scots-spikkin wis the makar Aulan Ramsay in 1721, associatin Scots wi the landward, peasantry or wirkin fowk: it wis anither wey o sayin kintra or teuchter spik; simple, pure, an plain-spikkin. But fowk comin efter him files eesed the name in a derogator wey, makkin oot it wis auld-farrant or couthy ayont aa. Screivars in Ingland files cryed the spik o the peasantry o Ingland Doric an-aa.

Doric wis first eesed for tae descrive the byleid o North East Scots in 1792 fan it wis eesed bi the Banffshire-born academic Alexander Geddes.

Doric leeteraturEedit

Nor-east Scots haes a muckle body o leeteratur, maistly poetry, ballads an sangs. Whan Doric kythes in prose, it is maistly as fowk spikkin, tho this isna as common as it wis. As is aften the case wi leids on the margin, local lealties haud tae in the written form, shawin the wey the variety differs frae staundart ("British") English as opposed tae the Scots "norm". This shaws itsel in the local media presentation o the leid e.g. Grampian Television an The Press and Journal. Thae local lealties, an the relative distance frae the Central Lawlands, gies the Doric spikkers their ain wey in mony things.

The Nor East haes been cried the "real hame o the ballad",[1] an Les Wheeler seys, "91 oot o a gran total o (Child's) 305 ballads cam frae the North East - in fact frae Aiberdeenshire", makkin the uisual name o "Border Ballad" a misnomer pit aboot bi Sir Walter Scott.

Doric wis uised in a wheen o sae-caed, 'Kailyard' leeteratur, a genre that pents a sentimental, melodramatic pictur o the auld rural life, an is richt unfashionable ay noo. This negative associationplagues Doric leeteratur til a degree yet, as weel as Scottish leeteratur in general.

The maist kenspeckle novelist tae uise Doric in his novels wis George MacDonald frae Huntly. He is aftimes conseedered ane o the faithers o the Fantasy genre, an influence on C.S. Lewis an Tolkien, an a freen o Mark Twain.

Lewis Grassic Gibbon's Scots Quair trilogy taks place in the Mearns, an haes been the foond o a successful play an telly series. It is weel-liked aw throu Scotland, an tells the story o Chrissie, an independent-minded quine, maistly in a form o English strangly influenced bi the rhythms o the local claik.

A version o Aesop's Fables haes been published in Doric, as weel as some sections o the Bible.

Preein o DoricEedit

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,
Tired o the flockin angels hairse wi singin,
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 cleared the brod,
Start a'thing ower again, gin I was God.


  1. [1] Archived 2007-03-01 at the Wayback Machine

Ye can aye see taeEedit

Fremmit airtinsEedit