• Literature

    My Heid did Ake

    Teresa wrote “Oh god my head somebody please just shoot me now.” My friend Jasmin also suffers from migraine. I thought of this poem, by William Dunbar, (c. 1460 – c. 1520) one of the so-called Scottish Chaucerians. The text is is in Middle Scots, rather then the more usual Chaucerian Middle English, so there are various dialectical differences, most of them northern forms (even Norse forms), rather than southern or London dialect, and some rare borrowings from Gaelic. On His Heid-ake MY HEID did yak yester nicht, This day to mak that I na micht, So sair the magryme dois me menyie, Perseing my brow as ony ganyie, That…

  • Language & Lingusitics,  Resource

    Scots wha’ Hae

    Dave Winer points to a BBC story: “A new dictionary is being compiled which will put tens of thousands of Scots words dating back as far as 800 years on the Internet.” Sponsored by the University of Dundee, the project will created a web site for the online dictionary that will contain illustrative quotations for each word, necessitating at text archive. The acronym for the text archive (all such dictionaries must have acronyms!) will be (SCOTS)—the Scottish Corpus of Texts and Speech. The resulting dictionary is a Scots version of things like the Oxford English Dictionary, the OED, or Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru, GPC, the Dictionary of the Welsh Language. These…