Explore Scots Language

What is Scots?

Scots is spoken in the Northern Isles and lowland Scotland.

Click on
the map
to hear Scots
from around
the country

  • Valerie

    writing for children

  • Sheila

    working in the bank

  • Nancy

    how Caithness people speak

  • Colin

    talks about what Doric means

  • Gavin

    the story of a farmer

  • Richard

    his father's job

  • Yvonne

    waiting for a delivery

  • Chris

    talks about the Yellowhammer

  • Alasdair

    the word 'souter'

  • Wullie

    the word 'jink'

Welcome to the Scots Language Centre

Scots is spoken throughout Scotland from Shetland to Galloway and Aberdeen to Glasgow.

Use this site to find out more about the history of Scots and to meet the people that speak it today. 

Explore, Scots song, poetry, read our blogs and find out more about the origins of Scots.

Recently on the SLC

Scots word of the week

“JO n., a sweetheart”

This word is a Scots variant of ‘joy’, and can mean a sweetheart or lover, or be a term of endearment akin to ‘dear’ or ‘darling’. Probably the best-known … read more »

Scots Poetry


The Tyger

The Tyger by William Blake, owerset intae Scots by Scott Forster Why might we translate a poem from English into Scots? Not because there is … read more »

Scots Proverbs

Play Lat his
“Lat his ain wand ding him”

Let him stew in his own juice

more proverbs »

Makar ben the hoose


By Mary Johnston

Mary Johnston reads her poem Sister. read more »

Scots New Testament

Play 01March2015Lent2Lorimer
“ Second Lentren Sunday”

The Scots Language Centre is marking Lent and Easter with a series of specially selected readings from the Scots New Testament. Readings will appear on the web site … read more »

Scots Blogs

Annual column for Shetland Life

By Michael Hance

It's January - that means it's time for my annual column in Shetland Life. It was great to be ‘hame’ in Shetland in May. … read more »

Scots Online


Shetland ForWirds

A website promoting and celebrating Shetland dialect as a valued and essential element of Shetland's heritage and culture. Visit site »

Scots Blogs

Cleanin Wifies

By Margaret Tong

Margaret's glesses is chipped an her flairs are nae deen but at least her lavvy rolls haes been folded in tae pynts. Margaret talks aboot cleaning wifies. read more »

Watch & Listen

Scots on Youtube

Scots on Flickr

Scots Language Radio


Episode 15

Wi’r hearin fit’s gaan on in schools in the new edition o Scots Language Radio – spikkin tae Scots Language Co-ordinator fae Education Scotland, Diane Anderson an Heed teacher Dr … read more »

Latest News

A Relic of Former Days

Soothron dictionar

An interesting episode in Scotland’s linguistic history was recently highlighted in the… read more »

A Gruffalo Tour

Gruffalo beastie

Children are in for a special treat during March when the Gruffalo takes to the road, in both… read more »

The Actéon Tour


Last year the Scots Language Centre highlighted the opera Actéon Meets Tam … read more »

Crack Aboot Politics


Crackin aboot Politics

Ever since John Barbour put quill to parchment in … read more»

Pairlament Chaumer

Political Crack in Scots

It is self evident that from the Middle Ages until… read more»


James Leatham`s Politics

Aberdeen-born James Leatham was a journalist and … read more»