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

“CUIT, COOT, QUEET n ankle”

This comes from Middle Dutch ‘koot’ or Middle Low German ‘kote’. A well-turned ankle was appreciated by Henry Ochiltree in Redburn (1895): “Did ye … read more »

Scots Poetry


Kirk o Beath Brae by Ian W King

A poem about freedom and hope, though using the subject of a graveyard in typically Fife Scots manner. Coming from a coal mining background the poet realises that … read more »

Scots Proverbs

Play yecuidabund
“Ye cuid'a bund me wi a strae”

You could have knocked me down with a feather

more proverbs »

Makar ben the hoose

Teuchat Storm

By Mary Johnston

Mary Johnston reads her poem Teuchat Storm. read more »

Scots New Testament

Play GoodFridayLorimer
“ Guid Friday”

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 4

Wiv got a really special programme for ye again – wir delving into the makins o’ a great film that’s set in the Fife mining communities. ‘Happy Lands’ as … read more »

Latest News

Soutar Talk

Weelum Soutar

Dr Paul Barnaby of Edinburgh University will be giving a very interesting and revealing … read more »

Violet Jacob Day Course

Sheila Mann & Lisa Simmons

A special one-day introduction to the life and work of poet Violet Jacob will be taking … read more »

Orkney Gaelic

Orkney dialect

Every once in a while something odd comes along, odd but simple, which raises wider issues… read more »

Scots song tradition

Cornkisters Songbooks

Bothy Ballads

'Bothy ballads' is the name given to the songs of the … read more»

Jeannie Robertson

Travellers Songs

Through the collecting of folklorists in the 1950s, … read more»

Brothock Mill

Weaving Songs

The songs of the millworkers of Scotland are … read more»