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Scots Language Centre Centre for the Scots Leid

Summer

SIMMER – SUMMER

Summer time

The season of summer is made up of three months, June, July and August. In the Scots language the season is called simmer. Simmer comes originally from a Common Germanic word which is believed to have taken the form *sumaraz about two thousand years ago. We find this common word taking the forms sumor in Anglo-Saxon and sumar in Old Norse. In Older Scots we can find both the spellings summer and somir, but today simmer is the usual form in the language. The three months which make up this season – June, July and August – can take various forms in the Scots language, depending on regional variation. June can be spelled June or Juin in Scots, but, generally speaking, is pronounced as ‘jin’. However, in Orkney and Shetland, and South Central Scots, it is pronounced as in English, while in North East Scots (Doric) it becomes Jeen. The month of July is either the same as in English or can be pronounced ‘jooly’ which appears most common today in East Central Scots, with the usual spelling Julie. August is the same as in English.

In Scotland the month of July is usually the warmest month of the year and this is particularly true of the eastern region of Scotland stretching from the Borders, through the Lothians and Fife, up through Angus and into Aberdeen, Banff and Moray. This region enjoys temperatures reaching as high as 20˚C while the sunniest place in Scotland, on average, is the coast of Fife enjoying about 1500 hours of sunshine in an average year. This is because the Fife coast is relatively removed from mountains, regions of shadow, and ice-retaining valleys. The number of daylight hours in the central regions of Scotland reaches 17 in June and decreases to about 13 by the end of August, though the further north one travels the more hours of light there are.

Please click on the audio files below to hear some words and sayings in Scots associated with summer weather.

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sweltrie

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plot

flaucht

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flaucht

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warm

summer proverb

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a summer proverb