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Scots Language Centre Centre for the Scots Leid


The second of the main dialect regions of the Scots language is known as Northern Scots because it covers the northern part of mainland Scotland. The principal city in this region is Aberdeen.

The area is divided into three regions known as Caithness, the North East, and East Angus and Kincardine. Each of these three regions has an underlying similarity which groups them together, but there are some features that also distinguish them. At a very basic level this region is distinguished from more central and southern dialects by the use of the sound f instead of wh as in fit, far and fan (what, where and when) and by ee instead of a as in steen and been (stone and bone).

The region includes Caithness, some small enclaves centred on the Black Isle, the North East of Scotland stretching in an arc from Nairn in the west around to Stonehaven in the east, and Kincardine and half of Angus as far south as the outskirts of Dundee. In this last region Northern Scots forms begin to give way and merge with Central Scots forms. To learn more about the three dialects of this region and their cultural background please follow the individual links.