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Scots Language Centre Centre for the Scots Leid

A Dug, A Dug by Bill Keys


'A Dug, A Dug', by Bill Keys, is one of the poems from 'The Kist' -  an anthology of Scots (and Gaelic) poetry and prose that was digitised by Education Scotland and gifted to the Scots Language Centre so that teachers and learners can continue to benefit from this valuable resource. 


A Dug, A Dug

by Bill Keys

Hey, daddy, wid yi get us a dug?
A big broon alsatian? Ur a wee white pug,
Ur a skinny wee terrier ur a big fat bull.
Aw, daddy. Get us a dug. Wull ye?         

N whose dug’ll it be when it durties the flerr?
and pees’n the carpet, and messes the sterr?
It’s me ur yur mammy’ll be taen fur a mug.
Away oot an play. Yur no needin a dug. 

Bit, daddy! Thur gien thum away
doon therr at the RSPCA.
Yu’ll get wan fur nothing so ye wull.
Aw, daddy. Get us a dug. Wull ye?         

Doon therr at the RSPCA!
Dae ye hink ah’ve goat nothing else tae dae
bit get you a dug that ah’ll huftae mind?
Yur no needin a dug. Ye urny blind!        

Bit, daddy, thur rerr fur guardin the hoose
an thur better’n cats fur catchin a moose,
an wee Danny’s dug gies is barra a pull.
Aw, hey daddy. Get us a dug. Wull ye?  

Dae ye hear im? Oan aboot dugs again?
Ah hink that yin’s goat dugsn the brain.
Ah know whit ye’ll get; a skiten the lug
if ah hear any merr aboot this bliddy dug.          

Bit, daddy, it widnae be dear tae keep
N ah’d make it a basket fur it tae sleep
N ah’d take it fur runs away orr the hull.
Aw, daddy. Get us a dug. Wull ye?         

Ah don’t hink thur’s ever been emdy like you.
Ye could wheedle the twist oot a flaming coarkscrew.
Noo get doon aff mah neck. Ah don’t want a hug.
Awright. That’s anuff. Ah’ll get ye a dug.


Aw, daddy! A dug! A dug!  


Learning resources


Read the poem and listen to the audio file.

If there are unfamiliar words, try to work out what they mean according to their context, or look them up using a Scots dictionary – you can use an online Scots dictionary at



Answer the following questions:

  1. Who is speaking in the poem?
  2. Who is their audience?
  3. How does the speaker in the poem manage to persuade their audience that they should get what they want?



Think about a time you tried to persuade your parents, or the people who care for you, that they should buy you something or take you somewhere.



Write a poem or story from your perspective, listing the reasons why you should get the item. Try to make it humorous, and consider whether the other person should give in to your requests or refuse them.