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Scots Language Centre Centre for the Scots Leid

Bobby Hogg passes away

4th October 2012

On Sunday 30 September Mr Bobby Hogg of Cromarty passed away at the age of 92. It is believed that Mr Hogg was the last person in Cromarty who had a full command of the variant of Scots spoken in that area. As he had commented previously, the speech of Cromarty, which is a fishing village located at the north end of the Black Isle, is a local variation of North East Scots – often called the Doric – but with the twist that it also contains many terms and idioms drawn from Gaelic which had once been widely spoken in the surrounding region. The language of the fishing communities of Scotland has always been distinct from the speech further inland because fishermen have terms associated closely with the sea, including taboo words which should only be used at certain times, or never at all while on vessels. Although the dialect of North East Scots still continues to be spoken and written it is regrettable that the Cromarty form of it should now be in danger of disappearing, given that Bobby Hogg is thought to be the last person known to have been fluent. Although there are recordings of Cromarty speech we are sure that Mr Hogg’s knowledge and experience will be sadly missed. We can only hope that locals in Cromarty, or indeed in the Black Isle, might receive some encouragement from government with a view to reviving and maintaining their distinct inheritance.