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Scots Language Centre Centre for the Scots Leid

Foo's Yer Yle?

5th September 2013

Visitors to the current oil and gas industry conference and exhibition in Aberdeen are being treated to an introduction to the North East dialect of Scots known as the Doric thanks to Robert Gordon University. In the press this week (Scotsman) it was reported that RGU has produced a mini guide to Doric which is being distributed to delegates arriving at Aberdeen airport. The booklet, which was developed after consultation with RGU students, includes several sections dealing with The Basics, Small Talk, Eating and Drinking and The Weather.  Included are words and phrases distinct to Doric, such as Foo mony (how many), Foos yer doos (how are your pidgeons doing?) and gype (fool), as well as words common to Scots generally, such as clype (tell tale), fouter (fidget), swick (deceit or trick), sook (sycophant) and swack (agile) found across Scots-speaking Scotland. RGU spokesperson Martyn Spence commented that the institution wanted to do something to help welcome people from around the world to Aberdeen in a fun way. Behind the fun, of course, is the more serious message that the native language of Lowland Scotland and the Northern Isles had often been rendered invisible by UK agencies which leave the visitor with the false idea that only English is spoken, and therefore render them unprepared for visiting the country. RGU plans to also distribute its Doric guide in future at student fairs and other events.