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Scots Language Centre Centre for the Scots Leid

Taking the oath in Scots

6th January 2020

In the aftermath of the December 2019 General Election newly elected members of parliament queued up to take their oath. One of these MPs – Marion Fellows who was elected to represent Motherwell and Wishaw – decided to take her oath in both English and Scots. During the past couple of decades an increasing number of Scottish MPs and MSPs have chosen to takes oaths in Scots where these are available. Until relatively recently the versions available were in Ulster Scots dialect and North East Scots (Doric) but in 2017 Dr Dauvit Horsbroch, Language and Information Officer at the Scots language Centre, was asked to review older versions in Scots and provide a general modern update. Fellows tweeted “It was wonderful to be able to take the oath in Scots rather than Ulster Scots” as a more natural alternative. Written version of oaths in Scots for a variety of occasions, including parliament, have existed since the 14th century.