Sunday, 30 September 2012

A Waant o Fushion: Part Three

Continuing the criticism of the "Ulster-Scots" version of material concerning the Help Scheme for the digital switchover (available on request from

Waant o fushion

In traditional literature this expression covers a broad range of disabilities and health problems, including mental health problems, as well as perceived failings of morality or "manliness". Its meaning here is unclear and its use potentially offensive.

Waant or hobble adae wi lear

Potentially offensive.


The vowel in wark is applicable only to the noun. The correct form for the verb is wirkin.

Whut the' cry ye

Surely the formal Scots term would simply be name.

Wud ye ivver tak tent

In Ulster wud ye ivver is generally used in an imperative sense (either in anger or light-heartedly) and never as a generalised formal equivalent of "please".

Yin enn's erran

It looks here like ance eerant has been conflated with end's errand. This is unsurprising in a dialect where there is no taught written form to ensure that people are aware of what it is. However, one would expect the experts doing a translation to know.


The obvious points to make here are that a) not one of them is used in this way in traditional Ulster-Scots literature and b) their employment in the text is in many cases inconsistent, e.g. lettèr but lamiter, despite the fact that both words would have an environmentally conditioned interdental realisation of t.

With ï, on the one hand we have bïg, bïts, fïll, fït, ïll, kïngrick, pïck, quïck, thïng and tïcket, and on the other birl, blinn, gin, inpit, pit, til, and yin. The latter are not recognisable from a Standard English perspective, and it appears that ï is being employed only to differentiate the first group from it, despite the fact that the same vowel occurs in all the above words.

There is also the ubiquitous dïgital, which in broad Scots would have the same vowel as in leeshins, leevin and ableeged (obleeged).

Although a centralised realisation of /ɪ/ also occurs in Ulster before voiceless sounds or clusters containing them, the ï seems not to represent that, since it is also used where the centralised /ɪ/ does not occur or not used where it does.

Eye dialect

Boax, cums, naem, phóane, poakit, recoardèr and soart, but month rather than *munth.

There is also respelling of unstressed forms to produce words such as fur, ir, cud and shud.


Fyn should be fin(d).

Run-together words


Spelling inconsistency

Auld, braws, faut, haud, maun, thrawin, and whaur, but aa, caa, faa, laas, and taak.

Heid but deef.

Pey but gye and wye.

Waantin and waatch, but flatch, hantit, and hantle.

Wittins but swutches, wull (also will), wurd, wutless, but wïllfu. The vowel after w (and wh) in all those words is the same. Wittins is not recognisable from a Standard English perspective, so i remains. In the others it is changed to u to differentiate the word from Standard English.

The vowel in taxt is the same as in feck and recks, but text is the same as Standard English, so it is respelt taxt to differentiate it.

Bakkin and leukkin, but beck.

The letters e and ai take the place of the usual a in the words beck and faix to differentiate them from Standard English, despite the fact that the vowel is the same as in bakkin, which is spelt with kk to differentiate the word from the recognisably Standard English backin(g).

Throch but throu.

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