“Why’s that clamjamfry oer there so skeerie the day an in sic a flap?” Because of the vote for Scottish independence, that’s why.
As the first results begin coming in on the referendum to decide whether Scotland should remain a part of the UK or become an independent country, I thought I’d examine some Scottish words for the Wildest Word of the Day. There’s lots of media coverage of people who are for independence holding up flags and signs with the word “Aye” displayed prominently.
I looked up the meaning of this little word online and found a great blog (run by someone calling themselves A Scott) called “Stooryduster”– Scottish Words Illustrated. He started the site in reaction “to the slow drowning and erosion of the richness of the English languages by the globalization of International English.” In the archives of the site I found six distinct meanings for that little Scottish word that could change history.
Six Meanings for the Scottish Word “Aye”
- Aye – meaning always as in, “I’m aye tellin’ ye tae wipe yer feet, an what’s more . . .”
- Aye – meaning yes. This is my favorite drawing. The owner of a dog who’s done his “business” and a muscle head punk who’s stepped in the mess are confronting each other. The punk, pointing at the steaming pile says, “Did your dug dae that?” The owner, looking determined to fight, replies, “Aye! An whit of it?”
- Aye number three is used as “Aye, aye, aye”. In this clever illustration there’s a polis standing behind a crook using a crowbar on a safe and the polis says, “Aye, aye, aye, fit’s a dae?” or “‘ello, ‘ello, ‘ello, what’s all this then?”
- Aye number four is the kind of aye you use when somebody does something that you told them not to. It means something along the lines of, “You should have listened to me.”
- The fifth meaning of Aye is when you pass by a group of people and want to wish them a quick “Evenin’ all.”
- Aye Aye – the final meaning listed on Stooryduster is used to express sympathy on a sorrowful occasion. Depending on which side you fall on, aye or no, one group will be saying this to the other when the votes are all in.
According to his About me page, Scott suffered a bout of depression back in 2012 and hasn’t updated the site since then, but the illustrations are so whimsical, funny and beautifully drawn I wanted to share them with you. He is apparently still active on Twitter using the handle @stooryduster.
If you enjoyed this post, dinnae be a bampot, gie yer friends a gas and share it on WordPress and Twitter. Leave a comment about interesting Scottish words you know or have used or your thoughts on the referendum. I’d love to hear from you.