The title of this blog post may require translation. It means ‘how are you?’ in Doric. Translated exactly it means ‘how’s your pigeons?’ to which the standard response is ‘ay pickin’ (always picking) which really means ‘fine’. Forgiveness is granted if you are confused already.
The inspiration for this post comes from my latest writing class, which was mainly about sounds of words, dialects, phonetics and speech. I love writing in my own dialect and as you will know from reading this blog, often write partially in Doric. Being half ‘toonser‘, half ‘teuchter‘ and learning some Weegie whilst living in Glasgow has given me quite a wide vocabulary. Life experiences, like almost getting a kicking and being offered a ‘square go’ in Dundee for calling someone a ‘Gadgie‘ have highlighted the subtle and at times stark differences in the collective language we call ‘Scots’.
Doric is not an exact language. I have relatives from Fraserburgh, Peterhead and Aberdeen, who all speak differently. Often, pronunciation changes a word, for example, some ‘Brochers’ (people hailing from Fraserburgh) would pronounce ‘mattress’ as ‘mah-trass’, making it sound like a new word, but the meaning is exactly the same.
Another writing class touched on this subject when we were asked to translate a piece of writing into our own dialect, which I found hysterically funny. I’m not sure that I’d want to write exclusively in Doric, but there are little pieces here and there appearing in what may be becoming my portfolio. Just enough to pepper it with something alternative.
I’ll share some of my hen-scratchings that emerged from these classes.
Cheerio ye fuckin’ bams
Ah mine yon summer
Sun wis blazin ootside
Fit a fuckin’ bummer
I wiz stuck inside
ah by masel
cleanin mingin student flats
aye, like i pits oh hell
ah’ll tell ye’s at
ma face wiz soor
sweatin oot buckets
fur a pittance an oor
am aff, fuck iss
Doric Flash Fiction
Bit Grama, ah hinna ony pennies ti get a taxi. Ma grunny stifles a laugh wi her fingers. I huff and fold ma airms cos ah hiv ti wait until she opens the door fur mi. Ah hid a wee suitcase packed for biding wi her while mi Mam wis in hospital heyin the bairn, a wee sister ca’ed Stephanie, accordin’ ti me.
‘ARI please driver’, grama sais ti the taxi driver. ‘Wi kin get ye new hings efter we’ve been up ti see yer Mam an yer new brither, Scott’, she sais ti me. Ah wiz fizzin’ mad. Mi Grama hid lost ma case on ih bus and I wis gein her grief fur bein si careless. Ah hid turned fower twa days afore, so ah wisna in ih best humour onywy, bein shunted aff ti ma grunny’s on ma birthday.
She couldna hide bein amused.
‘It isna funny Grama’ ah telt her, ‘ah ma best things and favourite toys wis in there!’ I teen a lookie in the rear view mirror at the dour faced driver, pointed and sais ‘See – he disna think its funny either!’
Ma Grunny wis in knots and telt abdy iss story.
I am ‘fair tricket‘ with these. I’ll leave the translations up to you. If you are really interested, you can look it up. I’ve been affa good by including some internet-linky-treats to get you started. I’ve certainly been inspired to research beyond my personal interest. The Doric Detective Agency… open for investigation. I’m sure there’s a story in there somewhere, but I’ll leave that for another time.