(written especially for Doric Future)


Fit is “Doric”?  Doric is the wye north-East folk spik.  I suppose ye wid ca’ it an accent or a dialect.

Fin I wis a loon, I didna’ ken that I spoke Doric or hid an accent. Ye see, the wye I spoke wis learnt at my midder’s knee an’ abody roon’ aboot a’ spoke i same wye.   Bit fin I wis nearly five ma femily flitted fae Buchan awa’ doon sooth tae Perthshire an’ fin I started the skweel, I got a richt stammagaster kis abody spoke different fae me!   I hid a richt crabbit, ill nettered aal wifie for a teacher.   She didna like me nor the wye I spoke, bit I kent naething else.   The wye I spoke wis the wye I hid been spikken a’ ma life!  So I got ower the coals ilky day fae this teacher till I learnt tae spik the richt gait.   Bit as seen as I got hame at nicht, I could spik my ain wye again and so it has been tae this day.

Nooadays, I can spik like a native fae Perthshire or even proper schoolroom English bit I still spik the Doric in my ain hoose, tae my ain folk, bairns an’ grandchildren as weel.   It juist seems the maist natural thing tae dee.

Bit I files worry aboot oor Buchan culture.   The bairns noo dinna spik tae een anither the wye they eased till a generation ago.  They a’ spik affa’ polite an’ are a’ richt weel spoken.   Noo, ‘at’s a’ richt, bit I think there’s a creepin’ Anglicisation o’ wir north-east culture an’ if we loss the ability tae spik Doric we loss an invaluable link tae wir past an’ wir fore-fadders.


What is “Doric”?   Doric is the way north-east people speak.   I suppose you would call it an accent or dialect.

When I was a boy, I didn’t know that I spoke Doric or had an accent.   You see, the way I spoke was learned at my mother’s knee and everyone in the area spoke the same way.   But when I was nearly five my family moved from Buchan down south to Perthshire and when I started school I got a shock because everyone spoke differently from me!   I had a stern, bad tempered old woman for a teacher.   She didn’t like me nor the way I spoke, but I knew nothing else.   The way I spoke was the way I had been talking all my life!   So I got into trouble every day from this teacher until I learned to speak “properly”.   However, as soon as I got home at night, I could converse in my own way again and so it has been to this day.

Nowadays, I can speak like a native from Perthshire or even proper schoolroom English but I still speak Doric in my own home to my family, children and grandchildren.   It just seems the most natural thing to do.

However, I worry about our Buchan culture.   The children now don’t talk to one another the way they used to a generation ago.   They all converse politely and are very well spoken.   Now that is fine but it seems that there is a creeping Anglicisation of our north-east culture and if we lose the ability to converse in Doric, we lose an invaluable link with our past and our forefathers.

Footnote from the author to Doric Future: “I watched some of your videos, good quality”.

Other work by Allan Thomson

All proceeds from his book @The Moss O’ Rora’ go to Ninewells Hospital cancer  campaign.

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