Scotland is observing St Andrew’s Day today — the feast day of their patron saint. Let’s celebrate with them by testing our knowledge of the Scottish tongue:
Edinburgh-born writer Robert Louis Stevenson (13 November 1850 – 18 December 1894) is famous all over the world for his wondrous and inventive use of language. But what are some of the specific ways in which he related to words, in his works and working life? The Teller of Tales Stevenson lived the last few […]
The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is a great source for finding fun, obsolete words. Do you, for instance, know what a lorthew is? Or what it means to be muckibus? Take this quiz and prove you’re a true logophile. Follow the OED on Twitter to learn more weird and wonderful words.
To ‘get off scot-free’ means ‘to get away with something without being punished’. Since the familiar English word Scot refers to a native or inhabitant of Scotland, it is tempting to assume that this is a reference to that country. Indeed, that association seems to have existed since at least the 1500s, when the alternative […]
The following is adapted from the Oxford Dictionary of Word Origins. Scotland has given English many words—some from the Gaelic language, some from Scots, and others reflecting links to further shores. The Scots poet Robert Burns (1759–96) has also weighed in with memorable expressions. ‘Auld Lang Syne’ Anyone who has ever been to a New […]
When people ask where I am from, the answer “Scotland” is not what they are expecting – that much is evident from my accent, which I haven’t lost after 14 years down south. For the most part, people find it easy enough to understand me – my Scots brogue isn’t all that impenetrable. Yet on […]