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How Well Do You Know Scots?

De ye ken the Scots leid?

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  1. 1. What does "neuk" mean, as in "East Neuk of FIfe"?

    Flickr: kmlawson / Creative Commons
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    Bit
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    Corner
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    Incorrect
    New
    Correct
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    Chunk
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Correct answer: Corner

    "Neuk" is the Scots word for nook or corner. The pretty East Neuk fishing villages include Elie (pictured), St Monans, Cellardyke, Crail, and Kingsbarns.

    Correct answer: Corner
    Flickr: cosmicherb70 / Creative Commons
  2. 2. How would you translate the top line of this Robert Burns poem?

    youtube.com
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    But mouse, you are not silent.
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    But mouse, you are not my problem.
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    But mouse, you are not alone.
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    Mouse, please stop playing that tiny violin.
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Correct answer: not alone

    "But Mouse, you are not alone In proving that foresight may be vain: The best laid plans of mice and men Often go wrong."

    Correct answer: not alone
    en.wikipedia.org / Creative Commons
  3. 3. What does "brae" mean?

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    Lane or alley
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    Outdoor hook-up spot
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    Dungeon
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    Hillside or steep slope
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    Wrong!

    Correct answer: Hillside or steep slope

    In the lowland Scots dialect "brae" means a steep bank or hillside, as in: "A figure was spied struggling up the brae."

    Correct answer: Hillside or steep slope
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  4. 4. How would you translate the middle two lines of this section of the Gruffalo (Scots version)?

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    The owl wet himself at the Gruffalo. "Help my friend Bobby!" he said, "Goodbye, small mouse."
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    The badger took a fright at the Gruffalo. "I'm out of here!" he said, "Goodbye little mouse."
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    The fox took one look at the Gruffalo. "Goodness gracious!" he said, "Cheerio, little mouse."
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    The fox pooped his pants at the Gruffalo. "WTF!" he said, "Laters."
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Correct answer: The fox took one look at the Gruffalo. "Goodness gracious!" he said, "Cheerio, little mouse."

    "Help ma boab!" is a catchphrase of the Scottish cartoon character Oor Wullie. When he's in trouble he usually shouts: "Jings, crivens and help ma Boab", which roughly translates as: "Jesus, heavens and help me God."

    Correct answer: The fox took one look at the Gruffalo. "Goodness gracious!" he said, "Cheerio, little mouse."
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  5. 5. We've (roughly) translated a movie quote into Scots. But what movie is it from?

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    Jaws
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    The Artist
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    Dirty Dancing
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    Star Wars
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    Wrong!

    Correct answer: Dirty Dancing

    The quote is actually a translation of "nobody puts Baby in the corner". All together now: "I've hud th' time ay mah life, an' uv niver felt 'at way afair."

    Correct answer: Dirty Dancing
    Vestron Pictures
  6. 6. What does "stramash" mean, as in: "There was a big stramash at the ceilidh"?

    commons.wikimedia.org / Creative Commons
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    Plate of potatoes
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    Commotion/uproar
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    Poop
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    Accident
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    Wrong!

    Correct answer: Commotion/uproar

    The dictionary defines stramash as: 1. an uproar; tumult; brawl vb (tr) 2. to destroy; smash [perhaps expanded from smash]

    Correct answer: Commotion/uproar
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  7. 7. How would you translate this saying?

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    Don't punch anyone until the end of May.
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    Never discard any of your clothing before the end of May.
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    Never make dumplings before the end of May.
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    Don't make a plaster cast replica of your genitals before the end of May.
    Correct!
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    Correct answer: Never discard any of your clothing before the end of May.

    Cloot means cloth or clothing, and the saying essentially means: "It's not taps aff weather until June": Sage advice that more of us should follow.

    Correct answer: Never discard any of your clothing before the end of May.
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  8. 8. You see the Scots word "Auchen" in a lot of place names, but what does it mean?

    Flickr: 27828336@N00 / Creative Commons
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    Toilet
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    Field
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    Church
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    Garden centre
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    Correct answer: Field

    Auchen is a common prefix in the Lowlands, and is thought to originate from the Scottish Gaelic word "achadh", meaning "field of the..."

    Correct answer: Field
    Flickr: tambako / Creative Commons
  9. 9. In this Robert Burns poem, what does "sonsie" mean?

    BuzzFeed
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    Attractive and curvaceous
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    Gross, unpleasant, and grim
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    Stupid
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    Ugly
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    Correct answer: Attractive and curvaceous.

    Sonsie comes from the Gaelic words sonas, meaning luck, but its meaning changed to describe someone who is jolly, healthily plump and attractive. In short: It's all about that bass.

    Correct answer: Attractive and curvaceous. Tap to play GIF Tap to play GIF
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  10. 10. What does the saying "It's a sair fecht" translate as?

    thecomicartwebsite.com
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    "Up yours."
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    "I've got a headache."
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    "Mine's a double."
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    "It's a hard life."
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    Correct answer: "It's a hard life".

    "It's a sair fecht" literally translates as "It's a sore fight", but is used as an expression of despondency meaning: "It's a hard life" or "that's life".

    Correct answer: "It's a hard life". Tap to play GIF Tap to play GIF
    youtube.com / Columbia Pictures
  11. 11. If someone told you they were "Drouthy", what would you do?

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    Call the police
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    Suggest they go to the doctor
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    Offer to buy them a pint
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    Tell them not to be so hard on themselves
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Correct answer: Offer them a pint

    Drouthy means thirsty, though it's usually used to describe a need for an alcoholic drink. In his poem "Tam o' Shanter", Burns described Hogmanay as a time when “drouthy neebors” gather to see in the New Year in a booze-fuelled haze.

    Correct answer: Offer them a pint
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  12. 12. What does this phrase mean?

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    I hope that's the haggis I can smell and not your feet.
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    I wish you well for the future.
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    Cheer up, mate.
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    I hope your stomach feels better soon.
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Correct answer: I wish you well for the future.

    This phrase quite literally means: "Long may your chimney smoke", but is used to wish people good fortune at Hogmanay, essentially saying: "May you never be without fuel for your fire".

    Correct answer: I wish you well for the future.
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  13. 13. What about this phrase?

    Flickr: owenhr / Creative Commons
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    You can't make an omelette without breaking eggs.
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    Wee Jimmy Krankie looks like a haunted ventriloquist's dummy.
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    Look after the small things and the big things will take care of themselves.
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    Get it up ye.
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Correct answer: Look after the small things and the big things will take care of themselves.

    "Many a mickle makes a muckle" tends to be used to mean "many small things add up to one big thing" and is usually used in the context of money: "Look after the pennies and the pounds take care of themselves".

    Correct answer: Look after the small things and the big things will take care of themselves. Tap to play GIF Tap to play GIF
  14. 14. And finally: What would you do if someone told you the weather was "driech"?

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    Buy a kite, then fly it to the highest height.
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    Take all your clothes off and grab your suncream.
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    Put on two extra jumpers and find an umbrella.
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    Run around screaming hysterically.
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Correct answer: Put on two extra jumpers and find an umbrella

    Dreich is a particularly useful Scots word that means dreary, miserable, wet, bleak weather. As in: "It's a cold, dreich August day again."

    Correct answer: Put on two extra jumpers and find an umbrella Tap to play GIF Tap to play GIF
    smg.photobucket.com / Studio Ghibli,
 
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