Scottish Words Illustrated.

Robbie's Poems in Scots.

These two poems, The Ither Twa and The Unwelcome Arrival, are reproduced here for the first time by kind permission of Robbie Gordon. The two poems are from a growing collection of poems which are based on first hand experience of farming life in the north east of Scotland.

All the Scots words that have been used in the quiz are highlighted to help you use the context to get to the meanings to help you score well.

28, June, 2000.

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The Ither Twa.

The nicht wis dark, the win’ wis caul’, the air wis fu o’ sleet,
but baith we twa were big an’ strang , an’ seen up on oor feet.
A perfect pair is whit we are, a credit tae oor mither.
Bit whit is this! It canna be! She gone an’ hid anither.

Ye’d hardly ca yon thing a lamb, it’s thin, an’ weak an’ sma,
it really shoudna be here, tae bring shame on us a’.
At least she jist ignored it, an’ we will pey nae heed,
for in oor ain opinion, it wid be best aff deid.

There is nae doubt oor breedin’ shows, we’re surely set for fame.
But a runt like yon! oor brither? God save us fae sic pain.
An so withoot a sideways glance, we wandered oot o’ sicht.
To save oor name it’s best by far, he sees nae mornin’ licht.

It's plain tae see that you an’ me are o’ a better class,
an’ shid be fed on better things than rank, ill managed grass.
So we brak oot at every turn, tae nee’bours peas an’ corn,
an’ see yon bonny cabbage patch, we’ll clear it a’the morn.

The fermer surely kens oor worth, he’s taen us doon “in bye”
an staps us fu’ o’ concentrates, the kind they feed tae kye.
Its nae the stuff for common sheep, its fit they’d feed tae gods,
an’ a the ither aulder yews walk by wi knowing nods.

Each day he stans admirin us, tae tell us ther’s nae need.
We, an’ his ither fermin’ freens, ken we are extra guid.
He’s brushed, an’ washed, an’ trimmed oor ‘oo’, till we are white an’ gleamin’.
We’ll prove that we’er the worlds best, he’s takin’s tae the “Hielin”.

We’er baith sae prood, an’ rightly so, we baith stick oot oor chest,
an’ line oot there, we canna fail, we’er bound tae beat the rest.
The judge he looks a’ doon the line, we dinna need tae worry,
an for the ither “also rans” we canna say we’er sorry.

We won! we ken’t it a’ along, we are the best by miles,
an’ a the folk aroon oor pen look doon wi’ knowin’ smiles.
Deservedly we are the top, we’ve reached the tap maist tip,
Bit tell us whit it means tae win, the Butcher’s Championship.

The Unwelcome Arrival.

That nicht, a northeast sleety win’, wid geel’t ye tae the bane,
ahin the dyke, wis this wee lamb, cauld, hungry, an’alane.
Left there by his mither, She couldna care a damn.
She didna need this trachle, she had ither twa big lambs.

Picked up in the morning, a wee bit short o’ deed
and taen up tae the fermhouse to be warmed and gien a feed.
The fermer said there’s nae much hope “the bloody thing ‘ll dee”.
His wife was mair saft hearted, “Gie the puir wee soul tae me.”

Wi’ a fair bit o’ TLC, and warm milk in his belly,
oor hero stumled tae his feet and fell alow the telly.
The wife she says “This winna dae, oor system is jist folly
He’s soaked the mat, upset the cat, and tries tae suck the collie."

"An’ min’ the nicht when you cam in an’ you took aff yer wellies
an stood intae a dollop that wis sticky, warm, an’ smelly.
Ye swore that nicht, that come the morn’ ye’d dae somthing aboot it.
Wi mornin licht, an’ oot the door, dae that for me? I doubt it."

"The cardboard box he’s keepit in, is nae ees ony mair,
the bottom it is soggy an’ ther’s piddle on the flair.
A canna coont hoo mony lambs, a’ve hid tae hae this ’ear.
Ye’ll hae tae find anither wey. Ther’ll be nae mair in here!”

Bit you an’ me, we baith ken fine that come cauld winters rain,
anither day, anither lamb, she’ll dae the same again.
Wi little thanks, an’ far less cash, she’ll dae what is expec’ed.
An’ on this place, nae little lamb, will iver feel neglec’ed.

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