Daily Archives: December 21, 2007

Falling Back into Scottish English

Over the last few days, I’ve been going back to using some variants of Scottish English. It’s not a lot, but it happens subconsciously due to being exposed to Scottish English instead of its standard English variants.

A few examples:

– today, I phoned the council to enquire about a letter they had sent me regarding some arrears (turns out it was an automated letter etc. so basically I’m *not* in arrears). I asked them:

How am I in arrears?

Or something to that effect. In Scottish English, ‘How’ is used as a substitute for ‘Why’. A very common short phrase is: ‘How no?’ (= ‘Why not?’).

Another very common substitution is to use ‘stay’ instead of ‘live’. So, I said to my neighbour the other day:

I stay in London (= I live in London).

This one can be quite confusing for English speakers who don’t know that ‘stay’ = ‘live’. For instance, my friend had an email from her Columbian friend, saying:

‘I’m staying in Greenock’.

I had to explain to my English friend that it may mean that the person currently lives in Greenock, rather than ‘staying’, which in standard English could mean:

(a) I’m (currently) staying in Greenock (but will return to Glasgow next week)

(b) I’m staying (= remaining) in Greenock (for a while/for good).

but *not* ‘I live in Greenock’.

I do enjoy very much listening to it. Compare this to an Oirish guy who came to view my flat on Monday. I cannae stand the Oirish accent, especially the ROI one that is used e.g. in Dublin (though I do find a Belfast one quite sexy, at times).

Oirish really gives me the creeps, which is one reason I could never ever live there.

Scottish English, on the other hand, I find almost sexually arousing 😛