Aye Can - Speak Scots Language

Speak Scots

Scottish Census 2011 - 27th March

South West

Scots has been spoken here since the Middle Ages. The dialect is known by language experts as South Central Scots, though speakers usually refer to it by the name of the place they live so a speaker may say, for example, that they speak Dumfries or that they speak Gallowa.

The dialect covers Nithsdale, South Ayrshire (from the town of Ayr southwards), Stewartry and Wigtown,. It is bounded to the east by the town of Dumfries and includes within it Castle Douglas (Carlinwark), Crossmichael (Crossmickle), Dalbeattie (Dabaittie), Dalmellington (Damelintoun), Girvan, Kircudbright (Kirkcoubrie), New Galloway (New Gallowa), Newton Stewart and Stranraer (Stranrawer).

In Nithsdale people traditionally said blaa and craa instead of blaw and craw (blow and crow) and through most of the region dialect speakers use pronunciations such as gyid, min, shin (good, moon, shoes).

It is common to hear certain things in the dialect contracted in speech. For example, in the, on the, and at the become i'e', o'e', etc, as for example i'e' toon or i'e' mornin (in the town and in the morning). The most famous of the poets in Scots - Robert Burns - was born and bred in this dialect region. His family home at Alloway (Allowa) is now a museum.

Click on the audio inks to hear people from this area speaking Scots.