Mak Forrit Style Sheet

Maist scrievers haes thair ain thochts an preferences whan it comes til orthography. As editor I’m ettlin tae git the nummer o spellins doun til a couple o variants sae tae mak the blog mair consístent an easy tae read.

I hae uised a fair wheen sources (leetit efter the table ablo), an hae taen partícular tent o Andy Eagle’s respectit modren orthography, the muckle Dictionar o the Scots Leid, an, nocht least, the fouthie Scots líterar canon that gaes back tae Barbour’s The Brus in the 14t century. Forby that, I’v peyed guid heed tae the wark o the writers here at Mak Forrit, tae.

My heidmaist ettle is tae be pragmatic, an win at a maistly ‘neutral’, multi-dialectal — an accessible! — scrievit Scots that can be read by fowk frae aw airts an in thair ain by-leid.

Threap in the comments kistie at the fit o the page gin ye dae think I’m wrang wi ony o the chyces!

Scots (wirds and spellin variants uised on this blog) Spellins ye micht see itherwhaur English Jottins
a a
ablo ablow below
about; hous; our; etc. aboot, hoose; oor; etc. about; house; our; etc. I’m switherin whither tae uise -oo- in thir wirds for tae evite raivelment anent pronunciation. Houiver, gin we juist lat readers ken tae aye pronounce ou as ‘oo’, it shoudna cause muckle fasherie.
aa; aaricht; aabody; etc. aw; awricht; awbody; etc. all; all right; everyone; etc.
abuin [ə’bøn, ə’byn, ə’bɪn, ə’ben, ə’bin] abune above
because acause because
ain (One’s) own
an an The indefinite airticle a micht occur afore baith vouels and consonants
an and
an aw, an aa as weel forby also
ane [en, jɪn, in, wan], ae [eː, jeː]; ance [ens, jɪns, ins, wans] one; once
anely ainly only
are (contractit ’re) ar are
as as
at at
aye ayeweys ay, ey always Burns uises ay (see DOST entry forby); Lorimer ey; MacDiarmidMcLellan an Fitt aye 
ay aye yes Lorimer, McLellan uise ay. Stevenson uises ay an aye. R. L. C. Lorimer uises aye in Macbeth. Ay gien as first heidwird at SND, an by OSD
back back
be be
body person
but but
by bi (optional unstressed) by
can; coud can; could
canna(e); coudna(e); wadna(e); etc. cannot, can’t; couldn’t; wouldn’t; etc.
come; cam come; came
contact; dialect; direct; fact; project; etc. contack; dialeck; direck; fack; projeck; etc. contact; dialect; direct; fact; project; etc. The -ck mak kythes a fair bit. A wheen ensaumples: respeck (DOST, SND), fack (DOSTSND); Scotland Makkin’s Scots Leid Policie; this SP document; NLS’s Wee Windaes project; SCOTS: contackdireck, fackprojeck. Burns uises, for ensaumple, eleckitnegleckit, respeckit, an theeckit. Lorimer uises acksarchiteckconvick, effeck, eleckexpecks, fackrespeck, rejeck, refleck, subjeck. R. L. C. Lorimer uises direcklie in his translate o Macbeth
contemporar; líbrar(y); líterar; ordinar; secretar; etc. contemporary; library; literary; ordinary; secretary; etc. SND: ordinar, secretar; SCOTS: ordinarsecretar. Leebrar kythes on NLS’s Scots Scriever Twitter account an Wee Windaes wabsteid. OSD gies contemporar, leebrar, leeterar, ordinar, secretar. There’s no ower mony kythins o contemporar an leeterar gin ye Google, but it’s certes consístent wi ither sib wirds. Linguist John M. Kirk mentions this mak here
dae; did; duin, daen div (emphatic) dune do; did; done Barbour an Middle Scots makars uise dodid, done. Lorimer, MacDiarmid an McLellan aw uise daedid, dune. Stevenson uises dae (ance), didna. Burns uises do, dae (ance), did, done. Fitt uises dae, did, done. SND gies dae an did, wi dune as the past participle heidwird. SDS gies dae, did, duin. OSD gies dae/div, daed/did, duin/daen
cultur; featur; futur; líteratur; etc. culture; feature; future; literature; etc; DOST: futur; SND: leeteraturCultur kythes a fair bit gin ye Google. Featur is uised on Wee Windaes and SLA wabsteids. OSD gies cultur, featur, futur and leeteratur 
decísion, specífic, partícular, phýsics, sýstem, etc. deceesion, speceefic, parteecular, pheesics, seestem, etc. (or deceision, speceific, parteicular, pheisics, sýstem, etc.) decision, specific, particular, physics, system etc. No awbody pronounces thir wirds wi a ‘ee’-like sound; an scrievit ‘ee’ leuks a bittie unbonnie. We’v sattelt wi the ‘í’ an ‘ý’ chairacters (the staundart letters ‘i’ an ‘y’ wi diacritics abuin thaim), an leave it tae the reader tae pronounce it thair ain wey
day day
doun; nou; toun; dout; etc. doon; noo; toon; doot; etc. down; now; town; doubt; etc. Uise o -ou- in thir wirds shoudna cause confuision ower pronunciation
efter after
eneuch enough
even (contractit e’en) even
frae fae from
find [fɪn(d)] finn find
first first
for [fɔr, for, fər, fɪr, fʌr] fir, fur, fer for For kythes maist aften in my sairches o modren beuks etc. The’re ower mony spellin variants sae juist gaun wi for. OSD gies for
gae, gan(g); gaed; gane (pp.); gaun, gaein go; went; gone; going
gate wey gait way
gie; gied, gae; gien, gied give; gave; given
gin gif if, whether
get git get
guid [gød, gyd, gjød, gɪd, ged, gwid, gid] good
hae [heː], hiv [hɪv, hʌv] (emphatic); haed [heːd, hɛd, hɪd, hʌd]; haedna(e) [heːdnə, hɛdnə, hɪdnə, hʌdnə, -nɛ, -nɪ, -ne] hae; had; hadna(e) have; had; hadn’t Burns uises hae an had
haes [heːz, hɪz, hʌz]; haesna(e) [-nə -nɛ, -nɪ, -ne] hes; hesna(e) has; hasn’t Burns uises has
hale haill whole
haund; grund; laund; aroond etc. haun; grun; laun; aroon etc. hand; ground; land; around; etc. The -d is pronounced yet in mair conservative by-leids, sae mebbe we shoud haud wi it
he he
her hir her
him him
haena hinna hivna haven’t Burns uises hae na
his his
why hou whit wey why
hunder hunner hundred Burns uises hunder
I [aː, ə, ɛ, aɪ] A Ah I (1st pers. pron.)
in i in
be; is; wis [waz, wɛz, wɪz, wʌz]; war; been [bin, bɪn, bein, bøn] wes (English was) be; is; was; were; been (pp.) OSD gies be, is, wis, war an been. Wes an war wis kenspeckle in Aulder Scots. Burns uises were.
it hit (stressed form) it Contractit ’t in e.g. for’t, o’t etc.
ither other
its its
juist [dʒøst, dʒyst, dyst, dʒust, dust, dʒɪst, dɪst, dʒist] jist just
ken knaw know
like like
leuk; beuk; teuk; etc. luik; buik; tuik; etc. look; book; took; etc. Burns uises leuk, beuk an teuk. OSD gies aw three
my; mysel ma; masel my; myself Ma an masel micht can be uised insteid o my an mysel, or as a unstressed mak thareof. For expository scrievin, I’d juist mebbe gang wi my an mysel
maist most
mak make
me me
mind mynd remember
na [nə, neː] (adv., int.) naw no (e.g. negative repone tae a quaisten) Na gien by OSDSND. DOST entry. Uised by Lorimer, Burns and McLellan
nae (adj.) no, not any; not (adv.) (Northren dialects) Gien by OSD, SND
name name
neist nixt next
new new
no not “From the contracted form of nocht” (OSD)
nor than than
o [o, e, ə] of
on [ɔn, on] oan on
ony; mony onie; monie any; many
our; oursel; oursels wir; wirsel; wirsels our; ourself; ourselves Wir, wirsel an wirsels micht be uised insteid o our, oursel an oursels; or as a unstressed mak thareof
or or
ower owre over
rin run
sae so
say say
see see
she she
shall; shoud sall; sud shall; should Barbour, Dunbar, Douglas, Henryson an Stevenson aw uise sall an suld. McLellan uises shall an suld. Burns uises baith sal an shall, an sud an should; Lorimer uises sal an suid. SND an OSD baith gie sall an sud. OSD forby gies shall an shoud as mair modren spellins
some some
speak [spɪk, spɛk]; spak; spoken; speakin [spɪkɪn, spɛkɪn] spik speak; spoke; spoken; speaking
stairt; pairty stert; perty start; party
tae; intae til, intil ti; inti to; into
tak; teuk; takken, taen; takkin, taein take; took; taken; taking
than syne then
that, ’at thon yon at that Uissage o thon/yon is a bittie different tae that
that whit whilk which
the thi the
thay [ðe:, ðə, e:, de:]; thare [ðe:r, ðər, de:r, dɛr, e:r]; thair [ðe:r, ðər, de:r, dər]; thaim [ðɛm, ðəm, dɛm] they; there; their; them their; they; there; them
thir; thae this; that (North-East) these; those
think think
this [ðɪs, ɪs, dɪs] is, ’is this
time time
twa [twɑː, twɔː, tweː, twaː] twae two
uise [jøːz, jyːz, øːz, jeːz, iːz]; uiss [jøs, jɪs, is, jus] yaise, yuise; yiss, yuiss use (verb); use (noun)
university, versity; policy universitie, varsity; policie university; policy DOST: universitie, policie; RPS: universitie, policie. Universitie uised by the Aiberdeen University Scots Leid Quorum in the 1990s. Policie uised in the title o Scotland Makkin’s 2015 Scots Leid Policie. “Glesca Universitie” kythes in a 2007 Pairlamentar motion
up up
us hus (stressed form) us
want want
wark [wark] (n.) wirk [wɪrk, wʌrk] (v.) work
we we
weel well
wha [ʍɑː, ʍɔː, ʍeː, ʍɪə, faː, aː, ʍaː] fa who
whan [ʍan, ʍən, ʍɪn, fan, fɪn, aːn] fan when
whit [ʍɪt, ʍʌt, ʍat, ʍɔt, fɪt, fʌt, fat, ət] fit what Burns, Lorimer, McLellan an Stevenson aw uise what. Fitt uises whit. (Barbour an the medieval Makars uise quhat.) Christine Robinson uises whit in Modren Scots Grammar. What kythes muckle mair in the DSL. OSD gies whit. Whit kythes outthrou the SLC wabsteid. Leuks like whit micht be the mair kenspeckle modren spellin; but aiblins what wad wirk better for mair formal/conservative expository ettles
wi with
will [wɪl, wʌl]; wad [wad, wɪd, wʌd] wull; wid, wud will; would Will an wad gien by OSD. Will an wald wis kenspeckle Aulder Scots maks. Burns uises wad.
without ’ithout wi’out athoot without
ye you
year year
yer; yersel your; yoursel your; yourself Burns an Lorimer uise yoursel, McLellan an Fitt yer an yersel(l) (an baith whiles your). SND gies your, notin that yer (an ither variants) uised “chiefly in unstressed position”


Item Jottins
Concise Scots Dictionary (2nd Edition) (2017) Scottish Language Dictionaries an Edinburgh University Press
Dictionar o the Scots Leid (DSL)
A Doric Dictionary (1996) Pit thegither an editit by Douglas Kynoch
Essential Scots Dictionary, The (2004) Scottish Language Dictionaries (SLD)
Online Scots Dictionary (OSD): English to Scots; Scots to English Creatit by Andy Eagle
Scots Dictionary for Schools app (iOS; Android) (2014)
Leeterar warks an ither imprents
The Brus by John Barbour Written c. 1375. The first kent leeterar wark in (Early) Scots. 2009 Canongate edeetion by A. A. M. Duncan notes that “52% o the wirds in the poem is stryndit frae Auld Angles, 37% frae French (tho mony wad be auld borraeins).” A wheen wirds uised that will be kenspeckle tae modren een: amang; ane; ar (uised by Lorimer; kythes the day in Lallans jurnal); biggit; brocht; dout; fecht; folk (modren spellin: fowk); fra (auld spellin o frae); gan; gane; hale; hame; hous (maistly spelt hoose the day); ilka; licht; maist; mak; mony; na; nane; nocht; ony; strenth; syne; tak; thocht; throu; till (modren spellin is for common til); twa 
The Complete Stories of Robert Louis Stevenson Twa stories are scrieved in Scots: Tod Lapraik an Thrawn Janet
The Canongate Burns: The Complete Poems and Songs of Robert Burns (Leet o ensaumple spellins tae follae)
Eejits, The by Roald Dahl, owerset by Matthew Fitt First imprentit in 2006. Ensaumple spellins: aff, afore, and, aroond, aw, awa, awbody, awricht, aye (English “always”), aye (English “yes”), because, biggit, canna, cannae, chynge, couldnae, didna, dinna, dinnae (in dialog), doon, efter, find, folk, forby, frae, furnitur, gaed, gane, gang, gaun, git, glaikit, guid, had, hadnae, hae, haill, haund, hert, hoose, I, ilka, intae, isna, jaikit, jist, jyle, ken, lauch, look, ma, mair, maist, masel, mony, nicht, nixt, noo, ony, ower, pairt, pit, staund, stert, strecht, tae, telt, thae, then, there, warld, weel, wha, when, whit, wi, wid, widnae, wis, wisna, wisnae, work, wrang, ye, yer, yin, yir, you (emphatic mak)
Linmill Stories by Robert McLellan Imprentit in 2010. (Leet o ensaumple spellins tae follae)
The Makars: The Poems of Henryson, Dunbar and Douglas The eeditor, J. A. Tasioulas, notes that “the spellin o the texts haes been modrenised a wee bit” but disna gang intae ony mair detail. Onygates, here’s a wheen o weel-kent wirds an phrases, in uiss the day, taen frae thir Middle Scots poems: ane; ay (modren spellin: aye, meanin “always” in English); buik; coud; douchter; doun; dout; dreid; fra; guid; haill; hairt; hame; hous; ken; kirk; kist; langage; lat; leid; licht; luik; mair; mak; mirk; nocht; ony; pairt; richt; sall; sangs; soucht; strang; symmer (modren spellin: simmer); tak; tak na tent; than; thir; toucht; tuik; twa; warld
New Testament In Scots, The by William L. Lorimer First imprentit in 1983. (Leet o ensaumple spellins tae follae)
Lallans: The Journal o Scots Airts an Letters
Papers, grammars etc.
A Scots Grammar: Scots Grammar & Usage by David Purves
Introduction to Modern Scots by Andy Eagle
Modren Scots Grammar: Wirkin wi Wirds by Christine Robinson
Recommendations for Writers in Scots Scots Leid Associe, 1985
Luath Scots Language Learner by L. Colin Wilson Lauth, 2002 an 2012
Scots Style Sheet Makar’s Club, 1947
Scots Spellin Comatee 1996-1998 Report recommends: Mensfu Scots Spellin
Oxford English Corpus o 100 maist common wirds, via EnglishClub
Records of the Parliaments of Scotland to 1707 St Andras Universitie
Scottish Corpus Of Texts & Speech Glesca Universitie
Ither wabsteids
Bella Caledonia
Centre for the Scots Leid
Scots Threip by John M. Tait, includin airticles anent writin expository Scots
Wee Windaes: A Continuum o the Scots Leid Naitional Leebrar o Scotland
Wikipedia: Doric
Wikipedia: Modern Scots

One Reply to “Mak Forrit Style Sheet”

  1. Evertype publishes Alice in nine dialects of Scots (Border, Caithness, Glaswegian, North-East (Doric), Shetland, South-Central, Synthetic, Ulster, and West-Central) as well as in a number of dialects of English (Appalachian, Cockney Rhyming Slang, Cornu-English, Middle English, Old English, Scouse):

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