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Word up: 20 of the best Doric terms

It's often seen as the poor cousin of the better-funded Gaelic.

Rowies
Rowie: not just a word, more a way of life

But champions of Doric in the north-east have fought a doughty campaign to keep it alive, and today found support from local bus operator First Aberdeen, which is starting a Doric bus service with words from the dialect featured inside vehicles.

Aboard The Doric Bus, which will be part of regular services in the area, patrons will be greeted with weel-kent phrases across interior advertising panels, including 'bosie' (a cuddle, or hug), 'feart' (afraid) and 'puckle' (a bit or a few).

A first glance at the Doric dictionary for inabootcomers might be slightly disorientating, as the lyrical words and phrases of the north-east can take a while to absorb into more southerly brains (including mine, from deepest Portsmouth) - tooteroo, anyone (any wind instrument)? Or humpie-baikit (hunchback)?

To some, the phrase 'furry boots' might pertain more to a poor sartorial choice in footwear than a Scottish city, but the term has now become so synonymous with Aberdeen that there is even a furry boots app, designed to let users keep abreast of traffic, weather and events.

The phrase also proved popular with comedy act Scotland the What?, who formed in the 1950s while attending the University of Aberdeen and went on to tour the world with incomparably wry social observations of life in the north-east.

It's not just a language of laughter, either ­- many prolific Scottish writers have utilised Doric in their work - key players in the Kailyard genre (most notably Lewis Grassic Gibbon's Scots Quair trilogy) often used Doric to add credibility to scenes and dialogue portraying archaic rural life, as well as creating pathos.

Historically used to refer to the dialect of Lowland Scots, Doric was adopted in the north-east during the 20th century, but the word itself possesses a somewhat unexpected etymology.

Greek Dorians living in Sparta were said to use a more succinct form of the Ancient Greek language - often with harsh pronunciation and restricted vocabulary - compared to the Attic language spoken at the time in Athens.

Further links between the two languages were made when comparisons were drawn between the anglicised version of English used in Edinburgh and the language used in more rural areas, and the term Doric became incorporated into our lexicon permanently.  

 Despite Doric taking its origins from bygone times in country some 2000 miles away, the language is still very much alive and kicking in the north-east.

These are our favourite words picked from the Doric dictionary, with examples of usage - some have been adopted into the wider Scottish vernacular, others not so much (and we've added a Received Pronunciation definition for the uninitiated). What would you add to the list?

Allagrugous - awful, terrible. The quine looked so allagrugous a couldnae ging near her. (The girl had adopted a ghastly appearance; I refrained from making her acquaintance)

Beddit - to be in bed. Stop yir footerin aboot or yi'll be beddit. (Kindly refrain from misbehaviour, otherwise you'll be placed in bed)

Cat-sookins - wet, limp hair. Yer quine has cat-sookins. (Your daughterappears to have a most unappealing head of hair upon her exit from the shower)

Drookit - drenched. A wiz trapped under thon brandet and am drookit! (Alas, I found myself caught under a drain cover and I'm subsequently soaked to the skin)

Een - eyes. Ma cowkin made ma een waater. (I retched so violently that the action brought tears to my eyes)

Fit - what. Fit ye like?!  (That behaviour is in keeping with your known characteristics)

Heid-bummer - boss. The heid-bummer at ma work looked unca revelt. (My line manager adopted a confused expression)

Ill-tricket - mischievous.  At cuddie's affa ill-tricket, at een! (This rascal is renowned for his troublesome behaviour)

Loon - boy. The loon at Kirk Brae has run awa. (The young man, who resides in Kirk Brae, has left the town indefinitely)

Mineer - hullabaloo. He caused a richt mineer fan he bared his airse. (A commotion occurred on account of a fellow exposing his posterior)

Nickum - mischievous child. Gawaaah, yi nickum loon! (Please relocate yourself from this area, delinquent)

Oxter - armpit. Av minky oxter fay ging to T in the Park. (My levels of personal hygiene slipped considerably at Scotland's pre-eminent music festival)

Puddock - frog. Yon's a puddock on that grape! (Lo! Observe the frog atop the large garden fork!)

Quine - girl. Ma quine is affa fine. (I have an exceptional good-looking girlfriend)

Rowie/buttery - savoury bread roll. Far's ma rowie, mither?(I've misplaced my salty baked comestible, mater. Could you assist in its relocation?)

Scunner - to irritate. Come doon fae there, ya scunner. (Your aptitude for climbing is become bothersome, you annoying person)

Teuchter - rural dweller. Yon teuchter is baaldie-heidit. (The gentleman from the country is experiencing hair-loss)

Unca - very. Yi hiv an unca big heid on yi. (Your cranium appears to be abnormally large)

Vratch - annoyance. Yon toonser is a richt vratch. (Unfortunately, the city dweller has been making rather a nuisance of themselves)

Yokey - itchy. Peter's stockin-soles wir yokey. (The socks, which belonged to Peter, caused him great discomfort owing to their tickly nature)

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