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> More Help Please?, Scots endearments
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Sonee 
Posted: 24-Apr-2007, 09:43 PM
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I'm having another little problem. The dialogue in the short story I'm writing for fiction class this thursday is mostly Scots. How would a Scotswoman in the 1400's refer to her husband when she is talking to him? For example, if the husband entered a room and gave the wife an order and she wanted to respond with something similar to the English 'okay dear, whatever you say' how would she do it? Would she use an endearment, would she call him 'laird' or is there another term that I'm not familiar with?

Thanks again!

Sonja


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TheCarolinaScotsman 
Posted: 24-Apr-2007, 11:19 PM
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Sonja

Since your dialogue is Scots as opposed to Gaelic (if I understand you correctly), I suggest you check out http://www.dsl.ac.uk/dsl/ . This is the Dictionary of the Scottish Language. The introduction says in part:

"The Dictionary of the Scots Language (DSL) comprises electronic editions of the two major historical dictionaries of the Scots language: the 12-volume Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (DOST) and the 10-volume Scottish National Dictionary (SND). DOST contains information about Scots words in use from the twelfth to the end of the seventeenth centuries (Older Scots); and SND contains information about Scots words in use from 1700 to the 1970s (modern Scots). Together these 22 volumes provide a comprehensive history of Scots, and a New Supplement now (2005) brings the record of the language up to date. These are therefore essential research tools for anyone interested in the history of either Scots or English language, and for historical or literary scholars whose sources are written in Scots or may contain Scots usages."

You can search in either Scots or English.


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Sonee 
Posted: 25-Apr-2007, 03:57 PM
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Yes, you understand perfectly, it is Scots and not Gaelic. I had actually forgotten about the DSL! Thank you, I will definately use that! But will it give me things like endearments? Were endearments even used in 15th or 16th century Scotland? Will I be able to look up say the phrase 'my dear' or 'my love' and get an actual colloquial phrase or word? I guess what I'm looking for is something that is not just a translation of the individual words but an actual phrase that is used informally or colloquially. Does that make any sense?
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TheCarolinaScotsman 
Posted: 25-Apr-2007, 04:33 PM
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I looked up the phrase "my dear". The second citation was:

DSL - SNDS2 MAITAL, n. [
Gael. m'eudail My dear , my darling, f. eudail, feudail treasure] also muttal. My dear .
*Rs. 1990:
Utnow muttal! = Hello my dear !
*Rs. 1991 Bess Ross Those Other Times 36:
"Will you come for a cup of tea before you go east?" she asked Cis. "You're looking tired maital."
*Arg. 1994:
What's the matter, maital?
*Rs. 1997 Bess Ross Strath (1998) 176:
`I'll go, but you know Peggy ...' His head bent as he laced up his boots.
'Try again, maital, try.'

You can search individual words and phrases. Read the intro page for searching instructions.
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Sonee 
Posted: 25-Apr-2007, 05:54 PM
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Thanks Scotsman!

I have been using the DSL for about an hour now! (I looked up 'my dear' but I can't remember now what it said!) Can you tell me if this sounds correct?

“Catherine, you hiv tae mak that wench keep the bairns quyate the nicht. This tryst is necessary tae the future o Scotland an the survival of oor toun.” Lord Hamilton began as soon as he stepped into the tea room.
Lady Hamilton looked up from her writing in astonishment of his harsh tone. “Shuir, maital but she always leuk ower thaim, daes she no?”

I guess what I'm asking is would it be common for a woman to refer to her husband as 'maital' in everyday conversation? I've always felt that the relationship between a husband and wife was very...formal I guess you'd say. That they didn't get 'cute' with each other, if you take my meaning. Am I wrong?

Thanks again, you've been a big help!

Sonja
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TheCarolinaScotsman 
Posted: 25-Apr-2007, 06:28 PM
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I'm not sure what the "normal" relationship between a husband and wife would have been in that period in Scotland (heck, I'm not sure what "normal" is now). I do know that in most Celtic cultures, men and women have traditionally been on a more equal footing than in other cultures.

Hope you get a good grade.
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Sonee 
Posted: 25-Apr-2007, 06:38 PM
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True, 'normal' is a very subjective term. I always thought that the man 'ruled the roost' so to speak, at least in Scottish culture. Perhaps I'm wrong, or I've just read too much fiction about the subject!!

I hope I get a good grade as well! (I also hope I do a good enough job I can get it published eventually!)

Thanks for all your help.

Sonja
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