Few things are more expressive, persuasive, or satisfying to pronounce than a well-chosen Scots word, and for the 1.5M people who can speak the tongue the definitive record of their vocabulary is The Dictionar o the Scots Leid.
The DSL (Dictionary of the Scots Language, in English) is now an online resource run by the charitable Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. It combines two formerly separate works, and currently covers a flabrigastin 77,500 gear o wirds, as we say in Bellevue, dating from the 12th century to 2005. Try having a go HERE.
Next month, as part of Being Human: A Festival of the Humanities, Edinburgh University and Scottish Language Dictionaries are organising an exhibition to show what light the DSL can shed on past uses of Scots, and how this resource is constantly revised to keep abreast of its use in the world today.
The free event is called ‘Wird Hunt!’, and will give attendees the chance to help editors spot and track Scots vocabulary in contemporary books and poems.
‘Wird Hunt’ will appear at various venues at various times in November, but is close to home for Spurtle readers at Leith Library on Ferry Road from 1pm–7pm on Wednesday 21 November.