Mindin’ o’ Scots Swearer

James and I delighted in spikkin’ Sco’ish. Actually, it was almost like another language for us and we would describe ourselves only half jokingly as bilingual! Much of it was just for fun because most of the time our lives demanded normal speech in received pronunciation, aye of course with a tinge of Scots accent, the rhotic “r”, the longer vowels and different intonation. Of course, propping up a bar in a guid Scots pub it was easy for us to broaden the accent and use different expressions suiting the occasion, chatting naturally with others much more Scottish than us, at least sounding that way.

Here’s a real situation in the late 196s that James and I experienced at a country pub near a Perthshire graveyard we were working in, called Forgandenny near Auchterarder. We felt that we deserved a pint before our picnic lunches, and wandered along to the village pub. We chanced to be sitting at the bar when in came a travelling salesman (calling him a purveyor of kitchenware is an invention). We didn’t know about Tourette’s back then, although James was a medical student and I was an artyfart student, fond of reading. We could only wonder if and at how this guy sold anything with a sales patter peppered with “fungs”, and decided that he would surely have had to get it under control somehow in professional circumstances to manage to sell anything. So this meeting is real but some of what he said is made up, my memory sketchy and there’s always my strong desire to embellish a wee bit. James and I would have many laughs over many years about this incident.

The Scottish Swearer

Cheers! Good to meet you boys! Jeez, I fung need this fung pint! Been on the fung road a’ fung mornin’. Fungell! Ye wouldnae fung credit it! Ah wuz fung drivin’ along, an’ this fung jimmy passes me on a fung double yellow line. ’Course ah fung flashed mah fung lights an’ pressed mah fung horn but he wuz fung gone, man, fung gone! Fungell! Fung dangerous! There’s a lo’ o’ fung eejits oot there, fung think they own the roads. Look, let me fung tell youz withoot a fung word o’ a lie, ah would fung take their fung cars awa’ frae them, the way they fung drive. See me, ah drive fur a livin’, got tae fung drive safe, ahm a salesman, kitchen fung products, everything you could dream of fur yer fung kitchen, frae spoons tae sinks tae fung splashbacks, ah supply the fung lot. Aye, it’s a guid job, ah mean look at me, see me in here huvin’ a fung liquid lunch. Just the one fung pint though and a wee pork pie, or I’d lose mah fung job, cannae afford that, got a fung family, huvn’ ah? Twa wains, a laddie and a lassie, lovely children, mah life and joy, baith at school, cleverer than their fung faither … yeh, that’s fur fung sure, although ah ken yin thing’s fur fung certain ahm no’ fung zipped up the back. (Pauses) I see the bairns as often as ah can. You see, the fung wife left me a couple o’ fung years ago. She said she couldnae tak mah goin’ oan an’ oan onny mair. Couldnae tak me, but took the kids wi’ her. Life’s fung funny, eh? If you get mah meaning. But ye ken, ye gotta laugh somefungtimes. An’ see me, just a salesman, eh?! Ye wouldnae fung credit it! Whaur are youz boys from? … Eh? … Perth? Fung Perth! They say it’s really small … yeh, coz it’s between a couple o’ fung inches! Get it? Guid yin, eh? Eh? Eh? … Whit? Who me? Oh, ah wuz born in St Andrews, the hame o’ gowf. The noo, though, ah live in Kirk-fung-caldy, its only claim to fung fame being the home o’ linoleum and the Burmah fung Ballroom fur fussake – when it’s fung fu’ we say not much fung ballroom at the Burmah … get it? Eh? Eh? Good! Wouldnae want tae huv to spell it oot fur ye. Nothin’ worse than explaining a fung joke! Aye, well, thaz anither thing, the wife wasnae too keen on mah dirty humour, mah potty mooth, as she ca’ed it. Some people say tha’ fung Kirkcaldy’s fur mah fung sins! (Looks at his watch) Oh fuck me! … (Laughs) Don’t all rush at once! Hunners killed in the crush! Get it? Get it?  …Oh weel! We huv tae fung try. (Checks watch again) Holy fung hell! Is that the fung time? OK, that’s me fung aff, got a hotel kitchen to look at near Auchterarder. Ken it? The Lang Toon, sae ca’ed. Fung’ell, ahm late! Never a dull moment, eh? Look, it was fung good talkin’ tae yez. See yez again! Ta, ta! Bye ra fung noo!