An Introduction To Caithness Dialect

Caithness dialect is a language that, until recently while working on my second edition of The Sun Is Snowing which is entitled: The Sun Is Snowing: Poems, Parables and Pictures, I didn't even know existed! It is a Scottish dialect made up of ancient languages like Pictish and Norn! I especially like the language called "Pictish" as it has me imagining that it is a language spoken by all pixies! How divine! Anyway, the Caithness dialect sounds like a heavily-accented English, and has been watered-down through the ages because throughout history, according to my Scottish friend David Shand, the children were taught in school never to speak the local language, but only to speak English! In fact, if the children spoke the local languages in school, a sheep's skull would be tied around their necks to humiliate them! By jove! 

Anyway, you can find out why I needed to learn about the Caithness dialect for my second edition TSIS book, when you get your own copy of it! In the meantime, it is my pleasure introducing you to this language, and I feel honored to be able to share this dialect with so many people who also probably haven't ever heard about it, in their lives! I am an advocate and admirer of ancient language, so this is a thrill for me to do! Enjoy the poem below! 



Div ye mind yer Kaitness hoosie
(Taken from the book: Caithnessian Poems and Plays by John Horne.
As shared with me by David Shand.)

Div ye mind yer Kaitness hoosie wi its wheezy but and ben,
A dowgie sleepin by e' fire, aside a clockin hen;
A dresser set wi bowlies, an a bandbox on a kist,
A cowgie fu o sooans, an' a stoolie wi' a list?
Div ye mind, boy Eh? Div ye mind?

Div' ye mind e' greasy grunter wi' his muckle flappan loogs,
An e' chuckens fechtin roond ye for e' sweelans o' e' moogs?
A slated blockie, on a bool, spread dryan in e sun,
While e duekies trail'd his heid-piece roond and roond e' byre for fun
Div ye mind, boy Eh? Div ye mind?

Div' ye mind e' Knotty Club wi its game and ragged band,
Fa's clubs wis bandaged kail-runs or anything at hand?
Noo and then a tae wis opened wi' a whistle fae e' ba',
An e' linin o' a pockad wis pit roond it wi' a straw.
Div ye mind, boy Eh? Div ye mind?

Div ye mind e' whitened lirkie wi' its mooldy, earthy scent,
An e' blinkin faces roond ye, tryan hard til look intent?
On e' blessed Bible pages, ye drew sheep and stirkies lean,
An ye cut initials in e' pew fan "Thirdly" shut his een.
Div ye mind, boy Eh? Div ye mind?

Div ye mind e' jolly schooldays fan ye trowed till play "Skyhigh"
And ye tumbled in a burnie, and skelpt aboot til dry?
Bit yir mithir spread ye on her lap an' exercised her han',
Then chicked ye in yur baba 'cause ye wisna fit till stan'
Div ye mind, boy Eh? Div ye mind?

Dive ye mind e' day ye traivelled wi yur faither in a cairt,
Far fae hoosie, kirk and burnie, in e' world til act yir pairt?
Hoo ye turned an looked an looked again, wi a prayer in yeer face,
An vowed til play e' man and bring them no disgrace?
Div ye mind, boy Eh? Div ye mind?


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