Saving some water for California

Scottish Word of the Day: dreich (pronounced dreek); adj. grey, dull, damp day.

The day started out great today. The streets of Leith Walk were buzzing, as they usually are with the small bakeries and cafés around. Before you knew it, it was raining and I learned a new word: dreich.

Although the main language of Scotland is English, and the old language is Gaelic, the language of the Scottish Lowlands is Scots. For some time, it was seen as a bastardization of English, just colloquial, working class and frowned upon, but after the independence referendum, it was taken up again to be something to be proud about.

Some of the newspapers here now publish in Scots, and are an interesting read. It’s almost like trying to read Old English, in the sense that you have to read it out loud to understand it. It’s peculiar how even language is so politicized after a thing as big as a referendum. Since Scotland voted no to being independent, it hasn’t become passive at all. I would say that the fire hasn’t stopped stirring. It’s just been contained for a while.

TIP OF THE DAY: Should you not understand a word someone says, just ask them what it means. Most Scots are incredibly sweet and excited to explain a part of their culture to you!

AL.2016.04.04 thistle
Thistle, the Scottish national flower (credit: Ale Lamarque)

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