I'm here to stay but don't call me Ken

When I moved up to Fife a little over 10 years ago now, it was for the love of a good woman, but my Mancunian upbringing had not prepared me for some of the dialect differences I was about to be confronted with.

Friday, 5th January 2018, 4:18 pm
Updated Friday, 5th January 2018, 4:22 pm

I certainly hadn’t a clue what ‘baffies’ were or what part of my body I’d find my ‘oxters’.

And a Fifer’s ability to add ‘ken’ to every single sentence ever utttered had me thinking this Ken fella must have been a popular guy ...after all, everybody seems to know him.

Furthermore, I certainly wouldn’t be looking to to get into a rammy, stooshie or a stramash either... whatever they are?

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Clothing perhaps?

Clatty, bahookie, hoachin, scoobied, scunnered and radge, have all had me perplexed on more than one occasion, and often still catch me out on the odd occasion.

As for ‘take a deek at ma bawbags’, well the less said about them the better for all of us I’m sure.

Of course, my wife has put me right so many times, often with embarrassing consequences.

Though even after a decade as a Fifer, I’m still certainly a work-in-progress.

What’s more, I’ve a landmark bithday coming up in 2018 and some of my new found Fife friends are already refering to me as the ‘Auld Yin’.

All of this regional Scottish dialect reminds me of the BBC having to add subtitles when they broadcast Rab C Nesbitt south of the border all those years ago ... and still it didn’t make any sense to my mum!

But then the Geordie accent from the characters in Auf Wiedersehen, Pet was enough to throw my mother.

The notion of regional dialect and words to describe things that are not used anywhere else got me looking further afield in Scotland.

While Scotland’s official language is English, the nation has at least four main dialect regions scattered across the country – with several different permutations of Scots existing today.

Did you know a ‘gundy’ is a toffee and ‘Dirdie-flicher’ is a butterfly to those in the Highlands?

Or that ‘louns and quines’ – are lads and lassies, ‘dookers’ was a swimsuit and ‘fairfochen’ in the north east of the country means you’re exhausted.

Meanwhile, ‘tawnle is a bonfire and cludgie is, believe it or not, a toilet in central Scotland.

And be careful in the Borders when asking for a ‘fooky-meat’, which is, wait for it... a pastry.

That could get you into a whole lot more trouble if you’re not careful.

It seems I’ve a lot still to learn in Fife and beyond if I’m ever going to understand the people in the country I now live in.

As for me, I’m obviously proud of my Manchester roots and the fact I’ve kept my accent.

However, the suggestion from a colleague that, because of my accent, I‘d be ideal stand in for Peter Kay following the cancellation of his recently announced UK tour, was taken as an insult.

Despite the insult, I wouldn’t mind his salary though...that’d be ‘Braw, ye’ken’.