Scots phrase list promoted by BBC

BBC Radio Scotland is taking a softlysoftly approach in encouraging its journalists and presenters to use more Scots words on air.

Under pressure from a cross-party of Scottish MSPs to feature more Scots language in its programme scheduling, the BBC has drawn up a list of about 100 Scots words which broadcasters could feel “comfortable” using on air.

The list, including commonly used words such as “steamin”, “glaikit” and “dreich”, has been given to broadcasters, and they have been told by their bosses that they should “feel confident” with Scots words such as “puckle”, “haar” and “crabbit”.

The BBC charter is due for renewal in 2006, and early next year it will hold a series of public consultations to find out more about what people want from their public broadcasting service.

Maggie Cunningham, head of radio for BBC Scotland, insists that the list of words is not compulsory. BBC insiders said some presenters felt more comfortable than others in using them.

Some of the BBC Scotland-approved words and their English dictionary definitions:

Steamin: Very drunk.

Dreich: Dreary, tiresome, bleak.

Crabbit: Bad-tempered.

Haar: A cold sea mist or fog.

Glaikit: Foolish, stupid, of low intelligence, thoughtless, irresponsible.

Puckle: Many of, a lot of, a number of persons or things.

By Hamish Mackay

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