John McCullagh March 26, 2004
nickbagenal.jpg

 

                             Ulster-Scots is now known as Ullans.  How can you tell the difference between somebody who is talking Ullans and somebody who is just using Ulster Dialect?  Easy.  Just use the guide below, made out by Philip Robinson, author of ‘Ulster-Scots: a Grammar of the Traditional Written and Spoken Language’. 

He advises:  ‘listen for a number of ‘markers’.  These are the most common words used by Ulster-Scots speakers and which are not used by other dialect speakers.  The Scots words thon, dander and wee [for that, stroll and small] have simply been borrowed into Ulster dialect.  But words like nicht, cannae and gye [for night, cannot and very] are very common markers for Ullans.  Almost all Ullans speakers will only use these markers at home or in each other’s company.  Outsiders may never hear it spoken because Ulster-Scots speakers also know English and use it with them. 

But it is a language spoken widely in four counties, Donegal, Londonderry, Antrim and Down, and has regional and social variations within these counties.  It is fully comprehensible only to native speakers.  It is distinct from English in many aspects of pronounciation, vocabulary and grammar.   

GUIDE

If you often hear – and sometimes use – less than 20 of the words below, your experience of Ullans is very limited and ‘ye cud dae wi a bit mair lairin’.  If you often hear – and sometimes use – more than half, you are already part of the Ulster-Scots speaking community.  More than that you are very familiar with current, everyday Ulster-Scots.’

ENGLISH

  • ULSTER DIALECT

ULLANS

of

o

o

yes

ay

ay

no

na

na

remember

min[d]

mind[d]

small

wee

wee

that

thon

thon

stroll

dander

danner

today

the day

the day

tomorrow

the morra

the morra

with

wi

wi

lane

loanen

loanen

path

pad

pad

there

thonder

thonner

to

til

til

ditch

sheuch

sheuch

brat

skitter

skitter

shout

gulder

gulder

tip over

coup

coup

sly

sleekit

sleekit

than

nor

nor

endure

thole

thole

awkward

thran

thran

have

have

hae

give

give

gie

not

nat

no

from

from

frae/fae

any

any

onie

several

lock

wheen

stone

stone

stane

more

more

mair

most

most

maist

home

home

hame

sore

sore

sair

head

head

heid

round

roun’

roon

house

house

hoose

town

town

toon

foot

fut

fit

none

noan

nane

over

over

owre

couldn’t

cud’n

cudnae

wouldn’t

wud’n

wudnae

won’t

won’t

winnae

one

wan

yin

bright

bright

bricht

light

light

licht

 

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