Top Ten Tuesday | My Ten Favourite Words

ttt

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

I already sort of did a summer TBR post, so I went back into the archives and pulled a random topic. Here are ten of my favourite Scottish words.

Well, okay, there’s eight and one that isn’t a Scottish word.

Haar

A Scottish word I only recently learned when my mum pointed it out on the Forth. It refers, according to the Edinburgh Evening News, “specifically to the coastal fog which typically forms in Spring and Summer over eastern Scotland and England.” So there you go.

haar
Its haar, not fog. I mean, it is fog, but it’s haar. Ya ken?

Drumnadrochit

This is a place name rather than a word, but my god it’s fun to say, isn’t it?

How?

Not a Scottish word, you might say. Well, you’re right, but I’m not sure anywhere else has swapped it for the word “why” over time. It didn’t ever occur to me that we do this until it was pointed out by a few baffled non-Scots. It’s probably my favourite cute little quirk of language.

Crabbit

As a self-professed miserable cow, I use this one quite a lot. Incidentally, it was also one of the first colloquialisms we taught my friend Tackle before he came to visit. An excellent descriptor.

Shoogle

Roughly translates to “wobble” (“that chair’s a bit shoogly”) but can also mean to shake something. Giving someone a shoogle means to swing them around in a manner that may induce motion sickness.

Shan

In Edinburgh, “Barry” and “Shan” are used to mean “good” and “bad” respectively. I think shan is a brilliant word, which is just as well as since I started working in Morningside I’ve found myself picking it up from my colleagues. Definitely not shan.

Ken

I really want to know if anyone’s ever come away from a conversation with a Scottish person wondering who Ken is, and why he’s so popular. It means “know”. Ya ken?

Dreich

This is a good one to learn if you ever come to Scotland. It’s used to describe miserable weather, and as we have a fair few dreich days in all seasons,

And one that isn’t Scottish…

Bleach

This might be my favourite word and I have absolutely no justification for it. I just love the way it sounds.

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Gimme your favourite words in your local dialect. I love them.

Why I (Won’t) Suck At Blogging, vol. 1

Surprise! I bet you all thought I’d given up already. Well, you were NEARLY correct. I wrote that first blog post nearly two months ago and it’s with a great deal of disgust that I slink back in now with the second one, pissed off with myself and feeling like a bit of (read: a lot of) a failure.

At first, I simply thought I’d run out of subject matter. Happens all it at the time, I’m quite boring. I thought I’d made an enormous mistake investing time in a blog when I had nothing to write about. Except I started several posts. I even managed to nearly finish one. I’ve been to several places that I could have written about, and had a couple of really crap weeks that I probably SHOULD have written about.

As easy as it would have been use that as an excuse, it wasn’t hugely plausible.

Exhibit two was the problem I have that usually prohibits me from finishing anything: the moment I get slightly stuck I give it up for lost and throw it into some folder where it can’t prod at my conscience. Six months, a year, two years down the line I rediscover it and go “ha, that was actually quite good”, start again, hit the wall…the cycle continues.

But that doesn’t really work either, cause for a change I started…not caring. Putting a million “saids” into dialogue just to get it down on paper, describing what I want to happen rather than writing it if a wall gets thrown up. Don’t edit mid-paragraph, persevere through the grim times. Everyone’s first draft is awful. But the more I wrote, the more disheartened I was, because it was straight up garbage. And I knew it.

But I didn’t stop to think about WHY it was garbage.

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I don’t have a particularly good voice, whether I’m speaking or writing. I’m aggressively sarcastic more often than not, I stutter garbled nonsense when I’m put on the spot, and unless you’re one of the few people I’m happy to be my usual dickhead self around I’m probably going to struggle. There’s a reason I loathe phonecalls, with silences I feel compelled to break with some idiot sentence before I chew off my own fingers. I’d much rather send an email or a Facebook message, where I can sit and think about what I’m going to say before I say it.

But a blog is different. Knowing that what I was writing was going out into the public internet, where literally anybody could stumble across it, was drastically altering the way I was writing it. It wasn’t me anymore, it was my words in someone else’s voice and I hated it.

I was stuck in a painful limbo for a while, running up the trade-off between writing something crap and impersonal and comfortable that made me grind my teeth, and writing something authentic, something with a bit of heart and feeling desperately sweaty about it.

So I took the gamble. I stopped writing inoffensive generic nonsense, or trying too hard to be amusing. Was it uncomfortable? Deeply. Did I manage to get it done without having to squeeze each individual word out? Eventually. But, all things considered, I think I’d rather make myself uncomfortable every now and again rather than trying to be funny or clever (and I’m pretty sure my friends will quite happily tell you that I’m frequently neither) if it means that I’ll actually be able to get things done, because I know – from years of experience – that doing nothing is worse.

It’s a start, right? Maybe in future I’ll be able to write quality blog posts with cool photos between the paragraphs, but aside from the expression I get when my brain is about to dribble out of my ears I’m not sure how I’d illustrate the predicament I’ve had for the past two months…