Tuesday, October 03, 2006
HAUD YER WHEESHT!
I was in a shop at the weekend that sold T-shirts with typically Scottish phrases printed on them. My kids' reaction to the T-shirts got me to thinking, with some nostalgia and some sadness, about quite how quickly language and meaning is lost. The first T-shirt said 'Haud yer wheesht' - instantly recognizable to me as Gramps used to say it to me often when I was a child in the 70s, so it was language I knew but didn't use. My parents, however, don't often use these old Scottish terms, and I, belonging to a generation on, never use them although am passively au fait with them all. They feel alien on my tongue but not in my head :-( The upshot of course being that my kids - born just 30 years after me in the same town, but, significantly, after the death of all of my grandparents didn't have any notion of what it meant - It was as foreign to them as it would be to any Englishman or foreign tourist :-( I tried a few more - for instance asking them if they knew what a 'clype' was, but no - blank stares - I must bring a Scot's Gem home from work and teach them these little gems before it is too late.