Explore Scots Language

What is Scots?

Scots is spoken in the Northern Isles and lowland Scotland.

Click on
the map
to hear Scots
from around
the country

  • Valerie

    writing for children

  • Sheila

    working in the bank

  • Nancy

    how Caithness people speak

  • Colin

    talks about what Doric means

  • Gavin

    the story of a farmer

  • Richard

    his father's job

  • Yvonne

    waiting for a delivery

  • Chris

    talks about the Yellowhammer

  • Alasdair

    the word 'souter'

  • Wullie

    the word 'jink'

Welcome to the Scots Language Centre

Scots is spoken throughout Scotland from Shetland to Galloway and Aberdeen to Glasgow.

Use this site to find out more about the history of Scots and to meet the people that speak it today. 

Explore, Scots song, poetry, read our blogs and find out more about the origins of Scots.

Recently on the SLC

Scots word of the week

“SAIRIE adj sorry, sad; pitiable, incompetent”

I am truly sairie, in all the above senses, for an error last week. A reader less naive than me pointed out that the proverb “A whang aff a … read more »

Scots Poetry


Christie Williamson - Growth

This poem is by Christie Williamson, now a very well known poet of the highly distinct Shetland dialect . Christie Williamson is from Yell but is now settled in … read more »

Scots Proverbs

Play Needcessity
“Needcessity is knackie”

Necessity is the mother of invention

more proverbs »

Makar ben the hoose

Blue Booties

By Mary Johnston

Mary Johnston reads her poem for November Blue Booties. read more »

Scots New Testament

Play 23November2014lorimer
“ 23 November 2014”

In the recordings of the Scots New Testament, Tom Fleming brings the well known stories of the gospels to life in a distinct Scots voice. Throughout the year the … read more »

Scots Blogs

Annual column for Shetland Life

By Michael Hance

It's January - that means it's time for my annual column in Shetland Life. It was great to be ‘hame’ in Shetland in May. … read more »

Scots Online


Shetland ForWirds

A website promoting and celebrating Shetland dialect as a valued and essential element of Shetland's heritage and culture. Visit site »

Scots Blogs

Cleanin Wifies

By Margaret Tong

Margaret's glesses is chipped an her flairs are nae deen but at least her lavvy rolls haes been folded in tae pynts. Margaret talks aboot cleaning wifies. read more »

Watch & Listen

Scots on Youtube

Scots on Flickr

Scots Language Radio


Episode 11

Wi’ve been gaan oor dinger - an prood tae bring ye anither packed programme oot noo in Episode 11 - wi a sorts an soons o the Scots language. We hear hoo bairns … read more »

Latest News

Bookweek Scotland


Book Week Scotland is a week-long celebration of books and reading that takes place every … read more »

Gordon Beange

Gordon Beange

It is with great sadness that the Scots Language Centre has to announce the death of … read more »

The Face of Doric

Doric Typeface

Not too long ago an exciting project combined the North East dialect of Scots, popularly … read more »

Crack Aboot Politics


Crackin aboot Politics

Ever since John Barbour put quill to parchment in … read more»

Pairlament Chaumer

Political Crack in Scots

It is self evident that from the Middle Ages until… read more»


James Leatham`s Politics

Aberdeen-born James Leatham was a journalist and … read more»