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

“BONAILIE n farewell, a parting toast”

This is the way to go. A bonailie is a very cheery parting. It is derived from French ‘bon’ meaning good and ‘aller’ to go, although the Older … read more »

Scots Poetry


DEIL TAK THE HINMAIST by Alexander Hutchison

Something to wake you all up for the year. This is one of half a dozen Scots poems in Alexander Hutchison’s book Bones Breath , published by Salt… read more »

Scots Proverbs

Play weel wared
“It's weel wared on him”

It serves him right

more proverbs »

Makar ben the hoose


By Mary Johnston

Mary Johnston reads her poem Sister. read more »

Scots New Testament

Play 11Jan2015Lorimer
“ 11 January 2015”

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 13

And a guid new year tae abidy. An guess fit – 2015 has been designated (bi them that designates things) as the year o ‘Food an Drink’. I think I can spik for … read more »

Latest News

Sangschaw 2015

Sangshaw 2015

There are still a couple of weeks for budding writers in Scots to enter Sangschaw 2015 . … read more »

A Show to Make You Think

Ishbel McFarlane

Members of the Scots community, and visitors alike, may remember the little show put on … read more »

Broadcasting in Scots

Scots podcasts

As part of the new Season of Workshop and Development Days at the Scottish … 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»