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Chapter 4: The Guid Scots Tongue (130-169)

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  1. Chapter 4:The Guid Scots Tongue (130-169) The Guid Scots Tongue 25

  2. The Story of English By Don L. F. Nilsen Based on The Story of English By Robert McCrum, Robert MacNeil and William Cran (Penguin, 2003) 25

  3. Scottish Highlands & Lowlands (McCrum 150/156) 25

  4. Scottish Words in America 25

  5. Scottish Pronunciations 25

  6. Jonathan Swift (né Dublin 1667) • “He detested vogue words, especially when they crept into church. Young preachers, he says, ‘use all the modern terms of art, sham, banter, mob, bubble, bully, cutting, shuffling and palming.’” (McCrum 134) • Cf today’s William Safire, who has the largest mail bag of the New York Times 25

  7. Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary • Because England does not have a language academy (like the “acadamie française”) we use dictionaries to settle language issues. (McCrum 137) • The rise of dictionaries correlates with the rise of the Middle Class. • Up through Webster’s II with labels like “vulgar,” “colloquial,” “slang,” “argot,” “jargon,” “Southern” etc. • But now there’s Webster’s III with no labels 25

  8. Johnson’s Dictionary & The Battle of Culloden • Samuel Johnson’s Dictionary determined spellings, analogies, structures, meanings and significances. (McCrum 139) • 1746 was the year that Johnson’s dictionary was published. • 1746 was the year that the Jakobean Duke of Cumberland defeated Bonnie Prince Charlie at the Battle of Culloden. (McCrum 140) 25

  9. After the Battle of Culloden (1746) Highland Scottish Culture was Outlawed 25

  10. Robert Burns (1759-1796) • Bobbie Burns is the author of “Auld Lang Syne.” • Bobbie Burns is also the poet of “eating, drinking and wenching.” (McCrum 152) • I hae been blythe wi’ comrades dear; • I hae been merry drinking; • I hae been joyfu’ gath’rin gear; • I hae been happy thinking. 25

  11. But a’ the pleasures e’er I saw • Tho’ three times double’d fairly • That happy night was worth them a’, • Among the rigs o’ barley. • (McCrum 152-153) 25

  12. Sir Walter Scott (1771-1831) • Sir Walter Scott Scott wrote • Ivanhoe • The Heart of Midlothian • Rob Roy and • Quentin Durward • (McCrum 154) 25

  13. Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) • Robert Louis Stevenson wrote • Treasure Island and • Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde • (McCrum 154) 25

  14. Scots Go To Ireland (McCrum 154/160) 25

  15. Scots Migrate to Northern Ireland • “200,000 Scots migrated to Northern Ireland.” • In turn, some two million of their descendants migrated to America during the 18th, 19th and the early part of the 20th Centuries. (McCrum 157) 25

  16. Scots-Irish Go to America (McCrum 155) 25

  17. The Guid Scots Tongue • The Scottish language in Scotland, in Ulster (Ireland), in Nova Scotia (Canada) and Boston and Philadelphia (United States) was distinct: • “Bone” and “stone” were pronounced “bane” and “stane.” • “Soft” “leave,” “bath,” “top” and “sick” were pronounced “saft,” “lea’,” “tap,” and “seek.” • “How now brown cow” would be pronounced “Hoo noo broon coo.” (McCrum 158-159) 25

  18. The Scots Irish at War with the Irish Catholics • In Ulster there are many security measures: • Jeeps • Roadblocks • Policemen • Bullet-proof jackets • Graffiti • Damaged Buildings and Roads • Guns (McCrum 161) 25

  19. Many Scots-Irish Migrate to America • By 1776 (the year of America’s independence) almost half of Ulster had crossed the Atlantic. • In the United States, one out every seven colonists was Scots-Irish. (McCrum 161) 25

  20. Scots-Irish in America • The Scots-Irish immigrants in Boston tended to be intolerant, violent, unruly and poverty stricken, so they weren’t too welcome. • They moved South to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. • In 1760, Benjamin Franklin estimated that 1/3 of Philadelphia was English, 1/3 was German, and 1/3 was Scots-Irish. (McCrum 162) 25

  21. Scots-Irish Move West Through the Cumberland Gap (McCrum 158/164) 25

  22. Scots-Irish Further Migration • Most of the Scots-Irish kept going South towards the Appalachian Mountains and on through the Cumberland Gap. • They were on the American frontier and bore the brunt of Indian hostilities • They settled in the Southwestern frontier. • They tended to be fierce, clannish and unruly. • They wore coonskin caps, carried Kentucky rifles, and were really fond of whiskey. (McCrum 163) 25

  23. The Scots-Irish were ferocious Indian fighters, great boasters, and compulsive storytellers. They had a keen ear for a striking phrase. • Some of them made it all of the way west to Texas. Probably the most famous of them was Davy Crockett at the Alamo, who was part real, and part legend. Crockett described himself as… 25

  24. “…fresh from the backwoods, half-horse, half-alligator, a little touched with snapping turtle, can wade the Mississippi, leap the Ohio, ride a streak of lightning, slide down a honey locust and not get scratched.” (McCrum 163) 25

  25. !The Hillbillies • The Scotch-Irish Hillbillies made stills and brewed “moonshine.” They used words like “afeared,” “damnedest,” “chaw u’ tabacker,” “hex,” “plum right” or “plum crazy.” And they’re great story tellers. (McCrum 165-166) • They ate “bonny-clabber” (curdled sour milk) and “flannel-cake (a thin wheat cake). They provided English with the expression “you-all.” And when they called the cows home at night they used the Old-English “sūcan” meaning “suck.” 25

  26. !!The Hillbillies said “tharr,” “barr,” and Herr” for “there,” “bear,” and “here.” • They dropped their final –g, and used the Old-English “on” in front of –ing words, like “a-huntin, and a-fishin.” They also used the Old-English form of “it,” which was “hit.” • These features are throughout the Southwest, but are most prominent in West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee and the Ozarks. (McCrum 167) 25

  27. !!!Hillbilly Culture Becomes Mainstream • Today about twenty million people (10 % of Americans) claim Scots-Irish ancestry. • The Scots-Irish ballads are currently imitated and reproduced throughout the United States. • Dolly Parton, Pat Boone, Kenny Rogers and Willie Nelson are four of these ballad singers. (McCrum 168) • Blue-Collar TV (Bill Engvall and Jeff Foxworthy, etc.) also are great “Hillbilly” story tellers • It is possible to see reruns of a sitcom called “The Beverly Hillbillies.” It is about some hillbillies who struck oil and moved to Beverly Hills in California. 25

  28. Works Cited • McCrum, Robert, William Cran, and Robert MacNeil. The Story of English. New York, NY: Penguin, 1986. (source of map citations) • McCrum, Robert, William Cran, and Robert MacNeil. The Story of English: Third Revised Edition. New York, NY: Penguin, 2003. (source of text citations) 25