Tag: Scottish

Life as a spectator sport

Thursday, 26 February, 2015 0 Comments

“To concede again in the last seconds was pathetic, stupid, exasperating and so typically Arsenal.” Another cynical comment by some jaded hack watching the Gunners being routed by Monaco last night? Not quite. It’s actually the Arseblogger himself commenting on the 3 – 1 Champions League result. While the ups and downs of the game are a challenge for the fans, they give everyday spectators endless material for expressing dismay/delight about how much players are paid compared to the price of a ticket or a pint. All of this drama is reflected in Spectators, a superb animated short film by the young Scottish director, Ross Hogg.

Before the stars have left the skies

Sunday, 7 December, 2014 0 Comments

The very seasonal Winter-Time is taken from A Child’s Garden of Verses, a famous collection of poetry for children by the Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson. The collection first appeared in 1885 under the title Penny Whistles.


Late lies the wintry sun a-bed,
A frosty, fiery sleepy-head;
Blinks but an hour or two; and then,
A blood-red orange, sets again.

Before the stars have left the skies,
At morning in the dark I rise;
And shivering in my nakedness,
By the cold candle, bathe and dress.

Close by the jolly fire I sit
To warm my frozen bones a bit;
Or with a reindeer-sled, explore
The colder countries round the door.

When to go out, my nurse doth wrap
Me in my comforter and cap;
The cold wind burns my face, and blows
Its frosty pepper up my nose.

Black are my steps on silver sod;
Thick blows my frosty breath abroad;
And tree and house, and hill and lake,
Are frosted like a wedding cake.

Robert Louis Stevenson (1850 — 1894)

December star

Scotland, Scotch, Scottish, Scot and Scots

Friday, 28 February, 2014 0 Comments

Published in 1791, The Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D. is a biography of Dr. Samuel Johnson written by James Boswell. Some say it is the greatest biography written in English; most scholars regard it a seminal moment in the development of the biography genre. Then, as now, Scotland was topical in polite London conversation and Boswell captured the mood of the day, and the language used to express it.

Mr. Arthur Lee mentioned some Scotch who had taken possession of a barren part of America, and wondered why they would choose it.

Johnson: “Why, Sir, all barrenness is comparative. The Scotch would not know it to be barren.”

Boswell: “Come, come, he is flattering the English. You have now been in Scotland, Sir, and say if you did not see meat and drink enough there.”

Johnson: “Why yes, Sir; meat and drink enough to give the inhabitants sufficient strength to run away from home.”

Scotch, meaning either “of or relating to Scotland” or “a person/the people from Scotland”, was widely used in the past by writers such as Boswell, Robert Burns and Sir Walter Scott. It is now regarded as old-fashioned, but it survives in phrases such as “Scotch whisky”.

Scottish is the everyday word used to mean “of or relating to Scotland or its people”. Example: “She’s Irish, not Scottish.”

Scot is the common word for “a person from Scotland”, along with Scotsman, Scotswoman, and the plural form “the Scots.”

Scots is used to refer specifically to the form of English spoken in Scotland, as in “He’s got a very strong Scots accent.”