PART OF THE Escape Into Books ISSUE

‘In Scotland oor wirds Are gey different, aye.’

There has been a real resurgence in interest in the Scots language, and poet, Stuart Paterson, has a new collection for bairns to get that interest started early. Here are a few poems from his latest collection that’ll fair mak ye greet wi’ lachter!


Poems taken from A Squatter o’ Bairn Rhymes
By Stuart Paterson
Published by Tippermuir Books


The Tobermory Dodo

Whit’s yon ye say?
Ye’ve never heard
O Tobermory’s
Wingless burd?

Ane day it grew
Gey seek o copin,
Upped an skreighed fareweel
Tae Oban.

Flew tae Mull
A while tae bide,
Lost the baith its wings
An steyed.

Alas, it ate
Jist Cullen Skink
An twae year later
Wis extinct.


Ma Wee Mammy

Ma wee mammy
Is the bravest wee mammy.
She disnae greet nor wheenge
When her leg gets gammy,
She jist gets tae wark
Wi a duster or a shammy.
Ma wee mammy
Is the bravest wee mammy.

Ma wee mither
Is the hardiest wee mither.
In a stooshie or a barnie
She’ll no stop nor swither,
She’ll tell ye whit’s whit
An she’ll clap yer heids thegither.
Ma wee mither
Is the hardiest wee mither.

Ma wee maw
Is the smertest wee maw.
She kens jist aboot aathing
But there’s nae wey she’s a blaw,
Her heid’s aye in a beuk
An whit she disnae ken’s hee-haw.
Ma wee maw
Is the smertest wee maw.

Ma wee mammy
Is the smashinest wee mammy.
Ah’m tellin ye Ah’m lucky,
Pure fortuitous an jammy
That ma maw, ma mither, mammy
Is the very cat’s pajammies
An gin ye say ocht different
Then we’re gonnae hae a rammy!

Ma wee mammy
Is the best wee mammy in the warl –
An so is yours!



The universe
Is lang an wide,
It has nae bottom
Tap nor side.

When did it stert?
When will it feenish?
Thinkin o it
Maks me squeamish.



In Scotland oor wirds
Are gey different, aye.
When ye speir someone how?
Then yer speirin them why?

Piece isnae a fragment
It’s somethin ye eat
Wi twae dods o breid
An cheese or cauld meat.

An when ye feel doon
Then ye micht stert yer greetin –
Elsewhaur it’s somethin
Pals dae when they’re meetin.

When ye bide here in Scotland
In north, sooth or centre
Then mind’s no yer mind
It’s the wird tae remember.

A tap isnae somethin
Ye turn on fir watter
It’s somethin ye weer
In cauld chitterin wather.

A burn willnae burn ye
Burns are aa roon ye
Though dinnae loup in
In case the burn droons ye!

A press willnae press ye
A press ye’ll discover
Is whit thaim in England
Will aye cry a cupboard.

Messages arenae
The texts that ye’ve got,
They’re whit ma an da
Will bring hame fae the shop.

A poke’s no a prod
An whit’s in it’s delish,
Yer braw sausage supper
Or chips wi yer fish.

Ginger elsewhaur is aye
Kennt as a spice.
In Scotland it’s juice
An tastes fower times as nice.

Mince isnae aye
Whit ye hae wi yer tatties –
If ye talk it they’ll cry ye
A richt glaikit daftie!

Ken is a name
Jist like Jimmy nor Joe.
Up here it’s the wird
That some Scots yaise fir know.

A hen is a chookie,
Lays eggs an scrans grass.
In Scotland it’s whit
Ye cry wummin or lass.

An dinnae tell fowk
That ye fair like tae hum –
It means ye’ve no waasht
Or no dichtit yer bum!


A Squatter o’ Bairn Rhymes by Stuart Paterson is published by Tippermuir Books, priced £7.99

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