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A Scots Toast
by George Slater


I have a slightly different version of the toast in today's Flag in the Wind:

                       Here's tae a' yer days,
                       May ye niver want for meat or claes.
                       A widden bowel, a horny speen,
                       And aye a tattie fan the tither ane's deen.

This was given to my mother by a fisherman in my home town of Findochty, Banffshire, and I have tried to write it as it would be spoken there, i.e. "niver" instead of never, "widden bowel" for wooden bowl and "fan" instead of when. In this area of Scotland words beginning with wh are converted to f. e.g. where lowland Scots would say "whaur" for where, we would say "far", and so when becomes "fan."  We also would not say meat but something closer to "mate." My mother's maiden name was Phimister and the locals reversed the aforementioned usage and called her "Wheemster" and the family was referred to as the "Peems." I am sure other parts of Scotland have similar language peculiarities.

During the war the King's Own Scottish Borderers were stationed nearby and we became friendly with many of them. They had a very difficult time understanding us but we had no trouble understanding them.

Sincerely,

George Slater.


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