Things in Scots: Running the Asset Edition – Lugs

Welcome to the second post in the revamped Things in Scots series. In this incarnation of TiS, I’m sharing the Scots language found in my upcoming romantic suspense novel, Running the Asset.

My aims for this series are to share my first language and to sneak in a wee bit of beta testing. Think of it as a cheaty way of making sure that the Scots words are easy to understand via context rather than explanations. Unless the explanation route is natural to the story and/or leads to sexy times (that could/might/totally will happen).

This week’s snippet might look familiar to some of you. Part of it appeared on the site in October last year in full/braid Scots as part of the Scotstober challenge for the word dreich.

Here’s the snippet… (unedited first draft)

Heat. Flames. The bone-shaking roar. The blast ripped through the air, knocking Adam hard to the ground. He tried to lever himself off the ground, but his vision was doing a slow spin to the relentless ringing in his lugs.

He tried again only to have the wind knocked out of him by something sent barrelling by the stampeeding crowd. With rough hands, Adam rolled the dead weight off him to the pavement. Shit. The terror stricken eyes of a teenaged lassie stared up at him from a blood stained face.

Running the Asset (Deniable Unit #1)

Okay, this is actually a Scots word twofer. First is lugs which is the Scots for ears. The second is lassie, which I think most folks know is one of the many Scots words for girl.

And that’s it

I hope you enjoyed this post. I’d love to hear your comments on how easy or difficult it was to get the gist of lugs and lassie as they appeared in the quote. 

I said last time that this wasn’t exactly a challenge series, but I’ve decided to go with making it one. So, if you find yourself inspired by the Scots words I share, add the tag #TiS or #ThingsinScots to your writing/art/photo post and drop your link in the comments.

If you want to see more Scots posts, check out the original series, Things in Scots.

Thanks for reading. Take care, and I hope to see you next week for more Scots on Manuscript Mondays!

Things in Scots: Running the Asset Edition

Things in Scots is finally back after its two year break! But, there’s a twist. This time, it’s personal…well, eh, kinda? Take a keek at how I’m using Scots in my modern romantic suspense novel.

Happy New Year! I hope 2022 finds you all well. I’m finally venturing out of my cave with a post series I’ve been dying to work on.

In 2019, I teamed up with my wonderful husband, Jez, on our Scots Language project, Things in Scots. Unfortunately, with ever-increasing demands on our time, the project got shelved. Ever since then, I’ve been itching to get back to sharing Scots.

In October 2021, I finally saw the perfect opportunity when Dr Michael Dempster announced on Twitter that there would be a daily Scots language challenge called Scotstober.

I wasn’t sure I’d be able to keep up with the challenge but decided to give it a go, jumping in at the last moment. I’m so glad I did, as I loved the experience of writing entirely in Scots. 

Unfortunately, the daily posting on top of writing Running the Asset took its toll on my health—CRPS—and it’s taken a lot for me to get back to posting to the blog. 

Which brings me to this post

While I was doing Scotstober, an idea for bringing back Things in Scots struck me. Why not share the bits of the Scots language from my work in progress? 

As most of my target audience speaks English and hasn’t much experience with Scots, I’ve written my manuscript in English. My Scots heroes dae drap wee bits o the language in, here and there. But, I’ve tried to avoid the need to have the characters explain the words by relying on context (though some phrases the heroes do explain).

So, here’s the first snippet… (apologies, this is an unedited first draft)

“He’s heading North, K.” Adam sprinted in that direction.

“Got him,” Killian said over the comms. “He’s nearing the shopping centre. Take the next left and go in through the multistory parking. You can intercept him before he gets lost in the crowd.”

Adam pumped his arms and legs, willing them to go faster. He skitit around the corner, almost hitting the opposite wall as he lost traction on the gravel.

Running the Asset (Deniable Unit #1)

Skitit is the past tense of skite (check out my post on skite). Skite means to slide, slip, go fast—and much more—and is pronounced skiyt.

Skitit is pronounced skiy-tih. You’ll notice that the t at the end isn’t sounded. Well, that’s not entirely true. It’s a glottal stop, so the sound comes from the throat.

And that’s it

I hope you enjoyed this post. I’d love to hear your comments on how easy or difficult it was to get the gist of skitit as it appeared in the quote. 

This isn’t exactly a challenge series, but if you find yourself inspired by the Scots words I share, add the tag #TiS or #ThingsinScots to your writing/art/photo post and drop your link in the comments.

Thanks for reading. Take care, and I hope to see you next week for more Scots on Manuscript Mondays!

#Scotstober Day 30 #Mervaill

It’s the second last day of Scotstober! It’s been a challenge to keep up with doing the posts, getting my writing work done, and keeping up with comments and other blogs–sorry for being so lax on the last two, but I’ll be catching up in the coming days.

Today’s word is mervaill. As a noun, it means a marvelous act executed by divine or other supernatural means of agency, a wondrous act, a miracle. As an adjective, it means marvelous, wonderful. And, as a verb, it means to feel surprise, astonishment or admiration.

Here’s my response to the prompt (taken from Running The Asset):

Hit aye mervailled Trevor at sae mony ingined fowk manished tae scug their skeels fae the governments thai sert. He’d connecktit fower veecious murthers tae Gavan afore he’d boded him the bit.

And now in English.

It always astonished Trevor that so many talented people managed to conceal their skills from the governments they served. He’d connected four vicious murders to Gavan before he’d offered him the job.

#Scotstober Day 29 #Skreich

Today’s word, skreich, is pronounced skreech. The ‘ch’ at the end isn’t a hard k as it is in English, but the same soft, gutteral sound at the end of loch in Scots. It means screech, shriek, to yell out, a shrill cry.

Here’s my response to the prompt (taken from Running The Asset):

Hei oop, whar the lowe luntit maist sairly, ane o the firefighters oan the ledder ootside Rosa’s chaumer windae skreiched sumhin, bit Elle cuidnae mak hit oot. She didnae hae tae here the wirds tae ken thit thai’d fun Rosa’s corp.

And now in English.

High up, where the fire blazed most intensely, one of the firefighters on the ladder outside Rosa’s bedroom window yelled something, but Elle couldn’t make it out. She didn’t have to hear the words to know that they’d found Rosa’s body. 

#Scotstober Day 27 #Sklent

Today’s word is sklent. As a verb, it means to move at a slant, to zigzag; to slope, to slant; to aim sideways; to look sideways, to squint. As a noun, it means slanting cut, slope, sideways movement, change of direction, sidelong glance. adjective: slanting

Here’s my response to the prompt (taken from Running The Asset):

Clamps soondit fae the wynd. Adam harled Elle intae heez airms an preesed hir agin the wa, makin shuir tae teug hir tap doon hir shouder. “Mak on ye dinnae laith me, or we’re deid.”

She maun hae seen the theif, acause Elle sklent hir mou agin heez. Hit wis taibitless. There wis nae radge i their connection, a fact at baith leepit him an left him caul.

And now in English.

Heavy footsteps sounded from the alleyway. Adam pulled Elle into his arms and pressed her against the wall, making sure to tug her top down her shoulder. “Pretend you don’t loathe me, or we’re dead.”

She must have seen the goon, because Elle slanted her mouth against his. It was without feeling. There was no passion in their connection, a fact that both warmed him and left him cold.

#Scotstober Day 26 #Guisin

Today’s word is guisin. Nowadays, it means dressing up and doing the doors at Halloween. In Scotland, the kids–and sometimes teenagers–dress up and go around all the houses and entertain you for sweets and coins.

How it usually goes is once the guisers get to the door, they ask what it is you want as your entertainment (a trick or a treat). The trick in Scots–in this context–is a joke. So, be prepared for a million renditions of the dentist joke. And the treat is a song, a poem, a dance.

Not heard the dentist joke? Check it out at the end of the post. (Remember, you asked for it. 🤦‍♀️ )

Back to the point. Guise means masquerade, to disguise. A guiser is someone who does those things. And for the purpose of this post, I’m using guisin to mean someone who is disguising who they really are. (This is how my family used the word–typically when shouting at politicians on the TV.)

Here’s my response to the prompt (taken from Running The Asset):

Trevor stappit oot o the lift intae the sicker bit o the entry. Gavan wis waitin on him. The man wis a assaill dug wi amaist nae sel maun whan hit cam tae bangstrie. Heez bleck shuit an tie makit him luik lik a buriar. Gien Gavan’s skeels, Trevor jaloused he wis.

Gavan convoyit him oot tae the bleck Mercedes Benz i the siker caur pairk, an heeld the door apen fir him, lik the chauffeur he wis guisin is.

And now in English.

Trevor stepped out of the lift into the secure area of the lobby. Gavan was waiting for him. The man was an attack dog with almost no self-control when it came to violence. His black suit and tie made him look like a funeral director. Given Gavan’s skills, Trevor supposed he was.

Gavan escorted him out to the black Mercedes Benz in the secure car park, and held the door open for him, like the chauffeur he was mascerading as.

A Man Goes to the Dentist Joke

If it doesn’t translate well, it’s time for me to ruin the joke by explaining it. You see, “Comfy?” sounds exactly the same as cum fae? which is Scots for where do you come from? And, Glesga is Scots for Glasgow.

#Scotstober Day 25 #Glisk

Today’s word, glisk, is a beautiful one–to me, at least. It means glance, glimpse, gleam, sparkle, brief moment, trace, touch, resemblance, similarity.

What I find so beautiful about it is the sound. It starts off soft, then finishes on a hard k. Almost as if it mimics the sound of a sparkle (okay, the sound sparkles make in my head).

Here’s my response to the prompt (taken from Running The Asset):

Adam swypit the herr awa fae Elle’s foreheid an fir a glisk he mulled the smuith huil there. “A hae twa reules at A nivver brak,” he cowpit hir face oop tae heez an he preed hir lips, “an A’m i dainger o brakin thaim wi ye.”

And now in English.

Adam swept the hair away from Elle’s forehead and for a brief moment he kissed the smooth skin there. “I have two rules that I never break,” he tilted her face up to his and tasted her lips, “and I’m in danger of breaking them both with you.”

#Scotstober Day 24 #Bogle

Today’s word, bogle, is a fun one. As a noun, bogle means an ugly or terrifying ghost, a phantom, a scarecrow, a bugbear, a cause of annoyance. As a verb, it means to bewitch, bamboozle, bellow or shout.

Unfortunately, I haven’t written anything that has ghosts or phantoms in it since my screenwriting days, but I do have a snippet about a man-shaped cause of annoyance. 😜

Here’s my response to the prompt (taken from Running The Asset):

Elle wis amaist it the lift whan hir phone jowed. “Hullo?”

“Did ye git hit?” Dekker sayed ower the line.

She skitit intae the empie collogue room. “Naw. Noo, lave me alane.”

“No tae ye git at drive tae me.”

She steekit hir een an socht souse. “There naethin here. A wint yet oot ma lyfe.”

“Hit disnae wirk lik at, Doll. A’m gonnae be a close bogle i yer lyfe tae ye git at drive. The suiner ye git hit, the suiner A’m oot yer lyfe.”

Elle gruppen the phone haird eneuch at thir wis a unchancie creck. “Fuk ye.”

He hid the gallusness tae keckle. “Ye areddies did.”

And now in English.

Elle was almost at the lift when her phone rang. “Hello?”

“Did you get it?” Dekker said over the line.

Elle slipped into the empty conference room. “No. Now, leave me alone.”

“Not until you get that drive to me.”

She shut her eyes and sighed heavily. “There’s nothing here. I want you out of my life.”

“It doesn’t work like that, Doll. I’m going to be a constant source of annoyance in your life until you get that drive. The sooner you get it, the sooner I’m out of your life.”

Elle gripped the phone hard enough that there was a threatening crack. “Fuck you.”

He had the audacity to chuckle. “You already did.”

#Scotstober Day 23 #Skelp

Today’s word, skelp, gave me a wee bit of a headache. You see, I use it a lot in daily life and when I’m writing. But, when I’m writing, I tend to use it in a very different way than I do in everyday life. I’d best give you the definition so that you can see where my difficulty came from.

As a verb, skelp means spank, smack, slap, hit; to hammer, beat, work with vigour, gallop, move fast. As a noun, it means a blow, smack, a blast of wind, a downpour of rain. There’s even more here.

Maybe my issue isn’t clear yet. Remember, I write romantic suspense, and that kind of story has sexy times and thoughts about sexy times. So, when I did a search in Scrivener (my writing app of choice) for skelp, and it’s English versions, I was inundated with sex-related slaps, spanks, and vigorous motions. Don’t get me started on the word blow.

Finally, I managed to find something that wasn’t a sex scene (taken from Running The Asset):

Hauns hapt aroon Elle, ane glaunin haird agin hir mou, the ither harlin hir ticht agin the lang, pithy feegur o the mannie ahin hir.

Elle flistit. Warslin agin heez airn grup; dumpin it heez leigs, skelpin it him wi hir neives. He gruncht an lowsed heez grup aroon hir weist. Bit afore she cud dae onything, he shuved the sindry hairdness o a gun intae hir are-bone.

“Gin ye wint tae souch awa, haud fukin warslin.”

And now in English.

Hands wrapped around Elle, one clamping hard against her mouth, the other hauling her tight against the tall, solid figure of the man behind her. 

Elle exploded with rage. Struggling against his iron grip; kicking at his legs, beating at him with her fists. He grunted and released his grip around her waist. But before she could do anything, he pressed the distinct hardness of a gun into her ribs.

“If you’re wanting to breathe your last, keep fucking struggling.”

#Scotstober Day 22 #Aye

You’re most likely familiar with today’s word, aye. Here’s a shocker, it doesn’t mean yes. Aye, when meaning yes is actually a misspelling. Ay is the correct spelling and aye is the plural (as in “the ayes have it,” in parliament).

Now that we’ve got that cleared up, here’s what aye means. It means always, still, continually, ever, henceforward.

A quick note: I had to use a bit of artistic licence on a couple of the words. Tackticks is a word for military tactics, so I tacked on an “ly” at the end to get close to what I needed. And secondly, “mow wi” means to have sex with, so I used mow to mean just sex. (You wouldn’t believe the amount of phrases for sex in Scots there are. That’s a post on its own…might have to do that next month.)

And on to the response to the prompt (taken from Running The Asset):

Adam didnae lee tae himsel, Elle wisnae heez uswal kind, bit he wis taen wi hir. Fae i saicont she stappit fit intae i howf he’d wintit tae uise mow as heez wey in wi hir.

Tacktickly hit wis i festest wey o winin hir truist, but bygane expairience telt him hit wisnae aye the smairtest muve. Bit richt than, he wisnae gaunae fash aboot hoo smairt he wis or wisnae.

And now in English.

Adam didn’t lie to himself, Elle wasn’t his usual type, but he was attracted to her. From the second she stepped foot into the bar he’d wanted to use sex as his way in with her.

Tactically it was the fastest way of gaining her trust, though past experience told him it wasn’t always the smartest move. But right then, he wasn’t going to worry about how smart he was or wasn’t.

I just want to give a big shout out to everyone who’s left comments. Thank you so much. I promise to get back to you all this weekend. Take care, and I’ll see you next time. 🤗

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