Friday, 19 December 2008

An' an o'er thing.

Whit is it wi' weemen an' canles? Ah just foun' oot that ma missus spent in excess o' 12 o' the Queen's Poonds on jist yin o' them. Whit in tha name o' Ian is that all aboot. If ah spend 2.99 on yin lang life bulb ah git a luk that wid stir porrige, an it lasts fur 12 million hurs (or the like). Naw ye maun nae git a smell aff a lite bulb, bit yil sure as naw set fire til yersel lukin' fur a beer in the fridge.

Ah was concerned aboot this strang diffrence betwixt the sexes, so a had a wee wurd wi' Dr Eileen McIlWilliamwilliamson o' the Skool o' Gender at Aughnacloy Wee Girls Study Centre. She taul me that thru her larnin' she has come tae the conklusion that its doon tae the fact that men invented elecktricity*, an' the weemen cannae cope wi that, so tha git revenge by spendin' oor hard earned poonds on meltin' wax that wud barely lite a bonefire.

Nat tae be sexist o'er the like, bit dinnae git me ontae cushuns.

Which laids me oan til a wee bit af a snap survey, ye can tak part if ye fancy a go.

*invented by an Ulster Scot, most likely. Ah'll luk it up.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Saison's Gloamins

Ma thankins til aw' wha tuk part in that Christenmas quiz. It was wile heartinin' tae see that tha numer o' folk takin' part has near double' since the last yin. At this rate there cud be close tae 17 million* voters by July**.

Naw is the time til revail that the currek anser is - yis il haf tae imagine an X Facter style bild up here - ............. bubbly-jock. If ye got that, gie yersel a point. Howivir, an it may come as a bit o' a surprise to thosuns o' yis wha' thocht yis were bein' smart, if ye pit doon "Ottoman Empire" gie yersel haf a point. Unbeknownst til yersel, the ansers were made by none o'er than Dactur Billy McQuillan, Visitin' Lecturier in Linguistics at South-Aist Ards Bible an' Caterin' College. He set the quiz in a purposefully convaluted style.

Wullie explained that it is aways important in Ulster Scots tae use the auldest name ye knaw fur a country oor place, sae Ottoman Empire is the richt name fur the country o' Turkey. Fur example, if yer bukkin' a wee trip away frae Ballymena yid be better aff askin' the girl fur a tickit til Czechoslovakia or the Soviet Onion than whiteivir thur calt these days. I fur yin hiv noticed that there is nae better way tae bring a smile til a Dubliner's face than til talk til them aboot life in the Free State, so Wullie may hiv a point.

Naw pole this week but wi Christenmas roun' the bend a've stuck a couple o' last minute gift ideas up fur yis.

* Accordin' til the Big Sums Dept o' the Ulster Scots School o' Dancin, Ballymena.

** End o' the Orange Financial Year.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Merry Christenmas

Now yis micht hiv bin expectin' Bit Thrie aboot the first furry bastes, but there's bin a wee haul up. Professor Wiulie McIlveen (o' the dept o' Auld Larnin at the University o' mid-Antrim) has bin a wee bit slow in gettin' his new findins til us folk here at 1690. Truth be taul Willie is like a wile lock o' them archaeologits, he's guid at the diggin' but nae tae guid at the publishin', so we'll awl hiv tae wait a while til his new research comes oot.

In the maintime a few o' oor raiders (2) expressed a wee inrest in a bit o' Christenmas Fayre, Ulster Scots Style, so ah thought ah'd oblage. Oor wee pole this week is mair o' a quiz fur Christenmas, an' ahm goan tae hiv a go at puttin' the Christenmas tale intae the hamely tongue. If any o' yis think oa it, ye micht pass it ontae yer pastor fur Christenmas mornin' at yer meetin' hoose. As yil awl knaw, the Bible was writ by James VI and I, the man wha reclaimed Ulster for the Scots, and his wurds are hard tae bait, bit ah've done ma best tae put the tale o'er. So, withoot fairther ado.......

The Gratest Tale Iver Telt

Chaipter Yin

1. Now it came til pass that a wee cuddy named Mary foun' hersel' grate wi' a bairn and she didnae know how it came aboot. She was wile wurried aboot it, fur she was a vurgin aboot tae be married til a woodwurker by the name o' Joe.

2. Lo, the Angle o' the Laird came doon and spake til Mary. "Mary", he said til her,"Dinnae be feart, fur ye are blest amongst weemen. Yer hivin a wain, but its the Laird's. Awl folk will think yer grate but yil hiv tae call him Jaysus."

3. "Jaipers" saith Mary, "I'm wile afronted, fur ah'm til be wed til Joe, an' hes nae gonnae take this oan, whit ah'm I supposed til dae?" The Angle o' the Laird spaketh and spake "Dinnae wurry Mary, for ah'l hae a wurd wi' Joe, an' pit him richt, an' he'll knaw yer daein' the Laird's wurk."

4. Lo the Angle did indaid spake til Joe. "Luksee Joe," he spake, "yon Mary's hivin' a wain bit ye dinnae need til get feart, for the Laird giv it til her". Joe tuk it awl in his stride. He said til Mary, "Dinnae Wurry, come oan til Bethlehem an' we'll tak it from thy'on."

Chaipter Twa.

1. Now Joe pit Mary on his Ass an' they went til Bethelehem, fur that was Joe's hameplace, an the Romans (who are always up tae baither) had telt iverybody that they had tae go back hame fur a census*.
2. When they got thy'on, the hole place was packed wi' folk, awl waitin' fur til be counted up, so thar was wile baither findin' oanyplace til stay. Joe went til the cheenge-hoose** bit thar wisnae oany room an' he an' Mary wur gettin feart, fur she was aboot til pop. The nixt cheenge-hoose keaper also had nae room, bit he said "Ah've nae room here bit yis can sleep oot the back in the byre."
3. So Mary an' Joe went til the Byre, where Mary had her bairn an' calt him Jaysus, fur that is whit the Angle o' the Larid hid taul her tae dae. She lapped him up in swaddlin' baunds, and pit him in a manger, fur there wasnae oany cot fur him.

Chaipter Thrie.

1. Now it came til pass that there were a few shephirds up in the braes, lukkin oe'r their flacks by nicht. Lo, the Angle o' the Laird came doon to them too, sayin' "Dinnae be feart, fur ah bring yis grawn; tidins o' grate crack. In Bethelehem taeday is born a bairn who'll save yis awl. If ye go doon now ye micht see him".
2. So, lo, the shephirds left their yowes, an' went intae Bethelehem tae see the new bairn.
3. Meanwhile, in the aist, Thrie Canny Boys were lukin up at the nicht sky. "Luk", spake yin "Ah dinnae recall seein' that yin afore, ah reckon we should fally it."
4. So the Thrie Canny Boys fallyed the star til it tuk them tae Bethelehem, and stapped oer the Byre. In they went, an' giv the bairn Jaysus thrie gifts, Gold, Frankinincense and Mur.
5. Awl o' this came til pass because it had been writ doon in the Auld Testement.

*Aiften fiddled by Free Staters.

** Reel wurd meanin' Inn, ah checked.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Pole results are oot

Efter a wheen o' days frantic votin' it'll be nae big shack tae any o' yis tae see that Nelson Mandela his bin crowned gratest Ulster Scot wi' 12 votes, batin' Van Morrison intae second wi' oany 3. (Twa o' them wair my missus, who votes early and often).

Some o' yis have expressed curiosity as tae Nelson's Ulster roots, but a wee luk at this photae shud put ye right. His kin folk originated in Belfawst, an' were so well thought aff that they named a hall after his great-gran'faither.

Comin' soon - "Bit Thrie."

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Query frae a reader.

This isnae Bit Thrie, but raither an anser til a wee query frae yin o' oor mair sharp eyed readers, or shud that be mair pernickety. She points oot that there isnae any pinguins in the Narthern Hemisphere, an that they awl live by the South Pole. This is, tae be sure, the case - but the auld smart erse didnae notice that Willie McIlveen was referin' tae pInguins, nae the Inglis wurd pEnguins. Thus he was dealin' wi the lesser well knawn member of the pinguin family - the Giant Auk - (Latin pinguinus impennis). Theseuns are kin til the ones doon in the south and, efter all, we are talkin' aboot a wile lang time thence. In fact you cud say that oor reader has helped us oot a bit, fur she's shewed us that yon Ulster Scots pinguins even colonised doon in the Antiarctic. And if she disnae believe me, she can luk it up.

Monday, 1 December 2008

Bit Twa: The Big Caul Snap

Afore we commence on a braw new episode in the histry o' the Ulster Scot, ah need til address a wee point raised by yin o' oor raiders. In Bit Yin Ah made tha mistake o' usin the Inglis wurds, "Part One" insteid o' the richt wurds "Bit Yin". Ah'm wile sad tae a made that wee mistake an ah'll try fur nat tae dae it agin. Mainwile, back tae.....

Bit Twa.

The Big Caul Snap

In Bit Yin we hid a wee luk at the DINOSAURS!!!! the big bastes* that scoured oor wee land a lock o' million years hence. We lurned that they mebbe had a wee bit o' Ulster Scots in them but we niver found out whit happened til them. Naebodies tae sure but the palaeontologits reckon that it micht have bin a touch o' climate change that put a stap tae them. Nowadays we think o' this as been a wee bit o' warmin', which in my buk is nae bad thing, but back then it was global caulin' that was exercisin' the mines o' the DINOSAURS!!!!. It seems some kind o' cataclysmic happenin' happened that made the hole place caul, and the poor auld DINOSAURS!!!!, terrifyin' as they micht hiv bin, cudnae cope wi' it. As caul bludded bastes, they cudnae hannle the bad wither, an' when the hate went, they went with it, leavin' only a few bastes like frogs tae carry oan their genes. Palaeontolgits call this time the Big Caul Snap.

As the name Big Caul Snap suggests it got wile caul wile quick. The ice spread doon frae the nairth pole an' soon hit us here, so after a wheen o' years the hole o' Ulster was inunther the ice. Now we're not takin' a bad frost here, we're takin a guid few hunner feet o' ice, so there was nae danger o' oany normal type o' bastes gittin by in these parts. Whit ye micht hiv foun' roun' here wud a bin bastes that yid normally expek til fine aroun' the Nairth Poll taeday. Thus, if ye were tae visit County Antrim in 25,000 BC** ye micht hiv bumped intil a poler bear, a seal or a pinguin, but there'd have been nae chance o' meetin' any folk knockin' aboot.

"But whit?" sez ye, "Nae folk? This is near as bad as Bit Yin wi' the DINOSAURS!!! Whur dae ye fine Ulster Scots in the Caul Snap?". Well ye may say that, but yid be barkin' in the wrang park! Oor friend Wullie McIlveen, a properly qualified man frae Department o' Auld Larnin' at the University o' Mid Antrim, has also takin' a luksee at the Caul Snap. He raises a couple o' interestin' points.
  • Yin - Whur did the ice come frae? The most likely anser is frae Scotland, as it is generally cauler than here. If ye luk at the wither forecast frae time tae time yil see that the wither in the Free State is usually a wee bit warmer than here, so the caulness cudnae hae come up the ways.
  • Twa - Ye may recall that a wheen o' year hence the Ulster Scots actor Morgan Freeman taked o'er a wee film aboot pinguins. Naw if ye think back til that yil mind that it was called "March o' the Pinguins." It wasnae called "Feile na Pinguin" oer similar, an' fur guid reason. The bastes of the caul snap clearly came frae the marchin' tradition that is held dear in Ulster til this very day.

  • Thrie - If ye luk closely at oor picture o' the pinguins above, ye'll see a wee orange collar on thon necks o' theres. Need more be said? Yit agin Wullie McIlveen has hit the nail oan the heid, and allowed us tae git a fuller grasp o' oor past.
Nixt time, in Bit Thrie, we'll tak a we luk at whit came nixt - the arrival o' the mammals.

* Dinnae forget these may nae hae existed.

** We can't be tae sure o' years.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Bit Yin - Prehisteric Days

Bit yin - Prehisteric Days.


Twa wurds that have struck fear intae the hearts o' men since aroun' tha dawn o' time. These great bastes roamed Ireland, and Ulster besides, a wheen o' millian years hence*. A lock o' them wur manaters, but oers ate plants, may they are less interestin.

As the mid-1990s documentary Jurasic Park shewed, DINOSAURS!!!!! were savage bastes, roamin in packs an terrorisin' the helpless folk o' remote islands. However there can be nae doot** that their terrorisin' spread as far as oor ain shores.

Thia wus, fur sure, the days befair thar wur folk here in Ulster, so how dae we knaw aboot them? The answer is that people who larn about DINOSAURS!!!! called Palaeontalogits have foun' bits o' them as far an' wide as North and South Antrim, shewin' us that these great bastes once bestrode oor land. The Palaeontalogits have foun' fossils*** - bits o' bone that they hoke oot o' the very rock - that can tell us a great dail aboot the way DINOSAURS!!!! lived thar days, richt down tae the very food they ate and the type o' things they liked tae dae. Mostly they liked til ate.

"But" I hear ye ask, "whit dae DINOSAURS!!!! - fearful as they may be - have tae dae with the Ulster Scots?" A guid question, and wan worth addressin'. The answer can be foun' in new studies carried oot by the Department o' Auld Larnin' at the University o' Mid Antrim. Professor Willie McIlveen has been lukin at the DINOSAURS!!!!! to try as to ascertain wither or nae they were frae Scotland an' cud therefur be described as the first Ulster Scots. His larnin has revealed a couple o' startlin' facts -

Yin: Because at thy'on time Ulster an' the rest o' Ireland was joined ontae the rest o' Britain, they had tae have come frae there, so cannae have been Irish. There was nothin' joined tae Ulster on the ooer side so they cannae have made it frae anywhere else.

Twa: As every wean knows the heid yin o' the DINOSAURS!!!! was called Tyranasoreus Rex. Rex is, of course, auld Greek fur King. This basic fact confirms that the DINOSAURS!!! were monarchists, not republicans, so must have favoured the protestant ways.

Thus the histerical histry o' the Ulster Scot gaes back even fairther than the maist o' us wud imagine til oorselves, and even mair the trueness o' Ulster Scotsness has been proved by scientific larnin'.

Next time - The Caul Snap (oor the Ice Age as sum call it).

*Oor else 4000 years ago, when Ireland wis formed in a flood by Gawd.

** Some doot possible.

*** Fossils may hiv bin put thar by Gawd tae fool men later on.