Fit Like?

ccnancyjardineThis post is by Nancy Jardine.

I’ve said before on this blog that I love words. I love the diversity and elegance of the English language; I love to use really expressive words in my writing, even though they may not be easy everyday ones. What I’ve not done before on this blog (as far as I remember) is give the readers a teensy wee glimpse into the dialect that’s used by the indigenous north-easters of Scotland. That’s probably because even after 27 years of living in Aberdeenshire, I still canna spik a’ Doric!  (Can’t speak Doric) Fit’s this aa aboot en? (What’s this all about then?)

Doric is a very strong dialect that’s spoken in the city of Aberdeen, and in Aberdeenshire, but in the way of things they are actually slightly different in inflection and even some of the actual words differ between city and shire. The term Doric is thought to have originated from the Greek word for ‘rural’ or ‘rustic’. If you’ve seen the Disney movie ‘Brave’ Doric is spoken by one of the characters Lord MacGuffin, but it’s pretty easy to follow the film without understanding a single word of what he says!

(My apologies. I can’t seem to insert the video properly but this clip is funny and says everything about Doric in about 15 seconds flat!)

So back to the title Fit Like? That’s a daily greeting in the north east of Scotland whaur a bide (where I live) and is Doric for ‘How are you?’ My answer would be Nae bad…aye chavin awa (I’m doing fine, thank you)

Now that’s about the extent of my Doric spikkin though I can understand a little more of the spoken words so it’s with some trepidation that I venture out into places where Doric might be spoken. The combination of me being fairly clueless about the dialect and having a hearing problem makes for a fun situation. Last night’s gaein’ oot intae toon (visit into the city) wisnae sae bad (wasn’t too bad), in fact it was fine wee nicht (a lovely night) considering it was the start of Valentine’s weekend.

My husband and I have never been into the ‘Valentine’s Day’ commercialism during our nearly 42 years of marriage but Valentine’s weekend is still always a special time for us. My younger daughter was born on the 13th February so we try to catch up with her at some point during her birthday weekend—though that’s not always easy since she has an incredibly energetic social life. Today, the 13th Feb, wasn’t going to be convenient to meet up with her, though last night was. Since we’re aa’ teuchters (all rural dwellers in Aberdeenshire) we met up with my daughter, her husband and some of their toonser freens (city dweller friends) in the city of Aberdeen at the newest Brewdog Pub which opened just weeks before Christmas 2015. Find information about them here:  The Brewdog Pubs are special in that they serve craft beers and have become very popular throughout the UK and beyond… since they were started up by 2 guys from North East Scotland in 2007.

I confess to not being much of a beer drinker (though my hubbie always has been)  but I made an extra special effort last night because we were celebrating more than my daughter’s birthday. My son-in-law has recently ventured into being a part owner of a new craft/designer beer company named ‘Fierce Beer’. fierce beer Click here to read the menu of new beers.

Fierce Beer had arranged to do a ‘Take Over’ last night (that is what they call the process) at the Brewdog Pub.

It’s a bit like when authors talk about ‘Paying it forward’, when we help other authors by reposting blog articles, or sharing posts on Facebook or Twitter, or hosting authors on our own blogs to do their own bit of promotion of their books. The Brewdog Pub ideology is much the same in that they are very willing to allow new local beer companies to promote their new brews in the Brewdog premises. Last night Fierce Beer had 6 of its new brews available alongside the usual quantity of specialist beer Brewdog options.

When we got there at 6 p.m. the pub wis aready affa thrang (already really busy), fair loupin (lively, jumping, wall to wall people) and helluva lood (very noisy). There were cries of Fit ye haein’? (What are you having?) as a new patron coming in the door was greeted by a friend. Aa’ll hae a Ginja Ninja! Cheers min! (I’ll have a Ginja Ninja. Cheers man, and thank you!)

I’m totally glad that although there was Doric to be heard aroon an’aboot  (around us) it’s also a  place filled with the young business crowd of Aberdeen (formally called ‘Yuppies’) so any Doric tends to be used in one-to-one chat and English used in the general conversations since Aberdeen is a very multi-cultural city these days. My answer to my daughter’s question of what would I like was ‘I haven’t a clue—surprise me!’ My son-in-law presented me with a ‘Fierce Beer- Cranachan’ which is a pale ale made with raspberries and cream and oats and it did taste like the Scottish dessert named Cranachan.cranachan

( )

I’m very partial to Cranachan the food…and now the beer! The Ginja Ninja is like a ginger beer with lemongrass and would be perfect on a hot summer afternoon. I also tasted the Peanuts! a dark and delicious porter made with…you’ve guessed it…peanuts. I’m still sitting on the fence regarding the Dirty Sanchez which is a dark porter made with chipotle smoked chillies!

If my hubby and I hadn’t needed to go and find a restaurant to fill our bellies I’d probably have tried the other Fierce Beers and maybe some Brewdog ones as well. The Italian restaurant we went to rounded off our night.

And guess what? There was a very young couple (maybe late teens) sitting next us on a Valentine’s date. The hesitant Doric conversation and long pauses with no conversation at all indicated they didn’t yet know each other very much, but I hardly understood a word. I tried not to watch them pouring over their bill, quietly whispering over who was paying for which part. The man paying for the Valentine’s meal might not be the norm any more but the bouquet of roses the young loon (boy) had the server present to the young quine (girl) was very touching.

I was quite chuffed when my hubby paid our bill and the waitress asked Ye gaan doon a’ steers tae a’ cabaret? Were we going down the stairs to the nightclub with a cabaret? Err. No. I could have replied No yer aaricht. A’hm wabbit!  (No thanks. I’m exhausted.)

We ordered a taxi.

Too many beers followed by a delicious bottle of merlot! 😉

Have a fun weekend—Valentine’s dates, or otherwise.

ps-Shares in both Brewdog and Fierce Beer is a great idea! 😉
CFS End Sept 2015Nancy Jardine writes historical romantic adventures (Celtic Fervour Series); contemporary mystery thrillers (Take Me Now, Monogamy Twist, Topaz Eyes-finalist for THE PEOPLE’S BOOK PRIZE 2014); & time-travel historical adventures for Teen/ YA readers (Rubidium Time Travel Series).   Twitter @nansjar  Facebook: and (for The Rubidium time Travel Novels.) email:

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18 thoughts on “Fit Like?

  1. I’d like to share a delightful post written by Author Nancy Jardine for Writing Wranglers and Warriors. Nancy lives in Scotland and shares with us the Doric language that is popular there. Follow Nancy and friends as they spend an evening of fun trying a new line of beer and spending time with their daughter on her birthday. You’ll love it!


  2. Loved it Nancy. I could go on and on, but suffice it to say, I’ll be re-reading this one. Best to your son in law on the new venture. Craft beers are popular here in Colorado. In fact I think we’re the craft beer state. Too bad I don’t like beer. Doris


  3. Nancy, it’s funny you should write about dialects today. Last month in my third Thursday poets group meeting, we were prompted to write a poem in a different dialect. Since I spent six months in North Dakota and listened to A Prairie Home Companion for years, I mastered the North Dakota Norwegian dialect. What started as a poem turned into a work of flash fiction. I hope to have it on my blog by Tuesday and will notify everyone through Facebook when it’s live.


  4. Very entertaining blog! Loved trying to figure out what you said before I read the interpretation. I love the english and scottish and irish dialects. They are so musical to me.
    Thanks so much for another glimpse into your world! You are so talented.


  5. Fun post, Nancy. Loved trying to understand the dialect (not too good at it) and reading about the beers. Also, the bit with the teenage couple caught my fancy. When I get to actually writing the Civil War novel, I may try to do some dialects for slaves and southern mountain dialects in the dialogue. But I don’t want the dialogue to get too heavy. In my outline, I have examples of Victorian slang words that I’ll probably incorporate to give their dialogue a realistic feel.


    1. That sounds good, Mike. I like a bit of dialect to ‘set’ the novel better but not too much either or it becomes hard work if it’s a dialect you’ve not heard/ Read before.


  6. Love your post and trying to decipher the dialect. Too bad Disney didn’t indicate that Lord M was speaking a dialect. Probably most people thought it was jibberish, like I did. Good luck to the son-in-law. And Happy Valentine’s Day.


    1. Ha, ha- kate! I’ve been watching Brave a lot with my 4 year old granddaughter and gibberish is a pretty good term! It’s only because I can distinguish it easily from the other Scottish dialects that I pick up what’s being said in the film. I imagine many people across the globe just focus on the animation in Brave and get the gist of the story continuation from the visuals.


  7. Just as I wrote the other day, my Husband gave me the stuffed animals, the dozen roses, the card and the candy. I love that guy. He covered all the bases. Sounds like you had a great Valentine’s Weekend. Cher’ley


    1. I did Cher’ley, and it sounds like you had a great one , too. BTW i got a bunch of flowers the weekend before Valentine’s. 😉


  8. Delightful post, Nancy! My husband would have loved being there with you all and sampling the beers. Like you, I’m a red wine kind of gal, but I love being part of such festivities and seeing my husband enjoy himself while I sip the wine. Wishing you and your family well now and always and perhaps one day we can gather round a table in Scotland and share a toast!


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