The modern Scots words set to enter the dictionary revealed

Editors have shared the modern everyday words that are set to be included in the updated Scots language dictionary.

A clutch of modern Scots words - from tonto to roaster and jaked - have been earmarked for inclusion in the new Scots language dictionary. PIC: Contributed.

The words have met the threshold to be listed given they have appeared in at least three separate written sources, which

can include social media posts.

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Each entry will also carry the year which the first written reference was made.

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The new words include wabsteid, the Scots form for website (2001), and clusterbourach, a disaster or a fiasco, which was first recorded in 2018.

Jaked (2009), a Scots word for inebriated, has also been earmarked for inclusion as has roaster (2007), which is often used to describe an idiot. Numptitude (2007), another term for idiocy, will make its way into the dictionary.

Scary biscuits (2007), an expression of mock fear, is set to appear along with taps aff (2012), now a popular term used when the sun comes.

Wee shame (2003), which is considered a topic or object of pity, will also feature with tonto (2016)which describes a wild or crazy state, due to make an appearance.

The new selection will appear in the Dictionaries of the Scots Language, now a digital-only publication of some 4,000 pages which brings together Modern Scots (after 1700) in The Scottish National Dictionary and Older Scots (before 1700) in A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue.

Dr Rhona Alcorn, chief executive of Scottish Language Dictionaries, said there was often a long delay between words coming into use and their appearance in dictionaries.

Dr Alcorn said: "There is almost a considerable lag between the formation of a word and its discovery by dictionary makers.

"Dictionary makers focus on written evidence by necessity. The alternative is that we have to tune into every conversation of every minute of every day. Clearly, that is not realistic and written evidence can be pursued and examine at a distance of time.

"New words tend to come about in speech and it can take an awful long time for a word to appear frequently in speech and then to find itself being written down enough for it to come before a dictionary maker.”

A date for the new edition has yet to be set.

She said contenders for inclusion in the dictionary were held in a ‘wordbank’ along with written references. Once three references were compiled, it could then be considered for the dictionary.

Social media posts were included as legitimate references, Dr Alcorn added.

She added: “Social media is essentially written information and it is using a type of language that is much closer to the way people would speak when compare to if it was written down in a letter, for example. It can help us get a bit closer to what is happening in spoken language.”

Scots is spoken by 1.5 million people in Scotland with a total of 1.9million people reporting they could speak, read, write or understand Scots. The figures were included in results for the 2011 Census, which included a question on the Scots language for the first time.

According to the Scots Language Centre, Scots is the collective name for Scottish dialects known also as ‘Doric’, ‘Lallans’ and ‘Scotch’ or by more local names such as ‘Buchan’, ‘Dundonian’, ‘Glesca’ or ‘Shetland’. Taken altogether, Scottish dialects are called the Scots language.

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