Oor Ain Fowk

Posted by in Articles, Stories on Jan 5, 2014


When chapman billies leave the street

And drouthy neebours neebours meet

And fowk sit bousin at the nappy

And getting fu’ and unco happy -

Oor Ain Fowk: That’s – eeh – that’s Rabbie Burns, eh?

It is. Imperfectly remembered, but the juice, the essential guts of the thing is there.

 Oor Ain Fowk: Didgie ever hear o a poyut called – och, a mind like a sieve – Ayres! Pam Ayres. That’s it.

I am aware of whom you speak.

Oor Ain Fowk: She’s great, so she is! Here, see whit ah found doon the back o the sofa! That’s a sovereign! Solid gold! Somethin’, eh? Mustae been there for years! Centuries, mibbe, ah dinnae ken. It’s a gey auld sofa

Would you allow me to have a closer look? Thank you. Ah, yes.

Oor Ain Fowk: Here! Here! Hey, whit’s the gemme?

As I suspected. Chocolate. Very good chocolate too!

Oor Ain Fowk: Ya f*ckin bastart! Ye’ve eaten the bleddy thing, tae!

Pray control your anger. Observe, I take a penny, wrap the foil round it, and there you are! Richer to the tune of a penny, and how much brighter it looks in its new coat! Leaving so soon? Please give my regards to your charming wife!

 Oor Ain Fowk: Twistit! That’s whit y’are! Mentally twistit!

 Come come. We all have our little foibles. Wake, for the sun has scattered into flight

The stars before him from the field of night

And strikes the sultan’s turret with a noose of light -

 Oor Ain Fowk: Ya bampot!



In the saloon bars and public bars from Gretna to Thurso, from Aberdeen to Stornoway, the topic most hotly debated is: Will the Scottish regiments be reinstated when we get independence? These brave bodies of men -

Oor Ain Fowk: Talkin’ o bars; ah wis in the Tickled Troot on Thursday, and here they had a sign up saying Go-Go Dancin Live. Well, ah’m a man o the warld, ken, so I didnae think ony mair aboot it. So ah’m in there, right, and there’s this skinny wee besom up on the coonter in naethin but a g-string!

 A challenging moment!

Oor Ain Fowk: Aye, but ken wha it wis? It wis Wullie Mac’s Maureen! An ah’ve kent her since she wis a wean!

 A situation fraught with potential embarrassment, clearly!

Oor Ain Fowk: And the worst o it wis she tears aff the g-string and she’s up there buck nakid, flingin a divot to Britney Spears, and ah’m staunin there wi a bright red coupon! Ah wis black affrontit! Ah didnae ken whaur tae look!

Such incidents are indeed difficult to manage.

Oor Ain Fowk: Aye, but see next day, ah’m in Tesco’s, and here she is buying a bottle o mulk! An it’s a’ Hiya, how’re you doin, an a’ this! Ah sez, oh hi Maureen. Ah huvnae seen much o you lately, and here’s me seen a’ there is tae see! Then she sez, Ah seen ye in the Troot last night. Did ye like the show? Ah didnae ken whit tae say! In the finish ah sez, oh, great. Very artistic! And her wee eyes start tearing up, ken, and sez, oh, thank you! Gies uz a wee peck on the cheek, likes, and she shoots the crow wi her bottle o mulk.

Only a person with the most masterful grasp of social etiquette could have negotiated such a difficulty with comparable aplomb.

 Oor Ain Fowk: Ah’m goin back next Thursday, mind. Here’s ma bus! See ye later!




Oor Ain Fowk: Aw, gie’s peace! In the name o the wee man, pit a sock in it!

Very well. If such be your attitude: I have no wish to cast pearls before swine.

 Oor Ain Fowk: Did y’ever hear Big Malky McAloon singing ‘The Ball o Kirriemuir’?

That pleasure has thus far been denied me.

Oor Ain Fowk: He wis anither yin that didnae ken when to shut up.

I reject the comparison utterly. I shall go now. I am never completely happy when away from my beloved books. Farewell, Philistines!



It strikes me that the wag who feared that Scottish independence could be characterised by the vision of Sir Fred Goodwin driving an Edinburgh tram was sacrificing the legitimate aspirations of a nation, long perceived by our closest neighbours as a province, with a mildly felicitous juxtaposition. My own view -

Oor Ain Fowk: She’s let that bleddy dug oot again!

To whom do you refer?

Oor Ain Fowk: Maggie Broon! She niver takes it a walk nor nuthin. Just opens the door and lets it run wild! Ken the first time ah kent she had a dug wis when ah wis haunin out the leaflets for the Chinkie up wer close. I stuck wan through her box, and here’s something lickin ma hand on the other side o the door! I gey near pisht masel!

A reaction entirely to be excused, considering the macabre circumstances!

Oor Ain Fowk: Ah sez tae her, ye cannae let that dug jist rin wild, Maggie. She sez: Oh, but he’s very intelligent. I sez tae her: He’s only a dug, Mar Gret!

And did you employ that same tone of voice, as if speaking to a person of restricted mentality, and screw your features into that revolting simulacrum of a tragedy mask?

Oor Ain Fowk: Ah widnae care, but the dugs roon here run in packs, ken. There’s all sorts a’ rinnin aboot thegither.

Surely this is a matter for the Council to take in hand?

Oor Ain Fowk: Well, ah wash ma haunds o the hail thing. If some wean gets eaten alive, dinnae blame me! That’s a’!

The scenario you describe is grotesque in the extreme. However, I accept your admonition not to hold you responsible.

Oor Ain Fowk: Ah’ve said a’ ah’ve goat tae say oan the maitter! That’s it an a’ aboot it!

I shall bear this in mind should any infants be ingested by the local pets. Good day.


When Mozart sat down to write his Magic Flute, he little knew -

Oor Ain Fowk: Here, this’ll crack y’up! This is a belter! This is brullyunt! Wait till ye hear this.

Consider my diary cleared in anticipation of what you have to vouchsafe to me.

Oor Ain Fowk: This is great! This is amazin! Listen tae this. I goat it ootae a Christmas cracker. Ken the furst warld war, aye?

The first world war: always a rich and fecund source of comic material. Go on.

Oor Ain Fowk: Ken Hitler, aye? He wis a corporal in the furst warld war, ken.

Hitler! The possibilities for humour increase at every turn.

Oor Ain Fowk: Okay. Whit did Hitler call his tin hat?

I fear that I shall have no peace until this riddle is expounded to me.

Oor Ain Fowk: His tin hat, ken, tae keep the bullets and shrapnel and a’ that aff. Whit did he call it?

I believed my knowledge and understanding of that dismal conflict to be nothing short of encyclopaedic. Clearly there is more to learn.

Oor Ain Fowk: Helmut. Helmut. Dja get it? Belter, eh? Helmut! Ca’ed his tin hat Helmut! Brullyunt! Pure dead brullyunt! Helmut. Cuz it’s a name, ken. A Jairman name.

Alas, like so many of the enigmas of the universe, the assuaging of my curiosity is matched only by the depth of my disappointment at the solution.

Oor Ain Fowk: Aye, it’s a Jairman name, Helmut. Like Helmut Kohl, ken. D’ye think his middle name wis ‘Scuttle’? Helmut Scuttle Kohl? Eh?

Astounding as it may seem, you have hit the nail squarely on the head. (Please avoid any remarks containing the phrase ‘square head’.) The former Chancellor’s full name was, indeed, Helmut Schkuttel Kohl.

Oor Ain Fowk: Truly amazin!

Isn’t it? And the headgear that the Nazi fuehrer wore in the first world war was referred to as a Coal Scuttle Helmet. But only by the Allies.

Oor Ain Fowk: Wis them the yins wi the spike on the top?

Ah, no. You are thinking of the Pickelhaube.

Oor Ain Fowk: Ma granda brought yin o them back, ken, but ma gran flung it oot efter she sat oan it wan Hogmanay. She said she wis niver the same efter that.

I can imagine that it made a deep impression on her.

Oor Ain Fowk: So it did. Whup! Here’s ma bus! See ye later.



Oor Ain Fowk:             Wurr ye doon the gemme Se’erdy?

I beg your pardon?

Oor Ain Fowk: The gemme, ken? Wurr ye doon there?

I take it that you are referring to the association football match at the local ground at the week end?

Oor Ain Fowk: Ah wiz doon there. Ah wiz fair sickened!

But I was under the impression that the local team won by a spectacular goal in the final seconds of the match?

Oor Ain Fowk: Niver miss a gemme. Ah’ve niver missed a gemme in thirty year. Then some bastart wheechs a scotch pie, hits me in the back ae the neck. Ah turn roond fur tae see whae flung it, likes, and ah miss the final goal.

A most disappointing denouement!

Oor Ain Fowk: Ah tried tae get it oan the telly, but it wiz a’ they English matches. Ah couldnae find it onywhere, ken.

According to my exhaustive research on this important issue, Fatty passed to Skinny,  Skinny passed it back; Fatty took a flying leap and knocked the goalie flat…Is something the matter?

Oor Ain Fowk: Are you takin the pish?

I assure you I would never lend myself to such an insanitary exercise!

Oor Ain Fowk: Fitba’s a serious thing, ken. It isnae a laughin matter!

I apologize if I have been cavalier with your sensitivities.

Oor Ain Fowk: Ye’ve nae idea, huv ye! Fox ache! Away and raffle yersel!