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Aspects of Colloquial Speech

Tags.

Tags are added to questions in order to prompt the person spoken to, to agree with the speaker's statement. In requests, tags ask the person spoken to, to agree with and act on the speaker's request.

Tag questions.

Did ye stairt tae jouk the schuil, did ye?
Did you start to play truant, did you?
Are ye aye at the scaffie's yaird, are ye?
Are you still working at the rubbish dump, are you?
Ye hivna juist haed yer teeth oot, hiv ye?
Have you just had your teeth removed, have you?
Is Shona hame, is she?
Is Shona at home, is she?

The negative tag usually contains no. It indicates that the person speaking expects a positive response.

Jimmie haes gane, haes he no?
Jimmy has gone, hasn't he?
Fiona can soum, can she no?
Fiona can swim, can't she?
Jock will gie't ye, will he no?
Jock will give you it, won't he?

The tag eh is often added to questions and requests.

Lat me pit ma coat on, eh?
Let me put my coat on, won't you?
It's no ower muckle, eh?
It's not too big, is it?
We ken him gey an weel nou, eh?
We know him quite well now, don't we?
Ye are takkin her til the picturs, eh no?
You are taking her to the cinema, aren't you?
Pit the kist doun thare, eh?
Put the chest down there, won't you?
Be guid tae ma dochter, eh?
Be good to my daughter, won't you?

Other frequently used tags are:

Ye dinna gang for that kin o lassie, na?
You don't go for that sort of girl, no?
Ye telt her anent it, ay?
You told her about it, yes?
He's no ettlin tae tak aw o't, no really?
He's not trying to take all of it, not really?
A'll be wi ye Monanday, richt?
I shall be with you on Monday, right?
Ye'r no mynt tae win hame in this wather, shuirly?
You aren't intending to reach home in this weather, surely?

Great confidence is expressed by speakers who use the tags eh or shuir at the beginning of a statement. This invites the person spoken to, to confirm the speaker's expectation, producing in effect a tag question.

Shuir the Pape's Catholic?
Of course the Pope is a Catholic?
Eh Kairien's bairn's a laddie?
Of course Kairien's baby is a boy?

Focusing devices are used to introduce items into the conversation or to give prominence to items which the person speaking wishes to introduce into the conversation. The most frequently used words for these purposes are see, ken and like.

See thae auld hooses. Ma faither bug ane.
See those old houses. My father built one.
See you, pal. Gin ye dae that again, A'll dunt ye!
.See you, chum. If you do that again, I'll thump you!
Ken Morag. She juist wadna dae't.
.Know Morag. She just wouldn't do it.
A gaed doun the toun like, an the polis wis thare.
I went down town, and the police were there.
It wis, weel, like fower year sin A seen him.
It was, well, four years since I saw him.
He haes his dug, like, gies him company.
He has his dog that gives him company.
She's in the infirmary, ken, tae hae a neer transplantit.
She's in the hospital, you know, to have a kidney transplanted.

Interjections.

The summoning interjection is hey or haw.

Hey, you wi the reid heid!
Hey, you with the red hair!
Haw, whaur d'ye think ye're gaun?
Hey, where do you think you are going?

Some of the common assertive interjections are:

atweel
indeed
ma certes
my, certainly
by fegs
by faith, truly
mynd ye
mind you
certes
certainly
(n)yod
God (euphemistic)
deed
indeed
weel A wat
well I know
haud on
stop
wheesht
silence
 
 
whowe
wow

Some of the commonest interjections of surprise and astonishment are:

bletheration
nonsense
hech
heh
crivens
Christ defend us
losh
Lord save us
fegs
faith
megstie me
mighty God
haivers
nonsense
niver
impossible

Some of the interjections used to express disgust are:

dozen't.
confound it.
feech, feuch.
fie.

Impatience is often expressed using the interjection och or ach.

Troubles or worry are often expressed by using the interjections och, hoot and s'truith, s'trowth = God's truth.

Resignation or submission to something that can't be avoided may be expressed with aweel = Oh well!

Assent is often expressed using weel-a-weel = Well oh well.

Sympathy and sorrow are often expressed by using the following interjections.

ochone
woe is me!
nounae! nounae!
now then!

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