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Shetland expressions


Medziotojas
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Thinking the other day about the expression "i doot dat". Used as if someone told you something and you agreed and confirmed "i doot dat".

Presume nothing to do with the english word "doubt" which would give it the opposite meaning.

 

My granmother used to say "o buff" instead of a curse which she would not have used, when something went wrong.

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Thinking the other day about the expression "i doot dat". Used as if someone told you something and you agreed and confirmed "i doot dat".

Presume nothing to do with the english word "doubt" which would give it the opposite meaning.

 

I've always presumed that it was an abbreviated version of the phrase "I have no doubt that is the case". Shetland has a bad (good??) habit of chopping down phrases and words over time and use which often leads to a literal translation of their current version being nonsense.

 

A portion of Shetland is derived from archaic English, go back a hundred years or so and few could read, so the most heard oratator of a "foreign" tongue was the minister in the pulpit of a Sunday, who was course was quoting chapter and verse from the bible. A number of phrases which no doubt caught the imagination of someone in the conregation, and they started using it as a catchphrase, very probably entered Shetland speech in such a way.

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Thinking the other day about the expression "i doot dat". Used as if someone told you something and you agreed and confirmed "i doot dat".

Presume nothing to do with the english word "doubt" which would give it the opposite meaning.

 

I have heard the expression being used by people from the North East of Scotland also. The only reference I can find online is in

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottish_English

 

Often, lexical differences between Scottish English and Southern Standard English are simply differences in the distribution of shared lexis, such as stay for "live" (as in: where do you stay?); doubt for "think the worst" (I doubt it will rain meaning "I fear that it will rain" instead of the standard English meaning "I think it unlikely that it will rain").
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It kem ta me dis mornin at a Shaetlan expression ay used wis mebbe mair Shaetlan as i towt:

 

"A peerie start" (a little while, small amount of time)

 

Noo, is 'start' used as a measure o time on y idder wye? I canna tink o it.

 

I ken a loch o folk dat say "a peerie meenute". (excuse spelling readin am good it writin' am no.)

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'Doot' i da sense o 'suppose' is a Scots uiss. Dae'r a weel-kent yarn aboot whin Robert da Bruce gied in an stabbit his enemy da Comyn i da back whin he wis prayin at da alter in - I tink hit wis Dunfermline Abbey. He cam oot an sed tae his freend Kirkpatrick:

 

'I dout I hae killed the Comyn.' (ie: 'I think I've killed Cumming.')

 

An Kirkpatrick sed.

 

'Ye dout? I mak siccar'. (ie, 'You think so? I'll make certain!)

 

An he gied in an feenished him aff!

 

Apairt fae da fact at siccar/sicker means somethin entirely different in Shaetlan fae Scots, da uiss o 'doot' here is exactly da sam as in Shaetlan. Da spellin 'dout' in Scots wid be pronounced 'doot', tui.

 

In da Nort Aest here, whaar I bide, dis uiss is deein oot - if you say ' I doot that' fock tinks you're traepin wi dem. Funny aneoch, da only body at I'm haerd sayin it laetly wis a aald man at spaeks English maest o da time.

 

Even in Lerrick, dae wir ee wife, whin I sed 'I doot', at sed 'you mean you don't doubt'. Even toh shui spack Shaetlan maest o da time, shui changed ta English ta say dis. 'Go figure', laek da Americans says - we micht as weel start practisin spaekin dir wye noo.

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It wis a start ago at i wrat yun, but i'd be blyde tae hear ony unkin wird apo da matter, even if it taks a start.

 

I fan me'sell readin da dictionary ower yun een, an no Grahams een ayder!

 

Da only ting at occurred tae me is a peculiar progression o trying oot a new employee or siklik, when it wid be said at you wid "Gie him a start" in Inglish, meaning starting wark, but tae a lug no wint we hit hit could come ower as meant tae be a measure o time. Hit could o evolved fae a misunderstanding dere. (Unless een o wir eminent Scandinavian freends, or dee, kin tell me anidder usage o da wird fae dir origins)

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Aboot 'start', dae'r mair as fower pages i da aald Oxford English Dictionary on dis wird, bit da very first defineetion at dey gie is:

 

A short space of time, a moment, often used adverbially (obs).

 

'Obs' means obsolete, so hit leuks laek Shaetlan is hadden on tae a meanin at dee'd oot in English a braa start fae sine! (Da phrase 'a braa start', at raelly means a lang time, is juist a extension o dis meanin.)

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